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FleurPhotography
29th March 2011, 10:05 PM
I am oh so excited about this breed, previously I had never heard of it. We were introduced to the breed a few weeks ago and I am in love. We are going to a reputable breeder tomorrow to look at a puppy, a male tricolor and I hope it works out!

I have already gone crazy on buying stuff for the dog, Flynn is what we are naming him. I feel like I am in information overload, me and my husband have been researching this doing like crazy!

So anyways, I am Maggie and I am 28 from Pittsburgh, PA and we are looking forward to welcoming our new family member! He won't be ready for another week or so, and if he has as nice of a disposition as the breeder says we are going to purchase him.

I would love to meet up with other Pittsburgh Cavalier owners too so I can socialize the puppy with other dogs when he is around 4 months old. I already love this website as it has given me a plethora of information already.

Soushiruiuma
30th March 2011, 03:15 AM
Puppies in general, and cavaliers especially, sell themselves. If you go meet this puppy you will buy it, be sure you see the health certs before ever seeing the puppy.

Jasper and Holly
30th March 2011, 03:32 AM
Welcome, you chose well they are the best dogs ever. You will have heaps of fun with your new puppy. Look forward to seeing some photos of him.

RodRussell
30th March 2011, 06:01 AM
I am oh so excited about this breed, previously I had never heard of it. We were introduced to the breed a few weeks ago and I am in love. We are going to a reputable breeder tomorrow to look at a puppy, a male tricolor and I hope it works out! ...

Dear Maggie: I can understand your excitement. My family has had cavaliers for over 40 years, and each time we get another one, it is very exciting. But please tell us more about how you found out about this breed, and especially how you determined that the breeder is reputable.

mommytoClaire
30th March 2011, 02:29 PM
Welcome! I'm Cindy and fairly new here also. I have Claire, a Ruby.

This site has a great section on how to select a breeder and what to ask for and look for from them before purchasing your pup. http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/showthread.php?26676-CAVALIER-PUPPY-BUYING-GUIDE-(plus-beware-online-sellers

Many of us adopted, and don't always have the health history of the parents of our pups. But, you have an advantage, you do. Do your research and go ready with a check list, you won't regret it.

Let us know how it goes, and again welcome, looking forward to getting to know you.

Cindy and Claire

FleurPhotography
30th March 2011, 03:43 PM
We ran into someone at petsmart that had two cavaliers (they were rescues from NY and a little older about 6 I think). The breeder I found (we meet them today) is reputable, I heard about them from a few people actually. The dogs are both OFA heart certified and are both registered with the AKC, the puppy comes with limited registration to the AKC which is perfect as we just want a pet :)

The dog has some great bloodlines too, I spent the past few days researching everything I could about the history of him so we should be good! I have a notebook filled with information I have found about the breed and a list of questions I would prefer to ask in person to the breeder. We were lucky to find this puppy, there were two other litter mates and they are already on hold.

Alisha
30th March 2011, 05:18 PM
Hi I have 3 cavs they are wonderful dogs! Cant wait to see the pics when you get your lil man :biggrin:

FleurPhotography
30th March 2011, 09:41 PM
We put the deposit down, so he will be ours when we pick him up next Wednesday! Everything checked out well at the breeders so I'm happy with that!

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y108/st0rmydawn/Flynn.jpg

Jasper and Holly
31st March 2011, 11:59 AM
Aww he's so cute.

Karlin
31st March 2011, 12:17 PM
As you are in Pennsylvania, I would strongly advise talking to Anne Eckersley, a reputable, health testing breeder who is also involved with one of the national clubs and would be very familiar with breeders to support and breeders to avoid. I know she will give you an honest opinion as well as advice. You can find contact details on her website, for Chadwick Cavaliers (http://www.chadwickspaniels.com/).

Be very cautious -- indeed get your deposit back -- if the parent dogs are Irish imports.

I am going to be blunt, simply because it is unusual for a really reputable, health testing breeder to have puppies available on very short notice and so there may be some elements that are missing that you aren't aware about, because you are really new to this lovely breed :). My own advice is: I would NOT consider a puppy from any breeder who has not MRId the parents for syringomyelia, and this is something you will want to immediately check and also to see the certificates for. This is a widespread neurological problem that can be potentially devastating and costly (three of my five cavaliers have SM, and the most affected dog is on over $100 worth of medication each month) -- and all indications are that at least 50% of cavaliers are eventually affected by it (though most will remain asymptomatic).

