View Full Version : Boy or Girl? Family dog, small kids...

1st January 2011, 04:29 PM
Hello Cav. Lovers,
I am new to the Cav. world.
I am currently researching purchasing a dog or puppy that is a Cav.
Trying to make a good choice that is beneficial to the breed and my family.
I have been talking to a few breeders in the area that are members of the ackcsc.

I am wondering what would be better for a family dog. A boy or a girl?
We have a girl boxer currently. She has cancer and we are not sure how much longer she will be with us. We are looking for a sweet, loving, CALM pet. My vet recommended the Cav. to me. We do have three kids ages 3, 5 and 9. They understand this dog or puppy will be much smaller than their current dog. They are very happy about this.

I am concerned with boys marking and potty training. Primarily my main concern is that the dog is not aggressive towards the children. My house is very lively and I would need the dog to not be nervous with all they noise and playing that goes on here. With all of your experience is a male or female better for a family dog or does it really not matter? Also, should I be concerned with the dog marking the house? The people I have spoke with that have pets available have older puppies that they have decided not to keep. One is past the 6 month mark so early spaying is not an option there. I do love the idea of the Ganley/Lyon puppy evaluation. It seems to acquire a puppy from a good breeder this is not an option because they are placed so quickly to homes or kept for showing or personal reasons.
Ideas or thoughts welcome in helping with my decision.
Also, I am in NC if anyone can let me know of a good person to buy from or talk to that I may not of found through the ackcsc.

1st January 2011, 04:57 PM
Welcome to the board and I'm pleased you are being very careful in making such an important decision.

Have you read the section on choosing a puppy?

I'm very sorry about your Boxer :( how will she cope with a puppy or new dog? Are you planning a new dog for after something has happened, or now? If now, I would be concerned about stressing her at a time when obviously she has a lot to deal with :(

Cavaliers do suffer quite a few health problems and this is something you need to be aware of, also to make sure that any dog or puppy you purchase, you are shown certificates to prove that the parents have been health tested, also that the puppy has been eye tested.

They vary in temperament although all are very loving and some are very active and lively, others much calmer. They should never be aggressive. I think with children you would want a more active and lively dog. Once adult, they can take quite a bit of exercise and play - as pups they should only be free running for 5 minutes per month of life, building up as they get older. Obviously with play in the garden too, but they should not be allowed to run until they collapse with exhaustion.

Most adults have 45- 60 minutes walk per day, plus play and training sessions. They are not a dog for running with, or to run with a bicycle.

Regarding sex of puppies, TBH there is little to choose between boys and girls in Cavaliers - girls tend to be slightly more independent, boys more loving. If a dog is neutered then you shouldn't have any problems with marking anyway. In my experience, boys are easier to house train than girls!!

With either sex, I would strongly recommend having them neutered or spayed, ideally between 9 and 12 months, once they are mature physically and emotionally [sex hormones and growth hormones are linked]. With a girl, you would need to make sure she is kept safe and away from any dogs during her first season and spay 3 months after that.

Most responsible breeders will not home tiny puppies to families with children under 5 - this is for the safety of the puppy, Cavaliers are very tiny and easily hurt when small. They are also into everything, and children below the age of 5 still tend to play on the floor, with lots of small pieces that puppies can easily chew and swallow.

I presume you are referring to


there are many similar tests and ideas around, but a good breeder will consider your family circumstances and tell you if they have a dog who would be suitable for you.

I do feel that an older puppy would be more suited to your situation - they will be sturdier, should be pretty much house trained [although there will always be accidents, it's part of living with a dog!!] and as long as it has been well socialised, should cope well with family life.

Please feel free to post any questions and we look forward to hearing more of your search and adventures :)

If anyone has recommendations for a breeder in that area, please contact by PM DO NOT POST ON THE THREAD. thank you.

1st January 2011, 09:04 PM
I have PM'd you with some info.

