Here are a few pointers to choosing your pup from a litter and questions to ask the breeder. You must also expect to be asked a lot of questions by the breeder to see if YOU are a suitable potential owner.
You’ve done your research and found a good responsible breeder with a litter of puppies, so how do you choose your new pup?
Well first – do you want a male or female?
In Cavaliers the difference between the sexes is small, unlike some other breeds. In fact, males can often be even more affectionate than females – but – there is NOT a marked difference.
(With females – your lawn will be ‘burnt’ and with males, any small conifers you have will be scorched!)
Choose a puppy that looks bright and active.
Clean shiny coat and bright eyes.
Don’t feel sorry for one who goes and hides under a chair, pick one that comes and chews your shoelaces.
A few timid puppies can become timid adults – this is NOT common in Cavaliers – but choose an outgoing little pup that wants to come to you.
Most breeders handle and play with their pups, and so a pup should NOT be afraid of being gently and firmly handled.
If you take children with you to view the pups, please ask them to sit quietly and not run around with squeals of joy as this can terrify any pup.
Please don’t let any small children grab at the puppies.
If you have a husband/wife who is not 100% sure about Cavaliers – and seems ‘dubious’ about 'small dogs' - take him/her with you to view the pups. He/she will have no more doubts!
Do NOT say to the breeder –" is this a show puppy?" – they cannot tell you.
All they can say if the pup is young, is that it MIGHT have show-potential. Tell the breeder if you want the pup just as a family pet, or possibly to show if it is good enough.
Ask the breeder if, for any reason you couldn’t cope with the pup, or your circumstances changed – they would take the pup back – most good breeders would.
NO breeder can give you a 100% health guarantee – this is simply not possible – all they can do is show you the heart and eye test certificates, and pedigree.
Ask the breeder if they would mind you having the pup checked over by your own vet within 24-48 hours of you buying the pup. Again – no breeder should disagree with this.
Most breeders know their puppies extremely well – even at 8 weeks old and may well advise you which pup might suit you best.
Listen carefully. The breeder will know which pups are going to be bossy, which are quieter, and which are naughtiest.
Most breeders let puppies go to their new owners around 8 weeks old (not normally younger than that), and most breeders leave the vaccinations etc to the new owner – although in some cases the breeder will get the vaccination course started off for you, if for example you cannot have the pup home with you until it’s a little older.
Many breeders will offer to keep a new pup if you have holidays booked.
Ask if the pup has been wormed, when and what has been used.
Ask for a diet sheet- as pups should not have their diet suddenly changed. Many kind breeders will give you some of the food the pup is used to, and a puppy pack of helpful tips.
Pups can be micro-chipped at any age - but you may wish to wait until they have their finished their course of vaccinations.
Make a list of ‘things to ask’ and ask them – do not be so overcome at the sight, smell and warmth of your new pup that you forget to ask what it eats.
Enjoy your pup – they are not puppies very long!
© 2012 cavalierkingcharlesspaniels.co.uk