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View Full Version : What is your definition of a breeder of "Quality Dogs"?



Margaret C
19th June 2011, 03:08 PM
I would say a person that breeds for good temperament and health using all the information and tests available to them.

I ask the question because on another forum there is an interesting discussion going on about scanning. Although most of the anti-scanners have owned and bred SM affected Cavaliers for well over a decade they still maintain that long time breeding experience is more important than health testing.

Also on the thread is an belittling description of health campaigners like me that believe cavaliers should be scanned before being mated, and that responsible breeders, as 'Guardians Of The Breed' should consider having their older dogs scanned to help the genome research.

"one minded, narrow minded, rabid people who want the health issues dealt with 'their way or no way' and the common denominator is they have have hardly bred anything or if they have, their achievement in producing quality dogs is minimal. "

I suppose it depends on your definition of 'quality', but some breeders of successful show cavaliers actively support research in every way possible and do their best to produce healthy dogs.

This outburst is posted by someone who is on record as rehoming a young SM dog way back in 1996, and who like every other cavalier breeder, has continued to produce badly affected dogs over the last few years.
No shame in that when SM could not be diagnosed, but one cannot say the same now that it is known that scanning and breeding to the SM guidelines will significantly reduce the number of SM affected cavaliers in a litter.

It seems that one poster believes that as she has owned very few asymptomatic affected dogs, SM symptoms are caused by environmental factors that were obviously not present in any of the many different households she has lived in over the years.
It is a shame that does not hold true for some of the dogs she has sold over the last few years.

This chimes in with the often expressed breeder belief that MVD is caused through pet owners over feeding their dogs, or over exercising them, or even not exercising them enough.
From my own point of view I resent the implication that owners of suffering dogs are somehow to blame for their symptoms. The problem is the cavaliers' predisposition to CMSM and MVD, if we tried to breed a healthy dog there would be no symptoms.

These breeders do not entertain the idea that we see the signs of pain because we are not in denial, we do not shut our dogs away out of sight in kennels or dog rooms, we do not dismiss scratching as ear mites, we do not make the excuse that a lame dog crying when touched has arthritis, we question when a dog will not walk happily on a lead and collar and perhaps the most obvious explanation of all........... Pet owners seldom rehome middle age, sick or elderly dogs, they keep and care for them.

It is now becoming more and more obvious that all high volume cavalier breeders have produced many SM affected dogs over the years, so breeder experience has failed the cavalier.
One breeder on the thread is adamant that for welfare grounds she will not risk scanning her 5-6 year old cavaliers under a general anaesthetic even if it would help the SM research.
Interestingly the latest BRS shows that she mated two elderly bitches to whelp just before their eighth birthdays despite the increased risk of needing a C-section to deliver such litters.
For one bitch this was their first litter, not something most concerned breeders would do to a bitch of that age.

Neither of these bitches appear to be eye tested and one presumes from the stated reluctance to MRI older dogs neither of them were scanned? I wonder what the buyers of these 'quality' puppies were told about health testing and just what certificates they saw?

Davecav
19th June 2011, 03:31 PM
I'm not sticking up for the person who mated older bitches, as I don't know who they are or whether they health tested their stock, but it does strike me that breeders are damned if the do, and damned if they don't.

Whoever this person is, on the face of it, they have used older bitches, over 2.5yrs old. As they are older, in my hopefullness, I imagine that if they have been health tested, for MVD and they have clear hearts, so this is brilliant surely? especially if mated to an older dog with clear heart?

Isn't this just what everyone on here is asking breeders to do? (Use older stock) Or have I missed the point.:confused:

anniemac
19th June 2011, 04:05 PM
If you are talking about people that don't want to scan their older cavaliers because of fear of GA for research. I find that a completely different thing from scanning for breeding. I contribute to ruperts fund and want research and older dogs scanned for research, but I'm not going to make judgements based on those decisions.

Putting older dogs under GA is something that people have a legitament fear of. I'm not sticking up for things done in the past, I don't know. However, I find it dishearting to make a breeder sacrifice their pet for others if they think something may or may not happen. As long as they are scanning before breeding, following protocols, I'm sure there are others that would volunteer older cavaliers.

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

Margaret C
19th June 2011, 04:11 PM
I'm not sticking up for the person who mated older bitches, as I don't know who they are or whether they health tested their stock, but it does strike me that breeders are damned if the do, and damned if they don't.

Whoever this person is, on the face of it, they have used older bitches, over 2.5yrs old. As they are older, in my hopefullness, I imagine that if they have been health tested, for MVD and they have clear hearts, so this is brilliant surely? especially if mated to an older dog with clear heart?

