How have dogs appeared in your life? Are you interested in any other breeds except Cavaliers?
We first had a cavalier in 1985 as a pet (not a very good one as he came from a puppy farm). Our first well bred cavalier was purchased in 1989 and we bred our first litter in 1991
Your first Cavaliers: what kind of dogs were they and how did you get them?
As above regarding the first one, he was purchased from a lady who could no longer keep at 6 months old as her landlord did not approve. Our other cavaliers came from a respected breeder who did heart testing back more than 20 years ago
What is most important for you in Cavaliers?
Their temperament firstly, then type, then health. Without good temperament they are not indicative of being a cavalier. If one just wanted health, then why not get a mongrel!
What is your main aim in breeding?
To breed a happy, outgoing dog, of good type i.e pleases the eye and is sound in health and confirmation
Which of the health problems (MVD, PL, SM, eye diseases) in your opinion is the greatest threat to the breed?
MVD, most certainly as both this and cancers of the varying types are by far the most common causes of premature death.
What type of breeding do you use more often and why?
I try to line breed, but must admit I am not breeding as closely as I did back some 10 years ago. A half-brother to half-sister mating was not uncommon then, but I probably would not do that now.
What do you think about the theory of breeding types?
I do not agree with in-breeding, I do agree with line breeding and some outcrossing, but would not outcross over many generations because I would be worried about losing the type I prefer. I would never outbreed to another breed.
While choosing a sire for a female do you look at the pedigree, dog’s type or something else?
Firstly pedigree, secondly type and if I am pleased with those I would make sure that the health is there. I would not choose a dog I liked if it did not have healthy ancestory
Do you have any preference in color?
I like tricolours, then blenheims, then rubies and then B & Ts
At what age of a puppy do you make your choice for keeping it for yourself? At what points do you look at first? Do you think that is it possible to identify show-promising puppies, for example, at 8 weeks old?
I think one can see promise in an 8 week old puppy but I would certainly not say that it was of show quality until it is coming up to the age of 6 months
How do you feed your dogs, puppies especially? Do you give them any supplements?
We feed a mixture of complete food, raw meat, canned meat and home cooked meats.
We only give folic acid to expectant dams and do generally add other supplements
Do your dogs have such a lovely coat due to genetics, outside keeping or do you give them some special food additives to improve the quality of coat?
I think that a lovely coat mostly comes from genetics, but if one grooms on a daily basis then this makes the coat have a much better sheen as the skin is being stimulated daily.
You have been breeding dogs for many years. What is the difference between modern Cavaliers and Cavaliers of 20 years ago breeding? Do you think that our breed has Improved over the years?
I have only been breeding since 1991 so I cannot really comment. Although I will say that the cavalier does not seem to have altered greatly in head type, but has become smaller over the years, which as it is a companion dog, is probably correct. However there are signs of late of dogs becoming over angulated, too long in back and short on leg and too steep in forehead. We are certainly losing the term 'moderate' in many aspects, particular in coat (too much) and stop (too steep).
What are the top dogs of your own breeding?
By this I would say which ones do I think have come closest to the type I wish to breed - Carolus Moll Budge (type) and Carolus Little Madam (temperament) most recently. From past dogs it would be Carolus Coco Chanel (type) and Carolus Royal Rhapsody (intelligence and temperament).
What are the best dogs you have bought from other kennels?
I have bought few dogs from other kennels, but the best has been the 3 Chasmin girls from Wendy Wightman which are behind all my line and Little Miss at Carolus from Cherrill Deans of Clockpelters
Who are the nurseries of the past and present you do admire most of all?
Norma & Gordon Inglis' early Craigowl dogs which were of Homerbrent origin. The current Maibee dogs, particularly the males. Sandra Ireland (Charnell) has produced some very nice dogs over the years as has her friend Rosemary Eustace (Salegreen).
Have you ever had favorites among your dogs and if “yes” than what were the reasons for that?
My all time favourite was Carolus Royal Rhapsody, she had the most wonderful temperament and attitude to life. Just so clever.
What advise can you give for novice breeders?
To buy from the best kennels who hopefully will produce the best dogs even if it costs you a sizeable amount of money. Do not waste your money buying dogs that do not have any well known, healthy, typey dogs in their lineage. Check with other people who have bought dogs from the kennel you are interested in before you go ahead yourself to see if they are happy with the kennels they have bought from and if the dogs they have purchased are of sound type and have not been misrepresented. Ensure that whoever you buy your first dogs from will help you along the way and not just take your money & ignore you after that. Never, ever buy a dog unseen even if it means travelling long distances to see the animal.
Mrs Christine Knight kennel Carolus
info from wap.cavalierworld.forum24.ru/