Frequently Asked Questions about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Puppies
What is the difference between "Show Quality" and "Pet Quality" ?
This is a subjective term used to describe the structure and characteristics of a puppy relative to how closely the breeder believes the puppy will meet the requirements of the Breed Standard once matured.
While there is no guarantee that a "Show Quality" puppy will mature into a true "Show Dog", an experienced and educated breeder, with good knowledge of their dogs' lineage, will be able to make a reasonably accurate projection as to the future development of their young cavaliers.
Puppies that are displaying "faults" or potential "faults" as described by the Breed Standard are commonly referred to as "Pet Quality". These puppies are generally sold with limited registration and spay/neuter agreements in an effort to maintain the integrity of the breed and the Breed Standard.
The most common "faults" seen in young cavalier puppies are associated with the puppy's coloration (markings and/or pigment) and bite (positioning of the teeth). While these traits may make for an undesirable "show dog" this will in no way impact the puppy's health or limit their abilities as a loving and loyal companion.
Why is the Breed Standard so important?
People are often attracted to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as a result of the enchanting characteristics and temperament associated with this breed. When breeders are responsible in their breeding program and adhere to the Breed Standard, you can be confident that the puppy you are purchasing will meet these expectations.
All too often people are disappointed when the puppy they bought just 6 months earlier "does not look like the cavaliers in the books"!
Why are conformation titles and pedigree important?
Even if you are not interested in showing your cavalier, conformation titles will better help you understand your dog's lineage. Multiple conformation titles in a pedigree represent the dedicated commitment of the breeder(s) to adhere to the Breed Standard and help to ensure that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, as a breed, retains its distinctiveness.
Nonetheless, it is always advisable that the individual cavalier be compared against the Breed Standard and critiqued on its own merit.
Why is health screening so important?
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as a breed can be predisposed to several congenital and genetic conditions. Responsible (ethical) breeders will not only screen their dogs for these conditions but research pedigrees and lineages in an effort to reduce the likelihood of these conditions being passed down in their lines. Unfortunately, and due to the nature of genetics, screening cannot always guarantee these conditions will not develop. It is for this reason; we at Heritage Cavaliers offer a health agreement on all our puppies. We believe our responsibility extends far past just the sale of the puppy.
Why did you choose to work with European bloodlines?
We chose to work predominately with European pedigreed cavaliers due to the quality and distinction associated with these well established bloodlines. We believe these bloodlines, along with their known ancestry, can assist in reducing the likelihood of inheritable illnesses and provide for a more consistent and reliable breeding program.
Are your Cavaliers Kenneled?
No. We have carefully selected only a few, truly exceptional cavaliers to share our home. Our cavaliers are never kenneled and live freely within our home as our companions.
Why are you, the breeder, asking so many questions?
Our puppies represent years of dedication to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and we believe it is our responsibility as a breeder to place them in loving and responsible homes.
We welcome any questions you may have and believe you should be as informed as much as possible when selecting your potential future companion.
The Rescue Dilemma
Rescue provides a wonderful opportunity to give a neglected and/or abandoned cavalier a forever home.
Prior to bringing a rescue cavalier into your home, please be sure to educate yourself on the health concerns that are present with this breed. Oftentimes, due to the lack of health screens and poor breeding practices, rescues are more prone to health conditions such as early onset Mitral Valve Disease (MVD), Luxating Patella, Syringomyelia (SM), eye and ear disorders and allergies. These conditions may require costly surgeries or lifelong medications.
Please visit the ACKCSC Rescue Trust website to learn more about rescue and if a rescue cavalier would be a good fit for you and your family.