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Furrfoot
21st July 2010, 07:01 PM
We are hopefully going to see some puppies next week in Georgia. If anyone has knowledge of Georgia show/breeders and would be willing to help us with our "background check", per se, via pm, with their own list of recommended breeders that we can compare names with and see if any of the same recommended people show up, it would be greatly appreciated. I got this person's name from another show home who no longer breeds, but I really want to do this right, and make sure all our i's are dotted and t's are crossed ;) . I also know the dad's name of one of the puppies, and the mom's name of the other (I apparently wrote the other mom and dad's names down wrong, or I can't read my own writing, either one is possible for me :rolleyes: ). The breeder is sending me pics hopefully this evening. The parents have had all their appropriate health checks from the specialists. The puppies won't be ready to go home for a while yet.

I have read the puppy guides, etc. here and they were very helpful. Thanks.

abradley
23rd July 2010, 02:22 AM
Hi, I actually just got two cavalier puppies from breeders in Georgia so let me know if I can help at all!

Pat
24th July 2010, 03:55 AM
Hmmmm....you may want to go back and review the various recommended tests - not just for parents but for grandparents. For example, in the MVD breeding protocol, both parents should be over the age of 2.5 and be cardiologist cleared AND all four grandparents should be over the age of 5 and cardiologist cleared. Before you see any puppies, you would want to see copies of all of the official tests and certifications.

I am in Atlanta, and I've had 12 Cavaliers since the late 1980's so I've been around for awhile. I've been quite active in breed health and pet owner education. I know of no breeder in the state that follows all of the recommended health testing (i.e., MVD protocol set by group of cardiologists, SM protocol, OFA hip, patellas, CERF for eyes, etc. Sorry, but PM won't help because if I can't recommend a breeder, I won't say anything at all about the person.

Pat

Furrfoot
24th July 2010, 04:57 AM
Hmmm...well, darn. Their website (I know, I know) said that they have a certified Cardiologist check the parents hearts and an Opthamologist check the eyes. I found a grandparent of one puppy and one parent dog of another puppy on the OFA website. I forgot to ask about any patella checks *facepalm*. I did print out everything I am supposed to ask about. I can't seem to find any breeders in the southeast who do the SM MRI screening *sigh*.

I guess I should have said that better, I am hoping that the breeders we are looking at will show up on someone else's Georgia "recommended breeders" list, not that I was looking for a thumbs up or down on a breeder by fellow club members, as I have read the club ethics, etc.. That was poorly put, sorry. I fixed it in the original post.

Margaret C
24th July 2010, 02:29 PM
I will send you a PM, but I do have a bit of general advice for USA buyers that are struggling to find a puppy from scanned parents.

There are very few breeders that scan in the USA. That means that SM is a growing risk when you buy a puppy.

Go to the MRI list on the UK Club website. www.thecavalierclub.co.uk (http://www.thecavalierclub.co.uk) There are some USA and Canadian breeders that are willing to show the world that they scan ( but do not take it for granted that all the dogs listed are free of SM, so make sure you see certificates and know how to read them )

Buy from someone that does scan, even if you have to wait, or spend months searching. Things will not change until those wanting a puppy walk away from breeders that do not do all the health tests and show buyers the results.

Pet puppies are expensive in the USA, it may be worth making enquiries about buying a puppy from scanned and heart tested parents here in the UK.
Although you will have to pay transportation costs it may not cost much more than a homegrown unscanned puppy.

Pat
24th July 2010, 04:58 PM
Hmmm...well, darn. Their website (I know, I know) said that they have a certified Cardiologist check the parents hearts and an Opthamologist check the eyes. I found a grandparent of one puppy and one parent dog of another puppy on the OFA website. I forgot to ask about any patella checks *facepalm*. I did print out everything I am supposed to ask about. I can't seem to find any breeders in the southeast who do the SM MRI screening *sigh*.

I guess I should have said that better, I am hoping that the breeders we are looking at will show up on someone else's Georgia "recommended breeders" list, not that I was looking for a thumbs up or down on a breeder by fellow club members, as I have read the club ethics, etc.. That was poorly put, sorry. I fixed it in the original post.

That is a very common half-assed "adaptation" of the MVD breeding protocol that many breeders make. They may well have a cardiologist (usually Gil Jacobs in this area) clear heart certificate for parents, but the parents may not be over 2.5 years old WITH all four grandparents heart clear over the age of 5. You would have to see SIX clear heart certificates and the ages would need to be appropriate to the protocol. Some breeders count on puppy buyers not understanding the details of the protocol requirements. Many local breeders do have an ophthalmologist check eyes. But far fewer do hip x-rays, and hip dysplasia is a problem in the breed.

