View Full Version : Pros and cons of getting a 4-year-old retired show dog

28th February 2011, 02:05 PM
CORRECTION... is a 2.5 year-old dog.
We may have a chance to get another Cav in May or June who will be retiring as a show dog at that time. This would NOT be a free gift... we would have to buy him. He is from same breeder. He has promised an MRI of the dog for CM and already has done a heart checkup. Gracie will be just over a year old at that time and will have been with us since late October. The dog is a male and is a cutie...obviously well trained since he is a show dog. What are the likely pros and cons of adding this lovely young man to our home? What issues might we face in terms of interactions between Gracie and Zachary? Any tips on testing out how they would get along?

28th February 2011, 02:41 PM
I want him!

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28th February 2011, 02:47 PM
If the breeder is the one that has a male A, (I know there is one in your area) then why is he not breeding him? My question is has this Cavalier had an MRI? If the breeder scans, which I believe, then what was his results? If you don't want him, I do :p

28th February 2011, 02:48 PM
From my experience Cavaliers just get on so well with other Cavaliers and as you have a female and will be getting a male, I don't think you will have any problems with them getting on with each other!

Good luck.

28th February 2011, 03:10 PM
A lot of breeders scan but either do not do anything with the results, or just scan a couple of dogs so they can say 'I scan'. It means little unless they actively use this information, breed dogs older than 2.5 etc. I know one breeder who scanned one or two dogs simply so that she could be listed on the UK club list (which doesn't show results) to be seen as a 'scanning breeder' -- and hasn't done a dog since. That's just to say that while scanning at some point is a start, many breeders in your area may simply have done a dog or two when there were free scans available at the U of NC for a research project a couple of years ago. You need to be sure any scanning breeder is using that info, is willing to talk about results, and ask for the certs etc.

I'd certainly ask if he has scanned this doing and if so, what are the MRI results and what are the cardio results. I'd also want an honest answer as to why he is rehoming a 4 year old, which is fairly young.

As to getting a second dog -- two dogs generally will get along. The issue is really whether you can manage two and give double the time needed for each dog as they need separate and equal people time every day (and you had mentioned before not being able with work schedules to give Gracie as much time as you felt she needed?). Also whether there's the financial commitment (twice the care costs, twice the vet bills, twice the boarding costs etc). Most issues with getting a second dog are not really relevant to the dogs fitting together as almost all do with just two :) (three on up is where it can get more tricky) -- it is the people issues that are the main ones. It is a significant time and effort commitment for the next decade or so. If that all fits into your time and plans and you like the dog and are aware of any health issues, then it's a personal decision. :)

Margaret C
28th February 2011, 03:42 PM
We may have a chance to get another Cav in May or June who will be retiring as a show dog at that time. He is same breeder and I know he does MRIs and he is willing to give me one. Gracie will be just over a year old at that time and will have been with us since late October. The dog is a male and is a cutie...obviously well trained since he is a show dog. What are the likely pros and cons of adding this lovely young man to our home? What issues might we face in terms of interactions between Gracie and Zachary? Any tips on testing out how they would get along?

A male and female will get along just fine, as long as one of them at least is neutered, though you may find the dog thinks/hopes that he is there to mate Gracie when he first arrives.
She will soon get cross & put him in his place and things will settle down within a day or two.

If the dog has lived in kennels then you may have to housetrain him.

I do not know what the situation is in the US or how well you know this breeder, and I would hate to be casting doubt on what could be a very generous gift, but I do wonder why any breeder would give away a four year old show dog?

If he was successful enough in the show ring to be shown until he is four, and if he has been scanned and had good results as a mature dog, then I would have thought he would be a valuable asset to the breed & the owner as a stud dog.

It may be, of course, he has already proved to be unwilling or unable to sire puppies?

I am just raising the question because there has been some cases in the UK where show dogs have been sold or given away, and the trusting owners have subsequently found that the dog's quirky little traits, apparent from day one, have proved to be SM symptoms.

