Please take the time to read up on Cavalier King Charles Spaniels before purchasing. I spent 5 years of research before buying my first Cavalier. The following are questions I have been asked over the years. I will continue updating as I receive more questions.
What is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a true toy spaniel, which should weigh between an average of 13 to 18 pounds and should be around 12 to 13 inches tall at the shoulder. They have large, round, dark brown eyes and long, silky hair on their ears, tails, bellies and legs, which does not need professional grooming. In addition to being a fine companion, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was originally bred to warm laps in drafty castles and on chilly carriage rides. While many other breeds of dog no longer perform the tasks for which they were bred, Cavaliers still take their responsibility quite seriously.
Is the Cavalier right for me?
Cavaliers are called "companion dogs" and they thrive on human companionship. Cavaliers have a calming effect on many people. Stress reduction/relaxation can be noticeably felt when a Cavalier curls up peacefully on your lap. If you are a person that is not home very much they would not be the dog for you. Their first choice is a human their second choice is another animal. They should not be left alone for more than 2/3 hours at a time. They are not happy when you are away. They are also not "guard" dogs. They are so loving they would probably kiss an intruder to death. :o)
Are Cavaliers good with children?
Cavaliers are extremely passive and have not one ounce of aggression which make them an excellent choice for children. Their love and interaction with their owners makes them an especially close friend and confidant for a child. They love to play with kids however; young children always need to be supervised to make certain that they do not accidently hurt the puppy/dog.
Are Cavaliers good with senoir citizens?
Most defininetly YES! Retirees, or "empty nesters," find the companionship, temperament, small size and easy maintenance ideal. Having a Cavalier resting in your lap or in the crook of your arm is almost as peaceful as holding a sleeping baby. All feelings of loneliness disappear as they are true companion dogs. They give senoir citizens a wonderful reason to get up each morning. They love to go for walks and are a great conversation piece. People are drawn to them like magnets.
Do Cavaliers travel well?
People who travel find it very easy and pleasant to take their Cavaliers along. Their strong desire to be with their owners makes them willing travelers. They love to ride in a car, train, plane, or boat. Their size and personality contribute to the ease by which they travel not to mention welcomed everywhere you take them.
Why are Cavaliers so Expensive?
When I first starting looking for a pet Cavalier they were $3500.00 to $6500.00. This was 25 years ago! I could not imagine a dog costing so much. I began to see that they were a rare exceptional breed and there were not many puppies available. The prices have dropped considerably over the past decade. When I decided to breed I only wanted to breed the best Cavaliers with champion bloodlines. I pay a lot of money for my dogs. I will only breed top quality Cavaliers and that doesn't come cheap. :o) You can find Cavaliers in many price ranges. If they are cheap it is for a reason. Take the time to investigate what a quality Cavalier should actually look like. Look at pedigrees to make sure they do in fact have a champion background. Make sure that the puppy is truly worth what they are asking for it and of course it should be healthy, outgoing and friendly always! You should get an extensive up to date vet check with your puppy as well as a copy of the shot/worming record. You should also get a "no strings attached" guarantee. Champion dogs exemplify the breed standard. The further away you get from champions the more the dogs begin to look mixed or lack the true classic Cavalier look and sometimes personality. Ultimately you get what you pay for. My puppies start at $3000 on a spay/neuter contract. Show/breeding puppies start at $5000.00.
Are all of your Cavaliers AKC registered and what is limited AKC registration?
Yes! All of my dogs are AKC registered. This is the best registry in the United States. Not only is it the oldest registry but the puppies are strictly registered by bloodlines. AKC also does homes visits to make sure their breeders are compliant with the AKC rules and regulations. Many of the other registries in the US will register by pictures of the dogs/puppies. There are many dogs/puppies that may "look" fullblooded but are not. This is why you can find Cavalier puppies that are registered with other registries at much cheaper prices. You are not guaranteed they are full blooded. If limited registration is marked on the AKC papers that come with your puppy it means you cannot breed the puppy. The puppy should be spayed/neutered at the appropriate time as recommended by your vet. Most of my puppies are sold with limited registration papers. I truly believe in leaving the breeding to the professionals so to speak. The reason why our animal shelters are full of unwanted puppies is because of pet buyers with "good intentions" who failed to spay/neuter their dogs. Then they accidently get pregnant by the neighborhood scoundrel and the pups are dropped off at the nearest animal shelter. If every pet owner would spay/neuter their dogs and leave the breeding to professionals we could put an end to these shelters!
