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Val Schuetze    
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

I chose my kennel name, CANTABRIA, after the province in northern Spain where I bought my first English Cocker Spaniel in 1989.

She wasn't what would be considered show quality, but her eccentric and typical English Cocker character convinced me that the ECS was the breed for me.

I returned to Canada and leased a show quality English Cocker female from a friend and bred my first litter, in hopes of obtaining my first conformation quality ECS.

Although I had previously bred German Shepherds for a number of  years, I had to learn about English Cocker conformation and character and possible health problems and their respective clearances in order to be a good breeder.
My first attempt with a show puppy from this first litter produced a nice black bitch. She was a big girl and I was very much a novice. I worked with her but didn't achieve great success in her show career.  I loved the breed and was determined to keep on trying and learning all that I could. As the years went by, I began to formulate in my mind what I wanted to strive for in the dogs that I would show and breed.

I had heard of a dog named Am. Can. Ch. Wittersham's Charlemagne, and I bred my black bitch to him. He looked like everything that I could want in an ECS. He was a short backed, cobby little dog with a happy disposition and an intelligent mind, good bone and body. From that litter I got a red bitch that I named Cantabria Jazz Fest aka "Kuka".  She has been my foundation bitch and the love of my life ( outside of my husband <g>!) This was the beginning of Cantabria English Cockers.
My desire as a breeder in order of priority is to produce:
  1. ECS of excellent temperament and sound mind.

  2. ECS that will make good family pets/companions

  3. ECS that are beautiful, typical and sound examples of their breed

I do not breed for beauty at the expense of temperament or soundness.  Every breeding I do is an attempt to improve on what I already have, and is carefully planned.  Puppies are home raised and carefully socialized, and are temperament tested at seven weeks.  My dogs are house dogs, not kennel raised, so I know them well and can assess them more easily.   Health is guaranteed and my dogs can be returned to me at any time for any reason.  They will not be placed in homes where they are left alone for long periods, as this breed does not do well in those kinds of situations.

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