FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

This is a good first stop in your search about Cavaliers; hopefully we will provide answers to questions that you might have, or perhaps questions that you didn't need to know you needed to know!

Thanks to O.T.C.C. member Susan Grant-Higgins for creating this FAQ!

    How large a dog is it?
A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the largest breed in the toy group of dogs. Breed standard states the dogs should be between 12 - 13 inches high and 13 - 18 pounds in weight.

    Is the breed good with children?
Cavalier pups are happy and love children. They are outgoing and active, but not aggressive. The Cavalier is too small for careless handling or rough play and children should be mindful of this. They are more appropriate for older, gentle children.

    What about shedding?
Cavaliers have a single coat, and, therefore, shed less than some breeds and more than others. They do not shed seasonally, but rather throughout the year in the Northwest climate. Brushing several times a week helps control the amount of hair on furniture and clothing.

    How much exercise does this dog need?
Cavaliers need a moderate amount of exercise and are at home in an apartment or a house. However, since it has sporting dog heritage, a good walk or run outdoors once a day is good for body and soul.

    What price should I expect to pay?
Current price in the Northwest is approximately $2000.00 for a pet male or female. If there is much difference from this price in what you are quoted for a puppy, we caution you that that owner may be a puppy mill, importer, or puppy broker - NOT a reputable breeder.

    Why should I see the parents of my puppy?
The parents' personalities are good indicators of the pup's personality. If the parents are outgoing and cheerful, your pup is less likely to be fearful or aggressive. The environment in which the pup was raised is also an indication of personality problems and general health of both the puppy and the parents. Your pup needs the human contact of a home environment if you plan to have a good family dog. The health and size of the parents also play a part in the puppy's soundness as a mature dog. Not all breeders own the sire that was used for your pups litter, but at the least you should be able to see the dam and the siblings.

    What are the potential health problems of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels?
Mitral value disease
Hip dysplasia
Patella luxation
Eye problems, such as juvenile cataracts, retinal folds (not growth folds), retinal dysplasia, dry eye.
Auto-immune disease, commonly manifested as allergies.
Ideally both parents and both grandparents of the puppy should be free of all these and have certifications from the appropriate agency stating so. Three of these agencies are the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), PennHIP, and Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF). Insist on seeing firsthand at least the parents' certificates.

    When does a puppy usually go to its new home?
A pup will not go to a new home until it has had its first vaccinations and dewormings and is otherwise healthy. Generally this would be a minimum of 8 weeks of age.

    How can I find a reputable breeder?
Reputable breeders may be found in the membership of a breed specific club, such as the Oregon Trail Cavalier Club, and the American Kennel Club. Veterinarians often know of reputable breeders in their areas also. Dogs of reputable breeders have been tested for those potential health problems mentioned (above) and have been found free from them.