Originally Posted by Kate H
There has to be an explanation why the cavalier COI mean value is only 5.4
There has to be a lot of genetic diversity somewhere other than in show bred dogs if my bitch, with no ancestor doubled up in three generations, mated to a dog with the same lack of doubling in his three generations, would have puppies with a greater COI than the mean average.
If it is because of the shared ancestors way back in the pedigree, then there must be a lot of cavaliers that don't share that same show dog ancestory to any great extent.
Cavaliers go back to the same few dogs but from the figures that can be seen in the Breed Record Supplement the very linebred ( inbred ) show dogs are a small subsection.
There will be other subsections within the other 80% and their collection of genes will been bred into them for a different reason than just to be pretty enough to win at shows.
It may have been they were keen stud dogs or fertile bitches that whelped well and had big litters, or just that they were hardy enough to survive puppy farm conditions into adulthood
My frustration, and I should imagine that Maggie as another ex-Cavalier Club Representative may feel the same, is that there is so much that could be set in motion now to limit the damage being done to the breed.
Because so many cannot look outside the box and consider using unknown cavalier lines or outcrossing to another breed I would think as a priority there should be:-
Scanning and identification of older Grade A stud dogs and a project to store their semen for future use.
Cooperation with overseas owners to identify and import semen from significant Grade A dogs for storage and future use.
If there was a real will to save the breed, without the usual proviso that the look and the temperament must not be changed in any way, then serious thought could be given to identifying 'puppy farm' dogs and bitches that could be bought into breeding programmes, or the Club could ask the advice of the geneticists, who really know just what needs to be done, to consider a project of carefully controlled outcrossing to another breed.
A couple of my own thoughts here...... When people say that they don't agree with outcrossing to another breed, or looking at using dogs with unknown pedigree lines because they don't want to lose the look and the temperament of cavaliers, are they actually saying they would prefer SM to continue to affect the breed than for those two characteristics to change?
It is the dogs that suffer. If they could have a voice would they agree with these lovers of the breed?
Re looks: We all adored our cavaliers in the 60s, 70s , 80s, 90s and 2000s even if they were not as big eyed, short nosed, cushioned faced, perfectly marked, long backed and short legged etc. as the fashionable cavalier in the show ring today.
Re: Temperament. It is being recognised that SM dogs can often have uncertain temperaments because they fear being touched. They have been known to attack other dogs and sometimes even family members. If SM affected cavaliers continue to be added to the gene pool because Club breeders cannot self-regulate, then we may be on our way to losing the sweet cavalier temperament anyway?
Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi