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Puppy or a dog when I already have 2 cats?


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I am going to be getting a Cavalier king Charles spaniel this year and contacted a kc registered breeder who has puppies available in 5 weeks but not in ruby or black and tan which I would like. She then told me she has a 6 month old adolesent ruby bitch who she was going to show but the dogs heart isn't in it and she is quite reserved and she said she will not push her dogs and they need to want to do it. She would be willing to sell me the 6 month old. Would this be a good idea? I know it would fit into our family well at that age but I'm worried about the cats as she has never been with cats. Any advise would be wonderful. Thanks in advance.
There are two possible scenarios here. The breeder could have taken the puppy to shows and around and about and made a well socialised, confident young dog out of it. Or, the breeder may be too busy to have spent much time on an individual. If the puppy's heart is not in showing then is that because it is of a nervous disposition and will you be taking on a dog that may end up with behaviour problems. Is the breeder telling the truth or has they puppy got a defect that means it will not win in the show ring? This may be minor and not affect its ability to be a good pet. All very difficult to know. You may have to go with your gut instinct about the breeder and this particular dog.

As regards your cats there is a good chance they will all get on. If you introduce the puppy carefully by this method you should stand the best chance of having a happy household.

Put the cat in a basket and place it high up, well out of puppy's reach. Train your puppy to leave the cat alone and concentrate on you. Use treats and games as a reward for leaving the cat alone. Bring the cage down a little and repeat the training to "leave" the cat alone. Reward well if the puppy responds to your cue to "leave". Put the basket on the floor and encourage the puppy to leave the cat alone. Reward well. Be prepared to go back a stage if this is too much.

Next stage is to confine the cat to one room and bring the puppy in on a lead. Go through all the previous training while standing on the lead. Repeat for as long as it takes to teach the puppy the required response. Move to other rooms and repeat again.

Once your are fairly confident then you can put a long line on your puppy and allow the puppy to move around the house with the loose cat. If needed you can stand on the long line to prevent chasing.

Make sure the cats always have somewhere high up to retreat to.

Then you have to do the same all over again in the garden! Good Luck!
Thank you for the brilliant advise there.

She seems a very respectable breeder from what I can find out about her. Good point about the nervous disposition as she did say that she is 'reserved' which I'm my eyes could cover a wide spectrum of things including nervous which could then result in attacking. I have a 4 year old and 6 year old so it's a risk I dont really want but I am thinking about calling her with a few more questions and then possibly taking my children with me to see how she is with them too. Its only an hour away so not too far.

Thank you
Would she be willing to let you take the dog for a few hours to see how you get on? You could take her to a busy area with people and dogs and see how she behaves? If she is not happy at you taking the pup alone, maybe the breeder would accompany you?

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