I’ve had a busy few cavalier weeks around here, but thankfully they have been mostly good.
I’ve attended lots of conformation training classes with my good friend Jen,
Gone to a few dog shows,
Made a trip to the States,
Had a film crew here for two days, (more on that soon)
Attended an MRI clinic with our Sadie lady, and
Looked after a special visitor for 2 weeks.
Now I’m in process of treating an eye injury that resulted from too much fun.. poor Loki.
As part of the getting ready process for CFSO, Jen and I entered into a couple of all breed dog shows. Our boys are re still new to the dog show scene and we wanted to make sure that they’d have some practice ring time before showing at a big breed specialty. Not only are our boys new to showing, but Jen is learning about conformation too.
All that practice is turning out to be worth it as Jen and Bucky are turning into quite the team. Bucky reminds me so much of his mother Molly, both in looks and attitude. He walked into that ring like he owned it, and at their first dog show for both of them Bucky won Winners Dog, Best of Winners, and Best Puppy in Breed for 3 points. We are so proud of both of them!
Their “win” photo with Jen edited out. Bucky is more formally known as Embee’s The Winter Soldier. For those who are wondering where his name came from. It was our super hero litter after all!
I certainly didn’t start my show career like that. In fact, I vividly recall Zozo pulling me around the ring like a wild woman, with her nose firmly planted to the ground sniffing the grass. She never did end up liking the show ring, but I definitely learned a lot! 😉
Our other good news happened at the MRI clinic with Sadie.
Sadie has spent the past few months completing her breeding health clearances. The last and of course biggest hurdle for a cavalier is that dreaded MRI. I had to be at a very special 90th birthday party that afternoon so Sadie was first up with an 8:00am appointment in London.
All went well with her MRI. She sailed through the procedure, and our good news came via email in the form of her report a few days later. Sadie is currently clear of Syringomyelia, and had a beautiful scan. Thank goodness! A special thank you to her breeder Karen Murray for letting us have Sadie. We will be breeding Sadie either this summer or early next year.
Thanks for letting us share our good and bad news! Hopefully see you at the specialty show in June.
When it comes to coat, the breed standard for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in Canada reads the following:
Long, silky and free from curl, though a slight wave is permissible. Feathering on ears, legs and tail should be long, and the feathering on the feet is a feature of the breed. It is common and permissible for bitches to carry less coat than dogs. No trimming, scissoring, clipping or artificial colouring is allowed and this should be severely penalized.
We know this, and yet we also know that some Cavaliers just tend to grow a ton of coat! I’ve often been asked how I maintain the coats on my dogs, and my common response is always; do what works for your home and situation.
I’d never recommend clipping a Cavalier as short as possible, however I do feel strongly about neatening, thinning, light clipping, and scissoring on Cavaliers who are not in the show ring. It just makes day to day living and grooming so much easier.
Spayed and neutered Cavaliers especially tend to grow more coat of a different texture than their intact counterparts. For us around here I try and keep them as neat as possible, but still have them looking like a cavalier.
Zoey is my heavier coated girl. She can grow her skirt to the floor, and has earned her nick name of “furball” honestly. Since being spayed several years ago this has only gotten worse. She now receives at least two thinning out sessions starting when the weather becomes nice. I usually let her be during the winter as I figure she can actually use it then. 😉
I took this series of photos for a friend who was struggling with the decision on if she should trim her cavalier or leave him au naturel. She was concerned that she would ruin his coat or do a terrible job. The good thing about learning how to do it yourself is that it costs way less money and if you make a mistake it always grows back for you to try again!
Definitely time for her first post winter hair cleanup on the deck.
We cut her skirt at least two inches, took over half of the feathering off her back end, and thinned out a ton of her leg feathering. I always leave her ears and tail, but you can shorten them if you wish.
It doesn’t look like I did much, but that is the point. My not doing much actually consisted of a shopping bag full of fur. With less hair overall, she takes less than half the time to bath, and doesn’t have to be brushed out nearly as much.
Mostly don’t be afraid to try. Your cavalier may look a bit funny for a few days, but it quickly grows out and becomes less noticeable over time. I know Zoey feels better with less grooming, and she seems to cool down faster with a bare tummy. What I love the most is that she still looks like she has a natural coat with that cavalier look that we all love.
Happy summer trimming and neatening!
I haven’t blogged in a long time. A combination of time, and really not feeling like sharing a whole lot. After a wonderful vacation away and a line up of things that I’d like to share, it’s time to get re-acquainted with this blog.
I’ve been home a week from vacation. We visited Las Vegas and the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Paradise and complete bliss! While shopping we stumbled across a Hawaiian doggy calendar with this cover. Since the only picture in it of cavaliers was on the cover it didn’t come home with me. So adorable.
Prior to leaving on our holiday, Loki and I attended a 7 week Puppy Level 1 training class at Campaign Dog Academy. I’d really like to compete in some other avenues of competition with my cavaliers, so taking an introduction training class at a facility known for working with performance dogs was a great way to start.
The only photos I managed to take were on the last day of our class, graduation. The quality kind of sucks, but I decided to share them anyways. Too hard to take pictures and try and focus on training!
Campaign Dog Academy focuses on teaching through positive reinforcement methods of training. This is the only method of training I would ever recommend for any breed of dog. Since our favourite trainer and the incredible facility she works at are several thousand kilometers away, we had to find something just a bit closer!
Like all dogs, Loki loved to train and spend time 1 on 1 with just me.
This 7 week session laid the foundations he’ll need to further his training, or if we never take another session again(not happening, we loved it!), he has learned how to be a very mannerly little man.
I’m very good at doing sit/stay, and settle/stay. During my graduation I won the award for having the best settle/stay!
It also gave Loki the opportunity to socialize with many different breeds in a controlled environment. This gave him a better chance of making sure his experiences with other breeds were good ones.
There were many different breeds in his class. Everything from a tiny white Pomeranian full of spunk, to a very sweet Newfoundland. Funnily enough, it was the little white pom Loki was unsure of! My big brave boy was terrified of the little outgoing ball of fluff. By the second week in he seemed to realize that she was a girrrrl dog, and that he could go from being unsure to in looooove.
It’s never a waste of money to invest in a good training class with your puppy. I encourage my puppy owners to take a good introductory puppy class. Even if you think you won’t learn anything, it is an invaluable part of having a well socialized and mannerly cavalier. Make sure to check out the facility and instructors carefully. Training methods should include patience and fairness, with no methods that will cause harm or fear.
Happy training! Puppy Level 2 will be starting for us soon.
Embee Cavaliers is a small hobby breeder located in the Greater Toronto Area. We breed in equal parts for health, temperament, type and conformation. This blog was created to promote purebred dog ownership, preservation breeding and to celebrate living every day with royal spaniels.