Owners of King Charles spaniels- advice please

(49 Posts)
BuildingQuote Sun 13-Jan-19 19:20:17

Please could you tell me your experience of this breed ?
Those I have met have been simply delightful and I am just nervous from research that even from a good breeder do most end up with health problems? I knew a wonderful older King Charles who was on heart medication but had the waggiest tail still so I would love your experiences and also whether they are happy if just a single dog? If dogs prefer canine companions I think we may be better to hold off.

And if we did look into it further is the Kennel Club or a breed specific rescue the best place?
Thank you so much

OP’s posts: |
Doggydoggydoggy Sun 13-Jan-19 20:30:02

I think you would struggle to find a sweeter breed but never in a million years would I advise anyone to buy one.

My understanding (seasoned owners/breeders may correct me) is over 90% of these dogs die early (5 or younger) from mitral valve disease.
Syringomelia is a big concern also.

QuestionableMouse Sun 13-Jan-19 20:31:40

Mine both lived into their teens but I bought them 20 odd years ago.

Lovely little dogs. I'd love another but my jack Russell is a bit too much of a thug!

cowfacemonkey Sun 13-Jan-19 20:33:39

Probably one of the loveliest dogs in the world but I decided against one due to the associated health issues. I would perhaps consider an older rescue one though rather than looking for a pup through a breeder. (well lurcher pup might have something to say about that but I can dream!)

Wolfiefan Sun 13-Jan-19 20:33:45

I love them. But I wouldn’t. Syringomyelia (spelling?) is horrendous.
I wouldn’t buy a puppy. You could take on a rescue but could well have your heart broken. KC is no help here.

Janjango Sun 13-Jan-19 20:48:45

We lost our beloved King Charles in december.
He would be 12 in Feb.
Sweetest dog you could meet.
But he was sick for about 2 years with his heart. On 3 different types of meds which cost a small fortune.
Heavy shedder too.
I wouldnt have another one due to the health issues.
I think we were lucky to get him to almost 12.
Hope this helps

Whoseranium Sun 13-Jan-19 20:57:19

As everyone has said, they're incredibly sweet little dogs but the breed as a whole is plagued by some pretty devastating health issues.

One avenue worth looking at is CKCS outcrosses. I don't mean people churning out cavapoos or cavachons or whatever (such crosses can also be at risk of MVD and/or CM/SM and are very rarely adequately health tested) but breeders who are specifically aiming to produce a healthier CKCS via carefully planned outcrosses to other breeds. I'm only aware of one: Poundlane. I can't vouch for them personally but they certainly look to have a great programme going. There's logic behind all their choices, they go above and beyond in terms of health testing and they also seem to be getting some pretty good results.


BuildingQuote Sun 13-Jan-19 21:07:50

This is so very kind and so helpful, thank you.
I had just resolved to be sensible and give up on the idea as that really sounds so serious about health . But whoseranium I will look at your link as would never have known so thank you for that too and that sounds definitely interesting

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Sun 13-Jan-19 21:16:05

Poundlane is breeding Cavapoos. confused
How about contacting the breed club for info OP? They can tell you what tests can be done on prospective parents and what maybe can’t be tested for.
Avoid crosses. You can get a healthy pup. Or the worst of both breeds.

Inkspellme Sun 13-Jan-19 21:18:49

I have one - sweetest dog ever but a heavy shedder. Does fine on her own as long as she gets plenty of company and attention.

She’s 9 now and no health issues so far. Both parent dogs lived into early teens. She came from a family who had both parents as pets.

Maybe we were just lucky. It certainly seems like it from others experiences here.

flowery Sun 13-Jan-19 21:20:26

We had a gorgeous CKCS who had heart problems and died when he was 6. sad

tabulahrasa Sun 13-Jan-19 21:47:18

Oh you mean cavalier King Charles...

I had a King Charles one...

BeautyIsTruthandTruthBeauty Sun 13-Jan-19 22:00:21

I think 90 per cent dying before the age of 5 is a very high percentage, I don't think that's right.....I'm not an expert but I've had 3. Current one is 8 with no issues, other two lived to be 13 and 14. They did have issues towards the end but just the usual problems you'd expect with an old dog.