Were I looking to purchase a puppy, I'd be talking to breeders in other states - Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, the Northeast. These breeders, in turn, might be able to recommend other breeders.

I'm not concerned with the club code of ethics. I was a member (original club) for many years but stopped renewing my membership about ten years ago because of complete frustration with the "head in the sand" attitude and the lack of open, honest communication about health issues in the breed. My own priorities and club priorities were too out of alignment to continue the relationship.

As I sit here typing, there is a 3 year old girl lying at my feet that is staying with me for five days. (She was spayed by my vet along with another rescue Cavalier on Thursday, and I am permitted to be in surgery which made the owner more comfortable than using her own vet.) This girl has the highest conformation credentials that a Cavalier can possess, but the current owner clearly recognizes that she should not reproduce. Her vision is quite compromised due to juvenile cataracts, and she takes meds four times a day for SM. (I will add that she is heart clear.) This situation is all too common, and it is discussed in whispered private conversations rather than in frank, open discussions. So novices to the breed are at a distinct disadvantage when searching for a puppy, and they too frequently learn via very painful personal experiences.

On another topic, speaking of "this neck of the woods".........the AVMA convention is taking place in Atlanta next weekend, and I am registered. Curtis Dewey and Andy Shores both have sessions on SM which I plan to attend, along with about 20 other sessions on various topics including heart disease. There are several hundred sessions offered in total. This is an incredible opportunity to learn a great deal. In my perfect world, I'd run into many breeders at these sessions as they sought to learn as much as they could.

Pat

Margaret C
24th July 2010, 06:30 PM
This girl has the highest conformation credentials that a Cavalier can possess, but the current owner clearly recognizes that she should not reproduce. Her vision is quite compromised due to juvenile cataracts, and she takes meds four times a day for SM. (I will add that she is heart clear.) This situation is all too common, and it is discussed in whispered private conversations rather than in frank, open discussions. So novices to the breed are at a distinct disadvantage when searching for a puppy, and they too frequently learn via very painful personal experiences.


I battled with that attitude for six years before Pedigree Dogs Exposed was broadcast. There is a lot more openess now and most, but still not all, show breeders are scanning at least some of their dogs.

As it is becoming more acceptable to talk openly about SM it is amazing to find out how many breeders, large and small, had affected dogs diagnosed during the last decade but lacked the courage, or the integrity, to speak out.


On another topic, speaking of "this neck of the woods".........the AVMA convention is taking place in Atlanta next weekend, and I am registered. Curtis Dewey and Andy Shores both have sessions on SM which I plan to attend, along with about 20 other sessions on various topics including heart disease. There are several hundred sessions offered in total. This is an incredible opportunity to learn a great deal. In my perfect world, I'd run into many breeders at these sessions as they sought to learn as much as they could.

Pat

There are some wonderful opportunities to learn these days and in my ideal world breeders would be there to hear the research findings from the specialists. Instead they are usually conspicous by their absence.

At very least people planning to breed should be reading the information that is easily available online, instead of listening to half truth and misinformation put about by those who care more for their standing in the show world than the future of the cavalier breed.

Two years have passed since Dr Sarah Blott talked to the cavalier clubs, and some people still choose to believe that SM has not yet been proved to be inherited.
:sl*p:

Furrfoot
24th July 2010, 06:35 PM
Is having a scanned littermate/full sibling with a good scan worth anything?

Margaret C
24th July 2010, 06:57 PM
Is having a scanned littermate/full sibling with a good scan worth anything?

Not particularly as it could be a lucky one-off. Any litter can contain puppies with a mix of good and bad scans.

Having both parents scanned at over 2.5 years and knowledge of MRI results in many of the extended family would be better.

Furrfoot
24th July 2010, 07:02 PM
I also found a daughter of the scanned dog with an MRI scan...is it getting any better? And, a half sister to the stud dogs (maternal side) also with a scan...
(thanks for the help)

Furrfoot
24th July 2010, 07:07 PM
Also, the uncle to the puppy I am looking at, if I'm reading this right, was scanned at age...4 or 5 years. The half-sister to the puppy's dad was scanned at 3 or 4 years old.

And I am speaking with, via email, someone who owns 2 of the same dad's offspring (older offspring- I'm inquiring as to their ages, but I believe they are 2 years +).

AND I have sent an email to someone in the closest state I could find so far who says they have a grade A scanned dog (and they are on the listing for the US) and asked for some advice from them.

*waits*

tara
24th July 2010, 10:16 PM
As someone who was completely new to the breed when I started my puppy search, I feel your confusion here. I would absolutely advise you to be EXTREMELY patient in your search. And be willing to travel. I just couldn't get around the traveling aspect in order to find a breeder who included the following in their program:

Parents were over 2.5 years old AND heart clear
Grandparents (all of them) were over 5 years old AND heart clear
Mom and dad (stud dog from another breeder) were scanned and graded appropriately for breeding
Parents had current (within the year) certifications for eyes, knees and hips

Then, other than the above health testing, the puppies were raised with the breeder's family, puppies with mom until at least 12 weeks of age, clean environment, etc. etc.

Unfortunately, price does not necessarily dictate a reputable breeder here in the States. I found that (in the midwest region of the States) $2000 - $2500 was the starting point for a puppy from the afore mentioned circumstances. I know on the coasts it can be higher. BUT ... puppies from poor backgrounds (no health testing, "good" or bad BYB's or glorified mills) can cost as much as $2000 here. There are some very slick marketing schemes here with some very crafty people trying to sell puppies. The internet has made this so easy for these people.

Take your time. I got lucky and only had to wait around 10 months for Holly. Once I found the breeder, I only had to wait through one litter -- Holly was available from the second litter (different parents, obviously). Had that not been the case, I would have had to wait much longer as I found good breeders just do not have many litters (if ever more than one) per year.

The wait will be worth it, but you should also know that there are no guarantees with this breed. I feel Holly was given the best odds through her breeding, but I'm not naive as to what her future may bring. I weighed the cons and the pros of this breed and decided to go for it.

Best of luck to you and stay patient and unwaivering in your search!

Furrfoot
24th July 2010, 10:41 PM
As someone who was completely new to the breed when I started my puppy search, I feel your confusion here. I would absolutely advise you to be EXTREMELY patient in your search. And be willing to travel. I just couldn't get around the traveling aspect in order to find a breeder who included the following in their program:

Parents were over 2.5 years old AND heart clear
Grandparents (all of them) were over 5 years old AND heart clear
Mom and dad (stud dog from another breeder) were scanned and graded appropriately for breeding
Parents had current (within the year) certifications for eyes, knees and hips

Then, other than the above health testing, the puppies were raised with the breeder's family, puppies with mom until at least 12 weeks of age, clean environment, etc. etc.

Unfortunately, price does not necessarily dictate a reputable breeder here in the States. I found that (in the midwest region of the States) $2000 - $2500 was the starting point for a puppy from the afore mentioned circumstances. I know on the coasts it can be higher. BUT ... puppies from poor backgrounds (no health testing, "good" or bad BYB's or glorified mills) can cost as much as $2000 here. There are some very slick marketing schemes here with some very crafty people trying to sell puppies. The internet has made this so easy for these people.

Take your time. I got lucky and only had to wait around 10 months for Holly. Once I found the breeder, I only had to wait through one litter -- Holly was available from the second litter (different parents, obviously). Had that not been the case, I would have had to wait much longer as I found good breeders just do not have many litters (if ever more than one) per year.

The wait will be worth it, but you should also know that there are no guarantees with this breed. I feel Holly was given the best odds through her breeding, but I'm not naive as to what her future may bring. I weighed the cons and the pros of this breed and decided to go for it.

Best of luck to you and stay patient and unwaivering in your search!

Thanks :) I have run into one of those "slick operations" on the internet locally (didn't go and see the puppies, there were a few too many "red flags" that I had confirmed when I researched further). Gah.

That's what I've been doing too- researching the pros and cons, and I'm still searching and trying to go for it :o:D. Onward...

Karlin
24th July 2010, 10:48 PM
Scans of parents/grandparents are considerably more meaningful. Half siblings are pretty distant (I have half siblings where one is clear at nearly 7 and one has significant SM).

If the parents are scanning SM clear at 5+ then you are seeing the kind of results you want to see.

Most dogs will scan clear of SM at only 2.5 just a they will not have heart murmurs then. So the older the dog at the time of the scan or rescan, the better.

