King Charles Spaniel

Posted in Toy Group

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.


Refined, compact and cobby.


Happy, intelligent, toy spaniel with distinctive domed head.


Reserved, gentle and affectionate.


Skull moderately large in comparison to size, well domed, full over eyes.  Nose black with large, wide open nostrils, very short and turned up.  Stop between skull and nose well defined.  Muzzle square, wide and deep, well turned up, lower jaw wide, lips exactly meeting, giving nice finish.  Cheeks not falling away under eyes but well cushioned.


Relatively large and dark, set wide apart, eyelids block square to face line, pleasing expression.


Set on low, hanging quite flat to cheeks, very long and well feathered.


Bite should be slightly undershot. Protruding tongue highly undesirable.


Of medium length; arched giving proud carriage of head.


Legs short, straight.  Shoulders well laid back, elbows close to rib cage, turning neither in nor out.


Chest wide and deep, back short and level.


Sufficient muscle to give positive driving movement, stifles well bent, hocks well let down and defined.  Straight when viewed from behind, turning neither in nor out.


Compact, well-padded and feathered, toes well knuckled, round cat shaped foot, well cushioned, pasterns firm.


Well feathered, not carried over or above level of back.  Docking optional.

[*refer note below]


Free, active and elegant, driving from behind.  Sound movement highly desirable.


Long, silky and straight, slight wave allowed, never curly.  Legs, ears and tail profusely feathered.


Black and Tan:  Rich glossy black, with bright mahogany-tan markings on muzzle, legs, chest, linings of ears, under tail and spots over eyes.  White patch on chest undesirable.

Tricolour:  Ground pearly white, with well distributed black patches, brilliant tan markings on cheeks, linings of ears, under tail and spots over eyes.  Wide white blaze between eyes and up forehead.

Blenheim:  Ground pearly white, with well distributed chestnut-red patches.  Wide, clear blaze with the ‘spot’ in centre of skull, should be a clear chestnut red mark about the size of a penny.

Ruby:  Whole coloured, rich chestnut red.  White patch on chest highly undesirable.


Weight :               3.6 - 6.3kg (8 - 14lb).


Any departure from the foregoing points 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 on the health & welfare of the dog 


  • Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles descended into the scrotum.
  • Only clinically and functionally healthy dogs with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

*Regardless of the provisions of the current KUSA-adopted standard, docked or formerly docked breeds may be shown at all FCI- and KUSA-licensed shows in South Africa, whether their tails are docked, or natural. Under no circumstances are judges permitted to discriminate against exhibits on the grounds of docked, or natural tails and equal consideration for awards must be given to either.  (Fedco 12/2017 Amended DR/Feb 2018)