• King Charles Spaniel in Great Britain
  • King Charles Spaniels
  • King Charles Spaniels in the UK
  • King Charles Spaniel Dog
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • King Charles Spaniel Dog Breed
  • King Charles Spaniel Breed
  • King Charles Spaniels in Great Britain
  • King Charles Spaniel Dogs
  • King Charles Spaniel in the UK
Exercise Level:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Height: 30 - 33cm M | 30 - 33cm F
Weight: 5 - 8kg M | 5 - 8kg F
Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 Years

Looking for a King Charles Spaniel?


The King Charles Spaniel breed is also called the English Toy Spaniel, Ruby Spaniel, Bleinheim Spaniel, Prince Charles Spaniel, and Charlies depending on his coat colours. He is a different breed of dog from the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, although they are close cousins.

King Charles Spaniels were bred to be lap dogs for the nobles, but later on became cherished family pets of people around the globe.

This toy breed is a smart, affectionate, and gentle canine companion. He would be a great addition to homes of the elderly, first-time owners, families with children, and those living with a sedentary life.

The King Charles Spaniel dog breed is eager to please his master, making him easy to train.

King Charles Spaniels are high-maintenance dogs with regard to grooming. However, they don't require much exercise as they have relatively low energy levels. The dog breed has a lifespan of 10–12 years.

Are you thinking of getting a King Charles Spaniel puppy? Here is a brief background of this aristocratic and people-pleasing toy dog.

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The King Charles Spaniel dog breed is 1 of 2 Royal Spaniels, together with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The 2 breeds actually share a common history, having to do with the time when Sporting Spaniels were miniaturised.

During the 1800s, the nobles wanted Spaniels to be bred as toy dogs to be pampered and carried around. The King Charles Spaniel breed was named after King Charles I, whose fondness for this small dog was passed on to King Charles II.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and King Charles Spaniels were previously shown as 1 breed. They were only recognised by the Kennel Club in the United Kingdom as 2 distinct breeds under the Toy Group in 1945.

Years earlier, in 1886, the King Charles Spaniel was officially acknowledged by the American Kennel Club. He is 1 of the first recognised toy breeds together with the Yorkshire Terrier and the Pug.

However, records show that the King Charles Spaniel dog breed has been around since the 1500s, comforting ladies of the court during the time of Elizabeth I. Apart from being a comforter, he was used as a hand and foot warmer.

King Charles Spaniels in the early days had different looks, highlighted by having longer muzzles. It is believed that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed was crossed with the Springer Spaniel, the Japanese Chin, and the Pug. This resulted in King Charles Spaniels having flat noses.

Because of the Second World War, the number of King Charles Spaniels significantly declined. Good thing the breed enthusiasts were able to save these small dogs, providing the stock of modern King Charles Spaniels.

This was made possible through the help of an American huntsman named Roswell Eldridge. He put out a prize for the breeder who can reproduce the King Charles Spaniel dog breed.

At present, this toy dog breed remains less popular than his Cavalier cousin. In fact, only a few King Charles Spaniel puppies are registered with the Kennel Club each year.

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Appearance and Grooming

The King Charles Spaniel breed is a refined dog with a compact and cobby body. Male King Charles Spaniels measure approximately 8 kilos (17 pounds) in weight and 33 centimetres (12 inches) in height.

Female King Charles Spaniels grow around 5.4 kilos (11 pounds) in weight and 30 centimetres (11 inches) in height.

A female King Charles Spaniel can give birth to around 2–6 puppies. Toy breeds quickly mature than their larger counterparts. Thus, expect King Charles Spaniel puppies to become adult dogs within 10 months to 1 year of age.

This toy dog breed is often compared to his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cousin. However, aside from their similar coat colours, they actually have varying breed standards. The first major difference is the distinctive dome-shaped head of the King Charles Spaniel dog breed.

The King Charles Spaniel has a well-defined stop, a wide and deep muzzle, and a neat lower jaw with a slightly undershot jaw. He has large dark eyes that give off a kind and appealing expression. His ears are long and well feathered, which are set low and hang neatly flat to his cheeks.