I have a dog from an Ohio breeder who scans, that I had scan clear at 9.5. :) But hearts are as important -- I'd want recent heart results on parents, heart results at age 5+ for grandparents, for example.

I'd focus more on finding a heath-focused breeder than a breeder within the state or even that close by. It is well worth travelling for a good breeder.

Furrfoot
25th July 2010, 12:23 AM
How do I know I have a breeder who is "worth" traveling to, considering that I have a disablity that makes traveling difficult, and any travel plans I make have to be weighed heavily against any problems it can cause me (my disablity is chronic and progressive). Sorry, I'm just a little frustrated, not that the search for a healthy puppy isn't worth it, it's just that my limitations are sometimes :bang: and my husband can't take off work to do this either, so it's up to me. I want to go to where the puppy is, or the prospective parents are, and check out things for myself *sigh*.

Okay, another question, what should they provide me with ahead of time for an available puppy or a future puppy as far as actual forms and certifications go? Will they supply a total stranger (i.e., someone out of state they haven't met yet) with photocopies/scans of certificates, etc., for parents and grandparents? For the MRI screenings on the parents, are there forms or just the scans with notes, etc.?

tara
25th July 2010, 04:25 AM
I don't think you have to worry about extensive travelling before actually picking up your puppy. This might sound crazy, but I think you need to think of "buying" the breeder rather than a specific puppy. They can (and absolutely should) supply you with all certifications and reports via email / fax / mail, etc. The paperwork that I saw included certifications for hearts, eyes, hips, knees and eyes. I also had a neurologist's report (as I wouldn't know what to make of actual scans).

It may sound crazy, but I didn't actually "meet" Holly before I picked her up. I guess I did, but I didn't know which puppy would be Holly. My family made a mini vacation near the breeder's home once the litter was around 7 weeks. The breeder wanted to meet my children who were young at the time. It was made clear to me that I would take home one of the girls, but that would be determined closer to their leaving the breeder's. My breeder was concerned with temperment due to me having children -- and I'm not even sure she was convinced I would have either of the girls until she met my kids:o.

I guess I'm saying you don't need to travel to "view" litters before you've found a breeder. And unfortunately, you won't be inundated with breeders who meet all of your health criteria so you shouldn't have to worry with extensive travels. I think the hardest part was getting on a good breeder's list and then waiting for a puppy!

jld
25th July 2010, 04:37 AM
I agree with Tara. I think you have to "buy" the breeder. I talked to my breeder frequently before I decided on a puppy. After I decided she was the breeder for me, and she approved me for one of her puppies, I waited for a litter. Even then, as in Tara's case, I didn't know which little girl I would get. She kept me updated with pictures and the progress of the puppies. I live in Texas and she lives in Ohio. When they were ready to go to their new homes, she informed me which puppy would be mine, and I flew to Ohio with my little carrier. She met me at the airport, took me to her house to see the parents and where she lives and where the puppies are raised. We sat down over lunch, and she went over all the records, etc. with me. Went back to the airport and I flew home with my first cavalier. I did a lot, lot, lot of research before I decided on this breeder. My Dixie is now 3 1/2 and she is the sweetest little cav. ever. Good luck, don't settle and don't be afraid to trust a good breeder to select the perfect puppy for you.

Furrfoot
25th July 2010, 05:30 AM
Thanks to both of you. I agree about the "buying the breeder" idea- that makes perfect sense. How did you find the breeders you came to trust to the point of choosing a puppy for you?

Karlin
25th July 2010, 12:34 PM
Any decent breeder will know his or her puppies well enough to make the right match to a family :) -- and usually, a far better choice than people themselves make, all else being equal! Many good breeders never leave choosing as a buyer-option because they want to make sure the puppy stands the best chance of being the companion the family wants. Any breeder who cannot assess their puppies to do this are not to be considered, anyway. Most excellent breeders have waiting lists and they will be choosing the pup for the buyer.

If and when I get a puppy again (I actually prefer adults), I would definitely ask the breeder for their choice of puppy because I know one day I will again want a very active agility candidate, highly trainable, intelligent male. Those puppies stand out and sadly often end up in the wrong home because people think 'the puppy that comes and chooses me' is the right one for them -- when in a typical litter, unless those pups have already been homed, such a puppy is often actually the most active and inquisitive, and will be the most demanding in the litter, exactly the wrong dog for many families or older homes that want calmer quieter dogs (they are the pups that become the adults that won't lie still; often will chew, bark, whine, and want attention attention attention if not given a lot of activity and structure -- like Bobby that I currently have in rescue -- or my own much-loved but challenging Jaspar!).

