Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: An Owner’s Guide Nick Mays A comprehensive guide to all aspects of owning a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, this highly illustrated book is full of practical information and expert advice for pet owners and breeders.Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are affectionate, playful, extremely patient and eager to please. As such, these dogs are usually good with children and are not shy about mixing with much larger dogs. If you are considering getting a Cavalier King Charles or are an existing owner who wants to learn more about this breed, then this book will be invaluable.Contents include:• History of the breed• Acquiring a Cavalier puppy• Behaviour and training• Showing your Cavalier• Healthcare CAVALIER KING CHARLES Spaniel AN OWNER’S GUIDE Nick Mays Healthcare by David Taylor Copyright (#ulink_0ec1bad5-4ca9-5cce-b4a0-c34dc46c76b6) Collins An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. 1 London Bridge Street London SE1 9GF www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/) Collins is a registered trademark of HarperCollins Publishers Limited Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers, 2009 Created by: SP Creative Design Editor: Heather Thomas Designer: Rolando Ugolini Photography: All photography by Rolando Ugolini with the exception of the following: pages 3 (#u8f8df576-af6f-50c3-a7d8-1e1d72bcca8f), 16 (#ulink_300e4eae-958d-583a-a770-3801bdacc957), 86 (#litres_trial_promo), 91 (#litres_trial_promo), 93 (#litres_trial_promo), 94 (#litres_trial_promo) and 95 (#litres_trial_promo) (Steve Mynott – Honeybet). 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No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins ebooks HarperCollinsPublishers has made every reasonable effort to ensure that any picture content and written content in this ebook has been included or removed in accordance with the contractual and technological constraints in operation at the time of publication Source ISBN: 9780007274314 Ebook Edition © FEBRUARY 2017 ISBN: 9780007544318 Version: 2017-08-09 To Rufus, a Cavalier with a huge personality who lives life to the full … and who doesn’t read dog books! Contents Cover (#uea778f23-452b-59f0-9617-b1f6d9ad61d9) Title Page (#u8f8df576-af6f-50c3-a7d8-1e1d72bcca8f) Copyright (#ulink_18bf4fd9-1cfd-594f-896f-10784b19055a) Dedication (#u459d17df-bce2-5ad4-b697-9f3dc5cca8a9) Part 1: You and Your Dog (#ulink_95bfefa1-5a69-5d76-bf0c-ebd8de618db1) Chapter 1 History and Evolution of the Breed (#ulink_965ca28f-2818-5503-95ae-151502dde7c9) Chapter 2 Your Cavalier Puppy (#ulink_802ec630-1fcb-5fa1-afc2-7e1d685c436a) Chapter 3 The Adult Cavalier (#litres_trial_promo) Chapter 4 Training your Dog (#litres_trial_promo) Chapter 5 Showing your Cavalier (#litres_trial_promo) Part 2: Healthcare (#litres_trial_promo) Useful Information (#litres_trial_promo) Index (#litres_trial_promo) Acknowledgements (#litres_trial_promo) About the Author (#litres_trial_promo) About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo) PART ONE (#ulink_fabca207-26d4-568c-ab14-6ab74ebbb4b7) YOU AND YOUR DOG (#ulink_fabca207-26d4-568c-ab14-6ab74ebbb4b7) Owning a dog is a huge responsibility but extremely rewarding. When you decide to welcome a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel into your home, you have to consider not only how he will fit into your lifestyle but also what you can offer him in return. He will need regular exercise, feeding, games and companionship as well as daily care. Chapter 1 (#ulink_27d47dff-afe0-5e2f-a9b7-57973104ac0b) History and evolution of the breed (#ulink_27d47dff-afe0-5e2f-a9b7-57973104ac0b) The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel could rightfully be described as the ideal family pet dog. For the family who would like a large dog but have limited space, or who think small is beautiful, the Cavalier is the perfect pet – a big dog in a small, compact body. With his friendly and engaging personality, natural intelligence and a happy-go-lucky nature, this dog proves the point that the best things come in small packages. The Cavalier occupies a high position in the registration figures for the breed on both sides of the Atlantic and it remains one of the most instantly recognizable of the toy breeds. Royal patronage The modern Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is descended from the various types of small toy spaniels that are depicted in so many sixteenth-, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century paintings by great artists, including Gainsborough, Titian, Van Dyck, Stubbs, Reynolds and Romney. These typically show a small spaniel with a flat head, high-set ears, almond-shaped eyes and a rather pointed nose. It is somewhat longer-limbed than today’s more compact Cavalier. Success under the Stuarts During Tudor times, toy spaniels were popular as ladies’ pets for they were ideally suited to the role of lapdogs (often used as a means of keeping warm on chilly coach journeys or in vast country houses). However, it was under the Stuart dynasty that the royal title of King Charles Spaniels was bestowed upon them. Contemporary accounts record that King Charles II was seldom seen without two or three such dogs at his heels. Indeed, it is arguable whether the Stuarts’ fondness for ever-more extravagant wigs was derived from a love of these spaniels, going so far as to emulate their appearance, with the long sides of the wig mimicking the spaniels’ ears. Certainly many of the stylized paintings of the time show human beings and dogs with certain similarities: the same foreheads, round eyes and, of course, elaborate