View Full Version : Please help!!! Is this really the most important thing

13th September 2007, 04:36 PM
Yesterday I was really in a bad state with leaky eyes and heavy heart. But, so many kind and considerate CTFers came back to tell me not to give up trying to find a pup.

My final question for all that have a Cavalier. Is it written in stone that a physical fence is required to own a Cavalier? I was under the impression they made good indoor companions and for people that don't own homes and live in apartments.

Granted a responsible owner would have to walk a dog on a regular daily basis. Not only for the pup to do its business, but also exercise not excluding socializing with others, be it 4 or 2 legged kind!

I just had a owner/groomer turn me down for a lanky dog that did not meet her expectations as a potential show dog. She's a Blenheim 11 months old and the owner flat out turned me down because I don't have a fence!

Does everyone here on the forum live in a home with a fenced in yard? Any of you live in an apartment? How do you exercise your dog on a day-to-day?

Sad and now confused:(

13th September 2007, 04:46 PM
I do have a fence but there are lots of folks on the list who do not. I think lots of breeders and rescue groups prefer to have folks with fences because it gives them a comfort level that their "charges" will be able to be outside to run and play. I think you need to have a plan for how you are going to get exercise for your little one, including walks, trips to any dog parks in the area (particularly if it has a small dog area) or some other public area that is fenced where dogs can run, taking your dog to training classes, visits to relatives or friends who do have yards, etc. I personally hate to see good homes turned down because of lack of a yard but I do understand that if there are two folks who seem like equally good families why some breeders and/or rescues would pick the fence. My advice is to be prepared to address the question with care and thoughtfulness. And again, and I know this is hard, remember "patience is a virtue . . . ."

13th September 2007, 04:53 PM
Breeders are allowed to have their own criteria when homing their pets. If I have 20 homes to pick from -- 6 are local-- 2 have fences-- I am likely to home the pup with the local home with a fence. Now if there was a superior home without a fence-- I would home the pup there. I've only homed 2 pups without a fence. One lives locally in a town that doesn't allow fences. I did a home check and they convinced me that they had the time to properly housetrain the pup. The other home is in downtown Chicago-- again to someone who is home 90% of the day.

13th September 2007, 04:59 PM
I don't have a fence, but I walk Lucky a lot and have a dog walker who gives him a walk during the day when I'm at work. It's certainly possible to have a Cavalier without a fence. I know of a lot of people who do.

That said, it really does take an extra level of dedication because you need to go out in the bitter cold too with the dog during the winter and also on days when you don't really feel good :-) But you can make it work ... you just need to find the right dog and the right breeder. It will happen for you, I'm sure. Just try to be patient.


13th September 2007, 05:02 PM
Sandy, Phyllis, & Lani. Granted your argument makes good common sense.

So what about the 1% individuals that are home all day long with no companionship except themselves? Or maybe a retiree or fulltime housewife with a home and no fence.

13th September 2007, 05:04 PM
Grrrr.... I am finding a older now not a pup and the owner is a showing her dogs, but this one was a disappointment. She just said no fence no dog and hung up on me. What's more important breeder first or pup first???

13th September 2007, 05:04 PM
That's a real shame but I have to say at least you are on tract to finding a breeder who cares. I know how hard you are working at getting a good puppy from a good breeder and you are soaking up all the good advice you are getting. All credit to you. You're going to make a great owner ;) Hang in there. Won't be long hopefully.

13th September 2007, 05:23 PM
But, I care more importantly! I didn't just chose a Cavalier because it's cute even though is the icing on the cake. I know I would be out at all hours of the night the 1st year not to mention 3 feet of snow and rain half the time!

I am starting to really resent now! Too much land, NO SHOPPING, now NO fur companions??? *sniff* and *crying* Home 24 hours a day alone behind a stupid computer!:mad:

13th September 2007, 05:44 PM
Well, I can;t comment on your personal situation -- that is between you and your husband. :lol:

But I do think breeders have the right to be as picky as they choose in homing dogs. They are their dogs, they put enormous care and money into breeding, and they want a home that fits their own criteria. This can vary widely but many have a strict policy in areas like fenced gardens, working homes, and/or young children.

