Tracing their origin back to the early 1000s, small spaniel-type breeds were found in abundance around England as close companions to kings and other royalty during the Renaissance period. These toy-sized spaniels were a favorite childhood pet of King Charles II of England and remained a favorite for British aristocrats well into the 1800s. During the late 19th century, they were likely crossed with the Japanese Chin and Pug, giving them a flat-faced, domed skull appearance. In England, the English Toy Spaniel is known as the King Charles Spaniel, not to be confused with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a similar breed.
The large, dome-shaped head of the English Toy Spaniel is one of their most distinctive characteristics which separates them from their cousin, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Their compact, square-shaped body is profusely coated with feathering on the legs and feet. Like the Cavalier, the English Toy's straight or slightly wavy coat can be seen in four beautiful colors: King Charles (black and tan), blenheim (red and white), ruby (solid red), and Prince Charles (black and white with tan markings). Sporting long ears and large dark-colored eyes, they have a puppy-face no one can ignore. The English Toy Spaniel has a very short muzzle with a large black nose. The breed's feathered tail is carried at or slightly above the level of the back.
With a round head and pushed-in face, English Toy Spaniels have a dignified expression and it is not surprising that they assume the personality of an aristocrat. These small spaniels were originally bred to be companies for British royalty and they definitely have a calm and devoted nature. are a friendly, playful, and affectionate breed towards their owners and make a great family addition. They are easy to get along with, making them great for households with children and other dogs. The breed can be stubborn during training, but with consistent efforts, they can excel. English Toys are good for apartments due to their small size and require only daily walks or good playtime in the yard. Although not as known as their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cousins, the English Toy is a special breed all on their own with lots of love to go around.