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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody, my first thread here :)

My husband and I have been talking about getting a dog for years, and we have now decided to contact breeders and look for dogs early in 2013.

We first decided on a Bichon Frise, but I've been getting a lot of advice to get a cavalier.
Both are interesting breeds, both the right size.

We have two children, 3 and 8, live in a small city, short walking distance to the next big outdoor park. We have a medium garden.

I love the idea of the low shedding Bichon, and the cute and friendly Cavalier.
I think its all up to personality, which will be better for us and my children?
Have been asking for advice but Cavalier owners off course recommend Cavalier and Bichon owners recommend Bichons....

Is anyone out there who has experience with both and can give me some pointers?
Both of us are first time dog owners, keep that in mind with your recommendations ;)
 

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I don't have experience with either, but think both would be fine choices.

Just know that Cavaliers have some major health issues :( So be VERY careful who you get your dog from...
 

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Cavaliers are wonderful family dogs! But....and this is a BIG BUT....the breed has lots of significant health issues. You must pick your breeder with extreme care. The truth is, pick the breeder not the pup. Be prepared to wait to get a puppy because the best breeders tend to have wait lists. There may also be some breeders who would be concerned with you having a 3 year old. If you are interested I can PM you.

PLEASE don't look at pet stores or backyard breeders. You MUST see health certificates on the parents and if possible the grandparents. There is a lot of info I can give you and resources I can direct you to. You want to give your puppy the best chance at health. Many people shy away from Cavaliers because of the health issues. Even some Cavalier owners who are in love with the breed are reconsidering getting another. You can improve your odds of getting a healthy long lived dog (and they are out there) by doing your homework! Cavaliers do shed (alot.....)
 

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My nephew has a lovely cavalier and has small children. He did choose wisely from a reputable breeder. I have heard that Bichons can be difficult to housetrain but I don't know. I have a Coton de Tulear (look them up!). She was super easy to house train and is wonderful with my grandchildren. Have fun and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for your advice.

I've already found the best breeders in the area, for both breeds.

I guess the next step is to try and visit homes who have a Bichon or a Cavalier... they both have pros and cons, please continue to put in your comments if you have experience with these breeds
 

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Both breeds have wonderful personalities. I would choose a Bichon but.I am biased as mine is part Bichon and she is the best! Lol. Really though, both are sweet, friendly and loyal dogs so you have a hard choice to make!

Cavaliers have health issues as others have pointed out. Bichons don't shed much but require grooming. IMO, I would take grooming over shedding. Bichons are prone to allergies, uti's, crystals. But Bichons are a sturdy, playful and happy breed which would suit your children and would be able to handle children's sometimes rambunctious ways. They look fluffy and delicate but they can take a lot and give more. With a Bichon make sure you get her used to brushing as it should be done at least twice a week.

Whichever you choose is a great choice. The only drawback for the cavalier would be the health problems. Like others said, avoid backyard breeders and pet stores like the plague. Make sure the breeder does health testing and shows you the certificates. Ask how they are taken care of while with their mom. For example, are they in the breeder's home where they get socialized to human contact and handling? Is the breeder willing to take the dog back in case you decide it:s not right for you? Can you see the mother and father? Good luck in your search and don't forget to post pictures when you get your puppy!
 

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I adore both breeds :) As a first time dog owner, I think I'd recommend you lean more towards the Cav, they're a little "easier" in terms of care, grooming and training... however they are VERY prone to health issues and you need to be seriously careful about the breeder!
 
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