#6: We only breed 'pet-quality', not
What do you mean 'show quality'?? There
is no such thing... There is simply bred to the standard, for
appearance, temperament and health... Some people 'show in
conformation'; some people 'show' in
obedience/agility/schutzhund; some people 'show' in 4-H..it
makes no difference, ..but everyone must be committed to
bettering the breed in all aspects.
Every litter that is
bred must be from the best of the best... period ...your dogs
must LOOK like boxers, ACT like boxers, and hopefully
HEALTH-TESTED BETTER than most! For anyone to claim the are
'only breeding pets' is no different than saying 'we only
breed mediocrity'... Setting the highest standard and striving
for it is the goal. What do you hope to gain from this
breeding? And WHY are you doing it? And if ANY of your answers
are #1-#5 below, you are doing it for the WRONG
#5 "The Vet says my 'boxer' is gorgeous and
should be bred"
What is your vet's background? How
many years has he/she owned and/or bred boxers? How many OTHER
breeds is he/she an expert in? Can your vet recite the FCI
boxer standard? Or even the one in your country (it MIGHT be
slightly different). Most vets have no personal knowledge of
any one breed and are hardly good 'referral' points for
breeding standards. As nasty as it sounds, a pregnant female
is money in the bank for them if you are a good owner. I'd
hardly take the word of someone about to make several hundred
dollars from the experience WITH no particular
#4 "My friends and family ALL want a puppy
from my boxer"
Do you have cash deposits from all of
these 'friends' and 'family'? A puppy isn't taken until the
money is produced or agreements signed. Have you assessed
their worth as a puppy owner on an unbiased level? Do they
have the appropriate lifestyle? Monetary resources? Patience?
What are you going to do if all of these people want a
female? And you only have one in the litter of five? Or they
are all white? Or fawn and everyone wants brindle? What are
you going to do if no one wants the color/sex of puppy that
you actually get? Sell it to strangers?
#3 "We want
the children to experience the "Miracle of Birth"
WANT your small child to witness a bloody, watery mess? Why?
There are excellent videos you can rent if you need this to
explain the facts of life.
Are you prepared to help your
child deal with the mother EATING one of those precious
bundles right in front of them? How about the puppy that is
malformed or dead? This 'experience' can last for 2 days and
try everyones patience. No matter how loving your female might
be, she MAY take a dim view of being the center ring in a
'peep-show'; and if you stress her out, she'll reject every
last one of those puppies... GREAT experience, eh?
finally.. what a great experience if your female should DIE
delivering those puppies. I'm sure your child will thank you
forever for giving them that wonderful experience.
"We want a puppy exactly like its 'mom/dad'
let's do the math here. Your boxer came from a female and a
male. If you breed THAT boxer to ANOTHER boxer, AT BEST you
will only get 1/2 the dog you have now? How is breeding YOUR
dog to ANOTHER One going to produce a EXACT replicate? The
best you can do is go back to the breeder you got your boxer
from, but lets be realistic... Have you ever known 2 siblings
to be identical? Even identical twins are very
The only way to re-produce your dog to a tee
is to clone it... Catch a plane/boat to England, they can help
you out...they are doing it with sheep even now.
the Number 1 reason..though NEVER STATED:
"We can make
a 'little money' by breeding her"
Yeah, not if you do
it right. Each breed is different, but let's take a
First of all, if she does not have a solid,
traceable pedigree and you can't see her immediate ancestors,
you have NO idea of what she will produce (and if you can, it
is still a crap-shot)... But, let's say her pedigree is solid
and recognizable. To make money, you have to spend a little
money... The most recent estimates are that 1 out of 5 boxers
in the US have some form of heart problem (genetic)... Yours
hasn't had a 'sick' day in her life, I'm sure, but most heart
problems do not manifest themselves until the dog is past 5
years of age, and the only way to know if they are susceptible
is to do the testing...and it won't even guarantee catching
some of it.
