Choosing Your Cavalier

Puppy Temperament

When purchasing a puppy make sure that it is a happy, busy little pup – you might even describe it as “naughty”

Mother’s Temperament

Puppies learn from their mother, so make sure the mother is not overly aggressive, as she may not like strangers too close to her puppies and is keen to look after and protect them.

Buying From Reputable Breeders

Get your puppy from a reputable breeder. Often Cavalier King Charles Spaniel clubs (see list for Australia on this website) have information on the availability of puppies. But never buy from pet shops or the Internet. Buying a puppy from a parking lot or shopping centre is simply “not on” – you need to see the Mother and the conditions in which the puppies are kept. Puppy Mills are still around and should not be encouraged by buying their stock which are often overpriced and the conditions the mothers are kept in is appalling. 

General Price to Expect to Pay

Price is variable, but pet puppies are usually around $A2,000 and show puppies between $A2,000 and $A4,000 – this can vary according to how successful the breeding stock is and whether it is imported stock or not.

Paper Work You Should Get for a Pet or Show Puppy

If breeders are selling their puppies as pets, it is usually because they do not think they are good enough to breed from. Therefore, breeders need to have a written contract signed by both parties to say the puppies will be desexed by a certain date (usually 6 months). The breeder needs to see the Vet’s account of this taking place.

Getting a Copy of the Pedigree

If you are purchasing a pet, you can also ask for a pedigree and of course this is essential for show puppies. The breeder will advise you on this. Both show and pet puppies need to be registered as such with the ANKC (Australian National Kennel Council – in Australia)

Immunization

Puppies need to be immunized at 6-8 weeks (C3), 10-12 weeks (C5) and 16-18 weeks (C4) – they then need shots renewed annually. Puppies should not be taken out to walk on any ground other than where they have been bred or with the new owner at their home. This is when they can get serious problems like Parvo, Kennel Cough and Hepatitis – so don’t take them out anywhere until they have had their first injection (+ 2 weeks) to be on the safe side. Deadly diseases like Parvo cannot be cured and it is up to the puppy to be able to fight such a disease and survive with only antibiotics.

Rehomed Adults

You are sometimes able to obtain a rehomed older dog. Breeders may decide once the winning days are over for a particular dog, it could live more happily in a home with someone else. If you decide to take a rehomed dog, make sure you know what the temperament of the dog is and any bad habits it may have. It is also a good idea to have an agreement in place that if the rehomed dog does not fit in to the new home, that it can be returned. After all, this is all about having a happy dog as well as a happy new owner.

Grooming

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a long coat that needs grooming most days. The hair can readily knot under the ears and legs, which need special attention.

Common Illnesses

Cavaliers often go deaf in old age, but if you have been training them with signals, it is not so bad. Also, they have a hereditary problem of a heart murmur and unfortunately symptoms do not show until they are about 4 years or older. It can be controlled with medication for a number of years.

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