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Lani
2nd September 2006, 11:09 PM
Hi there! I just got my new puppy, Lucky. He's absolutely adorable and very loving and affectionate, a little ruby male Cavalier. That said, given his parent's size he seems kind of big to me for his age (about 10.5 weeks). He's already 7.25 lbs and both parents were 15 lbs at adulthood. The reason I'm mostly confused is that my sister has a pekinese/Chihuahua mix that she got at 15 weeks - it was 3 lbs then and grew to 12 lbs! So I just want to be sure Lucky is not expected to quadruple in size. :) I know that the normal max weight is 18 lbs, so I don't really expect that ... but ... Any insight into the growth patterns of Cavaliers would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I might want to get him some cute little doggie coats with winter coming up, and am trying to anticipate how large he'll be as a fully grown dog (14 inch coat, 16 inch? etc.).

I know it is impossible to predict with certainty, but I just wondered if anyone has any ideas. I'm really looking forward to reading the postings on this site and learning more about Cavaliers and sharing Lucky's puppyhood with everyone.

Thanks so much in advance!

LauraD
3rd September 2006, 04:04 PM
Hi Lani,
I know there are a lot of threads about puppy size on this forum. You may want to use the "search" feature to read those, there is a lot of helpful information. Ok, that being said, i don't think you can exactly figure out your puppy's adult size based on his size now, or his parents size. As far as approximations, well a Cavalier is heavier boned than a Pekingese/Chihuahua mix so using that dog's size as a guide won't help. Also the breed standard states that the adult "show" dogs should be between 13-18 pounds, that doesn't mean there is a maximum or minimum weight for dogs that aren't in the show ring. For instance my dog Riley was 8.3 pounds at 10 1/2 weeks old, not a tiny guy. His parents were both champion show dogs and weighed in at 19 pounds and 22 pounds, obviously outside the breed standard. Now Riley is just about 9 mths. old and weighs about 15 pounds. Not huge, but not small.
Remember the Cavalier is a small dog, but not a tiny dog. Your pup may be outside the breed standard weight and size or may not. Unless you are going to show Lucky it really doesn't matter. As far as buying clothes and stuff, you'll just have to buy what fits him at whatever size he is when you buy it. There are a lot more experienced people on this forum than me and they may give you additional or better information, I just wanted to respond to give you a bit to go on. Hope it helps, Welcome to Cavalier Talk. :)
Laura

Karlin
3rd September 2006, 04:28 PM
This is the view of one breeder:

http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=31

So there are a lot of variables. Parents are not the best way of guessing final size; the parents could be small representatives of lines of larger dogs for example, and the overall genetic pool will determine size more than just the parents.

Adults from the same litter can vary considerably in size too; that's why the parents aren't enough info to make a call. :)

Going by the size he is now and if not heavy and if from an average size litter, he will probably be more in the 20-ish lb range, but things could even out -- it is really hard to tell. Sometimes the 16 week rule is way off! :)

Regarding coats etc I find the ones I have fit all the dogs and they vary in size by a couple of pounds. I have a 12 inch and a 14 inch. Most of those are pretty loose on the dogs. Most coats are designed to allow you to go up or down a size.

Lani
3rd September 2006, 07:29 PM
Thank you Laura & Karlin! That is really helpful. I particularly appreciated your comparison, Laura, of your dog's size at a similar age.

I am not planning to show Lucky, so his size is not a big issue for me. More a curiousity than anything else. I looked at other Cavaliers who had more petite parents before I chose Lucky, but I just fell in love with his sweet little face!!!! He's just got such personality. I am really happy I chose a Cavalier. I picked Lucky up on Thursday and he's just precious - so playful, loving and adorable. I'm looking forward to seeing him grow & so thankful that I found this board so that I can learn from everyone's experiences. :)

Karlin
3rd September 2006, 11:20 PM
You generally do not want a cavalier with petite parents and people never should deliberately choose a petite cavalier -- so you made a good choice generally by not having this as a focus. :)

There are people (I would not even call them 'breeders', as they are just churning out dogs for a ready market) who advertise small cavaliers, 'teacup' cavaliers, etc. and this really enfuriates anyone who actually cares about the breed and its overall health as opposed to owning a small living fashion accessory. :( The cavalier as noted is a small breed -- and the largest of the toys (some feel the breed should not even be in the toy group) -- and is not a miniature dog and hence the wrong breed for someone who is seeking a really small dog. Breeding undersize dogs not designed to have such small frames can cause all sorts of health problems (especially over time and several generations, some potentially very serious, and no reputable breeder would ever breed under the breed standard on purpose. Every dog I have seen on those mini cavalier sites are misshapen and extremely poor breed examples -- many more like crosses to small breeds, which they may well be -- and you can be sure if such breeders are willing to take health risks to breed undersize, they sure aren't breeding for heart health or with any other health issue in the breed in mind, or doing any of the standard health clearances. What they are often breeding is the undersized runts of litters which in turn often are undersize because of health impediments --such as hydrocephalus, liver problems, etc. On top of all this, most cavaliers already have a skull that is at least slightly compressing the brain (according to neurologists, most cavaliers probably have some degree of hind brain compression where the skull slopes back steeply at the occiput). Breeding tiny heads on tiny cavaliers may well raise the risk of seriously symptomatic syringomyelia in the breed.

So there are many, many reasons to run in the other direction from any person exploiting the breed by offering 'small cavaliers'. On the other hand good breeders of repute may well have lines that are more compact and people can talk to a good breeder about this if it is of special interest (though many might find a buyer's focus on size to be a reason not to offer a pup to the buyer not least as this is very hard to predict). The breed has such a wonderful personality whatever the size that they are lovable big or small (and some will naturally fall under and over the breed standard), and the goal should be healthy cavaliers now and in the long term, through good breeding practice. :wggle:

molly
4th September 2006, 01:25 AM
Hi Lani! Welcome to you and Lucky. Lucky is just adorable and my Katie things he is very handsome. I am in NJ too. If you want to PM me, we can see if we live close to you for a puppy playdate. You are more than welcome to bring Lucky over to zoom around the backyard with our pups.

Lani
6th September 2006, 04:44 AM
I just wanted to give you an update because I read the link that Karlin sent and also got an update from Lucky's breeder. He was one of only 2 pups in the litter, so according to the link he might grow a little faster at first since his litter was so small. The breeder thinks that based upon his parent's weight he might be 17-18 lbs max. (mom was about 15 lbs and dad close to 16)

That said, she did warn (correctly!) that he does LOVE to eat!!! He's not overweight now though, so we'll just have to watch to make sure any extra poundage he puts on is healthy weight and not puppy fat. :-)

Big or small, he's still my little sweety pie and he just gets more adorable every day!