View Full Version : Food For Thought !

22nd August 2009, 10:13 AM
Maybe I should'nt be asking this question ,but why is it that Cavalier Breeders are mentioning that they have been Heart Testing Cavaliers for around 30 years, yet 50% 0f Cavaliers still have Heart Murmurs at 5 Years of age,

Also at the Recent UK CKCS CLUB AGM the Cardiologist said that this figure is no better than it was 18 years ago.

Where has the Heart Testing of Cavaliers over the past 30 years gone wromg?

Bet (Hargreaves)

22nd August 2009, 10:46 AM
There are many answers to this problem, some of it deals with diet, weight and other factors, but the main on deals with how large the gene pool is. Cavaliers just don't have a huge gene pool and where as other breeds like labs have a big one because dogs that aren't perfect for either hunting or showing are still kept and bred means that they have retained a larger breeding pool.

22nd August 2009, 12:58 PM
If the Cavalier Breed has a Small Gene Pool ,why did'nt many of the Cavalier Breeders around 20 years ago , accept the help from Dr B Cattanach, the Geneticist, who was involved with the UK CKCS CLUB in trying to help in the Cavalier MVD Problem.

Bet (Hargreaves)

22nd August 2009, 08:34 PM
I understand what your saying, but just can't answer that question.

Remember that this breed is relatively new in terms of KC and AKC accepted ones. 1994 for the AKC i believe. The breed went very quickly to a show breed and as such many dogs with good genes, but bad markings were lost because they were seen as being incorrect. And for as much as people hate me for saying this, we need a few backyard breeders. Ones who take all the necessary precautions but breed only for pets because it will keep the gene pool from becoming even more constricted than it already is. :(

I know nearly all ( or at least most) don't show our dogs. Anna doesn't have the correct markings, but she has great eyesight and extremely good smell. Something that has long been associated with Spaniels in general, but was lost when the breed was bred to the King Charles Spaniel.

23rd August 2009, 03:20 AM
Anna doesn't have the correct markings, but she has great eyesight and extremely good smell. Something that has long been associated with Spaniels in general, but was lost when the breed was bred to the King Charles Spaniel.

Oh how interesting! Our 8 m/o puppy has excellent eyesight & sense of smell. One of her favorite things to do, in late afternoon, is try to catch the dust motes in the sunlight, that I can't even see.

23rd August 2009, 09:24 AM
I just can't speak for the AKC but the Cavalier Breed has had Registrations with the Kennel Club here in Britain since 1945. That's over 60 years ago.

That was when the Kennel Club accepted the separate Registrations for Cavaliers from King Charles Spaniels.

From 1928 till then, the King Charles Spaniels and Cavaliers were Registered to-gether by the Kennel Club


23rd August 2009, 07:13 PM
The English Toy Spaniel and the Cavalier were registered under the same thing because having a snout was considered a defect and was a trait bred out. There were no Cavaliers in the modern sense till after an AMERICAN (icon_whistling) offered a reward a Crufts for someone who could bring back the breed as seen in the old paintings and such.

The Cavalier as a breed separate from the King Charles is only about 60-70 years old now. Very young, then combine that with the fact that they immediately tried to refine an already tiny gene pool meant that any helpful genes yet to establish themselves were bred out.

Kate H
23rd August 2009, 07:36 PM
I would suggest that - at least in UK, don't know about US - Cavaliers started with a small gene pool because a relatively few King Charles Spaniels were throwing long-nosed puppies. Remember the King Charles breeders were trying to breed out long noses; so those trying to get back to the old-type spaniel only had a few sires to select from. You only have to look at the first Cavalier pedigrees to see how tiny the original gene pool was - and there seems to have been very little market for surplus puppies (who were, after all, bad examples of Charlies!), so not many litters were bred. And the temperament of a Cavalier is very different to that of the King Charles (I suspect the short-nosed King Charles is the product of an outcross to another toy breed with a different temperament, somewhere around 1880, when you start getting photos of short-nosed spaniels) - so it seems that the early Cavalier breeders were selecting for temperament as well as looks, which would further limit the gene pool. The emphasis on breeding for show simply exacerbated the problem.

And even if the early Cavaliers died of MVD in old age (as many breeds do), the more you breed from affected lines/dogs, the younger the age of onset will become - which is what is also happening with SM.

Kate, Oliver and Aled (both with Grade 2 murmurs)

23rd August 2009, 08:08 PM
As someone who has a remarkable knowledge of cavalier pedigrees and long lived cavaliers,would you say Bet that the lifespan of a cavalier has become shorter over the decades? What do you think the lifespan of a cavalier in the 1940's and 50's would have been?
Was it different to the lifespan of the King Charles for example?

24th August 2009, 11:08 AM
Sins ,

This question is difficult to answer,I think I will be about the only Person in the Cavalier World who has tried to get a Record of Long Lived Cavaliers.

This Record is held at the Kennel Club Library .around 2.000 names of Cavaliers who have lived 12 years upwards,along with their Sires and Dams ages ,if I was able to find out about them .

I do have ages of Cavaliers from the 40's and 50's ,but not enough to make a comparison of Cavaliers who lived onto Old AGE in the later years .

Hope -fully the 2 Committees ,of Professor Sir P Bateson ,and APGAW ,might be able to answer this question when their Reports are published.

I just don't know much about KCS ,I have a few of their ages from the early days, but that is all.


27th August 2009, 01:41 AM
Good grief:

Anna doesn't have the correct markings, but she has great eyesight and extremely good smell. Something that has long been associated with Spaniels in general, but was lost when the breed was bred to the King Charles Spaniel.

kmatt, I missed this thread before, but WHAT are you talking about? This is total nonsense. The breed wasn't 'bred' to the King Charles spaniel, and this did NOt result in a 'loss of smell' :sl*p: For that matter some people still use cavaliers for hunting and flushing out game and they have NO problems doing tracking courses with gundogs.

What in the WORLD does 'a good smell' have to do with anything, much less healthful breeding, or good eyesight (a good eye cert, yes, but this is different from 'good eyesight' (and how did you ascertain this and her 'good smell'?) is one of the lesser of the health issues for breeding in comparison to MVD and SM)? WHAT do these have to do with healthy breeding? And labs are NOT more genetically diverse than cavaliers -- Sarah Blott herself has said that while cavaliers have a smallish gene pool like ALL purebred dogs, they have a relatively robust level of diversity at this time (are you reading the research that is actually meaningful for a good breeding programme? I guess not. Where did you ever read that 'a good smell' was a critical or desireable breed quality?).

I can see from this broad hint you have given here that you decided YOU are to be one of the BYBs the breed 'needs', going by today's admission on your First Season post. :sl*p:

Please do not further mess with this breed. Go back and educate yourself properly on the breed, its history, the basics of genetics -- if you do, I am sure you will understand that the last thing the breed needs is the grossly underinformed army of BYBS and puppy millers that are already out there, much less a few more.