tonsure. The King’s preference for these little spaniels led them to becoming a popular pet as fashion followed suit. The Cavalier is a big dog in a small, compact body. This is a Ruby coloured Cavalier. Cavaliers gained royal patronage as the favourite breed of King Charles II. Cavalier puppies are particularly appealing, and it is easy to see why so many people fall in love with this attractive breed. Indeed, so fond was King Charles II of his little dogs that he issued a royal decree that the King Charles Spaniel should be accepted and granted admission in any public place, even in the august confines of the Houses of Parliament where animals were not usually allowed. This decree is still in existence today in the United Kingdom, and it would be interesting were an adventurous Cavalier owner to try it out on a visit to Westminster. A Black and Tan Cavalier named Magjen True Delight of Devonia (also known as Trudy) did gain free entry to Hampton Court in the 1980s, although her owner had to pay the usual admission charge. The King Charles was known widely as a ‘comforte dog’ and doctors even wrote prescriptions with this little dog as the remedy. Some owners were reputed to keep the dogs as a means of deterring fleas and thus avoid the plague. Decline of the breed As time went by, however, and with the establishment of the Dutch Court of William of Orange, toy spaniels went out of fashion and were replaced in popularity by the Pug. The King Charles Spaniel was subsequently bred with these dogs, resulting in the similar-shaped head of today’s English Toy Spaniel breed. One notable exception to this trend was the strain of red and white King Charles Spaniels that was bred at Blenheim Palace by various Dukes of Marlborough. These dogs were favoured for their sporting prowess as well as their continued charm as lapdogs. Ultimately, they lent their name to the red-and-white patterned Cavalier, which is known today as the Blenheim. Ideal show dogs Whilst small spaniels still had their admirers, most dogs were kept during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as working animals. Simple ‘pet dog’ ownership was a luxury afforded only to the very rich. In major British cities, such as London, Manchester and Liverpool, the main canine attractions were bull and bear baiting with the larger bull breeds of dogs, and infamous rat pits, where terriers would be placed in a ring with live rats and wagers taken on how many rats a dog could dispatch in a given space of time. Dog fighting was also a popular pastime. However, during the mid-nineteenth century, with many of these cruel ‘sports’ being outlawed, some dog owners began to turn more to ‘showing off’ dogs alongside each other rather than pitting them in combat with each other. In fact, many early dog shows were held in the same public houses where ‘ratting’ used to take place. In this way, the toy spaniel came back into fashion and was sought after as a show dog. These dogs had flat faces, undershot jaws, and domed skulls with long, low-set ears and large, round frontal eyes – typical of the modern King Charles Spaniel. When the British Kennel Club was founded in 1873, the King Charles Spaniel became one of the first breeds to have formal standards drawn up and to be recognized as such. Thus the earlier type of dog, as seen in seventeenth-century paintings and favoured by the Merry Monarch, became all but extinct. The Cavalier challenge By the early twentieth century, dog showing was well established in the UK, USA and many European countries. Cavaliers make great pets for people of all ages, no matter what their lifestyle. The distinctive Ruby Cavalier is probably less popular than the Blenheim. Shows, such as Crufts in the UK and Westminster in the United States, were viewed as the pinnacle of the dog showing year. In the mid-1920s, an American Spaniel enthusiast named Roswell Eldridge came to England to search for foundation stock for toy spaniels that resembled those in the old paintings, including one by Sir Edwin Landseer of ‘The Cavalier’s Dogs’. He was dismayed that all he could find were the short-faced King Charles Spaniels, commonly known as ‘Charlies’. Eldridge tried to get both the Kennel Club and the King Charles fraternity interested in re-establishing the old-type King Charles Spaniel – or the ‘Cavalier’ type after the famous painting – but his overtures were largely ignored. However, he was not to be dissuaded and succeeded in persuading the Kennel Club to allow him to offer a cash incentive to breeders to re-create the old-type dogs. He advertised in the 1926 Crufts catalogue, offering prizes at Crufts for three years (later extended to five years) and the princely sum of 25 pounds sterling respectively for the best dog and best bitch of the Blenheim variety, as seen in King Charles II’s reign. Eldridge wrote in the Crufts catalogue that he was seeking dogs ‘as shown in the pictures of King Charles II’s time, long face, no stop, flat skull, not inclined to be domed and with the spot in the centre of the skull’. He stipulated that the prizes would be awarded to the dogs that were nearest to the type described. Very few King Charles breeders took this challenge seriously as they had worked hard for years to breed out long noses and establish shorter snouts in Charlies. In the first year, only two dogs were entered at the show of the type Eldridge was looking for, but this was sufficient to arouse the interest of a dedicated group of exhibitors and breeders. They worked together and at the next Crufts Show in 1927 Mrs Pitt’s bitch ‘Waif Julia’ took the best bitch prize. In 1928, ‘Ann’s Son’, a dog owned by Miss Mostyn Walker, was awarded the