Very interesting BBC documentary as many have commented on.
With great respect to those who have been here much longer than I (which is pretty much everyone) I think it illustrates all too well the much-repeated fallacy that buying from showing breeders is better because the puppies are healthier and because they are responsibly managing the breed. As a physician who remembers his genetics lectures reasonably well, one can see from a mile away that while you can reduce the incidence of selected genetic diseases like MVD by rigidly breeding within select clear lines, the subsequent shallowing of an already alarmingly shallow gene pool will no doubt result in other genetic diseases taking their place.
Once cannot wonder if the whole SM situation is not a direct manifestation of exactly this.
The elephant in the room is that your precious pedigreed cavalier with champion bloodlines is likely to be less healthy than the offspring of the average backyard breeder cavalier bred with the mutt next door. This makes complete sense for those with an understanding of genetic medicine as the BBC documentary points out but is sacrilege to most enthusiasts including undoubtedly some if not many here.
I think the great challenge of the next century in pedigree breeding is going to be a broader breed standard that allows for greater diversity especially in breeds like cavaliers which suffer badly from the founder effect and desperately need more genetic diversity.
Not meant as an attack on anyone here as there are from what I have seen the best people in the hobby right here and I certainly have learned a great deal in a few short weeks of lurking. I have a great affection for my little guy as you all do, but the BBC broadcast is a wakeup call for a complete reassessment of what is considered good breeding for those that care to hear it.