It would be difficult to find a breed more loving and adaptable than the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  Their charm, intelligence and gentle, affectionate personality make them a joy to own.  Their elegant appearance and beauty attracts many admirers.  The Cavalier will fit in with nearly any lifestyle and is adaptable in their need for exercise.  They are just as happy watching television or snoozing by the fire with their owners, as they are to go for a long walk or play “fetch” in the yard.  Cavaliers are house dogs and should never be left unattended outside.  Cavaliers only want to be with their families - their constant companions.
Cavaliers and Children

Cavaliers naturally love children, but do not always make the best pet for a child too young to understand that these dogs can be seriously frightened or hurt by rough handling.  If you have children, make sure that they have been taught to respect and handle all pets gently.  If you have children who are boisterous, like to roughhouse, etc.  you may want to consider a different breed.
There are no set prices and you may find that prices vary from breeder to breeder and from one area of the country to another.  However, this is not the time to bargain hunt.  Some breeders offer price options such as a reduced price on an older dog or puppy.

Finding The Right Breeder

Impulse buying and bargain shopping can be fun as long as it’s for new clothes and not a Cavalier that will be totally dependent on you for its love and care for the rest of its life.  If you have decided that a Cavalier is the right choice for you, you need to locate an ethical breeder. 
A dedicated, experienced Breeder is the best place to get your puppy.  These people will belong to the American Kennel Club (AKC) Parent Club and to their local Cavalier breed club.  The AKC Parent Club for Cavaliers is The American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, Inc. (ACKCSC). The ACKCSC is a Member Club of the American Kennel Club.  The local breed club for the Greater Portland Metropolitan and Southwest Washington area is the Columbia River Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, Inc.(CRCKCSC).  There are many for profit pet registries in the U.S. who, for a fee, will send you a registration certificate for any breed (or mixed breed) without any history of its lineage.  It is important for you to know that the (AKC) is non-profit.  It is the largest purebred dog registry in the world and it is the ONLY registry in the U.S. that is recognized by every other registry in the world.  Go to their web site for more information and to see everything that they do for all dogs.  The difference between AKC and other registries could be compared to the difference between an ethical breeder and a puppy mill.
So, locate a dedicated, experienced Breeder.  The goals of these people are to improve the breed and they spare no expense in trying to breed the best Cavaliers they can.  By working with this kind of breeder you will have the opportunity to see where your puppy was raised and possibly see several generations of ancestors.  The personality and appearance of these older dogs is a good indicator of how the puppies will mature.  Adult Cavaliers should be joyful, friendly, appear healthy, clean and well groomed.  When you choose a puppy from a breeder/exhibitor, you will have someone to call on for advice and assistance.  This type of breeder’s commitment to her puppies is life long and she will welcome hearing from you, now and for the lifetime of your Cavalier.  To find a breeder in this area please go to the Breeders directory on our web site.  

Pet or Show?

One question you will be asked by the breeder is whether you want your Cavalier to show, or as a pet.  A very young puppy can have “show potential”, but cannot be guaranteed, “show quality.”  If you intend to show your Cavalier you should consider an older puppy between 6 and 12 months of age.  This way the breeder can better determine if the puppy is pet or show.  Many of the qualities that breeders select for in their efforts to produce a show dog are also essential for family pets.  The parents of your puppy represent years of knowledge and study.  They were bred to produce the best in temperament, conformation, health and soundness.  Those puppies that do not meet the rigid show requirements possess all the same essential inherited qualities of the puppy that is a showable specimen.  Your pet puppy will be a dog others will admire and you will be proud to own.
Male or Female?
 In some breeds this makes a big difference.  In Cavaliers, either sex makes wonderful pets.  The male Cavalier is every bit as loving and gentle as the female.  A breeder may sell a family pet on AKC Limited Registration.  This only means that the dog will not be bred, and most breeders will require it be spayed or neutered.  A dog on Limited Registration may not be shown in conformation classes, but they may be shown in performance events such as obedience, agility and rally.
Which Puppy?

