English Toy Spaniel

AKC Group: Toy

The English Toy Spaniels came from Asians spaniels and Pugs. They were developed in the British Isles to hunt woodcock. Instead, British royalty took a liking and they moved exclusively indoors. English Toy Spaniels are still a favorite pet in England today.

In the 19th century, breeding programs developed to give the breed a flatter, more upturned face with more protruding eyes. From these programs, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was also developed.

Size: 10 to 11 inches tall; 8 to 14 pounds

Color: The Ruby is solid red. The King Charles is black and tan. The Prince Charles is tricolor. The Blenheim is red and white.

Life span: 10 to 12 years

Health problems: Cataracts, luxating patella, hernia, heart problems, allergies, sensitivity to chemicals or medications, respiratory problems from their short muzzles. Toy Spaniels can experience heatstroke during extreme warm summer temperatures.

The English Toy Spaniel has a long, silky coat and long, silky (spaniel) ears that hang down the sides of their face. Though small, English Toy Spaniels are sturdy dogs but look super-fragile due to their size. English Toy Spaniels are unassuming, sweet, friendly dogs. They are playful, but not demanding. They like to exercise, but also adore being pampered and fussed over. They prefer older, considerate children because they don’t like teasing or rough-handling. Young children tend to overwhelm them. They tend to like other pets but are reserved with strangers. They learn quickly and are naturally obedient, though they can be stubborn.

Brush his coat twice weekly to keep him tangle free and glossy looking. When he’s shedding heavily, he’ll require more time with the brush. Check his ears often and trim his bottom hair as needed. To help him overcome his shyness, socialize him early. For housebreaking, crate training can save you a lot of heartache — and stop him from establishing a spot that goes unnoticed in the house. During seasons of extreme temperatures (or if you live in a high-rise), many owners prefer to paper train. Both options work well for English Toy Spaniels. The only other problems he will present to you are leash training (start early and have patience) and his natural hunting instincts (he will usually chase birds so don’t let him off the leash and discourage it).

English Springer Spaniel

AKC Group: Sporting

Springer and Cocker Spaniels were considered to be the same breed until the 1800s. England was the first to divide them. Cocker Spaniels weigh under 25 pounds and were used to hunt woodcock. Springer Spaniels weigh over 45 pounds and were used to “spring” game birds into the air where hawks would retrieve them. When hunters started relying on guns, Springer Spaniels flushed out the birds and retrieved them themselves.

Size: 18 to 21 inches; 40 to 55 pounds

Color: Black or liver with white; black or liver roan; tri-color (black or liver and white with tan markings). The white on the coat can be flecked.

Life span: 12 to 14 years

Health problems: Ectropion, glaucoma, retinal problems, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy, Van Willebrand’s Disease (a blood disease), subaortic stenosis (a heart disease). Thyroid problems, allergies and skin conditions have also been noted.

Springer Spaniels are medium-sized dogs that sport a gorgeous weather-resistant coat. It’s a straight, silky, close-fitting coat. They have long silky ears that hang down the side of their face to complete their sweet-as-honey expression. The Springer Spaniel is an active, intelligent, eager to please dog. They love the companionship and affection that a human family can provide and make a real people-oriented dog when they’re properly socialized. They learn quickly and love to play and exercise. Some Springer Spaniels can be overly boisterous while others can become clingy. With training, both these problems can be tackled. A Springer Spaniel becomes destructive and anxious when left alone too long. Springer Spaniels do great with kids, other pets and strangers. (Some may be slightly more aloof than others of the breed.) Faithful, devoted and loyal, a Springer Spaniel will alert you of possible dangers.

The Springer Spaniel coat will demand attention several times a week to be brushed and combed. During heavy periods of shedding, he’ll require more time at the “hair salon.” He’ll require clipping about every three months. You should trim his bottom hair regularly (for hygienic reasons) and check his ears.