28th February 2011, 05:21 PM
Still investigating this issue and all this info is so helpful. Not planning to breed this dog at all, but want to know where we stand related to CM. My understanding from talking to another person in the area who also has been a breeder but isn't now, is that this dog was not that successful as show dog due to not being quite as lively as he needed to be and is a bit on the small side. His temperament almost got a bit too mellow. Good to hear that from another person, not the seller.

We have several months to think about this but we have been able to work out a great system to spend more time with Gracie and also take her to either daycare or to a friend who has a Cav too.

I knew that the main issues are whether we can set aside the time and money for second dog or not. But you all raised some other really good points. I don't know if we would want to neuter him or not if we got him... but if not breeding him that would seem like a consideration. Is 4 years too old to do that?

Anniemac.... you certainly can get him too. I still am not sure of the price either so he may well be out of my league. He is a cutie though!

28th February 2011, 05:23 PM
The breeder has not offered him to us free. He just let me know he was available in a few months. I have not heard back yet on the cost. If on the low side, then I would be VERY suspicious! More than suspicious!

1st March 2011, 12:49 AM
Debra: it would be hard to find a responsible show breeder in the US that would ever sell a dog that was not on a neuter contract. This is the norm, and indeed the breeder should do this before the dog is placed. No responsible breeder would ever risk a dog being used for breeding or possibly ending up being sold on to puppy farmers or unscrupulous breeders or used for backyard breeding. If this person isn't requiring that the dog be neutered, then that would raise serious questions. Is there any particular reason why you would not neuter a male dog? If, as Margaret says, he has already been used as a stud then he could be an absolute pain for Gracie, trying to mount her all the time, and you increase the risk that they will absolutely not get on because she will find him an aggravating irritant. Four years is still quite young to be neutered So you don't need to worry on that point–breeders regularly spay their older bitches for re-homing (Lucy, for example, was six or seven when spayed by her breeder before being re-homed to my family) and I spay and neuter dogs well above that age all the time as does any responsible rescue. :)

I would still want to ask him now about why this dog is available for re-homing. Regardless of whether he is too small or not lively enough it is still a bit odd to remove the dog from show and a breeding program at only four –and if liveliness is the issue, I would really want to check out the health of the dog to make sure if there is not an underlying health cause for him becoming less lively for the show ring over time. After all, he must've been shown for several years now and only now this is showing up?

It is just pretty unusual to see breeders homing dogs that have already been shown that are this young. Most tend to home older show potential puppies that they've run on but which haven't achieved the hoped-for standard, or else bitches after age 6 or so, when they are no longer going to use them for breeding.

If several board members want to discuss actually purchasing this dog, can you please take that discussion offline amongst yourselves? It isn't really appropriate to the board. The general topic of adding a second dog and the general questions about this specific situation are of course, fine.

1st March 2011, 12:54 AM
I co-own a male Cavalier that I show and he is a sweetie-pie, BUT he tends to be a marker (he is house-trained but will mark in a new situation) and pee-pees all over his feathers and belly. His urine has a strong odor and so I am constantly sticking him in the tub to wash his feathers after he goes outside to potty. Non-neutered dogs have very strong smelling urine, from my experience! Just a couple of things to think about... :) (I know that neutered dogs can pee all over their feathers, too, but there is something super strong about the odor when they're not neutered, in my experience!)

On the other hand, my Cavaliers LOVE having each other and are constantly curling up into a pig-pile to sleep. I don't feel quite so guilty when I have to leave them, as I used to when I just had one Cavalier. I think they do really well in pairs or groups... just be aware that there could be pee-pee issues with a male dog who isn't neutered! :) :)

13th March 2011, 04:23 PM
The breeder would require me to have the dog neutered. Sounds like from Holly that this would be a good idea .... b*n*n* if it would reduce marking. LOL!

Also, the dog is only 2.5 years old, not 4 as I first thought he said in an initial quick conversation. I was confused about another dog he is showing that is four.

He will give me the MRIs of the dog and says he is removing him from show circuit because he is not performing as well as they had hoped and the co-owner is having financial troubles. I can confirm that the dog is not particularly showing that well but don't know if the other item is true or not. He has won a very small show and no other placements that I can find.

