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Thread: The Snip

  1. #11
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    You hit it right on the head Karlin. That is exactly why we don't breed. Love Jake and Shelby to death. Great personalities and wonderful dogs. But, I wouldn't dare have bred either of them. Breeding this particular breeds requires so much. I just don't have it in me. I'm very happy to be "just" a pet owner and leave the breeding up to the pros.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

  2. #12
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    I guess if I knew that my family members and friends would really like a puppy, I would love to raise at least one litter of puppies, as long as both the parents were healthy dogs. I wouldn't want to raise puppies to sell them, I just wouldn't be able to do that (it's just me, have no problem with people who breed dogs responsibly....I just get too attached)....but I would like to raise a litter only if I were going to keep one or two for myself, and only if my friends or family really, really wanted one for themselves and it was a forever home. My friends, that are dog owners, are like me, they have their pets for life and they are a member of the family and not "just a dog". But, I do agree, this breed does require a lot when it comes to breeding.

    ~Renee, Bailey & Maddie, and RIP my beloved Bentley.

  3. #13
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    I agree with Karlin, if anyone wants to breed Cavaliers then they should ensure that they have ALL the necessary health testing done and only breed from dogs that they know the genetics of. Nothing angers me more than people buying a Cavalier 'just to have puppies'. To me it's almost like having a baby just to have grandchildren

    There's nothing I would like more than to have a houseful of Cavaliers and loads of puppies round my feet all day long (the nights up wouldn't bother me either). However, even though I bought Maxx with the intent to show him and maybe use him for stud at a much later date, it wasn't to be as he had an undescended testicle and we had him neutered. It didn't bother me though, I love him just as much (he was picked and bought to show and his breeder was going to mentor me - she's still my first port of call for any advice over 7 years later).

    He has got a fluffy coat but it's lovely to snuggle up to and he did get a bit podgy but that was thanks to his secret feeder in the shape of his Daddy Once I found the culprit it stopped

    So, yes, if you have an un-neutered male and are did not buy him with a Show/Breed contract then please for goodness sakes get him neutered - you could be saving him from cancer

  4. #14
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    Here's a general answer to a number of points above:

    The issue of anyone truly knowing if they have 'healthy dogs' for breeding is actually very tricky. The problem is that finding whether one has healthy dogs that could be bred requires years of cavalier breeding experience and knowing the full health and especially heart history of both grandparents and parents. For example, to adequately follow the heart protocol, you need at least five years of information on the parents and grandparents, plus all other health tests on both sides, an understanding of genetics and pedigree analysis. Why?

    The genes that control the immune system are passed down together, one set from each parent, they are found close together on the chromosome. When in breeding occurs the chance that a puppy will inherit an identical set of these genes from each parent increases and this cuts the functional ability of the immune system in half and seriously compromises the quality and duration of life for the puppy.

    Those of you who have had a Cavalier with allergies with demodectic mange or without the ability to fight off a deadly disease, know the tremendous suffering this involves both for the dog and its owner. So there are environmental reasons for an impaired immune system but the bulk of literature suggests that in breeding plays the greatest role.
    As is well known our Cavalier Breed was founded on a small number of stud dogs and to get our breed established Mother was mated to Son, Father to Daughter, Brother to Sister, thus a genetic defect that was very rare in the source population now can be very common in a particular breed, because one or more individuals in the new population carried that defect.

    Since there are pedigrees of Cavaliers with in breed coefficients of 44.6% in the 1940's perhaps greater care should be taken by Cavalier breeders when planning their breeding programs and also a study of pedigrees so as to avoid in breeding and paying particular heed to have as many long living Cavaliers in the pedigree background as possible, since those Cavaliers have proved their health status by living to a normal old age.
    from: http://www.cavaliers.co.uk/articles/...inbreeding.htm

    Consider how confusing most of us find inheritence of coat colour (eg which colour matings might produce which colours, and why). Now consider that though it is very complex -- depending on whether coat colours are themselves dominant or recessive, and then whether a given dog, due to its parentage, is carrying dominant and recessive genes for colour (see a chart expressing this here: http://www.fckc.com/sante/genetique/possibilites.html )-- this is all actually VERY STRAIGHTFORWARD in genetic terms. Health issues, especially some of the major ones in cavaliers, are far more complex and require careful study and health histories of both lines, going back at least 3 and preferably, 5 or more generations. This is because many of these traits are being carried but not expressed -- in other words, your outwardly healthy cavalier may well give ALL its puppies severe early onset MVD or syringomyelia even though he or she does not have or show outward signs of either.

    No one but experienced breeders currently keep records to help make such informed decisions. Genetics itself is extremely complicated -- for example, just read this *basic* introduction to understanding breeding coefficients:

    http://www.dogstuff.info/playing_coi_sharp.html

    and how traits are inherited in dog breeding:

    http://www.sheepdog.com/genetics/basics.html

    And this good basic intro to genetic issues in breeding:

    http://www.el-minjas.com/Dogbreeding.htm

    and this basic background article from the famous Dr Gerome Bell:

    http://www.spinone.com/akc_chf99/23HealthyBreeding.htm

    How many of us could follow these basic recommendations he reprints, for a healthy breeding?

    With an established testing program, the breeder can monitor the frequency of the defective gene in the breeding population, and work to decrease the percentage of carriers.