Intelligent and naturally obedient, training your Springer Spaniel shouldn’t present many challenges. They are emotional dogs and can easily have their feelings hurt, so be mindful to not yell, be harsh or punitive. They easily read your mood and will react accordingly. Positivity and positive reinforcement is all you need! They do need mental stimulation, so feel free to enroll them in any kind of obedience, tracking, fielding or therapy training program. Each and every trick you can find to teach a dog, your Springer Spaniel can learn and excel at. These guys have a lot of mental energy to expend in order to curb behavioral issues. This is not a couch potato, let-my-brain-turn-to-mush kind of dog. Feel free to let your children in on the training; a Springer can learn and respond just as well to children. (Junior handling is a fantastic activity for both human and canine.) If you talk to your Springer enough, you can train him through simple casual talk. This is a breed who can learn anything you have the time and/or energy to teach!

English Setter

AKC Group: Sporting

“Setting” dogs came from the Spanish Spaniel. This spaniel would track birds and lay down in a “pointing” position when they located the birds. The hunter would then toss a net over the bird and dog. When hunters began to rely on guns, the Spanish Spaniel became obsolete. Two breeders stepped in and ended up creating the modern English Setter breed.

Size: 24 to 25 inches tall; 50 to 65 pounds

Color: Orange, liver, lemon or black flecks over a white background; tricolor (black and tan flecks against white).

Life span: 10 to 12 years

Health problems: Heart problems, thyroid problems, deafness, hip dysplasia or cancer

The English Setter is a medium to large dog with a sweet, alert expression. They have dense, straight, silky coats. The English Setter is a lively, spirited dog with plenty to offer you and lives his life with grace and dignity. These are devoted and responsive dogs. They live to shower their family with affection. Sociable and companionable, they have plenty of energy; they’ll love to hang out with you at the people park or the dog park. What they don’t love is being alone too long. They love kids, other pets and even strangers. This is a friendly dog who has love enough for everybody. They can have a stubborn/resistant streak. They can be slow to learn housebreaking. They also possess excellent memories and learn quickly. (This sometimes leads to bad habits.)

Your English Setter will require brushing or combing a few times a week to avoid matting. During heavy shedding periods, he’ll need more help. He’ll need his tail and feel hair trimmed often. You should keep an eye on his ears — make sure they’re clean and dry. When it comes to training, keep this in mind: The English Setter was bred to be an independent hunter. He would hunt on his own, then sit and wait for the human hunter to catch up and find him. Therefore, expect some resistance. Start early and start with housebreaking. (This alone will take several months.) Move on to socializing. Introduce children and other animals. (If he’s not socialized properly, he may always try to “mesmerize” your cat. And squirrels. Or rabbits, etc.) Once he’s mastered housebreaking, then begin basic commands. Go slowly and, while he’s a puppy, never engage in too strenuous activities. It can lead to bone or joint problems as he gets older. Use positive methods to motivate and reward him. No negative methods and be mindful of your tone please. A too angry a tone to this extra sensitive breed can cause him to regress to his natural instincts.


Korats are the good luck cats of Thailand. Similar (in look) to blue British Shorthairs, Chartreux, Russian Blue and Nebelungs, Korats are distinctly different. Medium in size with a firm, semi-cobby body, Korats are muscular with a supple coat. Their chests are broad, the back has a slight curve. The front legs are slightly shorter than the back. Tails are medium in length and tapers to a round tip. Males weigh 8 to 10 pounds, females weigh 6 to 8 pounds.

Korats have heart-shaped faces with strong chins and jaws. Their ears are large, flared at the base and set high on the head with rounded tips. The eyes are large and a luminous green. Kittens and adolescent cats have amber or yellow eyes that turn fully green once they have reached full maturity (at about two to four years of age).

The Korat coat is short, glossy, fine and lays close to the body. It is solid blue with silver tips. The silver tips are what produces the sheen of the coat. Adults do not have tabby markings, though kittens may.

Called Si-Sawat (see-sah-waht) in their native Siam (now Thailand), Korats were associated with good luck. Named after the Khorat Plateau region, a highland in northeast Thailand, an Oregon breeder is responsible for bringing Korats stateside. She and her husband lived in Bangkok for six years. She tried to buy a pair while there, but, even in Thailand, Korats are rare and prized. In 1959, after returning home to the U.S., she was given a pair as a gift. In 1961, another breeder successfully imported a pair. Yet another breeder imported a single female. These five cats were the basis for the North American Korat breed.

