View Full Version : Help! I'm freaking out!

14th December 2007, 06:01 AM
I took Bentley for his checkup with my vet today. He is 7 months old & I just adopted him last week. The vet says he is in perfect health & everything looks great but he made a comment that is really worrying me! I'm freaking out!! He said Bentley will probably be a very large Cavalier. He is 7 months old & weighs 19.2 lbs now. I can't imagine him growing that much more!!! You guys are the experts, help me out! My husband & I just looked at each other like WHAT? He said he could easily be near 30lbs! I think it may have just been a gross overstatement. My vet did also say he had a few other Cavs as patients but they were all females, small & dainty. I guess I just need some reassurance & have been thinking about his statement too much! It makes me wonder! He is AKC registered & I have a 4 generation pedigree so I know he's a real Cav but it just make me nervous the more I think about it!!! Sorry, I guess I just needed to vent!!!!! :mad::mad::mad::(:(

14th December 2007, 06:18 AM
Hi Stephanie

I am no expert on this, but I took a look at Beau's growth chart. At 7 months he weighed 8.7 kilograms (about 19 lbs). Now at 12 months he weighs 9 kilograms (about 19.8 lbs). So in the past 5 months he has only gained 0.8 of a kilogram (less than 2 lbs). He is guite a lean boy and doesn't have much meat on his bones.

So my guess is that Bentley is probably going to be a solid little fellow but 30 lbs??? I find that one hard to imagine, unless you allow him to become obese.

I think we have a few on the forum that have larger than average Cavaliers. I bet they all have that wonderful, lovable Cavalier personality thought. :D

I hope this eases your mind a bit.

14th December 2007, 08:36 AM
My neighbor has a cavalier that's about 15 kilos (about 30 lbs.)--he's gorgeous because he's not in the least fat, just a tall, perfectly proportioned boy with that sweet cavalier disposition and those "feed me ham and cheese" eyes. She says that they never reckoned on such a large cav, but he's a cavalier through and through.

Enjoy the fact Bentley is unique!

14th December 2007, 06:31 PM
Well SiânE is a 26lbs dog, but even though she is larger than the cavaliers around where I live, I don’t think of her as a large dog and I had smaller terriers before she came to stay.

There are others on here with dogs that are bigger but the only problem I found with the larger size dogs is that they still see themselves as lap dogs, ok if they curl up on your laps but not fun if they decide to stretch out. You end up with your arms stretch out making sure they have their comfort and sleep. :rolleyes:

sweet cavalier disposition and those "feed me ham and cheese" eyes.

You’ve met my SiânE, expect its ‘feed me whatever you open the fridge door for’ :lol:

14th December 2007, 06:45 PM
LOL Davy :lol:

How quickly has Bentley grown in the last few months? I understand it's individual for every cavalier, but both of mine sort of hit a "hill" and they just stopped gaining weight.. Faith grew some more after she hit that hill, but what weight she gained was very slowly (nothing like the 1lb every other week puppy thing). I know someone whos cavalier stopped growing completely at seven months !

Can you ask what his parents and grandparents weigh? ;) That might give you a bit better of an idea wha tto expect :flwr:

14th December 2007, 06:48 PM
Although the standard is 12/13 to 18 lbs. Cavaliers who are over 18 lbs. are not uncommon. If you read on this Board you will frequently hear of Cavaliers in the low to mid-20s and on up to 30 lbs. Some of this just happens with a flukey genetic combination, just like a tall child being born to short parents, but some of it is probably due to breeders not knowing enough about genetics to breed for size (which if I understand is really hard to do). There are many of us who ended up surprised that our puppies did not stop growing at 18-19 lbs. Our Buddy is 21 lbs, is a very good weight for his size but is just a little bit bigger than I thought he would be. Just a little more to love!

That said, some but not all Cavaliers have very little growth after about eight or nine months, so you may end up with a dog in the low to mid-20 lb. range, but if not, you will love Bentley anyway, just as the 5'2" mother loves her 6"8" son!!!

14th December 2007, 07:06 PM
Lucky stopped growing completely at 7 months. He's maybe filled out a tad since his neutering, but he's still quite trim, and about 18 lbs.

I too thought he'd be huge. So, I guess really all you can do is wait it out, but I wouldn't worry about it, as long as he's healthy right? And there's a good chance (very good chance, I'd say), that he won't be a 30 pounder!

14th December 2007, 10:22 PM
the only problem I found with the larger size dogs is that they still see themselves as lap dogs


I know that feeling. I've never had a dog that wasn't a lap dog and that includes my 35 kilogram Sam the Boxer, and also a Great Dane we used to have that weighed more than me.

