William & Kate's Patter of Little Feet: A Cocker Spaniel

01/31/2012 at 09:30 AM EST

Cocker Spaniel for Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
The new arrival became a talking point among royal fans and commentators when he was spotted dashing around the feet of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a beach stroll in Wales earlier this month.

And now, the couple's palace handlers have finally confirmed what was suspected: the adorable addition is the pair's new pet.

A palace source says the adopted puppy – a male – is a "few months old," is a black cocker spaniel and comes from a litter "with a close family connection." The Middletons are known to fancy spaniels.

The Westminster Kennel Club had earlier told PEOPLE that the cocker spaniel looked to be about 10 weeks old.

With a name still to be announced, the puppy will no doubt help Kate deal with William's absence when he heads for a deployment to the Falkland Islands, in the south Atlantic for six weeks.

And he may be good successor to William's dog Widgeon, a black Labrador who passed away about two years ago.

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