I know as a rescue I have criteria that upset many who apply to me for cavaliers (probably half of applicants will not be considered for a dog; primarily those planning to leave the dog in agarden during the day and a shed or run day or night :( ). I do not however, think fences/gardens are an issue and for most Europeans this requirement would mean the vast majority of dogs would never get homes. :lol: Yet I'd argue most dogs living in apartments in France, Germany, wherever in Europe, have a very high quality of life superior to what many living in homes with fenced gardens would EVER have. A person can travel throughout Europe with dogs and bring them to MOST hotels (outside of Ireland and the UK!), many restaurants, most public locations -- and they are far more a part of day to day life than those left to amuse themselves in gardens. Many will routinely get a midday walk, and a morning and evening walk.

My requirement is rather for people to show me 1) that a landlord will ALLOW a dog and 2) that they have firm plans in place for caring for the dog when at work. I am much pickier about point 2 when working homes apply, and about placing dogs in home with children under 5. But I fully reserve the right to be as picky as I like about placing my rescues as diligently as a good breeder places his/her puppies.

Hence: it DOES take time to find the right match and in the US waiting a year or more is not unusual. There's no point in arguing that a breeder's homing standards are unfair -- they are his/her 'products' with incredible time, money and heart and soul invested in each one, and they have every right to make decisions on what suits their particular standards for homing. They do differ however.

PS I should add that I have three dogs and four cats living in an all-indoor environment as I have only a small side yard (about the size of a large American bathroom!!) and no garden. I happily home to apartment dwellers under the criteria noted above. I would be more cautious about unfenced yards where there is traffic -- I'd want a serious talk with the person but it wouldn't be an issue necessarily. Keep looking; you will find the right dog and person. :)

13th September 2007, 05:45 PM
aloha, please hang tight, YOUR pup is out there he/she just needs to find you. I live in hawaii and it was a real pain to find a dog, it took well over a year for me to finially find one. I would have loved to rescue but we really don't have any rescue cav's on my island and rarely on the others. I couldn't bring a pup or dog to the island without it meeting some very strict standards that pretty much nixed that idea, not to mention it would be a long airplane ride in cargo. there was a tri male on petfinders that was there for months and months on end. I was so sad everytime I pulled it up and it was still there, most rescue groups not only want you to have a fence, they want you to live within a certian radius of them. that really put it out of the question for me. I did write a post about this rescue tri wishing I could apply for him on another board. several members then contacted the person taking care of him and she was really most unhelpful. I knew I didn't have a shot, put the people that called to ask about this little man were discouraged at how this lady was. I guess what I am saying is that some do put on overly hard rules for their animals, but you will find a good dog it just seems to take forever. just keep seeking out breeders you will find one. hang tight.

13th September 2007, 05:56 PM
icon_blshing... That came out wrong for all that don't know me.

13th September 2007, 06:57 PM
Point taken in. Understood it's the breeders right because it is their dogs, money, and time.

Necessary Qualifications for Any Breed

Breeder(s) must like you first.
Other breeder must also agree. (otherwise SOL)
Must be within a 2 hour driving radius of breeder.
Home with fence in yard.
No fence in yard no pedigree.
Vast acreage need not apply.
No under age children.
Older children preferred.
Must be home 24 hours a day.
No employment outside of home.
Stay at home care giver need not apply.

