Hi! My name is Kasey, and currently I am a guide dog puppy raiser. I've had two labrador retriever puppies in training, but my parents recently told me I couldn't raise again after my current puppy, Blitz, goes in-for-training. This is going to be very difficult for me to do.
BUT I'm not talking about that. My parents are fine with me owning a dog, but I think they didn't like the puppy raising because, although they didn't admit it, they got very attached to the puppy too.
The dog I am most interested in owning is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, though I don't know much about them. I came here to decide whether they are the breed for me. So here's some info about my life style/personality.
I am homeschooled and am home most days all day. There are some days that I have classes, but SOMEONE is usually home. The times that there isn't anyone home the dog would stay in a crate, until he is old enough/trustworthy enough to leave out. The point is the most time we're out is a few hours. We ocassionally have day-trips to Disneyland and such, in which case I would have a neighbor come and check on him, or else leave him at the neighbors.
We have a suburban home, single story, with a fairly large backyard. We've had tons of labs throughout the years here, and they all seem fairly surprised when they get to the backyard. They usually tear around like they're in heaven for a while. So, I'm sure the dog won't be stuck inside all day. My current puppy loves staying out there and just sunbathing for hours at a time. I usually have to call him in before he wants to come in.
We have a pool, but it has a gate around it. I'm not sure if a Cavalier could fit through the poles there or not. I dogsit a Mini Schnauzer, and he is pretty close to fitting through, and my puppy could fit through until he was about 4 months old. The pool has never been a concern with our dogs, but I don't know about with a cavalier.
I have two younger brothers (6 and 3), and although I've heard that Cavalier's love kids, I'm not sure if they would get too rough on him. They love wrestling with my current puppy, who's just so big that he can't feel anything.
As for me: I am fairly active, and currently take my puppy for about a 1 mile walk a day. But I only do that much because he is very mellow and would crash if I did any more. With my first pup I walked 3-4 miles a day, so I can adjust.
I have never had a small dog before. I'm very used to the big dogs, and usually opt for the bigger labs, (probably because my current pup is huge.) but I still love the small ones.
I like the active yet mellow, (active when you want it to be, but mellow around the house.) loving, non-barky kind of dog. From what I have read that's what the Cavalier is.
I will be moving out in a few years, and I will already be looking for dog-friendly quarters, so having a dog move with me wouldn't be a problem.
How much do Cavalier's shed? I have a VERY sheddy lab, and would like to go for something with a little less shedding. I just spent a half hour on him with a FURminator, got about two full-sized trash bag full's, and it was still taking just as much as the beginning.
That's about all I can think of now. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask! I just want to make sure I've decided on the right breed.