I also would not consider simple AKC registration to be adequate -- you really want a breeder who is at least involved with one of the two national breed clubs -- ACKCSC or CKCSC. Generally CKCSC is considered better in terms of health focus.

Too many people here have ended up with serious heart break and massive costs due to getting puppies from breeders who have no idea at all to what extent their lines are affected by SM (ALL lines (and especially some of the well-known champion lines) seem to carry the genes as almost all dogs MRI scanned have been shown to have the pre-existing condition of CM -- eg their skulls are, in almost all cases, at least slightly too small for their brains).

It is really important to grill the breeder and to personally see the health certificates because there is a lot of deception in this area and unless heart tests for example were done close to the time of the breeding of the dogs, they also have little meaning.

There are a number of puppy buyer guides linked to on the homepage in the right-hand column including our own cavalier talk guide which go through the specifics of the health certificates and what to ask the breeder.

Why does this matter? Setting aside the lifelong health of each individual dog, and the severe costs that will end up with the owner for affected dogs: Only by supporting the breeders who MRI scan and properly test in all the other areas, does this breed have any hope of a future. It is under serious health pressure both neurologically and with their hearts, two conditions which are now reducing the average lifespan of these dogs by several years and which bring a lot of pain to both the dogs and owners who have to see them through these illnesses. It is really, really important for every Cavalier owner to be familiar with these conditions and to understand what to look for over the lifetime of their dog, and what an important role every puppy buyer has in trying to protect this breed by only supporting fully health testing breeders.

We are all here because we love this breed, but there will not be one of us who eventually is not touched by either heart disease or neurological disease because the rates of both are so high in cavaliers. Nearly every single cavalier will eventually have a heart murmur if the dog lives till age 10, for example, and half of us will find our dogs have very early onset murmurs by age 5 which are more likely to compromise their life and shorten their lifespan.

It's just so important to try to ensure that this breed is still there in the coming decades–there are already researchers who believe it may not :( -- and very central to that survival is the choice every puppy buyer makes on which breeder to support. Just be sure you are supporting one that is testing properly . OFA heart reports are only a basic starting point for research ( like verifying that a driver actually has a drivers license) and do not indicate of themselves a breeder who is properly heart testing in a timely and meaningful way or is testing for the other significant problems in this breed.

FleurPhotography
31st March 2011, 04:54 PM
Thanks for all the information Karlin, the parent dogs are not Irish Imports, both parent dogs have Champion Bloodlines, and were very easy to research. I am not really worried about Champion Sired, as we are just looking for a pet, not planning on showing the pup. :)

The breeder was very upfront about the health problems that plague this breed, and had all of the necessary paperwork regarding their health clearances. This was a surprise litter for them, her son had let the parent dogs out at the same time so it was unexpected as she herself was expecting at the time. Normally she said they only have one litter a year. I read the puppy buying guide and asked all the questions it said to as, which were a lot, lol. That's why I am glad I found this site, I poked around for a while before joining.

Zumie05
31st March 2011, 11:58 PM
Thanks for all the information Karlin, the parent dogs are not Irish Imports, both parent dogs have Champion Bloodlines, and were very easy to research. I am not really worried about Champion Sired, as we are just looking for a pet, not planning on showing the pup. :)

The breeder was very upfront about the health problems that plague this breed, and had all of the necessary paperwork regarding their health clearances. This was a surprise litter for them, her son had let the parent dogs out at the same time so it was unexpected as she herself was expecting at the time. Normally she said they only have one litter a year. I read the puppy buying guide and asked all the questions it said to as, which were a lot, lol. That's why I am glad I found this site, I poked around for a while before joining.

Congrats!! He is adorable! I have to admit when I first read your introduction I was thinking "oh no..." this breed is one you just HAVE to be so careful in purchasing. I am so glad you found this site before buying your dog!

My first dog was an impulse purchase. He passed away at 3 years old due to health complications.

Karlin
2nd April 2011, 06:19 PM
I am glad she was upfront on issues in the breed. :)

The key issue really though is whether she MRIs and has MRI clearances on both parents and on how long ago those OFA certs were done for both parents. They are pretty meaningless if over a year old; and SM is in my book a far more serious (and costly) problem and therefore MRIs are at least as important as a recent heart clearance.