Alrighty then... I just spoke to the CNE referral person. She had the same attitude. No fence in yard and if you dare to work? No companion for you!:(

Enough. :bang: I won't qualify for any rescues or a full price paid for animal. Bottomline I am wasting my time. My companions are 6 computers, 4 printers, and enough acreage to build 10 family homes. Solitude was meant to be. Best be getting ready to give my husband back to his daughter in the Netherlands. :neutral:

13th September 2007, 08:10 PM
Definately hang in there - you will find a breeder who has more of an open mind and will get to know you first before deciding yes or no based on (in my mind) a minor detail like a fence. We live in an apartment in the middle of a big city and had a little bit of trouble with the fence question but luckily met a breeder who interviewed me on the phone for an hour and then interviewed my husband and I at her home for another 2 hours and really spent that time getting to know us rather than abrasively rattling off the standard breeder questions. At the end of the whole process she said how when she started out she would only give dogs to people who were home during the day, lived in the country with a lot of land, and had a fenced in yard but she said that over the years she realized that good homes are made by the people who love her dogs and not by the facts on paper. I used to get very frustrated as well because breeders can be very rude at first until they realize that you are a good person and just want to offer a dog a loving forever home. In terms of not having a yard and having a dog its no big deal if you are willing to commit to spending a lot of your day walking them. We live right next to three awesome dog walking areas (one being a huge park where she can run) and our situation works out great. My husband takes her out to go potty in the morning before work and then I take her for a brief 10 min morning walk before I leave for work (which is 4 hours later than my husband :-p) and then my husband comes home from work and takes her out for a nice long walk/play and then we do that again when I get home later that evening. She is always super excited to go outside and see all her doggie friends out in the city! We always see the same people and its great for us and for her - we get out and enjoy the town much more than we did prior to her and she gets to be the little social butterfly that she is! I think walks are much better for dogs on a daily basis than just being let out into a yard by themselves because its much more social and disciplined. It is a lot more work to have a dog without a yard and I might just eat my words when winter comes along but so far so good!! Hang in there :-)

13th September 2007, 09:38 PM
Alrighty then... I just spoke to the CNE referral person. She had the same attitude. No fence in yard and if you dare to work? No companion for you!:(

Enough. :bang: I won't qualify for any rescues or a full price paid for animal. Bottomline I am wasting my time. My companions are 6 computers, 4 printers, and enough acreage to build 10 family homes. Solitude was meant to be. Best be getting ready to give my husband back to his daughter in the Netherlands. :neutral:

First off the person you spoke to is obviously NOT the right person for this job, or you caught her at a bad time!

Secondly, don't you DARE give up on your quest for a Cavalier!!! My Sister lives in the States and has NO Fence, hubby at home most of the time admittedly, but she has a dog and a big one at that!!

I really hate how folks try to make a square peg fit into a round hole etc, etc.
:swear: PLEASE keep trying, your precious baby is out there for you, reading your posts, I would happily home one of my babies to you in a heartbeat! :lotsaluv: Don't give up hope please? :hug: :hug:

13th September 2007, 10:35 PM
I haven't read all posts but I just told my daughter your problem and she said, just fence off some of the garden. Could you contain some of your garden round the back of the house including the back door so you can just open it to let pup out for toilet? Maybe 20 to 30 foot square.


14th September 2007, 01:34 AM
<<There's no point in arguing that a breeder's homing standards are unfair>>

I will have to soundly argue this point. Why?

I know of a man who keeps "rescuing" dogs whom he lets out into a small fenced yard 2x/day for several hours. He's only home maybe 60 minutes/day total to clean up after them. They are so full of scars from being large dogs in a small area (they fight). But he can continue to "rescue" them because he owns his home and has a fence.

Another woman I know tried to adopt. She's a behaviorist at a vet clinic and usually has her dogs with her. She was denied adoption because she had no fence.

Granted, most good breeders have stricter standards than the above, but a fence does not make a great home!

I live in an apartment by a lake. Dogs swim all the time, and there's a dog park as well in the complex. People specifically tell me how happy my dog looks. I hope people in the future will not automatically say no to no fence, but that's unlikely.

14th September 2007, 02:05 AM
<<There's no point in arguing that a breeder's homing standards are unfair>>

I will have to soundly argue this point. Why?

Because every breeder has the right to set the minimums they are comfortable with for someone getting THEIR pup. Whether it is the number of hours alone, fencing issues, or young children, every person in charge of placing a living being in a home has a responsibility to that animal. We are all people who are shaped by our experiences. I do rescue and I've seen what happens to dogs that aren't homed properly.
No one said having a fence made a home a good choice.

