Friday, April 22, 2011

A sure fire way

Just thought I'd share this little thought with everyone out there, specifically my fellow cavalier owners.

Recently I thought it'd be fun to get a second pup and possible get into showing them and one day breeding them.  Having toyed around with the idea for a few months, I was surprised to learn that the breeder I got Charlie from had taken her latest litter to the pet shop (also where I bought Charlie).  Our local pet shop is really nice and despite the hubbub about not buying dogs at petshops I still think they're okay.  They only sell local dogs so that they do meet the breeder and see the parents of the dogs, I know that's not stopping puppy mills though and well on withe point...

When I bought Charlie there I knew what I was getting into and I knew the stigmas.  To my surprise though, the pedigree I received when I bought Charlie (though not AKC) was surprisingly thorough and contained a number of respectable kennel names.  Most people that get a dog at a pet shop would probably put the pedigree away and never think of it again.  I had to keep picking though.  I wanted to know more.

Then once the idea of breeding popped up again, I needed to know more.  3/4 of Charlie's grandparents are AKC dogs.  They have numbers and all that checks out (granted I have not talked to those breeders).  Charlie's parents, however, are not AKC dogs.  I was confused.  In the instance of his father, how could two AKC dogs produce a dog that is not AKC?  I'm sure there are a number of ways, the most reasonable being that the littler that Charlie's sire (Tango of the Sierras) was in was never registered.  But again, why?  If he's eligable to be registered, why not do it?  Then I started thinking...what if the grandparents were sold as limited registration and never supposed to have been bred?  That would explain the problem about why the grandparents are AKC and the parents are not.

So I emailed the breeder that sold Charlie and his litter to the pet shop.  No response.  It's been several days now, and she's a local person.  My fiance has seen her driving around town.  In the email I had posed the same questions to her: why are his parents not registered?

The fact that she had not responded seems odd to me.  As a breeder that supposidly loves her dogs, shouldn't she be interested in the offspring?  Shouldn't she also be receptive to questions?  We even ran into her on one trip to the pet shop when we had Charlie with us.  We introduced ourselves and she seemed very disinterested, almost to the point of wanting to get away as quickly as possible.  It just seems odd.

Needless to say, I'm going to assume my assumptions about the pedigree are correct since she has chosen not to answer my questions.  I've also decided that I will be buying my next puppy from a breeder that is affiliated with the AKC.  It does not mean that Charlie is a bad dog or a waste of money though.  I won't be breeding him, but that means he's exactly what I bought him for: a lovable pet and good friend.

So I guess, breeders beware.  If you do not want to appear as though you have done something unscrupulous, perhaps there should be transparency of actions and an active dialogue between yourself and those who purchase puppies from you.  There comes a point where information such as lineage ceases to be private and can also be considered the property of those who buy from you since they too own a piece of that lineage.


  1. Interesting post. I think with Cavaliers and health issues in the breed it's important to find a breeder that is health testing their dogs and can show the certificates. I love this breed with all my heart but would never consider buying a dog without all health tests; heart, eye, hip, patellas and MRI's.

    Cavaliers just love having a buddy!! What colour would you choose for a 2nd if you could?

  2. It was an important lesson to learn for me. I know that when Charlie is old enough, I'll be having him tested. It helps that the vet he goes to has Cavaliers too so he keeps an eye on more breed specific issues than he normally would I think. As of now though, my vet said that "he's a perfect, healthy little guy" so I'm content with that.

    Shame on the bad lady who bred him though for circumventing the "rules" that were put in place by breeders and shame on her for treating her beautiful dogs like a cash crop.

    He really does need a buddy to go romping with. Right now he tries to get our cat to play, but she wants nothing to do with him and swats and hisses at him. Of course he thinks that means she wants to play and keeps bothering her. Eventually I am hoping to have at least one in every color. My fiance loves them too now (altough I'm pretty sure he's not getting one). My next choice is probably going to be a black and tan (love the solid colored ones). If my fiance does get one he already said he wants a blenheim.