View Full Version : HI! New and I have an unusual Cavalier - all black...

24th December 2011, 02:13 AM
I started reading some while waiting for approval to post and I'm excited to get to know y'all!

We got Sophie at 8 weeks old and she is solid black with just a tiny white spot on her chin (looks like she dipped her chin in milk LOL) and a little white blaze on her chest.

I've searched the internet like crazy and have never found mention of another all black Cavalier.

Sophie was born 9/17, so she's just over 3 months old now (14 weeks old tomorrow/Saturday). I don't have many pictures of her because they're always just a black blur... :lpy:

I did get one picture of her when her 'sister' Cara (9 yr old beagle) was taking HER bed. When Cara wouldn't move, Sophie decided to just lay right on top of her. They had their sweaters on so you could actually see both dogs. I'll try to figure out how to post it.

Anyway - I don't know tons about the breed, but I did do a little research before we fell in love with her. I really didn't want a pet store dog but when we saw her in the window looking so tiny and scared I just couldn't help myself. Her brother (a Blenheim) was more bold - and cute as can be, but my heart was taken the instant I looked into her little eyes. I know we are taking a huge risk since we don't know the parents and that supporting pet stores can encourage the horrible puppy mills... but my heart overruled my head. Please don't hate me! :o

We live in Colorado and Sophie seems to LOVE the snow! Of course, she's much happier with her sweater on, but she just runs out there and barrels through it like she was an Eskimo dog! :D

OK - let me see if I can do this picture right or not...

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24th December 2011, 09:47 PM
Hi welcome to the board, there is in fact another all black cavalier on here, he is called Cooper and I believe is also from the USA.

24th December 2011, 10:00 PM
Oh my goodness, I have never seen an all black cavalier, but Sophie is absolutely gorgeous! I have a tri color named Sonny who is 6 1/2 months old. I can't wait to see more pictures of Sophie and her little milk spotted chin. :)

24th December 2011, 10:46 PM
Welcome to the board. I love seeing pictures of all black cavaliers, hope to see more of your little girl!! :-)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

24th December 2011, 11:45 PM
Welcome to the board! I have only heard of a few all black cavaliers but I know they are out there! She is a cutie! Can't wait to see more photos as she grows!

If I only have 1 piece of advise for you it would be to look into pet insurance ASAP! I also let my heart over rule my head on my 1st Cavalier and I would not trade him for the world. But it has been never ending vet visits since he was 6 months old. I have also seen 1st hand where pet store puppies come from. I have met the brokers, the puppy mill breeders and pet store employes. I spent 7 years working for an exotic pet store and met MANY people at other pet stores who sold puppies. To this day I have a few close friends who work for pet stores who sell pups... The horror stories are terrible. I would watch very closely for parvo. Where I'm located it is a major killer of puppies. Especially pet store pups who have been transported all around. Some come from many states away. There was one pet store I knew locally that I knew the assistant manager and my good friend worked there. The mortality of there puppies was 50%! That was just the puppies that died IN store or within the warranty period! Scary stuff! Thankfully after several years they shut down at the begining of this year.

Hopefully you will have many long and healthy years with your adorable little girl but health issues with the breed in particular are EXTREMELY high. I have 3 Cavaliers with CM/SM and two have heart issues. It's not fun at all. They are ex puppy mill dogs. A prime example of the "breeder dogs" that puppy farms use to supply pet stores across the USA. I wont lecture you because it is so close to Christmas and the facts are much too disturbing. Even I don't want to think about them but this is a prime example as to why puppy mills keep breeding sick and unhealthy dogs. Because people will always want to "save" that puppy... or that puppy is just "so cute".

Insurance is the ONLY reason we are able to keep my 3. Each one of my 3 has had at least one specialist visit this year that ALONE cost $2500 to $3000. My youngest is only 1.5 years old. My oldest are just barley 5 years old. Between the 3 dogs we are at 18 medication dosages a DAY.

I know you love your little girl and wouldn't trade her for the world! I wouldn't trade mine! They work there way into your heart very quickly But the health issues of this breed are very real and very wide spread. Please be prepared so that you can do the best you can for her!

