View Full Version : puppy or 1 year old?

29th July 2007, 09:44 PM
I'm a lurker waiting for the right time and puppy to come along.
I have an opportunity to get a 1 year old ruby boy. Do you think a year old puppy is a good way to go? I'm concerned that the puppy won't bond as well as a younger one would. I have two childre, 6 and 10. I really want a dog that will bond with my older son and be a best buddy for him. He has a minor learning disability which has caused him to lose some of his self confidence recently. So, opinions please. Young puppy or older one?

29th July 2007, 09:58 PM
Welcome! :)

For your situation I'd definitely, definitely recommend the one year old pup. Believe me this breed has NO problems bonding! I rehome adults all the time, and even with dogs as old as 11, they fit right in anf have plenty of love to go around. As the man says who took the 11 year old, 'you'd think we'd spent a lifetime together'.

An older dog will be much easier for you with young children and more robust for active kids. Don't underestimate how hard a puppy is -- it will be a full time job, like a toddler for the first 9 months or so, and I tend to recommend an older dogs for families with younger children because of this as it is so easy to underestimate the work involved and the time needed to devote solely to your puppy. With two kids, and a child with a learning diability, I'd think you will greatly appreciate geting a dog just that little bit older so that all the harder aspects of having a puppy (as charming as puppies are! :)) will be more or less over. And the older dog will be an instant companion for your older boy. Young puppies need a lot of 'alone time' and really are not suitable for constant play with children -- especially this breed as they are very small.

29th July 2007, 09:58 PM

There are many good reasons to buy an older puppy, first of all they are already lead trained and will be house trained too although do expect the odd accident. Also you won't be quite so worried about the children being too rough with a small puppy.

You will have no problems with a 1 year old bonding within your family either, I have homed dogs older than that with my parents and they settle in just fine, my parents are very well trained Cavalier Pets now!! :lol:

Could you arrange to go and visit this dog with your children? This should give you some idea of how he behaves with young children and also give you a good idea of how your children would behave with him too!!

Personnally I wouldn't discount the idea of this dog, hope this is of help to you??

29th July 2007, 10:13 PM
I have to say the idea of housebreaking a puppy scares me. It's good to know that a cavalier will bond at any age. Good points about an older pup being a bit bigger and less likely to get hurt.

29th July 2007, 10:19 PM
Our little girl is one year old. It is alot of work, but my children are a little older and were able to help. I think for your situation a 1 year old be perfect. Especially, if he is housebroken. He will adapt and fit in really quick! Good luck and let us know!

29th July 2007, 10:21 PM
And... most important... PICTURES! :lol:

Cathy T
29th July 2007, 11:32 PM
The 1 year old sounds perfect!!! And everyone is right...it doesn't matter what age they are...if you love them they will bond with you. Just spent the day with two seniors I placed last year (now both 8 years old) and boy are they bonded with their mom...and get along great with their little blenheim sister.

I would go for it if it's a good match.

29th July 2007, 11:37 PM
I recently got a 9 month old Ruby and I have a 21 month old Blenheim that I got a 9 weeks..They are both bonded with me and me with them even tho I've only had the one for about 6 weeks..

30th July 2007, 02:04 AM
Hi Donna,

Over the years I've had many dogs, mainly puppies, but I have also adopted 2 older dogs. One an 18 month Boxer many years ago, and more recently a 2 1/2 year old Cavalier.

I can quite honestly say that both these dogs bonded to me as though they'd been with me all of their lives. As the others have said, Cavaliers seem to bond very tightly and a little quote I heard, relating to Cavalier's comes to mind.... "I love the one I am with!"

I agree that with the age of your children you might be better off with the older dog. :flwr:

30th July 2007, 10:16 AM
Just on this general topic, I personally feel it is a common misunderstanding that older dogs bond less intensely than a puppy. It really depends on so many things -- the personality and background of the dog being one aspect, and the nature of the person or people taking the dog as well.

I actually think the dogs who bond most closely are rescue dogs who come from backgrounds where they were mistreated or mostly ignored, and/or where they had very dull and unchallenging environments. Also: you don't always want a dog that bonds overly closely -- as sometimes this can mean excessive attachment that produces searation anxiety. What you really want is a happy, confident dog that you can welcome into a happy caring home. :)

In my house at the moment, I have my dog I've had from 8.5 weeks, one from the same breeder I got just short of 9 months, a rescue cavalier from the pound, and I've had various rescue fosters. I wouldn't say any single one is less closely bonded though they bond in different ways. Jaspar who I had as a puppy is intensely bonded in a way that is excellent for training and agility -- but then, he is a single-minded dog of high intelligence and this may actually be more important that how he bonded to me. Leo came at 9.5 months from a kennel background and is also intensely bonded but a very low key dog. Lily was probably 1-2 when I got her from the pound and she was extremely neglected. She has a certain independence the others don't, but I have never seen a dog work so hard to do whatever was asked of her, and she too is intensely bonded. And fosters I often find are the most overtly bonded of all -- especially if they have come from a deprived background. Jaspar isn't necessarily the type of bonding some people would want -- he is not happy if I am out of eyesight (though he can be left on his own with no problem -- but he'll shriek if I leave a room to go to the bathroom for example). I call him my ADD dog; he's my great joy but not everyone would want a dog bonded this intensely in this aprticular way. :lol:

I know many people who do competitive agility do it with rescue dogs, collies or mixed breeds, because they feel such dogs bond most closely. :)

So there's really such a range of response. I've yet to meet a cavalier who doesn't quickly make itself at home and respond to those in the family who are most ready to play and spend time. That's often the more mature children, hence kids and dgs will almost always get a very good bond. :)

30th July 2007, 10:58 AM
Cavaliers fall in love with everyone they meet on first sight so there shouldnt be a problem with bonding .

I agree with karlin , rescue dogs appreaciate you more.

30th July 2007, 01:36 PM
Here's the little guy I may get in Sept. He isn't neutered. I'd have it done right away. will he have any spraying issues since it's a little late to be done?



30th July 2007, 01:37 PM
The pics didn't go through. I tried to cut and paste from an email. Any other suggestions on getting them to show?

30th July 2007, 03:27 PM
We took on smudge at age 3 after his owner (an elderly lady) sadly died.
After the life of a couch potato he adjusted brilliantly and absolutely adores playing with children.We had no problems at all and he is now 5

30th July 2007, 04:30 PM
Cavaliers fall in love with everyone they meet on first sight so there shouldnt be a problem with bonding .

I don't necessarily agree with this. In general, I agree with everyone in that a younder dog may be easier than a puppy. However, I think the big question here is has this younger dog been exposed to children at all?
Our Abbey came to us from a couple with kids. They wanted a younger dog rather than a puppy and got her from a breeder....who hadn't exposed her to kids, so she was terrified of them and never did warm up to them...hence this couple re-homing her to us. We've worked with her for over two years in helping her warm up to kids and strangers, it's been a long struggle and she still isn't willing to let most people touch her. She wasn't properly socialized and as a result she's very scared of most people--she has a handful of people that are around her enough that she trusts.

30th July 2007, 05:11 PM
if you can go and meet the dog first before deciding, that would be best. If you can't, ask the person you are getting the dog from detailed questions about bonding and personality.

I looked at a number of cavaliers before i got Zack who was 4 months old. i was looking for an older puppy, up to 6 months, but was not against an older dog if i found the right one.

I think most dogs, and cavaliers in particular, bond strongly with people, they are pack animals to their core. But like any species, they vary as to personality, that's why i would ask some specific questions.

I say this because of one experience i had, where i found a 6 month old blenheim boy from an excellent breeder, their dogs had longevity, minimal to absent MVD, all the health checks and records were done regularly, the breeder was highly recommended.

I had seen quite a few cavaliers at that point, none from a reputable breeder, so i was ready to buy that dog. They also had a 1 year old blenheim boy, same parents different litter. I was not prepared for how unfriendly both of those dogs were, especially the younger one, but neither one had much interest in people. They happily played with each other and with their toys, in a separate room much of the time. The breeder was not able to entice them to come near us, i was there for at least an hour, sitting on the floor in the living room along with the breeder and her mother. The dogs, and especially the younger, acted very nervous and avoidant of us, especially of me, but not really wanting to be near any of us; he had wildness about his behavior, very hyper, and would come around us but not near enough to touch, not wanting to be touched. I don't know if this would've changed with time in a new home, but i wasn't going to pay well over $2000 for a companion dog who was acting that way. The breeder commented on how he was acting and said something about a lack of socialization. Perhaps this was the result of growing up around other dogs and bonding with the litter mates and parents and other siblings and spending not enough time playing and bonding with people.

She said they were not keeping him because he had an undescended testicle. He was not neutered. Maybe neutering would've mellowed him?

This was just one example and was the exception. All of the other cavaliers i met were people friendly, each in their own way, each has its own personality, but i learned from that experience to not assume anything. On the phone before i met the dog, the breeder described him as affectionate, or anyway, she said he put his paws around your neck and hugged you when you picked him up. I thought he was going to be just the dog for me. He might've been perfect for someone else, a child might be good with him, jumping around and playing a lot. I was looking for something different.

Before i got one, I had gotten to know my daughter's cavalier, Belle, who was chosen because she crawled up in my daughter's lap at the breeder while the other puppy was not as interested in connecting, and Belle is that way, she loves to be held. She is independent too, she's not clingy, but she is pretty quiet and calm. She will lie on her back and whimper for joy when you come home.

Zack, by comparison, is much more active and playful, he will bring the ball to be fetched off and on all day, and is excited and intense, but not what i'd call hyper, he also likes to cuddle and snuggle, and follows me around the house, to the bathroom, to all the chores, wherever. I don't know what he does when i'm not there but when i'm home he hardly sleeps, for hours, most of the day. He may lay still for long times but with his eyes open. Belle is not like this, and i think most dogs sleep more when inactive.

