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Thread: What is your definition of a breeder of "Quality Dogs"?

  1. #1
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    Default What is your definition of a breeder of "Quality Dogs"?

    I would say a person that breeds for good temperament and health using all the information and tests available to them.

    I ask the question because on another forum there is an interesting discussion going on about scanning. Although most of the anti-scanners have owned and bred SM affected Cavaliers for well over a decade they still maintain that long time breeding experience is more important than health testing.

    Also on the thread is an belittling description of health campaigners like me that believe cavaliers should be scanned before being mated, and that responsible breeders, as 'Guardians Of The Breed' should consider having their older dogs scanned to help the genome research.

    "one minded, narrow minded, rabid people who want the health issues dealt with 'their way or no way' and the common denominator is they have have hardly bred anything or if they have, their achievement in producing quality dogs is minimal. "

    I suppose it depends on your definition of 'quality', but some breeders of successful show cavaliers actively support research in every way possible and do their best to produce healthy dogs.

    This outburst is posted by someone who is on record as rehoming a young SM dog way back in 1996, and who like every other cavalier breeder, has continued to produce badly affected dogs over the last few years.
    No shame in that when SM could not be diagnosed, but one cannot say the same now that it is known that scanning and breeding to the SM guidelines will significantly reduce the number of SM affected cavaliers in a litter.

    It seems that one poster believes that as she has owned very few asymptomatic affected dogs, SM symptoms are caused by environmental factors that were obviously not present in any of the many different households she has lived in over the years.
    It is a shame that does not hold true for some of the dogs she has sold over the last few years.

    This chimes in with the often expressed breeder belief that MVD is caused through pet owners over feeding their dogs, or over exercising them, or even not exercising them enough.
    From my own point of view I resent the implication that owners of suffering dogs are somehow to blame for their symptoms. The problem is the cavaliers' predisposition to CMSM and MVD, if we tried to breed a healthy dog there would be no symptoms.

    These breeders do not entertain the idea that we see the signs of pain because we are not in denial, we do not shut our dogs away out of sight in kennels or dog rooms, we do not dismiss scratching as ear mites, we do not make the excuse that a lame dog crying when touched has arthritis, we question when a dog will not walk happily on a lead and collar and perhaps the most obvious explanation of all........... Pet owners seldom rehome middle age, sick or elderly dogs, they keep and care for them.

    It is now becoming more and more obvious that all high volume cavalier breeders have produced many SM affected dogs over the years, so breeder experience has failed the cavalier.
    One breeder on the thread is adamant that for welfare grounds she will not risk scanning her 5-6 year old cavaliers under a general anaesthetic even if it would help the SM research.
    Interestingly the latest BRS shows that she mated two elderly bitches to whelp just before their eighth birthdays despite the increased risk of needing a C-section to deliver such litters.
    For one bitch this was their first litter, not something most concerned breeders would do to a bitch of that age.

    Neither of these bitches appear to be eye tested and one presumes from the stated reluctance to MRI older dogs neither of them were scanned? I wonder what the buyers of these 'quality' puppies were told about health testing and just what certificates they saw?
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

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    I'm not sticking up for the person who mated older bitches, as I don't know who they are or whether they health tested their stock, but it does strike me that breeders are damned if the do, and damned if they don't.

    Whoever this person is, on the face of it, they have used older bitches, over 2.5yrs old. As they are older, in my hopefullness, I imagine that if they have been health tested, for MVD and they have clear hearts, so this is brilliant surely? especially if mated to an older dog with clear heart?

    Isn't this just what everyone on here is asking breeders to do? (Use older stock) Or have I missed the point.

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    If you are talking about people that don't want to scan their older cavaliers because of fear of GA for research. I find that a completely different thing from scanning for breeding. I contribute to ruperts fund and want research and older dogs scanned for research, but I'm not going to make judgements based on those decisions.

    Putting older dogs under GA is something that people have a legitament fear of. I'm not sticking up for things done in the past, I don't know. However, I find it dishearting to make a breeder sacrifice their pet for others if they think something may or may not happen. As long as they are scanning before breeding, following protocols, I'm sure there are others that would volunteer older cavaliers.