prize but, unfortunately, Roswell Eldridge had died just one month before Crufts and never saw the results of his challenge prizes. Evolution of the new breed In the same year a Club, was founded and the breed’s name ‘Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’ was chosen. It was a conscious decision to keep the close association with the name King Charles Spaniel as many breeders had used long-faced ‘rejects’ from the kennels of the typical short-faced King Charles Spaniel breeders. Birth of a new club In 1928, the new Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club held its first meeting at Crufts, where the original Standard of the breed was agreed, and, with just some minor alterations, it is much the same wording today. Ann’s Son was held up as the desired example of the breed and the breeders agreed that the Cavalier should be ‘guarded from fashion’, and there was to be no coat trimming or extreme variants bred. Optional tail docking was agreed as part of the Standard, with no more than one-third of the tail to be removed. However, the law changed in the UK in 2007, banning tail docking for all breeds except dogs bred specifically for working. All Cavaliers born after the introduction of the law will be undocked. This handsome Blenheim Cavalier is alert, inquisitive and energetic. Despite its diminutive size, this breed is notable for its confidence and utter fearlessness, even when faced with aggression from other dogs. This tricoloured Cavalier has magnificent ears with lots of feathering. Note his alert, intelligent expression. Kennel Club recognition Although the breeders worked hard, the number of Cavaliers grew, and new colour variants were produced, the Kennel Club still withheld formal recognition of the breed. At the end of the agreed five-year period, it decided that the dogs had not been bred in sufficient numbers, nor were of a single, distinct type to merit a separate, new breed registration from the King Charles Spaniel. The Cavalier breeders were a determined bunch, however, and throughout the 1930s they continued to breed their dogs. They persuaded some dog show societies to stage special classes for them – where no Challenge Certificates were awarded, of course – and they approached the Kennel Club several times to gain breed recognition. The onset of World War II put pay to many dog-related leisure activities, but, even then, the KC records show that 60 Cavaliers were registered between 1940 and 1945. Finally, in December 1945 the Kennel Club granted the breed separate registration and awarded Challenge Certificates the following year to allow the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to gain its own Championships. American recognition The breeders continued to fight for recognition in the US. Although in 1961 the American Kennel Club recognized Cavalier King Charles Spaniels by placing the breed in the Miscellaneous classes, it was not until 1995 that Cavaliers were granted full recognition as members of the Toy Group. Public recognition In 1963, a Cavalier named Champion Amelia of Laguna, owned by Mrs C. Fryer, won the Toy Group at Crufts, thereby placing the breed firmly in the public spotlight. Ten years later, the Cavalier’s reputation as a wonderful family dog was firmly cemented when Messrs Hall and Evans’ Alansmere Aquarius won Best In Show at Crufts. There was literally an explosion of interest in Cavaliers and the breed registrations rose accordingly as more and more ‘Cavvies’ were bred and sold as pets and show dogs. Sadly, the downside of this surge in popularity led to the Cavalier Club establishing its Rescue and Welfare Service to provide a means of caring for the dogs that had been abandoned, poorly treated or needed re-homing for a variety of reasons. Thankfully, the welfare problems bottomed out eventually, although, still being a popular breed, a large number of Cavaliers continue to find themselves, for a variety of reasons, languishing in breed rescue and animal charity rescue centres each year. Cavaliers continue to be an immensely popular breed of dog, equally loved as show animals and family pets alike. In 2007, they were ranked as the sixth most popular breed registered by the UK Kennel Club. The Breed Standard General appearance Active, graceful and well balanced, with gentle expression. Characteristics Sporting, affectionate, absolutely fearless. Temperament Gay, friendly, non-aggressive, no tendency towards nervousness. Head and skull Skull almost flat between ears. Stop shallow. Length from base of stop to tip of nose about 3.8cm (1½in). Nostrils black and well developed without flesh marks, muzzle well tapered. Lips well developed but not pendulous. Face well filled below eyes. Any tendency to snipiness undesirable. Eyes Large, dark, round but not prominent; spaced well apart. Ears Long, set high, with plenty of feather. Mouth Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Neck Moderate length, slightly arched. Forequarters Chest moderate, shoulders well laid back, straight legs moderately boned. Body Short-coupled with good spring of rib. Level back. Hindquarters Legs with moderate bone; well turned stifle - no tendency to cow hock or sickle hocks. Feet Compact, cushioned and well feathered. Tail Length of tail in balance with body, well set on, carried happily but never much above the level of the back. Docking previously optional when no more than one-third was to be removed. Colours Tricolour Blenheim Ruby Black and tan Gait/Movement Free-moving and elegant in action, plenty of drive from behind. Forelegs and hindlegs move parallel when viewed from in front and behind. Coat Long. silky, free from curl. Slight wave