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Thread: Going to see a puppy...

  1. #11
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    Also, the uncle to the puppy I am looking at, if I'm reading this right, was scanned at age...4 or 5 years. The half-sister to the puppy's dad was scanned at 3 or 4 years old.

    And I am speaking with, via email, someone who owns 2 of the same dad's offspring (older offspring- I'm inquiring as to their ages, but I believe they are 2 years +).

    AND I have sent an email to someone in the closest state I could find so far who says they have a grade A scanned dog (and they are on the listing for the US) and asked for some advice from them.

    *waits*
    Last edited by Furrfoot; 24th July 2010 at 07:15 PM.

  2. #12
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    As someone who was completely new to the breed when I started my puppy search, I feel your confusion here. I would absolutely advise you to be EXTREMELY patient in your search. And be willing to travel. I just couldn't get around the traveling aspect in order to find a breeder who included the following in their program:

    Parents were over 2.5 years old AND heart clear
    Grandparents (all of them) were over 5 years old AND heart clear
    Mom and dad (stud dog from another breeder) were scanned and graded appropriately for breeding
    Parents had current (within the year) certifications for eyes, knees and hips

    Then, other than the above health testing, the puppies were raised with the breeder's family, puppies with mom until at least 12 weeks of age, clean environment, etc. etc.

    Unfortunately, price does not necessarily dictate a reputable breeder here in the States. I found that (in the midwest region of the States) $2000 - $2500 was the starting point for a puppy from the afore mentioned circumstances. I know on the coasts it can be higher. BUT ... puppies from poor backgrounds (no health testing, "good" or bad BYB's or glorified mills) can cost as much as $2000 here. There are some very slick marketing schemes here with some very crafty people trying to sell puppies. The internet has made this so easy for these people.

    Take your time. I got lucky and only had to wait around 10 months for Holly. Once I found the breeder, I only had to wait through one litter -- Holly was available from the second litter (different parents, obviously). Had that not been the case, I would have had to wait much longer as I found good breeders just do not have many litters (if ever more than one) per year.

    The wait will be worth it, but you should also know that there are no guarantees with this breed. I feel Holly was given the best odds through her breeding, but I'm not naive as to what her future may bring. I weighed the cons and the pros of this breed and decided to go for it.

    Best of luck to you and stay patient and unwaivering in your search!

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tara View Post
    As someone who was completely new to the breed when I started my puppy search, I feel your confusion here. I would absolutely advise you to be EXTREMELY patient in your search. And be willing to travel. I just couldn't get around the traveling aspect in order to find a breeder who included the following in their program:

    Parents were over 2.5 years old AND heart clear
    Grandparents (all of them) were over 5 years old AND heart clear
    Mom and dad (stud dog from another breeder) were scanned and graded appropriately for breeding
    Parents had current (within the year) certifications for eyes, knees and hips

    Then, other than the above health testing, the puppies were raised with the breeder's family, puppies with mom until at least 12 weeks of age, clean environment, etc. etc.

    Unfortunately, price does not necessarily dictate a reputable breeder here in the States. I found that (in the midwest region of the States) $2000 - $2500 was the starting point for a puppy from the afore mentioned circumstances. I know on the coasts it can be higher. BUT ... puppies from poor backgrounds (no health testing, "good" or bad BYB's or glorified mills) can cost as much as $2000 here. There are some very slick marketing schemes here with some very crafty people trying to sell puppies. The internet has made this so easy for these people.

    Take your time. I got lucky and only had to wait around 10 months for Holly. Once I found the breeder, I only had to wait through one litter -- Holly was available from the second litter (different parents, obviously). Had that not been the case, I would have had to wait much longer as I found good breeders just do not have many litters (if ever more than one) per year.

    The wait will be worth it, but you should also know that there are no guarantees with this breed. I feel Holly was given the best odds through her breeding, but I'm not naive as to what her future may bring. I weighed the cons and the pros of this breed and decided to go for it.

    Best of luck to you and stay patient and unwaivering in your search!
    Thanks I have run into one of those "slick operations" on the internet locally (didn't go and see the puppies, there were a few too many "red flags" that I had confirmed when I researched further). Gah.

    That's what I've been doing too- researching the pros and cons, and I'm still searching and trying to go for it . Onward...

  4. #14
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    Scans of parents/grandparents are considerably more meaningful. Half siblings are pretty distant (I have half siblings where one is clear at nearly 7 and one has significant SM).

    If the parents are scanning SM clear at 5+ then you are seeing the kind of results you want to see.

    Most dogs will scan clear of SM at only 2.5 just a they will not have heart murmurs then. So the older the dog at the time of the scan or rescan, the better.

    I have a dog from an Ohio breeder who scans, that I had scan clear at 9.5. But hearts are as important -- I'd want recent heart results on parents, heart results at age 5+ for grandparents, for example.

    I'd focus more on finding a heath-focused breeder than a breeder within the state or even that close by. It is well worth travelling for a good breeder.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  5. #15
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    How do I know I have a breeder who is "worth" traveling to, considering that I have a disablity that makes traveling difficult, and any travel plans I make have to be weighed heavily against any problems it can cause me (my disablity is chronic and progressive). Sorry, I'm just a little frustrated, not that the search for a healthy puppy isn't worth it, it's just that my limitations are sometimes and my husband can't take off work to do this either, so it's up to me. I want to go to where the puppy is, or the prospective parents are, and check out things for myself *sigh*.

    Okay, another question, what should they provide me with ahead of time for an available puppy or a future puppy as far as actual forms and certifications go? Will they supply a total stranger (i.e., someone out of state they haven't met yet) with photocopies/scans of certificates, etc., for parents and grandparents? For the MRI screenings on the parents, are there forms or just the scans with notes, etc.?

  6. #16
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    I don't think you have to worry about extensive travelling before actually picking up your puppy. This might sound crazy, but I think you need to think of "buying" the breeder rather than a specific puppy. They can (and absolutely should) supply you with all certifications and reports via email / fax / mail, etc. The paperwork that I saw included certifications for hearts, eyes, hips, knees and eyes. I also had a neurologist's report (as I wouldn't know what to make of actual scans).

    It may sound crazy, but I didn't actually "meet" Holly before I picked her up. I guess I did, but I didn't know which puppy would be Holly. My family made a mini vacation near the breeder's home once the litter was around 7 weeks. The breeder wanted to meet my children who were young at the time. It was made clear to me that I would take home one of the girls, but that would be determined closer to their leaving the breeder's. My breeder was concerned with temperment due to me having children -- and I'm not even sure she was convinced I would have either of the girls until she met my kids.

    I guess I'm saying you don't need to travel to "view" litters before you've found a breeder. And unfortunately, you won't be inundated with breeders who meet all of your health criteria so you shouldn't have to worry with extensive travels. I think the hardest part was getting on a good breeder's list and then waiting for a puppy!

  7. #17
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    I agree with Tara. I think you have to "buy" the breeder. I talked to my breeder frequently before I decided on a puppy. After I decided she was the breeder for me, and she approved me for one of her puppies, I waited for a litter. Even then, as in Tara's case, I didn't know which little girl I would get. She kept me updated with pictures and the progress of the puppies. I live in Texas and she lives in Ohio. When they were ready to go to their new homes, she informed me which puppy would be mine, and I flew to Ohio with my little carrier. She met me at the airport, took me to her house to see the parents and where she lives and where the puppies are raised. We sat down over lunch, and she went over all the records, etc. with me. Went back to the airport and I flew home with my first cavalier. I did a lot, lot, lot of research before I decided on this breeder. My Dixie is now 3 1/2 and she is the sweetest little cav. ever. Good luck, don't settle and don't be afraid to trust a good breeder to select the perfect puppy for you.

  8. #18
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    Thanks to both of you. I agree about the "buying the breeder" idea- that makes perfect sense. How did you find the breeders you came to trust to the point of choosing a puppy for you?

  9. #19
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    Any decent breeder will know his or her puppies well enough to make the right match to a family -- and usually, a far better choice than people themselves make, all else being equal! Many good breeders never leave choosing as a buyer-option because they want to make sure the puppy stands the best chance of being the companion the family wants. Any breeder who cannot assess their puppies to do this are not to be considered, anyway. Most excellent breeders have waiting lists and they will be choosing the pup for the buyer.

    If and when I get a puppy again (I actually prefer adults), I would definitely ask the breeder for their choice of puppy because I know one day I will again want a very active agility candidate, highly trainable, intelligent male. Those puppies stand out and sadly often end up in the wrong home because people think 'the puppy that comes and chooses me' is the right one for them -- when in a typical litter, unless those pups have already been homed, such a puppy is often actually the most active and inquisitive, and will be the most demanding in the litter, exactly the wrong dog for many families or older homes that want calmer quieter dogs (they are the pups that become the adults that won't lie still; often will chew, bark, whine, and want attention attention attention if not given a lot of activity and structure -- like Bobby that I currently have in rescue -- or my own much-loved but challenging Jaspar!).

    Unless someone really knows dogs or is very happy with any personality it makes so much more sense to talk to the breeder and explain the personality the buyer wants... and in my experience good breeders always have interviewed the buyer to the extent that they can make this evaluation, and often make the choice of puppy then anyway. It is much the same as I approach homing rescues -- some are quiet dogs that wouldn't want an overly active young family; some are active and wouldn't suit a quiet home or certain kinds of families; some are in betweeners and could go almost anywhere... The real problem match -- as can be seen in so many threads on this board from people who are finding their dog has challenging behaviour -- is that the breeder never was involved in actively choosing and placing the puppy and the owner has ended up with a dog that is far more active and needy of activity and attention than they expected or wanted. For those who WANT such a dog, they are very rewarding but take time and commitment.

    Find a good breeder and they will easily know their puppies well enough to match to a buyer but most likely will make that choice or limit it anyway.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  10. #20
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    Just a quick comment - hips and knees are done once only - knees ideally between 8 and 15 months of age, checked for luxating patella and this is done by a regular vet.

    Hips have to be x-rayed and scored, and the x-rays are submitted to a panel for assessment.

    In the UK it's a Kennel Club/BVA scheme, and dogs have to be over a year. I think in the US the dogs have to be 2 though - I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.


    Eyes and hearts should be tested annually - by an ophthalmologist and cardiologist respectively.



    Good luck with your search - it really is worth the research and wait for the right puppy. If people demand that pups are from health tested parents - and of course the pups should be eye tested themselves {ophthalmologist}, as well as vet checked - then eventually breeders will have to do this testing. Whilst people still buy untested pups from untested parents, then many breeders will not bother.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

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