View Full Version : What would you do in this situation?

Emma n Renco
21st November 2007, 05:22 PM
Hi everyone, we are looking for advise from people who have had cavaliers for a long time. We are looking for a mate for Harvey and we have been offered one for free. She's a black and tan which is just what we are looking for, but she is 6 years old and has had lots of puppies in her time. The problem is, Harvey has not had the op yet and she hasn't been spade and we don't want any additions, but also we don't know what to look out for with an older dog. What problems could be an issue with her at an older age? I find it hard to believe that anyone could breed from a dog for so long and then when she's 'past it' just give her away! Also does anyone have a 6 year old? How energetic are they? We just want to have an idea before we get all excited and fall in love and just take her without thinking the potential health and expense issues first. We really appreciate your knowledge and advise here.... Emma n Renco

Cathy T
21st November 2007, 05:40 PM
Jake is 5 but close enough to 6 I think to tell you what he is like. He is very active, likes to play and go for walks. He doesn't have puppy energy like he did at 2 years old but, God willing, still have a good 6-8 years ahead of him.

I would suggest you get her spayed as soon as possible though to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

Hope this helps.

21st November 2007, 05:58 PM
Costs are relative. You could have a puppy run up thousands (as have many belonging to people on this board!), and an older dog have not a single problem. Six year old dogs are great! They have the wisdom and more relaxed attitude of an older dog and are generally MUCH easier to manage as a second dog than starting all over with a puppy.

It also sounds like she is very much due her retirement. It is sad if she has had lots of puppies -- a good breeder does not breed lots and lots of litters, the average on an excellent bitch being perhaps three with retirement by six. A good breeder also would never think of rehoming before spaying. If I were there I'd be very eager to take her as she sounds so deserving of a nice retirement from being a puppy machine. :( I'd get her spayed immediately as well -- this is important healthwise for her. A pregnancy always holds FAR more risk to the dog's life than a spay. It is also very difficult and inadvisable to manage an intact male and an uspayed female -- many would feel really both should be neutered for health and welfare reasons, but if you are only going to do one, immediately do her. A spay will help reduce the risk of mammary tumours considerably, for example. Also unspayed older females are at highest risk of the womb infection pyometra which is always painfully lethal if untreated, and is often spotted too late for treatment.

If you decide you are not interested in this dog please let me know immediately, as I can put you in touch with Dutch rescue. I am sure that if you at least take her as if intending to keep her (to get her safely into rescue and beyond risk of being put back into whelping puppies for the remainder of her life), you can then pass her along to the many reputable Dutch breeders who will ensure she is spayed and placed in a loving home. :)

Emma n Renco
21st November 2007, 06:14 PM
That's a great idea Karlin, the problem here is that he doesn't sound like a reputable breeder or a very nice man to be honest, hÃ*s attitude is you take her now or never and we don't want to miss out on an opportunity it just feels really rushed. If we did take her would we need to get her spayed before leaving her alone with Harvey ideally?

21st November 2007, 06:18 PM
Not if she isn't in heat. Ask the breeder when she was last in heat -- they tend to come into heat only every 6-8 months. Ideally you spay mid cycle. Or about three months after her last litter if she was pregnant on her last cycle. I'd say you will take her if you can and see how she fits in. If you have any doubts I can link you with rescue. I know it will be helpful even if you can hold her a few days and keep her safe. Just act like you definitely, enthusiastically want her. I have a feeling you might not let her go though once you have her. :)

Harvey will only be interested in her if she is in heat or coming into heat. However even then you just need to keep them fully separated while you decide what to do next. You can spay during a heat but this is not generally recommended if it can be avoided as it is very disruptive hormonally to the female. There's a slight extra risk to a spay while in heat -- but it is still far lower than the risk a dog runs during pregnancy and while whelping! I have had no choice but to spay during heat a couple of times, with no ill effects.

21st November 2007, 07:01 PM
I hope you take this little girl, I got my first cavalier as a retired breeder at the age 6. She is the most sweet loving dog. Moosie is the one who started my addition to the breed. I have since added 2 more.
We have been very lucky, she's been healthy and happy for the last 7 years.
My daughter now has 2 of her own.
Cavalier are just the potatoes chips you can have just one.

Moosie 11, Koby 4, Gina 2

Emma n Renco
21st November 2007, 07:24 PM
Great news - we are going to get her on Friday at 7pm!! Whatever happens I feel that she will be better off out of there. Very excited and no idea what to expect - just had a thought though - I hope she's house trained if she isn't I imagine that would be a nightmare, not even sure where she lives normally. It'll all become more clear on Friday anyway... Thanks for all of your advice - this forum is brilliant!

