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Cavalier FAQ

Frequently Asked questions about the Cavalier

Click on the Question to see the answer

What is a "restricted" pedigree?

The CKCSC, USA strongly recommends that all puppies be sold with “restricted from breeding” pedigrees to ensure they will not be used for breeding. Any get produced by such a dog will not be eligible for registration with the CKCSC,USA. Such a restriction does not mean that your puppy is of poor quality or has health problems. The CKCSC, USA does not believe that it is the duty or the right of every Cavalier owner to produce a litter of puppies from his or her dog or bitch.


Many breeders sell even their show potential puppies on a restricted basis, later revoking the restriction if the puppy has developed into an asset to the breed. Such a puppy should possess a true Cavalier temperament, be close to the breed standard, and be clear of all inherited health problems.

May a Cavalier that is restricted from breeding be shown in CKCSC, USA championship point shows?

A Cavalier that is restricted only from breeding may be shown in conformation classes at CKCSC,USA championship point shows. (If the Cavalier is also registered with the AKC, it is important to find out if it is being registered with that organization on a “limited registration.” Dogs registered in this way may not be shown in AKC championship point shows, and any get produced by such dogs will not be registered by the AKC.)

Are there different kinds of restrictions?

Pedigrees may also carry a restriction that makes a Cavalier ineligible to be shown in any conformation class (official or non-official) at any championship point show in any country. A third kind of restricted pedigree additionally restricts the dog from participation in obedience or children's handling class at any championship point show in any country.

How will I know if the puppy I am buying is restricted?

At the time of transfer the new owner will sign a transfer form that indicates what, if any, restrictions have been imposed by the breeder. Be sure you understand what you are signing and what restrictions are being put on your puppy.

It is also very important that you understand under what, if any, conditions the breeder will lift the restrictions, especially if you are hoping to breed your puppy someday. The CKCSC, USA advises that these conditions be made clear, preferably in writing. A “Revocation of Restriction” form must be received and recorded in the CKCSC, USA Registration Office prior to the date of mating. Be sure that all necessary paperwork is sent to the Registration Office well before a breeding is scheduled to take place.

Are restrictions permanent?

It is very import to understand that any restriction or restrictions imposed upon a dog will remain throughout its lifetime unless revoked. Any or all of the restrictions imposed may be revoked at any time, but only by whoever imposed them.

How much exercise do Cavaliers require?

Cavaliers need either a moderate size fenced-in yard in which to run, or a minimum of one good walk each day (in addition to potty walks). If their owners want walking companions, Cavaliers can build up over time to much longer walks. Regular exercise is very important for a Cavalier's heart. Even older Cavaliers should be encouraged to go up and down stairs.

Are Cavaliers good with children?

Cavaliers love to interact with their owners and enjoy activity and play, making them especially close friends and confidants for children. Cavaliers are excellent with children, but the age of the children is an important factor in choosing a puppy. Because Cavalier puppies are so small, many breeders will not sell young puppies to families with children under the age of five. An older puppy or adult dog will be more suitable for such families. All children, of course, need supervision to ensure they do not hurt the dog.

What age Cavalier should I buy?

The CKCSC, USA Code of Ethics prohibits a puppy leaving for its new home prior to eight weeks of age and recommends ten to twelve weeks as the appropriate age for transfer. Cavalier puppies are very slow to mature and benefit from staying with their mothers and littermates longer than many other breeds.

A Cavalier nine to twelve months old is a good choice for a family with children under the age of five. Cavaliers have a long puppyhood and will still be puppies at this age.

Many people find that an older Cavalier is ideal. There are many advantages, among them that the dog is already housebroken and beyond the puppy chewing stage. Any concern that such a dog will never bond as strongly as one obtained as a young puppy is unfounded.
Cavaliers of any age will bond with their new owners. “Love the one you're with” is the Cavalier motto.

Are Cavaliers good with seniors?

Retirees and empty nesters find the companionship, temperament, small size, and easy maintenance of Cavaliers ideal. Women have mentioned that a Cavalier resting on her lap or in the crook of her arm is almost as peaceful as holding a sleeping infant. And more than one senior citizen has received two invitations for a cocktail party or other get-together, one addressed to the senior and the other to his or her Cavalier.

Are Cavaliers good guard dogs?

No. While Cavaliers will alert their owners to the arrival of someone new, they seem to regard all strangers as friends they haven't met yet. Although a noisy greeting might be enough to ward off a prowler, it is difficult to picture anyone being scared off by a Cavalier.

How are Cavaliers with other pets in the household?

Cavaliers are the ultimate groupies and are usually delighted to have the company of cats and dogs of any size. If you have a large dog, you will need to watch your Cavalier puppy carefully while it is small. Because Cavaliers are spaniels with a strong sporting instinct, they should be watched closely around birds and other small animals as well. Many Cavalier owners report that they have trained their dogs to live happily with hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, and the like. (In households where no one is home during the day, the companionship of another dog or a cat is highly recommended.)

Can my Cavalier be left outdoors while I'm at work every day?

Cavaliers are indoor dogs. While they are sturdy and hardy and can thrive in both cold and hot climates, they are not dogs to be left outdoors. Leaving a Cavalier outdoors when no one is home a would put the dog at great risk of being stolen. Your Cavalier should have a safe place in your house where it may be left during the day. The younger the Cavalier, the more restricted the area should be.

Do Cavaliers travel well?

People who travel find it easy and pleasant to take their Cavaliers along. Their strong desire to be with their owners makes them willing travelers. Their size and personality contribute to their welcome at “dogs allowed” hotels, marinas, and campgrounds.

Are Cavaliers an American Kennel Club (AKC) breed?

As of January 1996, Cavaliers are fully recognized by the AKC. This recognition has resulted in two national breed clubs, the original CKCSC, USA and the AKC-recognized American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club.

Can I find a Cavalier in a pet store?

The CKCSC, USA tries to make sure this never happens. Every attempt has been made by the CKCSC, USA to prevent Cavaliers from falling into the hands of puppy mills or anyone else who would resell them. Cavalier breeders must adhere to the CKCSC, USA Code of Ethics, which specifically prohibits providing any puppies for resale.

What kind of grooming do Cavaliers require?

The Cavalier does require regular grooming. A great deal of time and effort is not necessary if the dog is brushed and combed thoroughly at least once a week. Knots and tangles are kept to a minimum if the Cavalier is free of parasites and combed regularly. Ears need particular attention and should be checked and given a quick combing every few days, daily in shedding season.

Cavaliers do shed, particularly in spring and fall, but a little all the time. Their nails should be clipped and the hair between their pads trimmed once a month. No other trimming is necessary (or allowed) in the show ring.

Cavaliers are naturally clean dogs. Because too much bathing dries out the skin and haircoat, they should not be bathed more than once a week. All knots and tangles should be brushed out before a Cavalier is bathed. Many owners find that bathing their pets every two months is quite adequate.


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