View Full Version : When to breed?

18th June 2007, 07:49 AM
I would love to breed my CKCS.. what is ideally a good age to start her? All advice very welcome! :dogwlk:

18th June 2007, 08:32 AM
i would really read all the information on this board before i would consider breeding ur cav, as they have alot of health problems! These dogs are not easy breed.

I would strongly suggest looking around the website and read some of the information on SM and MVD then see u think that breeding is a good idea!

18th June 2007, 10:34 AM
ditto above.

18th June 2007, 04:40 PM
Hi and welcome to the board. I am going to suggest that before you post further, you have a good read through the Getting Started section as it notes in a couple of places that this board does not allow discussions of breeding related to personal breeding questions. The reasons why will come clear as you continue reading this post.

We do of course have pointers to how to get involved in a meaningful way with the breed -- with the knowledge that will enable you to one day become a breeder and a protector of the good qualities of this at-risk breed.

Generally: if you want to breed then you really need to put in a year or two with a branch of the national breed clubs so that you learn how to recognise and conserve valuable qualities and genes in a cavalier, learn about genetics and the health issues that haphazard breeding will likely cause to surface in puppies, become very familiar with the two very serious genetic (and therefore, spread by breeding) health issues now in the breed -- MVD and syringomyelia -- and learn whether you have a cavalier that is able to definitely make an important contribution to the breed's overall health, appearance and temperament. Pet cavaliers are never of this quality. Even an outwardly healthy dog carries genes for both MVD and SM (polygenetic diseases that can not be easily predicted in offspring unless you health test -- cardiac test and MRI). If you match your dog to another with the wrong combination of those genes, you will have puppies far more likely to be condemned to live short lives full of suffering -- not something anyone who truly cares about this breed would ever want to see (MVD already has knocked several years off the average lifespan of the breed -- all mostly spread by indiscriminate breeding. Good breeders all follow the MVD breeding protocol -- which says you need to know that both parents of your cavalier and the stud are heart clear (by a cardiologist) at age FIVE and that your dog and the stud are at least age TWO AND A HALF. If you do not have the heart status for all four parents of the two breeding dogs, then neither should ever be bred til they are FIVE and heart clear. The reason no cavalier should be bred before 2.5 at best, is because of the extremely high incidence of early onset heart murmurs). If you do not know anything about SM -- which affects at least a third of all cavaliers and has been seen in up to 70% of research samples -- please watch the videos here to learn what some of these lovely, gentle dogs live with:


I would also suggest reading Cathryn's forum in the health section on MRIing her breeding dogs as you will see the very serious implications for every breeder of this affliction and the deep responsibilities any breeder will have towards any puppy that eventually develops this problem. MOST WILL. A breeder's hope is that the puppies will not have symptoms. If they do, a BREEDER could potentially be taken to court and be held financially responsible for care and costs, which could reach into the thousands.

If you are nervous of the idea of breeding because of these high risk genetic problems in the breed, then that's a good sign that you are rightly cautious and concerned, and that you need to put in a lot more time learning about dogs, the breed, showing to understand what you are trying to continue on in a cavalier line, and how to breed properly.

It really takes careful preparatory work, learning about the breed, to be a responsible breeder rather than a detriment to the breed -- and in general, a professional mentor is needed in the initial years. As well, pregnancy in this breed -- or any -- is always a risk to the life of your cavalier. If you do not feel confident to deal with the serious medical situations that can arise with both puppies and mother during pregnancy and whelping, and do not want to risk losing your own female cavalier, then again, breeding is best left to the professional show breeders.

I run Ireland's only cavalier rescue and can tell you that there is a serious problem of poorly bred cavaliers with health issues and shortened lives that come from two key sources: puppy farms and inexperienced breeders who decide it would be fun to dabble in breeding but have no knowledge of the concurrent responsibilities this entails when dealing with extremely limited gene pools, and who breed to make money from puppies, not to improve and conserve the breed and all its wonderful qualities. It is so much more fulfilling to not contribute to the problem but perhaps get involved with a club, get involved in breed rescue, etc. The breed needs help and care -- not further worsening of existing, serious genetic problems that are largely created and then exascerbated by people breeding their pets and large scale puppy farmers.

I am closing and locking this thread as this is not a subject for further discussion but for further research on your end. :) There are lots of resources to start with in the Library section of this board. :thmbsup: