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View Full Version : Finding a puppy--sorry long!



sunshinekisses
15th May 2007, 02:38 PM
Hi, I am new here so moderators please move my thread to the right location if it doesn't belong here.

Just same basic background on me. I have three young children and two big dogs. I did dog rescue work for three years and love the work but it was overwhelming and I stopped. I have always wanted a show dog but somehow I am now on my second strike out with my breed of choice, which is a rottweiler. I did pet therapy work for two years with my labrador that is very shy and since he did not enjoy the work I stopped going. However I missed it alot and bought my rottweiler to do this work for me. He however turned out to be very shy as well and though I should have sent him back to the breeder I did not because I am a very dedicated to my dogs have a difficult time giving up.

This spring I decided to try again with a new puppy for my goal dog and found a good breeder (again rottweiler) however after talking to my dog trainer and getting negative feedback from my husband we decided two strike outs on my breed was maybe a sign we should look into another breed. My family (mostly hubby and son) want a small dog. Well I have looked into a few but I did not like anything until I looked into the cavalier. Their temperament discription sounds like everything I have been wanting all along. We have met a few cavaliers and even attended a local dog show to watch and met a few cavalier people to see if it is really something I want.

So my problem is I am a rottweiler person and don't have a clue about cavaliers. I don't know pedigrees or pricing but I do know what characteristics I want for my dog. How do I go about finding an honest breeder without years of work. We aren't in much of a rush but I would prefer a puppy within a year. My main problem is gaining trust in a good breeder. Most breeder will not sell a good show dog to a novice so how do I get a show dog without first getting a pet quality?

Anyway, I guess my easy questions are 1) Is there a pricing difference between colours? We prefer blk and tan which I have already been told it will take longer to get. 2) What are the minimum health clearances I should ask for and accept for a puppy? I have met a dam and stud I like but they only have hearts and eyes tested. 3) Should I accept a limited registration even though all along I really want to do the conformation ring? Okay so I am not even sure I will like the show ring but I do know I want to try it, I also understand I will spay/neuter my dog if it doesn't met standards but I hate the thought of giving up my dream again if a breeder sends me less than what it takes.

Karlin
15th May 2007, 03:15 PM
Hi and welcome to the board.

Cavaliers are a lovely breed but one with some serious health issues which every potential show person/breeder should be aware of because of the overall implications for the breed, and they are a quite expensive breed in North America. For a show quality dog I think you would need to expect to pay at least $2500 in the US and probably much higher but some of our US show breeders might address that. I can say that even a quality pet dog from a reputable breeder who does the proper health tests would not be likely to sell for under $1800-2500 (depending on location as it can vary by region) so I think far higher again for a show dog.

Also as you are guessing, you'd be unlikely to get a show quality dog from a breeder on anything but a joint ownership contract or with significant restrictions. And you'd definitely need to wait a least a year to get a dog from a reputable breeder; plus put in some time at club level to get to know breeders and to have them feel confident in placing a show dog. Really, it would make more sense perhaps since you say you do not know the breed at all or smaller dogs, to get a pet cavalier, see how you like the breed; learn more about pedigrees and conformation in this breed as thisd is really crucial foundation work, then work to make the contacts to go into showing the breed. :) Anyone willing to sell you a dog now, with no experience in the breed and no time in a club, is not going to be a reputable breeder or quality breeder and probably not a show breeder either or not one of much standing. It is not uncommon for a search for a pet quality puppy to take at least a year and unless you are established in the show world in a previous breed and known to a range of professional breeders, you'll likely find you will need to make a lot of contacts, find a reputable mentor in your local/regional club, and work towards the point where you have a dog worth showing. This would be the norm for most breeds though -- were the rottweiler breeders you worked with actual show breeders with some profile or people who said they were selling show or pet quality dogs as this may be a significant reason you say you had two strikes with those dogs? There are a lot of breeders out their who are of very poor quality who say they sell 'show dogs' and charge more for them -- I see it all the time on the websites of cavalier breeders who are clearly puppy mill brokers or backyard breeders claiming their dogs come from 'champion lines' but of course they don't show, the dogs' champion lines date back to dogs several generations back when pretty much any purebred of even poor quality will have 'champions' -- in short the breeding world is full of people ready to take advantage of people who don't realise how much work it actually takes to get a show dog and the time -- usually at least a year or two of breed club involvement -- it would take to find a mentor and learn enough to acquire a quality show potential dog. All I have heard and read and seen posted by the breeders here indicate this to be the case.

