WPB, Florida, United States
I became interested in the breed when Sailor found us. We did not know at first about Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, we did not even know they existed. We thought Sailor was an odd looking Cocker Spaniel. Well, he taught us about Cavaliers and now this is the only breed for us.
It is pretty common for someone to buy their first puppy from the wrong source, and that is what we did. The first puppy I ever bought in my life came from a commercial breeder. Later we learned our mistake and I have rescued dogs that were a result of that person's practices. I learned that a hobby breeder is the type of breeder is dedicated to raising puppies for the preservation and overall improvement of the breed, NOT because it is popular and lucrative.
I was inspired by the good people I met when I joined the Mid-Florida CKCS Club. I decided I, too wanted to contribute to the breed. It is not easy and it definitely puts a dent in my budget, but I have changed my way of life to accommodate the travels to shows, donating one bedroom to the dogs and their stuff, although it seems they are constantly overrunning their boundaries.
I now am proud to own a Champion that I have shown myself, it took over two years, but what we learned together and the fun we had along the way, are rewarding beyond belief. Now, with proof that my dog is indeed a good example of the breed, I know that the puppies he sires will have the benefit of the good qualities he possesses.
I breed only a few times a year. It is hard work and puppies require lots of care, sleepless nights and good homes. Good homes are the hardest part of puppy rearing. After spending hours, days and weeks, one on one with these puppies, I know each of them and want to know that they are in homes that understand them and the breed and will make them a part of the family. I keep puppies that show potential of having the qualities needed for the futurity of the breed, but I also keep puppies that I won't use if the right home does not turn up. Therefore, I am very careful not to breed beyond my capability of caring for my babies.
I use a questionnaire and a contract to assist me in finding the homes that match the pup. This also protects the puppy and the new owner. If you are looking for a puppy, of any breed, it is wise to start with the AKC parent clubs, they have breeder referrals. When you buy from a hobby breeder, you are contributing to better breeding practices.
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