King Charles Spaniels (English Toy Spaniels) are easy to handle. They don't need a lot of exercise, a regular walk a day is enough, and they prefer to stay indoors, partly because they can't cope well with extreme weather conditions. Children will probably cause a little too much excitement for this laid-back dog. A nice flat with a quiet houseparent will suit this breed just fine, and they will shower their owner with lots of affection.
King Charles Spaniels have been around for centuries and were favourites at royal courts. Mary, Queen of Scots, her grandson Charles I and great-grandson Charles II were all avid fans of the little spaniels. In fact, their nickname, Charlie, comes from the two kings of that name. They are devoted to death. Both Mary, Queen of Scots and Charles I were escorted to their executions by their little spaniels.
The King Charles Spaniels of centuries ago were slightly different from what we know today. They had a pointed snout, but crosses with breeds like the Japanese Chin and the Pug in the 18th and 19th centuries eventually resulted in dogs with the short snout and round apple head we find in the breed today.
By the end of the 19th century, the old King Charles Spaniel with the more pointed snout was a thing of the past, but an American art lover named Roswell Eldridge offered a large cash prize to the breeder who could reproduce them. Breeders of the King Charles Spaniel took some of their long-nosed dogs and created what is now known as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a slightly larger cousin of the King Charles Spaniel.
The sweet and lovable King Charles Spaniel is a true companion dog. He has an aristocratic appearance, but he is not a snob at all; instead, imagine a happy, devoted, calm dog. He enjoys spending time with the people he loves and adapts to their lives. The King Charles Spaniel needs little exercise and is happiest at his owner's knee. He does well with other dogs and cats if socialised with them and is friendly and sweet to children, although he is not best suited to living with them. He can be overwhelmed by excitement and can be shy and timid when meeting new people or being exposed to new situations.