The English Toy Spaniel is a small, square-bodied dog with a coat that flows like a royal cloak. This breed is divided into four varieties based on color: Blenheim (rich mahogany red and white); ruby (rich mahogany red); Prince Charles (white with black and tan markings); and King Charles (black and tan). The coats in the Prince Charles and King Charles varieties are longer. The breed appears in numerous noble portraits of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The English Toy Spaniel is a bright and interested little dog. They are very affectionate and eager to please.
The English Toy Spaniel originated in Great Britain during the Renaissance era as a companion dog for royalty. The breed's modern appearance was the result of crossing short snout Japanese Toy breeds, such as the Pug or Japanese Chin, with small, long snout European spaniels. Very popular with the wealthy, the English Toy Spaniel was also known as a "comforter spaniel" as they served as lap or foot warmers. During the 17th century, the English Toy Spaniel was a constant companion to King Charles, resulting in the name King Charles Spaniel. This name is still widely used outside the U.S. and Canada. Over the course of early breeding the breed began to inherit keen hunting qualities. However, as centuries passed, the breed qualities diminished and it returned to being a lap dog. The English Toy Spaniel was admitted to the AKC in 1886 and was admitted to the Kennel Club in 1944.