King Charles Cavalier Spaniels for sale
HOW TO FIND A BREEDER OF CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIELS
in the United States
We steer clear of recommending any particular breeders. Finding a breeder who has followed the health testing protocols often depends upon the particular litter. A breeder may breed an underaged female once or twice, and then by the time the breeder is ready to breed her the next time, she no longer is underaged and may have been tested and passed those tests. Instead, we provide 10 Questions for Breeders which is a list of the most important genetic health questions which buyers should ask every cavalier King Charles spaniel breeder, and we provide the TOP TEN: Breeders' Worst Excuses to prepare the buyer for the run-around to expect from some cavalier breeders.
A few tips for narrowing the field:
►Never buy a cavalier King Charles spaniel from a pet store or a broker. Many pet store puppies are bred from mistreated and un-cared for cavaliers which spend their lives "stored" in wire cages and filthy pens in puppy mills, such as this pathetic, abused Blenheim female (right). See comparing behavioral characteristics of dogs acquired from non-commerical breeders and from pet stores.
►Buy a cavalier only directly from its breeder, and communicate with that breeder. If a "breeder" claims that she "imports only quality puppies", she is a broker and not the breeder of those puppies. There are two registries for cavaliers in the USA. The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the independent Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, USA ("CKCSC, USA"). But keep in mind that the AKC also registers cavaliers bred by puppy millers and sold in pet stores. On the other hand, the CKCSC, USA prohibits its members from selling cavaliers to or through pet shops or brokers, or from purchasing any cavalier or any litter for resale.
►Do not focus solely on breeders who have websites or who advertise on the Internet.
►Go to this website: It lists dogs which meet certain minimum health test standards. Check out the list of cavaliers and look for the names of kennels or breeders with the most entries. Contact those breeders, and also ask them for names of other breeders they recommend.
►Ask volunteers at health clinics sponsored by Cavalier clubs. The two national CKCS breed clubs, the CKCSC, USA and the AKC's cavalier "parent club", the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club ("ACKCSC") both have regional cavalier clubs related to them. We list upcoming . For each clinic, we include the name and contact information for persons who have volunteered to set up and lead the volunteers at the clinic. If there is a nearby cavalier club health clinic on the schedule (they are printed in red in Table 2), plan to go to the clinic, meet the volunteers, and ask them for recommended breeders. Or, call the contact person for a cavalier clinic and ask for their recommendations. Better yet, volunteer yourself to help out at a cavalier King Charles spaniel health clinic and meet both the other volunteers and the breeders who bring in their breeding stock for testing.
►Ask breed club health committee chairmen. Usually (but not always), the breeders who volunteer to lead health committees are more committed to health testing than the average breeder. Most CKCS clubs have their own websites, which list club officers and committee chairmen. Find out who the health committee chairmen are and contact them for recommendations. The websites of the two national cavalier clubs are and You can find links to the regional and local cavalier club websites on the "links" webpages of these national cavalier clubs.
►Check out the "Health & Conformation Class" entries in CKCSC, USA conformation shows. The entries in this class must meet certain health test criteria, and the owners who enter their cavaliers in this class may know of health-conscious breeders to recommend. For information about the CKCSC, USA's Health & Conformation Class, contact C. Anne Eckersley, email
►Do not be turned off by breeders who ask a lot of questions about you, your background, and your lifestyle. The most responsible cavalier breeders can be picky about placing their puppies with strangers. These breeders want to find out as much about you and your family as possible. They may ask questions such as: (1) Do you have a fenced yard? (2) Do you have young children? (3) Do you have other dogs? (4) Will anyone be at home during the workday? These questions could be just the beginning of their enquiries about you. These breeders' puppies are part of their family, and they want assurances that you will be able to care for one of them as well as, or even better than, they can.
Be very skeptical of breeders who:
►Claim that all of their breeding stock (or their puppies) have been tested and cleared of genetic diseases. Insist that the breeder provide you with legible copies of the litter's sire's and dam's medical clearance certificates or medical reports, signed by the examining cardiologists, ophthalmologists, and other veterinary specialists. See . Even worse, we recently found a cavalier breeder's website which claims mitral valve disease is due to a magnesium deficiency!
►Claim their cavaliers are "from champion bloodlines". Insist that the breeder provide you with copies of championship certificates. If the championships are not from well-known registries and cavalier King Charles spaniel clubs, like the CKCSC, USA or the American Kennel Club ("AKC") or any the national kennel clubs of Canada, England, France, Sweden, or other western European countries, then be very wary. Also, do not assume that breeders who have bred many conformation champion Cavaliers also follow the health testing and breeding protocols. It is a lot easier to breed conformation champions when the breeder ignores health testing and protocols. See .
►Offer several breeds in addition to cavaliers. The more breeds a breeder offers for sale, the more likely that breeder is a puppy miller or a broker.
►Claim to offer health guarantees, or even "very strong health guarantees" or the like. Insist on getting copies of these guarantees before you pay any money to these breeders.
►Claim that they are "reputable" or "responsible" or "ethical" or the like. Anybody can call themselves those things. There is one cavalier breeder who even calls her kennel "pre-eminent". Those are terms that only other people should use to honestly describe the breeders, and should not be used by the breeders to describe themselves.
►Require non-refundable deposits. Be sure to find out why the breeder requires a non-refundable deposit, and whether those reasons make sense to you, and under what circumstances, if any, the breeder will refund the deposit anyway. Get the entire deposit agreement in writing. Many non-reputable breeders require non-refundable deposits, but some reputable breeders do, too.
►Offer There are some very fine cavaliers which are whelped and raised by breeders in Ireland. BUT...unfortunately, many, many CKCS importers - who will claim that they are breeders or...