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davecav View Post
    I'm not sticking up for the person who mated older bitches, as I don't know who they are or whether they health tested their stock, but it does strike me that breeders are damned if the do, and damned if they don't.

    Whoever this person is, on the face of it, they have used older bitches, over 2.5yrs old. As they are older, in my hopefullness, I imagine that if they have been health tested, for MVD and they have clear hearts, so this is brilliant surely? especially if mated to an older dog with clear heart?

    Isn't this just what everyone on here is asking breeders to do? (Use older stock) Or have I missed the point.
    Yes, you missed the point.

    I am talking about breeders that say one thing but do another.

    I am talking about breeders that know they have produced unhealthy dogs but refuse to help research.

    Breeders that will not scan healthy 5-6 year old cavaliers to help the breed but will use much older cavaliers for breeding.

    These elderly bitches have no eye tests recorded and the breeder states she will not scan older dogs because it puts them at risk. Therefore they are missing two important health checks.

    There is no sign of these bitches or their mates on the over 5 MVD clear heart list, so no way of knowing whether they are all heart tested or not.

    8 years old would be considered by nearly every breeder I know to be way too far over 2.5 years for a first litter.

    The cut-off date for the KC to register litters from a bitch is 8 years. This bitch was 7 years 11 months when she had her litter and the other one was merely 15 days away from her 8th birthday when she whelped.
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Margaret C View Post
    These elderly bitches have no eye tests recorded and the breeder states she will not scan older dogs because it puts them at risk. Therefore they are missing two important health checks.

    There is no sign of these bitches or their mates on the over 5 MVD clear heart list, so no way of knowing whether they are all heart tested or not.

    8 years old would be considered by nearly every breeder I know to be way too far over 2.5 years for a first litter.

    The cut-off date for the KC to register litters from a bitch is 8 years. This bitch was 7 years 11 months when she had her litter and the other one was merely 15 days away from her 8th birthday when she whelped.

    But choose to mate their bitches at this age when the risk of a C Section is far higher, is that not a huge risk?
    HollyDolly

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    Quote Originally Posted by Margaret C View Post
    I ask the question because on another forum there is an interesting discussion going on about scanning. Although most of the anti-scanners have owned and bred SM affected Cavaliers for well over a decade they still maintain that long time breeding experience is more important than health testing.
    There is no reason why breeding for "show quality" cannot include full health testing and breeding to protocols. Several breeders are showing this and are being very successful in the show ring.

    Dogs and bitches can wait for health tests until 2.5 and then be bred, long term it makes very little difference.

    So IMHO a breeder of "quality dogs" is someone who has had some success in the show ring ( showing an understanding of conformation, movement, correct construction ) that then breeds their stock to the most appropriate partner, uses all the protocols, and performs all the appropriate health tests as advised in the Breeding Guidelines. Does their best. And on through the next generation....

    I personally would be sorry to see poor movement, and bad construction become prevalent, because this can lead to problems. As I started with horses, conformation weaknesses predispose to breakdown and an animal unfit to perform its function, and expense !! A Cavalier should be able to run with its nose to the ground on the scent of rabbits, pheasants, it is a sporty dog - not an "ornament".

    I have always believed that you don't have to compromise "quality" for "health", but the task is getting ever more difficult, the options harder to find, and fewer and fewer people with the same attitude, many knowledgeable caring breeders have given up......

    Perhaps thats why so many now compromise "health" for "quality".

    Just my opinion!
    Maggie

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    I'm not going to write on about my knowledge and information regarding breeding of dogs as I don't have a lot BUT I do have experience of the diseases we are talking about so thought Id voice my opinions.



    One breeder on the thread is adamant that for welfare grounds she will not risk scanning her 5-6 year old cavaliers under a general anaesthetic even if it would help the SM research.

