Owning a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, like all other dogs, is a huge responsibility. While it is certainly a rewarding experience, with it comes both the good and the bad. You might (who are we kidding, you absolutely will) fall in love with an adorable, cute little puppy, but do not forget the fact that soon this little bundle will grow into an energetic and temperamental adult, who needs a lot of love, attention, good food and exercise. Let us cover some important things to know before owing this beautiful and unique dog breed.
It is very important that you purchase this breed for all the right reasons. You need to be committed to participating in daily exercise no matter what the weather is like. Always be ready to walk, romp, run and play with your pet. In return, you will get a lot of unconditional love, and years of attention and devotion.
Another thing to be committed about is your pet’s health and training. We will be discussing some of the common Cavalier King Charles Spaniel health problems. Having an understanding of these will help you prepare for them and also prevent them.
Where to find a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Once you and your family members have decided to commit to loving and caring for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, you can look out for puppies from breeders or adopt rescue dogs. The advantage of buying from private sellers is that your pet will be well cared for and may be social. It may even have some basic training, micro-chip for identification as well as initial vaccination, de-worming and so on. On the other hand, getting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel rescue will help you do a noble deed; it might even come spayed or neutered. Alternatively, you may want to contact pet shops for buying your Cavalier. Cavalier King Charles spaniel puppies are expensive; a well bred pup from tested parents could approximately cost between $1800 and $2500 whereas puppies without health tested parents could still cost between $500 and $800.
Cost of owning a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The approximate cost of owning an adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can be split up as follows:
- $300 per year in vet fees for annual checkups, vaccinations etc
- $150-$250 per month for best quality dog food
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are prone to ticks and fleas due to their hairy coat. So be prepared to spend $50-$75 per month for preventative medication.
These are approximate amounts per dog; naturally families that own more than one pet will need to shell out more.
- Difficult to train- This breed of dogs is often considered as one of the most difficult to train. Pet owners need to be very patient and also learn to read the dog’s signs and body language.
- Inquisitive and intelligent- These two aspects lie at the very core of this breed’s temperament. Due to their inquisitive nature, you must invest in dog training from the very beginning. This strong willed breed is best trained in puppyhood; once your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is used to his/her routine, it will be very difficult to change it.
- Reactive- Every dog is different. But one thing every trainer of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy must remember is to never yell or shout at their pet during training. This might make the puppy either very timid or aggressive. Once this happens, communication will become difficult.
- Moderately active breed- This breed is moderately active but it needs regular physical and mental exercise. This is key to keeping them focused and feeling secure.
This breed is blessed with a beautiful coat but you need to invest in grooming and keeping it healthy. Cavalier King Charles spaniel shedding is also an all-year round phenomena to be aware of. Shedding is mainly governed by exposure to light; so indoor dogs tend to shed all year due to exposure to artificial light. Female spaniels will shed a lot after each estrus or litter.
Matting and knotting of hair
This is another of the common cavalier grooming problems. Most pet owners rush to cut the matted hair when this occurs. However, this is unnecessary; a light misting of conditioner spray or cornstarch powder will help detangle matted hair.
No Cavalier owner should be without the rinse-free shampoos that require no bathing/washing. These are wonderful for keeping cavalier King Charles spaniel puppies clean and also for spot bathing or emergencies when bath times are not possible.
Like with other breeds, the Cavalier also comes with some genetic or hereditary health problems. Eye issues, hip dysplasia, knee problems and heart problems are some common issues. Neurological issues are also common. However, that does not mean that all dogs will have health problems. A healthy Cavalier can live up to its teens. That’s why you should insist on health testing the parents.