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English Toy Spaniel

English Toy Spaniel Breed


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Energy Level

Dog Energy Level


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Physical Characteristics:
Height: 10”
Weight: 8-14 lbs.
Energy Level: Moderate
The American Kennel Club recognizes the English Toy Spaniel in the following colors:

  • Black and tan
  • Black, white, and tan
  • Red
  • Red and white

Health & Longevity

Average Life Span: 10-12 years
The English Toy Spaniel does have several potential health problems. Although not every English Toy Spaniel will be affected by these issues, it is essential for a future owner of the breed to be informed.

English Toy Spaniels can experience eye problems like glaucoma and entropion. Entropion is when the lower eyelid rolls inward, resulting in chronic eye irritation and potentially injuring the cornea. Entropion can lead to reduced or lost vision.

Joint issues like patellar luxation and Legg Calve Perthes are additional concerns for English Toy Spaniels. Patellar luxation occurs when the knee joint slides easily in and out of place. This dislocation of the knee results in pain, limping, and, in more severe cases, arthritis or even lameness. Legg Calve Perthes Disease causes disintegration of the hip joint and leads to bone and joint inflammation. Pain, limping, and eventually, lameness can result. Surgery may be required to treat more serious cases.

The English Toy Spaniel may also have problems with the heart. Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) is a congenital heart disease that occurs when the pulmonary artery remains open after birth, causing blood to flow in abnormal patterns. PDA can be treated with surgery. Mitral Valve Insufficiency occurs when the mitral valve leaks, often resulting in a heart murmur, which can ultimately cause heart failure. There is no surgery to correct this disease in dogs, but there are several treatments available that can improve overall heart function.

Eye problems like Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) affect some English Toy Spaniels. PRA is when the retina in the eye degenerates, eventually leading to failed daytime vision. Although there is no cure for PRA, vision loss occurs gradually, allowing for an adjustment period in affected dogs. Most dogs with PRA continue to lead full and happy lives.

English Toy Spaniels may also experience hydrocephalus, fused toes, or cleft palate. Seborrhea can also occur. This is a skin condition that causes dandruff, greasiness of the skin and hair, and often a foul odor. Dogs with seborrhea will itch, and scratching of the skin can lead to crustiness and hair loss. There is no cure for seborrhea, but treatment may include specialized shampoos and conditioners.

Despite these health problems, the English Toy Spaniel has an average lifespan of 10-12 years.

Temperament & Train-ability

The English Toy Spaniel is a friendly and undemanding dog. He is quiet, sweet, and gentle, yet still, manages to be playful and humorous. He loves to cuddle and relax, and he can be a great companion for senior citizens.

Apartment living can be a great option for the English Toy Spaniel. They do enjoy playing in the yard, but they do not need much exercise beyond that. If you live in an apartment, simply incorporate outdoor time for your English Toy Spaniel at a friend’s house, dog park, etc. This breed is extremely calm, polite, and peaceful, meaning they can get along well with both strangers and other dogs. However, since they are very small, they can become overwhelmed by children. They cannot handle rough play or overly loud noises.

The English Toy Spaniel should live indoors. They are loving lapdogs who want to spend as much time with you as possible. English Toy Spaniels have extreme separation anxiety, and they will bark and chew destructively if left alone for long periods. If you work all day, the English Toy Spaniel is not for you. They are happiest when they have companionship for the majority of the day. Additionally, this breed does not handle heat well. If you do live in a warmer climate, ensure that your English Toy Spaniel is indoors around fans or air conditioning when it is especially hot.

Although English Toy Spaniels are polite with everyone, they do need socialization to prevent them from becoming timid or fearful. They require very little training, but they can be slightly stubborn in training sessions. Praise, encouragement, and food rewards will go a long way with an English Toy Spaniel, who does genuinely want to please his owner. Leash training this breed can be difficult because they prefer to be off a leash, so begin leash training at an early age and use positive reinforcement like treats, verbal praise, or playtime.


The English Toy Spaniel sheds a considerable amount and needs weekly brushing. Bathe your dog every 2-4 weeks. You may want to bathe the English Toy Spaniel’s face on a daily basis. Otherwise, he will attempt to clean it himself by rubbing his face on furniture and other surfaces.

Check your dog’s ears for signs of infection like redness, tenderness, and odor regularly. Trim his nails as needed. Be sure not to trim to the quick, because this can be very painful for the English Toy Spaniel. Brush his teeth a minimum of 2-3 times weekly. Daily brushing is recommended, because toy breeds are particularly prone to dental disease.


The average English Toy Spaniel should eat 1/2-1 cup of high-quality dry dog food daily. It is best to use a food that is designed for smaller breeds. The correct type and amount of food for your individual dog will depend on factors like age, metabolism, activity level, and build.

Be sure your dog always has access to clean, fresh drinking water, especially in hot weather.

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The English Toy Spaniel is a rare breed, with fewer than 250 puppies registered in the United States annually. Expect to spend a minimum of $1,000 on your puppy. Price will depend on variables like breeder location, gender, and pedigree.

If you are able to find an English Toy Spaniel to adopt, adoption fees may cost up to $175.

Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking

Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.

Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. The English Toy Spaniel ranks a 2.5. He is polite and peaceful with humans and other dogs, has a very low exercise requirement, and is not especially difficult to train. However, he suffers from very severe separation anxiety and is not a good choice for someone who must leave for work each day. He also sheds considerably and is averse to wearing a leash.


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