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Hello. I am new to this forum, and came here hoping to find some help. We are trying to breed our boxers and are having problems. Our female is older than the male, and has been in the family since she was a pup. We just got a male this summer, and he's just over a year old. We got him from a family that didn't want him anymore. On his first day here, he tried a few times to mount our female. Then it stopped. Now that our female is in heat, and is showing signs that she's ready, he's not mounting her.  He sniffs. He's curious. When he tries to mount her, she flips out, and either mounts him, or a big dog fight breaks out. (which I somehow manage to break up, how, I don't know)
Any suggestions on what we should do?

Thanks
 

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Advice from a professional dog trainer:

The question you are posing is not a behavioral issue.
 

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I wouldn't let them be alone together, certainly, until she's out of season.  If she's reacting so strongly that an all-out fight ensues, honestly you want to re-think whether you want to reproduce those temperaments.  It's one thing for a bitch to object to a breeding and tell a dog to 'back off', especially if she's not quite ready to be bred, and with a strange dog some growling/snarling and even air-snapping might not be unusual, but an all-out fight that you have to break up, especially among house-mates, is not typical.  Part of this may be that the male is not mature yet, mentally or physically (and so really shouldn't be bred yet in any case, not to mention he can't have had any meaningful health testing done yet), or that one or both of them weren't socialized properly as puppies - you'd need to evaluate the fights to see whether he's backing down and she's not letting him, or he's not backing down, or a little bit of both.  You really want to be careful about temperament, though - not only are you putting the puppies you place at risk of euthanization of they do end up with unstable temperaments, but you're also putting yourself at potential legal risk if the dog bites someone.

If you decide to proceed anyway, then I strongly urge you to find an experienced breeder who can help you; even if they do eventually mate, many things can happen during the tie to injure one or both of them, and when the tie breaks it is sometimes painful for the bitch and she may turn on the dog again.  You need someone who knows how to safely manage a breeding, who knows the signs of the different steps in the process, who can help you safely turn the dog after the tie occurs, and who can help you support the dogs, should it be necessary; some bitches want to lay down, which obviously is not a good thing, and ties can last for an hour or more - it's good to have multiple people available to take turns holding the dogs.

There is more information on responsible breeding and things to consider before producing a litter of puppies, as well as further resources, on my website:
http://www.newcastleboxers.com/wannabreed.shtml
http://www.newcastleboxers.com/wannastud.shtml
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Maybe I wasn't clear on the situation. When they're together, they're fine. They eat from the same bowl, they sleep together, all is good. They are very gentle with the kids. When we try to coax him to mount her, she flips out then. From the research my wife and I have done, we feel she's ready. She is flagging, and backs her rear into him. There's been alot of sniffing going on too.
Both their temperments is good. We have kids, and the dogs are great with the kids. The kids lay on them while watching TV and they don't mind. The kids take away their chew toy while they are chewing and their fine. There is no aggression.
Yes, this is our first time breeding dogs. We have bred many other animals in the past, the biggest being horses. (my wife has done that, not me) We've done alot of research and reading on the matter. Both are in good health.
The reason we want to breed our female is because everyone always said they wished they had a dog like her. She is great. He's a good dog too. He came from a semi-abusive home and is showing no signs of 'hate' towards humans for his treatment. He's a quick learner, and is great with the kids too.
Every expierence breeder has had a first time. They weren't born with the experience. I take no offence to the comments posted here, I was expecting them. We've been thinking of the muzzle for her but we hate doing that to her. But if it's necessary, we will do that.

Thanks for your comments and concerns.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Newcastle, I just noticed your location, checked your webpage, and you are within a 45 min drive from us. Any chance we can speak over the phone about this?
 

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Maybe I wasn't clear on the situation. When they're together, they're fine. They eat from the same bowl, they sleep together, all is good. They are very gentle with the kids. When we try to coax him to mount her, she flips out then.
And the point is, that is not a normal reaction if it's to the point where you need to break up a fight.  Even if the temperament is great otherwise, there is a thread of instability there.  While 'flipping out' as far as growling and perhaps snapping at the male is, as I noted, not unusual in some situations, the male should back down when that happens, and she should leave him alone when he does.  

You probably could muzzle her and accomplish a breeding, and I know some breeders who have done that - but looking back, they've admitted that it really was basically like raping the bitch.  You need to think about if you want to do that.  It may well be that the bitch knows better than you, and there is some reason to avoid the breeding at this time.

