View Full Version : Advice on a second cavalier please !

17th November 2009, 05:59 PM

We have a beautiful 9 year old tri colour boy who has been on meds for MVD for nearly a year now. Hes doing really well and his condition hasnt deteriorated since he went on the medication, he's enjoying his life as he always has !

My wife has suggested it maybe a good idea to get another puppy now. im not sure about this as I dont want to put any undue pressure on his heart and obvioulsy want to make his ( hopefully years ) time left as enjoyable for him as possible.

Does any one have any experience of this ?

We looked after a cavalier puppy for three weeks in the summer and to be honest it gave our dog a new lease of life, he was like a puppy again !

We would get another boy, as hopefully that would be less stressful on him !

Any advice would be apprciated !

17th November 2009, 07:32 PM
Hi JTCS - I don`t have any advice to give, but we are in the same position, Jasper is 9 1/2 and also has MVD and on heart meds since January this year and also doing well, we would like another cavalier but are concerned on the affect it would have on our boy, re his heart etc, and wanting to do the best for all concerned, interested to see the replies.

17th November 2009, 07:42 PM
I have an 11yr old and earlier this year got a new puppy. My oldie thought it was Christmas and his birthday rolled into one. It definitely perked him up and I think he really appreciates the company, they curl up together, go for walks together, and have little plays together.

You say you looked after a puppy for three weeks in summer and your dog enjoyed it - I'd say "go for it" - just do your homework and buy from a breeder who has tested their stock for syringomyelia, clear heart certificates and clear eye certs - which might take a bit longer, as most larger breeders don't seem to bother. :-)

ps - If you are in the UK, There are a couple of people on this forum who could point you in the right direction if you ask for help on this. Or you could get in touch with the Puppy Register Co-ordinators on any of the Cavalier Breed Clubs (The Kennel Club will give you telephone numbers, or Google them) It will be up to you though to ask the breeder whether their stock is tested.

17th November 2009, 07:50 PM
Thinking out loud, does it not depend on how severe the Heart issue is ?

Also the type of medication and age of the first dog in question.

From experience, an older dog always loves a younger mate ?

Can a VET not give you some definite guidance ?

Hope you can achieve what you think is right.


17th November 2009, 10:08 PM
We got Max when Mindy was nearly 11. We had just lost our Retriever and we were all very lonely. Mindy had never been an only dog and even though she and Zeus had not ever really played or cuddled they were never far from each other.

Mindy did NOT want to play as much as Max did and he never believed she really meant it but other than that I believe she was thrilled to have him here. It didn't take long before she allowed him to snuggle up to her in the bed.

Mindy doesn't have any health concerns and I probably would have checked with my vet if she did. As long as the vet has no concerns and already having had a pup in the house I'd say go for it.

Brian M
17th November 2009, 10:11 PM

Do it you wont regret it one bit .:)

17th November 2009, 11:14 PM
Do it! Do it! :D

18th November 2009, 01:47 AM
I would talk to your vet first as Mark has suggested. i would also consider whether a puppy is the best choice -- for a dog that age, who will have a young dog jumping all over him for the next year, this might not be the best choice regardless of whether he seemed to enjoy it for a short spell several months ago. He will be getting pretty old, with a heart condition, during the time a puppy will be wanting non stop play and activity for a year or two ahead. A vet may well feel he shouldn't really be enticed into a 'new lease on life' with his heart condition.

In general most rescues and trainers, and many breeders, would hesitate to recommend a puppy coming in with an elderly dog -- it can be stressful to the older dog and some really have a hard time adjusting and sharing their owner when they have been a single dog. Others will adjust fine but then there are other considerations too -- as in, a puppy will take a lot of your time... an older spayed or neutered adult -- I'd say age 2 or 3+ -- would be my own recommendation as a companion for an older dog, if your vet thinks this is a good option. Otherwise I'd just focus on loving and caring for him as a single dog for the remainder of his time with you. Puppies do tend to take a lot of focus away from the existing dog as they need so much time as well and it might not be the best time for that to happen.

Gender probably wouldn't matter as you make this choice. But just be aware that whatever about your senior fellow, the time YOU will need to give to a puppy is immense and WILL take time away from your current dog. People forget how hard puppies are: they are very needy little sweethearts for the first few months and will require a high degree of minding, training, housetraining etc. Just be sure you can give this plus maintain the level of attention you now give to your senior.

Karen and Ruby
18th November 2009, 09:47 AM
I had this back and forth wondering for a long while and even though Ruby is only 3 she does have SM and I didnt knoww whether a baby would be the best way to go jumping round her head etc etc.
So we decided to go for a rescue instead and found a 10 month old male.

