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love2driveinct
2nd December 2010, 03:30 PM
We are considering surprising the kids with our new puppy as sort of an early Christmas gift this year. I am fundamentally against the idea of giving a puppy as a Christmas gift (or any animal, for that matter), because so often it is done in haste without thought or consideration. But that is not the case in our situation.

We have surprised the kids with things before -- like not telling them about our big Disney trip until a few months ahead -- and those are moments I will treasure forever. We even surprised our daughter by buying a horse for her -- we'd been leasing her for awhile and I think she knew we were considering buying her, but it was still fun to videotape her reaction to seeing the horse's stall door all decorated and her name listed as the owner.

But I feel differently about this. I feel there is great value in letting the kids see the time, research, consideration, and patience that go into selecting a dog or puppy. So maybe I should let them see me on the computer, the phone, hear about my visits to breeders? And I think they would benefit from and enjoy helping to pick out all of the things the new puppy will need -- crate, blanket, toys, etc.

Any thoughts?

Charlifarley
2nd December 2010, 05:06 PM
How old are your kids? If they are old enough to have an input into the discussions, then I would definitely tell them, then they have something to get excited about and to look forward to.
We took our boys to London for a surprise when they were about 7 and 10, we didn't tell them what was going on till we boarded the plane, (their dad travels a lot so they were used to going to the airport) and they were really cross with us for not telling them beforehand - because they wanted to have had something to look forward to.
Have you sourced your puppy yet? If you haven't already noticed it, there is a great section on the home page all about buying and preparing for a puppy - on the right hand side of the main forum page - I'm guessing its going to be a Cavalier?

Chamberlain
2nd December 2010, 05:11 PM
I agree with your post, I think your children should be involved in the process. They should understand the PRICE of getting a Cavalier (hehe) and the time it takes to find a good breeder.

I know that as a child I would have loved to help more when my parents were picking out puppies during my childhood!

Karlin
2nd December 2010, 05:14 PM
I'd involve them. :)

As you are on the east coast, I would also recommend contacting Anne Eckersley of Chadwick Cavaliers for a private discussion on puppies and reliable, health focused breeders. She is on the committee of the CKCSC and involved with maintaining a health registry for breeders and can advise. Just be aware that you are very unlikely to find a health testing reputable breeder with puppies under $3,000 but you also want to make sure it isn't some scammer giving you a line about testing and selling you some backyard bred or broker or puppy mill dog at a shocking markup. Some disreputable people can make themselves appear lovely, sincere and helpful so you want to be sure you are dealing with someone legitimate. :thmbsup:

Chamberlain
2nd December 2010, 05:23 PM
Just be aware that you are very unlikely to find a health testing reputable breeder with puppies under $3,000 but you also want to make sure it isn't some scammer giving you a line about testing and selling you some backyard bred or broker or puppy mill dog at a shocking markup. Some disreputable people can make themselves appear lovely, sincere and helpful so you want to be sure you are dealing with someone legitimate. :thmbsup:

Agreed, I contacted several "breeders" and when I questioned them about their health testing, they gave me a hard time. They tired to make ME feel stupid for asking and made it seem like I was being "too picky!" :shock:

love2driveinct
2nd December 2010, 08:40 PM
How old are your kids? If they are old enough to have an input into the discussions, then I would definitely tell them, then they have something to get excited about and to look forward to.
We took our boys to London for a surprise when they were about 7 and 10, we didn't tell them what was going on till we boarded the plane, (their dad travels a lot so they were used to going to the airport) and they were really cross with us for not telling them beforehand - because they wanted to have had something to look forward to.
Have you sourced your puppy yet? If you haven't already noticed it, there is a great section on the home page all about buying and preparing for a puppy - on the right hand side of the main forum page - I'm guessing its going to be a Cavalier?

Funny, I felt a little guilty about that, too, about surprising my daughter without letting her enjoy the anticipation. But I guess a horse is different than a trip, there wasn't much to plan. :)

My kids are 12, 9, and 5. And no, I am still narrowing down the breeder & puppy.

love2driveinct
2nd December 2010, 08:42 PM
Agreed, I contacted several "breeders" and when I questioned them about their health testing, they gave me a hard time. They tired to make ME feel stupid for asking and made it seem like I was being "too picky!" :shock:

I have not had that experience (yet), thank goodness -- everyone has been forthcoming with the details. But based on what I read here and on a few other websites, I eliminated A LOT of places before even getting in touch with them, so I think I am dealing mostly with good breeders.

love2driveinct
2nd December 2010, 08:45 PM
I'd involve them. :)

As you are on the east coast, I would also recommend contacting Anne Eckersley of Chadwick Cavaliers for a private discussion on puppies and reliable, health focused breeders. She is on the committee of the CKCSC and involved with maintaining a health registry for breeders and can advise. Just be aware that you are very unlikely to find a health testing reputable breeder with puppies under $3,000 but you also want to make sure it isn't some scammer giving you a line about testing and selling you some backyard bred or broker or puppy mill dog at a shocking markup. Some disreputable people can make themselves appear lovely, sincere and helpful so you want to be sure you are dealing with someone legitimate. :thmbsup:

I may just do that... but I have a feeling she may not discuss specific names with me? That's been in my experience in the past, whenever I try to get information like that...

