Archive for the ‘Choosing A Breeder’ Category

Choosing Our Breeder

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

The breeder we chose, Bob Krapp from Kabob Kennels, has bred and exhibited Cavaliers for almost 30 years. Bob is very successful and active in the show ring producing twenty five Australian Champions. He has also bred two USA Champions, four Canadian Champions and one Malaysian Champion. He imports dogs to keep his bloodlines fresh. All seven of his UK imports subsequently became Australian Champions. Of his five New Zealand imports two became Australian Champions. While the show champions mean nothing to us since we’re buying a ‘pet’ dog they are important in so far as they show his dedication to the breed.

Having already had a Cavalier that died from a serious genetic health condition, a breeder that focused on health in conjunction with conformation was paramount to us. Cavaliers suffer from a myriad of genetic conditions including mitral valve disease (MVD, early onset heart murmur), eye diseases (including cataracts and retinal dysplasia), chiari malformation (CM), and syringomyelia (SM)  to name a few. Bob is very aware of these conditions and others affecting Cavaliers and not only ensures his dogs do not have these conditions, actively campaigns to educate everyone including vets about these conditions – particularly syringomyelia. His main focus is on health as he strives to improve Cavaliers, only then does he consider the show ring. He was instrumental alongside another good breeder, Carol Yates, in introducing ‘Heart Clinics’ at club shows. Good breeders will be very aware about the health conditions affecting their chosen breed and will be actively striving to improve the overall health of their breed.

It is very difficult to get a puppy from Bob, as it should be with good breeders. Typically a good breeder will put you on a waiting list, you cannot buy one of their puppies on impulse. When you want a puppy from a respected breeder it should feel like a job interview! If you don’t feel like you’re being interviewed you’re not dealing with a breeder who cares what happens to their puppies once they leave the litter. Don’t be surprised if they ask for references. A good breeder will also want to remain in touch and keep tabs on their puppies.

Our breeder only breeds Cavaliers, nothing else. Never buy from a breeder that breeds more than two breeds since this is verging on a puppy mill. He owns both the sire and the dam, which is often unusual in breeding.  We were able to view both parents.

Bob registers his puppies with the Australian National Kennel Council (AKNC) and our puppy will sold with pedigree ‘papers’ from the ANKC.  Our puppy will be sold to us on ‘limited register’ which means he cannot be exhibited at any shows nor have any of his puppies registered with the AKNC (i.e. with pedigree ‘papers’). Again, this is not an issue to us since we do not intend to show or breed our puppy. Bob also belongs to professional bodies including the Cavalier King Charles Club of Queensland and abides by their code of ethics to strive for improvements to the breed.

Our vet knows him and recommended him highly. He has treated some of our breeder’s dogs  in the past and cannot remember any significant health issues with them. Other people active in showing and breeding also highly recommend our breeder, saying he is one of the best in the Cavalier world.

Bob breeds only when he wants a dog for himself and his breeding program is not the primary source of his income. He will not accept any money upfront as a deposit, preferring to wait until his puppies have had their final heath check and heave been cleared.  This is a quality breeder with good morals who cares about his chosen breed.

Our puppy Trevor as a newborn

Our puppy Trevor as a newborn