As a breeder, nothing makes me happier than to know that one of our pups has enriched the lives of their family. Barbara, owner of Grandville Lord Barnaby, shares her experience searching a quality Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Hello, I’m absolutely delighted to recommend Leila Grandemange and Grandville Cavaliers to you. We came to know Leila in the process of our grown son Michael looking for a Cavalier breeder (Michael and family shown photo above). He hoped to get a Cavalier puppy and my husband and I had agreed to have the dog while he is at work, as we know this breed should not be alone all day. Michael eventually got a beautiful and delightful ruby girl puppy from Leila, and this has worked out so well that we are now adding a Grandville black and tan to our own household full-time (photo left—Grandville Lord Barnaby).
From Michael’s research into the breed, he had concluded it was very important to get a dog from a breeder who adhered to the ethical standards of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, USA (CKCSC-USA) and was therefore committed to improving the breed both for maintaining conformation and the wonderful Cavalier temperament and for continuing the progress made to mitigate health issues like Mitral Valve Disease. We came to understand that a breeder who shows dogs is demonstrating commitment to improving the breed. The best advice we got was to find not only an ethical breeder, but also someone you can enjoy working with on a continuing basis, since the best breeders do want to be a continuing resource for you. Finally, the attention paid to socializing young puppies is tremendously important. We are so glad to have found Leila, who stands out on all these criteria. Repeat business is probably the best endorsement, so maybe all you need to know is that after having the beautiful Princess Leia for a couple of months we are going back for more. Maybe that’s all you need to know, but I love to tell our “Grandville story” so here is more…
Michael was willing to wait for the right puppy, but when his early “northeast” searches didn’t bear fruit he extended his search and preliminary emails into the Cavaliers of the South region and a bit farther away. Fortunately for us, Grandville Cavaliers was on that list! When we got to her beautiful and immaculate house we were immediately impressed. We met some of the dogs and it was a delightful experience to be “piled on” by her sweet Cavaliers. Leila discussed the personalities of the two pups and it was clear that the girl would be more suited for Michael and his active lifestyle. After we’d settled in we met the pups’ mother, father, one grandmother and one grandfather and could see what fine well-cared for dogs they were. Leila also went over their health status (all heart-clear.) She discussed the good points and weaker points of the two dogs we were looking at from a show/breed perspective–points that would not be of concern to a pet owner, but it was wonderful that she was candid about them. Throughout, the true cavalier temperament was evident in all her dogs as was the genuine enjoyment and affection Leila finds in them.
To shorten this already too long story, the ruby girl was the choice. Michael and his girlfriend Frances went back to pick up Princess Leia (whose registered name is Grandville Cherry Latte) a couple weeks later after she had been spayed.
Leila provides the kind of great puppy package that seems to be standard among the best breeders — small food supply, instructions, health papers, pedigree, a feeding bowl the puppy is used to, a blanket with its scent, even a book on dog training that Michael and Frances use intensely, etc. Since then Leia has been absolutely the delight of our lives. The more reserved black and tan boy will now be joining our home — keeping his Grandville name, Lord Barnaby. His personality is going to suit our lifestyle as retired, but (hopefully!) still active people.
Our vet confirms Leia’s health — absolutely no problems. She was almost 5 months old when she arrived here and essentially already housebroken. We are working on training with bells now. Michael and Frances are doing obedience training with her (which we reinforce.) Leia knows “sit”, “lie down”, “come”, and “roll over”, and is working on “stay” and “heel.” Her temperament and socialization are excellent — she is very good meeting all kinds of dogs and people. One of our neighbors, Ann, has a large golden retriever mix, Jake. Ann IS a dog person — has raised puppies that were later trained as service dogs. She was so impressed when Leia met Jake, who’s about four times her size — Leia was confident and calm. Ann said the breeder MUST have done an excellent job with socialization. Many people comment on how calm she is for a puppy, even around noisy household appliances and yard “machines”.
There is a family in our neighborhood who fosters for Cavalier rescue and has Cavaliers of their own. They were struck by how beautiful, Leia is — her coat, her conformation and especially her head shape. All things that are goals of Leila’s breeding program. Another comment from someone more knowledgeable about the breed than we are. One of the breeders Michael and Frances spoke with early in their search kindly sent a follow-up email to find out how the search was going. They responded with the good news of having gotten Leia from Grandville Cavaliers. The breeder responded back that the drive was worth it to work with a top breeder. If you are new to Cavaliers, I encourage you to use internet resources — especially those of the CKCSC-USA and its regional organizations. We also found that going to a show was extremely helpful in gaining a familiarity and appreciation for the breed.