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View Full Version : Not enough to save the breed



brotymo
15th February 2009, 04:37 PM
I was thinking on the trouble that cavalier's are in last night, and about how puppy buyers can put pressure on breeders by demanding that the breeding protocols be followed. It all sounds good in theory, but it is no more effective than those email forwards I get that have a plan to lower gas prices. (If you've never gotten one, the theory is that as consumers we can lower the cost of gas by boycotting a particular brand. Don't go to those stores to buy gas, just boycott them, and they will lower prices to attract customers, in effect lowering their competitor's prices. This won't work, because only a handful of people might actually do that, and it will only work if everyone quits going to that brand of store). This is the problem with puppy buyers being the ones to effect the changes for cavaliers. Only a handful of people will be knowledgeable enough out of any year's crop of potential puppy buyers to ask the right questions. If they turn their back on a particular litter due to breeding, someone else will take their place. The vast majority of people, unless they've already learned the hard way about a breed (or are just obsessed, or nuts like all of us) will have decided they are getting a dog, that they want a particular breed (maybe they like a neighbor's cavalier, or they heard that they are friendly and good with kids) and just buy a pup from the newspaper, or from someone they heard has a litter, or one in a pet shop. Since most people don't know about the intricacies of the health tests needed, they will accept that the vet has checked the parents as evidence that the puppies must be healthy. The vast majority of puppy buyers fall into this category and always will (which is why puppy mills are surviving and thriving). This is because they don't know better, and even as some are educated, the buyer market is a turn-over crop of new people all the time. Repeat or knowledgeable buyers, I would wager, make up a very small minority of the people looking to buy at any given time.
Anyway, my point is not to discourage the educated consumers from demanding the best, it is to say that more must be done from the top. Until the Kennel Clubs in their respective countries change the rules that breeders must follow to register puppies, then nothing significant or drastic enough will change. The changes will be small and focused among a few ethical breeders, who I wager produce only a tiny percentage of each year's "puppy crop". So, I think one big problem that needs to be addressed is, how do the rules get changed? Of course the research must go on, and the education of the public must continue where it can, but ultimately, the Kennel Clubs hold the cards here (in the form of registration papers) and can either save the breed or doom it to failure.

Cathy Moon
15th February 2009, 05:00 PM
It isn't even really the kennel clubs that hold the cards - the best kennel clubs are providing registrations for thousands of puppy mill, puppy farm, and BYB litters. It makes more sense to get legislators involved IMHO.

brotymo
15th February 2009, 05:04 PM
It isn't even really the kennel clubs that hold the cards - the best kennel clubs are providing registrations for thousands of puppy mill, puppy farm, and BYB litters. It makes more sense to get legislators involved IMHO.


Yes, I know that the kennel clubs are part of the problem. If we can't convince them to change their standards, then getting laws changed to legislate the way they operate will be neccessary. If it comes to that, however, no telling WHAT we all might end up with. With organizations like PETA and the HSUS lobbying for scary laws to get on the books in regards to breeding that push their animal rights (not animal welfare) agenda, if they saw an opening in the breed crisis as an avenue to use, then we are all in trouble.
The kennel clubs have the power of registration. If they won't change their policies, then they will have to have it forced on them from higher up. That just might happen to them. If they are smart, they will do it volunarily, or they might end up with a worse situation.

Cathy Moon
15th February 2009, 05:17 PM
I think this is why, for the CKCS breed, the old club CKCS-USA did not want to join with AKC. I can understand their position!

Frecklesmom had posted a link to a magazine for puppy millers; here is the link to back issues: http://www.kennelspotlight.com/Entireissues.html
Every magazine has a full page ad for AKC - these millers are churning out puppies, many of whom are registering with AKC. The kennel club would not want to lose that money. The AKC registration doesn't mean anything any more.

Cathy Moon
15th February 2009, 05:24 PM
Just want to add that PETA and HSUS are always throwing their wrenches into other people's attempts to correct problems with puppy mills. I hate those organizations, because they have caused several CKCS breeders to choose to join forces with puppy millers and BYBs. This probably wouldn't have happened if it weren't for PETA and HSUS.

Colin and I protested at a dog auction, and the PETA and HSUS folks were there. It was horrible the way they turn against each other and some of the protesters.

frecklesmom
15th February 2009, 06:31 PM
There are so many facets to this but IMHO the AKC is a big factor. Somewhere the concept began that if you get a pup with AKC registration it must be good and unfortunately that myth continues. Terrierman does a good writeup on the AKC and it's $ connections. No different, I believe, in the UK where $ flows from the puppy farmers. Hoohah for their "mission statements".