Isn't this just what everyone on here is asking breeders to do? (Use older stock) Or have I missed the point.:confused:

Yes, you missed the point.

I am talking about breeders that say one thing but do another.

I am talking about breeders that know they have produced unhealthy dogs but refuse to help research.

Breeders that will not scan healthy 5-6 year old cavaliers to help the breed but will use much older cavaliers for breeding.

These elderly bitches have no eye tests recorded and the breeder states she will not scan older dogs because it puts them at risk. Therefore they are missing two important health checks.

There is no sign of these bitches or their mates on the over 5 MVD clear heart list, so no way of knowing whether they are all heart tested or not.

8 years old would be considered by nearly every breeder I know to be way too far over 2.5 years for a first litter.

The cut-off date for the KC to register litters from a bitch is 8 years. This bitch was 7 years 11 months when she had her litter and the other one was merely 15 days away from her 8th birthday when she whelped.

HollyDolly
19th June 2011, 04:38 PM
These elderly bitches have no eye tests recorded and the breeder states she will not scan older dogs because it puts them at risk. Therefore they are missing two important health checks.

There is no sign of these bitches or their mates on the over 5 MVD clear heart list, so no way of knowing whether they are all heart tested or not.

8 years old would be considered by nearly every breeder I know to be way too far over 2.5 years for a first litter.

The cut-off date for the KC to register litters from a bitch is 8 years. This bitch was 7 years 11 months when she had her litter and the other one was merely 15 days away from her 8th birthday when she whelped.


But choose to mate their bitches at this age when the risk of a C Section is far higher, is that not a huge risk?

tuppenlil
19th June 2011, 07:59 PM
I ask the question because on another forum there is an interesting discussion going on about scanning. Although most of the anti-scanners have owned and bred SM affected Cavaliers for well over a decade they still maintain that long time breeding experience is more important than health testing.



There is no reason why breeding for "show quality" cannot include full health testing and breeding to protocols. Several breeders are showing this and are being very successful in the show ring.

Dogs and bitches can wait for health tests until 2.5 and then be bred, long term it makes very little difference.

So IMHO a breeder of "quality dogs" is someone who has had some success in the show ring ( showing an understanding of conformation, movement, correct construction ) that then breeds their stock to the most appropriate partner, uses all the protocols, and performs all the appropriate health tests as advised in the Breeding Guidelines. Does their best. And on through the next generation....

I personally would be sorry to see poor movement, and bad construction become prevalent, because this can lead to problems. As I started with horses, conformation weaknesses predispose to breakdown and an animal unfit to perform its function, and expense !! A Cavalier should be able to run with its nose to the ground on the scent of rabbits, pheasants, it is a sporty dog - not an "ornament".

I have always believed that you don't have to compromise "quality" for "health", but the task is getting ever more difficult, the options harder to find, and fewer and fewer people with the same attitude, many knowledgeable caring breeders have given up......

Perhaps thats why so many now compromise "health" for "quality".

Just my opinion!
Maggie

Karen and Ruby
19th June 2011, 08:09 PM
I'm not going to write on about my knowledge and information regarding breeding of dogs as I don't have a lot BUT I do have experience of the diseases we are talking about so thought Id voice my opinions.



One breeder on the thread is adamant that for welfare grounds she will not risk scanning her 5-6 year old cavaliers under a general anaesthetic even if it would help the SM research.

Advances in medicine are amazing and I get my Charlie put under GA every year to get his heart scanned and his Xrays done, as some know he has Mitral Valve Displsia, his heart murmur is a Grade 5-6. If anyone should be concerned it is someone like me with a dog with obvious complications.
BUT the positives outweigh the negatives as I want to see how his disease is prgressing and If any further action should be taken regarding medication etc etc, He comes home with in an hour of his scan and he is darting about as if nothing has happened!

It is personal choice YES, but surely if these dogs are healthy enough to produce puppys (breeder intuition would say yes) then they are healthy enough to be put under for an hour to be scanned. For the good of the future of this breed.



Until you have lived with an SM affected dog and seen it in day to day life then yes, be ignorent and say that the "Environment " is a contributing factor in the symptoms of the disease.

The "SYMPTOMS" are there for all to see, those who don't want to see them will ignore them and put it down to anything and everything else possible. Those of us who want to make our dogs comfortable will do everything possible to make sure that the environment doesnt make it worse.