14th December 2007, 10:51 PM
I wouldn't say he'd get anywhere near 30 pounds but may well hit the mid 20s (I'd say that is probably very likely if he is just 7 months). As others have said, larger cavaliers are not unusual. I don't think it's that that hard to breed for the breed standard (breeders here can correct me!) but you do get odd genes showing through sometimes which some feel may be due to their being perhaps a larger spaniel like springers as part of the background of that particular cavalier line a long time back (it is said that springers were used in some lines when the breed was reconstructed in the first years of the last century). Or it may be that this was a breeder who wasn't really breeding for conformation. Unfortunately, it isn't very difficult to get the proper kennel club registrations or several-generation pedigrees -- lots of casual breeders can offer these and it is one reason why AKC (or equivalent, CKCSC too in US, IKC in Ireland etc) registration is only the very basic qualification for considering a breeder -- they need to be doing a lot more than =getting kennel club registration, so research is important (you can see what to look for in the Library section).

If you got your puppy from a breeder who definitely shows their dogs and/or is actively involved with the national or regional cavalier clubs and other dog sports, and if those pedigrees feature dogs from some of the known, good lines, then you either have just a somewhat larger cavalier (he may never grow much larger anyway and dogs a few lbs over breed standard are very common!), or maybe a throwback to some earlier large genes. If your breeder had no involvement with showing dogs and isn't active with her dogs in some professional way then the situation is very likely to be that this isn't a breeder who was breeding cavaliers for correct type and conformation.

If you got him directly from the breeder only recently (so at 6-7 months old) it may be she rehomed him because he was already clearly going to be over breed standard and therefore good for a pet home but not for showing or a breeding programme. Indeed the reason lots of under and oversized cavaliers go to pet homes is just that -- breeders hang on to dogs they know will contribute desired genes to their lines to produce potential show dogs that are also healthy and of good temperament. Very very few dogs are of that sort of quality that their genes are important to conserve. Lucky us that this is true as that's how we end up with beautiful dogs from good, health-focused breeders -- they go to pet homes. :)

Only time will tell what Bentley's final size is going to be though! As long as he's in good weight, that is what matters. Most boys will add a few more lbs though in the next few months and then maybe another lb or two until they are age 2-3, the breeders say -- hence that's why I'd guess he is most likely to end up around 23-25 lbs or so, but I'd doubt he'd reach 30. Most of their major growth is done by 6-9 months.

A lot of the rescue dogs I get in are a little to a lot over breed standard.

14th December 2007, 11:18 PM
Don't panic!

A lot of Cavaliers are over the 18lb breed standard mark, in fact there are quite a few being shown who are most certainly over it!

How much "knuckle" does he have left? The knuckle is the round bony part of the leg where the shin bone meets the foot, if it is in proportion to the rest of his leg bone then he has made pretty much all of his growing already. Some bloodlines develop faster than others, whilst others are notoriously slow developers.

On the whole if we try to breed for the standard we should get nice sized puppies around the 15-18lb mark, but as Karlin has pointed out there are some whom are naturally on the larger side! The main thing is to not let him get overweight, you should be able to feel his ribs and gently move his skin over them, a larger Cavalier should not be a fat Cavalier!

Most Cavaliers make their full height by around 7-8 Months, then gradually fill into their frame by around 16-18 Months of age hope this is of help to you?

Cathy T
15th December 2007, 01:37 AM
Jake is 5 years old and is 27 lbs. He does need to lose 1-2 lbs but he's such a tall boy. But what's most important to me....he's healthy. I think we will continue to see larger Cavaliers...and ain't nuthin' wrong with that...as long as they are healthy. ;)

15th December 2007, 04:12 AM
I think sometimes big dogs just happen. A friend here has a 30 pound Black/Tan Cavalier, from two Champion parents who are both within standard. His largest sibling is 20 pounds.

I love a bigger Cav, myself - bigger cuddles are always welcome.

Barbara Nixon
15th December 2007, 11:37 AM
This is Monty, my big lad, who's about 33lbs. Over the years, I've talked to other people with really big dogs and three, including Monty, go back to a particular dog, Rosemullion of Ottermouth. His mum was , thinking back, probably a 25 pounder, but he doesn't get his extra size from his dad either, as his half brother (same sire) lived nearby and he was just about 25lb, too. The breeder had never had such a big puppy before and size may be why he was still unsold at 5 months.

Does it really matter if yours gets big ? My boy is 12 and has a middling murmur , which doesn't bother him and is otherwise healthy and always has been. My, now retired vet, always said she liked the big cavaliers, because they tended to be healthier.

