The first consideration is where to buy your puppy.....
There are essentially three kinds of suppliers
of puppies to the general market. They are the Hobby Show Breeders,
Back Yard Breeders, and Commercial Breeders . Although all breeders
within these categories don't precisely fit the descriptions discussed
below, over 90% of them do.
Show Breeders: This
breeder is primarily interested in the betterment of the breed.
They are almost always actively involved in showing in conformation,
and often participate in obedience, and/or agility. Most of them
are actively involved in dog clubs. Most serious Australian breeders
are members of the either a Boxer Club, and/or the Australian National Kennel Club in their State. They fully
understand the health issues within the breed and test (when available)
both sire and dam for the important ones. These breeders select dogs/bitches
based on correct Boxer temperaments. They spend a great deal
of effort researching pedigrees and stud dogs to select the breeding
most likely to yield the best possible puppies. The puppies are
usually whelped and raised in their homes and are socialized beginning
at a very early age to optimize their temperaments for life in
the real world. Their goal is to breed the best Boxer, because
they plan to keep one of the puppies for themselves as a show
competitor. The facts of life, however, is that not all of the
litter will be show quality. In fact, seldom is even half of a
litter show quality. Many breeders consider a litter with one
or two potential champions as a successful breeding. The remainder
of the litter are placed in pet or performance homes (obedience
and agility usually). If you are fortunate, you may get one of
Back Yard Breeders: This
breeder falls into two separate categories. One is a family that
typically has a one bitch that they would like to breed "so the
kids can learn about birth" or "because the dam is such a great
pet and they want another" or because they see an opportunity
"to make a few dollars" with little effort. These breeders know
little about the breed. They spend no time seriously searching
for the right stud dog. They usually select the sire based on
knowing someone in town who owns a male. They do not understand
the genetic health issues or the need to health test the sire
and dam before breeding. No consideration is given to the quality
of the breeding partners, because they simply don't know what
constitutes a good Boxer.
The second category of Back Yard Breeder has a male and one or two
females. They breed solely to make money, and are not motivated
by any other factor. The knowledge of these breeders is typically
as lacking as that of the first category of Back Yard Breeder.
Commercial Breeders: This breeder houses many males
and females of several breeds. The bitches
are usually bred every time they are in season, until they can
produce no more. The animals are all in kennels ... some of which
are sanitary, and many others are not. There is no attempt to
breed for anything but volume and dollars.
Many of these breeders produce a lot of puppies and peddle a good deal
The puppies are usually sold to brokers at 5 to 6 weeks old. The
brokers then resell them to pet shops and other retail outlets.
Many of the Commercial Breeders do not provide registration papers and can't and/or won't meet Australian National Kennel
The puppies are ALWAYS
whelped and raised in a kennel with no exposure to a home environment.
They would have you believe that their dogs are better by cgrading them as "superior" or some
other classification that infer that they are of high quality.
In fact there are almost never any champions within the past
five generations of the puppy you will buy.
Some of these breeders pride themselves on either very small Boxers or large very heavy Boxers.
These Boxers are not correct. The standard calls for a male
to be a 56-61 cm (22-24 ins) at the shoulders and a bitch to be a
maximum of 53-58.5 cm (21-23 ins). A full grown correct male will weigh weigh about 30 kg (66 lbs)
pound range and a correct bitch will weigh about 28 kg (62 lbs). Bigger/smaller is NOT better. Some of the
commercial breeders promise dogs that are "to your specifications"
on temperament, when in fact, you will be sold just any puppy
out of their many litters.
Breeders continued ...
Importantly, some of these breeders charge outrageous prices
for the quality level they sell. They typically sell puppies
for MORE than a good show breeder asks for a really top quality
pet that was raised in the home and properly socialized.
The government is trying to eradicate "Puppy Farms" for this reason.
Which Breeder Should You Use? It's
clear where you want to buy your puppy. The problem is that there
are not enough Show Breeders to supply the market with good puppies.
Most of these breeders are very concerned where their puppies
go, and how they will be taken care of. They will ask a lot of
questions before letting you have one of their puppies. However,
we believe that it is well worth your effort to search out a good
breeder. Your puppy will be with you for many years. Take your
time !! It is important to have a healthy Boxer with a good
temperament and a sound body.
Whether we like it or not, many people are afraid of Boxers, and jump
to the incorrect conclusion that they are all too hyperactive. You
must be reasonably assured that your Boxer has been bred with
correct temperament in mind, and that it has been socialized and trained early,
so that it can live well in our society.
Health Issues in Boxers: All
purebred dogs have known health issues. Dogs that are not purebred
have health issues too. You just don't know which ones they will
have. There are a few health issues that you should be aware of
when looking for your puppy.
most prevalent health problems in Boxces are Hip Displasia,
Cardiomyopathy (Heart Diseas), Heart murmurs, Hypothyroidism and Skin cancers.
Hip Displasia is a genetic disease that results in a hip joint that
is too shallow for the "ball" to fit correctly. This can be a
debilitating disease, depending on the severity. It is rare in
Boxers, from show lines, but it does occur more commonly in
the general Boxer population.
Hypothyroidism is found in Boxers, but it is not a common problem among well-bred
Cardiomyopathy an inherited disease of the heart.
There is a test for dogs and bitches over 2 years of age
for this disease, and knowledgeable breeders test their breeding stock and know which dogs have
been affected by this disease, and they do not use them in their
Heart murmurs can be detected early in puppies and as reputable breeders test all their breeding stock it is not a common occurence nowadays. If a puppy is detected to have a murmur breeders do NOT sell these to pet homes but run them on themselves to see if the puppy improves with age or the condition worsens.
Skin cancers are somthing that many Boxers can get. Usually they can be removed easily with no effect on a dogs health.
Cancer itself can be found in Boxers but not more than in other breeds.
This is another reason to know your breeder,
their knowledge of health issues, and their commitment to improving to make sure their puppies are born healthy.
Now if you think that a Boxer is a lost cause health
wise, let me assure you that there are many that live long and
full lives with no health problems if bought through a reputable breeder.