The coat of King Charles Spaniel is silky, straight, and long. Whilst a slight wave is allowed, the coat should never be curly. His ears, legs, and tail have profuse feathering, but there are some King Charles Spaniels born with a naturally bobbed tail, which is also acceptable.

The King Charles Spaniel breed has 4 variations of coat colours. Each variety is called a different name:

  • King Charles: Black and tan with bright mahogany tan
  • Prince Charles: Tricolour of ground pearly white with black and tan
  • Blenheim (inspired by Blenheim Palace): Red and whites
  • Ruby: Red

The King Charles Spaniel breed is high-maintenance on the grooming front. Having fine and silky hair, his coat needs to be brushed daily to avoid tangles and knots. He sheds all year round and more heavily during the spring and autumn, so brushing should be done more.

King Charles Spaniels would require regular professional grooming to keep their coats in tip-top shape and would make grooming at home more manageable. Check their ears for moisture and wax build-up to prevent ear infections.

Brush the teeth of King Charles Spaniels at least 2 times a week to avoid tooth decay and gum disease, which are common amongst toy breeds. Lastly, trim their nails, as overgrowth can be uncomfortable and causes scratches on people, furniture, and floors.

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Temperament and Intelligence

Unlike most Spaniels, the King Charles Spaniel breed has low energy, so he can laze around in a small apartment as long as he is given enough exercise every day. This toy breed is people-oriented and would gladly welcome visitors, even those he does not know.

Although the King Charles Spaniel can alert you when there are people in the front door, he is certainly not a good watchdog or a guard dog.

When it comes to other pets, the King Charles Spaniel toy breed can get along with those he is raised with. However, since he still has a natural prey drive, other pets must be introduced to him with caution.

King Charles Spaniels are intelligent family dogs and people-pleasers, making them easy to train.

These small King Charles Spaniel dogs are adaptable and receptive, but owners still need to set the rules and follow them themselves. These dogs are small and have adorable faces, so owners tend to be lax and let their bad behaviour slide.

Is a King Charles Spaniel a good family dog?

Yes, a King Charles Spaniel is a good family dog as he is sweet, gentle, and jolly. Due to this, he is a great choice for first-time owners, families with young children, and the elderly.

This toy dog is docile and would love nothing more than to be part of household activities. The meek personality of King Charles Spaniels also makes them good therapy dogs.

What's bad about King Charles?

The downside of the King Charles Spaniel dog breed is his tendency to be clingy. He has more likely to develop separation anxiety compared to other dog breeds.

For this reason, King Charles Spaniels cannot be left alone for extended periods. If not given enough time and affection, these small dogs will turn into destructive dogs.

Do King Charles Spaniels bark a lot?

Yes, King Charles Spaniels do tend to bark a lot. This can be useful for watchdog duty provided that they are trained well. However, their barking can become a nuisance especially if they are experiencing separation anxiety.

Are male or female King Charles Spaniels better?

Generally speaking, male King Charles Spaniels are more affectionate, whilst female King Charles Spaniels tend to be more independent and aloof. But this does not apply to all dogs of the breed.

Some males can be reserved, and females can be very loving towards their owners. Thus, it would be best to know the individual personality of the dog.

Are King Charles Spaniels hard to potty-train?

No, King Charles Spaniels are easy to potty-train as they are highly intelligent and eager to learn. Some hurdles may happen during training as these small dogs can get easily distracted.

Use positive reinforcement and rewards-based techniques to maintain the focus of the King Charles Spaniel. Do not use rough punishments as corrective methods as it can lead your dog to fear potty breaks when you are around.

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Nutrition and Feeding

The recommended serving amount for adult King Charles Spaniels is 1/2–1 cup of excellent-quality dry dog food per day. It is worth remembering that the amount of food depends on your dog’s age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism.

Toy breeds easily put on weight, so make sure to measure the King Charles Spaniel’s food and stick on a feeding schedule. Free feeding is a big no-no.

