King Charles Spaniel
A noble-looking, compact dog, the King Charles Spaniel has a short, sturdy build and a long, silky coat that is straight or slightly waved. The coat comes in black and tan; tricolour (black, white and tan); Blenheim (white with red); and ruby. Adult King Charles Spaniels stand at approximately 30-33cm and weigh 3.6-6.3kg.
- Category size: Toy
- Grooming requirements: More than once a week
- Shedding: Little
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Not too noisy
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Toy
- Alone: Less than 1 hour
- Other pets: High
- Stability as a guard: Low
Originating from working gundogs, the Toy Spaniel dog was miniaturized to be the companion dog of aristocratic ladies and it is from this centuries-old type that the King Charles Spaniel dog breed descends. Crossed with Oriental toy breeds, such as the Pug and Japanese Chin, he has the large eyes, domed skull and flattened face that was popular with toy dogs from the Far East. His most famous fan, of course, was King Charles II, after whom he takes his name.
A gentle, happy and loving dog, the King Charles Spaniel is a rewarding companion dog. He can be reserved with those he doesn't know, but with friends and family, he is most affectionate. He gets along with other dogs and pets, and enjoys the company of old and young alike, but children must be careful around him, as his size makes him vulnerable to accidental injury.
Syringomyelia, a serious, painful neurological condition, has been reported in some King Charles Spaniels. In common with many small breeds, the King Charles Spaniel may suffer slipping kneecap(s), and those with a very flat face may also experience respiratory problems.
A small breed, the King Charles doesn't need very much exercise and will be happy with half an hour's daily walking, though he will accept more if you can offer it. They enjoy games with their owners, and they are clever dogs who also enjoy training.
Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
The medium/long silky coat will need grooming two or three times a week, paying particular attention to the feathering (longer hair) on the ears, legs and tail, which will tangle if neglected.
Is this the right dog breed for you?
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What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information