Unless someone really knows dogs or is very happy with any personality it makes so much more sense to talk to the breeder and explain the personality the buyer wants... and in my experience good breeders always have interviewed the buyer to the extent that they can make this evaluation, and often make the choice of puppy then anyway. It is much the same as I approach homing rescues -- some are quiet dogs that wouldn't want an overly active young family; some are active and wouldn't suit a quiet home or certain kinds of families; some are in betweeners and could go almost anywhere... :) The real problem match -- as can be seen in so many threads on this board from people who are finding their dog has challenging behaviour -- is that the breeder never was involved in actively choosing and placing the puppy and the owner has ended up with a dog that is far more active and needy of activity and attention than they expected or wanted. For those who WANT such a dog, they are very rewarding but take time and commitment.

Find a good breeder and they will easily know their puppies well enough to match to a buyer but most likely will make that choice or limit it anyway. :thmbsup:

Nicki
25th July 2010, 12:44 PM
Just a quick comment - hips and knees are done once only - knees ideally between 8 and 15 months of age, checked for luxating patella and this is done by a regular vet.

Hips have to be x-rayed and scored, and the x-rays are submitted to a panel for assessment.

In the UK it's a Kennel Club/BVA scheme, and dogs have to be over a year. I think in the US the dogs have to be 2 though - I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.


Eyes and hearts should be tested annually - by an ophthalmologist and cardiologist respectively.



Good luck with your search - it really is worth the research and wait for the right puppy. If people demand that pups are from health tested parents - and of course the pups should be eye tested themselves {ophthalmologist}, as well as vet checked - then eventually breeders will have to do this testing. Whilst people still buy untested pups from untested parents, then many breeders will not bother.

Furrfoot
25th July 2010, 04:23 PM
Thank you :) . I'm assuming that there isn't a list of MRI scanning breeders?

RodRussell
28th July 2010, 02:17 PM
... I am in Atlanta, and I've had 12 Cavaliers since the late 1980's so I've been around for awhile. I've been quite active in breed health and pet owner education. I know of no breeder in the state that follows all of the recommended health testing (i.e., MVD protocol set by group of cardiologists, SM protocol, OFA hip, patellas, CERF for eyes, etc. ...

Thanks for confirming my suspicion about Georgia. I'd look north, skipping the Carolinas to Virginia, up to, say, Suffolk in that commonwealth, and then jump to Connecticut, around Hawleyville or Bridgeport.

RodRussell
28th July 2010, 02:18 PM
Thank you :) . I'm assuming that there isn't a list of MRI scanning breeders?

You have to ask. Then, if the phone is not slammed down on you, proceed to ask for results, in writing, signed by the examining specialist.

Pat
28th July 2010, 10:09 PM
I'd look north, skipping the Carolinas to Virginia, up to, say, Suffolk in that commonwealth, and then jump to Connecticut, around Hawleyville or Bridgeport.

And those are exactly the breeders that I would contact first - Pat and Anne.....and then I'd talk with a couple in the midwest area.

That said, I must report that in April I adopted a young female Blenheim that was found wandering the streets of suburban Atlanta - no collar/tag, no chip, no ads in paper, no missing report at local shelters. I took her to foster for a few days, and you know the rest of the story. I am a failed foster home many times over. She is the most pitiful example of a Cavalier I've ever seen - 8.5 lbs at 1-3 years old - I call her my Cavalier/rat cross. But she has the quintessential Cavalier temperament - happy, outgoing, playful, smart. Thus far, she has no health problems other than mildly luxated patellae. I purchased insurance for her right away, and she is chipped and registered now. She was just spayed last week as she came in season right after I got her, so I hope she bodies up a bit.

But.....if I were going to purchase a puppy, it would be a very different matter.

Pat

Furrfoot
29th July 2010, 03:49 AM
We found a puppy :) . I started a new thread, but thanks and good luck in your search!

Pat
29th July 2010, 05:15 AM
We found a puppy :) . I started a new thread, but thanks and good luck in your search!

Yes, I read your new thread about purchasing a puppy. But you are confused; I am not searching for a puppy, I was only responding to your questions in this original thread.

Pat

Furrfoot
29th July 2010, 07:04 PM
Oh, sorry! I am confused...sinus infection + lack of sleep = "duh brain" ;) .