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Honeylyn
30th June 2009, 08:51 PM
Okay so someone has referred me to a breeder who is a long way from me but has previous show success and has been breeding a long time. They are supposed to breed relatively healthy dogs although reading between the lines their dogs aren't tested for SM, they mentioned it and said that in their colours it wasn't prevelant and they had had no come back about this ever. Having read the note on this site I think that they may be a good breeder but without having much experience with cavaliers or breeders how can I check further?

I don't know the name of the dog that is being bred so I can't check that on the register although I believe the MVD one is being updated. Any help appreciated as I want to make the best choice that I can.

Also is it common not to be able to choose the dog you want as you are a pet home?

Thanks in advance, I haven't mentioned any names so I hope that I am within forum rules.

Karlin
30th June 2009, 09:05 PM
Thanks for not specifically mentioning the breeder. :thmbsup: It is fine if people wish to chat with you privately about them via PMs of course.

The colour issue, if this is actually an excuse being given by the breeder, would have me avoid them completely as I would do anyway if they are not MRIing. All colours have been affected by SM and most breeders will find they have some affected dogs when they do MRI. To give such an excuse as a reason to not understand the health of your breeding dogs is at best, ignorance but more likely to be worse -- willfully avoiding taking responsibility for the health of the dogs you produce. If you don't know, you can avoid making tough decisions -- like discontinuing to use some dogs or going back to talk to puppy buyers who have dogs from your affected dogs. To date I've not heard anyone in the clubs or any researcher note a breeder with fully clear dogs, nor is there a single fully clear line that has been found. Some however are better than others and there's now good evidence that following the suggested breeding guidelines rapidly increases the number of A dogs.

There are no shortcuts to finding a breeder -- it does take time and effort, which you are clearly making, but you do want to see cardiologist certs as well as discuss MRI scans.

There's information on what to look for here (http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=26677) and here (http://www.cavaliercampaign.com/buying-puppy.htm).

Many breeders do not allow buyers to select puppies. This is because some puppies will likely go to show homes or are otherwise spoken for while others will be placed with the home that best matches them. A really lively puppy (eg the typical 'puppy that came and chose me') is generally a really poor choice for many homes as it is likely to be demanding, really active, bright and need activity and interaction that many homes simply don't wish to provide (I have a dog like this and he is a handful!). A shy puppy will be very unhappy in a noisy active child-filled home. And so forth. My dogs' breeder generally placed puppies rather than allow them to be selected. While this shouldn't be seen as the best or a preferable approach necessarily, I would avoid a breeder who just lets people pick a pup with no suggestions about the personalities of each puppy and no attempt to talk about what the prospective home is like, to help make a good match for all sides.

meljoy
1st July 2009, 10:22 AM
Hi,
Im no expert but I think if you check all the dogs on here that sadly have SM I think you'll find they're not all the same colour! I think that breeder maybe feeding you a little b******t and that in its self would make me back away.

Best of luck

Mel

waldor
1st July 2009, 12:39 PM
We bought our first Cavalier in March after weeks of online research. Our original CKCS national club here in the U.S. http://www.ckcsc.org/ had the best overall information, breeder code of ethics, and links. I never found any information about color affecting the probability of SM. I would run from a breeder who says that.

I visited three breeders and their dogs. I walked from one (lack of health certificates for parent dogs) and ran from another (ack!). I was willing to go home (200 miles away) empty-handed before I spent a fortune on a dog. Around here, the MRI for SM clearance is not a firm policy, as it is for the other health issues. We decided to take our chances with that, as the parent dogs were healthy in all other certifiable aspects. There really are no guarantees on anything, as any dog can be the throw-back or odd duck, genetically.

Of the three breeders I visited, we bought our Sophie from a member of the CKCS Club-USA.

Margaret C
1st July 2009, 12:42 PM
Okay so someone has referred me to a breeder who is a long way from me but has previous show success and has been breeding a long time. They are supposed to breed relatively healthy dogs although reading between the lines their dogs aren't tested for SM, they mentioned it and said that in their colours it wasn't prevelant and they had had no come back about this ever. Having read the note on this site I think that they may be a good breeder but without having much experience with cavaliers or breeders how can I check further?

I don't know the name of the dog that is being bred so I can't check that on the register although I believe the MVD one is being updated. Any help appreciated as I want to make the best choice that I can.

Also is it common not to be able to choose the dog you want as you are a pet home?

Thanks in advance, I haven't mentioned any names so I hope that I am within forum rules.

SM is in all colours and both sexes.
This breeder is either misinformed or being economical with the truth.

The remark about they have never had any comeback ranks alongside the comment 'I have no heart problem in my lines' as a classic breeder evasion of their responsibility towards their dogs, their buyers, and the breed.

All reputable breeders should now be MRI scanning their breeding cavaliers.
At this year's liaison meeting all the cavalier clubs agreed that.....

"Breeding Guidelines will now include the Specialists recommendations for Syringomyelia (SM), Hearts (MVD) and Eyes"

There is no sure way of checking that a cavalier has had heart tested, eyes checked, or they have been scanned for SM unless you actually see the certificates.

Many breeders are charming, they can talk convincingly, but the bottom line is a good breeder does the health checks and will be willing to show you the proof.

I have a written guide on how to read certificates and also a list of breeders that scan. Send me a Private Message if you want a copy.

renate
1st July 2009, 12:56 PM
this thing about SM and dog's colours sound a bit naive (or something less innocent), but i have herad quite a lot of breeders, who actually believe this...
so maybe this breeder is not wilfully misinforming you.

i find it good that the breeder selects the puppies for their families and not the other way round.
i myself am planning to add a new pup to our team, and am waiting for one from a specific breeder, who 'allocates' the pups after they had their puppy tests at 7 weeks.
as i want a lively, outgoing, bubbly puppy, i am well pleased with this sort of arrangement.

WoodHaven
1st July 2009, 01:46 PM
"Breeding Guidelines will now include the Specialists recommendations for Syringomyelia (SM), Hearts (MVD) and Eyes"

There is no sure way of checking that a cavalier has had heart tested, eyes checked, or they have been scanned for SM unless you actually see the certificates.



For someone looking for a breeder in the USA-- there is an OFFA CHIC program. You can look up an individual dog and see what tests were done and when. Since an MRI isn't one of the recommended tests here, it won't be one of the requirements. It has hips, patellas, CERF, thyroid and cardio results (as far as I've seen) for cavaliers.
I don't use it. I don't want the terrible responsibility of having a male at stud at this time. I give all puppy people copies of their parents reports.

Karlin
1st July 2009, 01:58 PM
The OFFA website is a great tool for puppy buyers in the US and sometimes breeders elsewhere will have dogs there too. It is very handy for hearts etc. Wish there were something similar for the UK/Ireland. Some breeders don't use it but do health clearances so it is important to ask directly. Not listing on OFFA doesn't mean a breeder isn't testing and health focused. :)

The other issue on hearts is -- I have known of breeders who either are underinformed or are deliberately misleading listing their breeding dogs on OFFA for hearts when they are still not following the MVD guidelines. The dog shouldn't be bred if its parents were not also cardiac tested and heart clear until at least age 5. So a listing for a dog may only indicate part of what a buyer should be looking for.

WoodHaven
1st July 2009, 02:08 PM
The OFFA website is a great tool for puppy buyers in the US and sometimes breeders elsewhere will have dogs there too. It is very handy for hearts etc. Wish there were something similar for the UK/Ireland. Some breeders don't use it but do health clearances so it is important to ask directly. Not listing on OFFA doesn't mean a breeder isn't testing and health focused. :)

The other issue on hearts is -- I have known of breeders who either are underinformed or are deliberately misleading listing their breeding dogs on OFFA for hearts when they are still not following the MVD guidelines. The dog shouldn't be bred if its parents were not also cardiac tested and heart clear until at least age 5. So a listing for a dog may only indicate part of what a buyer should be looking for.

But if the sire is 5 and heart clear, then his use automatically be following the protocol.

Karlin
1st July 2009, 02:21 PM
Yes, that's right. I should have been clear that I was referring to dogs under 5. :thmbsup:

I have seen a couple of pet puppy market breeders indicate on their websites that their dogs are listed with OFFA on hearts, which was indeed the case. Yet turned out the parents were not heart tested, ever, so breeding those dogs under five was little better than untested dogs. But in noting she had OFFA-listed dogs, the breeder made it look like she was a reputable breeder... this kind of thing seems to me to be a particularly deceptive act because many pet buyers would be duped and the breeder must know this still doesn't meet the MVD protocol. Testing in this way seemed merely a way to tick a box for unsuspecting buyers who have done some research on what to look for in a breeder, but are not aware enough to know how relatively meaningless a heart clear 2 year old is when MVD is progressive and there's no heart results for parents. :(

Tabby
1st July 2009, 04:37 PM
As a first time dog owner and being a relatively new owner too I hope I can contribute a little here. I managed with a few hours online research to find a breeder who tests as described in the advice posts here. When I called and spoke to him, he was very charming but quizzed me very thoroughly about why I wanted one of his pups. When we met I had to do a written test and all the family had to come so he could meet and assess us all.
I was very pleased that he was so thorough - it confirmed that he is not in business. Every one of his puppies is important and he has to feel that they are wanted before he brings them into the world. We had to wait for the right litter to be born and then he selected a pup for us.
I love my dog with all my heart and although I know that there are very many health problems with the breed I feel that I as a responsible pet buyer and the breeder I chose have done what we can.

Honeylyn
1st July 2009, 05:25 PM
Thanks for all the info and comments, it really helps to get a different perspective on things. I'm going to stick my neck out here and say that this person was very knowledgable and asked me questions about when I thought dogs should be bred and explained why an older dog was better as it had proved it was healthy if you will. They put it better than I can. I think that this may be a case of an older style breeder rather than a bad one.

I have only had an initial chat so I haven't asked directly about heart certs and MRI's yet. But I confess that thinking about the future of the breed these things have to be done and I agree that the best way to ensure that is for those of us looking for pups to insist on it.

Good job I'm happy to take my time to get the right dog as I think this is not straight forward. Still I know it will be worth it :p