Cooling beds when the weather is hot, lifelong diets to keep the weight off, dark rooms to minimise headaches, I could go on and on.

I for one consider a Quality breeder to be one that not only MRI's the parents but MRI's the generation lines aswell, Heart scans, breeds after 2.5yrs, eye tests, hip scores etc etc etc.
And even then, through experience I would still worry that something would go wrong.

Margaret C
19th June 2011, 08:37 PM
Whoever this person is, on the face of it, they have used older bitches, over 2.5yrs old. As they are older, in my hopefullness, I imagine that if they have been health tested, for MVD and they have clear hearts, so this is brilliant surely? especially if mated to an older dog with clear heart?



Hello Davecav,

I do see the point you are trying to make and I agree that owning four certified murmur free cavaliers over 7 years of age would be pretty remarkable.
These claims are easy to make, however, and there is no evidence on any health list that shows it to be true.
If however there is proof that can be shown, then I will gladly apologise for my cynicism.

I would still question why someone who headed a regional club committee and was a health representative at the time of these matings would dispense with all other health tests, and be unconcerned at the risks involved in putting a veteran bitch through a first whelping.

I do realise that it must be difficult for someone that has not read these breeders posts to fully understand how concerns for their cavaliers' welfare can so depend on who is going to benefit. If you or anyone else would like a link so you can read the thread for yourself, then just PM me.

Brian M
19th June 2011, 08:56 PM
Hello Margaret and Ladies

Being only a humble inexperianced Cavalier pet owner of less than six years may I ask your considered opinion of the following please.

Would you say the health of our Cavalier King Charles Spaniels over the last twenty years is generally overall .

A ) The same as twenty years ago
B ) Better than twenty years ago

or

C ) Worse than twenty years ago

Margaret C
19th June 2011, 10:54 PM
Hello Margaret and Ladies

Being only a humble inexperianced Cavalier pet owner of less than six years may I ask your considered opinion of the following please.

Would you say the health of our Cavalier King Charles Spaniels over the last twenty years is generally overall .

A ) The same as twenty years ago
B ) Better than twenty years ago

or

C ) Worse than twenty years ago


Probably C) but because of the secrecy that has surrounded health issues in the breed it is difficult to know for certain.

MVD was beginning to be recognised as a problem, although there was a lot of denial about the extent of the cavalier heart issues at the time. It may have been as bad then as it is now.

This was before MRIs became available and SM was not a recognised problem, although it has become clear that cavaliers that scratch obsessively and/or would not walk on a lead had been around for years.

This was before the spread of the Internet, so it was much easier for breeders to tell buyers with sick dogs there were no problems in their line and ignore reports of ill health in the dogs they bred, but I still find it hard to think that there could have been so many young SM affected cavaliers with extreme symptoms that remained unnoticed and unreported.

Pat
19th June 2011, 11:16 PM
Advances in medicine are amazing and I get my Charlie put under GA every year to get his heart scanned and his Xrays done

I find this quite surprising - is it common in the UK to only do echocardiograms and x-rays while dogs are under general anesthesia? I cannot think of one GP vet or cardiologist in the US that uses anesthesia for echos or radiographs. My present and past dogs that are seniors up through their mid-teens have had annual dentals using anesthesia (isoflurane gas) but I've never had a dog need GA for radiographs, echocardiograms or ultrasounds. That is the beauty of those diagnostic tests - they are not invasive and don't require anesthesia. (I am allowed to be present during dentals and during echocardiograms and ultrasounds. I must stand outside of the room during x-rays because of the associated radiation but I watch my dogs go into and come back from the x-ray room. Technician of course wears a lead apron.)

Pat

sunshinekisses
20th June 2011, 03:21 AM
"What is your definition of a breeder of "Quality Dogs"?" For me would be years of producing healthy, happy, and pretty dogs.
But breeding quality dogs and being a quality breeder is two different things. Someone can get lucky for years, their first breeding stock being nice tempered and healthy but unless they understand true dog genetics it can't go on forever without the aid of health testing.

Personally I believe temperament is number one importance, who cares if a dog can live to 15 if he is shy or aggressive. Dog ownership should be fun and enjoyable. Health is also extremely important. If my dog is fun to be with, I should have the pleasure of having years and years to enjoy his ownership. Looks is last on my list, however conformation should not be mistaken for just pretty. A dog that has good structure will not fall apart in old age.

A poor breeder would be someone that ignores any of these three. And anyone breeding before the age of two really needs to be slapped. Health testing is a wonderful tool that should be used for every breeding dog. There is no way a breeder can know his lines are free of certain health problems unless tested. And every untested litter could add to the many already affected dogs. It doesn't make any sense not to use every tool we have to make quality dogs.

