king charles spaniel breed information

King Charles Spaniel

Authorities agree that the King Charles Spaniel originated in the Far East and later emerged in England, appearing in portraits of noblemen in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The black-and-tan-colored dogs were reportedly the favorites of King Charles I, so early breeding programs focused on that variety. In the late 1600s, they were interbred with Pugs, which resulted in a smaller dog with the now characteristic flatter nose, rounded head and big eyes. Treasured as a merry, affectionate companion dog, the King Charles Spaniel was also said to be a fine small hunting dog, particularly with game birds.

Today, the breed is one of four varieties of English Toy Terrier, divided by color: Blenheim (mahogany red and white); Ruby (rich mahogany red); Prince Charles (white with black and tan markings); and King Charles (black and tan). The Prince Charles and King Charles varieties’ coats are longer, but regular brushing is all that is needed to keep them neat. These small dogs, weighing between 8 and 15 lbs., need moderate daily exercise to stay happy and fit.

The King Charles Spaniel is a wonderful family dog, known to be gentle, playful, loving and sweet. He is friendly with other dogs and with children, though he can be willful and demanding. He needs a consistent leader who can keep any behavior issues at bay with firm but gentle treatment.

Playful personality aside, the King Charles Spaniel is still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect his health, and your family’s budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses King Charles Spaniels are prone to include joint conditions such as hip dysplasia and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease; and eye conditions such as distichiasis, retinal dysplasia, entropion and corneal dystrophy.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your King Charles Spaniel inherits his mother’s bad eyes or his father’s bad hips, you’re protected.

Common health issues

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

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