How To Find A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Breeder
If you’re reading this, you’re either currently looking for or trying to figure out how to find a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeder. Where do you start? What questions should you ask? How do you decide if one breeder is better than another?
Hopefully, I’ll be able to answer some of these questions with this blog post about how we found our breeder.
Is getting a dog something you’re still thinking about? Consider these four questions to find out if you’re truly ready.
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Disclaimer: I am not a vet, nor a breeder nor any kind of pet health professional. I’m a dog mom sharing my stories in the hopes that my experiences may help others. Deciding on a breeder was a personal choice for my first dog. Adopting a rescue is also another option and it is a noble one, especially if you are well-equipped to do so.
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Finding a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeder is a process.
Why We Chose A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Juan and I always knew we were getting a dog, it was just a matter of what breed. We had to choose a breed that would best fit our lifestyle, that would be small enough to travel with and that would be affectionate enough to cuddle with.
Scrolling through Pinterest, I came across an adorable picture of a Blenheim Cavalier puppy (the white and brown ones!) After a little bit of clicking around, I landed on the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club of Canada. This website has everything you need to know on the breed and it describes the Cavalier as follows:
“Cavaliers were bred to want to be near their owners and they take their role very seriously. They are loving, compassionate, intuitive dogs that provide a lifetime of companionship; the ultimate lap dog.”
Yup. I was sold.
When I read that they are also super versatile, rarely bark* and will adapt to almost any lifestyle, I knew a Cavalier breed was the right one for us.
*Fast forward to a year later, they actually do bark, like my Henry who is a reactive dog. Read all about anxious barking and how to calm it here.
Where To Find A Cavalier Breeder
Now that we were decided on a breed, it was time to figure out how to find a Cavalier breeder. Where do we look?
A great place to start is Google (LOL no really, that’s what I did).
The search began on the Canadian Kennel Club and American Kennel Club. This is basically the directory for registered, ethical breeders–for all dog breeds, actually. Because Cavaliers are prone to several illnesses, it was important for us to choose a breeder that did all the right health tests to ensure a healthy lineage.
The breeder search began in the month of April 2019. Over the following months, we joined Cavalier King Charles groups on Facebook and looked up a variety of different ethical breeders in the Quebec and surrounding areas.
I made an excel spreadsheet of websites, emails, phone numbers and Facebook pages I had contacted with the outcome of each conversation. Some phone calls lasted over an hour discussing all the in-depth details of the breed. Some emails went unanswered. Most of the breeders who did reply, however, had a 1-2 year waiting list.
To give you an idea, we communicated with over 40 breeders in about a four-month period. Yes, we were on a mission.
You Found A Cavalier Breeder, Now What?
In July 2019, we reached out to Passion Unique de Mabini, in Granby, Quebec, the breeders we would (unknowingly) be adopting Henry from. After a little research on the breeder, they checked all our boxes. They did all the health tests, had all the necessary documents to back this up and their dogs were just so beautiful! An initial email was sent, then a Facebook message and a second follow-up email.
When we finally heard back, we had to fill out a loaded application form. Questions included where we lived, what qualities and temperament we were looking for in our puppy, the gender and colour (first and second choice) and a little about us. We understood this was to assess how serious we were about getting a dog.
Once sent, the breeder gave us a call. She was initially hesitant about the fact that we live in a condo, but somehow I managed to convince her. All that was left to do was send our deposit to assure our spot on the waitlist. This part was a bit of a gamble. If our first and second choices weren’t born in this litter, we’d have to wait another 6 months until the next litter, and so on. (I really didn’t want to wait!)
The back and forth of calls and emails took about a month.
The Waiting Game…
It was now August, and we hadn’t heard anything. Not a call, not an email. Nothing.
One day, randomly, I received a mysterious Facebook notification from the breeder asking me to join a private Facebook group. The group was called “August Puppies 2019”. I think I may have screamed a little.
What did this MEAN!?!?!? I didn’t want to get TOO excited or get my hopes up, but I mean, if they’re adding us to a group then it must mean SOMETHING!
Sure enough, on August 19, 2019 six little puppies were born: two Blenheim boys, two tricolour girls and two tricolours boys! As the weeks went by, our breeder uploaded videos and pictures to the group so we could watch the puppies grow. Looking back, I’m so grateful for all the photos and videos we have of Henry since day 1.
Choosing A Puppy From The Litter
Watching these puppies grow, we still had no clue which one was ours (or to be honest, if we’d even be getting a puppy from this specific litter).
In fact, the breeder sent us a picture of both Blenheim boys saying “one of these is yours!” I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was.
Fun fact, Henry was not my first choice. I had my eye on his brother, the calmer, less rambunctious pup. We were going to find out which puppy we’d be taking home when we went to visit them at 6 weeks old. Sometimes, you get to pick your puppy. In our case, our puppy was assigned, based on our choice and on its temperament.
The First Visit
Usually, and especially if the breeder is in your area, you get to visit the puppies when they’re 6 weeks old. When we visited Henry on September 29, 2019 it was love at first sight. This little fur-ball fit perfectly into our arms as he nibbled on our fingers, hair and sweaters. He even fell asleep in Juan’s lap! I mean!!!
This visit also helped us to get to know our breeder even better. She was really great and provided lots of helpful suggestions and information. She answered a lot of our questions about the first few days with our puppy and guided us in the right direction regarding food and pet insurance (which I highly recommend by the way. It saved us a couple of occasions! You can read this blog post to find out how.
After this first visit, you know which puppy you’ll be taking home in a few weeks. This is the part when reality sets in. You are going to be a dog mom (or dad!).
Gotcha Day! (A.K.A. Best Day Ever!)
On October 19th (i.e. THE best day ever!) it was finally time to take our puppy home! This was the day we made it official (Oh yes, we signed the contracts*). We felt so prepared with our little pet carrier, our blankets and little plush toy. Lucky for us, Henry slept the entire drive home.
*Some breeders will require you to sign a contract that covers things like neutering at a specific age. I talk about our experience with neutering here. It was a lot more stressful than I thought!
To this day, we are still in touch with our breeder and we cannot thank them enough for their guidance throughout this whole process! Finding a Cavalier breeder can take months, but don’t get discouraged. I promise, filtering through the breeders to find the right match is totally worth it. Henry is happy and healthy, and teaching us something new about ourselves everyday. We are so thrilled for the joy he brings to our daily life!
Have you begun your search to find a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeder? Bookmark my Puppy Prep blog post to be ready with everything you need, when it comes to bring home your puppy!
Helpful Resources For Finding A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Breeder:
These are some of the websites that helped us along the way, especially when it came to asking the right questions.
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