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King Charles Spaniel Characteristics

One of the most amiable and undemanding of the toys, the elegant English Toy Spaniel is easy to live with and easy to like.

One breeder describes him as "quiet, intimate, dignified, funny, and sweet."

Though he does love to play in the yard, he doesn't need or want much more exercise than that. The yard must be fenced, for he has just enough spaniel instincts to chase birds or butterflies into the street.

Calm indoors, a lover of comfort and couches, he enjoys cuddling on laps and snuggling into soft pillows. His soulful eyes invite pampering, which he accepts graciously without taking nasty advantage.

This docile yet merry breed is terrific for senior citizens.

At the other end of the spectrum, he is easily overwhelmed by small children and cannot take rough handling or mischief.

The "Charlie" (reflecting his European name: King Charles Spaniel) is somewhat reserved with strangers. His own family is enough for him, thank you very much.

He is mildly stubborn, but the little training he needs will go well if you use praise and encouragement - and food rewards never hurt.

  • Is small and pretty, with a short face, large expressive eyes, and a lovely feathered coat in striking colors
  • Is amiable and sweet-tempered
  • Adores comfort, cuddling, and snuggling
  • Doesn't need much exercise
  • Is polite with strangers
  • Is peaceful with other pets

An English Toy Spaniel may be right for you.

  • The fragility of toy breeds (see full decription below)
  • A dependent personality that must have companionship most of the day to avoid "separation anxiety"
  • Standoffishness toward strangers that can become shyness if not socialized enough
  • Frequent brushing and combing
  • Considerable shedding
  • Waiting lists (hard to find) and a high price tag

An English Toy Spaniel may not be right for you.

If I was considering an English Toy Spaniel, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Separation anxiety. More than most other breeds, English Toy Spaniels need a great deal of companionship and do not like being left alone for more than a few hours. They become anxious, which they express through destructive chewing and barking. If you work all day, this is not the breed for you.
  2. Providing enough socialization. English Toy Spaniels need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds so that their natural "softness" doesn't become shyness, which is very difficult to live with. Teaching your toy spaniel how to be confident with the world is essential. Read more on the English Toy Spaniel Training Page.
  3. Grooming. To keep their silky coat short and free of mats, English Toy Spaniels require regular brushing and combing, and occasional trimming.
  4. Shedding. English Toy Spaniels shed a lot. You'll find hair all over your clothing, upholstery, and carpeting.
  5. Finding one. In the United States, fewer than 250 new English Toy Spaniel puppies are registered each year. (Compare that to over 60, 000 new Golden Retriever puppies.) And many breeders are charging $1000 or more.
  6. Health problems. Because of their short face, English Toy Spaniels suffer more than their share of health problems.

To learn more about training English Toy Spaniels to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.

It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your English Toy Spaniel the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.

Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.

My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy English Toy Spaniel. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.

Once you have your English Toy Spaniel home, you need to KEEP him healthy - or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.

Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.

When you're acquiring an English Toy Spaniel PUPPY, you're acquiring potential - what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.

But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult English Toy Spaniels who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual - and enjoy!

Save a life. Adopt a dog.

MORE OF MY ARTICLES YOU MIGHT ENJOY.

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