View Full Version : Cavalier Puppy Buying

30th March 2007, 05:39 PM
Ive noticed how many of you are buying new Cavalier Puppies

Could I be permitted to mention ,since Ive been a Pet Cavalier Puppy buyer as well ,

That when buying a Cavalier Puppy , the Cavalier Breeder ,if they are responsible Breeders should be able to show a Certificate showing that their Cavalier Breeding Stock has been checked to show that there were no signs of Heart trouble ,and MRI Scanned to show that there was no Syrinx present .

Its the presence of a Syrinx that defines this insidious SM disease

I really feel that its up to us Cavalier Puppy Buyers to only buy Puppies from Breeders who are at least trying to improve the Health Problems in the Breed
I know that there will still be no guarantee that the Puppy wont have a Health Problem in his or her life-time ,but at least by going to a Cavalier Breeder whose doing Health Checks ,the Puppy should be having the chance of a Healthier ,longer life


30th March 2007, 07:39 PM
Bet, I agree completely and thanks for raising this issue.

Right now, I am sure more puppy buyers are familiar with the heart protocols (which you fought so hard for, to have them recognised as an important way breeders could improve the heart health of the breed). But I think more and more puppy buyers are becoming informed about SM as well, and will increasingly look for MRI grades from their prospective breeder, when they look to buy a puppy.

I know many breeders are also increasingly looking at MRIing as an important part of health testing and I hope all breeders will carefully read through all the information avaulable right now and consider the recommendation by a key group of neurologists and researchers that grading is right now, the best available approach to dealing with this terrible breed problem:


Hopefully there will be more tools for breeders, and more money put into accelerating research to help find the best approaches, faster than is happening now.

I think the public support for MRIing from someone with your long association with the breed, its development and health -- especially your cautious and considered approach to recommending new approaches for breeders -- will do much to get this more actively talked about in club circles.

I'd like to add that I get a lot of private emails on this subject and understand that it is very difficult for buyers to know what to ask or look for regarding MRI scanning and any steps being taken by a particular breeder. Therefore: I am creating a page on my SM site that will explain what proof of scanning they should be asking for (eg MRI grade certificates), the rationale behind scanning, what to ask prospective breeders etc. I have also been contacted by a group of breeders who do scan, and cavalier owners, to ask if the site could serve as a point of referral to people who are willing to link up puppy buyers with breeders who have or are expecting litters from scanned breeding dogs.

Please note this will NOT be a recommended breeder scheme but a referral scheme -- it will be the job of the buyer to talk to prospective breeders listed as those who scan, to find out more about their breeding program and MRI grades etc... just as a careful buyer does now for cardiac certs, and verifying ages of sire and dam to be sure a breeder follows the MVD protocol). I have written up about half the material and will have the page up this weekend and will post the link.

Bet already has expressed support for such an approach elsewhere, which I hope will work well for both buyers and breeders. Perhaps it will eventually be a role the clubs can take over. :)

For anyone not yet familiar with the great respect for Bet in the international cavalier world -- here's a selection of some of her articles on cavalier health:


She also has the largest collection in the world of cavalier pedigrees, which she has several times graciously allowed researchers to use in studying genetic conditions in the breed, has been collecting pedigrees of long-lived cavaliers in particular for many years, and is a walking encyclopedia of cavalier information. :)

30th March 2007, 10:56 PM
It is amazing how many people out there don't know about some of these conditions within the Cavalier breed. Even my vet had not heard of SM! But you can bet next time I go to my vet I will have a page or two of printed information for him to read on it.

Good advice, thank you for posting this.

31st March 2007, 12:56 AM
These are things we can't be too educated about, and I think it's a good idea if the subject comes up every few months so that new members as well as old can stay abreast of the subject.

Thanks for bringing it up, Bet, and thanks Karlin for the links and all the info you provide.

31st March 2007, 03:31 AM
I've enjoyed looking over Bet's material in the past as I've researched the breed, and it's very nice to see you here, Bet! Your material is informative and interesting. Thank you for all you've done and do!

Cathy Moon
31st March 2007, 05:27 AM
I really feel that its up to us Cavalier Puppy Buyers to only buy Puppies from Breeders who are at least trying to improve the Health Problems in the Breed
I know that there will still be no guarantee that the Puppy wont have a Health Problem in his or her life-time ,but at least by going to a Cavalier Breeder whose doing Health Checks ,the Puppy should be having the chance of a Healthier ,longer life

Bet, I wholeheartedly agree. Cavalier puppy buyers can have a lot of influence over the health of the breed if they choose breeders wisely and request copies of health certs and MRI grades for both sire and dam.

