Choosing a puppy

 

The choice to share one’s own time and space with a Cavalier is a choice to be attentively pondered because your puppy will grow and keep you company for long years to come.

 

People often dwell on the colour of the puppy’s fur or on its sex, but these details only turn out to be essential in a very few cases. In this breed males and females are very similar, both as concerns their disposition and their education; both sexes are very affectionate and cuddly by nature, and both sexes can be accustomed to do their business either indoors on mats or outdoors, as best suits the owner’s wishes. What is really important s how the puppy is bred, and not whether it is male or female!

 

As concerns the colour of their fur, breeders naturally strive to meet the personal taste of the prospective owners but, personally, we also advise not to set too much store on one exact shade. Owners should rather come visit the kennel and get acquainted with the available puppies, and see whether they can feel a bond to a puppy in particular, maybe because he looks shy, or lively or…just because he looks breathtaking!

 

One important thing to be considered when choosing a Cavalier as a companion is that this breed really needs interaction with man to be happy! Cavaliers can adapt  to any situation, but it is unadvisable to leave them home along for long hours, because loneliness tends to bore them and make them cranky.

On the other hand, this breed mixes very well with children, both because they are not aggressive in the least, and because they are very playful – which makes them ideal playmates for kids!

 

Finally, we can say that whoever chooses a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will have a very sweet companion dog, who will be able to live at home and integrate with family life in a meaningful, affectionate way, but who will also love outdoor walks, running and playing in  the garden.

At the end of it all, the dog will gladly collapse on the couch for a very deserved nap!

 

 

Preparing

 

Welcoming home a puppy is a great joy for the family and the enthusiasm that will surround him will be very important to the puppy to overcome being separated from his usual ambiance, from other adult dogs, but most of all from the rest of his litter.

It would be advisable to bring to the kennel, a few days prior to taking the puppy home, a blanket that I will keep in his basket. This way, the blanket will “smell like home” and will help the puppy get settled in his new home and sleep better. For the very fist nights, you could also add a tick-tack clock to the basket, which will mimic the rhythm of a heartbeat, since puppies usually sleep very close to one another.

 

Here is a list of items you should make ready when preparing to welcome your Cavalier puppy:

 

  • leash and collar;
  • basket with a soft pillow;
  • blanket;
  • 2 bowls;
  • brush, comb and carder;
  • ear-cleansing liquid;
  • playthings for puppies and bones made from buffalo skins;
  • shampoo and conditioner for long-fur dogs for his bath (from 6 months onwards);
  • carrier bag for the car or seatbelt.

 

The puppy usually eats 3 times per day until 4-5 months old, then he can be fed twice a day, morning and evening, and will continue to do so until adulthood. The food he’s been weaned on can be continued until he is 9-10 months old, when he will switch on to adult dog food. Changing food must be done gradually, by mixing old food with the new one for a couple of days.

 

My puppies are usually handed over to the owners when they are 75 days old and have been de-wormed twice, have been given all their shots, have gotten their microchip and, of course, have their pedigree. Dates on which treatments have been administered are recorded in their “health plan” which is delivered to the owner together with the puppy and which will be updated for the whole life of the puppy.

 

As far as monthly pesticides treatments are concerned, they will be administered between April and October-November. The puppy should be treated monthly with Advantix or Frontline Combo (pipes against fleas, mosquitos and ticks) and with Cardotek Plus chewable tablets (monthtly) against filaria, illness for which also exists an annual shot, but of course your vet will be able to give you all necessary information at the appropriate moment.

 

 

Raising a puppy

 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies bred within a family, with a cheerful and sheltered atmosphere and, most of all, grown in close contact with adult dogs, are lively and intelligent and, once they join a new household, they will be observing the new environment in a very disciplined and quiet way and then…they will let themselves loose!

Like all puppies, including kids, they will put to the test the members of the family they have just joined. Some rules need to be made clear right away so that the new dog can get a good start and can be made into a well-mannered and agreeable “companion” for everyone.

They cannot be expected to have control over their business until they are 5/6 months old. Nonetheless, if you make a habit of taking them to take care of business (well bundled up in wintertime, if you take them outdoors, or on mats, if you do this indoors), the chosen location will become a matter of habit for the puppy and, for this reason, you should designate a unique spot inside the house for this purpose.

 

If the puppy does something that is not agreeable to you, you should always chide him, by telling him, with a pointed tone “NO” or “NEVER”, in a very determined way. On the other hand, every positive attitude should always be rewarded with a kiss, a caress or a cookie. Rewards are the best education in order to have a compliant and content dog and they are also an excellent method to teach them to take care of their business where we want them to.

 

As far as feeding is concerned, puppies must eat only their own food, which must be administered always at the same meal times. It is highly unadvisable to feed them from the family’s table, either as rewards or tasters, because this would mess both with the recommended quantities of food and would trigger disagreeable habits that could not be unlearned over time.

 

The puppy will have to learn to wear a collar and to be on a lead. During the very first days, he will scratch his neck repeatedly because the collar will bother him. Should he be bothered or blocked by the lead at the beginning, try not to pull him too strongly, because this would only put him off. It is far better to call him time and time again, and then reward him if he starts walking.

Up to 4/5 months of age, the puppy won’t be able to keep up with taking longer walks and will get tired rather easily. As he grows older, it is advisable not to carry him in one’s arms or in carrier bags too often, either to prevent bad habits and to improve his social behaviour with other dogs, which is also an important aspect to ensure that the puppy grows to be a content and well-balanced dog.

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