Celebrate UKC's 125th anniversary with a whole new look that goes way, way back. Heritage-style Display Pedigrees are available in the online store today!

I Accept

United Kennel Club (UKC) is an international dog registry celebrating bonds, rewarding ability, and preserving the value of a pedigree. We use cookies to capture information such as IP addresses and tailor the website to our clients' needs. We also use this information to target and measure promotional material. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

Skip to main content
Facebook Instagram Subscribe to E-news YouTube

English Toy Spaniel

Companion Dog Group

The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.

Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


The English Toy Spaniel was developed as a result of crossing local English spaniels with smaller toy dogs from the Orient. This resulted in a small dog with a round head and short foreface.
The English Toy Spaniel was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1992.

General Appearance

Cobby, compact and essentially square in shape, the English Toy Spaniel is sturdy of frame and solidly constructed, with a silky, flowing coat. Its moderately rounded head, lustrous dark eyes and well-cushioned, fairly short-nosed face exemplify the important characteristics of the English Toy Spaniel.
Absolute soundness and proper muscle tone is a must. Head properties should remain free of exaggeration so as to not compromise breathing and/or obstruct normal vision.

Disqualifications: Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.


The breed has a soft and appealing expression, indicating an intelligent nature and a merry and affectionate demeanor. They are bright and interested, affectionate and willing to please.

Disqualifications: Viciousness or extreme shyness.


The head is relatively large in comparison to the overall size of the dog. It has a plush, chubby look, yet with a degree of refinement that prevents coarseness.


The skull is moderately large in comparison to the size of the dog. It appears high, domed, without being excessively so, and full over the eyes. The deep stop is well defined.


The muzzle is fairly short in comparison to the overall size of the head The nose is well laid back. Cushioning under the eyes is well developed. The square, broad, deep jaw is well turned up. The lips meet properly to give a finished appearance. Length of muzzle should be adequate for comfortable breathing.


A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a slightly undershot bite. The teeth are not to show.

Serious Faults: Wry mouth. Hanging tongue.


The eyes are set squarely on a line with the nose. They are very dark brown or black, with little or no white showing. Eye rims are black.


The nose has large, wide-open nostrils. It is jet black in color and turned up to meet the skull.


The very long ears are set low and close to the head. They are fringed with heavy feathering.


The nicely-arched neck is moderate in length, allowing for a proud head carriage.


The shoulders are well laid back.


The strong, well-boned legs drop straight down from the elbow. The pasterns are strong.


The short, square, cobby body is deep and compact, with a sturdy frame. The chest is deep and broad and the topline is level.


Strong and properly muscled to give driving movement.


The hind legs are well muscled and nicely angulated at the stifle and hock joints. The rear pasterns are short and straight when viewed from behind, turning neither in nor out.


Neat and compact. Fused toes, which are often seen, are acceptable.


The tail and its carriage serve as an index of the breed's attitude and character. The tail is set at back level and is carried at or just slightly above the level of the back. Docking is optional. If docked, it is 2 to 4 inches in length and well feathered with a silky flag. If undocked, the tail is well feathered and not carried over or much above the level of the back.


The coat is long and silky, straight or slightly wavy, never curly. There is profuse feathering on the ears, legs and tail. The feet are well feathered.
The Blenheim and Ruby rarely attain the length of coat and ears of the Prince Charles and King Charles, but good coats and long ear fringes are desired and prized attributes.
Over trimming of the body, feet and tail fringes is to be penalized.


The following colors are acceptable:
The Blenheim (red and white). Consists of a pearly-white ground with deep red or chestnut markings evenly distributed in large patches. Ears and cheeks are red. A white blaze extends from the nose, up the forehead, ending between the ears in a crescent-shaped curve. Red markings around both eyes are preferred. This variety often has a thumb mark, referred to as the "Blenheim Spot" on the top and center of the skull inside the blaze.
The Prince Charles (tri-color). Consists of a pearly-white ground with evenly distributed black patches, solid black ears and black face markings. Black markings around both eyes are preferred. Rich tan markings are found on the face, over the eyes, in the ear linings and under the tail.
The King Charles (black and tan). A rich, glossy black with bright mahogany tan markings found on the cheeks, in the ear linings, over the eyes, on the legs and under the tail. A small white chest patch, approximately quarter sized, or a few white chest hairs are acceptable but not desirable.
The Ruby (self-colored). Rich mahogany red. A small, white chest patch, approximately quarter sized, or a few white chest hairs are acceptable but highly undesirable.

Disqualification: Albinism.


The weight range for adults is from 8 to 14 pounds.


Free, lively, elegant. Good reach in front; sound driving action from the rear. Indicative of stable character and correct structure. Good length of stride when viewed from the side. Straight and true when viewed from both front and rear.


(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.

The docking of tails and cropping of ears in America is legal and remains a personal choice. However, as an international registry, the United Kennel Club is aware that the practices of cropping and docking have been forbidden in some countries. In light of these developments, the United Kennel Club feels that no dog in any UKC event, including conformation, shall be penalized for a full tail or natural ears.

UKC Breed Standards: English Toy Spaniel

Looking for a Dog?

Find a dog that will fit your family.

Note: The breeders on this list are not endorsed by UKC.

Official UKC Breed Standard

Revised December 1, 2014

©Copyright 1992, United Kennel Club