    Advances in medicine are amazing and I get my Charlie put under GA every year to get his heart scanned and his Xrays done, as some know he has Mitral Valve Displsia, his heart murmur is a Grade 5-6. If anyone should be concerned it is someone like me with a dog with obvious complications.
    BUT the positives outweigh the negatives as I want to see how his disease is prgressing and If any further action should be taken regarding medication etc etc, He comes home with in an hour of his scan and he is darting about as if nothing has happened!

    It is personal choice YES, but surely if these dogs are healthy enough to produce puppys (breeder intuition would say yes) then they are healthy enough to be put under for an hour to be scanned. For the good of the future of this breed.



    Until you have lived with an SM affected dog and seen it in day to day life then yes, be ignorent and say that the "Environment " is a contributing factor in the symptoms of the disease.

    The "SYMPTOMS" are there for all to see, those who don't want to see them will ignore them and put it down to anything and everything else possible. Those of us who want to make our dogs comfortable will do everything possible to make sure that the environment doesnt make it worse.

    Cooling beds when the weather is hot, lifelong diets to keep the weight off, dark rooms to minimise headaches, I could go on and on.

    I for one consider a Quality breeder to be one that not only MRI's the parents but MRI's the generation lines aswell, Heart scans, breeds after 2.5yrs, eye tests, hip scores etc etc etc.
    And even then, through experience I would still worry that something would go wrong.

    Karen

    Ruby - my stunning soul mate who defies the odds every day
    Charlie- my angel at heart and devil at play


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    Quote Originally Posted by Davecav View Post
    Whoever this person is, on the face of it, they have used older bitches, over 2.5yrs old. As they are older, in my hopefullness, I imagine that if they have been health tested, for MVD and they have clear hearts, so this is brilliant surely? especially if mated to an older dog with clear heart?
    Hello Davecav,

    I do see the point you are trying to make and I agree that owning four certified murmur free cavaliers over 7 years of age would be pretty remarkable.
    These claims are easy to make, however, and there is no evidence on any health list that shows it to be true.
    If however there is proof that can be shown, then I will gladly apologise for my cynicism.

    I would still question why someone who headed a regional club committee and was a health representative at the time of these matings would dispense with all other health tests, and be unconcerned at the risks involved in putting a veteran bitch through a first whelping.

    I do realise that it must be difficult for someone that has not read these breeders posts to fully understand how concerns for their cavaliers' welfare can so depend on who is going to benefit. If you or anyone else would like a link so you can read the thread for yourself, then just PM me.
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

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    Hello Margaret and Ladies

    Being only a humble inexperianced Cavalier pet owner of less than six years may I ask your considered opinion of the following please.

    Would you say the health of our Cavalier King Charles Spaniels over the last twenty years is generally overall .

    A ) The same as twenty years ago
    B ) Better than twenty years ago

    or

    C ) Worse than twenty years ago
    Brian M

    Poppy the Tri, Daisy the Blen, Rosie the Ruby and Lily the B & T

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Hello Margaret and Ladies

    Being only a humble inexperianced Cavalier pet owner of less than six years may I ask your considered opinion of the following please.

    Would you say the health of our Cavalier King Charles Spaniels over the last twenty years is generally overall .

    A ) The same as twenty years ago
    B ) Better than twenty years ago

    or

    C ) Worse than twenty years ago

    Probably C) but because of the secrecy that has surrounded health issues in the breed it is difficult to know for certain.

    MVD was beginning to be recognised as a problem, although there was a lot of denial about the extent of the cavalier heart issues at the time. It may have been as bad then as it is now.

    This was before MRIs became available and SM was not a recognised problem, although it has become clear that cavaliers that scratch obsessively and/or would not walk on a lead had been around for years.

    This was before the spread of the Internet, so it was much easier for breeders to tell buyers with sick dogs there were no problems in their line and ignore reports of ill health in the dogs they bred, but I still find it hard to think that there could have been so many young SM affected cavaliers with extreme symptoms that remained unnoticed and unreported.
    Last edited by Margaret C; 20th June 2011 at 12:26 AM.
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

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