Page 307 - ShowSight - November 2019
P. 307

                 SUSAN BARRETT
Dr. Susan Barrett graduated from Oklahoma State University with a BS in Zoology Phi Kappa Phi in 1976 and the Oklahoma State University College of Vet- erinary Medicine in 1980. She received the Barber-Lundgerg Scholarship by the vote of the fac- ulty as the top student in her grad- uating class for scholarship, lead- ership, and clinical proficiency. She also received a the Oklahoma
City Kennel Club scholarship as the student most likely to succeed in small animal practice. Dr. Barrett was awarded a post doctoral Fellowship in physiology and anatomy and conducted research on reproduction before entering private practice for a year in Okla- homa. She moved to Sacramento in 1981 and opened Crossroads Animal Hospital, followed by Sunrise-Cirby Animal Hospital, Elk- horn-Walerga Animal Hospital and then sold them before opening Watt Avenue Pet Hospital in the Arden-Arcade area in 1995. She has a special interest in internal medicine, dermatology, preventa- tive care, dental preventative care, behavioral counseling and obedi- ence training and cosmetic surgery. Her passion is teaching owners how to care for their pets.
Dr. Barrett is an AKC Breeder of Merit under her WynDancer Cavalier King Charles Spaniel banner for the past ten years. She got her first Cavalier in 2001 and began showing Cavaliers in 2005. In the past ten years she began a breeding program for showing dogs & has finished over 20 AKC Champion Cavaliers, many home bred. She has gone on finish many Grand Champions and has top ranked dogs who compete at Westminster and Eukanuba dog shows.
Dr. Barrett has two grown children and grand children. She enjoys volunteering to help others and is a member of Rotary Inter- national, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Cali- fornia Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hos- pital Association, the California Veterinary Medical Rescue Corps, and is a docent at the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary, She has trained several of her dogs for the Canine Good Citizen certificate and had a therapy dog in Lend A Hart for five years.
Dr. Barrett is always available to help you with any medical, behavioral, or training concerns about your pet. Dr. Barrett would like to welcome you to Watt Avenue Pet Hospital. She prides herself on going beyond what is expected during the care of your pet.
I live in Sacramento, California, and am a small animal veteri- narian in practice for 38 years. I graduated in 1980 from Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine with honors.
Besides breeding and showing Cavaliers, I am a Rotarian and enjoy volunteering in my community and helping others. I also attend 30 to 40 hours of veterinary seminars a year in order to keep current in medicine and surgery. Most people do not know that I am a true crime sleuth and a published author of true crime. I also enjoy spending time with my grandchildren.
I think it is a given that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are popular. I don’t see a problem with their popularity at this point. It is easy to find good breeding stock if one breeds to show to our standard and to improve the breed. If one is known as a reputable breeder who exhibits their dogs, is a preservation breeder, does rec- ommended health testing and joins in with fellow breeders at shows and events , there is no problem working with other like-minded breeders who are respected in our breed. I get at least 20 inquiries a week from people looking for a puppy. There is no problem selling a Cavalier puppy. Placing a puppy in a loving, forever home is always a challenge. Reputable breeders place a puppy with an agreement or contract, stay in contact with the owners for the life of the puppy, are
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Q & A
involved with any health issues and always ready with advice, and will take a puppy back if there is any concern. So finding the right family that is open to do this with a breeder is a challenge. This has to be done in order to protect this breed from unscrupulous people who want a Cavalier to sell for a higher price or or to breed just for money. These types of people are the cause of all the problems with any breed, including puppy mills, health issues and too many pup- piesleadingtoaneedforrescue.Ourbreedclubsworkhardtohelp protect this breed and we have strong rescue groups.
I am not surprised that Cavaliers are a popular breed. They are the ideal household companion in my opinion. They are a com- panion breed with a friendly and outgoing temperament. As a toy spaniel they love to play and walk like a sporting breed. They have a moderate coat and are easy to care for, shed very little, and require no extensive grooming. They are 13-18 pounds by our standard and easy to travel with, including air travel in the cabin. They are also very cute and because they are a toy, they are puppies for life!
Cavaliers were bred to be companions to the kings of England and to keep them warm. They are mild mannered, calm, and not typically barkers in the home environment. They will bark to warn owners of danger. Cavaliers are easily trained and love to please and play games. So they love the show ring and it is all about fun for them! Cavaliers should have always have an outgoing, friendly tem- perament with a lot of confidence and a tail constantly in motion. They are fun to show.
As soon as they are born I start watching them for signs of show worthiness. Markings are important on the puppies in my opinion. I prefer white with well broken deep, rich color and about equal in those. Markings on head should be even and i always love the Blenheim spot on top of the head. I watch for which puppies thrive and are vigorous and seem inquisitive at an early age. I continue to watch the temperament and then the bite becomes important. In the boys, we need those testicles down. Sometimes one may not be all the way down until eight months. We want a scissor bite and under bites can occur since the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was derived from the King Charles with the short nose. The Cavalier King Charles was bred to be the opposite in many ways of the King Charles, including preferably no under bite. Bites can change and correct up to one to two years I have found, so I don’t place a nice puppy with a slight under bite too soon. Eight weeks is when some people like to see how they look, but I find that doesn’t always work with Cavaliers. Some who looked good may turn out too big or I don’t like the head for show or breeding as an example. A testicle may not drop on the most wonderful boy. Five to six months I can usually predict which puppies are going to do well in the ring, as well as spot those I love everything about for my breeding program. I sometimes finish a championship and place young champions in a pet home with great success. I have placed some with juniors who wanted to show as well as some as therapy dogs. I cannot keep them all as much as I love them. That is the hardest thing for me as a breeder—letting them go as I am so attached to them. A successful breeder with great lines has a lot of “show dogs”. Occasionally, we have one we can’t take our eyes off of—the one who may be able to be ranked which is another ballgame. Many can be championed, but few can be ranked to number one or achieve the grand cham- pion gold or platinum. It is a lot of time, effort and expense to do that. As for breeding, we can finish them if we wish, but we have to look at what we already have that is better for breeding and con- tinuing a type we love. Sometimes we have nice dogs that for some reason might not finish, ie one flaw, but we can breed them with the right dog without that flaw and get wonderful puppies. It is a game of chess in many cases or checks and balances. I usually start plac- ing five month old pups on the table and putting on a lead just fun. I begin taking them to conformation classes at about six to seven months and start showing eight to ten months. I have had such nice puppies they started right at six months in the show ring and
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