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View Full Version : Cavaliers, growing popularity, availability



judy
23rd May 2006, 07:46 PM
The thread about Marley got me thinking about this--there are so many reasons to buy a puppy from a reputable breeder, someone who does diligent careful health testing and only breeds healthy dogs, in order to help the overall health of the breed, so that future puppies who are born, and their owners, will have more enjoyment and can avoid the suffering brought by hereditary conditions.

Cavaliers are extremely popular in the UK. They don't rank that high in the US yet but their popularity is growing. I often have the experience of being out with Zack and having people be drawn to him, as if he has charisma, and then people start asking me questions about his care, and voice an interest in getting one. It was by meeting one that i went from having no interest in owning a dog to craving one over night.

As the demand grows for cavaliers, if reputable breeders can't meet the demand, then what? This sounds like a stimulus for growth in the puppy industry, backyard breeders, brokers and puppy farms, and of competition that will press down on production costs, i.e. health testing and nonbreeding of affected dogs. I don't see how this can be avoided. I know there is legislation that modifies the most horrific effects of puppy farming, but as far as improving the health of the breed goes, i don't see how that could be legislated. How is this dealt with in the UK where cavaliers are so popular?

Kingofthehouse86
24th May 2006, 04:47 AM
i hear wat ur sayin...everytime im out wit King i always get question on 1st wat kind of dog he is or wat kind of care he needs....or my favorite response "OH!!! that's the dog that's on Sex in the City" i mean that's y so many dogs r popular b/c of movies, tv, actor/actress, singers....its all poblisity (cant spell) thats also y ppl r goin to farms,backyards, and other places....it makes me sorta sick..i wanna kno wats wit the dog fads...u've got the poodle mixes, the puggles now....i mean i work in a pet store that sells puppies (yes well sell pups, but the r from i guess u can say backyard breeders, but they kno wat their breedin) all every1 wants is the newest fad pups...lik the maltipoo, yorkiepoo, pompoo, goldendoodle, labradoodle, puggle....cant even keep up wit all the new mix breeds...well cant stop the demand of the breeds....well judy i hear where ur goin...im probably just as appalled as u r

Nicki
24th May 2006, 10:51 AM
Sadly this is what happened in the UK Judy - before Ch Alansmere Aquarius won Crufts in 1973 {the only Cavalier to ever do so}, there weren't that many Cavaliers, they were fairly healthy and lived well into their teens.

Of course his win created a huge demand for pups and they were bred indiscriminately, many just people cashing in on the sudden popularity of the breed.

I strongly believe that this has led to many of the health problems we are facing today.

Bruce H
24th May 2006, 12:17 PM
Yep, based on the number of phone calls we get now, I would say the popularity is definately on the increase. That can only make the mills and BYB's more popular. And to add to the mix, we are seeing more and more people who want that instant gratification and want a puppy NOW; if they can't get one now from a reputable breeder, they will go wherever they have to to get one.

Several years ago there was talk about a re-make of the movie Lady and the Tramp using live actors and a Cavalier as Lady. The talk amoung the breeders Kris and I know was "I hope they don't make the movie, it will increase the popularity exponentially and the mills will ruin the breed". My fear has always been that something will increase their popularity far beyond the supply and the mills and BYB's will take off.

Alison_Leighfield
24th May 2006, 07:45 PM
Only the other week a young woman I met while walking the dogs was telling me that she had waited for months for a Cavalier puppy from a breeder....she got fed up with the wait...rang a mobile number from a local well known "free" paper then met a "charming" man at the service station just outside town, on the M4....£250 for 1 pup the second pup for £50...

Beaming all over her face as she has a "bargain", she took two.

I felt sick to the stomach, obviously from the Welsh puppy Farms.

Alison, Wilts, UK.

WoodHaven
24th May 2006, 08:12 PM
Yep, based on the number of phone calls we get now, I would say the popularity is definately on the increase. That can only make the mills and BYB's more popular. And to add to the mix, we are seeing more and more people who want that instant gratification and want a puppy NOW; if they can't get one now from a reputable breeder, they will go wherever they have to to get one.

I've have been averaging a call (or email) a day for the whole month of May-- They want pups. I try to steer them to the better breeders that I know. I have had a couple say they wanted to wait for one of mine--- which is odd-- I've only sold 4 pups EVER-- I breed an average of less than one litter per year. Most people are nice-- but some are pushy and believe their money means I should breed a litter NOW. Sandy

Jo C
25th May 2006, 12:52 PM
I always thought the main reason for health probs with Cavaliers was because there was such a small gene pool back in the 50s that genetic health problems were actually "bred in" - because they were so few dogs almost all had problems so therefore so have their descendants. I believe there is a dominant and recessive gene - so those with the dominant have the health probs - those with recessive don't. So yes indiscriminate breeding has certainly not helped - those dogs with health probs should not be bred from but prob the main problem with this breed was faulty gene pool in the beginning!!

Karlin
28th May 2006, 09:00 PM
All purebred dogs have 'problem' genes because they all come from a restricted gene pool to some extent (cavaliers are more restricted than some other breeds), some dominant, some recessive. Recessive genes can produce a health problem as well, it is just that the genes remain hidden in what otehrwise seem 'healthy' cavaliers. They carry the gene for the problem and if a mating matches them to another dog with the recessive gene as well, you'll have a high risk of the health problem surfacing in some of the pups from that litter. And the pups will again be carriers. Many of the health problems in the breed are not outwardly visible until the dog has already reached an age where it may have been used for breeding by someone thinking they had a 'healthy' dog.

That is why knowing pedigrees, lines and also health testing is so important. All are tools of the responsible breeder and are ignored by backyard breeders and puppy mills/farms. And sadly, ignored by some show breeders too -- which is why research, research, research must be done by the puppy buyer on any breeder.

There has never been a market that 'only' reputable breeders could fill, unfortunately. Many of the early breed books -- the standards that come highly recommended for any cavalier library -- offer all sorts of advice on breeding your dog with little warning except to say it is a good idea to make sure you have a dog worth breeding. But most seem to take the stance that you will very likely be considering having a lovely litter of puppies yourself. So this problem of poorly bred cavaliers comes from many sources.