I do health test the rescue dogs I home to the full extent possible -- all are vet and heart checked, many are professionally temperament tested. I will assess to the best that I am able whether I believe a dog has SM. That is why I currently have Lily and not some family -- I suspected from the first week I had her that her scratching was not normal but SM scratching and therefore she was not rehomed. Most good rescues vet check and I know Dogs Trust and probably the RSPCA vet check all dogs that come through.
I strongly believe that people who buy pedigree dogs have just as much responsibility for supporting (or not!) the breed through their decision of where to buy, as breeders do in choosing how they breed. Pet buyers have got to take responsibility for the knock on effects of their decision -- choose a BYB or a pet store breeder or a club breeder who breeds underaged dogs, breeds to close relatives, ignores the MVD protocol, breeds dogs known to have Sm that would be considered high risk breeding dogs, and you have colluded with those shoddy breeders and breeding practices.
It is one thing to do this when underinformed, since most people place trust in most breeders, not realising what a minefield finding a reputable breeder is. It is another to know the impact such people have on this poor breed but to deliberately choose to buy from them for convenience, lower price, or whatever reason. The buyer ultimately has just as much impact on the future of the breed as the breeder/seller.
Cavaliers: Tansy : Mindy Connie Roxy Neasa Gus
In memory: My beautiful Jaspar Lucy Leo Lily Libby
"choose a BYB or a pet store breeder or a club breeder who breeds underaged dogs, breeds to close relatives, ignores the MVD protocol, breeds dogs known to have Sm that would be considered high risk breeding dogs, and you have colluded with those shoddy breeders and breeding practices."
Karlin, I picked this out because I agree with it. I will say, though, that depending on where you live, you may have to decide not to get a Cavalier. Not wanting to collude is the reason I currently only have one Cavalier.
I understand in the UK Cavaliers are somewhat popular and therefore there are more breeders to pick through, but in places where they are rarer it is past difficult finding a breeder that does not fail somewhere on that above criteria.
I have been looking here for 3 years for one within a day or twos drive of me that would get a pass, and have been completely unsuccessful. I have been looking for MRIs but have been told that is incredibly impractical here, but even lowering my expectations to just those who consistently breed by the MVD guidelines has caused me to exclude every breeder close.
It begins to make me understand why some decide it is too much work and do end up "colluding" even though they know better.
I am glad for the pressure that Dogs Trust and the RSPCA are putting on the KC in the UK to have some sort of breeder regulations. I am hoping repercussions are felt through the AKC and CKC here.
Riley's mom Sissee