The 8 year old is fine on her own, they are a breed that need a lot of love and attention though. They pretty much all do have heart murmurs but it doesn't necessarily mean they'll need medication. Touch wood she's doing fine at the moment.

Ffsnosexallowed Sun 13-Jan-19 22:05:49

My mum has had a few. Echo what's said above, fabulous wee did, but lots of health problems. Her current dog has sm, controlled with lots of drugs and acupuncture. Her past ones have had heart problems.

Doggydoggydoggy Sun 13-Jan-19 22:08:56

Yes, I thought it sounded high.
I was first told by a friend with 2 cavaliers.

According to a quick google it’s 100% by age 10 so I had indeed got it a bit wrong.

Still massively concerning mind.


BoomTish Sun 13-Jan-19 22:12:34

Fabulous dog. Mine is ten and we’ve been very lucky with her, health-wise. I was lucky that my vet is especially interested in the breed and he pointed me towards a very good breeder who had evidence of longevity over five generations, which still is no guarantee but I wanted to improve my chances by getting a breeder who wasn’t a hobbyist. The waiting list for a puppy was almost two years, and the breeder contract was quite strict- reference from vet, guarantee that we would neuter, and a clause to say that if we ever had to rehome her, we’d return her to the breeder.

Mine is just a fabulous little dog. She doesn’t especially care for or associate with other dogs. She’s a people pleaser and wants to be in the middle of everything. As she’s gotten older, she’s definitely slowed down a bit and absolutely loves her home comforts. She’s currently snoozing at my feet on a tower of three fluffy blankets hmm
She’s very nosy and wants to be up high- back of the sofa, looking out an upstairs window etc.

As a breed, they’re quite placid, don’t need a huge amount of exercise, are prone to weight-gain, and don’t do well if left alone for more than a few hours. They shed a lot, and pass the smelliest wind ever.

MummyPigInABikini Sun 13-Jan-19 22:15:45

I have one - check out the Cavaliers of London facebook group, we’re a lovely bunch and happy to answer any questions. Mine is nearly 7, no health issues what so ever and she’s incredibly gentle with my two year old and other children.

Wolfiefan Sun 13-Jan-19 22:21:11

Mummy you’ve been lucky.
Boom your approach sounds really sensible and I’m glad it’s worked out.

Whoseranium Mon 14-Jan-19 00:20:44

Poundlane is breeding Cavapoos.

No, they have done some CKCS litters are part of their long term breeding project to produce a healthier CKCS-type small spaniel and they have no plans to breed any more.

Breeding crosses is not mutually exclusive with breeding responsibly.

BuildingQuote Mon 14-Jan-19 07:16:58

Boom why did they insist on neutering as it seems a shame when they are healthy? I’d be really interested though if you were prepared to PM me the breeder. I wouldn’t mind a wait

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Mon 14-Jan-19 08:14:11

Whose their own website says we aren’t planning any more cockerpoos at the moment.
They aren’t breeding cavaliers.

Doggydoggydoggy Mon 14-Jan-19 10:28:05

I’ve just had a quick look at the website wolfie.

It says they are outcrossing miniature poodles with Cavaliers (Cavapoo) with the ultimate aim of creating a healthier cavalier.

Doggydoggydoggy Mon 14-Jan-19 10:30:44

‘Our breeding program purpose is to breed a healthier type small spaniel similar to the Cavalier King Charles spaniel in temperament, regaining their sporting aptitude with a healthier less extreme phenotype by crossbreeding, utilizing my many years of knowledge gained through watching and being involved in pure and crossbreeding of dogs and other species’

From their website.

Wolfiefan Mon 14-Jan-19 14:37:03

Look closer. They breed Cavapoos. That whole website screams commercial breeder.

Doggydoggydoggy Mon 14-Jan-19 14:40:50

I have been.
I have read all the pages a few times now.
Personally, I think they look really good!

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