THE KING CHARLES SPANIELS 283
a century that this variety has existed. It seems to have originally appeared in a litter of King Charles puppies, when it was looked upon as a freak of nature, taking for its entire colour only the tan markings and losing the black ground.
The different varieties of Toy Spaniels have been so much interbred that a litter has been reputed to contain the four kinds, but this would be of very rare occurrence. The Blenheim is now often crossed with the Tricolour, when the litter consist of puppies quite true to the two types. The crossing of the King Charles with the Ruby is also attended with very good results, the tan markings on the King Charles becoming very bright and the colour of the Ruby also being improved. Neither of these specimens should be crossed with either the Blenheim or the Tricolour, as white must not appear in either the King Charles or the Ruby Spaniel.
It is regretted by some of the admirers of these dogs that custom has ordained that their tails should be docked. As portrayed in early pictures of the King Charles and the Blenheim varieties, the tails are long, well flagged, and inclined to curve gracefully over the back, and in none of the pictures of the supposed ancestors of our present Toy Spaniels-even so recent as those painted by Sir Edwin Landseer-do we find an absence of the long tail.
If left intact, the tail would take two or three years to attain perfection, but the same may be said of the dog generally, which improves very much with age, and is not at its best until it is three years old, and even then continues to improve.
Although the Toy Spaniels are unquestionably true aristocrats by nature, birth, and breeding, and are most at home in a drawing-room or on a well-kept lawn, they are by no means deficient in sporting proclivities, and, in spite of their short noses, their scent is very keen. They thoroughly enjoy a good scamper, and are all the better for not being too much pampered. They are very good house-dogs, intelligent and affectionate, and have sympathetic, coaxing little ways. One point in their favour is the fact that they are not noisy,