I have never seen a Cavalier in person, can I come and visit yours?
Due to the overwhelming amount of people that request to visit my Cavaliers I have had to change my policies. While I understand why people ask this, I have to politely say, "No". My puppies are raised in my home with my family and I do not give tours of my home. Also, there are too many fatal diseases that can be brought into my home by visitors. It is a risk I am not willing to take. I love my dogs and puppies with all my heart and would never knowingly do anything that would harm them. I do allow my depositors to visit when it is time to pick their puppy out at 6 weeks (after having their first shots) and again when it is time to pick them up. My deposits are always refundable during the selection process so the depositor can always ask for it back if they are not satisfied with my puppies or the way they were raised. If you would like to see a Cavalier, please email me for the location and date of the next closest dog show and I would be more than happy to send you that information. This will give you a wonderful chance to compare Cavaliers with other breeds and find the perfect breed for you.
How do you care for your dogs?
I spend 7 days a week and nearly 24 hours a day with my Cavaliers. I love every minute of it but it is a lot of work (fun work). I do not mass produce puppies in rabbit cages. This is one reason why I always have deposit waiting lists. I will not over breed my dogs to meet the demands for my puppies. My puppies are ONLY raised in my home and I give it everything I have. I hand deliver each puppy and they spend the first 5 weeks in my bedroom. Afer that they "graduate" to the puppy nursery room. At five weeks I begin pad training them. I find this very helpful since we live in the South and never know when the next hurricane will hit. Once they get their 6 weeks shots I start the outside potty training. So your puppy will come pad trained, crate trained and almost fully potty trained. If you continue with what I have started you should have them trained in no time!! They are handled and played with daily. I do not let them leave my home until after they have been eating dry puppy food for a week. They receive two sets of shots while they are with me. Six weeks and nine weeks. They will be ready to leave me the day after they receive their 9 weeks shot. If you choose to buy a puppy from me it will be healthy, happy, beautiful and very well socialized! I will always be here if you need me for any reason and I stand behind my puppies 100%. Please make sure to click on my testimonial link above to see emails from satisfied adopters.
What is the best way to housetrain a Cavalier puppy?
I have found that crate training is the best way to train your Cavalier puppy. They will NOT
use the bathroom in their crate unless they are left too long. A 9 week old puppy can only hold it for about 2 to 3 hours at a time during the day. They are very clean by nature and they do not want to spend any time with their waste. At night and during the day if you are not able to watch them they can be placed in their crates. They actually do not mind being in their crates for short periods of time. Put some toys in with them to play with or a nice chew bone. This is not to say that they should spend all night and all day in the crate. Just short interals when you are unable to watch them 100%. Most of my adopters have found that bell training is the way to go when they are out of the crate. Hang a bell by the door on a stand or statue and take the puppy's nose and tap the bell then say, "potty". Take the puppy directly outside. Do this over and over. Most of my adopters have reported that it only takes one to two days for them to ring the bell on their own. Did I mention they are super smart?
Where is the best place to buy a Cavalier?
You should never buy a Cavalier from a pet store or puppymill. Please take the time to visit this website and see first hand videos that show what puppymills are about: http://stoppuppymills.org These puppies are mass produced. You should research for an ethical breeder. Be careful for those "fly by night" breeders who feel they can make a great deal of money in a short time. If they are constantly buying and reselling adult dogs this is a warning sign. Ask questions about why they wanted to breed Cavaliers. How long did they research the breed? How did they select their Cavaliers? How long have they been breeding? Have any of the puppies they sold had health problems? Are the parents annually checked for health problems? Do they work outside the home? If so, where are the dogs kept while they are not at home and who cares for them? Are the puppies raised in their home? These dogs need constant companionship and would NEVER want to be left home all day alone or deliver their puppies all alone. Not to mention how dangerous that could be. Cavalier puppies also require lots of attention in their development stages. How can this happen if the breeder is never home? Also, ask for references from former adopters. Remember this is a very important decision you are making. This dog will spend it's lifetime with you. Doing your research during the breeder selection process can save you much grief later on.
