Looking For a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? 
First of all, read important information, by .
Your selection of a reputable breeder from whom to purchase your puppy is the most important step you can take in ensuring that you have a better chance of getting a healthy, temperamentally sound puppy and one who has a better than average chance of staying that way. Many dogs of all breeds are the result of irresponsible breeders and/or irresponsible puppy sales.   This information may help you avoid common mistakes when choosing a Cavalier breeder. In this information you will find questions to ask yourself. You should be able to answer all of them affirmatively before you begin your search.
Questioning breeders on health items should not anger them. They should provide you with written documentation of the testing they say they have done and should be pleased that you care about the future health of your puppy and should also take care to ensure that each and every one of their puppies is going to a suitable, loving home.  Likewise being able to provide information on the puppy's heritage and health of that heritage is equally important.   You may even be lucky enough to be able to view grandparents of the puppy, as well as the parents.
When shopping for a home, it's about location, location, location.   When shopping for a pup, it's about breeder, breeder, breeder!  Dogs are living creatures that will hopefully be with us for 10 - 15 years. 
How Do You Identify A Responsible Breeder?
The information listed below is a guide to assist you to ensure that the breeder you choose is responsible.  Look for a breeder who, at a minimum, does the following:
  • Obviously loves their dogs and their puppies, ensures that the wellbeing of both is paramount in all that they do and also that the improvement of the breed is part of their endeavours.
  • Has obviously well loved adult dogs who appear happy and healthy, are excited to meet new people, and happy to demonstrate Cavi love to visitors.
  • Shows you where the dogs spend most of their time, which should be a clean, well- maintained area with plenty of space for the dogs to run and play naturally, not couped up in tiny or small areas, in over-crowded situations, whether rural or urban.
  • Invites you to spend time with the puppy and puppy’s parents (and where possible, grandparents) when you visit. Note - wear old clothes if you intend to spend time with the breeder's dogs because Cavaliers are an exuberantly friendly lot.
  • Is happy to provide any information about puppy, puppy's parents and the other dogs.
  • Has a clear understanding and is able to provide you with information about the breed, it's history, attributes and faults in every area.
  • Is happy to chat with you about her breeding programme and principles and what she wants to achieve with same.
  • Is able to show you where puppies are born, raised and cared for and will show consideration for the mothers and their babies, and protect them from stressful situations when the babies are young.
  • Does not allow the puppy to leave its mother or the litter before 8 to 10 weeks of age, preferably.
  • Explains in detail the potential genetic problems inherent in Cavaliers and provides documentation that the puppy’s parents and grandparents have been tested to ensure that they are free of these genetic problems.
  • Offers guidance for caring and training your puppy and is available for assistance after you take your puppy home.  Assists with preparing for the arrival of your puppy and encourages you to keep in contact and to come back to them with regular updates and/or if there are any questions or problems with the puppy at any time in its life.    A responsible breeder will be responsible forever.
  • Is willing to provide references from other families who have purchased puppies if you ask.
  • Does not always have puppies available, and keeps a well screened waiting list, regardless of the number of dogs owned or litters produced.  
  • Encourages multiple visits from you and your family, and keeps you involved and updated while puppy matures to going home age.
  • Protects the well-being and safety of their dogs and puppies at all times.
  • Respects the rules and regulations agreed to by breeders registered with Canine Associations and operates according to local govenment regulations.
  • Is more involved in their own endeavours and not prone to gossiping about other breeders or show-homes.  
  • If you have encountered other happy families who have one of the breeder's dogs, it's the best recommendation you could possibly want, but that is not always the case.   Sometimes you have to find a breeder for yourself.
It may cost a little more to buy from the more responsible breeders but as one of my clients said, 'it will only take one costly visit to the vet with an unhealthy puppy to make up the difference in price'.
There are so many decisions to make prior to getting a new dog.
First you must decide the breed, the place you will purchase the dog from, if you should choose a male or female, as well as decide if a puppy or an adult dog is right for you. Taking the time to make these decisions is important for both you and your pet.
In making a decision between an adult Spaniel and a puppy, there are several questions you should ask yourself:
How comfortable are you in training a puppy?
How much time do you have to set aside for training?
Can you spend time with the puppy for the majority of the day and night?
Do you have patience to work with young animals?
The following sections will discuss the positive aspects and the difficulties of purchasing a puppy or an adult dog. Thinking your options through will help you determine the best choice given your situation and environment.
