Researching pedigrees: online cavalier databases
The cavaliers.co.uk website has a fabulous resource in its online, interactive pedigree database. Type in a kennel name or the full name of a dog, and see a five generation pedigree. It most cases all the dogs in each pedigree also have pedigrees online. You can also do reverse searches for the offspring from a given dog. If a given dog is not in the database, usually a parent or grandparent will be.
You can update the database as well by supllying pedigree details if you have them.
The site is here: http://www.cavaliers.co.uk/search.htm
It is compiled from show results over the past four years but details on dogs go back several decades.
Some also allows you to determine breeding coefficients. This is a measure of how closely bred a dog is -- how many related dogs lie directly in the individual's background, and therefore how much (or how little) genetic diversity an individual has. In general, the more diversity -- and the lower the breeding coefficient -- the better. This is particularly important in cavaliers, where health problems like syringomyelia are believed to be affected by high breeding coefficients.
Here's a primer on breeding coefficients: