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' Mentors'

Showing dogs, helps produce correct puppies of high quality.  At a dog show, each dog is assessed on how it conforms to the breed standard.  The dogs which gain CC’s (Challenge Certificates) must be the most correct to the breed standard in opinion of the judge.

While not every dog is show ring perfection, every breeding should start off with that as a goal with Cavaliers of the correct quality so the characteristics of the Cavalier is not lost.  Before deciding to breed Cavaliers, you should consider showing but the most essential part is you must have a KNOWLEDGEABLE mentor to guide you, give you advice and offer help. This allows you to still make mistakes, which sometimes can happen. 

Showing is an enjoyable sport but to a beginner it can be very off putting.  When you start out it is best to have someone who can show you the ropes, explain how shows work and answer any questions you may have.  If you have brought your puppy from a successful show breeder, this is the person who can most help you.  If your puppy was not purchased from a show breeder, or from a breeder in another state there will be many breeders who may offer advice and evaluated your puppy if you ask.  Ask a very experienced breeder with many years experience or a Cavalier Breed Specialist, not one who has been in the breed no more than 5 minutes.

 REMEMBER: if you want to possibly show your puppy you MUST buy from a breeder who shows their own dogs.  There is NO way a person who has never shown can tell you which pup in their litter is ‘show potential’.  By buying from a successful show breeder, you have a mentor which is essential to consult when breeding your dogs. A breeder who does not show, does not care about what quality dog you take in with their Breeding Prefix on it.

Before you even consider breeding, please take into account you should be only breeding to better the breed.  You should evaluate your dogs before even considering breeding, taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of each dog/bitch and their weaknesses/hereditary defects in each breeding line.  Breeding should only be done for the right reasons.  A reputable breeder breeds only to improve the breed, with the goal of each successive generation being better than the previous.  Breeding should never be done for the reason of making money or showing the kids the miracle of birth (showing the kids the miracle of birth can be done via a video/dvd hired from the local video shop).

 If you are breeding for the right reasons, you MUST find a knowledgeable mentor.  This person will evaluate your dogs/bitches with their faults and merits.  They may tell you 2 things.

         (1). That your bitch/dog does not conform to the breed standard, and you should desex your cavalier.  You will be best off following their advice and buying a more ‘conformationally correct pup of breed type; and then only venture into the world of breeding and showing.   After this you can then do 2 things, first you can listen which is recommended. If this person knows your breed they may help you find a suitable puppy for possible show or breeding.  Your second choice is breed you dog anyway and ignore their advice.  You may end up being classified as a pet only breeder, but you have to remember it costs the same amount of money to raise a well-bred litter as it does to raise a litter of mediocre puppies. Having a litter because you love “Fluffy” so much and would like another like her does not happen.  It is impossible to produce a dog exactly like ‘Fluffy’ as many genes make a puppy, the only way to have one like her is to have her cloned.

(2).    If your dog is of show or breeding quality, or has some other reason why they could not be shown (eg: too much white on a wholecolour) but are a high enough quality to possibly produce puppies better than themselves.  Your mentor may be able to recommend a sire for your bitch or tell you whose lines are known to ‘click’.  

 A mentor often becomes a very close friend and this person is there to offer support when things go wrong, or when we feel like just giving up.  A mentor will become a friend, teacher, supporter and a great help trying to seek answers and looking outside the square when things will and do go wrong.  They are there to guide you and most of all, help you without any ulterior motive.

In dogs, no one ever stops learning and it is of great benefit to have a very experienced mentor.  Books, magazines and videos can only teach you a certain amount.  It is only hands on experience from a mentor which can show you what is correct, what is not.

There are many breeders of Cavaliers, and if you want to be a breeder it is best to be GOOD ONE.  Reputation is earned through HONESTY, ETHICS, and RESPONSIBILITY.  Many people claim to be responsible breeders, they can advertise all over the internet, magazines and breed yearbook.  Some actually are and unfortunately some are not.  It is up to us to DECIDE what type of breeder we want to BE and what we find to be ETHICAL. 

 Start by finding a mentor, and taking the big step to decide to be a Cavalier breeder, remember that your ONLY goal should be is to improve the breed.  Remember any person can breed dogs, it takes a BETTER BREEDER with the breed at heart to breed BETTER DOGS.


Stand By Me - Ben E King

© Braydnvale Cavaliers 2004