#1: Always do your homework on the breed before you purchase a puppy.
You will want to make sure that this is the right breed for you and your family. See what types of demands your breed has and if its what your looking for. If you have done your research you know that a Quality Cavalier is not cheap. You will pay $2000-$3000 for a pet Cavalier. You can find a cheap Cavalier if that's what your looking for. In the long run it may cost you more. In most cases you get what you pay for. Their are reasons Quality Cavaliers cost more.
#2: You should inquire about the breeder before you purchase a puppy from them.
You will want to ask around and make inquiries about the breeder you intend on buying a puppy from. Speak to people in their local area. Those who have bought from them or even the local vet can offer insight and personal testimony regarding the breeder's history. Remember that everyone has their own opinion, and its important to develop your own before buying.
#3: Any responsible breeder certifies their breeding stock every year!
If you have done some research on Cavaliers, you know by now that MVD is the leading cause of death of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels throughout the world. MVD is a heart condition which afflicts over half of all cavaliers by age 5 years.
Cavaliers like most can inherit and develop eye disorders.
This includes hereditary cataracts, corneal dystrophy, distichiasis, dry eye syndrome, entropion, microphthalmia, progressive retinal degeneration, and retinal dysphasia, to mention a few.
Find breeders like us, who take health testing of their breeding stock very seriously. Test records and certifications are proof of health and family history.
We have our Cavaliers eyes certified every year by a board certified Ophthalmologist and their hearts certified every year by a board certified Cardiologists. Along with our Vet's.
Your puppy's parents should be health certified, not just Vet Checked. They should be able to show you the paper work. A good breeder will have certification from a board certified Ophthalmologist and Cardiologists to validate a dog's actual health. Any breeder can claim good health and offer health guarantees, but certification is more than just a Vet check. You can even get he number an call the Specialists to verify the paperwork is real and not made up.
#4: You can validate a breeder's claims on health testing.
Ask about their Cavalier's health testing. It's important to validate any health testing performed on their Cavalier(s) or any other breed they sell. Validate the results and whether those test were even preformed. Insist upon receiving copies of test reports, clearance certificates, or authentic ceritifications (eye and heart) signed by the examining Ophthalmologist or Cardiologists. A good breeder will have that documentation readily available and not mind answering a few questions.
You may conclude that any breeder who fails to provide copies of those reports and certificates, or worse yet, who denies that they are important, is a breeder who does not fully health test their Cavaliers. Failing to test and eliminate poor breeding stock will only increase the possibility of your companion developing health issues.
#5: What kind of Health Guarantee does your breeder provide.
Most breeders only offer up to a 1yr guarantee. Most problems do not start to show up until after the age of 1, although early onset does happen before the age of 1.
Find out what your guarantee does and doesn't cover.
#6: Stray away from a pet stores, brokers or puppy mills.
You will find that these types of owners do not health test, certify, or offer the guarantees that a good breeder will automatically provide.
Puppy mills have been around for decades. They continue to thrive because they prey on unwitting consumers who are smitten by too-cute-for-words puppies in pet store windows and on legitimate-seeming websites. Puppy mills house dogs in shockingly poor conditions. After their fertility wanes, breeding animals are often killed, abandoned or sold to another mill to try and get "one more litter" out of the dog. The annual result of all this breeding is millions of puppies, many with behavior and/or health problems.