Small but sporty, this breed can make the perfect companion for almost any person or family looking for a new puppy. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is comfortable in small spaces, loving in nature, and forever loyal to their humans. But what do you need to know before buying Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppies?
When on the search for a new puppy, it’s easy to get overexcited and choose the smallest, cutest, or most rambunctious pup in a litter. To increase the odds of finding the absolute perfect fit for your family, though, some mindful research and planning can make a world of difference.
Owning a Cavalier King Charles comes with a lot of perks. These dogs make excellent partners. Of course, there are certain considerations to make when deciding whether or not this is the dog for you.
Pros and Cons of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Small, low energy, and timid
- Great for apartment living
- Friendly with children
- Medium shedders
- Easy to accomplish basic training
- Require frequent attention
- Can suffer from separation anxiety
- Somewhat greedy
- Not good as watchdogs
- Possibly expensive grooming
- Prone to hereditary health conditions
Deciding Whether or Not the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is Right for You
Questions to Ask Yourself before buying a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
What kind of lifestyle do I lead?
Fortunately, this breed is pretty adaptable when it comes to their level of activity. While they enjoy going on walks, hikes, and occasionally chasing a bird or two, they also make greatlap-dogs. If your preference is to stay in and lounge with the family during free time, these dogs won’t mind. Of course, daily walks are necessary to keep them active and healthy, but make sure not to take them out in the heat of the day, as their short nose can make it hard to breathe.
How often will I be apart from my dog?
The CKCS is definitely not a “lone-wolf” type dog. This breed tends to form strong bonds with theircompanions, and doesn’t like being left alone. Doing so for long periods of time can lead to some pretty bad behavior and anxiety. If you’re looking for a dog that can entertain itself all day while you’re out working, this might not be the breed for you.
How much am I willing to spend on my dog?
Buying and taking care of a Cavalier takes time and money. If you haven’t yet thought about what else you need to do beyond simply purchasing the puppy, check out our buying guide for more information. Once you’ve considered all other aspects that go into raising a puppy, know that on average, this breed can cost between $1,800 to $3,500 depending on how close they are to their breed standard.
Do I have other pets or children?
Rest assured, when trained and socialized properly, most Cavalier King Charles Spaniels get along quite well with children and other pets. Their natural laid-back personality tends to put them at ease around cats and other dogs, and their loving and friendly nature makes them great with children. However, this breed does have hunting dog tendencies, so remain vigilant if you have small animals like rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, or birds.
Buying a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy
If you’ve weighed the pros and cons, considered all aspects of what buying a CKCS will bring to your life, and are ready to start the search for your new puppy, the first thing to do is read through our buying guide to make sure every single piece is in place.
Once you’re informed and confident in taking the next step, it’s time to start the search for your new puppy.
Tip: Often times, you’ll come across classified ads online selling puppies at a low cost (sometimes shipped right to your door). It’s usually best to avoid these ads, as they make an easy front for puppy mills to cut out the middleman (pet store) and keep the full profit. Puppies found online can be at risk for a host of health and temperament problems. The best advice is to find a reputable breeder (whose puppies you can meet in person) instead.
As buying from a pet store is generally not the best route to go (risk of puppy mills, health concerns, temperament risks), the options of finding a breeder or seeking out a shelter need to be considered.
For more guidance on how to decide if buying your puppy from a breeder or shelter is the right choice for you, consult our buying guide. The more informed you are about the pros and cons of each option, the easier it will be to determine which is right for you.
Choosing a reputable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Breeder
Choosing a breeder is an important step in the puppy buying process, but it’s also vital that you know what to look out for on each visit you make. Being mindful and observant of both the dogs and their breeder will give you a better chance of finding a healthy and even tempered puppy.
Tip: If opting to work with a breeder, do your due diligence and find the absolute best one in your area. We have put together an extensive list of breeders in the U.S. and U.K.
What to look for in a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy
This handy list should help you select a healthy Cavalier Puppy.
Observe the puppy. Can you answer “yes” to the following questions?
- Is the pup you’ve chosen interacting with other puppies in the litter?
- Is the puppy playful and energetic?
- Does the puppy easily and willingly approach you?
- When feeding, does the puppy have a good appetite?
Carefully handle the puppy, and look for the following:
- Bright eyes that show no signs of being watery or cloudy
- Steady and relaxed breathing (no snorting or wheezing, which can indicate serious health issues)
- Energetic, playful, and fun personality
- Healthy weight (not too thin)
- A clean, shiny, smooth coat with no patches or dandruff
- Sound hearing, making obvious reactions to noise
- Good eyesight (play with the puppy or throw a ball to ensure this)
- Clean genitals with no signs of infection
Questions to ask your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Breeder
Breeders should be open, honest and willing to answer any questions you have. If they aren't, walk away.
What health conditions should I be aware of?
Cavalier Kings are prone to suffering from mitral valve disease, syringomyelia, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and some eye conditions. Your breeder should be able to explain and answer any questions regarding these or other health concerns.
Has the Puppy been checked for heart conditions?
The breeder should be able to provide full medical documents for their puppies and should show proof of an extensive health
While checks are not yet mandatory for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Breeders, there is growing concern from CKCS owners that the Kennel Club needs to do more to ensure the ongoing health of the breed.
When can the puppy be taken home?
If the breeder allows the puppies to be taken home before they’re eight weeks old, be weary. Puppies need adequate time with their mother and litter before leaving with their new companion.
Can I visit the puppy before taking it home?
The breeder should allow you to visit your puppy until it’s old enough to be taken home. Leaving an unwashed shirt with it can allow the puppy to become familiar with your scent.
Can I meet the parents?
The breeder should be happy to introduce you to at least one of the puppy’s parents to check their health and temperament.
Ensuring a Happy Start for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppies
Going into your puppy buying process with an even head and full base of knowledge will help things run smoothly and efficiently. Knowing what to look for and the right questions to ask can make all the difference in the world. Enjoy the process and all the fun that goes along with it.
Leave us a comment with any tips you may have when looking for a puppy.
The image used for this post is of a beautiful litter of pups from one of our selected Best Breeders in Utah