When you find a breeder you like, spend time discussing your family and your lifestyle.  Then allow your breeder to help you pick the puppy.  The breeder has spent months with the puppies and knows their personalities.  The reputable breeder wants you to have the puppy that best fits in with your life style and family.  The very earliest a new puppy should go to a new home is eight weeks.  The recommended age for a Cavalier puppy is 10 – 12 weeks.  Cavaliers remain “babies” longer than some other breeds and need this extra time to develop with siblings

If the breeder suggests that an older puppy or young adult would be better for you, keep an open mind and consider the possibility.  Breeders sometimes have older puppies that they have held onto as “show prospects.”  These older puppies will be house trained much sooner and may be the ideal choice for a working family.  Older Cavaliers are very adaptable and quickly make themselves part of their new family.

For more information about Cavaliers and the Club please contact:
Carol Williams at  OR
Wendy Stang at

                  By Lynn Beman
First published in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club of Northestern New York Cavalier Chronical Newsletter
Every summer, the emergency vet clinic, where my daughter works on weekends, sees at least one case of Hyponatremia or Water Toxicity (also called water intoxication or hyper-hydration) in dogs. Often it proves fatal. Even though many of our Cavaliers can’t bear to get their lovely slippers wet, others love swimming and playing in and around water.
Dogs who love to play in the water are especially vulnerable to getting water toxicity by ingesting too much water. If they’re fetching toys from the water’s edge, splashing and lapping in a pool, chasing toes in a small kiddie pool, or swimming and biting at the water, they might be consuming too much water. Or maybe the dog was enjoying a bowl of cold, refreshing ice cubes. A similar situation occurs when a dog has been playing hard and becomes dehydrated from the heat and starts to drink too much water too quickly so that the rehydration occurs too fast. All of these activities could lead to a case of water toxicity.
Here’s what happens: If water enters the body more quickly than it can be removed by urinating (remember, dogs can’t perspire), body fluids become diluted and a dangerous change in the electrolyte balance occurs. This causes cells to swell and the dog might start to take on a bloated appearance. When the cells of the nervous system and brain start to swell, serious water intoxication results. This is truly a medical emergency for your dog!
Signs of water intoxication are:
  • Lethargy: The dog might suddenly become lethargic and reluctant to move.
  • Vomiting: The dog might begin to vomit up water.
  • Ataxia: The dog shows a lack of coordination and is tripping, stumbling, falling or collapsing.
  • Restlessness: The dog seems unable to lie down and relax, or may be groaning.
  • Respiration: Breathing becomes rapid and shallow and gums become pale.
  • Seizures can begin quickly.
  • Loss of consciousness and coma, leading to death.
Water intoxication may start out with mild symptoms (usually lethargy), but the danger can quickly escalate, sometimes becoming life-threatening in as little as 15 minutes from onset. If you suspect your dog is suffering from water toxicity, you need to seek emergency medical help quickly.
Treatment includes administering oxygen and correcting the electrolyte imbalance through IVs. Recovery can be complete if caught in time, although many dogs who survive have impaired function due to brain damage. Sadly, many dogs also die because their owners and vets were unaware of what caused their symptoms.
Prevention: If your dog loves playing in and around the water, monitor how much water he might be ingesting. Or limit the amount of time spent in the water to 20 minutes or less. Dogs can consume an amazing amount of water in a short time. Unfortunately, because of individual differences in each dog and its environment, there is no definitive measure of the amount of water ingested that can cause this condition.
If you think your dog might be showing symptoms of water toxicity don’t wait – get him to a vet immediately. And tell the vet what you suspect might be the problem so precious time isn’t wasted in starting appropriate treatment.  Better to be safe than sorry.