I can honestly say I wanted a Cavalier for 5 years before getting one. I decided to breed after the way I was treated. I already had breeding experience and wanted other people to have a much better experience than I did. I have been breeding Cavaliers for almost 12 years. It takes a passion and a great deal of dedication to be a breeder. Without that passion, the breeder will not be happy or successful. I stand behind my dogs and puppies, always! I have no problem with someone breeding Cavaliers or any dog for that matter as long as it is for the right reasons. They should always be a pet first and NEVER just for the money! Notice photos on websites; if most of the photos are taken outside this should send up warning flags. Also, be leary of breeders that are overly anxious to ship or deliver their puppies to you.
You should ALWAYS be allowed to visit the home of the breeder. This allows you to see the conditions in which the puppy was raised. I always allow adopters to come to my home. Due to the overwhelming amount of people that just want to visit or are curious about Cavaliers; I have had to change my policies. There are many fatal diseases that the puppies can catch. I am fanatical over my dogs and puppies so I would never knowingly do anything to put them at risk. I now only allow adopters to come to my home. *See above*
What is an ethical Cavalier breeder?
In my opinion an ethical breeder is a happy person that breeds healthy, friendly, beautiful Cavaliers that meet the AKC standards and exemplify the breed. They do not purposely breed "pet quality" Cavaliers to create "pet quality" puppies. They breed the best to produce the best. They put the care of their dogs and puppies first. They are selective about the placement of their puppies and will not just sell to anyone to make a quick buck. Especially to homes where the adopters work full time jobs. These are companion dogs and are very depressed when left alone. They are respectful and treat others the way they would want to be treated. They do not spend part of the converstation with you running other Cavalier breeders down. Instead they spend their time talking with you about the breed and explaining why they are an ethical breeder. They stand behind their puppies and are always available for questions and concerns. They would always take one of their dogs back if the adopters could not keep it or re-home it. The puppies are raised in their home with the upmost of care and not in outside kennels. They do not work outside of the home as this breed does not have the personality to be left alone. Their dogs are frequently health checked and especially before breeding. They have a lifelong interest in their puppies and love to get updates. They sell their puppies with a guarantee and the puppies come with an extensive vet check so you are assured you are getting a healthy puppy. The guarantee should give you the choice of a new puppy or a refund. You may not want another puppy if yours was unhealthy so you should ALWAYS have a choice! Ethical breeders have a passion for their breed and it shows in everything they say and do. They always put the puppies best interests first!
What is a backyard breeder?
A backyard breeder is a person that breeds just for the sake of breeding. They have a sweet pet that they want to breed or believe that they have a quality dog because it is registered. They think they can make a little money selling the puppies and basically just produce them without real consideration for the future of not only the breed but the puppies they produce. They do not make sure their dogs are of sound temperament or that they are breeding good representatives of the breed. They often breed them at too young of an age. Most often their dogs have faults and often times health problems that should not be recreated in puppies. They usually ask few if any questions of the adopters and sell most if not all of their puppies with breeding rights. Since they are breeding pet quality dogs they see no reason not to breed their offspring. They often "claim" that all of their puppies are "show quality". They feed cheaper dog foods and spend little on vet care. They usually have puppies available and continually reduce the puppies' prices in order to sell them. How do you know if you are dealing with a backyard breeder? Ask to see pedigrees, health checks, proof of age and references. (both from former adopters and vets) Do your research and study pictures/pedigees of quality Cavaliers. There is a difference. I can't tell you have many Cavalier breeders have called me to inquire about purchasing another Cavalier to add to their breeding program. While talking they will say things like, "Well I don't need your best, I am only breeding for pet adopters." I firmly believe even pet adopters deserve to have a nicely bred Cavalier. You should never deliberately breed pet quality dogs to create pet quality puppies.. You should breed show quality dogs to create show quality puppies to place in pet homes.
Remember "pet quality" is a very nice way of saying, "this puppy has flaws".
What is a puppymill?