Cardio testing - Plan on $500.00. Rental of
machine and licensed cardio vet to read the result.
stenosis testing - Plan on $300.00 EKG, x-ray from qualified
Hips/spine - Spondyolosis and
displaysia, though not common are by NO means RARE. X-rays and
OFA/PennHipp anaylsis is $300.00
Now, to keep this easy,
we won't even include the standard shots, venereal disease
testing and food that it takes to get a dog to breeding age
(or the original cost of the dog)
We are up to $1,100.00
and you have to add a stud fee ($500) or if you own the stud,
another $1,100.00 for his testing. Let's keep it simple and
say we use an outside stud... $1,600.00. (We won't add time
lost from work from the breeding & gas money; nor the
specialized diets, vitamins etc you need to ensure a healthy
Whelping date arrives, and average litter size is
5. If she has to have a C-Section, add $500.00 (surgery,
antibiotics, aftercare). Heaven forbid, if she doesn't have
any milk (or had surgery), she might not be able to nurse, so
you are off work for 4 weeks hand-feeding babies. Last cost
estimate for milk replacer was $100 a week ($400)...
have to have tails/dewclaws done. $25.00 a piece which should
include mom's exam. Add $125.00 (total of a 'clean whelp' =
You will have to supplement mom's diet with a
quality food that promotes milk, and keeps her nursing plus
the vitamins, plus at 3-4 weeks, switch the puppy's to a
gruel...$75.00 (add at $1,800.00)
Every health board
requires one set of shots, though if you want to be reputable,
you should give two...so add $25.00 per puppy
($150.00=$1,950.00) and the cost of paperwork, litter
registrations and health certifications, not to mention
miscellaneous costs such as beginning house training supplies,
carpet cleaner, bacterial cleanser...$50.00 should cover it..
So Grand total on a 'clean whelp' is $2,000.00. Divided by
5 puppies is $400 each, IF you have them sold at 8 weeks.
WHAT.. that is the EXHORBANT PRICES charged by the 'show
breeder' for a companion puppy from their dual-champion bred
litter? IMAGINE THAT! I thought you were going to MAKE money
on this deal..? You can't sell them for more than $300 a
piece? I know that you wouldn't want to breed from potential
sick dogs, so the testing has to stay.... you can't control
the vet costs... you want healthy puppies so the after-care
has to stay... MAYBE you ought to re-think your 'money-making'
So you have
read the above six reason and still would like to breed?
Perhaps with the puppy you have now or you want to buy a puppy
to breed? Go and read our "How to choose a Boxer puppy"
section and see if you can fill all the criteria for a good
breeder. Okay, you have now read that as well and still wish
to breed? You must be very keen to produce excellent Boxers
who are free of conformation / health and temperament faults -
good for you - you are the type of person the Boxer
The first thing for you to do is contact the
nearest Boxer Club in your area. But perhaps we can assume
that you are already active in obedience / agility / tracking
/ schutzhund or conformation showing and are already a member?
Okay, there is a very slight chance you do not have contacts
but have owned Boxers in the past and now wish to compete in
doggy sports with your new dog, and to breed. Contact the
Boxer Club nearest you and tell them you wish to purchase a
puppy for showing / working and breeding. Be sure you tell
them all the reason why you wish to breed and you will be put
in contact with someone who can help you. This person will
become your 'mentor'. By the way, you should by now be very
familiar with the Boxer Standard as well as being familiar
with all the health problems Boxers can have.
have a dog now that you wish to breed, that dog will need to
be evaluated to see if it of good enough quality conformation
/ temperament wise to breed. The dog will also need to undergo
all the appropriate health testing (so start saving money!) Do
not feel bad if you mentor feels you should not breed with
your dog, as she is still a much loved family pet. It is only
a low percentage of Boxers who have what it takes to be
considered breeding quality. If you dog fails any type of
health test DO NOT BREED. You should also, by now, be active
in Boxer Rescue, Public Education.
An overview of how
to start as a breeder is here:
1/ Join your nearest
Boxer Club and become and active member.
2/ Seek out an
experienced reputable breeder to become your mentor.
Become active in conformation showing and / or working sports
with your Boxer.
4/ Read the Boxer Standard thousands of
times and ask as many questions as you wish to, so you fully
understand what a Boxer should be.
5/ Start a savings
account so you have plenty of money for health testing, stud
fee's, whelping costs, vaccinations, worming etc etc..you will
need a fair bit tucked away for all this.
6/ Test your
Boxer for all known health problems i.e.: Heart/Hips/Thyroid,
and understand that there are other health problems which mean
a dog should not be bred with (Generalised Demodectic Mange /
7/ Get to know Boxer 'bloodlines', your
mentor will be invaluable here.
8/ Understand genetics -
you mentor will help as well but read, read and do more
reading on genetics. Your Boxer club / mentor will be able to
recommend several good books.
9/ Realise that the future of
the Boxer Breed lies in you hands, it is a huge
10/ Become active in helping with Boxer
Rescue / Educating the public about Boxers.
11/ If you are
unable to do any of the above, please do not breed