Enjoy your little girl and have a Merry Christmas! I'm sorry if I sound harsh but I have seen 1st hand the conditions of breeding dogs for pet stores. "Good" breeders just don't sell to pet stores. Mass breeders do. Mass breeders have little to no regard for there breeding dogs or for the health of there puppies. Every puppy sold is just more $ in the pocket.

murphy's mum
25th December 2011, 12:38 PM
Aww, she's adorable, welcome to the board. It's easy to see why you were swayed into buying her. I must demand more photos though:snap:

I would say no-one on the board will hate you for buying this girl from a pet store, many will not agree, but certainly not hate you for it. Many of us on here bought our first Cavalier from less than reputable breeders, myself included. Our Murphy has no papers, although we did meet both his parents, we were so taken with him we just bought him there and then. It's a common mistake people make after falling in love with a cute puppy.

It's done now, so there is no point in dwelling on it. I would 100% agree with Reptigirl about insurance though. Misty was diagnosed with SM in October and the scan and visit cost us 1,600, which was thankfully covered by our insurance.

25th December 2011, 01:45 PM
Hi and welcome! :) As noted we have had one or two other all black cavalier/cavalier-ish dogs as members in the past, Cooper being one. :D

Most likely there is another breed mixed in there somewhere to produce an all-black puppy. Historically, going back hundreds of years, there were all black cavalier-like spaniels (breeds did not begin to be 'fixed' until the late 19th century when dog showing came into being so there was no such thing as a cavalier per se; and black is a very common colour that masks other colours in both dogs and cats (black cats are actually tabbies with black 'erasing' the tabby but you can often still see the tabby markings in black kittens before the black intensifies).

The four colours for cavaliers were set in the early 20th century and the breed was also reconstructed from a mix of breeds. These might, might possibly occasionally throw back to an all black dog but it doesn't seem very likely or breeders would see this occasionally (yet I have never heard of a show breeder anywhere in the world, producing an all black cavalier). It is infinitely more likely that what are sold as black or mostly black cavaliers simply have another breed more recently mixed in. If the offspring of a first generation cross are bred, they would especially look very cavalier-like but would be reasonably likely to produce occasional black puppies if there was black cocker in the background of the cocker, for example. This colour result also would be especially common in puppy mill dogs -- which is where sadly, any pup sold in a pet store will have come from (despite what some stores say). So I'd think most likely something like a cocker is mixed in there -- as cockers can be used in an attempt to produce larger litters for the millers; cavalier litters can be very small sothey make less money. There is no real breeding control or 'quality assurance' so to speak on mill bred dogs -- papers are pretty meaningless. You cannot tell who or what the parent dogs were, and it is very easy for them to introduce other breeds to get more lucrative litter results. Also often dogs are allowed to mix including with other breeds and accidentally breed. She may not actually even come from the same litter/breed as the blenheim 'brother'; millers can easily just put in any dog from any litter in what they sell on to pet shops with 'papers' (often not even AKC which means anything goes anyway as far as background as breeders can put down whatever they like).

As the colour combo isn't recognised it is I think pretty unethical for a pet store to sell an all black cavalier with papers etc at full price -- I'd consider that deceptive (especially as they often charge as much or more than reputable breeders). Please understand though that this is just a discussion of coat colour and why a colour might appear -- and has nothing to do with the charm of a puppy, and intrinsic value of any dog, mix or purebred! :) -- I have worked in breed and general rescue for years and do not consider a purebred anything to be a 'better' dog than a mix --it is just that the *petstore* is pretty odious if they sold such a puppy at the usual premium as a 'purebred' etc.