Puppymill breeders mass produce puppies as quickly and cheaply as possible. They have one thing in mind and that is to make huge profits. It is strictly looked at as a business. They have enormous amounts of dogs in overcrowded conditions. Their dogs also have faults, health problems and are pet quality. They spend as little money as possible on their dogs so they can make big profits. Their dogs are fed the cheapest of dog foods and given little to no vet care. They start breeding their dogs at very young ages and every time they come in to heat and have no real care for their health. They always have puppies available and continually reduce their prices to get rid of them. They usually sell all puppies with breeding rights and will sell to anyone. They also sell large puppy quanities to brokers who in turn sell them to pet stores. By the time the puppy reaches the pet store it has tripled in price. So a $500.00 puppy is priced at $1500.00 in a pet store. They never want you to visit their home and offer to meet you or fly the puppy to you. What can you do to stop them? Educate yourself and others. Refuse to buy from pet stores. Do not "rescue" a puppy from a pet store as they will put another puppy (from the same breeder) within a day or two right back in the same crate. If pet stores can not sell their puppies they can't order more from the puppy millers. This will put the puppy millers out of business. Think about it: What kind of breeder could box up their puppies and cart them off to a petnstore and allow someone else to find homes for them? I could NEVER do that. I have to know that each one of my babies is in the best home imaginable. I would never trust someone else to do that for me. Puppy millers do not care for the welfare of their puppies or dogs only about the $$$$!
Should I get a guarantee with my puppy?
Yes! You should always be given a health guarantee with your puppy.
Be careful with the long wordy guarantees. I have seen some that would take a lawyer to comprehend. Many offer to give a replacement puppy at "their convenience" if yours dies within a certain time. It could take years before you could get another puppy. You should always be offered the choice of another puppy or a refund. If you have a bad experience with a very sick puppy you may not want to get another puppy from this same breeder. You should also never be expected to return the puppy if it has a life threatening congenital problem. You should be allowed to keep the puppy until it passes and still get another puppy or a refund. Some breeders bank on the fact you will be so in love with the puppy you could not return it. This is why some guarantees state that if you have a problem with your puppy at all you must return it for another. This frees them from their obligation. The puppies best interest should be considered first. Why take a puppy from it's loving home just to have it pass away in a strange place or just because is has a minor issue? Vet documentation should be ample proof of the puppy's problems and illnesses. If the adopter wants to return the puppy that should always be granted.
Does it harm puppies to have them shipped?
I would much rather you come in person to pick up your puppy. However if that is not possible I will ship the puppy to you. It took until my 5th litter before I would ship. I was a nervous wreck. But after many many phone calls to Delta Pet and finally being told: "Ma'm, we ship over 200 puppies a day and your puppy will be FINE!" I decided to give it a try. Since then I have shipped about 15 puppies and every ONE of them were A OK! Since Cavaliers have such a laid back personality they usually sleep during the flight or play with their toys.
If you do decide to get a Cavalier by having it shipped to you make SURE you get lots of references from the breeder. You are taking a big chance in not knowing how the puppy was taken care of or socialized. Many breeders will only sell puppies by shipping them. (another warning flag)
Why is it important to have champion bloodline dogs?
Ethical breeders want to breed for health, character and confirmation. Most champion dogs have all of the above.. Why recreate something that is not correct to begin with? Even someone buying a "pet" Cavalier deserves a healthy puppy that is true to the standards with confirmation and looks. The closer any breed is to a champion the more that dog exemplifies what the breed should be in health, looks and personality. The further away you get from champions the less likely they will possess these qualities. This is an example of pet quality dogs being bred to make more pets. My philosophy is that even pet buyers deserve to have a gorgeous, sweet, healthy Cavalier even though they have absolutely no desire to show or breed it.
I have had quite a few people inquire about breeding Cavaliers and make the comment, "I don't need anything special I am only going to breed pet Cav's". "Pet" quality is a nice way of saying, "This puppy/dog has flaws." This is the wrong approach. You should only breed the best. Beware of breeders that boldly display "All of our puppies come with breeding rights". Or that the entire litter is "show quality" These are selling techniques and common sense tells us that all puppies should not be bred or are show quality. What about overbites? Mismarkings? Confirmation flaws? Health issues? For those that do advertise that they have champion bloodlines be sure and ask to see pedigrees. Many I contacted when trying to find my own Cavaliers would advertise "champion pedigrees/bloodlines" but it would be the great great great grandfather. I do not consider this a champion pedigree. To advertise champion pedigrees there should be champions within their three generation pedigree.