I am sure our breeder members will have some advice and insight to add as well but I am sure they would start by making the above points or similar. :thmbsup:

There shouldn't be any price difference between colours; it is just that fewer breed wholecolours so they can be harder to find. Also be aware that show people regularly say that wholecolours tend to win less frequently -- breeders say judges tend to favour particolours.

There's a whole thread on finding a good breeder in the Library section, which will list minimum health clearances (and note you need CARDIOLOGIST clearances not vet heart clearances plus the breeder needs to following the MVD protocol; also should be testing hips, eyes, patellas and consider seeking a breeder who MRIs breeding stock for syringomyelia, which affects a high proportion of the breed -- see www.smcavalier.com).

Here is the link: http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=11335

Key excerpt:

Here are some links to information on finding a reputable, responsible breeder of Cavaliers.

http://www.premiercavalierinfosite.com/howwherewhy.htm

http://www.dallarock.com/lookingforcavalier.htm

http://www.crimcav.com/Looking.html

http://www.woodhavencavaliers.com/buying.html

http://www.ckcsc.org/ckcsc/ckcsc_inc...breedinfo.html

You say:


but I hate the thought of giving up my dream again if a breeder sends me less than what it takes.

But it is important to realise a breeder cannot simply send you 'what it takes' -- a prospect is only a prospect. No breeder knows for sure how any dog will do in the ring at the time it is sold but starting with an excellent breeder and as a buyer, having put in at least a year on understanding the breed, learning about pedigrees, health issues, temperamnet and conformation, and building relationships with good breeders, will maximise your chances. But 'what it takes" is still going to depend on how the dog develops -- and much can go wrong! Also on how you train the dog and the dog's personality as it develops. Many dogs are shown; very few win. The chances are always that a show prospect will not win or only perform modestly. :thmbsup:

arasara
15th May 2007, 03:16 PM
I can't really answer anything about getting a cavalier to you because there are MUCH more knowledgable people on this site, but I do have something I would like to share with you.

I know you said you were intersted in Therapy work. Last night was Kosmo and I's first time out to a retirement living facility. We met with people who had alzheimers. Some were 100% coherent, and some not so much. Kosmo did SUCH a wonderful job. he was a little shy, yes, but after he was touched by any of the residents he would literally melt. I kept him in my arms and leaned him over their wheelchairs and beds so that they could pet him. I could tell right off the bat that this is something that he was born to do. Residents would lean over for kisses, talk baby talk, and they all wanted to feed him cookies. I had to chuckle when one resident started scratching his neck and he put it up and let out a groan. hehe. ;) Anyways, I guess the point is to tell you that from what I experienced last night, Cavaliers seem almost born to do therapy work! :) Good luck and hopefully someone can offer you advice on getting one of these precious little love sponges. ;)

Where are you from, by the way? :)

AT
15th May 2007, 03:23 PM
From what i've heard cavaliers are very tough in show competition so I assume it would be difficult for a novice to buy a top quality dog & win at the top with it, ( thats supposedly why a lot of cav people are now moving into the rarer breeds like charlies & the health screening requirments in cavs) blenhiem seems to be the prefered colour in the ring so a b/t would be even harder.

I think you need to go to a few shows & look at the cavaliers , learn the breed standard & what makes a puppy show potential, so you have a better idea what you are buying.

Bruce H
15th May 2007, 07:10 PM
Pretty tough to improve on what Karlin has said. I'll see if I can add just a little more to reinforce what has been said.

As someone who doesn't know a lot about the breed, you are going to have a tough time getting a good show potential puppy from a good breeder. Just like the rest of us people who show did, you are going to have to put in the time and effort to learn everything you can about the breed. Join a club. Go to the shows, both CKCSC and AKC shows. Talk to the people showing. Study what dogs win and what doesn't and try to understand teh difference (although, sometimes I don't always understand why a judge puts up what he does ;) ). What you want to do is get your face and name known by the breeders that are showing. Your goal is to find a fairly local breeder to mentor you and help you along.

As to getting a show potential puppy, it's just that: potential. Barbara Wilson (Laughing Cavaliers) gave my wife Kris a VERY long lecture when Kris inquired about a show quality puppy many years ago. No one can gaurantee show quality; any breeder can tell you about dogs they should have kept but sold and dogs they sold but should have kept. If Kris or I could look at a puppy and tell definately if it will be a champion, we would be very popular! When you talked about limited registration, I assume you meant a dog that is co-owned. I don't know of any good showing breeder that would sell a puppy for show that was not co-owned.