21st November 2007, 07:38 PM
That is very exciting! I'm so glad you're taking her... we'll all know that she is now safe. :)

Please keep us updated! And pics as soon as possible. :snap:


Rj Mac
21st November 2007, 07:39 PM
Fantastic, I'm sure everything'l be just fine, so glad you're taking her :D

21st November 2007, 07:58 PM
I haven't found that older dogs are any more difficult to housetrain than a very smart older puppy. Many dogs regress when they change homes anyway, so just reinforce that she goes outside and give her many chances to go outside at first (reward! reward all the good behavior you want repeated). If you already have a house trained dog-- they usually learn the best from a good example.

21st November 2007, 08:01 PM
:xctly:Agree -- always view a rescue or any unknown dog as potentially starting from puppy point but usually it is a lot easier to housetrain an adult even if they are not trained -- simply because they can already hold themselves. And as Sandy says, when they have an example of a housetrained dog in the house already, they learn extra fast most of the time as they follow that dog's example. Most dogs definitely can be expected to have a few accidents when changing environment.

21st November 2007, 08:05 PM
What great news!!!!!!! Can't wait to see pictures. Please keep us posted. Judy and Dixie

Claire L
21st November 2007, 08:14 PM
Great news - we are going to get her on Friday at 7pm!! Whatever happens I feel that she will be better off out of there. Very excited and no idea what to expect - just had a thought though - I hope she's house trained if she isn't I imagine that would be a nightmare, not even sure where she lives normally. It'll all become more clear on Friday anyway... Thanks for all of your advice - this forum is brilliant!
:jump: That's great news! Two Cavs are DEFINITELY better than one - enjoy!!

21st November 2007, 08:24 PM
What fantastic news!! :rah:

Can only back up what Sandy and Karlin have already said re housetraining, I find adults far easier than puppies as they can already hold themselves and will follow the lead of another adult dog.

Can't wait to see pics of your new girl, what's her name by the way?

21st November 2007, 08:28 PM
So pleased you are having her - this sort of thing breaks my heart. When I was on the hunt for Cavi number three a breeder cut from the same cloth also offered me a Ruby bitch no questions asked! His exact words were " as soon as her puppies have been sold you can collect her" I questioned him further...he offered to get rid of her the SAME day her last puppy went. As it was we decided the time was not right for a third Cavi but had I known about this site and rescues I would have taken her even if it meant she went to a rescue and a new loving home. I could kick myself now. How can people be so cruel:(

21st November 2007, 08:41 PM
You would be amazed I can tell you!

A few years back I made the acquantance of a perfectly respectable sounding lady, she adores her Cavaliers and although she does not show she breeds them. Dogs are always perfectly well kept, no expense spared, wonderful house etc, etc. Reading the latest copy of the UK Kennel Club Breed Record Supplement I spotted she had registered a litter, reading further it was that bitches SIXTH litter! The bitch herself was born in 2000! :eek: I was horrified!

The UK Kennel Club will register up to 6 litters from 1 bitch and will register litters born to bitches up the age of eight years by the way, they will also consider registering from older bitches too if you apply beforehand under "special circumstances"! :eek: Personnally I think 3 litters is more than enough for any bitch to raise in her lifetime!

21st November 2007, 08:59 PM
How many litters should a bitch have? And from what age to what age (if you know what I mean)

21st November 2007, 09:14 PM
How many litters should a bitch have? And from what age to what age (if you know what I mean)

If a bitch is over 2.5 and passed all her health tests-- and her sire and dam are over 5 and passed, I'd breed her once (to the best match for the bitch)-- if she doesn't produce better than she is -- try to a different sire. If she still doesn't produce better than she is - she gets spay.

The maximum number of litters for a female IMO-- I'd say 3 or 4. The oldest female I've bred was 6.

21st November 2007, 09:15 PM
How many litters should a bitch have? And from what age to what age (if you know what I mean)

Depends on the bitch herself, personnally my girls are 2 and a half as per the Club guidelines and with clear heart and eye certs etc before I breed from them.
Some bitches are fantastic Mums and others are not so maternal, some give birth easily whilst others have a tough time of it.
Club guidelines also recommend no bitch to be allowed more than 2 Cesarian Sections in her lifetime.

So based on the above my girls have their first litter at 2 and a half, then if they give birth easily and are good attentive Mum's they will have a second litter 12-18 months later, followed by a third and final litter another 12- 18 months after that.
Other things that can affect my decision on when/if to breed from them is size of previous litters, a bitch who has had say 2-3 pups in a litter will not have had as much taken out of her as a bitch who has reared 5-7 pups. Giving birth puts a huge strain on their hearts too, this should also be taken into consideration. Some bitches will do what I call "Feeding off their backs" whereby they give EVERYTHING to their pups and lose a lot of condition themselves, these are the bitches who need a longer rest period between litters.