Do you have free rescue Cavaliers?
I never have rescue Cavaliers. I do have an open policy that if you no longer want your Cavalier I would gladly help you re-home it. I can't imagine this would happen. Once you get a Cavalier you will soon know why. :o) Sometimes I do have retired Cavaliers that I am looking to place in loving homes. They usually range from 5 to 6 years of age. I do require an adoption fee based on age and pedigree plus the cost of their spay/neutering/medical fees. If you are interested I would be glad to place you on my waiting list.
What heath problems do Cavaliers have?
|Cavaliers are basically a healthy, sturdy small dog with few, but important health concerns.|
The most serious health problem in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is Mitral Valve Disease (MVD). This is a problem with the left mitral valve of the heart. In this disease, the valve can thicken and degenerate leading to congestive heart failure and eventually death. Although MVD is common in most toy breeds, it is of particular concern in Cavaliers because it may have an unusually early onset with a more rapid progression of symptoms compared to other breeds. MVD has been found in all blood lines and in Cavaliers from all countries; conscientious breeders all over the world regularly check the health of their breeding stock for signs of early onset of this disease before breeding.
|While Cavaliers do not commonly have serious eye problems, like all mammals, they can develop cataracts and other eye diseases. Careful breeders have their breeding stock checked annually.|
|Another area of concern is luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps). This is a condition when the knee is not stable and can cause lameness. Luckily Cavaliers with good bone and healthy parents generally are not a candidate for this problem. However this can also occur when a puppy does a lot of jumping. They can injure themselves and this can cause Patella. Be sure and protect your puppy and do not let them fall or jump from high places.|
|Hip dysplasia, which is a major concern for large breeds, is not often encountered when the parents and grandparents are strong and healthy.|
There is a new condition called syringomyelia. This occurs when a Cavalier is born with not enough room in the space in the skull that contains the back of the brain. Damage is caused when fluid surrounding the brain is forced into the spinal cord. The most common symptom is scratching on, or in the air when the dog is excited or walking on a lead.
This information was taken from the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club Site http://www.ackcsc.org
The most noteable problem is MVD. It usually can be detected when the Cavalier is around 3 to 5 years old. Many breeders state that their Cavaliers are heart certified but it is only good for the day the test was done. What about 6 months later? In order for the certification to have any warrant it needs to be done twice yearly. Ask the breeder when the last test was performed and how old the dog was at that time. I take my dogs twice a year for check-ups with my Vet. Statistics state that 50% of Cavaliers will have MVD by age 5/6 and 100% by age 12. Their lifespan is 11 to 12 years of age. No breeder can guarantee that a puppy you purchase will never have MVD even if both parents and grandparents are MVD free. There are no special bloodlines or areas in the world that produce MVD free Cavaliers.
Why is it important to keep my Cavalier's teeth clean?
Cavaliers can get plaque build up on their teeth. Without proper dental care this can turn into a heart murmur and other health issues. For this reason it is imperative that you get in the habit of brushing your Cavalier's teeth and gums. Read this article for more info on the problems that can occur from canine dental diseases. http://www.dogsworld101.com/Dog-Dental-Disease
What is the difference between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the King Charles Spaniel?
The King Charles Spaniel is also referred to as the "Toy Spaniel". They are smaller than the Cavalier and have the flat nose much like a Pekenese. The Cavalier has a much more pronounced nose and are a bit larger.
What are the colors excepted for Cavaliers?
Cavaliers come in 4 colors. Tri-colored, Blenheim, Black and Tan, and Ruby. Black and tan Cavaliers are not suppose to have ANY white on them whatsoever. Neither are the Rubies. You will find many websites that make it sound unique for them to have white. This is not so according to AKC standards. These puppies are mismarked and should be sold at a reduced price.
Tri-colored Cavaliers and Blenheims are suppose to have evenly spaced coloring on the head and surrounding the eyes. There should be a white stripe down the center of the forehead. There should NOT be heavy ticking on these two colors. Their backs should be white and splashed with color.
The Party colors and the solids should not be crossed in breeding. If breeders continue doing this over time the solids will become extinct as they will all have white on them from the crossing.