I know you are looking for something in a short time frame. I fear that may not be realistic if you want a puppy from a breeder with a history of showing. It took Kris and I a year to get our first Cavalier. She was a beautiful dog and we showed off and on and got a couple points. It was that first dog that got us hooked up with other breeders and gave us enough credibility in their eyes to enable us to get better dogs for the ring.

Got to get back to work so I can keep my job. Remember: time and patience.

sunshinekisses
15th May 2007, 10:39 PM
Thanks for the info...pretty much what I was thinking. I guess I will have to get to know some people. :)
So as far as pet quality what is a decent price range in US...we really didn't want to pay up toward $2000 without a full akc registration. Hey, I want to be able to jump in the show ring even if my pup is ugly. lol
Also, I understand every dog has a different personality but overall would you say cavaliers are people friendly toward strangers? I want an almost over friendly dog so I can do pet therapy as that is my main goal for new dog.

Belle
15th May 2007, 11:00 PM
When you talked about limited registration, I assume you meant a dog that is co-owned. I don't know of any good showing breeder that would sell a puppy for show that was not co-owned.


I was under the impression that Limited Registration meant just that : Limited. In the AKC Limited Registration means you can't show the dog and any offspring could not be registered. In the CKCSC USA there are different levels of registration restrictions.

So basically if you want to show, you'll need FULL registration. C

On the subject of co-owns (which have nothing to do with Limited vs Full registration), they can work out very well or can be nightmares. It just depends on who you co-own with and what the stipulations are. But don't rule out a co-own right away. Good luck with your search for your show potential puppy!

WoodHaven
15th May 2007, 11:01 PM
Thanks for the info...pretty much what I was thinking. I guess I will have to get to know some people. :)
So as far as pet quality what is a decent price range in US...we really didn't want to pay up toward $2000 without a full akc registration. Hey, I want to be able to jump in the show ring even if my pup is ugly. lol
Also, I understand every dog has a different personality but overall would you say cavaliers are people friendly toward strangers? I want an almost over friendly dog so I can do pet therapy as that is my main goal for new dog.

:o No good breeder is going to want you to show an ugly (I prefer the term "pet quality") cavalier with their kennel name on it. The cost of a pet quality cavalier here is 1800-2200 (midwest).

Newbies to cavaliers usually start with a nice male on a co-own and a healthy contract. (Easiest co-owns)

arasara
15th May 2007, 11:09 PM
Hmm.. I thought my response about pet therapy was pretty clear??

I guess not.

Cavaliers were bred to sit on people's laps. Nuff said :)

sunshinekisses
15th May 2007, 11:15 PM
"No good breeder is going to want you to show an ugly (I prefer the term "pet quality") cavalier with their kennel name on it."
Sorry...I thought showing/and or obedience was all for fun anyway....but I know what you mean, it was a joke. I understand being a novice I am going to make many mistakes and most likely won't champion the first dog I show but isn't this how someone learns? I am just weighing options right now. This will be my last dog for a long time so I want it to be everything. Maybe that dog only comes around once in someone's life.

So from what I have read I should be prepare for a few years wait on a dog because no one is willing to give a novice a nice dog?

Cathryn
15th May 2007, 11:20 PM
Hello!

Some very sound advice already, when I first started out I spent a good 12-18 months just attending the shows and looking at the dogs being shown, I would mark down the one's that really "filled my eye" and after a while a particular "type" emerged that I really liked, I approached the breeders of these dogs and was lucky enough to buy a puppy who did work out and do very well for me in the ring, (I am in the UK so a different system here) many people said his breeder had sold the wrong puppy and that had she been showing him he may have done even better, that dog is behind every one of my dogs today!!

Another thing I always say is that you can have a litter of say 5 pups, Champion parents, the breeder keeps the best dog and bitch from the litter and does very well with them, another is sold to another exhibitor who also does well in the ring with them, the last 2 pups are sold as pets, but all 5 dogs have the SAME Champion parented pedigree!

The last little tale I will tell you is from when I was looking for a Show potential puppy all those years ago, I rang the very well known UK breeder Molly Coaker (Homerbrent) who basically told me that if I wanted a show quality pup, the best thing I could do was to buy a brood bitch and try to breed one of my own!!

Show people like you to serve an "apprenticeship", they like to see you showing your own breeding and therefore your own perception of the breed standard, it is a long road with highs and lows, but you get to share it with some of best natured dogs in the world!

Hope this is of help?

sunshinekisses
15th May 2007, 11:23 PM
Thanks arasara...I read your response about pet therapy...I have also read alot about the cavalier in general and everything states temperament is"gay" which is exactly why I am interested. I just wanted to hear from real owners what they thought about the breed. I want an almost overly friendly dog and wanted to know if this is common or would I expect most cavalier to just be happy with their own family and not other people.

I also understand socialization goes a long way and am very prepared to over socialize. I read somewhere that a pup needs to meet at least 10 new people a week during 7-12 week period. (or was it 10 a day??) I plan on re-reading puppy parenting before we are actually going to get one.

WoodHaven
15th May 2007, 11:25 PM
"No good breeder is going to want you to show an ugly (I prefer the term "pet quality") cavalier with their kennel name on it."
Sorry...I thought showing/and or obedience was all for fun anyway....but I know what you mean, it was a joke. I understand being a novice I am going to make many mistakes and most likely won't champion the first dog I show but isn't this how someone learns? I am just weighing options right now. This will be my last dog for a long time so I want it to be everything. Maybe that dog only comes around once in someone's life.

So from what I have read I should be prepare for a few years wait on a dog because no one is willing to give a novice a nice dog?

There are fun matches and AKC A and B matches that are completely for training and fun. Showing dogs CAN be fun-- but many people have decades of work invested and some handlers have their very careers built on showing.

sunshinekisses
15th May 2007, 11:27 PM
Oh, I just wanted to add thanks for the advice already and the links for reading more on finding a breeder. I have a lot to read still and alot of people to start calling. I thought I was prepared for a two year wait but it seems like a long time when I am puppy hungry. :D

matties mum
15th May 2007, 11:29 PM
Just my two piece worth no Cavalier is ugly well not to me anyway----Aileen and the gang (Jazzie---Barney---Sam)

Cathryn
15th May 2007, 11:35 PM
Just my two piece worth no Cavalier is ugly well not to me anyway----Aileen and the gang (Jazzie---Barney---Sam)

Couldn't agree more! They are all totally gorgeous :luv:

WoodHaven
15th May 2007, 11:51 PM
Just my two piece worth no Cavalier is ugly well not to me anyway----Aileen and the gang (Jazzie---Barney---Sam)

LOL-- I knew she probably didn't mean "ugly"-- that is why I inserted "pet quality".

arasara
16th May 2007, 02:07 AM
OK so since I have two I will give you my two cents: :)

I would never ever worry about Kosmo biting/growling anybody ever. The other day we had 2 people over at our house. Kosmo was kissing one in the face while Faith was kissing and nibbling on the other one's ears. :rolleyes: Everybody that comes to my house or meets my dogs are totally in love with them. ;)

My trainer said it's important to have your dog meet 100 new people/dogs within their first year of life. :) I try to take them outside of my "area" at least twice a month. :)

Today I went walking with Faith. Keep in mind she is 6 months old. We seen a 1 year old boy across the street at a kids park and he was yelling "doggy doggy!" from across the street.. so I crossed with both of them. I was planning on picking up Faith and letting Kos see the boy because she's still very "puppy." I was surprised to see her sit down about 3 feet from him and actually wait for him to approach her. He kept petting her and she stayed still. If she got up to move and he came closer, she would immediately sit back down so that he could pet her. She was so incredibly gentle, I couldn't believe a 6 month old was doing this!! He then leaned over and kissed her nose (you know, kids!) and she kissed his back. It made me so happy to know that both of my dogs love people so much and that I don't have to worry in the least bit about them. They are both very friendly and social. I have heard a few times that Cavaliers are "made" for therapy work and I totally believe it! :dogwlk:

Hope that helps :thmbsup:

Scouty girl
16th May 2007, 12:46 PM
All of the advice above is excellent!! I didn't attend dog shows, but I read as much information about Cavaliers as I could get my hands on. This does not in anyway match what an experience breeder dedicated to the breed can show and tell you.

I waited three years before I made my final decision. It was a long wait, but well worth it. Scout is the sweetest little dog in the world. She loves everyone and everyone just loves her.

I was sitting outside on my deck last week with Scout and Breeze and the neighbor drove by, he stopped about two houses away and backed up just to see Scout and Breeze. Cavaliers really are everything that you read about them.

I know two or three years seems like a lifetime when you want something. I'm a ....I want something and I want it now....kind of person and you cannot be that way while searching for a puppy. I however, believe that I supported a backyard breeder when I purchased Scout. I do regret that. It is very easy to get caught up in these people since there are so many of them.

When I saw Scout all I could think is, if I don't take her will she be sent back to the 'breeder' and have lots of puppies, the thought of that brought tears to my eyes. So I bought her and I love her like she's a champion.

Good luck, take your time, slow down, your conscience will be clear and you will have a very healthy puppy from a reputable breeder.