Anyone who has ever seen, held or played with a puppy can quickly tell you the biggest benefit of getting a puppy. Their cute, loveable and energetic personalities are wonderful, and they bring a smile to everyone’s face.
Puppies are great for families and individuals that want to spend time with the young dog, to bring it up and train it specifically as the family wants and needs. Raising a puppy allows the owners to provide the training and socialization to make the puppy into a happy, healthy and well-behaved dog.
Purchasing a  puppy from a reputable breeder or shelter ensures that the dog will be with the family for the longest possible time, as the owners can provide proper care, nutrition, and veterinary treatment for the life of the dog.
Watching the puppy playing with its littermates may also give an indication as to its temperament as an adult dog. Puppies in the litter that tend to be more aggressive and assertive are more likely to be independent, and potentially more difficult to train as they grow. The puppies that stay more isolated are usually more quiet and shy as adult dogs, and may have difficulty socializing
and interacting with strangers and in strange situations.
If you have made the decision that a dog or a puppy from one of these breeds is the best choice of a pet for you and your family, your next decision is where to buy the animal. There are a wide range of options to consider when determining where to get your dog or puppy. Depending on the type of puppy that you would like (if you want to use the dog for breeding or showing or not), and how long you are willing to wait for a dog or puppy will probably influence which option is best for you.
A rescue shelter is a good option to get an adult dog that is going to be a companion animal for you and your family.
Usually the shelter will allow you to spend some time with the dogs that they have for adoption and purchase, and this will give you time to check on their temperament and behavior.
Often shelters will agree to take the animal back if it does not adjust to your home or family. Many of the adult dogs from the shelter are already trained, and this can be an asset when you do not want to go through the training
When getting a dog from a shelter be sure to check the following:
Ask for any information available about the dog.
Make sure the animal has had a complete check-up and that the vaccinations are up to date.
Ask if the dog has any behavioral issues or other concerns such as eating or barking.
Does the dog appear healthy and energetic?
Will the rescue shelter allow you to spend time with the dog prior to taking it home?
What is the policy on spaying or neutering the animal?
Can you return the dog if, for some reason, the adoption does not work out as planned?
Drawback to rescue shelter dogs
There are some drawbacks to getting a dog from a shelter:
The dog may have learned bad or negative behaviors and will have to be re-trained.
You have limited choice over the breeding, size and gender of the dogs available.
You have little information on their lineage or medical history.
Shelters are more likely to have adult dogs than puppies.
Most animals will have to be neutered before leaving the shelter, or you will have to agree to neuter or spay the animal.
There are major concerns when buying a puppy at a pet store. It is against kennel control rules for breeder to sell registered puppies to pet stores, so often the purebred puppies offered are from ”puppy mills“.
These puppy mills are kennels that simply breed dogs to produce large quantities of saleable puppies, rather than trying to selectively breed to specifications and positive attributes of the breed. Often these purebred puppies will not be show quality, and the buyer will not learn of this until they attempt to register or show the dog. Unless you are familiar with the top lines of the breed, it is difficult to know a good quality purebred from a poor quality or line.
The second concern is that there may only be one puppy of a breed to choose from. This limits your ability to compare the puppy with littermates or other puppies of the same breed. Puppies in pet stores are also stressed, as they are away from their home environment. They may be exposed to different pet diseases, and will need a thorough vet examination as soon as possible after
While probably the most expensive choice, buying from a puppy or dog from a  breeder is generally the best option if you want a purebred puppy from a reputable line. Most breeders offer a guarantee of health, as well as detailed information on the breed. A breeder will often interview you as a potential owner, and may even want to come and visit your home before agreeing to sell a puppy.
They will often provide recommendations on food, veterinarians in the area, trainers, problematic issues with the breed, as well as other points of interest. Most breeders willalso discuss issues with spaying or neutering the pets, unless it is agreed upon that the puppy will be a show dog or future breeding stock.
Before visiting a breeder, it is important to ask for information on the line of dogs that they are breeding, as well as any relevant health information on the parents. Do some research both on the breed and on the line the puppies are bred from. Calling other kennels that are breeding the same type of dogs or contacting the breed association may be helpful.
Getting this information prior to visiting the breeder is essential as it is all too easy to get caught up in the excitement of getting a new puppy.  Make sure that the Kennel Club in your country or location recognizes the breeder. Ask for information on shows or events that the breeder has participated in and where his/her dogs have been entered. If the breeder is unable or unwilling to provide this information, it may be wise to consider trying another breeder.