He truley has bought a spark back in her life and she loves him. It was the best desision we made and he is a joy to have around. he has a completely different personality and is far far braver than her but he isnt too over the top and suits her very well. He is teaching her to be more outgoing and to be honest she is becoming quite a little madam BUT we love it as she was becoming very withdrawn earlier this year.
It like we are a complete family at last with the bossy older sister and the naughty little brother and I dont regret a thing!!

You nee to decide what is best for your situation and like Karlin said a slightly older rescue may be a better idea.

18th November 2009, 10:08 AM
It's very difficult. We've just recently added a new puppy to our household; our other girl, Rosie is three. I had visions of them sleeping in a pile together, entertaining each other etc and it hasn't worked out that way.

While it's early days yet, I suspect Rosie enjoyed being an only 'child'. She hasn't taken to the new dog and while she tolerates her and consents to the occasional play, she will walk away from the puppy more times than not. More than anything, she gets annoyed by the puppy and I wonder whether they'll ever really enjoy each other's company.

I don't think I've answered your question, sorry, but I just want to add my voice to Karlin's - puppies ARE a lot of work and need/get a lot of attention which can be a big change to the lifestyle previously enjoyed by the 'only' dog.

18th November 2009, 10:28 AM
I guess its like putting your 90 yr old mum with a wild toddler all day,very hard work.

18th November 2009, 10:43 AM
What a difficult question. Molly and Dougall are identical in age (2.5yrs) one has sm and the other cm. My biggest concern is if we lose one, we would have a big issue and problem with the other. They have both bonded and are very much into each other. I am considering getting another Cavalier hoping this will help both of them by giving them another playmate. My gut feeling is not to buy another puppy from a breeder but to adopt an older dog from a rescue. It could be argued you might not know exactly what you are taking on with a rescue (health wise) but from what I have seen the same seems to apply with a puppy from a breeder.

18th November 2009, 12:44 PM
I agree about not getting a very young puppy with a much older dog, especially one with health issues and/or being used to all the attention as an only dog. :d*g:

Many years ago I had an 8 year old B/T with mild MVD and we found my gorgeous Megan, then aged 5 months. I would say it took Louie about 8 months to accept the newcomer, and for them both to feel completely comfortable around each other, which was much longer than I expected at that time. Eventually they were inseparable until Louie went to the Bridge aged 10.

These days I know everything can take much longer than we think and that not every dog will become bosom friends with every other in the household.

Going for a slightly older rescue would probably be the best idea - and you would be doing one little dog somewhere SUCH a kind service :wggle:

18th November 2009, 01:04 PM
No i wouldnt get a puppy either, think what if your dog hates it, think of the poor puppy not knowing whats its done wrong, and the stress on your older dog. Id maybe contact a cavalier charity with the view to re-homeing an older dog, they would happy im sure to let you try and things out and if its doesnt work out they would understand and nothing would be lost. di

18th November 2009, 05:47 PM
All good points but I wouldn't rule out a puppy. I think it really depends on the personality and health requirements of your current dog as well as your family situation.

I have been very perplexed to read people say how much work puppies are. I think have finally realized why I see it differently. As a parent I spent the first years of parenthood never letting two young children out of my sight, the next many worrying when they WERE out of my sight, the organizing, taxing, volunteering, etc. associated with raising a family. Now that my kids have left the nest puppies seem like a rest. Of course I really don't find anything regarding caring for puppies as "work anyway. The walking/training/playing is enjoyment for me.

I got Mindy as a young adult dog. She had been well treated but not well trained so didn't have any psychological issues but housetraining her was a lot harder and took longer than having puppies around. To this day she is an exceptionally well behaved dog who would do anything I asked of her but the only commands she respond to are sit and wait. This is probably because I have more time for training now than I did when she was younger.

My advice would be that there is no hard and fast rule to follow - just do what seems right for your own family situation and lifestyle.

18th November 2009, 07:04 PM
Thanks for all your replies !

I agree with Mindysmom in that there is no hard and fast answer, we know the committment that goes into looking after a puppy all too well ! Also our circumstances suit, as at least one of us at home all the time.

Im going to see our vet to see what she thinks, however i am weary that if we do go for it, by the time we find a good breader that has a suitable puppy for us we could be months down the line. Obviously 3 - 6 months is a long time in a 9 year olds life ( espcially with MVD ) .

This is not an easy decision ! But at the end of the day he comes first, and at the moment hes enjoyong life as much as ever !

By the way our boys called Todd ( because he was born on his Todd ! )