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Light colored cavalier?


New member

I am new to this board. I am going to be a first time cavalier owner soon. I pick up my puppy in a couple weeks and i’m very excited. I did have a bit of a concern in the coloring of her. I received pictures from the breeder yesterday and i’m not sure if it’s just me but her markings just look very light. Not the rust coloring I expected. She is 7 weeks old. Is this common for a 7 week old to look?

Hi and welcome! It depends really, but assuming the breeder is a experienced professional most likely this is just because puppies generally do have lighter coats than they will have as adults. For rubies and blenheims, their reds are paler as puppies than they'll be as adults. Dogs have a fluffier and paler puppy coat until around 6 months or so, which they'll begin to shed as their adult coat comes in. Seeing pictures of the parents will indicate how your pup is likely to look as an adult.
That looks typical for puppies at that age, colour will darken with the adult coat, so I wouldn't worry on the issue of coat colour. :)

The much more important concern is the health status of parents and the line... unfortunately an awful lot of breeders, particularly those who are not registered breeders with a national club, who don't also show their dogs (which means they are far less likely to have had any external scrutiny of their lines) are very misleading on the health concerns in the breed and the proper testing they should have done, for example MRIs on both parents so that they know the chiari/syringomyelia status of the parents, and recent heart results on parents (done by a certified vet cardiologist, not simply a vet). There's good information on all of this at www.cavaliermatters.org for puppy buyers and all owners of cavaliers. I'd avoid any breeder who hasn't done such testing (as well as eye tests and ideally hip scores, and dna testing for episodic falling syndrome) -- they're the basics of responsible breeding. They will routinely lie and state it isn't important or say their lines are 'tested' which means maybe a vet has checked their dog, and that's it -- which isn't adequate. Or say they are tested and not have any certificates to show it, or have forged certs from other dogs. I'm sorry if I've introduced any worries but all these points are important and one of the main goals of this board has always been to help improve the breed's health and to aid individuals to become string advocates for the breed and for themselves when dealing with breeders.

I've some older info on all these points in the information library and we've many past threads on such topics -- and also Cavalier Matters is excellent and accessible on topics which can sometimes be difficult to understand (complex health issues!).

Back to your original question -- if you check some of the many years of young puppy pics we have in the puppy photo gallery, you'll see they can be quite pale when young, and I am sure that will be reassuring for you :)