    Suggestions to Improved Planned Breedings (by Dr. Carmen L. Battaglia)

    Check the following when screening study dogs:
    1. Frequency of the desired traits occurring among his ancestors (three generation pedigree)
    2. Frequency of the desired traits found among his littermates
    3. Number of carriers, affected littermates, and ancestors in his three generation pedigree
    4. Number of pups produced with desired traits

    Steps to eliminate carriers:
    1. Not repeat the breeding
    2. Not use the sire/dam again
    3. Test the offspring and not breed from carriers
    4. Exclude littermates of those affected
    5. Not breed to close relatives of those affected

    Characteristics of Good Brood Bitches:
    1. Whelps naturally without problems
    2. Milk supply sufficient to support litter size
    3. Encourages puppies to nurse
    4. Careful and calm with pups
    5. Is attentive with pups

    People may think their supposed one-off breeding is 'just for friends' but how many of those friends and family will have just one litter, and on and on... with your original breeding decisions influencing the genes in the breed for decades beyond? The just for friends reason is one of the main ways breeds have already been gradually undermined... til we have the situation today where half our beautiful dogs will have heart murmurs by age 5! I cannot stress enough that WE have the ability to help the breed's overall health by the decisions we make on who to get our dogs from, and to not breed ourselves. Who would not be ashamed to contribute to the breed's decline in order to breed in an underinformed way ourselves?

    Any breeding decisions made in an uninformed way mean many more cavaliers (and a higher likelihood within the immediate litter) who die at age 6 or 7 after suffering thru heart collapse, who end up needing knee surgeries, who have severe syringomyelia, who inherit terrible conditions like curly coat (Alison can tell you how horrific this condition is -- so bad that most breeders will pts any puppy born with it... but how would an inexperienced breeder know to identify this condition? Alison's curly-coat affected dog was a puppy farm rescue. While she was forced to have many litters, no one understood she had this and she probably sent many litters of puppies out to unsuspecting UK owners, all carrying the rare curly coat genes. And I've no doubt many of those piuppies will eventually be bred by home breeders who are enjoying their seemingly healthy dog... and thus the terrible circle widens and widens).

    And, here's a really good article to help anyone consider if they want to breed:

    http://www.dogstuff.info/to_breed_or_not.html

    Finally: One of the main reasons Bruce and I carefully discussed the pros and cons of having his breeding forum here on his two litters was 1) a fear that it might encourage backyard breeding, wieghed against 2) the pleasure it would give so many people, the insights into the complexities and responsibilities that come with breeding, and the chance to offer people who would love to be part of such a process but responsibly recongise they should not be, an opportunity to vicariously experience a breeding and growth of a litter (or two!!). I know both Bruce and I have hoped that his forum would continue to give positive pleasures and information -- and I hope board members here who are ever tempted to breed might keep in mind all the above points, but also might go back to, and enjoy again, his documentation of his own litters.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  5. #15
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    There is so much more to breeding then putting two pups together. So many sad outcomes for those that don't respect their breed and/or dog and do not consider what they are doing and the effect it will have.
    Bruce's thread is a wonderful resource/learning tool that shows a breeder who truly loves the breed and worries about the outcome with every step in the process.
    Mary-owned by Maya, Scout, Jazz and Sassy
    Annie at the bridge 3/13
    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance......

  6. #16
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    I just think of how awful I would feel if I produced a litter of puppies for family and friends and then one by one saw them develop health problems (at the least) and then watch my family and friends have to go through the terrible grief of losing their dog to health problem. I say to family and friends if you want a Cavalier I will do everything in my power to help you find a fantastic breeder so you can purchase a puppy with the best possible chance of being healthy and living a long life with you.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

  7. #17
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    Where can I find more info on cancer in un-neutered dogs? Is it considerably higher?
    ~Renee, Bailey & Maddie, and RIP my beloved Bentley.

  8. #18
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    Well, you know I really do agree about not breeding Cavaliers without doing a lot of research, but you know....those experienced breeders had to start somewhere too, I think that if someone is totally commited to the health issues and doing all the research, why not breed. Not saying I am going to breed my dog, because I bought him as a pet and companion, and not for breeding.... but, I do think there are some very responsible people out there who could also be responsible breeders, but it isn't to be taken lightly.
    ~Renee, Bailey & Maddie, and RIP my beloved Bentley.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: The Snip

    Quote Originally Posted by choppsta
    ...
    I think our main concern is will it change his character?

    And at what age should it be done? Should we wait till he's at least a year old, or is it better to do it whilst he's young?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Hi. I had Zack neutered at 7 months and it did not change his character at all. He has only become more 'himself,' not necessarily because of neutering, but just as he grows and develops, his personality is blossoming. He (for whatever reason) is definitely more energetic since being neutered (i don't think it's related to the neutering). By energetic, i don't mean hyper, he's not hyper at all. But he sleeps very little when i'm home, and he plays almost continuously, he engages me in fetch, or he plays by himself, he likes to go outside in the backyard.

    I wanted to try to wait until after he was a year old because intuitively, i thought it would be better for his health, i thought the hormones must play a positive role in development and it might be better to remove the source of them after he was fully grown. but at 6 months he started marking and i started having him with other dogs for the first time at that point, at the dog park, and there were reasons related to that which led me to decide to go ahead and do the neutering. I hope there was not a negative effect on his health, long term. In the short term, he is healthy and lively and curious and happy, and I'm glad it's done.

    By the way, he has not gained any weight since before the neutering. He is the right weight for his frame, he's perfect, neither thin nor fat, but he has not grown in the past 6 months, unless the scales were wrong. He seems a bit more substantial than he did some months ago, but his weight on the scale has been pretty stable for months. His feeding amount is the same, about a cup of kibble a day and a couple of small treats a day on average.

  10. #20
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    karlin, thanks so much for the links to all those articles. I'm so interested in this subject, related to the health problems, and have just started trying to find out the role of inbreeding, and as you say, it's a steep learning curve, to put it mildly, and i'm unsure if impressions i'm forming are correct, it's great to have these things to read.

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