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King Charles Spaniel

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Group Toy Dogs (KC)

Origin / History Although it is often confused with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, the King Charles Spaniel has an entirely different breed origin. The pug is probably the closest relative of the King Charles Spaniel. The animal's roots can be traced back to the Renaissance age, when dogs of this breed were used as a companion for the royalty. This is also the reason why the King Charles Spaniel is dubbed as the English Toy Spaniel in countries other than the United Kingdom.

The King Charles Spaniel breed as it is today was a result of a breeding process performed during the 19th century in the British isles. The name is derived from King Charles II, who owned Spaniels as pets in the late 1600's.

Appearance This dog breed – which weighs anywhere from eight to 14 pounds – has a slightly smaller body than the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. It is has a luxurious, soft and silky coat with a tail which is often docked. The King Charles Spaniel has a small, admirable face and long ears which are often set close to its cheeks. Its nose and eyes are reminiscent to those of a pug's, although they do have a shorter muzzle.

It also has a skull which is dome-shaped, while its eye rims and pug nose should be black. The cousins of this breed of dog are the Cavalier King Charles, Blenheim and Ruby Spaniels which are all similar in appearance but different in color.

Colours This breed of dog is a mixture of rich black and tan colors. The bright streaks of tan appear on the dog's eyes, ears, cheeks, tail and legs. Finally, there is a small patch of white on its chest.

Temperament These charming 'toy' dogs have an endearing, playful and affectionate personality. Unlike the Spitz breed of dogs which are unsociable to other canines, the King Charles Spaniel is friendly with other dogs.

These dogs are quite finicky eaters, so pet owners should be careful when choosing what to feed them with. Spaniels are generally an intelligent breed of animals, although they do have a willful streak in them. This breed of dog also serves as a great companion dog for older children.

Height and Weight They are 23 - 28 cm in height and 4 - 6 Kg in weight.

Common Health Problems This breed of canines are most likely to experience heart problems and difficulties with their vision. Patellar Luxation, ear infections, fused toes, difficulty with breathing and wheezing are other common health problems that they may encounter.

Living Conditions These dogs are suitable to apartment living since they are not overly active indoors. However, with its short muzzle, the King Charles Spaniel may have difficulties living in a hot or humid environment. Generally, extreme temperatures should be avoided as their place of residence.

Exercise Requirements A daily walk is the number one exercise requirement for this breed of dog. A playful romp in an open area or yard is also a good avenue for its physical exertion.

Training Requirements Training a King Charles Spaniel should be done in a gentle manner. It may take some time for them to succumb to obedience to the owner since they are quite timid, so an affectionate approach is recommended. Once the dog comes out of its shell, though, and after they are properly trained, they are eager to please and remain loyal to their masters.

Life Expectancy These dogs have an average lifespan of about 10 to 12 years.

Grooming The King Charles Spaniel is not a heavy shredder. The long, luxurious black-and-tan coat does not need trimming, although regular brushing should be done. When grooming, the eyes and ears should be paid close attention to, in order to avoid vision problems and ear infections.

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