English toy spaniel, breed of toy dog perfected in England over many centuries. It stands about 10 in. (25 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 9 to 12 lb (4–5 kg). Its long, silky coat is soft and wavy and forms a fringe of longer hair on the ears, chest, back of legs, and tail. English toy spaniels are divided into four groups corresponding to different color combinations: the King Charles is black with rich mahogany markings; the Prince Charles is white, black, and tan; the ruby is chestnut red; and the Blenheim is red and white. The English toy spaniel originated in Asia thousands of years ago and became very popular as a pet in England during the 17th cent. See dog.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.