Does it make a difference if the puppies are kennel raised or home raised?
Yes, it makes a huge difference. Kennel raised Cavalier puppies lack the temperment of a home raised puppy. Kennel raised puppies tend to be more standoffish and shy and usually do not exhibit the "love everyone" personality of the Cavalier. Sometimes this can never be corrected.
Do Cavaliers have any bad traits?
The only thing to be on the lookout for is their safety. Since Cavaliers are so non-aggressive and trusting they could easily be malled by a larger dog or injured by a small child. They would probably just stand or lie there and let it happen. They also love to chase butterflies, birds, and anything else they can find. It is imperative that they be on a leash when near a road or highway. Cavaliers live to please you. They are better trained using positive reinforcement instead of negative. Spanking a Cavalier will not work! They take it to heart and become very upset. It could also cause them to shy away from you.
Is grooming a problem?
Absolutely not! Their hair is just like silk. You do not have to worry about long hours of brushing to get mats or tangles out. They also do not have severe shedding problems. Female Cavaliers do shed a great deal when they come in heat and have puppies. At other times they have minimal shedding.
Do Cavaliers get along well with other animals?
Cavaliers get along great with all other animals including cats. They love everything! Their approach is to kiss and hug until they are loved back. Keeping this in mind, you would need to make sure any animals you already own would accept a loveable Cavalier.
Are Cavaliers constant barkers?
No, Cavaliers do not bark very much. They will bark if they hear a car pull up or if the doorbell rings which only lasts a few seconds.
Is there a difference in the personalities of males vs females?
The Cavalier males are a bit more loving than the females. Most describe it this way: The females love you unconditionally but the males are in love with you.
Will a male Cavalier hike and wee wee all over my house?
This is probably the number one reason why most people prefer females. This is absolutely not true! The key to it is having your male neutered BEFORE his testosterone kicks in. (around 5 1/2 months) It is his hormones that cause him to hike to show all other males that it is HIS territory. If you have them neutered at the appropriate age he will squat just like a girl! I have many adopters that will attest to this.
Would an older Cavalier make a nice pet?
Most certainly! One of the Cavalier mottos is "love the one you are with". Within minutes, no matter what age, you will become the love of their life. I would only caution that you make sure the Cavalier (no matter what age) has been raised with love and affection and not abused or kept mostly in a crate..
What is the lozenge spot found on Blenheims?
The lozenge is unique and highly desirable, though not an essential, characteristic of the Blenheim. The story of the spot is told that when the Duke of Marlborough was fighting abroad in the Battle of Blenheim, his wife Sarah the Duchess is reported to have been in a very anxious state at home waiting for news. For comfort, she stroked one of their Blenheim Spaniels that was soon to have puppies. She repeatedly pressed her thumb on the dog's head. When news of the great battle victory arrived, five puppies were born bearing red thumbprints on their foreheads. This mark became known as the Blenheim or lozenge spot.
Should Cavaliers be kept outside?
Their joyous nature and need to share their lives with their families mean that they do not do well when left alone for long periods. They do enjoy being outside. They love to play and chase butterflies but they are not inept to extreme heat and cold. Therefore they must be kept inside.
Do Cavaliers get excited and wee wee?
No, Cavaliers do not get excited and wee wee on your feet or floor.
Are Cavaliers easy to housetrain?
Yes, Cavaliers are super smart and thrive off of positive reinforcement. Remember they were born to please you. I have found that crate training is the best way to go but you must be consistant. Cavaliers love their crates and consider it their home. They will not soil it unless you force them to. I have many adopters that have bell trained their Cavaliers to ring a bell at the door when they need to potty. Since they are non-barkers that works out great!
Do Cavaliers have ear problems like Cocker Spaniels?
Cavaliers do not have the severe ear problems that many Cocker Spaniels have. Since Cavaliers do have long ears they can sometimes get an ear wax buildup. Each time I bathe my Cavaliers I always put ear rinse in their ears to keep this from occuring. You can also keep the inside of their ears trimmed to help more air flow into their ears.
I hope this information has helped you to learn more about the most wonderful breed in the world! If you have further questions please feel free to email and I will add them to this FAQ.
(Carly and Cami) The first two girls that I was blessed with.