permissible. Plenty of feathering. Totally free from trimming. Black and Tan: Raven black with tan markings above the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears, on chest and legs and underside of tail. Tan should be bright. White marks undesirable. Ruby: Whole coloured rich red. White markings undesirable. Blenheim: Rich chestnut markings well broken up, on pearly white ground. Markings evenly divided on head, leaving room between ears for much valued lozenge mark or spot (a unique characteristic of the breed). Tricolour: Black and white well spaced, broken up, with tan markings over eyes, cheeks, inside ears, inside legs, and on underside of tail. Any other colour or combination of colours most undesirable. Size Weight: 5.4–8kg (12–18lb). A small, well balanced dog well within these weights desirable. Faults Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog. Note Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum. © The Kennel Club The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 1. Eyes Large, dark, round but not prominent; spaced well apart. 2. Mouth Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite. 3. Ears Long, set high, with plenty of feather. 4. Neck Moderate length, slightly arched. 5. Forequarters Chest moderate, shoulders well laid back, straight legs moderately boned. 6. Feet Compact, cushioned and well feathered. 7. Coat Long, silky, free from curl. Slight wave permissible. Plenty of feathering. Totally free from trimming. 8. Hindquarters Legs with moderate bone; well turned stifle - no tendency to cow hock or sickle hocks. 9. Gait/movement Free-moving and elegant in action, plenty of drive from behind. Forelegs and hindlegs move parallel when viewed from in front and behind. 10. Tail Length of tail in balance with body, well set on, carried happily but never much above the level of the back. 11. Size Weight: 5.4-8kg (12-18lb). A small, well balanced dog well within these weights desirable. 12. Body Short-coupled with good spring of rib. Level back. 13. Head and skull Skull almost flat between ears. Stop shallow. Length from base of stop to tip of nose about 3.8cm (1.5in). Chapter 2 (#ulink_dde7ca1f-7892-5b6e-b3cd-c8df12d979a8) Your Cavalier puppy (#ulink_dde7ca1f-7892-5b6e-b3cd-c8df12d979a8) When you decide that the Cavalier is the right dog for you, the next step is to acquire a puppy. It sounds simple, but before you contemplate bringing a puppy into your home, you have to ask yourself some serious questions and be prepared to answer them honestly. You are going to be responsible for the life of a living creature, and you must be mindful of its welfare. Questions to ask yourself Before taking the plunge and buying a Cavalier puppy, you need to examine both your lifestyle and priorities and ask yourself the following questions. How long will it take? Are you prepared to look after a dog for all of his life, which, in the Cavalier’s case, is, on average, eight to eleven years? A dog is a lifelong commitment, not a temporary acquisition which can be returned if things don’t work out in the way you imagined. Do you have time? Have you got enough time to spend with a dog? Your Cavalier will need lots of attention as well as regular meals, exercise, obedience training, games and grooming, etc. Do you work? Is there somebody at home during the day, or for most of it, who can look after a dog? It is never a good idea to leave a dog alone for more than a few hours each day, especially a puppy. Dogs are sociable pack animals and they need companionship. Some people believe that having two dogs will offset this problem, as they will be company for each other. Although this may be true to a certain extent later in life, two puppies will be just as anxious and needful as one. In any event, dogs need human companionship so that they can learn and adapt to family life. If you leave your dog alone for long periods, it may lead to separation anxiety and a dog that destroys furnishings or soils the house. A puppy needs constant attention, so he cannot be left alone for more than a few minutes at a time. The Cavalier puppy is a small bundle of energy and fun. Is it a family decision? Does everyone in your family want a dog? This may seem a strange question, but a dog will be not just an item in the house like a TV or an armchair – he will become a member of your family and, as such, needs to be wanted by everyone. Even if one family member says they will be responsible for the dog’s care, there will be times when that person cannot do so, in which case somebody else must take over. An adult must have ultimate responsibility for the dog’s welfare, because children cannot take on full responsibility for it – no matter how much they might beg, plead and cajole that they will. Never fall into the trap of buying a puppy just ‘for the children’. A dog is for the whole family and he will be part of the family. What will it cost? Can you afford to care for a dog? The actual purchase price of a puppy, however expensive, is actually a minor consideration when you total up the additional and day-to-day costs of caring for a dog, such as food, vaccinations and general veterinary care. There will also be the initial outlay for equipment, including a bed, bedding, collar and lead, toys, feeding bowls, etc. It is also part of being a responsible dog owner to consider pet insurance, which will obviously help offset the cost of unexpected veterinary bills, as well as microchipping and/or tattooing for the purposes of identification. Can you keep a dog? Is your home suitable for a dog, and, if it is rented property, are you allowed to keep a dog there? Ideally, if you are considering owning