I have had a bitch who had a litter of 7, she was rested for 2 years before being mated again, low and behold another litter of 7! She was duly retired as I felt she had given me enough, on the other end of the scale a Tri girl of mine has also had 2 litters, 3 pups in the first litter sadly one was still born, then just 1 puppy in her second litter, BOTH litters were C-Sections, so she is now retired now and doing a fine job of looking beautiful on the sofa! :lotsaluv:

Basically they are all individual and should be judged on their own merits, my own girls start at 2 and half and I prefer for them to retire at aged 5, 6 at the latest. There are exceptions too, such as a successful show bitch who has her first litter later in life, but as I said, each should be judged on their own merits, ease of dellivery, good mothering skills, litter size etc, etc are all factors that should be taken in account!

Hope this helps??

21st November 2007, 10:02 PM
It all makes a lot of sense thanks. Just something I will bear in mind if I complete my set and get a Ruby, but I dont think so! My 3 are wonderful

Cathy T
22nd November 2007, 12:03 AM
Good for you! Sounds like you are saving her from a bad situation.

Elaine 2
22nd November 2007, 01:24 AM
I'm so glad you are taking this beautiful girl, My Cody was 8 when l got her from the breeder in June Ive never regretted taking her not once if fact just the opposite she's been a perfect little dog she's very active she follows me everywhere l go and she loves cuddles, good luck on Friday

22nd November 2007, 05:47 AM
I took in a 6yr old mill mama rescue in August who lived her entire life in a cage.
She doesn't have as much energy as my 2yr old Jack Russell Terrier (of course I doubt many would) but she loves to play, she loves affection, and she is curious about everything around her, and loves being outside where she can run.
She was seen by a cardiologist and opthamologist a few weeks after she came to live with me.
She has a level 2 heart murmur which doesnt require medication at this time, and her eyes were excellent.
As far as house training, there wasnt any.
I offered her to go out every few hrs for the first few weeks, with no accidents.
She still doesn't know how to tell me she wants out other than to sit quietly by the door and wait patiently until someone notices her.
Im glad you decided to get her.
I fell in love with mine as soon as I saw her. She is enjoying a much earned retirement living the life of a Queen..err I mean Cavalier:)
I think you will enjoy her:thmbsup:

22nd November 2007, 08:05 AM
Good Luck and best wishes:)

22nd November 2007, 09:05 AM
Great news - we are going to get her on Friday at 7pm!! Whatever happens I feel that she will be better off out of there. Very excited and no idea what to expect - just had a thought though - I hope she's house trained if she isn't I imagine that would be a nightmare, not even sure where she lives normally. It'll all become more clear on Friday anyway... Thanks for all of your advice - this forum is brilliant!

I am so glad you are taking her. Good luck tomorrow. I hope everything works out.

Emma n Renco
23rd November 2007, 07:45 PM
Oh my gosh she's lovely, a bit scratty and very small compared to harvey and looks a lot different. wondering if that's because she's female? Anyhow, she's lovely, she has a bad limp on her back leg, terrible terrible breath and teeth but she's full of energy. Harvey is trying to mount her every 5 seconds would this mean she was in heat or that he was just interested? I'm sure we have lots to learn and we are very busy trying to keep them apart but they seem to be getting on well. She has already peed inside twice so I'm not sure if this means she's just excited or not house trained. We'll see what happens, it was very hard to get photos as she was very busy obviously but here are the first few...


Elaine 2
23rd November 2007, 08:35 PM
She's a beauty I'm so pleased for you, l love her

24th November 2007, 02:20 AM
Oh Emma, that is very exciting and I am pleased you are taking her. Don't ever let anybody tell you that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, because that is untrue.

One of the great things about a second dog, is that they often learn very quickly from the other dog. So even if she is not housetrained and does not understand your command for going to the toilet, she will learn it by association.

You will certainly need to get one of your dogs neutered/spayed in time, but this usually isn't some great emergency that must be done on day 1. Dogs do not mate unless the female is in season. Don't delay too long though because seasons can get a bit unpredictable if the dog is a bit unsettled.

Well this is fun, so I am looking forward to more news. I am sure this little girl's life is going to be much sweeter with you than her questionable breeder.

Harvey's Mum
24th November 2007, 06:44 AM
Congratulations, she is gorgeous.:jmp2:

Sooooo pleased you gave her a new home. Enjoy

Anna (Mum of Harvey and Rudi)

24th November 2007, 08:03 AM
oh really happy for you! Our 3rd Cavi Pebbles has been with use two weeks now and she asks like a princess and it seems I have always had her. Im sure your new little girl will settle soon, like others have said she will follow suit and soon be housetrained. I would treat her like she was not and take her to the toilet hourly, My little new black and tan is tiny too. Good luck and hope you have a lovely weekend with her:)

Debby with a Y
24th November 2007, 12:39 PM
She is beautiful and bless you for taking her!!! I know you will have so much love with her. :luv: