View Full Version : Interesting reading in dog world

16th April 2009, 07:20 PM
Do you think the dog world is slightly fed up with Cavalier Breeders?




16th April 2009, 08:21 PM
that makes very interesting reading & yes i think they must be sick to the back teeth of all the argueing!! please note it is the meeting mentioned we would like to have our petition ready for!:) the article makes many valid points but mainly to my eyes says -sort your heads out:D

16th April 2009, 11:10 PM
I see only 7 comments so far... ;)

Is the time for reason long gone? by Sheila Atter
16 Apr 2009 08:01

‘Cavalier members‘ confused’ ran the headline in Dog World.
One is tempted to say that if they are confused where does that leave the rest of us? True to form – anything that has the word Cavalier in its title is guaranteed to attract a barrage of comments on the DW website – there were within hours the same old rants, arguments, explanations, claims and counter-claims being aired. I’m beginning to wonder if some of the folk who post their comments week by week actually bother to read what anyone else has written, much less ever consider what the other posters are actually saying.

Complex and unpredictable
I think that by now everyone with even a passing interest in canine health is aware of several things about Syringomyelia. It is complex, unpredictable in its mode of inheritance and affects an uncomfortably high percentage of Cavaliers to some degree or other.
Affected dogs suffer greatly, and while it can sometimes be treated through complex and expensive surgery, the realistic outcome for most of the dogs that have the disease is a painful and early death.
Despite the way in which it sometimes appears to an outsider I am quite sure that every CKCS breeder in the world genuinely wants to see a solution to the problem, and it is as always, the way in which to go about this that is at question.
To scan, or not to scan? To those not involved in the breed the answer seems simple. If a scan will tell the vets and breeders anything, then surely it is worthwhile? However, it obviously isn’t quite as simple as that.
I can understand the dilemma of those breeders who have had generations of healthy dogs and willingly take their latest hopefuls to be scanned only to be met with evidence that ‘something’ is not quite right. It’s human nature to dismiss that evidence as somehow flawed and carry on exactly as before, condemning scans and their usefulness to anyone who will listen.
To those who have known the heartbreak of a much loved dog, maybe one that has become a champion or sired winning stock, being affected by SM this attitude is unforgivable. While it may be that the scans do little to advance present knowledge, every bit of evidence is surely a step forward and as such breeders should be welcoming the opportunity to do their part however small it may be.
What is less publicised, but perhaps far more alarming, is that it would appear that research is actually being hindered by the fact that the researchers require DNA samples, and these are just not being returned in the required numbers. Those who rant, either for or against scanning, will never get their point across. Nor, I fear will those who use rational and reasoned argument, no matter how carefully considered and valid their points might be.
Sadly it seems that the time for reason is long gone, and it may be that compulsion is required.
As I wrote last week, the Kennel Club seem unwilling, they would perhaps claim unable, to take this step despite the very strong evidence both from breed clubs and from individual breeders that this is exactly what most would like to see happen.
A responsible breeder has nothing whatsoever to fear from health testing because, and let’s say this loud and clear, there is absolutely no shame in breeding a litter that contains one or more individuals with any sort of health issues. The shame comes in not admitting the problem either to yourself or to others, and the crime is when you allow those other people to make the same mistake as you did, when your openness and information could have prevented other living creatures from suffering in the same way.
I suspect that many of those who are holding out against scanning their Cavaliers are simply frightened. Frightened because they fear that problems might be thrown up, or frightened because they know they have a problem and fear others will then know about it and condemn. Of course its hard, when you have built up a reputation over decades; when you can look back to all your favourites of generations past and see the culmination of your efforts in the latest young hopeful. But breeders have faced these challenges before. Many are those who have taken a long, hard look at what they have in their kennel and decided either for health reasons or simply on grounds of type or conformation, that it would be better to make a fresh start by buying in new dogs from a different line.

Strong leadership
What is needed is strong leadership from the top. The Cavalier Club has tried and failed. Maybe the breed council can succeed in uniting all CKCS breeders in a common policy of testing and supporting research? If not, then such compulsion must come from the KC. This matter affects us all, whatever breed we have.
If we can’t put our own house in order, then there are plenty of others who would willingly do it for us. No one is denying that the aim of all of us is to breed happy, healthy dogs – after all we none of us set out to deliberately breed dogs that have a problem. However we are dealing with living creatures, and nature has a way of bringing us up short if we are at all casual in our attitudes. Ignorance is no excuse. Once upon a time dogs just died. Often it was of old age, but sometimes they were tragically young, and died without apparent reason. We are lucky today that we do have the tools with which to eradicate many of the diseases that affect our dogs. It is up to us to make best use of them.
Those of us with other breeds need the Cavalier folk to be strong and take a lead - and set an example to all of us in their determination to rid their breed of SM.

17th April 2009, 02:55 PM
It’s nice to see the positive comments on DW and no bickering.
So far the usual people who are always pushing the same argument on DW have made no comment. Maybe they are finding it hard to come up with something positive for a change.

17th April 2009, 08:56 PM
Regards needing DNA samples, is that from any cavalier or just open to breeders? if its anyone how do i send a sample?:)

17th April 2009, 10:17 PM
This article is a good summation of current difficulties and pleasantly it was free from petty remarks but now it begins as usual . Anything to shift the emphasis :swear:.