King Charles Spaniel

Under the name of "Comforter", the dwarf spaniel has been appreciated by aristocracy in Britain and Europe since medieval times. It was first mentioned by Dr Caius in his book De Canibus Britannicis, published in 1570. the first dog book ever written.


Some people think the origin of this breed was in Japan, others in China. King Charles II supposedly imported his from Spain, but others were already in Britain which may have added to the evolution of the breed. He was besotted with his spaniels, which had the run of the Westminster Palace, annoying the diarist Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), who grumbled that the king was childlike, always playing with his dogs and rarely concerning himself with the affairs of state. Although they were basically companion dogs, there are records of them being used in the hunting field.

The breed changed in size, shape and colour until Victorian times, and eventually four varieties emerged. Only two of them received Kennel Club status: the King Charles and the Cavalier King Charles. It is important to note that these breeds are separate and quite unlike each other in structure, the heads in particular being very different.

These perky little dogs come in a range of colours, including ruby, the traditional Blenheim and tricolour, as well as black and tan.


One of the gentlest, kindest dogs, the King Charles Spaniel is a great friend to children of all ages and sensitive to its owner's moods. Highly intelligent and a quick learner, it makes a good family pet.

Puppies are very appealing and are eager to please their owners. This makes them relatively easy to socialize and train.


This small cobby dog has a domed head, long ears and a soft silky coat with plenty of furnishings. Coat colours are: black and tan -pearly white base with even black patches and brilliant tan markings; Blenheim-pearly white base with chestnut patches, a white blaze with a chestnut "thumb" print in the centre; and Ruby – whole coloured in rich ruby red, no white permissible. No height is given but its weight should be in the range 3.6-6.3kg (6-14lb). Importance is given to balance and symmetry.

Strangers 3/5

Will warn and is watchful

Temperament 5/5

Intelligent, gentle

Exercise 3/5

Two walks daily and play

Grooming 3/5

Pay attention to ears

Other dogs 4/5

Non aggressive


Ideal family companion

General care

The furnishings must be kept clean or they tangle severely. The ears must be groomed and cleaned, and it's a good idea to feed from tall narrow containers which keep the ears out of the food. A couple of walks during the day with play in the garden will give sufficient exercise.

Gallery of King Charles Spaniel