Additionally, puppy buyers need to slow down and not be in a hurry. It requires patience to wait for a puppy from a good breeder who does all the health testing. This waiting period is the ideal time to purchase books about Cavaliers and read as much as possible about care, training, health, grooming, etc. We all know how difficult it is to find time to read AFTER the puppy comes home. :lol:

31st March 2007, 11:07 AM
We all know how difficult it is to find time to read AFTER the puppy comes home.

That's right, it's because everyone instead spends time chatting and posting their puppy pictures on CavalierTalk. 8) :lol:

More seriously, Cathy is right -- many people spend more time researching and planning the purchase of a car than they do a dog, yet a dog will be with them -- hopefully! -- for many more years, mean much more to them and easily cost more in 'maintenance' if it comes from at-risk lines.

BYBs and puppy farms/mills make their money and base their (lucrative) existence on the temptation of instant gratification (eg all four colours available all the time!). I cannot stress enough that every individual can make a significant difference to this breed -- perhaps influence whether it even survives or not in the coming decades -- by choosing breeders carefully. :thmbsup: The breed is now under that level of pressure and due to the mix of both MVD and SM many researchers worry its future is uncertain. So this is quite a serious problem.

31st March 2007, 02:08 PM
Here, here Bet :flwr: Also, thanks in advance Karlin for making the point of referral.

Anyone I know who has been looking for a Cavalier pup I have been writing down questions for that they should ask the breeder & certificates they should ask to see, in the vain hopes that they might just listen. Some do, some don't.

I do think that I have now managed to dissuade my neighbour from breeding from her little bitch though and I know that the dog she wanted to use is now off limits thanks to 'educating' his owners about the genetic illnesses that Cavs can carry and suffer from.

I truly think that it is the job of all of us as Cavalier lovers to try and educate prospective owners of all these problems.

You go girls :rah:

31st March 2007, 04:41 PM
Thank you for posting this Bet - we are very pleased to have you on the board, you have a wealth of experience and information and we are grateful that you are sharing this with us, and helping the next generation of Cavalier lovers to have the best possible chance of healthy pups.

Thank you :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:

31st March 2007, 04:52 PM
I realise I should have made clearer that I won't be listing breeders but passing along queries to those who have agreed to run a referral srvice for breeders who have available puppies or are expecting them. This is what the various clubs already have in place generally; the difference will be that these breeders will all be those who state they are breeding using the SM guidelines (eg scanning dogs as a basis for breeding).

31st March 2007, 05:54 PM

Its really great what your going to be doing in the fight against SM and the Heart Problem in the Cavalier Breed

I do know that the Kennel Club here in Britain ,just wont think about not Registering Cavalier Puppies if their Parents havnt been Heath Tested ,so I guess its up to us Cavalier Puppy buyers ,for ,as Karlin has mentioned ,and I feel the same ,that the Cavalier Breed is at the cross roads now .

SM is such an insidious disease ,that the future of the Breed's could be at stake ,and that it really depends on us Cavalier Puppy Buyers to get the Cavalier Puppies from those Cavalier Breeders who are at least trying to cope with the SM problem ,byhaving their Breeding Stock MRI scanned

Karlin ,Ive linked this with the Golden Oldie you mentioned
I do hope you can find out something about her.

You mentioned about Ch Rose mullion of Ottermouth,
his sire Ch Vairire Osiris ,also lived to 13 ,and dam
Rosette of Ottermouth also lived to 13


1st April 2007, 03:37 PM
I wan to make sure people are as informed as possible. :)

Bet I will see if I can find out about that Irish oldie for you.

1st April 2007, 06:31 PM
Thank you for posting this info! As some of you know, I'm looking for a good and REPUTIBLE breeder and every little bit of information helps!! I've talked to several breeders who don't even know what SM is!?! :yikes :yikes :yikes :sl*p: I just have to tell them thank you and I'm not interested any more!!!

1st April 2007, 11:50 PM
Lindsey, I've PMd you a couple of US contacts in the clubs to speak to or email.

2nd April 2007, 12:16 AM
thank you Karlin!

2nd April 2007, 12:55 AM
Let me know what you hear back. :)