Expectations; Yours & Ours
What You Can Expect From Us.
When you buy a Comfort Cavaliers puppy, you are buying a piece of our family and the result of our ever increasing breeding knowledge and our over 20 years of dog training experience. Not only are our puppies the focus of our lives and energy for the first three months of their lives, but they also represent our commitment to and knowledge of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. All of our puppies come from healthy, well-conformed parents with sound bodies and temperaments–their mother is a family companion and working dog, not a kennel dog.
All of our puppies are raised in the living area of our home so they are accustomed to the hustle and bustle of family life. Comfort Cavaliers puppies are handled and socialized from birth, with daily individual attention. This attention includes regular nail trimming, novel scents and Bio-Sensor exercises that are done with the pups from three to sixteen days of age (See Dr. Carmen Battaglia’s article in the AKC Gazette-May 1995). They are also socialized with children, people of different ages and races, other dogs and, if possible, cats. By the time they go home at 12 to 14 weeks, they have been started on their house training and simple obedience training, and have spent the nights in crates and on car rides. If the weather permits, the pups will also be introduced to water.
Matching Pup to Owner.
Our goal is to carefully place each pup with a well-suited family, ideally, in a working therapy home or as an emotional support animal. All of our pups become family companions. We make every effort to match each owner or family with the pup that best suits them. Since we know our pups better than anyone, we do not allow our buyers to select their puppy. To effectively match puppies to homes, we gather information from prospective owners about their life style, experience in dogs, and expectation for their puppy. We also keep careful records of each puppy’s reactions and personality to assist in placement. During their tenth week, we have other breeders evaluate the puppies’ temperaments, using the “Avidog Puppy Evaluation Test” (APET). In their eighth week, we have a breeder or judge evaluate their conformation.
Comfort Cavaliers’ puppies receive the best of care while they are with us. They are raised naturally, nursing as long as their mother will allow and transitioning to a raw diet as weaning begins but not earlier than 5 weeks. To protect their immature immune systems, the pups receive only a single distemper-parvovirus vaccine while they are with us. We do nomographs on their mother’s titers to determine exactly when the pups should be innoculated. We send them home with strong recommendations for follow up titers and vaccinations. The pups are also wormed regularly from four weeks of age on. Each pup also receives an individual examination by our veterinarian, a skilled practitioner. Most litters will also have their initial clearances before heading to their new homes: a heart check by a veterinary cardiologist, and their first eye exam by an veterinary opthamologist.
We have a lifetime commitment to all of the puppies we breed. We expect to remain in contact with our puppy owners throughout the dog’s life (and often beyond) so it is important you feel comfortable with Liz and Meg, as you do with our dogs. We provide information on the successes and health of each pup’s parents and relatives, as well as suggestions on training, showing, and working with your dog. We have regular reunions, so that Comfort Cavaliers’ owners and dogs can gather and become a community.
We will take any dogs of our breeding back at any time for any reason. We will place the animal into a new, loving home.
What We Expect From You.
You Have Studied Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
To begin, we expect you to have thoroughly read and studied the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Standard to ensure that a Cavalier is the right breed for you and your family. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has quite a posh history. This quintessential lapdog has warmed some of the noblest laps in Europe, including Charles II, the 17th century British king who gave the breed their name.
You'd think after four centuries of lap-warming, the Cavalier King Charles would be over it, but that is certainly not the case. If you sit, the Cavalier with be right up on that sweet square foot of lap. This breed is loving, kind, gentle, and sweet. They have a friendly, calm, and affectionate temperament.
We also expect that you have read through our website and have a clear idea of the kind of Cavalier we produce. Cavaliers do need a decent amount of exercise – a couple of long daily walks and preferably a fenced yard in which to run. We expect that you will have evaluated your circumstances and have made a sound decision about whether you really have the time and energy to add a puppy to your family and that a Cavalier is your breed of choice.
Right Pup at the Right Time.
Once you’ve decided that a Cavalier is the right dog for you, we then ask you to look closely at your calendar. We do not ship puppies as freight so new owners must come get their puppy themselves. We have developed a very good system for preparing pups for their trip home, whether that be by car or plane, so your pup will be ready to go anywhere with you.
You Have Time to Develop Your Pup.
Once home, we ask that you have a relatively clear calendar until your pup is 20 weeks old so you can focus on its socialization and training. That early period is critical to a puppy’s long-term development and must be designed to get the most out of these few months. Vacations, business trips or heavy deadlines requiring long hours away from the puppy are not congruent with the work involved in preparing a young dog for its lifetime. The learning that occurs during those first months cannot be recaptured later.
The Dog is a Family Priority.
Another expectation that we have is that your puppy will be a significant and beloved member of your family. He or she should live in your home (not in a kennel or back yard) and receive premium food, thoughtful and professional medical care, and lifelong training/work. We prefer buyers have a fully fenced yard, but make exceptions if you have the time and available facilities for adequate exercise and constant outside supervision. At a minimum, we expect our buyers to commit to daily exercise, mental stimulation and training throughout the life of the dog.
Science Based Positive Reinforcement Training.
Comfort Cavaliers incorporates positive reinforcement consistently through all aspects of our dams’ and pups’ lives. We believe it is the best method for training a dog because once the dog has learned the desired behavior, the relationship between the human and the animal becomes less about training and more about connecting and communicating.
Over the past two decades, formal studies have been conducted in Behavioral Science, as it relates to animals. Researchers have found that, much like humans, animals have the ability to to learn and tend to respond better when the environment is positive and encouraging. Training a dog is not unlike teaching a young child; the fundamental objective is the same: to get the learner to choose the appropriate behavior and repeat it.
Our puppies must be fed a super-premium diet. We recommend that our owners feed a raw diet (homemade, commercial, commercial freeze dried) but we understand that not everybody feels comfortable feeding raw, so we are happy to provide you a list of high quality all life stages kibble.
Partner in Vet Care.
We also expect our dog’s owners to become partners with their veterinarian in their dog’s health care, rather than turning all decisions over to their vet. Aside from rabies, our pups should NOT receive scheduled vaccines but instead should have titers run prior to receiving follow-on vaccines. In addition, both our pups’ owners and veterinarians should be familiar with and committed to the American Animal Hospital Association’s 2006 Vaccine Guidelines, including using none of the Not Recommended vaccines.
We require all of our pups’ owners to acquire health insurance. We highly recommend “Healthy Paws”, as they are affordable and quick to respond to submitted invoices.
Our commitment to producing healthy pups demands that we collect genetic information from all pups of our breeding. For this reason, we require that all of our pups be tested for genetic diseases between 24 and 30 months of age at the owner’s expense. This testing provides important health information to owners and includes examination of hips and patellas by a certified veterinary orthopedist, an eye exam by a certified veterinary ophthamologist, and a heart exam by a board certified cardiologist. Depending upon where you live, these tests cab be expensive. We will provide you with clinics that offer the testing at affordable rates.