a dog – even a small breed like a Cavalier – you should have a securely fenced back garden, or at least a shared garden or back yard. This will make it easier for your dog to go outside to toilet and get some basic exercise. Many breeders and, especially, rescue societies will not consider homing a dog to a person living in a high-rise flat or who does not have a properly secured garden. Even if you don’t have a garden, this should not completely rule you out from dog ownership, but you have to be prepared to take your dog outside for walks four or five times a day, every day, regardless of the weather. Will your family life change? Will your present circumstances always remain the same? It’s a sad fact, but divorce can happen, causing couples or family units to break up, and you should consider what would happen to your dog, i.e. whether one party could still care for him, or whether he could remain with the reduced family group. Maybe you are planning to start a family – the arrival of a new baby can cause disruption to even the most placid household, so be sure that you can still give your dog plenty of attention. How old are you? Are you retired or planning to retire in the near future? If you are senior in years, you have to consider whether you will be fit enough to look after a young dog. It may not be a problem initially, but a lot can happen in the 10 years of a dog’s life and you might not be as sprightly then as you are now. Cavalier puppies look so cute and appealing, but you should only buy one for the right reasons after giving due consideration to your lifestyle, work and family commitments. Cavalier puppies need a well-balanced diet if they are to grow and thrive, as well as plenty of interesting toys to play with. Of course, taking a dog for a walk is great exercise and there are proven health benefits to pet ownership, including lower stress levels and better mental agility. However, you should consider whether an older Cavalier – maybe a rehomed dog from a rescue centre – might suit you better than a boisterous puppy. Do you travel? Do you go away for long weekends, short breaks, holidays or business trips? You also have to be mindful of what to do with your dog when you go away. Nowadays, there are many ‘dog friendly’ hotels, B & Bs and rented holiday accommodation which welcome families with dogs, but these are very popular and get booked up quickly. if you are planning to take your dog abroad, you will have to sign up to the PETS Travel Scheme whereby dogs can accompany their owners, as long as they have all the necessary vaccinations and blood tests beforehand, and the correct paperwork (the so-called ‘pet passport’). Again, this needs to be planned well in advance – you cannot simply take your dog to the ferry terminal or airport and say ‘He’s with us’. If he is not going on holiday with you, he needs to be boarded at suitable commercial boarding kennels, or you will need the services of a dog-sitter, who is CRB checked, whether this is a friend or someone offering a professional dog sitting service. Acquiring your puppy Having decided that you want to get a puppy and your work, lifestyle, home and family commitments make dog ownership possible, where do you start looking? Some people head for the high street, but buying a puppy from a pet shop or a commercial dealer should be avoided at all costs – and not just financial ones. That is not to say that all pet shops are bad – although nowadays there aren’t many that sell puppies – nor that all commercial breeders are puppy farmers who exist only to mass produce ‘cash crop’ breeds, which includes the Cavalier along with other popular family breeds such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Advertisements There is no shortage of advertisements for puppies of any breed in your local newspapers, advertising papers and magazines, and there may be cards in a local newsagent’s window, advertising puppies for sale. There are thousands of online advertisements, too, but, generally, it is best to avoid these. Some breeders do advertise single breeds for sale and may be perfectly reputable, but avoid any breeder or establishment that offers multiple breeds for sale, as this may be a puppy farm, where ‘cash crop’ breeds are bred intensively. Puppies from such places often tend to be sickly and ill socialized. Also, avoid dealing with anyone who says they will meet you at a motorway service station to deliver a puppy to you. Needless to say, avoid dealing with ‘the man in the pub’ who offers you a pedigree puppy. At best, it is most likely stolen; at worst, it will have been bred by a ‘backstreet breeder’ (a small-scale puppy farmer, in effect) and may have serious welfare problems. You will not get a good pedigree Cavalier puppy cheaply. By buying from puppy farms, ‘men in pubs’ and backstreet breeders, you are simply encouraging the overproduction of unsocialized dogs with serious welfare problems. Note: Sometimes local dog training clubs or veterinary surgeries will have details of a reputable breeder who has a litter of puppies and may be able to put you in touch with them. Breeders The best place to buy your Cavalier puppy will be from a reputable breeder, who is an enthusiast and has a great deal of experience with the breed and will probably exhibit Cavaliers frequently at dog shows. However, even amongst specialist breeders there will be the good and the not so good, so you need to do some research before making a decision on which dog to buy from whom. Begin by checking out the advertisements in the weekly specialist canine newspapers – Our Dogs and Dog World in the UK. The Kennel Club is another good starting point as they