FAQ on Puppies and More

How often do you have puppies?
I have an average of 5 litters of puppies each year. Each litter usually has 4 or 5 puppies.

Ruby Cavalier King Charles SpanielWhy are Cavalier King Charles puppies so expensive?
There are several reasons. First, they have been popularized by celebrities and politicians which has promoted the popularity and price of the puppies. They are also more expensive to breed and raise than most other dog breeds, therefore high prices for puppies are necessary to offset the breeders investment and operation. There are hereditary health issues that are a concern in this particular breed (e.g. heart disease, luxating patellas, allergies, hip dysplasia, cataracts and syringomyelia) and healthy CKCS breeding pairs come at a premium cost, but are necessary to insure healthy offspring free of these issues. Further, annual check-ins with veterinary cardiologists, ophthalmologists and other specialists are necessary to ensure the continued health of our breeding stock. Puppies require a lot of hands-on attention, care, time, and further expense. The health guarantee that breeders provide is similar to insurance, and that also adds to the price of a puppy.

Puppy Mills supply puppies for discounted prices. These dogs may come AKC or ACA registered, but the parents are not quality dogs; they may have health problems, behavioral issues, and may not have the physical characteristics of a ‘purebred’. As a puppy it will appear cute, but as it grows older, the problems become more apparent due to the large number of health risks in the breed. In the long run, it’s best to save yourself the heartache and buy your puppy from someone who will introduce you to the parents, allows the parents to meet you, and allows you to see where the dogs live on a daily basis. If the parents are not allowed to come meet you, suspect a reason. Perhaps they have been kept kenneled and not allowed to develop a relationship with a human.

How much are your puppies?
The cost of my puppies varies depending on the pedigree, markings, and gender. Read more about our pricing here.

Are the parents on site?
Yes. Most of my puppies are from my dogs, who live with me in my home. During a visit, you will meet both parents, and be allowed to watch and play with them. If our female dogs are healthy and tolerate pregnancy well, we will breed them between 4-6 times during their lives before retiring them. Some dogs do not tolerate pregnancy well though, so this number can be much less depending on the dog. When they are retired, they are either rehomed with someone we know well and trust, or continue to happily live with us as companion animals.

What age will I be able to take my puppy home?
It depends on the puppy. Most puppies are ready around 8 to 12 weeks. Cavalier puppies mature slower than other puppies. They don’t eat as early as some breeds. When they do begin eating, they continue to nurse for a few weeks. Many don’t eat independently until 6 weeks old. They require more time to be with their mom and littermates to socialize, and for their immune systems to develop fully. The puppies are not allowed to be handled or taken outside until after they have been immunized against parvo and other deadly diseases. They usually get their first shot at 6 to 7 weeks old. Until this time, they rely on mom’s immunities to stay well.

Will my puppy come with registration papers?
Yes. All of my puppies are able to be registered with the AKC or ACA kennel clubs. Unless otherwise decided, the papers will say limited registration, which means the puppy was sold to be a pet, not to be bred or used in a show ring. AKC and ACA are both organizations to help ensure dogs are purebred and come from a healthy line of parents, not interbred. Interested parties can view bloodlines, and request pedigrees for dogs. AKC requires breeding males to be DNA certified to ensure all dogs are truly who they are said to be.

How do I pay for my puppy?
You may put a deposit on a puppy to hold it. I accept cash and PayPal. Deposits are $350. Please call to make a deposit.

When should I have my puppy spayed/neutered?
Most vets recommend six months is the best time (Before hormones take over).
More info on spaying/neutering your CKCS available here.

Gender Age of
Surgical Castration
Disorder risk Cancer Risk
Male Under 6 months 5% 0%
Male 6 to 11 months 3% 3%
Male 12 to 23 months 0% 0%
Male 2 years to 8 years 0% 0%
Male Intact 4% 2%
Female Under 6 months 0% 0%
Female 6 to 11 months 4% 0%
Female 12 to 23 months 0% 0%
Female 2 years to 8 years 0% 0%
Female Intact 1% 0%

Comes from Assisting Decision-Making on Age of Neutering for 35 Breeds of Dogs: Associated Joint Disorders, Cancers, and Urinary Incontinence (Hart et al, 2020) 286 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were monitored over the course of 15 years to collect this data.

What health issues are common in cavaliers?
Mitral Valve Disease is prevalent in cavaliers. It usually occurs at around 6 years of age. If the right steps are taken it can be dealt with successfully. The indicators are found through a very methodical examination of the dog’s heartbeat, involving at least a minute straight of observation of the heart’s rhythm. If caught in its early stages, there is anecdotal testimony that blood pressure medication (beta blockers) will reduce the onset of the disease and the dog can live a long life. These medications can be bought at Walmart in people form, and the dosage for a cavalier is about 1/3 of what the average person would take. Much more information on this disease can be found on the web. Read more about the health issues within CKCS here.

Are there any other health concerns common to Cavaliers?
A common problem among all small dogs, Cavaliers included, is loose hind knee joints. Most small dogs have loose knees when they are young which will later tighten up with exercise and continued growth. Additional concerns include: syringomyelia (SM)hip dysplasia (HD)luxating patellas (knees), and retinal dysplasia. Sadly, no matter where you purchase your Cavalier it will be at risk to these health conditions, as they are inherit to the breed. By purchasing from a reputable and knowledgable breeder, you are minimizing this risk by choosing offspring from a genetic predisposition that has been very closely monitored for these issues over many generations.

How much should I feed my puppy?
About one cup per day of dry kibble. For puppies 12 to 18 weeks, 1/3 a cup three times per day. For puppies older than 18 weeks, they can be fed 1/2 cup twice a day. Always keep water available. More info

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels relaxingWhat are some differences between male and females?
If the dogs are neutered/spayed, there are no issues with either gender in house training. In my experience, most dogs train quickly. A very small difference in the genders is the level of friendliness that tilts slightly towards the male gender in cavaliers. Both genders make excellent pets. More Info

Is marking an issue in training a male dog?
If the dog has been neutered before he has matured he will not feel the need to mark his territory. He should be neutered before he begins to lift his leg.

Are cavaliers good with children?
Cavaliers are excellent family dogs. Their size, silky coat, gentle temperament and big eyes make them a great best friend for a child. Cavaliers are full of energy and can keep a child busy for hours. They enjoy running, chasing and jumping. Smaller children need to be monitored so the dog is not accidentally injured.

Are cavaliers good for retired people?
Their personality, temperament, size and upkeep requirements make a cavalier an ideal dog for retirees. Their size is perfect for lap sitting while watching TV. They are excellent companions for walks and car rides. Their beauty and friendliness make great conversation starters at a dog park. Studies have shown dogs such as the calm cavalier have helped individuals with high stress levels to relax.

How long do Cavaliers live?
Typically, 10 to 14 years.

How much do cavaliers weigh?
AKC standards require cavaliers to weigh between 13 and 18 pounds, although dogs that weigh less and more can be found.

Do cavaliers bark a lot?
Usually, cavaliers are not barkers, although they do like to “talk” to you. They will bark when someone comes to the door, or if they find a critter. Most cavaliers are not yappers.

Do cavaliers get along with other animals?
Absolutely! In fact, many buyers are buying their second cavalier for a companion to their first dog. They love running and playing together. Owners often talk about enjoying watching the cavaliers play with their animal friends.