Here are the typical calorie needs of adult King Charles Spaniels per day:

  • Senior and less active: up to 400 calories daily
  • Typical adults: up to 450 calories daily
  • Physically active/working dogs: up to 500 calories daily

Feeding your King Charles Spaniel does not need to be difficult. Make sure that you feed him with high-quality dog food that is specifically formulated for small/toy dogs. Dry kibbles are great for his teeth, as this type of food encourages chewing.

The main ingredient of the food should be animal protein in the form of lamb, beef, or chicken. Avoid cheap supermarket or generic brands as they contain artificial preservatives and flavourings that can be bad for his health.

Important supplements for the King Charles Spaniel breed are omega fatty acids to ensure healthy hair.

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Health and Exercise

The King Charles Spaniel dog breed can live around 10–12 years. However, this small dog is highly prone to hereditary and congenital health issues such as:

Mitral Heart Disease

Also called mitral valve disease, this cardiovascular problem is characterised by leakage of the heart's mitral valve. An early sign of this condition is the presence of heart murmurs. After a few months or years, mitral heart disease can lead to heart failure if left untreated.

Dry Eye

The lack of tear production in the eyes results in dry eye. It is commonly caused by immune system disorders. Treating this eye problem is a lifelong task that consists of medications such as eye drops and ointments.

Degenerative Myelopathy

It is a spinal cord disease that causes gradual limb weakness, which can result in paralysis. This is an inherited disorder in the King Charles Spaniel breed brought on by a gene mutation. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for this health condition.

Luxating Patella

It occurs due to the dislocation of the dog’s patella or kneecap. This condition has a high prevalence in King Charles Spaniels. Treatment for luxating patella often involves surgery. Other common bone and joint issues in this toy breed are hip dysplasia and intervertebral disk disease.

The King Charles Spaniel breed has low exercise needs because he is a low energy dog. A minimum of 45 minutes per day of physical activities will suffice.

Short walks outdoors and off-lead time in the back garden are good exercise activities for King Charles Spaniels. Dog sports like obedience works well for these toy dogs too.

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Cost of Ownership

Toy breeds are small in size, thus they consume lesser amounts of food than larger dogs. Your King Charles puppy’s food expenses in a month will cost you about £14–£21.

Caring for your new furry friend means providing for his basic needs. The total amount that you may need to dole out for dog equipment, including food bowls, lead, collar, and bed, is around £100–£200 depending on the brand.

Another important part of your King Charles Spaniel puppy's life is veterinary care. Vet check-up fees are around £30–£60 per session.

Prepare to pay £100–150 for the first round of vaccinations and £50–£60 for annual boosters. Spaying or neutering your King Charles puppy will cost you as high as £110–£390.

Veterinary care tends to be expensive, but you can lower its cost if you acquire pet insurance. The monthly payment for a time-limited package is around £18. Opting for a lifetime pet insurance costs higher with a monthly fee of approximately £27

How much do King Charles Spaniels cost?

Buying a well-bred King Charles Spaniel pedigree puppy may lead you to spend around £2,000 to £3,000. Be careful from whom you purchase your pet as illicit breeders breeding dogs that are sickly remain rampant.

Always take time to look for assured breeders or ask for referrals from people who are involved in dog shows as well as King Charles Spaniel clubs in the United Kingdom.

Another great option is to adopt a King Charles Spaniel from an animal shelter or a rescue organisation. By doing so, you are giving a dog a second chance to live a better life.

King Charles Spaniel Breed Highlights

  • The King Charles Spaniel breed is an intelligent, gentle, and endearing dog.
  • This toy dog is perfect for first-time owners, families with children, and the elderly.
  • King Charles Spaniels are people pleasers, making training very easy.
  • This dog breed has high grooming needs; he will benefit from regular trips to the groomer.
  • This small dog is prone to several hereditary and congenital illnesses.
  • The King Charles Spaniel has low exercise needs.
King Charles Spaniel

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The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.

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