Throughout the 1960s, more Thai Korats were imported, but no cat was accepted into a breeding program unless they were proven to have come from Thailand. In 1968, an additional nine Korats were introduced into the gene pool.

Korat cats are affectionate and possess the magic ability to turn cat haters into cat lovers. Korats develop the deepest of bonds and do not do well when left alone for extended periods. A Korat is a cat who will follow you around like a little duckling. They are keen human observers and possess a sharp intellect. Korats are insistent helpers (at least they think they’re helping). Their inquisitive nature should be kept strictly indoors!

Korats approach play time at warp speed. The hunting prowess remains strong and if you are unfortunate enough to get between them and a toy, you’ll be sorry. Korat cats have been known to sail over a table, counter, fellow feline and a sleeping dog in pursuit of “prey.” This ensures that Korats are fun to watch, but, stand back.

Don’t worry, Korats do sleep — this may be your only time in peace. (All that devotion and energy does take a lot out of a cat!) Korats are not as vocal as their Siamese cousins. Korat breeders say the cat has the ability to convey their feelings via facial expressions. If you miss that message, your Korat will revert to speaking his mind.

English Foxhound

AKC Group: Hound

English Foxhounds were bred naturally from various breeds of hounds. Foxhounds were used in pack hunts and have fantastic scent hunting abilities — and the stamina for a long hunt.

Size: 20 to 27 inches, 65 to 75 pounds

Color: Hound colored. Most often are black, white and tan tricolor. White with one other color also occurs.

Life span: 10 to 13 years

Health problems: Pancreas problems, renal disease or hip dysplasia

English Foxhounds are stouter and slower than their cousin, the American Foxhound. English Foxhounds continue to be used for hunting as they have the stamina to go for hours upon any type of terrain. They were bred for their speed, enthusiasm and voice. If you’re a city dweller and want a Foxhound, know that he can be heard from great distances (and your neighbors will not appreciate your dog as much as you). These are friendly and kind dogs, but they aren’t easily trained. These are hunting dogs through and through and refuse to drop a scent. Any animal that resembles the size of a fox will get hunted. They love other dogs though! This pack mentality helps them to be able to easily follow an owner. To turn him into a family companion and not a hunter will take work with lots of training and exercise time. They also take extra time to mature. They retain the energy of a puppy for an extended length of time.

English Foxhounds are low shedders, so you can brush him minimally. Wipe down with a damp cloth often to keep his coat clean and gleaming. Make sure his ears are clean and dry. To establish your position, you’ll need to be assertive. Foxhounds know instinctively the pack mentality, so he’ll naturally look to you. If you’re not up to the task of being a pack leader, he will soon stop looking to you. This does not mean that you’ll need to dominate him; simply be consistent. If something is right, it’s always right and vice versa, no it’s okay sometimes in certain circumstances. Keep his training fun. English Foxhounds are a working, wonderful hunting dog. Set him up some “hunts.” He’ll learn better when his sessions are fun. Since he seems to possess the energy of several dogs in one, you will need plenty of stamina of your own to keep up with him. Once your Foxhound is trained properly, he’s more than willing to comply and will seek to please you. Keep in mind: The English Foxhound’s mind runs a mile a minute too. He may not ever be able to singularly focus on you. They’re distracted easily. You will need to keep him on task.


Spondylosis deformans is a condition affecting the vertebral bones of a canine’s spine and is characterized by the presence of bony spurs (clinically referred to as osteophytes) along the edges of the bones of the spine. These spurs can develop in a single spot on the spine but are more commonly found in multiple locations along the spine. Most commonly the spurs develop along the thoracic vertebrae (the chest, especially at the junction between the rib cage and the abdomen), in the lumbar spine (the lower back) or in the lumbosacral spine (around the hips and back legs). Some times, the spurs become large enough that they appear to form a complete bridge between adjacent vertebral bones.

Spondylosis deformans is a chronic condition associated with aging. Research indicates that it develops as a secondary problem related to a degenerative disease of the intervertebral discs. In a normal spine, the vertebral bones are joined by ligaments to form a flexible protective column around the spinal cord. An intervertebral disc is between each vertebral bone. These discs act as shock absorbers. The entire series of joints make up the spine and give the back flexibility of motion while protecting the spinal cord from damage. If the discs become damaged, the joints become less stable and results in abnormal motion. With spondylosis deformans, the discs slowly degenerate as the dog ages. The spurs develop to re-establish the lost stability of these now weakened joint(s). The spurs grow as large as needed to strengthen the diseased joints. Spondylosis is not associated with inflammation of the joints.

