English Toy Spaniel – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Could English Toy Spaniel be your next dog? What should you know before you welcome this small size dog into your life? Read on and discover.
Dog Breed Group:
Companion Dogs
10 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder
8 to 14 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 12 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

English Toy Spaniel is something of an ultimate lap dog. If you are on the lookout for the perfect family dog, this is a breed to consider having.

They are loyal and extremely loving, and a bit clingy. Once you get this breed, you are actually getting a 24/7 moving shadow that will enjoy following you around no matter what you might be doing.

When neglected they will suffer and may even develop anxiety if not even display strong destructive behavior. Overall, they are polite and gentle when trained right, and kind with children and other dogs.

Any family activity and this dog will be in. Long walks, agility, games of chase and fetch, your toy spaniel will be the first one to step in.

All in, if you are ready for regular walks, regular grooming, and having a shadow around this might be the breed for you.

Quick Facts

Real name: English Toy Spaniel
Breed type: Companion Dogs
Weight: 8 to 14 pounds
Height: 10 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Litter Size: 4 puppies
Color: Blenheim, Black and tan, Tri-colored, Ruby
Coat: Silky and floating coat

English Toy Spaniel History

Historically speaking, Toy Spaniels are mostly associated with a period of the 1600s and the “Merry Monarchs.”

This was the period of Charles I and II’s ruling when these small size dogs became the status symbol and symbols of the House of Stuart.

Charles II is known as the most dog-happy monarch ever, at least before Queen Victoria stepped in. There is no one side when it comes to the history of Toy spaniels.

Some dog historians claim that these vivid dogs were actually brought from Japan or China to Europe, back in ancient times.

Other dog historians claim that these small dogs were imported from Spain to Asia and from there exported to France, Italy, and England.

During the Victorian Era, British toy spaniels with Asian toy dogs, such as Pugs, and a new breed was created – a breed that is today known as the English Toy Spaniel.

English Toy Spaniel Physical Appearance

English Toy Spaniel is a compact breed of a short nose and affectionate nature. Their body is always sturdy and well-balanced.

Compared to the rest of the body the head is large, while eyes are large and brown in colors.

Ears are long, low set, and close to the head. Skull is high, while the muzzle is short. The neck is of moderate length, while the tail is docked.

This breed is always profusely coated, with a straight coat or coat that is slightly wavy.

Blenheim color, or red and white, is most commonly seen in this breed. They can be also black and tan, tricolor of often Ruby (this is a self-colored option when the coat is in rich mahogany red).

Overall gait should be elegant and lively.

English Toy Spaniel Personality

If you want a small size dog as an addition to your family, this is a breed to consider having.

English toy spaniels are great family dogs. They are never aggressive (if trained and socialized the best way possible, of course), and they should behave nicely around children.

These dogs will get along with children of all ages, as long as children know how to behave around them.

For a safe dog-child interaction, some rules should be set. This means that your spaniel should know basic commands, dog house rules, and how to move around people.

On the other hand, children should know and understand that dogs are territorial beings.

As territorial beings, dogs are very protective of their items. This is why dogs are so great protectors of the home and family.

Even companion dogs will give a tremendous bark if it is a stranger around. That being said, make sure that your children know the following:

  • Not to disturb dogs while they are eating
  • Not to pull dog’s ears or tail
  • Not to take their toys
  • Not to punch them, or treat them like stuffed animals
  • Not to disturb them while they are resting in their crate

No matter how well your child and dog might get along, you should provide proper supervision. This is how accidents are prevented.

What About English Toy Spaniel With Other Pets?

If raised with them, English Toy Spaniels should do fine with other pets. They can even get along nicely with cats if raised together.

Make sure that introduction is done properly. Once your veterinarian gives you the green light, usually once the puppy vaccination is completed, your dog can go to the dog park and learn how to play with other dogs.

English Toy Spaniel Training

Training should start as soon as you bring your English Toy Spaniel home.