14th September 2007, 02:10 AM
I think many of the basic requirements are very sound *as a starting point*.

For example: only in very special cases would I ever home a cavalier to a family with children under 5. It's because I know how demanding small children are, how small and therefore vulnerable cavaliers are, how difficult it can be for parents to supervise interactions, how *reluctant* many parents are to believe their small children could cause problems (but something as seemingly innocuous as a hug from a toddler can easily result in a severe bite to the face from the friendliest dog) -- and correspondingly, the fact that they therefore do NOT supervise. And two key facts -- at least half the cavaliers I have given to me by people directly for rescue come from families with small children who 'don't have time for the dog' or find it way too difficult to manage a dog and toddlers; or who have a child handling the dog too roughly. So out of personal experience, I am exceedingly cautious, and this really annoys people with young children who tell me they were told cavaliers are the perfect dog for small children. :sl*p:

The search for a breeder *on average* in the US takes about a year -- so by any means you are really just starting a search and should not be put off by some or even many refusals. Different breeders have different philosophies and a lot will depend not just on those philosophies but how you present your own message about what you have to offer. If you really want a cavalier then you may need to consider fencing part of those many acres of land as this looks like it will be a recurring issue.

I actually would far more easily home to someone in an apartment with no garden then to someone with land and no fencing at all because the dog is far more likely to take off if let out or find its way to a road for example -- whereas an apt dweller is going to have to walk that dog regularly just so it can do its business, and it will almost certainly have to be on a lead. So my dilemma would be: how much could I trust someone with land and no fences to manage this dog responsibly and not eventually relax and just pop it unsupervised out the door? For many breeders especially if they are many hours from you, that's a tough call. Either I'd be looking for the person to fence part of that land or I'd really have to be confident that they would not be letting the dog out to run around on its own.

One of the other reasons for a two-hour drive limit is I'm sure, the exact same I have -- I cannot homecheck homes that are further than that -- it simply takes too much time and effort. And if a dog doesn't work out, it is a pain to have to go try and retrieve it.

In other words these usually aren't just arbitrary rules for the breeder or rescue; they are formed from long experience and best practice. But everyone has different personal rules and you'll need to find the right person and perhaps start to consider some concessions to making your home match what most people will want in order to consider placing a dog. :thmbsup:

PS The ones to worry about are the ones with no demands at all, who ask you nothing except whether you'll be paying by cheque or charge. :-|

Cathy T
14th September 2007, 03:13 AM
Couldn't have said it better Karlin!

14th September 2007, 03:37 AM
I am offering the equivalent of the a city dweller who has an apartment residence without access to a fenced yard for children. My prior pup was my joy and he was never allowed outside without my supervision. I say this because we have huge owls larger than 18" tall swooping down to carry off a small animal prey such as squirrels and other rodents. The prevalence of eagles, coyotes, and bears are also part of the animal residences in my neighborhood. They may be innocuous to two-legged humans walking during the day, but it is not beyond them to carry off a small puppy that is not supervised! I don't care if a Cavalier was full grown or not. He is not going to be allowed outside in fenced yard beyond my scope of vision. I would die from fright just to save him from being carried off or devoured like a small morsel. It would make me an equivalent horrible parent anywhere in this world that are negligent with small children. Assuming they are safe in their cribs while they gossip away on the telephone or just out of the room for a moment! I am sure many had or witness accidents without physical supervision of small children. That being said, my pup needs to be under close supervision within my vision even while at play or romping around in a temporary small pen of 10'x10' with a large patch of sod outdoors. I treat my companions not unlike parents who have small children. If anything I fear being a parent because I have always been overprotected of my pedigree Persians who are gone over 20 years from me. They lived a life of royalty and so did my puppy. My husband was envious of the devotion and care I showered my pup. He said this all with a big smile on his face. The puppy adored him because all dogs love my husband! He is an equivalent of a large fuzzy dog and he had dogs all his life!
As for the 2-3 hour drive for rescues? I understand the hardship it would be for retrieval of a homed animal that did not work out with a family. I just think they should not include my state of residence today as part of a collective when one has no hope for adopting an abandon soul that would benefit the love and care of the one instead of the whole.
I didn't asked to be judged I asked to interviewed questioned to show I was committed fulltime to loving a fur companion more than I would afford another human being. Animals deserve me more than I dare say any of my family? For goodness sake they are small defenseless animals that have been domesticated by humans. I am not one to abandon any living being in my care! As for a 20-30 foot enclosure of a fenced yard? That was also rejected by many interviewers! ;):dogwlk:
I just needed rant. I am not trying to declare war on reputable breeders and rescuers. I want breeders to honestly talk to me as a hopeful candidate for those that need a forever home and would welcome my companionship and love.
Is that too much to ask for? :confused:
Thank you all for your response. It just made me all that much more determined to prove I am competent to love and care for the living inhabitants of this planet! :paw::paw:
Have a good evening :paw: & :flwr: for all!