Interesting, but I have found a few reputable breeders who run the full range of health testing, and their puppies are in the $2000-2500 range. I have yet to speak with someone who was asking over $3,000 -- maybe it's a regional thing?

Nicki
3rd December 2010, 09:17 AM
Prices do vary considerably from region to region - and especially country to country [Scotland is dearer than England in the UK, due to fewer Cavaliers being available]


I would definitely involve the children especially at those ages, they are old enough to play a big part int he process [most responsible breeders won't sell to people with children under 5 anyway]

The surprise lasts just a few minutes, the experience will last them a lifetime...they can also share it with all their friends and hopefully encourage them not to make snap decisions and avoid puppy farms etc.

Have a look at www.cavaliermatters.org for more about Cavaliers and puppy farming too


Also you have that wonderful anticipation - and satisfaction of knowing that they realise that sometimes in life you have to wait for wonderful things...so much today is instant gratification.


Anne Eckersley is wonderful and I'm sure will be very helpful.

Karlin
3rd December 2010, 10:30 AM
For the east coast, at those prices I'd probably question whether these breeders are doing a full range of meaningful testing especially at just $2000. Many say they do hearts etc...But actually they do not cardiologist test or follow the MVD protocol and have not MRI'd. At this point I would not even consider a breeder who hasn't MRId her/his dogs. $2000 would be extremely unlikely anywhere in the US for a puppy from a reputable, properly health testing show breeder.

Someone else was recently seeking a puppy and around $3k to $3.5k from anyone decent and testing on the east coast would be about right; perhaps the is someone with puppies in the $2.5k range but seems a bit unlikely. You might find $2500 or so in the midwest. There are breeders on the east coast who say they are doing this and that and look really decent but they are to be avoided. Some are known to have serious health issues in their lines and continue to breed. Anne can give you a steer. Ask her who she would buy from.

In the UK and Ireland dogs from breeders who do all these things are considerably less. There's a long standing argument amongst breeders on either side of atlanTic as to why this is the case.

Given that half of cavaliers have mvd by age 5 and research results show that probably about that many cavaliers have SM by that age (though thankfully often without symptoms) I cannot stress enough how much heartbreak and vet and medications costs can be minimized by opting for the MVD and SM testing breeder who also follows the correct breeding protocols. I have two with mvd and two confirmed but probably three with SM so the statistics quite match the real life experience.

jasperpaw
3rd December 2010, 10:46 AM
I think it is really nice that you involve your children. When we first had our first cavalier who in now 10, my children were l4 yrs and 9 yrs old. My daughter in particular was so excited about going to see the puppies, I was left to do the reading up about cavaliers and do all the arrangements etc. Even now when we got our 7 month old a few months ago my daughter in particular at 24 yrs old and not living at home anymore wanted to come with us to see the puppies and was still so excited, they are such a big part of our lives and hopefully will be with us for many years it is lovely to get everyone involved in the decisions.

sins
3rd December 2010, 11:01 AM
Certainly,involve the children,but sure that you're the one who actually chooses the pup.
If you plan to buy from a truly health focused breeder,do not expect to have a puppy for Christmas.It may take a while longer to find the right breeder who may currently not have a litter at the right age for rehoming.
I'm sure the children will understand if they have to wait a few extra weeks.
But it's definitely worth waiting to find the right puppy,making the wrong decision can lead to a lifetime of heartbreak for you and your children,so it may be better not to set an immediate timeframe in which to locate a pup.
A cavalier is the most wonderful family dog,I don't think there's any other breed who can compare to them for companionship and appeal.
I have an almost four year old cavalier with syringomyelia and we can't hide the fact from our children...it's a worry I could have done without.
Good luck in your search for your new puppy,I'm sure you'll have many years of joy and happiness with your new family member:)
Sins

Mindysmom
3rd December 2010, 12:14 PM
Personally I would involve the children but probably not until you've picked a breeder and even then I wouldn't until the litter was born. From my own experience it is REALLY hard to wait and there is a fine line between anticipation once you know when something is happening and the search. When I got Rylie I was prepared to wait a year or more. In the end I didn't need to but I didn't even tell my grown kids until we decided for sure on a breeder because "I" needed to be the one making that decision without being pressured not to be so picky.

Tania
3rd December 2010, 01:15 PM
My personal feeling is to involve them. Cavaliermatters website has been designed with simple easy to understand information. Several people have used the tips and advice and general care section to teach their children. It is full of cartoons which makes the information easier to absorb.
The advice Karlin and Nicki have posted is essential. A number of us have been caught out, having thought we thoroughly researched only to find the Breeder is nothing more than a front for Battery Farmed Puppies with the most terrible health problems.

www.cavaliermatters.org (http://www.cavaliermatters.org)

love2driveinct
3rd December 2010, 02:28 PM
Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions!

I think we will not try to surprise them, but like one poster mentioned, we won't say anything until we've at least picked a breeder and put a deposit on a puppy or future puppy. Anticipation is fun, but it's also hard when you're a kid!

I've pretty much settled on one breeder, but I will continue to do more research until the I spend any money or sign anything. I want to feel good about this decision.