I still would not buy a puppy without making sure the breeder is okay with Anne Eckersley.

Champion bloodlines are very common in the breed and almost any dog has champions by the time you go back more than two generations. It is also very difficult to research the health in specific dogs if the breeders are not posting test results and right now it is virtually impossible to find out if dogs in any lineage were ever MRId. what the results were, and what their cardiology clearances were –most people would not be able to find out any of this very important and relevant information from basic online research. In addition, what matters is not so much the champion bloodlines (indeed, there is evidence related dogs in champion lines–often bred to the same small group of popular sires–may be more prone to certain genetic problems because the genes are less diverse) but the health of each individual dog and how this was verified.

That is why I'm saying it is worth talking to a respected breeder who actually knows the background of other breeders in the region, and that it is really important not just to see an online OFA certificate, but to ask specific questions about the results and also to ask for MRI information.

FleurPhotography
2nd April 2011, 07:40 PM
I agree with you Karlin, all of her clearances were up to date, just done in 2010. I had spoken will a breeder from central, PA and she told me what the actual health certifications looked like, what color they were etc. I had emailed her inquiring to if they had any puppies available previously and she had no litters at the time. Everyone I have spoken with has been very forthcoming with information, including the people that have messaged me as well. It's great to know that you all look out for each other like that. I am never one to jump into anything without researching it throughly :) I scoured this website and a few others looking for all the information I could about this breed. We have just gone through two deaths in my family recently (my brother and father), and I couldn't bear it if my girls had to lose a dog as well. We are looking forward to our puppy bringing a lot of joy into our lives.

FleurPhotography
2nd April 2011, 07:43 PM
Oh just wanted to add, I did find many "breeders" on my search that were not reputable (backyard) and one that was actually a broker who came off looking like a breeder. One emailed me back and said she had a "rare" black and white one for me, yeah not happening. Which is why I am glad I read the puppy buying guide!

Blondiemonster
3rd April 2011, 01:25 AM
I agree with you Karlin, all of her clearances were up to date, just done in 2010. s.


Did she scan the parents for SM? I'm not sure if the "clearances" were just for the heart, since you didnt answer Karlins questions about the MRI's. Being the owner of an SM dog I REALLY recommend you follow Karlin's advice. I know you may not want to hear it because you are so excited and have your mind set on the pup.

Reptigirl
3rd April 2011, 04:12 AM
I agree with Blondie and Karlin as parents SHOULD be MRI screened. I know it is VERY hard to find a breeder who MRI screens but in the end it is worth it. We are all just all trying to be helpful! I was in your shoes when I got my first Cavalier. So excited and it was :l*v: at first sight. Now before he has even had his first birthday we are out thousands in medical bills do to his neurological condition and at 6 months of age he was put on daily medication 3X a day for life.

Also I'm not sure if it was mentioned but the heart clearances hold little value IF:

The parents are under 5 years of age UNLESS the grandparents ALSO have heart clearances at 5 years of age.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but if the parents are under 5 years of age you should have seen 6 different certificates (one for each parent and then also for the 4 grandparents showing they are heart clear over the age of 5.)

If the grandparents are heart clear then it is okay to breed the parents at 2.5 years as long as there hearts are still good.

I hope I said that right.

I was not worried about heart issues until last week when my 4 year old was found to have the beginning stages of early onset of MVD.

lovecavaliers
3rd April 2011, 05:54 AM
I agree with all the above comments about the importance of buying a dog with MRI's on both parents and up to date OFA heart clearances, patella, and CERF eye clearances (on appropriately aged parents and grand parents).
I think being that we love this breed so much we are all very protective of the cavalier's future and therefore are adamant about only supporting breeders who do ALL the necessary health testing, i.e MRI'ing.
Your new baby is extremely adorable and I wish you nothing but the best with him.

mommytoClaire
3rd April 2011, 09:51 PM
If you feel committed to getting this particular puppy, and the documents that have been suggested can't be produced, then I would certainly make sure that you get pet insurance.

There are several insurance companies that will insure and cover breed specific diseases and disorders, like PetPlan, Embrace and Trupanion to name a few.

This is a great group here at CT, and very committed to the health and welfare of the Cavalier breed. I know they will do everything they can to steer you straight in your venture with a new pup.