View Full Version : Puppy Buyers Beware.

Margaret C
18th May 2012, 06:29 PM
I need to update my puppy buying advice website: www.cavalierpuppy.co.uk (http://www.cavalierpuppy.co.uk) and so have been doing a bit of checking and I see, to my great surprise, that the Cavalier Club has removed their puppy register from the breeder that was running it so well, despite the fact she returns to their committee on Sunday after taking the mandatory one year break.

On my website I was happy to suggest that buyers should contact the Cavalier Club, knowing that their puppy register was run by someone who had been MRI scanning her cavaliers for years.
She had put the names of scanned dogs on the voluntary MRI list and also had cavaliers on the Club over 5 heart list and there are eye results on the Kennel Club Health Test Results Finder.

I felt confident that buyers would be given information about the inherited health problems in the breed from someone representing the organisation that should be taking that responsibility.

I am no longer confident that will continue to happen.

Looking at the latest Breed Record Supplement I see the two well known breeders that have taken over as coordinators have both registered three litters. There is no evidence that they are breeding to the health protocols of their own Club. In fact there is evidence of a complete disregard of health guidelines.

With one breeder only one out of the six parents ( an outside stud dog ) have eye tests shown. Two of the stud dogs used were well under two years old. Despite years of breeding she does not appear to have any of her own cavaliers on the over 5 heart list or on the voluntary MRI scanning list.

The other breeder presumably will not be giving any advice on inbreeding/line breeding as two of her latest litters have COIs of 32.2% and 26.6% ( For comparison the score is 25% if you mating parent to offspring )
The parents of her three litters are over 2.5 years but the four of the six ( those of her own breeding ) have no eye results shown on the KC website. This long term breeder has no cavaliers she owns on the over five heart list or the voluntary MRI list.

I wonder why it is thought these two breeders are qualified to advise people seeking help in buying a healthy puppy from a responsible breeder? They are not supporting health testing schemes so how are they expected to explain about health certificates they do not possess themselves?

If I continue to point puppy buyers in the direction of the Cavalier Club I will most certainly be asking them for detailed feedback.

Margaret C
23rd May 2012, 12:25 AM
I have blogged an updated version of the puppy buying advice I send out.


Helpful comments welcome

23rd May 2012, 10:53 AM
Thanks for the detailed blog post which I am sure will help people looking for puppies. I agree with your analysis of the current club situation -- how can anyone feel they will get guidance towards health focused breeders if those in charge do not themselves follow basic health guidelines (or only selectively) or do basic tests -- or share those results if they do test or even indicate they do the tests at all?

Committee members should be setting a high bar for all their breeder members and the wider breeder community they should hope to influence to help preserve the breed, through the highest quality personal breeding practice. I do not see how they can argue about the approach of backyard breeders and puppy farmers when committee members do what the average person breeding their pet dog or the average puppy farmer does --breed underage dogs, don't follow the MVD or SM guidelines endorsed by their own club, or do other basic tests. :(

I hope before long that the wider club membership grows tired of this and embarrassed at their club's stance and reputation, and votes into the committees some of the dedicated health focused breeders that are out there in the membership.

Margaret C
4th August 2012, 08:34 PM
Thanks for the detailed blog post which I am sure will help people looking for puppies..

The blog has been viewed 1285 times, so hopefully some of them found it helpful.

I have just finished the update to www.cavalierpuppy.co.uk (http://www.cavalierpuppy.co.uk/)
I decided that at the moment I could not, in all conscience, send people to the Cavalier Club for puppy buying advice, so I have substituted a list of regional puppy contacts.
Some of them may be no more honest when advising about health issues but it is the best I can do.

I also suggest buyers contact the KC. Their Assured Breeders Scheme now recommend breeders use the BVA/KC Syringomyelia Scheme. Hopefully it will eventually become 'required' so that the ABS can become a really good source of health focused breeders.

I often get visitors to the website contacting me for help. Recently I heard from the owner of a 6 month puppy who was having screaming bouts when touched. She was PTS as an emergency when all treatment failed to stop the pain worsening.

Poor little cavaliers like that motivate me to continue. It makes me determined not to compromise in highlighting influential breeders who breed underage dogs, don't follow the MVD or SM guidelines and fail to eye test their breeding cavaliers.

