You shouldn't pay less than euro450-500 for a cavalier as any good breeder doesn;t charge less than that; unfortunately many backyard breeders and brokers (sellers of puppy farm puppies) also charge that much, typically in small ads or the Buy&Sell (definitely don't buy a dog from the Buy&Sell).
There are some cavaliers listed free to good homes there at the moment -- normally I would call and try to get them into rescue but I don;t have the time to do that right now before I go away for three weeks. You can also fill out a rehoming contract and I can add you to my list for adults coming into rescue; this requires a homecheck and a rehoming fee to cover any medical costs (typically a vet check, perhaps vax and neuter, which are costs you'd have anyway).
This is a breed with a lot of health issues and the chance of having them is greatly increased by getting dogs bred by backyard breeders (people who just breed their own dog with no regard to matching pedigrees properly to breed around serious health issues) and puppy farms of which there are many in Ireland. A lot of them are out west, so be very, very careful buying a dog.
The best thing to do is contact the breed club (I provide a link in the Breed rescue listings or see ikc.ie under the 'buying a dog' heading I think) and ask them for their puppy listings. They can tell you which breeders have litters. Always ask to see at least the mother, & go to the breeder's house -- if they offer to bring a pup to you it is almost certainly a puppy farm puppy being sold by a broker. Though these dogs may cost slightly less up front (usually they are the SAME asd a good breeder's pups) they will likely cost quite a bit in the longer run due to health care expenses.
I strongly recommend getting pet insurance thru Allianz as it is not very costly and most cavaliers will eventually be dealing with heart problems as they age.
Thanks for the information you gave me. I have been looking in the buy and sell and there are a few advertised . I think there are at least 2 adults advertised for free there and loads of puppies for sale. I DONT KNOW IF AN ADULT WOULD BE OK WITH KIDS IN THE HOUSE , WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND . I WOULD LOVE TO RESCUE AN ADULT AND GIVE IT A GOOD HOME . A FRIEND OF MINE GOT A LOVELY PUP A WEEK AGO BEAUTIFUL LITTLE FELLA. IT MADE ME EVEN MORE DETERMINED TO GET ONE WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT .
I definitely would not even consider getting a puppy from the Buy&Sell for the reasons noted -- the chances of early onset mitral valve disease (see the Health Issues FAQ) are very high for such dogs and life expectancy can be only around 6-8 years. Whereas good breeders tend to opt for longlived dogs with heart-healthy lines and this can push MVD onset back into normal timeframes (though kost cavaliers will ultimately get it). Also cavaliers can have other health issues and the chances of all of them are hugely increased when you get puppies from people who have no idea what they are doing when breeding. So many wonderful breeders have had their health overall seriously damaged by backyard breeders and puppy farms -- poodles, cairn terriers, dalmations, boxers, labs and of course cavaliers, to name a few.
An adult can often be a better option than a puppy, especially with younger kids. Cav puppies are very small and basically, you will have your hands totally full from the first two months --they are hard work, just like a human baby, and can't be left alone initially for longer than maybe two hours. Housetraining takes up to a year, and goes faster if you can work at it full time. So that's something to think about. When I got my second dog Leo, I got a 10 month old as I couldn't bear the thought of going through all that work again, though puppies ARE very cute! But if you have really young kids, a puppy can be an overwhelming additional responsibility and I really recommend an older dog.
Most cavaliers love children. If you call some of the free ads, ask them if the dog has been around kids. Go and visit the dog to see it in its home environment. I am happy to give advice and depending on where you are, suggest palces to go to do some dog training if you want.
BTW the reason many of those free ads say 'not suitable for breeding' is that puppy farmers regularly pretend to be a family seeking a new dog to get such dogs for breeding stock -- presumably the family has neutered the dog they are offering. It is a horrific industry (as a glance at my puppy farm section will show; I have an example of the kind of situation these Irish dogs typically live in and it is terrible). IF you call any of those ads let me know what they say. If they will hold onto the dog I can help them rehome at the end of the month but I won;t have time to do this until the end of Spetember.
Karlin, you mentioned that EUR 450-500 was average for a puppy cav and we paid the upper end of that for ours and touch wood (and obviously with lots of love and caring) he's been in perfect health (8 months now) and we have all his papers+ vaccination confirms + have been in contact with the breeder since to ensure that his parents + siblings are also ok etc.
I know someone else that got a cav a couple of months after us from a breeder and we were told that it cost them EUR 300 ??????
I didn't think that could be right and with reading postings on here it seems as if 1) they were just lying/joking or 2) they got it from a puppy farm/disreputable breeder.
For the puppy's sake I hope it's the former !!
Am I worrying too much??