I cannot stress this enough -- this really has nothing to do with how lovable and fun a new puppy will be! Enjoy every minute with your new puppy...! :)

But as you do understand the issues with buying from petshops now, please discourage anyone you know from doing so if they think it is a good way to get their own puppy, as it directly supports the most hideous and abusive of systems. Somewhere the parent of the puppy remains in a small cage producing the next lineup of puppies for another petstore, and will do so til she is valueless to the miller and is then euthenised/shot/disposed of in whatever way they choose. I wish they would outlaw pet store sales of puppies as it would directly hit the bottom line of the factory breeding operations across the US and keep the poor dam and stud dogs from this hellish life. :(

25th December 2011, 03:17 PM
andicon_welcome sophie is beautiful and a lovely shinney coat.
i bought my first cavalier from a puppy centre at 8 weeks old a blenhem and we called him sam sadley sam was put to sleep with distemper at 14 weeks but some people are lucky than me. good luck with sophie and give her a kiss and cuddle from me and louie

27th December 2011, 03:54 AM
She is beautiful.

You may want to talk to your Vet about a DNA test down the road. It would answer the question for you, and equip you with knowledge of specific breed health issues. I too would consider insurance, especially if she is a Cavalier, or has Cavalier in her. Do you live in the US?

In the meantime, enjoy her and take lots of pictures!

27th December 2011, 12:34 PM
Hello and welcome to you and Sophie.
She's a very pretty pup and I'm sure will be a big hit with the board members here.We all enjoy seeing the new puppies.
Back in the late 1960s other colours were permitted apart from the rubies,B&T,Blenheim and tricolour.
There was a project apparently to breed all black cavaliers from black and whites and wholecolours.
Cooper is a product of a B&T sire and a ruby dam,so these unusual colours sometimes crop up,albeit rarely it would seem.
Your little girl looks all cavalier and very beautiful,and as long as you enjoy her and love her,that's all that matters.
Looking forward to seeing more gorgeous puppy photos.

Love my Cavaliers
27th December 2011, 04:13 PM
She is gorgeous. I want to see more of her face. Love her sweater too.

Margaret C
27th December 2011, 06:54 PM
From Evelyn Booth's book 'All About The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel' .......

"In the fifties and sixties one used to see most oddly coloured Cavaliers, blacks and whites and blacks were uncommon but could easily be found"

In the original standard, black and whites were permitted but not desirable, but in 1973 the standard was altered to list the four accepted colours and the words " Any other colour or combination of colours is most undesirable"

Molly Marshall, who is now well into her nineties and still the President of the Eastern Counties Cavalier Club, had a well known Kormar all black stud dog way back in the sixties and I have been told he had been capable of siring puppies of six colours, including all black & black and white, in one litter.

29th December 2011, 11:27 PM
icon_welcomeYour Sophie is beautiful. I know of several all black and also black and white Cavaliers. Some are rescues and one from a good breeder. They are just adorable. I find it a shame that they and the Chocolates are no longer a recognized color.

I hope you & Sophie have many healthy happy years together and I'm looking forward to knowing her better through this board.

30th December 2011, 08:44 AM
............ a shame that they and the Chocolates are no longer a recognized color. .

Evelyn Booth also mentions in her book that the Chocolates had 'gooseberry' eyes and were most unattractive!

There is no way I want to detract from the charm of the lovely Sophie, but the reason I have been besotted with tricolours ever since seeing my first one is the wonder of seeing the tricolour markings all come out in the right sizes and in the right places. With all those genes and chromozones buzzing about it always amazes me that any of them ever look so beautiful.

When I was quite new to breeding my first and second litters were all Blenheims, but when the first tri girl popped out of the third litter I looked at her and let out the loudest scream of joy that could ever be heard. I found out later that all the neighbours heard it and wondered what was going on. For me there is something so special about the tris that just isn't there in the other three colours. I am looking at four tris now and each of them looks very different from the others, but still they conform to the breed standard.

Of course, having said that, I do think all Cavaliers are beautiful and yes I do know that beauty is only skin deep.

1st January 2012, 07:28 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the posts!
I'm glad to hear that there are other all black Cavaliers out there. I was starting to wonder since I couldn't find anything on the web!

Today I was looking at Sophie as she was napping and the light must have been different and I could see 'ghost' markings of the lozenges above her eyes. I guess kind of like the black panther - how they look pure black but in the right light you can see the leopard or jaguar markings.

I took a pic of her with my iPhone and it came out pretty cute...
(I was playing with the different camera settings - so it has a funny tint to it, but it still is such a cute shot! -- Now if I could just get a decent picture of her when she's awake! LOL)

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