5th August 2012, 11:43 AM
Failing to eye test is particularly pathetic -- this is simple and not expensive to do, has been recommended by national clubs around the world for years and years as an ethical breeder *basic*, and eye problems are a known, widespread problem in the breed. Given that this (eye test confirmation) now shows up on MateSelect I believe? -- it will be easy for other breeders as well as puppy buyers to see exactly which unscrupulous breeders fail to do this test -- it may be surprising when it is well known that some who don't do this basic test are amongst the breeders who put themselves forward with much public bluster :rolleyes: as pro-health, in their totally two-faced, unethical and deceptive way.

The more such testing information that is made public -- the more such people will be outed for what they really are. And the better starting guidance buyers will have as to who to avoid, making the puppy finding process a lot easier.

Even though the Assured Breeders scheme was initially seen as not very assured at all, the KC I think has made significant strides with it and if MRIs become mandatory for breeders to be on this list-- as surely they soon must if the scheme is really indicative of more healthful breeders-- this really will become a very good starting place for puppy buyers. :) This is really the kind of guidance towards more health focused breeders that the puppy buying public (and other breeders!) so obviously want and need.

At the moment I would not recommend going to the UK CKCS Club or IKC puppy contact people as a starting point either for the reasons Margaret has noted above. In the US, I would go to a few individual breeders before I would rely on the club puppy contact.

Important to note that buyers will want more info than just whether a breeder tests -- you need to understand what to look for as results on those tests and in conversations about them with the breeder. :thmbsup: There are several guides linked on the front page, right hand column (where the 'latests posts' and Rupert's Fund info etc are located) that people can use to help understand what to look for in a breeder and to better understand tests and results. :)

5th August 2012, 11:15 PM
I Recently I heard from the owner of a 6 month puppy who was having screaming bouts when touched. She was PTS as an emergency when all treatment failed to stop the pain worsening.

Poor little cavaliers like that motivate me to continue. It makes me determined not to compromise in highlighting influential breeders who breed underage dogs, don't follow the MVD or SM guidelines and fail to eye test their breeding cavaliers.

Oh Margaret that is so sad, the poor owners must be devastated.

Your determination is admired by many. Thankyou


6th August 2012, 12:30 AM
I agree even tho I live in the US and you cannot help me as much. I have read and reread the info on your site. I just think it breaks it down in clear terms I can understand. Rod's site is excellent as well but somethings its info overload, which is great for me once I grasp the main details. I have been donating to a cavalier rescue when I can but I always wish I could do more. Pointing people interested the this breed to web sites like yours and Rod's is the best I can do sometimes. I'm grateful there are people out there would are willing and ready to go thur all the "junk" you have to fight this fight for this amazing breed. I have NEVER met a dog like Fletcher before, he is so sweet, smart, playful, loving and did I mention beautiful. I look forward to my grandchildren having cavaliers that live until 16-18 years regularly. I know the odds are stacked in the other direction but we can always work towards that and hope.

Margaret C
9th August 2012, 08:17 PM
In the latest BRS one of the Cavalier Club's puppy list holder has registered a litter sired by a 14 month dog to a bitch that has no record of being eye tested despite the fact she was having her third litter. The COI of the litter is 17.3%

A little word of warning to Puppy Buyers that are looking for Kennel Club registered puppies in the UK. You need to check that the breeder has the registration papers before you pay for the puppy. There is a problem in that quite a few litters of puppies, sired by well known stud dogs from a leading kennel, are being refused registration by the Kennel Club.

It is being said that the gentleman offering these dogs at stud is not in fact their legal owner. The unfortunate breeders of these litters may not be able to register them for some considerable time, if at all. There are also cavaliers that have been sold abroad that may need to be returned to the UK.

This is not the only problem the KC are dealing with at the moment. Probably the most serious is a UK breeder who allegedly racially abused an overseas competitor and spat at her. The abusive exhibitor has been asking showgoers to supply her with character references to send to the KC, presumably in the hopes of avoiding or lessening a ban on showing. I am told that some of those who complied have written to say they felt intimidated into agreeing.

There has also been a recent instruction sent to all the cavalier clubs telling them to remove a senior judge from their judges list. She very publicly insulted another judge who placed her cavalier second in a championship class

The latest KC Gazette records that a regional committee member has had the BIS award he won at his Club's own show taken away for breaking KC rules.