The King Charles Spaniel is often confused with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel but it is actually smaller and a much older and rarer breed.
They are small with a domed head and short muzzle, the result of cross-breeding with the Pug in the nineteenth century. Their bite is slightly undershot, their ears are long and their coat silky. They come in the same range of colours as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: tricolour, red, black and tan, and red and white.
Although originally bred as a small gun dog, they have been popular since the fifteenth century in the royal courts of Europe as a companion. They are reserved but gentle and affectionate with a stable temperament. They enjoy nothing more than affection from their owners. They naturally get on well with adults, children and animals. They are not a high energy dog but enjoy a daily walk.
Their long, silky coat needs regular grooming but is not difficult to maintain. They are prone to eye and heart problems and their short muzzle also inclines them to respiratory problems which may cause difficulties with anaesthetics.