Spondylosis was believed to be more common in large breed dogs, but newer studies show that any middle-age to older dog of any breed can be affected. In most cases, this condition began to develop by 10 years of age. Some researchers feel every dog is capable of developing spondylosis if they were able to live long enough.

In their younger years, most dogs are free of symptoms. Rarely, the spurs will restrict movement of the spine and the dog may appear stiff or the spine may not be as flexible. If the spur grows near a nerve root, the spur can put pressure on that nerve and cause pain or lameness in the dog. If it causes pain, your dog may whine or cry when touched along the affected area(s) on his back.

Spondylosis is diagnosed by x-rays of the spine. Unless your dog is experiencing pain, your veterinarian may not offer any treatment. (Until your dog begins to experience pain, there is usually no way to tell he’s suffering from spondylosis.) Once pain begins, the dog may be prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) or other analgesics for pain relief. Physical therapy, weight loss and controlled exercise programs may be undertaken as well. In rare cases where the osteophytes are  causing spinal cord compression, surgery may be required to remove them.

If your dog is not experiencing symptoms, the spondylosis may go undetected for years or even the dog’s entire lifetime. Once diagnosed, your dog may still a long, happy life, even if he has somewhat limited flexibility or range of motion.

English Cocker Spaniel

AKC Group: Sporting

The English Cocker Spaniel dates back to the 1300s. They became divided into two types: land or water spaniels. In 1800, they were further divided into seven breeds: the Welsh springer, English Springer, Sussex, Clumber, Field, Irish Water and Cocker. Any spaniel weighing less than 25 pounds was considered a Cocker. The Cocker Spaniel (and all spaniels) were used to drive game towards the guns, but did not retrieve. Until 1892, Springer and Cocker Spaniels were considered the same breed. Then the Kennel Club of England stepped in and separated them which led them to be bred with different personalities. (Today, these two dogs differ greatly.) In 1940, the American and English Cocker Spaniel were deemed separate breeds. Personality-wise, they’re identical, but they have different faces and the English Cocker Spaniel is larger. The Cocker Spaniel was so named as they became prolific hunters of woodcock (once they were allowed to retrieve game). Their small size helped them in their pursuit.

Size: 14 to 17 inches; 25 to 35 pounds

Color: Black, liver, red, black and tan, liver and tan. Any of these colors against a white background. Particolored, ticked or roan patterned.

Life span: 12 to 15 years

Health problems: Hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, kidney disorders, deafness, cataracts. Allergies, seizures and thyroid issues have also been noted in some bloodlines.

The English Cocker Spaniel is a small, handsome, sturdy built dog with a gorgeous silky coat. Long, silky ears frame their sweet faces.

Cockers are eager, playful, cheerful dogs who give so much affection! They love to be around the ones they love. They can become too dependent and turn clingy, so you may have to teach him independence. A sensitive breed, they can be too shy and submissive. Socialize him to new people, situations and other animals to increase his confidence. Eager to please and intelligent, a Cocker is a breeze to train. Housebreaking may be a hassle and some Cockers love to bark. Cockers love kids, other companions and even strangers. Cockers can get possessive of their toys.

You’ll need to brush your Cocker every other day so his coat won’t mat and to keep his natural oils flowing so he looks sleek. His coat may be clipped every few months. Check his ears often to ensure they’re clean and dry — look out for infections. Cockers tend to be naturally obedient. If you have a female Cocker, you may find she’s a bit more stubborn than a male Cocker. Cockers excel at competitive obedience training, so don’t shy away from this activity. They are sensitive dogs, so don’t be harsh. Once he’s grasped the basics, you can move on to elaborate tricks (and any kind of advanced competitions). They were bred to work. A Cocker does much better when his life has a purpose. If you’re going to take your Cocker hunting, you’ll find he’s the best darned trained dog in the world. There won’t be any need to talk, he can respond to a hand signal. If you hunt fowl (of any kind), this is the ideal dog for you.