Along with last week's Our Dogs, my kind friend who passes her copies on to me included a copy of Dog World from back in February, and in the Griffon breed notes there was an intriguing piece of information. Although not nearly as widespread as in Cavaliers, Griffons are the other toy breed most affected by CM/SM. The breed notes were discussing the occasional occurrence of long silky coats in Griffons instead of their normal short quite harsh coat. The long coats can't be shown, so are sold as pets. The notes said: 'It is thought that the long coat goes back to the King Charles ancestor in the Griffon pedigree and as it is a recessive gene the gene needs to be present in both mother and father.' I would never have guessed that the creation of the modern Griffon included the King Charles Spaniel - when I checked on Wikipedia,this apparently took place in the 19th century. So here we have two toy breeds affected by CM/SM with a common ancestor in the late nineteenth-century King Charles Spaniel (a breed which is also affected by CM/SM). I don't suppose it has ever occurred to anyone to monitor these long-haired Griffons to find out if any of them developed CM/SM. But I found this information fascinating! It sounds as if the CM/SM gene could have come into both breeds very much earlier than one might think - right from the beginning of Cavaliers as a modern breed, because they evolved from the King Charles Spaniel.

Kate, Oliver and Aled