You CAN obtain a lovely Cavalier at a reasonable price as long as you are willing to compromise. Consider these options rather than purchasing from a broker, pet shop or middleman.
Adopt an Older Dog. Owning and raising a puppy is expensive, not to mention the housebreaking efforts required. Adopting an older dog that a responsible breeder is no longer breeding has many advantages over a young puppy. Cavaliers are puppy-like for all of their lives and the true puppy stage is so short. Just as there are certain expenses associated with puppies, there can be expenses that are associated with older dogs.
Adopt an Adolescent or Middle Aged dog. Sometimes breeders have puppies or young adults at a substantially lower cost due to a minor defect. These dogs from a quality breeder, even with some minor health problems, could be less expensive and safer than purchasing an inexpensive Cavalier puppy from the Internet.
Adopt a Rescue dog. Rescue dogs often need special care so they should not be considered as a way to get a “cheaper” cavalier. CKCSC, USA Rescue, Inc. is a national team of networked volunteers who find loving homes for displaced Cavaliers. The organization is now its own non-profit corporation so any donations are tax deductible (http://www.cavalierrescueusa.org/). Each dog is carefully screened both for health and temperament issues before you fall in love with the dog. Rescue keeps in touch with the new families who adopt the dogs and they are always there for support and questions. There is a fee for adopting a rescue dog and there may be additional financial considerations associated. Good breeders are active in Rescue in some manner and may be fostering a rescue or needing to find another home for one that has been returned.
Foster a Rescue dog. You could also sign up to help our rescue organization and foster some of the rescue dogs. Just think – you could care for a new dog here and there throughout the year! Both rescuing and fostering Cavaliers are so rewarding, but it is also the hardest job anyone has ever loved!