Do not focus solely on breeders who have websites or who advertise on the internet.
It is costly to breed and raise healthy, temperamentally sound, beautiful and sweet tempered Cavaliers therefore you need to know that there are no bargains. If you find Cavaliers on the internet for less than $1,800, keep in mind that this may be just the down payment. The installments come later at the veterinarian’s office. With the myriad of health problems that befalls this breed, and in fact all breeds, you are taking a huge chance by purchasing cheap Cavaliers. The price of this breed generally runs from $1,800 to $3,500, depending on the cost of living in any particular area and depending on how close to the breed standard the puppy has turned out.
DO buy from breeders who:
- Are members of a Cavalier Specialty Club. Ask the name and website of the club. Verify that this person is a member by contacting the people listed on that website. Breeders who are not members are not serious about their interest in bettering the breed or they have been expelled from one of those clubs.
- Clear the PARENTS of any puppy you buy using board certified specialists for heart disease, eyes, and hip displaysia and veterinary clearance for patellas (kneecaps) and provide copies of these four health clearances.
- Speak with knowledge about Syringomyelia problems in the breed and who may MRI their breeding stock.
- A pet store or someone who imports them as a business from Ireland, Eastern Europe, or any other parts of the world.
- Someone who does not have any or much health information on their websites or during conversations. Be particularly careful if the breeder tries to downplay the significance of Cavaliers’ health problems, like mitral valve disease. The facts are that Cavaliers are FAR more likely to develop MVD than the average breed, and Cavaliers tend to develop MVD much earlier than other breeds. (www.ckcsc.org/ckcsc/ckcsc_inc.nsf/founded-1954/heart.html)
- Someone who has several different breeds, “designer” breeds, or says they breed only “small”, “tiny”, or “teacup” Cavaliers. The breed standard's range of weight for an adult is from 12 to 18 pounds, and many males tend to weigh more than 18 lbs. Breeders who intentionally try to breed otherwise cannot have the best interest of the breed in mind.
- Internet sites:
- where you cannot independently verify the reputation of the breeder,
- where an incorrect name of the breed is used,
- where no pedigrees are published on the site along with their formal/registered names, or
- where they list specific puppies by photograph for sale, ready to go, or take credit cards.
- Breeders who offer a “guarantee” where you must return your puppy in order for the breeder to provide another one. It is likely the next one will be as abnormal and unsuitable for you as the first one. Besides, would you really return a beloved pet?
- Breeders who register with any registry other than Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, USA (CKCSC, USA), the American Kennel Club (AKC), or the United Kennel Club (UKC), which are registries in the United States concerned with breeding healthy dogs.
- Anyone who will not let you see one or both of the puppy’s parents or the kennel facilities. Whatever they do not want you to see is probably exactly what you should see.
- Anyone who does not use the correct name of the breed – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. There are breeders, particularly on the Internet, who refer to the breed as "King Charles Cavaliers", "Cavalier King Charles Terriers", or "King Saint Charles Cavalier Spaniels".