We've done alot of research and reading on the matter. Both are in good health.
"Good health" is not the same as genetically healthy.  Have they both had their hips x-rayed, Holters done, auscultations/Dopplers by a cardiologist after two years of age (well, obviously not for your male, but even after a year of age?), and thyroid tested?  While with some lines you might be mainly OK without the hips or thyroid, heart problems are extremely common in the breed and often lead to - as the first symptom - the dog dropping dead at 2-3 years of age.  Do you really want to produce a litter, knowing that you haven't done everything possible to avoid that heartache for your puppy buyers?

Yes, every breeder starts somewhere, but my responsibility as a steward of the breed is to educate so that every breeder starts by doing the best that they possibly can.  While it would be easy to say, "Sure, go ahead with this breeding for experience, and then when these puppies are gone you can learn more about genetic health, responsible breeding, etc.", but to do so would be a tremendous disservice to this breed that I love.  If you're set on breeding these two, then my best advice is to skip this season, let the male grow up some more, have at least a cardiologist auscultation/Doppler and Holter done on both, and try again after the male turns two and has some more maturity behind him.

Any chance we can speak over the phone about this?
We can, but I'll be leaving in a few minutes and will be gone until 6 p.m. or so.  In the mean time, you might want to contact Medley or Margaret at CinnRhee Boxers - they're in Harrow, so a bit closer and will have more information on any Canadian resources for health testing.  (www.cinnrhee.com)  They may also know the lines with which you're working and have better information on the health behind your dogs, so would know where the higher risks are.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not really sure if it's a full fledged fight, or her telling him to back of. They get up in the boxer stance and are snarling at one another, and I break that up. There's no biting going on.

Thanks for the link to Cinnrhee's site. I emailed them.

I agree with the muzzling. I'm not for it. I just wasn't sure if a first time female breeder normally reacts this way, and if she does, I was thinking a muzzle is necessary. But you informed me that what I was thinking with my gut instinct was right. Thanks.

I will try and speak with the Cinnrhee folks. See what they have to say.

As far as tracing lines, our female was purchased in Michigan while we lived there. She was from a kennel down south, Kentucky I believe. She had papers. I can't find them. Alot was lost when we moved from the US to Canada.

At any rate, the Canadian Kennel Club will not recognize to my knowledge any US registered dogs. I maybe wrong on this.

As for the male, as I said, I bought him from a family that didn't want him anymore, they weren't taking proper care of him. They were feeding him generic dog food as a puppy, and kept him in their shed. We got him very skinny. We've put him on a good diet, he's put on weight, and has a nice coat. He's very friendly, full of energy, very playful. When I got him from them, they didn't know if he was registered, or even pure.

As I said, we want to breed her because she's been a great family dog, and alot of friends have always commented on they wished they had a dog like her. When we got the male, we had friends 'reserving' pups immediately.

Once again, thanks for your time and concern.
 

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If your reason for breeding is to produce puppies like your female, then there are a couple other things you should take into account.  When you breed your female, any puppies you have are going to have half the genetic makeup of the male you bred her to.  Because of this, you cannot be guaranteed that these pups will be like her.  Especially if you are potentially breeding an unstable line.  Health testing is very important, as Jennifer said, because our breed is so predisposed to heart conditions.  

Your female may be refusing to breed with him because she senses something wrong with him on a higher level.  My Boxer's breeder (shows, breeds, trains, and health tests her Boxers) has told me several times that she has had females come into heat and attempted a breeding with the prefered stud and the female absolutely refused.  Shortly thereafter the male was diagnosed with some kind of health problem that could have been passed to the pups.  She told me that, like Jennifer said, there are times they know better than we do.

In any case.  Keep in mind that if you breed your female, that they may take on more of the outward behavioral characteristics of the male.  There is just no real way to know if they will be like your female or not.

Good Luck.

***This post is not meant to offend.  It is for information purposes only.***
 

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The breeders in Harrow are great. I almost bought a pup from them but it wasnt the right time. Nice people and great to talk to.
 

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At any rate, the Canadian Kennel Club will not recognize to my knowledge any US registered dogs.
Yes, they will, if they're registered with the AKC.  They won't recognize any of the sham US registries like the ConKC, ARPI, WKC, etc., and I don't think they recognize the UKC either (the UKC has a presence in Canada, though).

You do have somewhat of a problem, though, unless you'll be selling the puppies as mutts.  It is illegal in Canada to sell purebred dogs that cannot be registered with the CKC.