Bet
20th June 2011, 10:05 AM
Probably C) but because of the secrecy that has surrounded health issues in the breed it is difficult to know for certain.

MVD was beginning to be recognised as a problem, although there was a lot of denial about the extent of the cavalier heart issues at the time. It may have been as bad then as it is now.

This was before MRIs became available and SM was not a recognised problem, although it has become clear that cavaliers that scratch obsessively and/or would not walk on a lead had been around for years.

This was before the spread of the Internet, so it was much easier for breeders to tell buyers with sick dogs there were no problems in their line and ignore reports of ill health in the dogs they bred, but I still find it hard to think that there could have been so many young SM affected cavaliers with extreme symptoms that remained unnoticed and unreported.


WHAT IS YOUR DEFINATION OF A BREEDER OF (QUALITY DOGS)?


To me the Word Quality means HEALTHY .....so that you can enjoy Life.


How can Cavaliers be enjoying Life ,if they are not Healthy ,and can I mention here that this seems to be forgotten that the Researchers have said that about 90% of Cavaliers are Suffering from CM ,which is Chacterized by the Brains being Too Big for the Skulls. This can stop the Flow of the Cerebro Spinal Fluid ,and Syrinxes Forming leading to SM.

Is this not a more serious Condititon than SM.?

To me it is. What do you other folk think ?

A Report from the FOETAL TISSUE RESEARCH mentioned 85 WHELPS Researched ALL HAD CM.

I think I'am right in saying this that of 29 Cavaliers MRI Scanned under the over 6 age Group 26 had CM.

I will go back to what I said at the beginning of my Post, and have always believed this since we we got SWEEP our first Cavalier in 1973 ,who died from Heart Trouble at 4,that what I would think most Cavalier Pet Owners want is a Healthy Cavalier ,not one with the Quality to Win in the Show Ring.

This is why I feel so strongly that a Cavalier should not be given his or her Title of Champion unless a Certificate can be shown to Prove that they are Clear of MVD and SM,and that the Breeding Guidelines have been followed ,to try and delay the Early On-Set of both those Diseases ,and not been Bred before 2.5 years of Age ,and the Health Status of the Parents is known at 5.

Bet

Margaret C
20th June 2011, 06:04 PM
Personally I believe temperament is number one importance, who cares if a dog can live to 15 if he is shy or aggressive. Dog ownership should be fun and enjoyable. Health is also extremely important. If my dog is fun to be with, I should have the pleasure of having years and years to enjoy his ownership. Looks is last on my list, however conformation should not be mistaken for just pretty. A dog that has good structure will not fall apart in old age.

A poor breeder would be someone that ignores any of these three.

I couldn't agree more


And anyone breeding before the age of two really needs to be slapped. .

What a satisfying picture that conjures up :)


Health testing is a wonderful tool that should be used for every breeding dog. There is no way a breeder can know his lines are free of certain health problems unless tested. And every untested litter could add to the many already affected dogs. It doesn't make any sense not to use every tool we have to make quality dogs.

Thank you for this. I have never seen the argument for health testing put so succinctly.

Karen and Ruby
20th June 2011, 10:22 PM
I find this quite surprising - is it common in the UK to only do echocardiograms and x-rays while dogs are under general anesthesia? I cannot think of one GP vet or cardiologist in the US that uses anesthesia for echos or radiographs. My present and past dogs that are seniors up through their mid-teens have had annual dentals using anesthesia (isoflurane gas) but I've never had a dog need GA for radiographs, echocardiograms or ultrasounds. That is the beauty of those diagnostic tests - they are not invasive and don't require anesthesia. (I am allowed to be present during dentals and during echocardiograms and ultrasounds. I must stand outside of the room during x-rays because of the associated radiation but I watch my dogs go into and come back from the x-ray room. Technician of course wears a lead apron.)

Pat


He is absolutely terrified of the Vets and it is far too stressful for him to be held down awake during his tests. He woudnt be able to have them done awake thats for sure. I may be wrong in the anaesthtetic that they use but I do have to sign a consent form to say it can be done- like I did when he was castrated. And he isn't allowed to eat the night before?

The first time he went they tried with out- like they do with my Ruby- but he went balisticand they had to sedate him.
Is sedation different to anaesthetic then? or am I being really thick?!

Karlin
20th June 2011, 10:25 PM
They are different but they both need the dog to be fasted beforehand.