ACKCSC Response to the 12/10/09 Today Show Segment

 The sensationalist segment that aired on the Today Show, Dec. 10, 2009, gave a bleak and non-scientific picture of the world of purebred dogs in general and the breeder in specific. Unfortunately, it highlighted the Cavalier in its bias.
Reputable Cavalier breeders the world over acknowledge that, like all breeds, the Cavalier does have health concerns. But the percentages of dogs affected with various ailments were exaggerated, and the Today interview with the animal "welfare" professor from the Univ. of PA was designed to put breeders in the worst possible light. Ironically, it is the ACKCSC Charitable {Health} Trust that is funding research at this VERY university (among others) to help investigate health concerns in the breed. Some of these projects earn matching grants from the AKC Canine Health Foundation.  Most recently, in November of 2009, the ACKCSC funded 12 grants in the USA plus one in the UK (studying Syringomyelia).  Since its inception, the ACKCSC Charitable Trust has donated over a quarter of a million dollars to health research projects benefitting the Cavalier. Click Here for a breakdown of Charitable Trust Funding
It is important to understand that the members of the ACKCSC have pledged themselves in writing to uphold the highest ethical standards and breeding practices. In part, they pledge “…not {to} breed from any Cavalier known to have inheritable, disqualifying, disabling, or potentially disabling health defects.”  This would, in most cases, include not breeding too closely so as to risk potential concentration of genes that might predispose to disease of any sort.

Nature is not perfect, and no one can absolutely guarantee that the puppy they sell will not at some point develop a genetic condition that challenges his/her good health. But the great majority of Cavaliers live long and happy lives in caring households.  It is not uncommon for many to reach the age of 12-14.
We urge the public to ask the breeder for health records and longevity reports on his bloodlines. Good breeders will be happy to supply you with detailed information. In the meantime, enjoy your Cavaliers (and take a moment to enjoy pictures of some of our Golden Oldies)!