As for the male, as I said, I bought him from a family that didn't want him anymore, they weren't taking proper care of him. They were feeding him generic dog food as a puppy, and kept him in their shed. We got him very skinny. We've put him on a good diet, he's put on weight, and has a nice coat. He's very friendly, full of energy, very playful.
Not an auspicious beginning.  You have no idea of the health behind him, or likely that behind your girl.  There's a very high risk that you'll be dooming your puppies to shortened lifespans or expensive long-term illnesses.  

As I said, we want to breed her because she's been a great family dog, and alot of friends have always commented on they wished they had a dog like her. When we got the male, we had friends 'reserving' pups immediately.
You should know that these are two of the top reasons 'backyard breeders' give for breeding.  As mentioned, the bitch only contributes 50% of the puppies' genes, and those may not be the ones for the traits you see.  You may get some pups who are just like your girl - but you're more likely to get pups who are not.  Also, many people have found that their friends and family who beg for a puppy suddenly have one excuse or another as to why they can't take one after they're born.  

The main concern, though, is the health.  Do some searches on "Boxer Cardiomyopathy" and read some of the stories from people who have lost seemingly perfectly healthy young dogs to sudden death from this genetic disease, with no warning that there was even a hint of a problem.  It is estimated that anywhere from 50-80% of the breed is affected; can you, in good conscience, breed a litter of puppies when you have not done anything to try to give them a chance at a long, healthy life?
 

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I must say that i agree with Jennifer and Liz. I feel that if you  truely want to breed these two dogs then you need to wait until both are old enough and the proper testing has been done. I personally have lost two boxers due to back yard breeders who did not health test. Neither of them made it to 4 years old. I lost one at 3.5 years due to cancer, and i lost my girl at 18months due to her heart. Just because people want a dog like yours doesnt mean they will get one. For the sake of your dogs i would get the femal spayed so she hopefully doesnt get cancer down the line, and let them enjoy being loved family pets.
 

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It won't hurt anything to wait until both dogs are tested and if everything turns out fine, then you really have lost nothing by waiting another few months.  If you do find problems then you have saved yourself and your future puppy owners tons of heartache and money.  You will still have both dogs to love and cherish - waiting can only be a win - win situation.  Most of us on this site own rescued and pet/companion dogs and we are the ones that suffer the terrible pain of loss when breeders don't do the necessary tests.  We aren't trying to discourage you from breeding, we just want you to make sure that the puppies you want to bring into this world are healthy and will live long lives.  Please try and understand that to do anything less will hurt people and the dogs for generations to come.
 

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you cant find any more informative and better advice than you just got..

my boxer came from a backyard breeder ..for lack of much better words id rather use !!! not saying that everyones like this person but let me tell you this guy had her, got a male and people would walk up to him asking for pups that looked like her..he didnt know any better i guess...so he bred her almost to death !!!trying to get pups that look jsut like her...

how'd that work out for him? well there were atleast 6 litters they say and NOT A ONE THAT LOOKED LIKE THE MOTHER !!!..

SO WHAT DID THIS GUY DO? HE LET THE LAST LITTER SUCK EVERYTHING OUT OF HER.. UNTIL SHE WAS EMACIATED TO 17 POUNDS..AND THREW HER OUT ON THE STREET..THIS FRIGGIN IDIOT DIDNT EVEN KNOW AFTER 4 YRS THAT HIS FEMALE WAS DEAF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

so this in the kind of person everyone dreads !!! he wanted to produce pups that looks just like her b/c shes so pretty, so sweet and so friendly..and people were begging him for pups..and NONE turned out to look like her !!! NOT 1..

i am not calling you names..i hope you dont take it that way..this is just my experience..and its a terrible and sad sad thing..i am not ssaying in anyway that would harm your dogs or anything like that.

THIS GUY NEVER TESTED THE DOGS FOR ANYTHING..HE DIDNT CARE..WITH THE HIGH RISK OF HEART AND CANCER ISSUES IN BOXERS ANYWAY...WHAT CAN IT HURT TO HAVE THEM CHECKED?

i would bet that your female is trying to tell you something ..if they are fine all the time and buddys ..but when he tries to mount her she flips out..she knows she doesn t want to mate with him !! she knows somethings not right..ALOT of animals do that..the females PICK their mates..they sense thse things

again i hope you dont take this like i was saying you would do these things...i am just giving you an example of things that happen all the time

anyway good luck
 
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