Be aware that puppies from championship lines may be difficult to purchase and you may have to wait for a puppy. Good breeders will not produce litter after litter; rather they will breed their dogs based on the health and well being of the female.
Purchasing a puppy from a breeder is the option that allows you to know the temperament and lineage of the parent dogs, as well as the medical background of the puppy. It also insures that you will get a quality animal that can be shown or bred if desired.
Being a dog breeder is not like being a doctor, lawyer or teacher; there are no set training or educational requirements to the job. Rather the health, temperament and adherence to breed standards or their animals are the measure by which a breeder is judged.
Most breeders have a genuine love for their animals, and breed them responsibly and in the best interests of the individual animals as well as the breed as a whole. After all, breeders’ reputations are based on the ability of the puppies they sell to develop into champions of the breed. Unfortunately, as with most things, there are those who consider themselves breeders who are more interested in making money than raising dogs.
In order to get the puppy that you want and to be satisfied with the dog both now and in the future it is important to do some research on the breeder that you are considering.
Purchasing your puppy from a breeder provides you with:
Peace of mind as to the medical background of the puppy’s parents in current and past generations.
Quality assurance that the puppy that you purchase will meet breed standards and specifications.
Support in understanding and working with the breed of your choice
Advice as to vaccination regimes, medical concerns associated with the breed, local trainers and handlers, and other questions you may have.
The breeder’s role is to continue to choose dogs to breed that will enhance the most desirable characteristics of the breed, and minimize any undesirable characteristics. A will usually be active in showing animals, and will be very aware of the current trends in the breed, so they will be actively pursuing the breed standards.
In addition to being aware of current and future trends, a good breeder will also be aware of the history and lineage of each individual dog that they have, and will be aware of any potential problems in breeding into another line.
Breeders that are concerned about advancing the breed, and who care for each of the puppies they have will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. They will, in fact, probably want to ask you several of their own before deciding if you are right for their puppy.
As the buyer you should consider getting the following information from the breeder:
Does the breeder have a contract to purchase that clearly outlines the guarantee of health and a return or refund policy?
. Does the breeder know or has he/she worked with both the parents of the puppy?
Can the breeder provide a lineage chart for the puppy tracing back  several generations?
Will the breeder let you see the other animals in the kennel and is the kennel clean, well maintained and animal friendly?
Are you allowed to see other adult dogs and puppies that the breeder owns socialize together?
Does the breeder limit the amount that you handle the pups?
Does the local, state or national breed organization or club recognize the breeder?
How often does the breeder allow the female and male to breed and reproduce?
A good breeder will be concerned with the safety and health of the puppies, and will only allow serious buyers to handle the puppies. If you are just enquiring about the breed you may be able to see them from a distance and may be able to interact with the adult dogs. A breeder may also limit how long you are in the kennel with the puppies at any given time, even if you are a serious buyer.
Many people who are buying a puppy from a breeder for the first time  feel a bit overwhelmed by the information that the breeder requests. It can seem rather gruelling! This is done to ensure that the puppy will be properly cared for and treated once it is sold.
Answering the breeder’s questions and making any recommended changes in your arrangements will increase your chances of obtaining a puppy.
The breeder may typically ask the following:
What is your home and yard like? The breeder may ask to home and visit your home, just as you are visiting the kennel or the breeder’s home.
What are your intentions for the dog? The breeder may require that you spay or neuter the dog, or only breed to animals that they approve
They may ask for a history of your pets, and may require you to sign an agreement regarding how you will train, use or show the dog.
They may ask the situation and schedule of your family, and may want to know how many people will interact with the dog, and how old any children are in the family.
The breeder may require that you train the puppy at a particular trainer, or using a particular method.
The breeder may require that you return the dog to them before selling or giving the dog to someone else, in the event that it does not work out for you to keep the dog.
The more information that you know about the breeder and the breed, and the more information the breeder knows about you, the better the match will be. Discuss your concerns or issues with the breeder, and take the time to do some research before making the first visit. Attending some dog shows or events may help you to determine which breeder you would like to work with.
last, but not least ......
Puppies n kids
Despite being a gentle and affectionate breed, these breeds do generally have the patience for young children, with any dog young children need to be supervised, particularly unruly children. Early socialization and obedience training of both puppy and child are important.