Author unknown
Many expectant parents go through the ritual of  “baby proofing” their homes.  Proofing consists of checking table corners, counters and securing cabinets.  When you bring a puppy into your house for the first time, you need to make some special preparation for him/her as well.
The following are some helpful hints to make your puppy safe and give you some peace of mind!  The first few days will be an adjustment for your puppy.  Having left the place they knew as “home” along with their family, expect them to be very curious and to do a little investigating.  If at all possible, try to pick up your puppy when you are able to spend a couple of days at home.  This will allow him/her to get used to the new surroundings.  A couple days together will also allow you to work on transitioning your puppy into their new schedule.
Here are a few items you can have prepared for your new puppy:
  • Crate
  • Crate pad or blankets
  • Dog gate(s)
  • Food and water bowls
The above consists of the very basic necessities.
A crate is a place for your puppy to have his or her own place to be and feel safe.  Crates come in many shapes, types and sizes.  A #200 (medium) Vari Kennel is perfect for a Cavalier.  A soft crate pad or blanket is the perfect “nest” for your puppy.  Be prepared for your puppy to have a few accidents until he/she becomes used to their new schedule. 
You will want to find that a water bowl that hangs inside the crate.  This prevents the puppy from spilling their water while moving around in the crate.  There are different types of water bowls.  The “best” depends on your puppy.  A metal water bowl with a screw on hanger is the best option.  Some puppies like to chew on their water bowl (even when given numerous chew toys, so a metal bowl is the best option.
Dog gates are a great way to keep your puppy in a confined space to keep them out of trouble and dangerous places.  There are so many different types to choose from, including extended heights and widths for large doorways.  Pick a gate tall enough to not tempt your puppy to jump over it, and sturdy enough to withstand their pushing against it.
Puppies LOVE to chew!  They like to put anything around them in their mouths.  Here are some things to secure or relocate before you bring your puppy home.
  • Electric cords
  • Telephone cords
  • Computer cords
  • Game controller cords
  • Houseplants
  • Remote controls
  • Free-standing trash cans
  • Pens, pencils, paper, coins
  • Child toys (especially small pieces like Legos, color crayons, clay, etc.)
Go into a house with a puppy, and you will most likely find a chewed electrical or telephone cord.  Since cords often run along a floor, they are an easy target.    Wire guards can be purchased anywhere and will cover wires running across a floor or along a baseboard.
While you may think your puppy is too small to push over the trash can you have in your kitchen, never underestimate the power of those little paws!  All it takes is leftovers from last night’s dinner to bring the can to your puppy’s attention.  Once detected, they will try to see what prizes are inside.
Puppies also like the feel of wood between their little teeth.  Of course, as they begin to lose their puppy teeth, this chewing will become more extensive.  Beware of furniture, cabinets, windowsills and bookshelves.  Some people use hot sauce on the furniture and others spray Bitter Apple to try to deter their puppy from chewing on their chairs, etc.
Houseplants are another attraction, along with outdoor plants. Puppies like to help “garden” when the new foliage starts to grow.  They will pull out bulbs (which are poisonous), rip out new plants, eat tomatoes off the vine and chew any size stick they can find.  Be sure to keep an eye on your puppy when he is outside.  Be careful of what is planted in your puppy’s yard.  Many plants have toxic or poisonous leaves, stems or bulbs.  Be careful of hoses and any landscaping tools as well.
If you are going to have your puppy outside and can’t watch him/her, you may want to purchase an ex-pen.  Some of these may also be used indoors to give your puppy it’s own, secure play area.  Again, you want to purchase an ex-pen that is tall enough to keep then in and is also sturdy.  Many of the outdoor pens come with yard stakes so you can keep them from toppling over if your puppy jumps on the side.  If you have the pen outdoors, make sure to have a bowl of water, a few toys, and protection from the sun.  Never leave your puppy outside unattended.
Your puppy may take a few days to become accustomed to their new routine.  And may be a little sad the first few nights.  This is normal “I miss my mommy and my siblings,” whining.  A toy or a blanket from the breeder helps give them a sense of security.  It won’t take long for your puppy to become attached to you.  Cavaliers are wonderful “bed dogs”.  But if you do not want your dog sleeping with you, don’t take the puppy to bed with you.
Show your puppy it’s new bed, toys and where it will need to go to be let out.  If you have a dog door, you may have to hold it open the first several times until the puppy becomes accustomed to it.  Try to start right away with getting them used to going out to go potty.  Keep a regular routine so your puppy can adjust to the new routine.  Be patient with any accidents, and quickly take them outside to show them where to go.
If you have to leave him for a few hours let your puppy out a couple of times before you leave.  Put the puppy in his crate and leave a TV or radio on for the puppy while you are gone.  This will make him not feel so alone.  Something soothing provides a calming effect. 
Congratulations on the newest member of your family.  May you and your puppy enjoy the process of getting to know one another.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – A Puppy Buyers Guide
Published by the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, Inc.             
Mother Knows Best, The Natural Way to Train Your Dog
            By Carol Lea Benjamin
Surviving Your Dog’s Adolescence
            By Carol Lea Benjamin
Before and After Getting Your Puppy
            By Ian Dunbar



Columbia River Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club Meeting

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