Things To Consider
THINGS TO CONSIDER
People often ask how often should I groom? My response to that is to ask how often do you brush/comb your hair? Regular grooming is a necessity with both these breeds and our philosophy is do it often and it won’t become a chore, simply because it is far less likely for knots to develop and so grooming will stay as a pleasurable experience for both the dog and you. The main difference from Tibbies coat to a Cavaliers coat is that the Tibbie has a double coat. This is because they originated in Tibet where it is extemely cold. This double coat does mean that they are not overly comfortable with really hot weather. This under coat will groom out a little in summer and this does help a little and like Cavaliers there will also be a shed of coat at the end of Summer and so these times are the most crucial times to keep up the grooming regime to avoid tangles.
The photo above shows the grooming equipment we use, i.e. a Mason and Pearson hair brush (any ladies bristle brush is just as good but not nylon), a fine toothed comb and a soft slicker brush. For the Tibbie a wider toothed comb is easier to start the grooming process with and once this can be put through the fur move onto the fine comb. This is not a bad idea for the Cavalier also especially behind the ears where little knots tend to hide and become bigger knots by the next groom!! Even if you think the brush is going through the fur with no problem, use the comb as well, it is so easy to miss a tangle. Unlike our hair where live hair tangles with live hair, in the case of a dogs fur it tends to be the shedding hair that becomes entangled with the the live hair and so it is in most instances possible to just groom the tangle out with out the need to cut. The only exeptions we make to that is if the tangle happens to be in a very delicate personal place. Then it is best for all concerned to carefully trim off the tangle. Many people clip their Cavaliers off but to me half of the appeal of this breed was the beautiful long silky coat that just flows in the wind when they move with any speed but that is just my preference. Something that does help with the long thick ear feathers is to use a pair of thinning scissors. This allows you to keep the ears long but makes grooming them far easier. All it does is just thins out that thickness especially close to the head behind the ear.
An absolute must for any breed of dog but especially with dogs with drooping ears is to keep a check on grass seeds caught in your dogs coat as these can embed themselves under the skin and cause an abscess. They can also work themselves up and into the ear canal. Yes grass seeds can and do move of their own accord. Both of these ailments will require veterinary treatment and so the simple rule is that if you take your dog where there are grass seeds, be alert for any that become caught in the coat and the minute you arrive home get the brush and comb out and check again. The other thing to remember with the drooping ears is that ventilation is almost non existent and this means that moisture builds up inside the ear and so they should be wiped clean on a weekly basis to avoid ear mite or infections, also make sure they are thoroughly dried after bathing. Constant ear infections can be the cause heart disease!
Something that a lot of people don't give consideration to is cleaning their dogs teeth. Special toothpaste and brushes are available from your vet who would be able to show you how to go about doing this task and keeping good dental hygiene is as important for dogs as it is for you. BUT DO NOT USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE. Again remember that bad teeth can cause poor coat condition and general health issues. An additional aid for teeth is a dentastick. But remember it has calories so watch the diet.
MALE OR FEMALE?:
With both the Cavaliers or the Tibetan Spaniels there is no real difference in the loving, gentle nature between male and female.
We cannot force you to have your pet desexed but we can inform you of the valid reasons both medical and other, why you should seriously consider desexing your pet.
Firstly, for a male it will stop him from wanting to find the local bitch in heat and believe it or not if they sense a bitch in heat they will try everywhich way they can to perform the great escape. Desexing will also minimise or prevent the risk of him developing prostate problems and testicle cancer. It will also 99% of the time stop a Cavalier from lifting his leg to toilet if he is desexed at six months of age. As Tibetans mature a lot earlier than Cavaliers, this statement cannot be made for this breed, but given the medical reasons it is still a wise thing to do.
For the females the reasons are very similar. Even the girls will seek out a male when they are in heat. So if there’s a male hanging around the front garden trying to get in, she’ll be trying to get out. There is also the dripping discharge to consider which could mean that you need to confine her to one specific area in the house which if she is not used to could cause fretting and vocalisations of protest! In terms of the medical benefits it will minimise or prevent her from developing any of the usual “women’s” type of problems such as uterine, mammary gland or ovarian cancer and while females might not "lift" their leg to toilet, they can still get the urge to "ride" things just like males so that reason for getting a female over a male is blown out of the water. A solution to this "riding" problem is to obtain a large soft toy and train him or her to use the toy and not anything else. Lastly the old wives tale of "it makes them a better loving pet" is just that - an old wives tale.
One last thing that must be said is that it must be remembered that these dogs tend to be of the habit of see food and eat it and so after desexing, these dogs are even more prone to becoming overweight . An ideal weight for both male or female is between 5.5kg to 8 kg and staying with in these limits is only being kind to your pet as we all know the health risks of obesity whether it is human or animal especially as your dog ages.
Please remember though, no matter who you purchase your Cavalier from feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We just want you to be happy with your choice of friend.
Wayne & Suzanne McCreight
Halbury (nr Balaklava), SA, Australia
Phone : (08)88631247
Email : [email protected]