King Charles Spaniel

These little dogs are sometimes known as the Royal Spaniels due to being great favourites of the Stuart kings. Accompanied by a rippling sea of dogs wherever he went, the King's deathbed was cluttered with them, much to the consternation of the attending Archbishops. Signs ‘Beware of the Dogs’ that appeared in the Royal chambers meant ‘don't tread on them’.

The King Charles was most probably bred from dogs brought to England from Japan, and crossed with local breeds and then with a Pyrame Spaniel brought from France.


Average lifespan
King Charles Spaniels live from between 10 to 12 years of age.

Average height & weight
25cm to 30cm
4kg to 7kg

Care requirements

Breed personality, characteristics & temperament
Outgoing and sure of themselves, King Charles Spaniels are individuals with a strong personality that enjoy making their presence felt. The breed can be very affectionate and delights in having affection lavished on it. Highly intelligent, these dogs quickly learn about the running of the household.

Compatibility with other pets
The King Charles Spaniel will share with others, as long as the others realise it is ‘King’.

Care requirements
The coat will need to be combed and brushed on a regular basis. It is soft and silky (sometimes waved) and dirt will drop out. Ears have to be attended to carefully and combed regularly. Feathering on legs and ears should always be free of knots. Toenails should be checked because long nails can mean sore feet. It may be necessary to bathe the eyes and to wipe away ‘tear stains’.

Please take note
The King Charles Spaniel has an undershot bottom jaw that gives the dog its distinctive chin. Its tail may be full or docked – some dogs are born with a kink in their tail and breeders sometimes prefer to dock at that point.

Decision time

Ideal owners
Ideally Charlies are suited to an adult household. While good with all ages, this breed prefers adult company.

Click here for advice on adopting a rescue dog and finding a breeder. All information has been provided by the Kennel Club.
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