"Do your homework before buying a puppy"
"Talk to more than one"
"Visit their home"
But what does that all really mean?
Consider the following:
An add on Kijiji for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies for sale. "First shots, dewormed, raised in the home, vet checked." The add pictures a beautiful puppy in a cute flower pot, and Sire and Dam are pictured snoozing on the sofa.
You decide to visit the breeder and the puppies. When you arrive you have a meeting with a friendly breeder who seems very professional and well spoken. You are able to meet the puppies, but are unable to meet any other dogs, and the puppies clearly aren't living in this part of the home.
There isn't a dog bed in sight, and finding a dog hair on anything would be a challenge. The puppies are friendly. The breeder talks about never having any health problems in their dogs and has a 5 year health guarantee, but when you ask to see and have copies of the clearances, you run into excuse after excuse.
What is the problem with this you wonder?
The fact that a breeder registers their puppies (or not) with the Canadian Kennel Club, and that they are home raised with all vaccines and vet checked, does NOT automatically mean that they are coming from a GOOD responsible breeder.
When purchasing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy please be sure to see the following health clearances.
- Heart testing for Mitral Valve Disease within one year of being bred on both parents AND grandparents. Parents should be 2.5 years old, and Grandparents must be clear of MVD at over 5 years old.
- An MRI that falls in the breeding protocol for both sire and dam. This will show the status of syringomyelia and chiari malformation. Bonus if additional MRI history can be provided on grandparents, and great grandparents
- Eye testing from an ophthalmologist on both parents
- Hip testing completed at 2 years of age
- Patellar Luxation clearances.
- DNA Testing for Episodic Falling, Dry Eye, Curly Coat
There are lots of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies in Ontario from amazing breeders that are looking for homes.
Be sure to check the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club of Canada's breeder directory, and also contact the regional club in your area. For Southern Ontario that is the Cavalier Fanciers of Southern Ontario.
Meanwhile our example above continues to pump out puppies with no concern for breeding protocols or health testing. Infuriating.
People buying cavalier puppies are just as responsible for this breeds welfare as those breeding them.
If you are NOT purchasing Cavaliers from responsible breeders, you are not doing your part to protect and help this breed.