Similar Dog Breeds

Postage stamp of similar spaniels

English Toy Spaniel

An English Toy Spaniel from

English Toy Spaniels (also known as the King Charles Spaniel) are often mistaken for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, but Cavaliers are a distinctly different breed and were recognized as a separate breed by the AKC in 1995.  

English Toy Spaniels stand about 10 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder. They generally weigh 8 to 14 pounds.

English Toy Spaniel tails are often docked rather than displaying the long flowing tail feathers of a Cavalier. The Cavalier also has a longer snout and a more traditionally shaped “spaniel” head, whereas the traditional King Charles Spaniel has a more squashed face.

This resulted from cross-breeding with Pugs after William of Orange became King of England in 1689. William’s wife, Queen Mary (daughter of King Charles I), preferred Pugs to the King Charles Spaniel.



Cocker Spaniels

A Cocker Spaniel photographed by Andrew Branch

Cocker Spaniels are larger than Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. While occasionally mistaken for Cocker Spaniels because of their general shape and size, Cockers are significantly larger dogs (growing to a shoulder height of 16 inches and weighing up to 30 pounds) with stockier frames and cropped (or “docked”) tails.

No one would ever consider docking the beautiful plumed tails of a Cavalier!