Monty isn't everyone's cup of tea, but he isn't ugly , is he ?



This photo shows how he compares with Joly, who's around 20lbs


15th December 2007, 01:09 PM
They are lovely pics, Barbara! More to love. :) I actually prefer homing larger cavaliers to families with children -- they are better able for the rough and tumble I think.

15th December 2007, 02:20 PM
but he isn't ugly , is he ?

Oh no... he is one good looking dude! :)

Debby with a Y
15th December 2007, 02:43 PM
I think he is very handsome, and 33 pounds of Cavalier personality must be an awesome daily treat! :luv:

15th December 2007, 05:36 PM
Monty isn't everyone's cup of tea, but he isn't ugly , is he ?

Oh no, he's lovely. His looks are definitely an argument for the springer spaniel roots of the breed.

16th December 2007, 09:49 AM
just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their comments!! I guess doing all my Cavalier research over the last few years I got the breed standard stuck in my head!! I really think my vet is wrong, arent we all sometimes!
Thanks again to everyone for their reassuring words!!!!!:)

16th December 2007, 10:14 AM
:) He's a big handsome boy, big IS beautiful in his case.:luv:

16th December 2007, 10:34 AM
Pippin was unsold at 5 months old and the breeder had taken to calling him "Tank". That is when I took him home to live with me. Pippin was my first cavalier and I had a Vizsla, so I didn't know Pippin was a large cavalier, because he was smaller than the Vizsla.

At 1 yr. old Pippin was bigger than his dad and his mom. I got Merry from the same breeder and she shares the same dad and her Mom is a sister to Pippen's mom. In this picture both Pippin and Merry are full grown and you can see the difference is size.

Pippin weighed 19.5 pounds at 10.5 months old. As adults, Pippin is 26 pounds and Merry is 17 pounds.
Size doesn't matter. Pippin is my most trustworthy cavalier. He is perfect off-leash. I can't say the same for his sister. :)

lady and amber
16th December 2007, 11:24 AM
Lady and Amber are very different in size, Lady weighs 21 pounds and is a very healthy dog, Amber only weighs 15 pounds and has some health problems. Lady is not a fat dog just has a larger frame all round I personally prefer a bigger size dog.

16th December 2007, 02:28 PM
I think we tend to think too much of size .
Electra (my ruby girl)was quite a bit larger than other girls her age at around 4-5 months old but she has really good proportions and lots of lean muscle.In her first show she was actually credited for her "good" size and "fit" look and came home as best puppy in breed, so I no longer worry about her size :)
Personally I think a strong "big" cavalier is better looking than a very fragile and tiny one.:)

16th December 2007, 03:13 PM
I would definitely be of the opinion that the sad trend by some backyard (non-show world) breeders to deliberately breed 'teacup cavaliers' -- small sized dogs -- is a far greater problem for the breed's future and the health of individual dogs than having dogs somewhat over the breed standard.

Anyone deliberately breeding small dogs is going to be often selecting runts of litters which are always more prone to health problems. Also miniaturisation always needs to be done with extreme caution as it can introduce all sorts of problems, from the orthopedic (bones and joints) to the neurological (brain). In many quarters, breeding a small spaniel with a small skull is believed to be a major contributing factor to selecting for syringomyelia genes over time (skull size in individual dogs doesn't so far seem to be a factor in predicting SM, but the overall trend from the recreation of the breed, does. In SM, basically their skulls are too small for the brains -- and researcher Dr Clare Rusbridge says cavaliers have brains the size of a labrador's squished into that much smaller head! A big problem for the breed. :yikes).

Smaller runts are also more likely to have open fontanels (incompletely closed skulls) which remains a risk for the dog and could be introduced in offspring. And anyone breeding extra small dogs and deliberately ignoring the associated health risks for the puppies and the breed is certainly not going to be breeding for health generally.

I've heard breeders say they will not breed or show boys smaller than about 15 lbs because they lack substance.

So for many, big is beautiful. :)

17th December 2007, 05:27 AM
If it makes you feel any better, Stephanie, I'm transporting a rescue dog on Wednesday that is reported to weigh over 40 pounds! I can't even imagine what she's (yes she) is going to look like. I've had other mill dogs that weighed close to 30 pounds but 40? I'll be sure and get pictures so you can all see what she looks like. I'm afraid she is going to need a strict diet for a very long time, poor dear.

Barbara Nixon
17th December 2007, 11:39 AM
Hopefully she is large framed, so not as overweight as she sounds. At 33lbs, Monty is very skinny.