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Author Topic: Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles  (Read 2174 times)

wannabesmallholder

  • Joined Jan 2017
Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles
« on: March 21, 2019, 06:16:59 am »
Hi
I haven’t been on here for ages - life got a bit mad!
After being “dog broody” for years, we’ve finally decided the time is right to get our first family dog. I love the Cavalier King Charles and think the temperament and energy levels are just right for us, but do have serious concerns about the health issues. I’ve done a fair bit of research into the breeding recommendations and health screening and would only be getting a puppy from a breeder that does all of the checks, including the MRI for SM/CM, but still have lingering doubts.

I’ve done a bit of reading on the merits of crossing the breed with another Spaniel breed to try to improve the facial conformation and breed some of the health issues. I know there are some strong opinions on cross breeding, but doing it in a controlled way to improve the health of a breed, instead of for fashion reasons, seems a responsible endeavour to me. But it is a bit of a minefield trying to find the people who are doing this responsibly because of course the cross breeds are not regulated or registered like the pure breeds. Does anyone know of breeders trying this with the Cavalier?

If not the Cavalier then what? Any suggestions? Our priorities are:
- family dog
- calm, placid temperament
- trainable
- medium energy - could come running with me and do longer walks etc, but on busier days would be happy with a shorter walk and pootling around the small holding while I get on with the outdoor jobs.

I’d considered a whippet, but we have a lot of open country around us and I really don’t want to have to have the dog on the lead all the time.

Many thanks for any advice.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2019, 07:31:12 am »
Cockerpoo or bichon frice? Never had anything to do with King Charles spaniels so cannot comment.
Had a springer who was great but too highly strung, I found him quite wearing. Cocker spaniels seem to need quite a firm hand and boundaries but are then are very rewarding.

Someone on here suggested a beddy whippet X as a great family dog who will do some rabbitting but I’ve not looked into them much. We’re moving house on the weekend, need to get settled in and then will see.
Good luck in your search and do tell us what you end up with :-)


greenbeast

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2019, 07:34:07 am »
Surely a labrador is the obvious choice given your list?
Sometimes a bit excited but not mental like other dogs

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2019, 08:12:25 am »
Can't comment on cavaliers but I'd second labradors.


They are great all rounders.


Working line labradors can be rather sensitive and some are on the nervous side. They are high energy, definitely not couch potatoes, but do tend to settle in the house.


We have a new working line lab puppy and have just started at a puppy class. The instructor has show line labs that she competes with in working tests, agility, etc The show bred labs tend to be more easy going but still capable of having some fun with.


There are articles on the internet discussing the differences between the two lines.


Usually easy to train, good with children, dogs and stock.

wannabesmallholder

  • Joined Jan 2017
Re: Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2019, 08:36:49 am »
Surely a labrador is the obvious choice given your list?
Sometimes a bit excited but not mental like other dogs

Yes, but i just think a lab would be too big for us. We don’t have a big car and just generally would prefer a smaller dog I think. Also, maybe too high exercise needs?

The cocker size would be ideal. It’s just when I meet the show cockers I just don’t seem to fall in love with them - can’t say why, just an instinct thing i guess. I do really love the working cockers I’ve met, but definitely think they are too demanding for us and we couldn’t keep a working cocker in enough work.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2019, 08:37:45 am »
Cardigan Welsh Corgi. We have two - fantastic dogs. Re the running - depends how far and how fast, but they are cattle dogs so have stamina if fit.
Hairy though, but weather proof, no genetic issues, good health if you watch the weight, don't yap / don't slaver (two criteria that I applied). Can't jump on the bed.

wannabesmallholder

  • Joined Jan 2017
Re: Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2019, 08:47:40 am »
Thank you @Rosemary . I haven’t met any, but I will do some looking!

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2019, 09:15:56 am »
We have 2 springer cocker crosses, one is 50:50 and the other 3/4 cocker. Great dogs, they will ride around in the tractor all day, come out on the farm but equally fine with short walks too. Very adaptable little dogs and so much fun...

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2019, 11:23:20 am »
Surely a labrador is the obvious choice given your list?
Sometimes a bit excited but not mental like other dogs

So not always true!  I’ve been called to help a number of times over the years with over-energetic and “hard of hearing” Labs.  Some have been quite un-Lab-like in temperament - and it’s enough now to say the temperament is not a given.  (Reading on in the thread, maybe it’s the field / show thing.)

And it’s a working breed, so needs lots of exercise.

Anyway, I see you’ve now said they’re too large anyway.

« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 11:25:38 am by SallyintNorth »
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2019, 11:27:22 am »
The Cockerpoos I’ve met are lovely dogs - but do need very firm handling and a *lot* of exercise.  And they aren’t necessarily 100% with livestock, and can be a real problem with poultry ;)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2019, 11:28:57 am »
If it weren’t for the skull thing, I’d say you were right on the money with the Cavalier KC for the attributes you want.

So might definitely be worth looking for a reputable breeder of Cavapoos.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2019, 09:22:40 pm »
Any cross breed with cavalier in it will run equal risk of Syringomyelia as an untested pure cavalier. so the best thing to do is find a breeder, ask them whether their dogs have been tested and check up on the Kennel Club wedsite.  You need the correct names of the dogs to do that so ask for them. Any responsible breeder will be happy to do that or show you the certificates.

Cavaliers are a great little family dog.  Everyone will promote their own breed so if you like the cavvies, go for it.

KC website here https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/mateselect/test/Default.aspx
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2019, 03:06:24 pm »
Any cross breed with cavalier in it will run equal risk of Syringomyelia as an untested pure cavalier.


You may have access to more up to date information, in which case please share!  But from what I can find, it is believed to be genetic (although the mechanisms are not yet understood), is highly prevalent in Cavaliers, and has been reported also in Griffon, Miniature poodle, Yorkshire terrier, Maltese, Chihuahua, Bichon frise, Staffordshire terrier, Pug, Shih Tzu, Dachsund, Pincher, French bulldog, Jack Russel Terrier, Pekingese and Boston terriers.

So a cross with a breed not on that list would surely have a much smaller chance of developing the disease? 

And a cross with one of the breeds where the condition occurs, but rarely, would still have a lower chance of the disease than a pure Cavalier?

And a young dog which tests clear is still not guaranteed to not develop the condition later in life, is it? 
« Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 03:08:53 pm by SallyintNorth »
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2019, 07:44:53 pm »
Whatever breed or cross breed you decide on check the KC wbsite for the tests done.

We only have HD (Hip Dysplasia ) to contend with, and as more and more owners are having their brittanys tested for it, whether or not they intend to breed, the average is dropping.

When my two oldies (now aged 13 and 15) were tested the average was 20 (total for both hips) - check that list for Fosscott Alaine over Aberdon and Yarak Viola to Aberdon.  It is now down to 13 for both hips.  My younger bitch is slightly above.  If I mated her to my dog I would expect the pups hips to be between hers and his.

It will let you see how to search and the results you get
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

wannabesmallholder

  • Joined Jan 2017
Re: Advice on getting a Cavalier King Charles
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2019, 07:34:00 am »
@doganjo that’s interesting that you have Britannys. They sound like lovely dogs and not many of them in this country?

I’ve been in touch with a breeder who is doing what I said above with trying to improve head shape in the Cavalier and has done some crossing with a Brittany. The pups are 3/4 Cav, 1/4 Brittany and look beautiful dogs. I’ve had some independent contact with people who have had pups from her and they report the dogs are a lovely nature too and still fairly placid, but with a better overall conformation.

 

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