The first cavalier i looked at, and seriously considered getting, was a blenheim female who was approaching 6 months old. She liked human attention, and when i stood talking to the woman who was selling her, she sat on the ground in front of us and barked at the woman, she wanted to be picked up and held. But she could be independent too. I was hesitant about getting a dog who would demand attention by barking. I live in an apartment. But she was sociable, that's for sure. I guess that is a question i would ask, is he sociable, what kind of typical behaviors does he have in relation to people, what are his likes and dislikes, what's his personality like, compared to other dogs, does he bark much, has he been trained or socialized at all, has he spent more of his time with other dogs or with people. but i definitely agree with others who have said that older dogs can bond powerfully with a family, and have big advantages over a puppy in terms of the work involved, the amount of continuous attention needed, and sturdiness as a playmate for kids. I wanted an older puppy because i have a full time job outside the home and the older the dog, the better they are able to cope with being alone for periods of time.

30th July 2007, 06:12 PM
I don't necessarily agree with this. In general, I agree with everyone in that a younder dog may be easier than a puppy. However, I think the big question here is has this younger dog been exposed to children at all?

I should have said typical cavaliers love everyone.

my sisters tri girl only likes me & a neighbour , she wont have anything to do with anyone else .But her temperment certainly isnt how cavaliers usually are or should be.

30th July 2007, 06:15 PM
I should have said typical cavaliers love everyone.

my sisters tri girl only likes me & a neighbour , she wont have anything to do with anyone else .But her temperment certainly isnt how cavaliers usually are or should be.

Typically, for any breed, it's all in what they're exposed to. All breeds have a very short window for socialization, and during this time if they're not exposed to different elements, it's going to be difficult for them, not matter what breed.

30th July 2007, 08:37 PM
That's a good point about there being a strong element of how a dog has been socialised and also bred. But breed temperament is a big factor too. :) We are lucky to like a breed that has several hundred years of genes all inclined to make any dog want to bond very closely to people and to be warm and friendly toward all. In my experience now with about 50-60 rescue cavaliers and Irish cavaliers met through the board and through classes, I've encountered very few shy dogs and only have heard of a single aggressive cavalier. Even the most cowed puppy farm dogs so far have eventually blossomed. For a small breed that could be potentially very intimidated, they are amazingly resilient, and strongly hard-wired to love people. :lotsaluv:

30th July 2007, 09:26 PM
I'm convinced that a lot of Abbey's behaviors aren't so much shying away as they are not wanting to be touched because of her being sensitive or in pain from COSM. Anything over her head/neck area is off limits, she won't let anyone but Cheri or I touch there, probably because she knows we're going to be gentle. Of the few people that can touch her, we've told them to try her chest or back, and she seems fine with it.
With our next Cav, it will be intersting to see the difference in one that actually seeks out attention. At least we have Gus to do that, he's not going to let anyone get by him!:rolleyes:

30th July 2007, 09:53 PM
I think I'm going to ask if we can meet a few times with my kids there and see how the dog acts. I don't think he's been around kids that much. He is beautiful. Such a rich ruby color! He's 15 pounds, which I think is a bit bigger than average?
Thanks for all the responses! I'll let you know what we decide.

Denise G.
30th July 2007, 10:02 PM
I totally agree that the socialization aspect is very important. Mia is sweet to the bone, but evidently wasn't socialized as a puppy and so she is very shy of people and terrified of children. She's good with me and one of my good friends who she has stayed with when I'm out of town. But she would never venture up to a stranger on her own. At the dog park, she'll occasionally tentatively approach a stranger, but if they stoop down to pet her, she darts away. This makes me sort of sad when I see it. It's like very few people get to see the Mia I see. She's so funny and cute and SO sweet. Most people don't see that side of her, unfortunately. Though I wouldn't trade her for anything...ever--I'll know better what to look for in the way of socialization with my next pup.

Good luck--we want to see pictures! :)

31st July 2007, 01:53 AM
Donna -
Actually 15 lbs is right in the middle of the breed standard - from 12-18 lbs. He sounds perfect!

Here is how I get my pictures to show. First upload to photobucket.
Then when you want to put a picture in your post, copy the URL that starts with [img] and paste it.

Can't wait to see him!

31st July 2007, 08:14 PM
My Maggie was 81/2 months old when we brought her home. She really didn't have that much socialization before hand, spent those months in a kennel. The only consistent human contact was with the breeder, who kept her that long in hopes of breeding her, but she turned out to be on the small side - 11 lbs.

I worried she would have real issues, but when the breeder turned her over to me, she jumped up on my leg and begged me to pick her up. She is an absolute love sponge, taking every opportunity to curl up on my lap or settle in the crook of my husband's neck when he's sleeping.

The fact that she was kenneled for so long means she's wonderfully crate trained so she doesn't make a fuss when we put her in it.

And she adores children...they are her favourite people, I think because they are closer to her in size.