This section is from the book "A History And Description Of The Modern Dogs Of Great Britain And Ireland. (Non-Sporting Division)", by Rawdon Briggs Lee. Also available from Amazon: A History And Description Of The Modern Dogs Of Great Britain And Ireland, Non-Sporting Division.
Retracing our steps a few years, we find in 1871 Mr. C. Dawson's Frisky, Mrs. Lee's Jumbo, and Mr. Garwood's Hyllus, all animals of high stamp, and three years later Mr. Forder brought out a King Charles called Young Jumbo, which beat all before him for a time. Mr. Buggs succeeded not long after with Alexander the Great, then came Bend Or, Bend Or II., and Mrs. Forder's Jumbo, all of which attained to the dignity of champions. The following came later, and take us up to the present date, Mr. Arnold's Grace Darling; Mrs. Graves' Little Gem, Golden Ben, and Sunbeam; Mr. Yates' Minerva; Mrs. W. H. B. Warner's Queen of the Toys and Laureate; Mr. R. Spencer's Olivette; Mrs. Collis' Donovan; and Mrs. Pestell's Paymaster.
The best Blenheims are Duke of Bow; Mrs. Jenkins' Bowsie and Flossie; Mr. Collis' Pompey and Ermine; Mr. Garrod's Excelsior and May Queen II.; Mrs. Blarney's King Stormy of Homerton; Mrs. Graves' Tiny Tots; and Mrs. Forder's Haidee. In addition to the above, which have taken the leading prizes of late, from Mrs. Leeke's Sweet May Blossom I. and II. and her Lola, which run back as direct descendants from the Duke of Bow, have been produced many of the best Blenheims of the present day. Nor must Mr. J. W. Berrie's (afterwards Mrs. Booth's) The Earl, and Mr. J. H. Dawes' Prince, and Charlie be forgotten.
The most successful tri-colours or Prince Charles up to date are Mrs. Jenkins' Prince of Teddington, Day Dream, Mozart, and Zingra II.; Mrs. Collis'
Scamp; Mrs. Graves' Mother Bunch; and Miss Young's Lady Vivian. Before tri-colours were called Prince Charles, Miss Violet Cameron showed successfully a pretty little dog called Conrad.
The Rubies are vet in few hands, but several particularly choice specimens have appeared on the benches lately, and I rather fancy that of all the toy spaniels my admiration has been mostly extended to Mr. S. J. Thompson's exquisite Ruby Princess, and to Mr Garrod's equally choice Blenheim, May Queen II., neither of which would scale 71b. weight, and are almost perfect in other respects. Mrs. Jenkins and Mrs. Woodgate own the best strains of the Rubies, and the former's Ruby Prince and Golden Phiz, and the latter's Jasper, England's Best, and Carbuncle, with Mr. Knight's Turret Queen, are examples of a lovely variety of dog which anyone must feel proud in owning.
Many persons have decried these pretty toy spaniels of ours because it is said they are dirty, snappish, strong smelling, and generally disagreeable as house dogs and ladies' pets. This is not at all the case, and when there is any foulness from the breath or skin such arises through ill-health and neglect. The Blenheim, as already hinted, is the most sprightly and lively of the breed of toy spaniels, sweet in disposition, sensible, cleanly, and an admirable follower in the crowded streets when properly trained. There is no guile about him, and if he prefers to pay attention to all the movements of his fair mistress, and is ever ready to be fondled in her lap, he never forgets to come to a stranger and give him welcome, and no doubt expects a word of praise in return. He is not so liable to become fat and podgy as the King Charles, and in most respects the Ruby Spaniel takes after the Blenheim in disposition and character.
The black and tan and the tri-colour are alike in general conduct and behaviour, and appear to be less dainty as to their food than are the other varieties, and so have a tendency to become obese. This they should not be allowed to do, as it interferes with the glossiness of their coats, and I am inclined to believe has a tendency to make the jackets become curlier and not so straight as would be the case under healthier surroundings. This tendency for the coat to lose its straightness with increasing age is one of the great drawbacks to the King Charles spaniel, and in this respect a modern four-year-old dog is not to be compared with a puppy of twelve months or so. Some of these toy spaniels have a habit of lolling out their tongues, which is bad; others have indifferent sets of teeth, which is equally bad. Level mouths are the best, but in many instances breeding for the abnormally short noses appears to have produced undershot mouths, i.e., where the lower row of teeth protrudes in front of the upper row. The mouth of the toy spaniel should be as level and uniform as that of a terrier.
All toy spaniels require their toilet attending to, or the feather becomes matted, and the little creature loses the gloss on his coat. An ordinary hair brush and an ordinary comb will answer all purposes admirably, and if your little pet has these used on him pretty regularly once a day, and he is given a "tubbing" when he requires it, is not fed too highly, and is occasionally doctored with a gentle dose of magnesia, he will repay the trouble by being sleek and healthy, and as engaging a little companion as anyone need desire.