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Below is a diagram showing the different types of teeth alignment in dogs.
Ideally, a scissor bite is what every breeder should be striving for, and it is something we aim for here at Pleasant Meadows. Here is what the breed standard says for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:
"Strong and even, preferably meeting in a scissors bite, although a level bite is permitted. Undershot mouths are greatly to be discouraged; it should be emphasized, however, that a slightly undershot bite in an otherwise well-balanced head with the correct sweet expression should not be penalized in favor of a level mouth with a plain or hard expression. Faults: weak or crooked teeth; crooked jaws." (Click HERE to read for yourself!)
In other words, according to the breed standard, the level bite and the slightly undershot bite are still "acceptable" if the rest of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a well-balanced specimen.
All of our breeding dogs do have nice scissor bites (correct bites), but our reason for creating this page and for mentioning the level and slightly undershot bite (also called the reverse scissor) is because it does still pop up from time to time in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and likewise in the Cavapoo, because it has been allowed to be bred into the dogs for centuries. Even when the parents have perfect teeth alignment, a moderately incorrect bite can show up from time to time, just as is the case with humans and other animals.
Additionally to the fact that dogs with poor bites have been bred through the centuries with no more than a shrug -- the level or slightly undershot bite does occur occasionally in the Cavapoo for the simple fact that two breeds with different sized muzzles and teeth structure are being bred together.
In our puppies here at Pleasant Meadows -- 98% of them have perfect scissor bites with only the very odd puppy who has a level or slightly undershot bite (also called the reverse scissor bite). Even though the parents have correct scissor bites, different bites can still pop out on the rare occasion because it not only has been allowed by the kennel clubs to breed dogs with slight imperfections in the teeth, but also when you are mixing two breeds of dogs together that have varying jaw sizes it means that nature has to decide what length the jaws must be and sometimes they just don't line up.
We rarely see our puppies with any teeth alignment issues, but for the ones that we have had in our puppies -- they have always been very minor and our veterinarian always thoroughly exams each bite and gives us a complete assessment to be able to pass on the info to the new owner. We do not offer any warranties for overshot or undershot jaws as it is not a predictable or testable condition, it shows up randomly and the minor flaw will not affect the quality of life for a puppy. If your puppy has an less than perfect bite, we'll show you at pick up and let you know what our vet said about the bite alignment.
For an undershot or overshot jaw, there is typically no need for concern, other than ensuring proper teeth brushing which should be done for a dog anyway, regardless of the type of bite they have! An uneven or base narrow bite is not grounds for replacement or discounts of any kind! If intervention is ever needed for a base narrow bite, the treatment can range from "ball therapy" all the way up to canine extractions and it's not something that can be predicted by examination of the puppy teeth at the 8 week mark -- thus it is NOT covered under the health warranty as there is no way to determine the course of action or if any is necessary as all.
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