Breed Type: Toy Spaniel
Country of Origin: England
Exercise Requirements: Small
Size: Small/Toy 3.7 -6.5kg in weight,  22 to 28cm high at the withers
Life Span:  Greatly Varies, 10 average by from 9 to 15 years.
Other Names: “Charlies”
Best suited as: Companion dog for an older person

Breed History
The King Charles Spaniel is one of the most recognizable of the toy breeds, with its expressive eyes and trademark flat face and distinctive small chin.  Initally the were in fact four differernt but similar breeds of Spaniel however they were combined into a single breed early into the 20th century. The likely comes from the same name from the 17th century in England was very fond of the breed. (King Charles II 1630 – 1685).

The founding breeds being the Prince Charles, Ruby and Belnheim  Spaniels. Prior to the and axing of these breeds by the King Charles spaniel all for breeds were much larger in size than the more traditional Spaniel facial appearance. They were crossed with the pug in the early 1800s with the goal of creating a toy sized Spaniel with a flat expressive face of the pug. In the 20th century some breeders unhappy with the direction the development of the King Charles spaniel had taken commenced their own breeding program in an attempt to return the King Charles spaniel to its more traditional appearance. One outcome of this breeding program was the creation of perhaps the most popular of the Spaniel is the Cavalier King Charles spaniel. The two breeds remain somewhat similar in appearance however the Cavalier is markedly larger, has a flathead with a longer snout and tends to be more gregarious than the smaller dome headed flatter faced Charlie.

The breed that were used to create the King Charles spaniel were hunting and retrieving Spaniel whilst they retain keen hunting instincts their size and lack of robustness does not lend to this task any longer. Their tendency to bond and remain loyal to an individual and a desire to be close to that person makes a wonderful lapdogs and companion dogs.

The coat colour will be indicative of which of the four founding breeds is most prevalent in any particular individual King Charles spaniel that may be black and tan and white, red and white or a solid rich red. The tri-coloured black tan and white is most common.

Temperament and Personality
King Charles spaniels are energetic fun loving little fellows, but their periods of activity tend to come in spurts. Though very affectionate and love affection. They will generally play happily and enthusiastically with children however they are not particularly robust and will not enjoy or even tolerate the rough housing that can be expected from toddlers.

Despite their small size they have strong personalities and will generally see themselves positioned as the number two dog in their family Pack, with all other pets and children coming below them.

They can be sensitive and easily offended and if treated badly in their mind by family member (such as a young child pulling on the tail) they will likely seek to avoid that family member. They are more suited to an adult owner seeking a companion dog.

Care Requirements
The long coat requires almost daily brushing. Their long coat is soft and silky fine and thus has a tendency to map untangle. Their long ears require particular attention to ensure there are no tangles or mats which can irritate your Charlies skin resulting in him pawing at them increasing the irritation.

The feet and legs require particular attention. The feathering on their legs needs to be combed to keep it free of tangles. They had to clause which often curl around and into the leg so they must be clipped short regularly. Their long further between their toes can cause irritation and they will lick between their toes till they bleed. The long further between their toes may hide unwanted irritation causing items such as grass seeds subject to these be conscious of your Charlie spending a lot of time licking his feet.

Regular bathing is not required and only do so if they are really stinky as excessive bathing and shampoos will reduce the natural oils health and shine in their coat. Though the coat is silky and woolly like a fine wool jumper your King Charles spaniel is a dog not an item of clothing. Don’t use chemical conditioners or softness containing eucalyptus that these may poison your Charlie when he licks himself after bathing.

That will enjoy playing outside they are very much an indoor dog so if you do allow your King Charles spaniel outside to play understand that this is very much a temporary arrangement should be brought inside at night to sleep. As a small dog that forms close bonds with its owner it will be desperately unhappy by itself outside.

Eyes should be cleaned and bathe regularly as they have a tendency to week and leave a stain on the face

Health
King Charles spaniels are not the most robust of breeds. Small dogs tend to have an average life span of around 15 years and whilst many individuals will reach this stage the average is much lower.

There are particular health problems that can be associated with the breed including I and heart problems. These health problems however well associated with the breed are not particularly common. Always choose a reputable breeder and make sure that you view the parents and grandparents and get a bit veterinary clearance that your puppy is healthy.

They are brachycephalic breed selection be sensitive to anaesthesia as well is poorly coping with heat stress. This is very important to note if you are intending to ever ship your dog. When dogs are shipped they are some sometimes left to get too hot in storage hangars – something a non-brachycephalic may well cope with whereas  a King Charles spaniel is likely to get distressed and perhaps even die.

Palate deformities are not uncommon and should never buy a King Charles spaniels sight unseen. Inspect the mouse to ensure they are able to close at and retract their tongue.

Summary
in many countries the King Charles spaniel has seen its popularity usurped by the Cavalier Charles spaniel. This is quite unfair because though they are the founding breed of the Cavalier, they are a very different animal. They make wonderful lapdogs and companion animals. Their popularity has led to some unconscionable breeding practices however if you seek out a registered highly thought of breeder you’ll find a wonderful healthy King Charles spaniel ready to be your loyal friend and companion for life.