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Discussion Starter #1
Hey
well some of you may remember me, I posted a couple of months ago about pet-sitting a female boxer. I've been with her for sometime now and she's a gem. It's gonna break my heart to give her back.
But getting to the point, I was talking with her owner, and he told me he wants to breed her once before he spays her  :cry:  I didn't say anything because she's not mine and the decisioin is not up to me. But I know that it's not right, since she's a pet and they never did health testing or show her or any other stuff. So I just wanted to ask all the breeders what are the cons of breeding a boxer??? Also what is the best food for boxers? She's being fed Pedigree Adult. I don't know about boxers, but I know that Pedigree is a bad food for Great Danes too high in protein, bad ingredients, etc.  I hope I can change his mind.... he really seems to care about her, so maybe he'll listen if I tell him all the not so good stuff about breeding her.
Thanks guys!!
 

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Hi there,
Sorry to hear that you're having to relinquish your little girl; it can be very hard once you get attached to them! ;)

You're correct that this can be a touchy subject. For as long as we live in a free country, it will be each person's discretion as to what they do with their animals. (Which is actually a good thing, IMO, as our lawmakers don't know the first thing about breeding animals.)

Having said that, all we can do is educate individuals who wish to breed about our pet over population problem, the high numbers of boxers currently in rescue and the ones that are perishing in shelters. This is the primary reason that I choose to volunteer with my local boxer rescue, as I believe that it is my responsibility to help the ones that are already here before bringing more into this world.

There are also health concerns that come with breeding a bitch; the risk of a deadly uterine infection called pyometra, the risk of loosing your bitch in whelp, emergency c-sections, the bitch turning on the dog during the actual breeding, loss of puppies, etc.

Spaying has health benefits as well, as the risk of mammary cancers are reduced by 99% if the bitch is spayed prior to her first heat cycle. Each subsequent heat brings with it a greater chance of mammary cancer than the one before.

Health testing should be done to properly screen the breeding pair for genetic diseases that could potentially be passed down to the puppies. The biggies in boxers are: Arrythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (or ARVC), Sub-Aortic Stenosis (or SAS), Thyroid Disease and Hip Dysplasia.

Tests that should be done are:
24 hour holter monitor (screening for ARVC)
Echocardiogram/Color Flow Doppler (screening for SAS)
Full thyroid panel (screening for thyroid imbalance)
OFA Certification or PennHIP Radiographs (screening for Hip Dysplasia)

Breeding should not occur before the age of 2, as this is the minimum age that these health tests should be performed, per the American Boxer Club (and OFA won't certify hips until the dog is two), and it takes this long for the bitch to mature both mentally and physically to be able to support having a litter.

Showing is also very important, as this is your measuring stick to ensure that your boxer looks the way that a boxer should. Shows are a way to measure your dog against the breed standard, which is the blue print for what our boxers should look and act like.

And finally, he will want to choose a male that will compliment his female to try to improve on her with the next generation. The number one reason for wanting to breed should be to better the breed.

Also, breeding is expensive! If things are done correctly, he will likely not even break even on the sale of the puppies. And unfortunately, with emergencies like c-sections, etc, he can actually end up being in the hole after the litter is born. Before puppies are born, expenses include, but are not limited to: quality diet for the pregnant bitch, supplements, whelping supplies, health testing, stud fee, vet visits (ultrasound, etc). After the puppies are born costs include, but again aren't limited to: supplementation if the puppies need supplemented, tail docking and dew claw removal, puppy vaccinations, lots of puppy food for growing puppy bodies post weaning, etc.

Should something happen to his bitch while she's in whelp, or if she rejected her pups (refused to allow them to nurse), he will have to bottle feed them once every two hours throughout the day and night.

Breeding is not a decision to make lightly, rather it is one that should be made after doing quite a bit of research before the breeding ever happens. There is much work that goes into properly planning, whelping and raising a litter.

You are correct in your thoughts about Pedigree, but more importantly (in my opinion) is to find a food that your dog does well on. When I was feeding kibble, I tended to steer towards the human grade foods that had made the Whole Dog Journal's list of recommended foods. Foods like: Wellness, Solid Gold, Innova, Canidae, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul. Typically you won't find these foods at a grocery store, but I think that some of the pet stores tend to carry a few of the better lines.

Good luck! Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much for the post. I'll find a way to tell him all of that. I really hope he changes his mind.
I totally agree on the kinds of foods, those are the best ones for Great Danes also.
Also, do the boxer puppies have large heads like bulldogs, that makes it hard to come out and requires c-section?

thank you so much
 

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thanks, I'll need good luck :) I saw the guy yesterday but didn't get a chance to talk to him about it. I will next time I see him. Thank you for all the info! I appreciate it  :)
 
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