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Old 05-03-2007, 11:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Finding a responsible boxer breeder

After the discussion that was started in another thread, I thought it would be very beneficial to start a permanent thread giving some advice, suggestions on what you should look for in a breeder...My sources are Jennifer (Newcastle) and another person on another forum that I respect highly....This is very lengthy, so take your time and if I have left anything out, please feel free to let me know....

First I have to say that almost all of us have had an experience with a BYB, puppy mill, or a pet store and for that reason we all are very passionate about this subject...We learn as we go. Thinking that we made a good decision, not knowing any better. Does that make us bad owners? Absolutely not, just uninformed..Since I have gotten active in these forums, I have learned more than I had in the previous 8 yrs, and will continue to learn daily....

First, what is a breeder?
--Technically, any person who mates two dogs and causes the production of offspring is a breeder. In the respected world of dog ownership, a breeder is someone who breeds only when she breeds for the betterment of the breed and intends to keep one of the offspring. The betterment of the breed considers the entire standard and not just any one characteristic of the standard. The primary difference between puppy raisers and breeders is “awareness of responsibility; responsibility to her breed, to her goals, to the dogs she has bred and to the dogs she hopes to breed. She also has a never-ending responsibility to the people who have bought her dogs, to the people who are about to buy her dogs and to the public image--not only of the dogs she has been producing but of the breed itself.”[1] A breeder is a creator; she works toward a goal of perfection in her mind’s eye. She does not allow herself to be deterred by others’ views or by what is currently popular; she doesn’t breed to fill a market of what will sell. A breeder takes the time to mentor, to share her philosophy and help those who ask over the rough spots. She instills within those who have purchased her puppies a sense of belonging, a pride in ownership. Breeders are there to answer questions, to encourage training, to teach critical assessment before breeding. She takes responsibility for the dogs that she produces for the life of the dog, always willing to take them back if necessary. Breeders are not motivated by money or supplying a market. She does the necessary genetic testing and assures that the dogs she breeds are free of genetic problems. Breeders are those who have paid their dues, studied, learned, been mentored and now are also mentoring. A breeder has earned the right to be respected. Even some of the 'big-name' breeders are not what should be considered as breeders and actually are puppy-raisers who no longer put the same amount of effort into thinking about the future of the breed.



.Doesn’t breed from bitches under eighteen months or after eight years of age

· Doesn’t breed from bitches more than once a year

· NEVER sells to dealers or pet shops

· Usually only delivers puppies under exceptional circumstances, if at all, not as a matter of course like puppy farmers do

· Is friendly open and helpful willing to answer all your questions

· Will not fail to ask YOU lots of questions, why you chose this breed, why do you want one now, what is your lifestyle – work commitments, have you children what are their ages, do you have a well fenced garden. Don’t be upset or offended. The good breeders are very concerned to whom they sell their precious puppies, if you are not asked these questions I would conclude they don’t really care who they sell their puppies to.

· Will be happy to show you all their dogs (except perhaps newly whelped bitches and newborn puppies)

· Will obviously love their dogs to bits and treat and talk about them with great affection.

· Will want to stay in touch with you after you take your puppy home to help you with any problems or queries

· Will give you in depth information on exactly how to feed, train, care for the puppy with written feeding, worming grooming instructions

· Will be most concerned to find the very best homes for their puppies and not be desperate to sell them quickly


A good breeder will ask:

Will this be your first Boxer? If not, tell me about the others. Have you had other breeds? What happened to them? Do you have pets now? What kind? How old? How do they act toward other dogs? What made you choose a Boxer? What research have you done on the breed? Do you have children? How old? What are their personalities like? Do you have a yard? What type of fencing does it have? Would I be able to come see your home, or have a friend do so? How much time during the day will the Boxer be alone? Where will she stay? Is anyone in your family allergic to dogs? What books have your read on raising and training? What type of socialization are you planning to do? How are you planning to housebreak the puppy? Are you interested in showing or breeding? Are you willing to accept a Limited Registration or neutering contract? Do you rent? Will your landlord OK a dog in writing? Could I have the phone number of your vet as a reference?

What to look for in picking out a healthy puppy
Puppies should never leave the dam/litter earlier than eight weeks of age.

Puppies should be active, curious, playful; they should have clear eyes and nose, shiny fur, pink gums; they should feel like 'solid' weight when you pick them up (though slightly thin is better than slightly fat).

The puppies and their environment should be basically clean - but keep in mind that, especially when young, puppies aren't always mindful of where they eliminate and where they then step, and they are prone to stand *in* the food dish while eating. There is a difference between uncared-for, filthy puppies, and typical messy puppies. (There is also a difference, when looking at breeders' homes, between clutter and uncleanliness. With a litter of puppies taking up most of a breeders' time, clutter can often become a problem!)

Puppies should be kept, from three to four weeks of age up, in a room located in the center of the home, where there is constant activity and noise. Pre-placement socialization is vital to a well-adjusted adult (as is post-placement socialization and training).

Puppies should have been examined by a vet no more than a week before going to their new homes (this does not exclude vet visits prior to that age, of course). Bonus points if the puppies are seen by a board-certified veterinary cardiologist at seven weeks or older.

The parents should have been screened for genetic health conditions, as recommended by the American Boxer Club at (with the exception of Elbow Dysplasia which, while on the ABC list, is not a condition presently found in Boxers), and the breeder should be willing to provide you with hard copies of the test results (*before* you come to pick up your puppy). Bonus points to breeders who do all the testing; minimum acceptable would be the heart testing. (I do, as do most cardiologists, feel that auscultation by a board-certified veterinary cardiologist at or after two years of age is adequate screening, and a Doppler Echocardiogram is required only if indicated by the auscultation.) If the pedigree is mostly pet dogs, I personally would want to see hip x-rays - dysplasia seems to be far more common among the pet lines.

