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Why choose a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

Deciding on which dog breed to choose can be a difficult decision. There's many reasons why to choose a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They are great companion dogs. And have an excellent temperament.

But what else do you need to consider when deciding which breed is right for you?

We reached out on Twitter and asked our friend @Harrythecav what made his owner Sarah decide to choose a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Harry is almost 9 years old. While an amazing dog, he has had many health problems. But this hasn't stopped him having a loving and happy life.

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Why did you choose a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

When I was finally in a position where I could have a dog I initially wanted a golden colored Cocker Spaniel. I always thought they were really cute and my friend had one and it was a really lovely dog.

The reason I wanted a dog was for companionship and I wanted a dog that would sit on my lap in the evening and let me stroke it.

While looking online at a page about the characteristics and personality traits of a Cocker Spaniel they had a link to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I clicked on the link because I’d always liked Cavaliers but didn’t know a great deal about them.

There was one thing in particular that stood out – it said:

“there is nothing a cavalier likes better than going out for a walk and then coming back and snuggling on its owners lap”.

That was me sold!

Researching the breed

I then started to do a lot of research about the breed because I wanted to make sure that my lifestyle and a Cavalier’s needs would match. I bought loads of books about cavaliers and read loads of online articles. There was no going back, I was having a Cavalier!

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Finding a breeder

I got Harry from a local breeder who I found on the internet. She lived in a village about 6 miles from where I live, she was also registered with the Kennel Club.

Once I'd found a breeder I rang up and put my name on their waiting list. I then started watching loads of dog programs such as Cesar Milan, Dog Borstal and It’s Me Or The Dog.

A few months later I had a call from the breeder and I went out to meet Harry at her home. He was five weeks old when I first met him.

The breeder told me he was the last of the litter, she brought his mum out but none of his brothers or sisters.

I went back to see him again at 7 weeks and then I went to collect him and bring him home when he was 8 weeks.

When doing the research before I got Harry I sadly became aware of two problems that seemed very common in cavaliers, MVD and SM.

I read quite a bit about them and realised that it was almost inevitable that at some point in his life Harry would most likely end up with a heart murmur.

When I asked the breeder if they tested for these she got a bit funny with me and said in a rather offended tone that they didn’t need to test for them because their Cavaliers did not have them. I have since met a Cavalier from the same breeder who has SM.

Other than that though the breeder was incredibly helpful and supportive. There were a few times I had to call her in the first few weeks when I needed some advice and she was always happy to help.

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Introducing him to the family

When I first got Harry I had a house rabbit called Millie. I tried to keep them separate but when Harry was a puppy he got in the room with Millie. When I went in the room I was terrified with what I would find. But Harry was just looking at her curiously!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels really are an excellent breed of dog to keep with other pets.​ They are also great dogs to have with children.Harry has met plenty of children and is extremely well behaved with them.

Harry's Health Woes

Like most Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Harry has had his fair share of health problems.

Hip Dysplasia

Unfortunately Harry was diagnosed with hip dysplasia when he was about 4 years old.

I noticed he wasn’t jumping up at people or on the sofa which was most unlike him, I took him to the vets and they had a good feel around and said it was likely either a problem with his spine or his hips so they did an x-ray and it was his hips.

He takes a tablet each morning which is supposed to build up his muscles. Fortunately at this stage he does not need an operation.

Deafness

Harry went deaf when he was about 6. I realised if Harry was asleep and you moved he wouldn’t wake up. I thought at first he was just in a deep sleep, then I noticed that he didn’t seem to be reacting to noises in the kitchen. Normally if anyone was in the kitchen rustling food packets Harry would be straight out there but he stopped doing that. He also stopped reacting when I said “chicken” or “treats” whereas before his tail would wag furiously.

Sickness

Harry also gets an upset stomach very easily. As a result of this for the past 3 years I have been feeding him a special hypoallergenic dog food and each night I put some Pro-Kolin powder on the food too.

Itchiness

Harry also suffers each year between March – October from itchiness. He has had loads of tests and tried loads of different tablets and shampoos but nothing seems to help and we haven’t been able to get to the bottom of what causes it. I used to have his fur cut 3 times a year between those times but now I have him done 4 times and that has helped a bit.

Heart Murmur

Harry has a grade 1 heart murmur which he was diagnosed with when he was about 7. He doesn't need any medication for that at the moment.

Pet Insurance has been invaluable

Harry has insurance with Pet Plan (in the UK). It’s about £55 ($70) a month. I've had to claim a few times (for the allergy tests mainly) and never had any problem with the claims.

Spanielking always recommends insuring your dog.

Final thoughts. Why I made the right decision choosing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Harry is a real character, full of mischief, he loves rolling in fox poo and he eats stuff of the pavement. When out for a walk he's normally given a chew to carry to distract him. Whilst he's had his fair share of health issues he's been an amazing companion dog.

You can follow Harry on Twitter @Harrythecav he also has his own Facebook page.

Should you choose a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

We hope this real life owner story has been helpful. There's definitely lots of reasons why to choose a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog. Has it made you want to choose a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? Do you already own a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? If so please let us know why you chose your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in the comments.

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Marley and John - September 21, 2016

Hey guys!

Thank you for your blog, I enjoyed it very much (This is John writing). Harry, you are my first and best Cavalier Facebook friend. Sure I get a lot of the same posts you do but you\’re my top Cavalier friend on the internet. I see a lot of your friends that you\’re close to (Paddy and Zoe) often but if I talk to someone, I talk to you first!

I had a golden/cocker rescue dog for 12 years. Looking in her eyes and seeing her take her last breath was so, so hard for me. I went into a bit of a mourning until my wife Karla, she\’s the practical one, said \”you need another dog and I\’ll find you one\” or, \”get over it\”. So she came home from work one day and told me about a \”Saint Charles\” dog that her friends have … \”you know the one you always liked\” … We found a breeder a few hours drive from us who claimed >10 years without MVD or SM. That\’s were we got Marley from.

Marley will be 2 1/2 in November and it seems the time (his time) is passing by so fast! You know what I mean, right? I\’m glad I\’m retired and we pal around all the time. We\’re getting to know the stores that will let us both in, usually all the non food stores, well, sort of … So far, we haven\’t boarded Marley, we just take him with us. Marley\’s illnesses have been just GI problems. He has a real sensitive gut and he gets diarrhea easily. His Vet said his \”new\” normal may just have to be soft poops … Enough of that, right? Marley just turned 20+ lbs, eating 1/3 cup x 2 each day, plus an unmeasured amount of reward treats for all his good deeds.

Wow, I can\’t believe I talked so much, but I did want to say hello but not in front of everyone. So long for now, Harry and Mum,

John and Marley!

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Dave & Kim - October 2, 2016

In 2007 we lost our English Springer Gigi to cancer. Its as a tough time so we decided to get another dog. My started researching breeds. That is when she discovered Cavaliers and we settled on a Tri-Color Cavalier. We found a beautiful puppy and brought him home at 6 months. We named him Bentley – be we liked the name. My wife read quite a few books on training dogs. Potty training went well and within 2-3 days Bentley was trained. He then started to reveal his personality – which was being a wonderful dog. 9 years later he is still a wonderful dog 0 but with medical problems MVD & Diabetes. We also have another Tr-color named Lexus – she is Bentley\’s half sister from another litter. Same Father- different mother. I would not take them for anything – as there is no better dogs I have ever cared my life with.

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