Did you know what dogs are more than capable of mastering basic commands as of eight weeks of age? This is why you should start training your English Toy Spaniel from day one.

Arm yourself with patience, training toys, some fun indoor games, and let the fun begin.

To get the most out of training sessions, make them:

  • Fun
  • Short
  • Interactive
  • Reward based
  • Consistent

Training should be a fun experience that will enable a better connection with your Fido.

If you feel like training sessions are too much, too time-consuming, or even emotionally challenging, be sure that you search for assistance.

After all, there are great professional dog trainers who can help you speed up the training process and provide pro tips on training further.

Another option is to enroll your pup in puppy classes. This way you will learn firsthand how to train dogs efficiently and bond even further with your Fido.

English Toy Spaniel Grooming

Grooming is much more than just providing regular brushing sessions.

Yes, brushing time is mandatory, but it’s just a small piece of grooming practice.

To always have a neat English Toy Spaniel provide weekly brushing sessions.

Make them around 15-minutes long and always provide a nice treat afterward. Always reward good behavior.

The rest is basic care:

  • Trim or grind nails monthly
  • Bathe only when needed
  • Check gums weekly
  • If recommended brush dog’s teeth
  • Check eyes for any sign of eye discharge
  • Clean dog’s ears

To make grooming super-easy and fast, make sure that you have the right grooming tools on hand.

This way you will focus more on bonding with your dog through nursing, instead of freaking out that the brushing tools aren’t effective.

Make sure that when it comes to bathing time and teeth brushing use products that are specially designed for dogs. This way you will know for sure that you’re using dog-friendly products.

Now, let’s see where does English Toy Spaniel stand when it comes to health and nutrition.

English Toy Spaniel Health

English Toy Spaniels are often described as healthy dogs.

To have a healthy dog you need to consider two factors: genetics and care.

If you provide high-quality food your English Toy Spaniel will be of much better health than a dog who is fed on poor nutrition.

As for genetics, if you are buying a puppy, you should do your best to only deal with responsible dog breeders only.

This way you will get a puppy that has been screened for common health issues in the breed. Not only that but you will be shown medical documentation on the puppy.

Responsible dog breeders will also:

  • Ask you a lot of questions to make sure that you are a good fit
  • Present you medical documentation on your puppy
  • Provide inputs on proper training, grooming, and overall care
  • Tell you that in case of any hardship return the dog to them – this is something that may vary, but its usually communicated

If you are adopting (kudos to you for helping a living being!) animal shelter representatives will inform you on dog’s health, behavior, and other factors such as vaccination and microchipping.

In most cases, shelter dogs should be re-chipped when adopted. If you need more information on dog adoption, click here.

Now, back to the health part. … If you manage to provide the proper care, your English Toy Spaniel may live up to 12 years.

No matter how great care you might enable, dogs still get sick. Some of the health issues that may appear in this breed include patellar luxation, tooth loss, and ‘lazy tongue,’ a condition that causes the tongue to protrude from the mouth.

This doesn’t mean that your English Toy Spaniel will experience any of the listed conditions, but it means that you should provide regular veterinarian check-ups to keep your dog healthy.

Just like in humans, prevention is the key when it comes to having a strong dog who will reach his senior years without major issues.

Is English Toy Spaniel For You?

English Toy Spaniels are great family dogs who love being surrounded by people. They are also comfortable with staying in as long as they get enough outdoor time.

Just like with any other dog breed, provide enough exercise to keep English Toy Spaniel healthy and his joints strong.

If you are not a big fan of shedding or dealing with a breed that is prone to separation anxiety this breed may not be for you.

Another thing to consider about this breed is waiting lists. They are quite rare, which is why they usually have a high price tag.

This is another factor on why you should deal only with responsive and reputable dog breeders.

If you want a small size dog who loves to snuggle and cuddle this is a breed to consider.

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