1st January 2011, 09:21 PM
Hi and welcome! I am so sorry to hear about your boxer girl. We lost our boxer girl this summer to aortic stenosis, and we still miss her terribly, I'll admit! We also went with a Cavalier because they are generally good natured and people oriented like boxers, but smaller (we had many reasons to go with a smaller dog this time, including elderly parents). After having all our dogs having been grown or almost grown rescues/in need of homes, we decided that we would purchase a puppy this time around, and I wasn't up to a boxer puppy either! lol

I was originally wanting a boy dog this time, but my husband and daughter fell for a girl, and she was the one the breeder recommended. She is a bit (haha) more active than your typical Cavalier, and perhaps a bit more sassy (heh), but she's a good match for our seven year old daughter. My daughter did (and sometimes still does) have to be reminded about just how small Rose is (compared to a 60 lb boxer!), but Rose is not shy about telling Abigail she's had enough ;), but while still being a good kid dog. And, even though our boxer was EXCEPTIONALLY laid back for a boxer, Rose is a lot calmer, even as a puppy. She is certainly not a boring dog, however :-D, and does have her "spaniel sprint" moments! Just fyi, spaniel sprints are not as painful as "boxer burns" when they misjudge how close they are to you, haha.

All that to say: Having recently gone from a boxer to a Cavalier, we are happy with our decision (though we do miss the boxer goofiness from time to time), and I hope you will be too! From our experience, it really does just depend on the puppy's individual personality ;) .

2nd January 2011, 03:26 AM
I really don't think gender matters with this breed. A good starting point with breeders in the U.S. is the old club website -- ckcsc.org. They have a section where breeders post litters available. However, you still need to do your homework and make sure your breeder (and the stud dog's breeder) conduct all necessary health testing before breeding their dogs. A short sort of "cheat sheet" I used when making sure breeders were breeding to promote the health of the breed:

Parents are AT LEAST 2.5 years old and heart clear (by a cardiologist)
Grandparents are AT LEAST 5 years old and heart clear (by a cardiologist)
Parents cleared with regards to patellas, hips and eyes
Breeder is knowledgeable of SM breeding protocol and scans breeding dogs through MRI (with appropriately graded scans for breeding)
Puppies are raised with their moms in home environment and not released until at least 10 weeks
Breeder has a reason for breeding that particular litter (i.e. after studying lines, stud dog chosen to offset a particular show deficit in mom, etc.).

You should also be prepared to travel and wait for a puppy. I got lucky and only had to drive around 5 hours (each way) to Holly's breeder. I waited through a couple different litters until a puppy was available for placement -- about 10 months of waiting. I might not have had to wait as long had I been open to gender. For whatever reason, I was set on a female. I let the breeder pick the puppy for my family as, like you, I had young children at the time.

Good luck and the best advice I have is to be patient!

Rj Mac
2nd January 2011, 06:06 PM
Hello , and welcome to the board, you will find plenty of help and advice available onsite her, there are many wonderful members, with masses of experience to pass on,

Good luck in your search :thmbsup:

3rd January 2011, 01:19 AM
I have a little 5mo female puppy and she is calm...for a puppy :p That is one of the reasons why I went with this breed also. She seems to never tire out and is always ready to play play play, but is content to hang out and do nothing with us as well. I think this is a breed good for active or calm lifestyle, as long as they get to be with their people.

Boy or girl... Coco seems more independent than other people have described their Cavies. She is easily distracted, doesn't care TOO much if she is separated from mommy, and likes to explore on her own. But she is a total snuggler. A benefit to her more independent nature is that she will entertain herself, which is nice when I need a break from doting on her ;) But I do think it is true a male will be more affectionate and less independent, although you can never expect that to be 100% as each dog is their own. The best way to get an idea is to visit a litter two or three times and ask the breeder a lot of questions like "which pup stays near you the most? Which one is the first to explore something new?" etc.

Kids...not a prob with my girl. She is SO submissive to children, it amazes me. It is like she knows to be gentle. She walks up slowly to kids and crawls to them and does not jump, and she licks and it is the cutest thing in the world. Once the kids warm up to her, they play and throw her toys and have a blast.

This breed sounds like a good choice :)

Do keep in mind they are prone to some very serious health problems, like MVD and SM, bad knees, and eye problems. Poor guys :( Do your research, select a good Code of Ethics breeder, and make sure when visiting you ask to see physical health documents of sire and dam.