The big surprise here is that he has offered to GIVE me the dog at no cost other than neutering and paying for my own vet exam. He said that it is often too hard to sell dogs at that age and he thinks it would help Gracie to have a playmate. He often offers a discount for people to buy two dogs at a time since he believes that is best for them. Gracie and this dog do have the same sires, but different moms, and Gracie was raised for 4.5 months at the breeders home with this dog around. They would be about 2 years apart in age.

I am working hard to confirm that the issue about the co-owner is true, but is it normal for a breeder to offer to give away a dog that has been a show dog, even if you are neutering him? Just curious about that! icon_nwunsure

So... any thoughts to this are appreciated.

13th March 2011, 04:35 PM
From my own personal experience, this is common. I've been given four or five Cavaliers under similar circumstances, including my current boy Tucker, who was retired from the show ring at age 4 (love his way gay tail). But all of the breeders who gave me Cavaliers knew me pretty well so it wasn't a situation between two strangers.

If the person giving you this boy is the same breeder from whom you purchased Gracie, then I wouldn't be suspicious about a "free" Cavalier. The people who gave Cavaliers to me were most interested in finding a good home for their dogs where they knew the dogs would receive good care and where they knew it would be a forever home. They were (obviously) less interested in making any money.

In all of the cases, it worked out very well for me. Basically, I don't "do" puppies, and I've never had a Cavalier younger than 14 months come into my home. And that is not going to change!


13th March 2011, 04:35 PM
Usually rescues require anywhere from a 200-600$ adoption fee, even for older Cavaliers. I don't know if that means anything though as it's usually to recoup costs of care like vaccines, dentals, etc.

13th March 2011, 04:52 PM
Echoing Pat, I have helped several breeders in my area re-home Cavaliers into loving pet homes once their show careers are over and they are no longer being used for breeding. Many times the breeders just want them to be able to retire to a loving home and only charge the cost of neutering and a dental.

13th March 2011, 08:14 PM
Yes, this is the same breeder that I purchased Gracie from several months ago. He is also a show judge for Cavalier and the entire Toy category here in the USA. This would be a direct transaction with him and not a rescue group. I am relieved to know that some others who show dogs have done this when they retire a dog from showing.

He wants to keep the dog until August as he is entered in a few more shows this spring and summer, but we would get little Zac then if he and Gracie seem to get along well enough. I said that we could keep Zac for a week or so to see how it goes between the two of them and make our decision based on that.

I just think I will have to put a sign our front door.... "Watch out! Overload of joy and cuteness inside!" cavtinycavtiny

14th March 2011, 01:59 AM
how fun! Definitely go for it. We just had our Sunshine's sire placed with us free as well. The breeder was retiring him and just wanted a good home. We did have a neuter agreement. I think it is quite common for a breeder to let go a dog free if they know the home and know the dog will not be used for breeding. Sometimes it just isn't worth the hassle for advertisement and screening homes. I would ask for all previous vet paperwork on him. Our old boy did want to hump our other cavalier (even though he was a boy) and it took about a week for him to figure out he wasn't here for a breeding. :) But he never tried to mark in the home and we were told he might.

17th March 2011, 01:23 AM
Wow, sounds like it might work well.

You'll have to let us know what you decide. Do you have to give them a definite answer soon?

17th March 2011, 05:53 AM
Sounds great especially if he works well with Gracie! Some of the best breeders want what's best and would love to know zac was in a great home like yours. That is the cost. I hope it works out!

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17th March 2011, 02:40 PM
I can't think of a con, at all.

17th March 2011, 04:07 PM
I can't think of a con, at all.

I agree and he already has a mri? I think its a great opportunity. Did you say if you could bring gracie by to visit to get adjusted and see how they are together?

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18th March 2011, 01:47 PM
I will keep you posted. No decision required right away. I would get take Gracie there to re- meet him and then bring him home for a week at least to see how it goes. So, we will see what happens!

19th March 2011, 05:24 AM
Hope all goes well! You must be so excited :)