Frequently asked Questions:
Do cavaliers shed? Yes. Cavaliers are moderate shedders and need regular brushing. If you want a non-shedding or hypo-allergenic dog, please pick a different breed.
Do cavaliers need a fenced yard? Yes. Cavaliers are sight dogs and (Provided there are no eye problems) they see extremely well. They will quickly locate and chase a bird, lizard, butterfly, or squirrel into traffic with no regard for their life.
Are cavaliers a healthy long living breed? No. While there are several relativity healthy dog breeds to choose from, the Cavalier King Charles is not one of them. Compared to other small breeds, the life span of a cavalier is a short 10 - 12 years with few reaching 13 - 14 years.
Do cavaliers make good guard dogs? No. They will announce newcomers by barking, but they will do absolutely nothing to protect you, your family, or your property.
Do cavaliers make good companions? Yes. While all dog breeds make good canine companions, the Cavalier King Charles is a toy breed. The AKC recognized "Toy Group" of dogs are bred; for no other reason except to be a companion to humans.
Are cavaliers good with other pets? Yes and no. Cavaliers do fine with other dogs and cats, but birds, small reptiles, and rodents may not fare as well.
How can I spot the difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder? The best way to protect yourself and your investment is to arm yourself with information and not emotion. Know what the red flags are, and how to spot them. All puppies are cute and irresistible, but your money should never go to support irresponsible breeding and thus perpetuate what is already a vicious cycle. Check out my "Links" to learn more.
Why is there such a wide range in prices for cavaliers? Every cavalier puppy produced is the final end result of a breeding program. The motivations of that breeding program is as varied as the prices. Remember you are not just buying a puppy, you are buying everything that did; or did not, go into producing that puppy. Everything the breeder did, or failed to do. There are breeders who cut corners to save money and then sell their puppies at a volume discount. Then there are breeders who carefully plan their breeding program with time and attention spent on every detail; details that begin long before puppies are ever conceived. Health testing and OFA certifications are important but also expensive and additional fees do apply. Testing must be repeated every year to keep current. It's no easy task to accomplish, as there are only a small handful of board certified specialist in the state. The breeder who has invested a great deal time, money, and effort into producing their puppies, is certainly not going to charge the same price as the breeder who didn't. It's that simple; but don't let prices fool you, a pet store charges the same price as a good breeder.
I only want a pet and I have no plans to show. Should I care about champions, pedigrees, or AKC registration papers? Yes! Yes! and Yes! The very reason you decided to get a specific breed of dog, was a decision you made based on the breed's Standard as it is written according to the AKC.
Champions and champion lines show that an effort was made to breed as close to the breed standard as possible; which again, is the reason why you are choosing the breed.
An AKC Certified Pedigree shows you several generations related to the puppy and how many are champions. If you don't see a pedigree, then the puppy is likely the result of inbreeding or mixed breeding and may not be a pure breed to begin with.
AKC registration papers prove the litter was bred within the AKC rules, regulations, and guidelines for producing pure breed dogs. They prove the puppy is a pure bred dog who's linage can be traced back every generation upon generation since the breed was established. The puppy will live up to it's breed standard or very close to it.
My breeder is a member of AKC. Is that the same as a being a member of a breed club? No! AKC is a kennel club that registers dogs. A breed specific club, is exclusive to one breed of dog and is licensed by the AKC. To become a member of the AKC Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, you must first attend club events and obtain sponsors from other club members before applying for membership. All submitted applications are reviewed by the board of directors during a closed meeting before granting associate membership. Later you must again obtain sponsors and resubmit a new application to be granted regular membership into the AKC CKCSCSC. The process can take years. This is why members who have worked so hard to achieve their membership, don't risk loosing it by being unethical or irresponsible. Any violation of the Code of Ethics would result in suspension or expulsion from this club.
It really doesn't matter to me if my dog has papers or not. Why not buy a puppy that has no papers? No papers = Irresponsible breeder, huge red flag! Responsible breeders never produce unregistered or mixed breed dogs. They never "Lose" papers either; even if that were to happen, the AKC can immediately replace them. Registering a litter with the AKC is easy, inexpensive, and papers are received quickly. There is no excuse for a breeder not to do it! A breeder who does not care enough about their puppies to register them, has no business breeding and you can bet they are irresponsible with all other aspects that breeding and puppy raising involves, including socialization, health, nutrition, veterinary care, etc. because they have so greatly devaluated their litter.
I say this... if it truly doesn't matter to you whether or not your dog has AKC registration papers, then please adopt from your local Animal Shelter or a Rescue. All those dogs are the paperless victims of their irresponsible breeders. You will save money, you will save a life, and you can be proud to know that you did not support irresponsible breeding.
Why do I breed dogs when there are already so many unwanted dogs and not enough good homes?
First of all the key word here is UNWANTED. Three quarters of all dogs in shelters are mixed breeds, the other quarter may appear to be pure bred but all lack AKC registration papers to say for certain what they are. (Remember, shelter workers are NOT breed experts or AKC judges and many of the dogs they deem "Pure breeds" are, in fact, mixed.) These unwanted dogs fall between the ages of nine months to two years old; puppies having just reached 85 - 90% of their adult size. Those are the dogs that make up the unwanted dog population and they are put to sleep to make room for more unwanted dogs who fit the same profile.
Good homes want good quality bred dogs, and good dogs come from good breeders!
So in answer to the question above,
A) I don't breed dogs that will ever fall into the unwanted profile; and I certainly want my dogs back; if ever their owners can't keep them :)
B) There are plenty of good homes out there wanting quality bred dogs.