I agree with pretty much everything said here. As far as starting with a dog, and getting a foundation bitch from him - it's not uncommon. It's often easier for a novice to obtain a really good quality dog than it is a really good quality bitch. Getting the dog bred is sometimes difficult - though as you've noted, specialing can get him "out there" (if you have the considerable funds it takes!). However, often the dog's breeder will want to use him on one of their bitches, or will recommend him to someone who has a bitch from them, and you can opt for a second pick puppy from one of those breedings. Regarding websites and flashy bitches available to show homes; there are still some breeders who automatically relegate plains to pet status. Plains are much more accepted these days than they were even five years ago, but it's still more difficult to finish a plain Boxer (though easier with a fawn than a brindle, and easier with a bitch than a dog - so your best bet there would be a plain fawn bitch ). I'll repeat, though - choose the best bitch regardless of color.