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Getting To Know You - English Toy Spaniel

Posted by Christina Potter on

When people think of Spaniels, most will automatically picture a Cocker Spaniel or Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.There are even a number of other Spaniels that may come to mind; such as the Clumber Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, Boykin Spaniel, Welsh Springer Spaniel or Irish Water Spaniel.One that may not readily come to mind is the English Toy Spaniel.The English Toy is one of twenty-one breeds classified in the American Kennel Club’s toy group.This group consists of small sized dogs who make exceedingly good lap warmers and companions.

ETs, as they are affectionately known, are snub nosed dogs with square bodies.Due to those snub noses, they are prone to overheating and should be closely monitored in hot weather.They are about 11 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh around 12 lbs.They have long ears and alert expressions.Their profuse coats come in four colors:Ruby (solid red), Blenheim (red and white), King Charles (black and tan), and Prince Charles (white, black and tan).Those lovely, abundant coats come with a price: considerable shedding.Investing in a brush and combing them weekly will help keep that shedding under control.

They are generally well behaved and quiet.Though somewhat active in the house and a bit stubborn, they do take well to training.They enjoy cuddling and it is as if their chubby cheeks were made for kissing. Like most toy breeds, ETs may not be a good choice for families with young children. That’s not to say that they don’t like children.As a matter of fact, they get along with well behaved children, but one should ensure that they are not treated roughly.While ETs are polite with strangers, they usually prefer only the company of their family,They are somewhat prone to suffering from separation anxiety, so they will do best with constant companionship.They do not require extensive exercise, but do need to be well socialized so that they are not overwhelmed when exposed to new situations or people.Even when well socialized, they can be overwhelmed in noisy or exciting environments.

The average life span of an English Toy is 10 to 12 years.However, care must be taken when choosing a breeder as ETs can be prone to many health issues.Some of these include hydrocephalus (accumulation of fluid in the brain), patellar luxation (problems with the knee), umbilical hernias (organs protruding against the abdominal wall), heart problems (patent ductus arteriosis and mitral valve insufficiency), retinal dysplasia (abnormal development of the retina) and cleft palate (a slit in the palate that runs bilaterally or unilaterally).Therefore, it is a good idea to ask breeders for health clearances and, if possible, meet the parents of a prospective puppy before making a decision.

If you would like to know more about these gentle, amiable, alert and intelligent little dogs, check out the English Toy Spaniel Club of America website.Make sure to thoroughly research the breed and breeders if you’re thinking of adding an English Toy Spaniel to your family. 

If you enjoy Christina's writing, check her books out! She is the author of “Chester Gigolo: Diary of a Dog Star” and "Insider Training: Chester Gigolo’s Dog Training Secrets Revealed” for which she won the 2016 DWAA Captain Haggerty award for Best Training Book and the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Award (Animals & Pets). She is also a contributing author to “Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors”. She has written multiple articles which have appeared in various international publications.