will direct you to local Cavalier Clubs in your area as well as nationally. Log on to the Kennel Club website (#litres_trial_promo) for more details. The breed clubs can supply you with a list of breeders, but don’t feel that you have to ‘go local’ to get the puppy you’re after – be prepared to put yourself out and travel if you want the best. Quiz the breeder The next step is to check through the list of likely breeders and then telephone or e-mail them to get more information. When buying a puppy, always make sure that you see the mother as well as the pups, preferably in the breeder’s own home. Ask them which colours they breed and whether they have any puppies available. Many breeders only have a litter or two a year, so you may have to be prepared to wait for a puppy from a particular breeder. Find out at what age their puppies are sold – some good breeders will not let a puppy leave their home under 12 weeks of age, whereas others may sell them as young as seven or eight weeks. Ask about the puppy’s diet and what their adult Cavaliers eat. Crucially, it’s not just a matter of how much a puppy will cost you and when he will be available but also how healthy he and his parents are. It’s a sad fact that many dog breeds suffer from a range of hereditary conditions, although since the introduction of the Kennel Club’s hereditary diseases genetic screening process some years ago, some of the ‘typical’ inherited diseases have been greatly reduced in many breeds. Cavaliers have been known to suffer from heart problems and should be bred only from parents that are health tested annually. Only by buying a pup from such parents will you be able to feel reasonably secure that he is healthy. Ask the breeder whether they health test their dogs and can produce the necessary veterinary paperwork to back this up. If they prevaricate or don’t want to proceed on this basis, go elsewhere to another breeder. For more information on which hereditary conditions affect Cavaliers, turn to page 100 (#litres_trial_promo). Puppies need to play together and interact. It is all a vital part of their early socialization process and learning about the world. When you go the breeder’s house to view a litter of Cavalier puppy and choose the right one for you, make sure that you inspect their eyes, ears and teeth very carefully. If the puppies don’t appear healthy, walk away. Be prepared to be quizzed A good breeder will ask you plenty of questions, too, so be prepared, don’t be affronted and answer them honestly. A responsible breeder will want to make sure that you are a suitable potential owner and will ask questions about where you live, who shares your home, your working hours, other pets, previous dog ownership experience and why you want to own a Cavalier in particular. Visit the breeder The breeder might suggest that you visit a show and meet their show dogs. This gives you an opportunity to see how their dogs behave in public and react to other dogs and people. Arrange to visit their home or kennels, so you can view the mother and litter together, and check the conditions in which they are kept. It is not advisable to buy a puppy without seeing at least one parent beforehand and checking their health and temperament. It really is a case of ‘what you see is what you get’, and if you have any doubts about the parent dog, don’t buy a puppy. The puppies should be housed, ideally, in the breeder’s home where they can be socialized and exposed to a range of people and household activities and noises. The surroundings should be clean and pleasant. If you are not happy with the puppies’ environment and the way in which are are cared for, then walk away and find another breeder. Observe the puppies Watch the puppies carefully and how they react to you. When you approach a puppy, is he timid with his tail between his legs, or bold and ‘up front’, wagging his tail enthusiastically? Some puppies are naturally shy of strangers while others are more exuberant and curious, but a cowering, overly timid puppy is best avoided. Check the puppies’ health Look at a puppy and judge whether he is lethargic or lively. Is he clean around his hindquarters? Do his ears, eyes and nose look clean and free of any discharge? A healthy puppy should have pink gums, and should not object to you taking a look in his mouth, although it’s in a puppy’s nature to have an exploratory nip with those sharp little new teeth. Are the gums overly pale? If so, the puppy may be ill or even suffering from anaemia. All puppies should have sweet, rather sickly breath – typical ‘puppy breath’. – so unless it smells particularly bad, don’t worry too much about it. Which sex? Temperament-wise, there should be no difference between a Cavalier bitch and a dog, although some experts think that dogs are more territorial while bitches tend to be more temperamental. All dogs, just like humans, have their own individual personalities, irrespective of their sex. However, as a bitch matures, she will have regular seasons (when she is sexually receptive), and at these times, be careful when you are walking her in public places and protect her from the unwanted attentions of male dogs. Usually, this means that for two to three weeks she will be confined largely to home – and you have to be prepared for dealing with the bleeding that accompanies a season. So unless you intend to breed from your bitch, the best thing is to have her spayed (neutered) as soon as she is old enough. Ask your vet for advice. Some breeders and vets recommend that you allow her to have one clear season before she is neutered, whereas others maintain it makes no difference. Spaying is a responsible option, not only to avoid any unwanted litters but also from a health point of view, as un-spayed bitches, especially older ones, can sometimes get infections, such as pyometra, which is a potentially life-threatening condition. Cavaliers are very sociable dogs, especially with their littermates. Watch the puppies to see how they interact with each other. Paperwork When you decide to go ahead and buy a puppy, your breeder should provide you with a proper pedigree certificate for him, listing his parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc., as well as his Kennel Club registration document. They will be able to advise you on having it transferred into your name once you become the dog’s owner. At the time of collection, you should receive a contract of sale, which should include a ‘buy back’ agreement clause, whereby the breeder agrees to take the puppy back if he is found to be suffering from any serious health problem within a reasonable period of time following the sale. Read the contract carefully to make sure this is included. A good-quality chewing toy will help your Cavalier puppy to develop strong, healthy teeth as well as alleviating teething pain. These Cavalier puppies are happy in a secure outdoor pen in the garden, equipped with a water bowl, where they can play in safety while you are busy doing other things. Ask the breeder what arrangements they have made, if any, about your puppy’s vaccinations (see page 103 (#litres_trial_promo)). If he is being sold at over nine weeks of age, then the breeder should have initiated at least one of the two essential inoculations against infectious diseases. The puppy will need his second inoculation at around 11 weeks, which, most likely, will be your responsibility. Similarly, he should have been ‘wormed’, i.e. treated against worms and other parasites (see page 106 (#litres_trial_promo)), at least once or twice before coming to live with you. You should also ask the breeder about tests carried out for genetic problems within the breed (see page 100 (#litres_trial_promo)). A good breeder should include puppy insurance as part of the sale package. This usually provides cover for any health problems and other eventualities covered in the policy during the first six weeks from point of sale. After this you must make your own arrangements, either with the same pet insurance company or another of your choice. Preparing for your puppy You now need to give some thought to preparing for your new puppy’s arrival. You will need to buy some essential items, including the following: • A bed or basket • Bedding or blankets • Food and water bowls • Suitable food (which the breeder will advise you about) • A collar and lead • Some suitable toys, with no small parts that can be swallowed • Some chews (puppy-sized) to help prevent damage to furniture or slippers • A dog pen, or crate, can be a useful investment and will be your dog’s ‘own place’, not so much for confinement as a safe area where he can reside and not get under your feet if you are busy and moving things around. Equally, it’s a place of solitude for him. Puppy-friendly home You will also need to make sure that your house and garden are puppy-friendly. In the house, check the following: • There are no small areas into which a puppy could crawl and get stuck • No electrical wires are lying around – puppies like chewing them, so invest in some cable protectors (available from DIY and electrical stores) to tidy away TV and other electrical appliance wires • Children’s toys and small ornaments are out of reach, as a puppy likes nothing better than to chew things, and they could cause severe health problems if swallowed • Cupboard doors should always shut securely, especially those containing sharp items or cleaning materials • Child gates or special dog gates should be fitted in doorways or at the top or bottom of stairs; attach some strong wire mesh to the gate to prevent the puppy sticking his head between the bars and getting stuck. You also need to survey your garden and make it escape proof. Check for the following: • There should be no holes or obvious gaps in fences • Garden gates shut properly and there is not sufficient space underneath for a puppy to squeeze through and escape • If you have a garden pond, put a stout wire fence around it or strong netting over the top to prevent a puppy falling in • There are no poisonous plants that your puppy could eat • Weedkillers, slug pellets and other chemicals are securely locked away out of reach. Contact the vet Book an appointment for your puppy’s vaccinations and health check. You may also wish to check out puppy training classes, which are organized by local clubs. Some veterinary surgeries also organize ‘puppy parties’ where puppies can meet each other and get used to other dogs and people. A large, spacious outdoor run with a paved or concrete floor, which is totally secure, is an ideal area for several Cavaliers to exercise in. Collecting your puppy Finally, the big day will dawn and you will have to go to the breeder to collect your puppy. Take some towels and kitchen roll with you in case the puppy is stressed or unused to car travel and is sick. A water bowl and bottle of water will be necessary on a long journey as the puppy may be thirsty. If possible, take someone with you to collect the puppy, so that one of you can nurse him while the other drives. When you arrive at the breeders, make sure the puppy you chose on your last visit is still fit and healthy, and then check the paperwork over. The breeder should provide all the documents you need (see page 32 (#ulink_4290b3b3-38b2-5f45-b28e-1ad94d60a55c)), plus a diet sheet and two to three days’ supply of