Thinking of breeding? Read on...
First, NO CAVALIER SHOULD BE BRED UNDER AGE 2.5 AND THEN ONLY IF HEART CLEARED BY A CARDIOLOGIST, MRI SCANNED FOR SYRINGOMYELIA, AND WITH ALL FOUR GRANDPARENTS STILL HEART CLEAR AT AGE 5. If grandparents have unknown heart status, a cavalier should not be bred til AGE FIVE AND STILL HEART AND SM CLEAR. Anything else is irresponsible breeding of a breed that is under serious genetic pressure and already lives a shortened lifespan due to widespread, endemic heart disease due to underage breeding of cavaliers and cavaliers who are not from good heart tested lines and who are not heart tested themselves.
If you still think this is what you want to do WHEN YOUR CAVALIER IS THE APPROPRIATE AGE AND AFTER HEALTH TESTING, please start here:
What can I expect in breeding cavaliers?: http://www.geocities.com/ozcavaliers...ding/index.htm
Making some money?: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/F...244/costs.html
Reasons to breed? http://www.dogstuff.info/to_breed_or_not.html
Next, consider this: http://www.phouka.com/puppy/bdr_ethics.html
This is especially true of a breed with the major health challenges that cavaliers can face, particularly when they are bred indiscriminately by people who do not research the health history of as many dogs in the parent pedigrees as possible. If you don't understand genetics, you shouldn't be breeding. And if you don't follow the health protocols such as cardiac clearances and waiting til the dogs are the correct age for breeding (minimum age two to two and a half), you shouldn't be breeding. Period. The breed deserves the most informed and careful caretakers of its health that it can get. :)
This is the second article that should be a must read for any prospective breeder:
The Ethical Breeder
I don't breed my dogs. Basically, I don't have the time, or the money, to do it properly, so I don't even try. Anyone with two dogs can have a litter of puppies, but there are so many details that need to be addressed. There are serious ethical issues.
Dr. Sophia expressed one of the best set of rules that I've seen. If you can't, or won't, breed with the following rules in mind, then you shouldn't breed your dog. It's as simple as that.
the following was posted to the AKITA-L list by Dr. Sophia Kaluzniacki, and is reprinted with her permission
10 Rules of Ethical Breeding
The only reason to be breeding purebred dogs is to preserve the best qualities of the breed. Breeding to supply any market is not a justification.
You need to do all of your breeding with the best interests of the breed in mind. Never your pocket book.
For this you need to be a serious student of the breed and devote years of your life to it. No "in one day, out the other".
As a beginner you need to engross yourself in the breed as much as possible and ideally find a suitable mentor.
In order to be a serious breeder, you must show and compete.
You need to keep track of all puppies you produce, whether pet or show, to know how your breeding program is working.
All pet dogs need to go on a spay/neuter contract.
All show puppies need to go on a contract that will not allow breeding unless the dog lives up to the quality intended and passes all health checks and certification necessary for that breed. If a prospective breeder does not want to do this, then I am sorry but they will have to mess with someone else's dogs not mine!!
Co-ownerships allow you a certain amount of control in this regard because they require your signature in order that puppies be registered. The latest news from the AKC is that there is a pending change to the rules that will not allow registration unless all papers are properly signed. If you have a difference with your co-owner it will need to be settled in court before the AKC will register litters or puppies. This is new and still pending, but a step in the right direction.
Every breeder owes to the breed and to themselves to be involved with rescue.
Every breeder should be prepared to take any dog back for whatever reason. If they do not have the space, then they need to be prepared to make other arrangements. But take back they must!
In my ideal world one could not sell dogs. They would only be able to be given as cherished gifts to deserving individuals. This would eliminate the whole pet mill and back-yard breeding industry as they could not make any money. Of course since this world is not the way I envision it as regards dogs, we have to work within the system. So I do charge for puppies and I charge what I think is fair for the time and effort I have put into it. It is certainly not enough to cover all of the expenses. If someone cannot or will not pay my price then let them go somewhere else or take on a rescue. There is nothing wrong with paying a lower price and certainly very noble to rescue. Well I will now get off of my soap box :) Dr.Sophia
And the third:
But what could go wrong?
And here's one that gives some real breeder experiences of whelping. Test your knowledge. Would you know what to do?