Cathy Moon
15th February 2009, 06:41 PM
Perhaps a new breed registration organization is needed - one with very high standards. AKC has already sold itself out, IMHO. Maybe that's why Germany has multiple breed clubs, and one of them is actually a good one with higher standards than what we're used to.

brotymo
15th February 2009, 07:27 PM
Perhaps a new breed registration organization is needed - one with very high standards. AKC has already sold itself out,

A new registry might be just what is needed. The problem would be that the name AKC is stuck in peoples minds as the "quality" registry here in the USA. (cough)
Getting something new started would be a LONG process, and I am unsure if it would be possible to get it adopted mainstream enough to save the breed. It might be something that would help seperate quality pups from the ones still being bred irresponsibly, but that whole ignorant buyer market would still feed the breeders not using a new, stricter registry. It would be the knowledgeable buyers and ethical breeders who would be supporting breeders who breed with any new, more strict protocol. That is already being done, but there is just no centralized way to keep up with these people, and there is no registry for their dogs that rewards their efforts. Perhaps it would help, or be a start.

Too bad the parent club or the old club isn't on the bandwagon with this. The hard feelings between the parent club and the old club created divisions that only have hurt the breed. It reminds me of the Republican and Democratic party. They both have the welfare of the country in mind, but they disagree on what that entails.

Cathy Moon
15th February 2009, 08:06 PM
Perhaps we might want to take a closer look at the old club in the US, and find out how health oriented the breeders are, and what future plans there may be to continually improve.

It's another avenue to explore anyways. It may go nowhere, but there might be a flicker of hope in that direction.

RodRussell
16th February 2009, 03:28 AM
Perhaps we might want to take a closer look at the old club in the US, and find out how health oriented the breeders are, and what future plans there may be to continually improve.

The CKCSC,USA is a registry (has been since the mid-1950s) and has a much tougher code of ethics than does either the AKC or its parent club, the ACKCSC. Also, the CKCSC,USA acknowledges the existence of the MVD breeding protocol (includes it on its website), and in 1998, when that protocol was introduced to US breeders at a CKCSC,USA show, its board of directors promptly endorsed the protocol and at the same time created the health registry, which lists Cavaliers whose hearts were clear at 5 years of age.

To the contrary, the ACKCSC still has refused to acknowledge the existence of the MVD breeding protocol. It does not publish it on its website -- www.ackcsc.org -- and as a result, hundreds of AKC-only breeders do not even know about the protocol.

Most breeders, be they in the CKCSC,USA or ACKCSC or both, DO NOT follow the protocol. I know of only a very tiny handful of Cavalier breeders in the US who faithfully comply with the protocol. Some others, occasionally, may follow it by accident or coincidence, but not intentionally.

If you are interested, the MVD breeding protocol is fully explained at http://cavalierhealth.org/mvdprotocol.htm

brotymo
16th February 2009, 04:00 AM
The CKCSC,USA is a registry (has been since the mid-1950s) and has a much tougher code of ethics than does either the AKC or its parent club, the ACKCSC. Also, the CKCSC,USA acknowledges the existence of the MVD breeding protocol (includes it on its website), and in 1998, when that protocol was introduced to US breeders at a CKCSC,USA show, its board of directors promptly endorsed the protocol and at the same time created the health registry, which lists Cavaliers whose hearts were clear at 5 years of age.

To the contrary, the ACKCSC still has refused to acknowledge the existence of the MVD breeding protocol. It does not publish it on its website -- www.ackcsc.org (http://www.ackcsc.org) -- and as a result, hundreds of AKC-only breeders do not even know about the protocol.

Most breeders, be they in the CKCSC,USA or ACKCSC or both, DO NOT follow the protocol. I know of only a very tiny handful of Cavalier breeders in the US who faithfully comply with the protocol. Some others, occasionally, may follow it by accident or coincidence, but not intentionally.

If you are interested, the MVD breeding protocol is fully explained at http://cavalierhealth.org/mvdprotocol.htm


I am happy to say that both of my cavaliers come from a breeder who has strickly followed the MVD protocol for the 5 generations of dogs she has. Additionally, she still has her foundation female, (both Lizzie and Bandit go back to her) who is currently 15 years old, didn't develop a murmur until age 9, and it hasn't ever progressed to need medication. It is nice to have a heart history for 5 generations available. Lizzie's parents were both OVER 5 themselves when she was born and heart clear. Bandit's mom was 7 when he was born. His dad was the youngest at age 3. I know those aren't guarantees, but it does help their odds of healthier hearts.

tara
16th February 2009, 04:48 AM
Brotymo -- I'm curious, does your breeder also MRI her / his breeding dogs? That was the hard thing for me to find!!!!!!

brotymo
16th February 2009, 12:05 PM
no, at the present, she doesn't, something that really is hard to find in the US. I think she would if it became more affordable and available.