the puppy’s usual food. Once you have paid the breeder, it’s time to take your puppy home. Some breeders even supply a ‘puppy pack’, which includes toys and maybe a blanket on which he and his mother have slept in order to provide a reassuring, familiar scent. Make sure you keep a good hold of your puppy on the journey home. You can cuddle him on your lap or place him in a suitable carrier to keep him safe. Remember to reassure him as much as he needs, always talking quietly and in a friendly tone of voice, without overdoing the attention and making him anxious or over-excited. If you can, put a puppy collar (and lead) on him during the journey home, not to walk him – that comes later – but as part of the all-important process of getting him used to a collar and lead for his later training. If you use public transport rather than driving him home in a car, avoid letting any other passengers touch your puppy. Of course, people will want to stroke him and make a fuss of him, but although it’s good socialization it may also be quite stressful. Arriving at home When you bring your puppy home, it’s important that you try to look at things from his point of view. He is just a few weeks old, and all he will have known are his mother and siblings, their puppy pen and the immediate area of the breeder’s home in which they have been kept. Now he is on his own, with human beings he does not recognize by smell or sight, in a strange, new house. It’s a traumatic experience for a young dog, so do not expect instant bonding. On the contrary, it is quite likely that he will be anxious, even frightened, in his new and unfamiliar surroundings. The first thing you need to do as soon as you get out of the car is to take him into the garden and encourage him to urinate and/or defecate. When he performs, praise him lavishly and make a fuss of him. Do not stop en route in lay-bys as these can be places of infection where countless other dogs have been. Until he has completed his course of vaccinations, your puppy cannot be put down in a public place. Toilet train your puppy early on. Start taking him out in the garden for this purpose as soon as you arrive home. Never shut him outside by himself. It is important to go with him and to encourage and praise him. The last thing your puppy needs is to be pitched into a house full of your friends and neighbours all descending at once to meet the new arrival, even if they are being friendly and just wanting to pet him. Just take things calmly and slowly; let the puppy explore the rooms you make available to him, such as the living room and kitchen. Show him his bed or basket; if the breeder has given you a blanket, put it in his bed along with his other bedding. Indicate where The last thing your puppy needs is to be pitched into a house full of your friends and neighbours all descending at once to meet the new arrival, even if they are being friendly and just wanting to pet him. Just take things calmly and slowly; let the puppy explore the rooms you make available to him, such as the living room and kitchen. Show him his bed or basket; if the breeder has given you a blanket, put it in his bed along with his other bedding. Indicate where his food and water bowls are (ideally, these should not be situated too far away from his bed). Show him the back door, so that he can ask to be let out into the garden to toilet (which he will eventually learn to do). Playtime together in the garden can also be used for some light training, such as learning to retrieve and give up a toy or item on command. When your puppy does this, always be sure to praise and reward him. All the time, talk to him gently, using his name. This has a practical purpose, as he needs to associate with his name and respond to it. Never shout or scold your puppy while using his name as an admonishment, or he will associate his name with something bad. Bedtime Puppies are, of course, babies, so they tire very easily. One minute they may be playing madly; the next, they may be sound asleep. So when your puppy has explored your house, maybe had a little bit to eat and hopefully, gone outside to toilet, encourage him to use his new bed. Again, do not shout or get impatient if he climbs out of his bed; if he flops down to sleep somewhere else, gently pick him up and put him in his own bed, so that he gets used to it. One trick to help settle him down to sleep is to put an old clock in his bed, perhaps wrapped in a blanket. The ticking will remind him of his mother’s heartbeat and reassure him. As he gets older and more confident, you will be able to remove the clock without causing him any upset. Sometimes keeping a radio switched on nearby (but not too loud) will help to reassure him further. The first night Expect your puppy to be fretful on his first night – he will be alone for the first time in a strange house. You could leave a small nightlight on in the kitchen or the room where he sleeps for the first few nights. Some owners don’t mind having a dog in their bedroom, so if you want to take your puppy up to bed with you that’s fine – but make him sleep in his own bed, not on yours. Not only is it safer – a fall from a bed could injure a small puppy – but it also gives the dog the wrong message to allow him to sleep on your bed, as it elevates him mentally in his perceived ‘pack hierarchy’. Your dog is lower than you in the pack – you are the pack leader – so he should expect to sleep in his own bed, not in yours. Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию (https://www.litres.ru/nick-mays/cavalier-king-charles-spaniel-an-owner-s-guide/?lfrom=334617187) на ЛитРес. 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