14th September 2007, 09:45 AM
As for a 20-30 foot enclosure of a fenced yard? That was also rejected by many interviewers!

That's not fair! My garden is about 30-40 foot long and it's plenty big enough. How bog a garden do they require?

14th September 2007, 02:27 PM
I'll probably take some heat for saying this, but I WANT to help. Truly, I do.

I believe that like attracts like. If I am stressed and upset, I will attract stressful situations into my day. If I am happy and carefree, I will have wonderful day. I know this to be true because when I worked in customer service on the days I went into work stressed, unhappy or feeling grouchy I had the worst customers NO MATTER how kind and sweet I was to them, on the inside I was feeling grouchy and I am SURE my energy sent them my way. BUT! If I was happy and carefree.....I'd get the sweetest, kindest customers.

I think that if you are approaching breeders feeling stressed, unhappy and desparate for a puppy, the breeders are going to sense that. I believe that you need to find peace and BELIEVE & KNOW that you WILL find the puppy that is meant to come your way when the time is right. When you approach a breeder with peace in your life, and in your heart, I am sure the breeder will feel this peace coming from you and want their puppy to go where the energy feels good. The universe will help this happen. KNOW that the puppy is on its way to you. Find comfort in your knowing. Don't stress about the timing, the puppy will come. Prepare for the puppy in your life.

:) Just trying to help.

14th September 2007, 02:51 PM
Thanks, Lynn.:flwr:

It just wasn't fair in last 3 situations. It's like saying "but, but, but..." and they don't want to give you an alternative. Searching most of the year was fine until this last few weeks. Search, referrals, list, and wait stuff all made sense. Just the interpretation or high expectations from breeders should have been written down in black and white. Believe me I don't set out on a mission just to deliberately hit a break wall.

Due diligence should be removed from my characteristic. :)

15th September 2007, 09:30 AM
I have a fenced in garden but saying that my lot are really never out in the garden they prefer going on walks. The only time mine are out there is first thing in the morning to relieve themselves and when i have to go out to the line or bin. If i was to put mine out in the garden and shut the door on them i think they would knock down the door to get back in. They do like it on a sunny day they will sit on the picnic bench and stretch out but then i am sitting beside them.

15th September 2007, 09:45 AM
Dylan plays for ages in the garden, he eats my plants, rolls in the grass, runs up and down with his ball on a rope, steals and shreds my hospital paper work I need for Wednesday... yes he loves the garden. :rolleyes:

15th September 2007, 10:18 AM
I only have a small garden, again they prefer a walk to the garden. They only go in the garden in a morning and last thing at night unless the weather is good and then they will sit outside with me.

16th September 2007, 02:19 AM
Hi, this is my first post here! :) We have a one-year-old blenheim named Sasha.

We do not have a fenced in yard... as a result, Sasha is not allowed outside off-leash. We have two acres so I wouldn't let her out unsupervised anyway, due to animals like hawks, owls, raccoons, etc.

It was difficult in the winter, standing outside in the freezing rain & snow was especially unpleasant!

We got one of those electric fences & it helped Sasha to learn not to charge out the door. She also seems to know the boundaries, but we still are afraid to let her out off-leash even w/ this "fence"... she chases everything that moves & we're afraid she'd bust through while chasing something. As a result, we're out there w/ her, w/ the leash.

We've been thinking of fencing off part of the yard so she can run around off-leash.

16th September 2007, 04:53 AM
Welcome to the board. :) At the risk of seeming very grumpy after a first post, though :lol:, I have to say that electric fences are controversial and really divide people.

Simply walking the dog on a leash, as you are clearly doing very successfully :thmbsup:, is far preferable to using an electronic fence I think -- for my own part at least, I would never home a dog to a situation with an electric fence for so many reasons. To start with, from working in rescue I've seen dogs wearing electric collars regularly in the pound -- if they see something they really want to chase, they will go right thru, get shocked, and won't cross the barrier to come back. It is really sad because many of these dogs are never reclaimed but obviously someone took the time to put one of those collars on... to no avail.

It sounds like you are using it mainly as a door barrier but be sure you know what the negatives are to their use. Electronic collars have been known to malfunction and burn thru the necks of dogs and also can cause behaviour problems. I always suggest anyone considering using one at least put it on themselves and set it on the *highest* setting. Then walk through the barrier to feel what the dog feels. Many people say they try the collar on themselves and are happy it isn't that strong, but forget the little zap they feel as a 150 lb person is not like for like to what a 15 lb cavalier feels -- we need 10 times the strength of that jolt and to have the collar on its highest setting.

If at all possible, I think it is always much better to train your dog to do a reliable sit and down and recall, while also making sure a door is never opened where she can bolt and having secondary screen doors, for example. I have a house that opens directly on to the street, and just watch the door. I've never had a problem; I just make sure the dogs never have the chance to go out the front door by closing them in behind other doors. :)

Some pros and cons -- the initial article is con, but many people posted on both sides of the issue:


16th September 2007, 05:08 AM
Don't give up, keep looking for your Cavalier! I do not have a fenced in yard, and I don't own my own home. I am a single gal, and I love in an apartment. I work 40 hours a week, so my dogs must stay home alone (I also have a toy Poodle, they adore each other and keep each other company). I'm lucky tho that my apartment is newer and in a small 9 unit building, I am on the end and in the back, so I can just go outside right out my patio doors to a nice small grassy backyard. Since I don't have a fence my dogs are always on the leash with me with them at all times. Just hang in there, you will find a breeder that will be more than willing to sell you a puppy, just because you don't have a fenced in yard should not make a bit of difference, most people do not have that luxury, so keep on looking! :)

16th September 2007, 05:27 PM
Thanks, merlinsmun, cb2u, Remali for the input.

I just spoke to my dh. The majority of his customers has 2 or more Cavaliers in a non-fenced home. Granted they are not allow to roam unattended outdoors. They are also not adopted by way of local breeders. Reiterating because there are none located within 6 hour drive of our state. Research engine in gear again! :)

17th September 2007, 11:09 PM
Simply walking the dog on a leash, as you are clearly doing very successfully :thmbsup:, is far preferable to using an electronic fence I think -- (SNIP) To start with, from working in rescue I've seen dogs wearing electric collars regularly in the pound -- if they see something they really want to chase, they will go right thru, get shocked, and won't cross the barrier to come back.

Some pros and cons -- the initial article is con, but many people posted on both sides of the issue:


First of all thanks for the link, I'll read it later.

Secondly, you have confirmed what I believe about the electic fence... which is that if Sasha is chasing something, my gut feeling is she'll zoom right through it. This is why I won't ever let her offleash even w/ the fence. Some of my friends don't understand this & think I'm being overly neurotic, but I just can't take the chance.

In fact, she doesn't even wear the electronic collar at all. She no longer runs out the front door, so as far as I'm concerned, I'm happy.

We will be putting in a physical fence, & then she can run around freely w/ supervision. :)