While occasionally a breeder will have the right match for the bitch living in their house - especially long-time breeders who have developed an wide breeding program - for those newer to the breed this is the exception rather than the rule. It is not necessarily a 'bad' thing, but certainly something to look into further - you want to know specifically why they chose that dog for that bitch, and why they didn't choose the other dogs they considered.

You should be able to meet the dam of the litter, and see photos of the sire. (If the sire is living in the house, of course, you should be able to meet him, as well.) Meeting any other relatives is always a good thing, as it will give you some idea of the temperament you might see in your puppy.

Puppies should be reasonably priced (average for a pet is $900-1200, though there is variation, especially on the coasts), and pricing should not be based solely on gender, color, or markings. You should not be charged extra for papers, or for full registration. White puppies should never be more expensive than pet colored puppies, and in most cases from responsible breeders will be less.

Puppies should be placed on contracts, with a spay/neuter or non-breeding agreement for pet puppies, and limited registration. The breeder should require you to notify them before you sell, place, or transfer ownership of the dog and give them the first chance to take it back; they should also be willing to take the dog back at any time throughout its life.

A puppy at 6 weeks of age has not learned proper dog-dog socialization skills from its mother and littermates, nor has it learned bite inhibition. This type of learning is vital for a well-adjusted adult dog. At 6 weeks the immune system has also not fully developed, and the simple stress of going to a new home can cause problems such as demodectic mange. We would never do this to a Boxer puppy and neither would any other breeder who knew anything about the breed. By buying such a pup you are supporting and rewarding exactly the kind of people who should not breeding Boxers.

--WILLOW---Owned by *Angel 8/8/05 & Flick 3/8/08
Samson, waiting at the bridge 8/27/08

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Old 05-03-2007, 12:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finding a responsible breeder

i know of a boxer kennel in mississippi and in arkansas. who sell their ckc boxers for 400.00-500.00, is that too much for a ckc boxer. i am in louisiana . i want a male pup to play with my female pup.
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Old 05-03-2007, 12:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finding a responsible breeder

Any breeder that registers with the Continental Kennel Club (sometimes called CKC, but not to be confused with the legitimate CKC, the Canadian Kennel Club) is an irresponsible breeder. *While the AKC website does list some breeders, most of the ones advertising are not doing the necessary health screening - *There is a list of questions to ask breeders here, which should help you determine whether you're talking with someone who truly cares about the breed, or is breeding purely for selfish reasons:

Why not go the rescue route? There are plenty of boxers that need loving homes. By buying from a irresponsible breeder, you are perpetuating what we are trying to stop...Do your homework, ask all the questions that I posted before making a decision from buying from this breeder.

I don't necessarily feel it's vital for a boxer to have "finished" in the ring, but that is always a very good indicator whether your dog is meeting the breed standard that we want to maintain....

--WILLOW---Owned by *Angel 8/8/05 & Flick 3/8/08
Samson, waiting at the bridge 8/27/08

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Old 05-03-2007, 12:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finding a responsible breeder

Excellent information. Thank You Samsonsmom.
I just hope this really helps people in their search for their next boxers.
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Old 05-03-2007, 12:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finding a responsible breeder

Definately go to your local Boxer Rescue. *It has been a wonderful experience for me. If first went to the American Boxer Rescue website and that got me to the one here in Wisconsin.

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Old 05-03-2007, 02:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finding a responsible breeder

these breeders test their dogs for all health problems .they pay for their ears to be cropped, if you like too.they also pay for their first set of shots .they are ckc register with pedigree and health record. they will not let you get a pup til they are 9 weeks old.
i ask them all of your question and the breeder in arkansas ,answer them and did all the health test on pups and both parents

and i resue 2 ckc boxers. from a shelter already.

my disablable sisiter wants a boxer pup and this breeder will sell her one for 300.00/
the pup is 12 weeks old.

is this a good deal or not?
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Old 05-03-2007, 03:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finding a responsible breeder

Honestly, I would be very surprised if someone who was registering with the ConKC did the necessary health testing - auscultation/Doppler by a board-certified veterinary cardiologist, regular holter monitoring, hip x-rays, and full thyroid panel. *(It also is not at all likely that they could do all that testing and sell the puppies for $300-500 if they want hope to break even on the litter.) *

Ask to see hard copy test results, and then verify them (call the vet listed or look up the results in the OFA database, *These are not tests that are done on puppies, other than auscultation, so the statement that they "did all the health tests on the pups and both parents" indicates that they may be talking about something else entirely - possibly general wellness tests like stool check, etc.
Jennifer Walker
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Old 05-03-2007, 03:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finding a responsible breeder

they did of that on both parents / they sent my sisiter test results of puppy and parents....pups been dna tested also.
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finding a responsible breeder

If you have the test results perhaps you can post the results of the tests that newcastle described, therefore eliminating confusion on whether they did exactly the tests specified. *You'll also get some expert opinions on the test results.

P.S. *I don't think "getting a good deal" is how most around here feel about acquiring a dog. *Is it possible to "get a good deal" on a wife or husband? *Or would you want to "get a good deal" on a heart transplant (heaven forbid you or anyone else here ever needs one).
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finding a responsible breeder

[quote="Nexu\";p=\"7400":3298pcg6]If you have the test results perhaps you can post the results of the tests that newcastle described, therefore eliminating confusion on whether they did exactly the tests specified.
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