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Discussion Starter #1
I plan to breed, don't really know too much, but will learn before hand, anyone got any information they can dish??
 

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Hi Rocky,
Research, research and more research. Breeding is one thing that is not to be taken lightly. Many people don't know that there are quite a few dangers that can come along with breeding (loss of puppies, bitch turning on the stud during the tie, loss of the bitch in whelp, loss of the bitch post whelp, etc). There is just so much to think about prior to undertaking this huge responsibility.

Similarily, we all have to step back and ask ourselves what our goals are for breeding. While you may hear many different reasons of why others have bred, the one and only clear goal should be to better the breed. Improving the breed as a whole is something that happens one generation at a time, and is measured in a variety of ways.

There are three main considerations in undertaking any breeding. 1) Is the dog and bitch sound in temperament? 2) Is the dog and bitch sound in health? 3) Is the dog and bitch sound in Conformation?

These three things should be measured in a variety of ways. Temperament can be measured in the Obedience ring, by attaining your dog's Therapy dog certificate, by participating in Agility or other performance events, or by competing in Schutzhund.

Health is measured by testing for the four most common inhereted (genetic) conditions in boxers:

1) Arrythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC):
This disease is, hands down, the most common disease in North American boxers today. This disease is a common cause for the "sudden deaths" that we may hear of. (The dog is running around in the yard, he collapses, and he never gets up.) Diagnosis or clearance of this disease is made by 24 Hour Holter Monitor.

2) Sub Aortic Stenosis (SAS):
This disease is essentially a valve defect in the Aortic Valve. A calcium ridge develops on the inside of the valve, which causes it to not be able to close correctly, causing the backflow of blood into the heart and weak pulse (heart murmur). Diagnosis or clearance of this disease is made by Echocardiogram and Color Flow Doppler.

3) Thyroid Disease and Autoimmune Thyroiditis:
This disease can be the cause of so many health problems that we commonly see in boxers today. Allergies, Colitis, Pancreatitis, Autoimmune disorders, etc. Diagnosis or clearance of this disease is done via a Full Thyroid panel.

4) Canine Hip Dysplasia:
This disease is a concern in boxers as well, and is the same exact condition that is seen in many other breeds. The hip joint doesn't develop properly, causing the ball to not fit into the socket properly, causing it to slide around, causing wearing on the joint and arthritis. This disease can cause lameness or loss of use of the rear hips in general. Diagnosis or clearance of this disease is done by radiographs sent to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or The University of Pennsylvania Improvment Program (PennHIP).

These tests should be done at the age of two (in fact, OFA cannot be done before 2).

Conformation (or how closely the dog conforms to the breed standard that makes a boxer a boxer) is measured via dog shows. Showing our dogs is how we obtain unbiased evaluations of how closely our boxers resemble a boxer. It is through this method that we are insured that our boxers don't lose the traits that we have come to know and recognize as making a boxer look like a boxer.

A responsible breeder always takes back a dog that they've bred at any point throughout the dog's life. This may not be a realistic consideration for you if your current living situation is limited in space, or capacity. Upon planning for each litter, we need to plan for the worst case scenario -- what if ALL of my puppies were returned to me all at once? Could I take them back and properly care for them ALL? If the answer is no, we really need to reconsider.

A responsible breeder also will not breed a bitch more than 3 or 4 times throughout the course of her life, and not after the age of 6, and should not whelp more than twice in any three consecutive estrus cycles, per the American Boxer Club's Code of Ethics.

And lastly, find a good mentor. My mentors have been invaluable to me. They've taught me so much and I continue to learn from them each and every day. They've taught me what to look for in a sound dog, and how to work towards my goals and ideals. They've helped me to select quality dogs with which to begin my breeding program and have been there whenever I have a question, no matter how small. They really have been blessings in many ways, and I am proud to call them my friends in addition.

As you can see, much goes into making this decision. It isn't a decision that can be made overnight, rather it is one that is years in the making. I am currently planning a breeding for my 1 year old puppy bitch. I realize that much of this is still up in the air, and that she needs to first be proven in the areas that I have mentioned above, but I am, even now, looking at pedigrees and potential boyfriends for her in hopes that she will prove herself in these areas, and I won't stop at the state line in my search for the best possible boy for her. We need to realize that the best dog for our bitches may not reside in our homes, or our neighborhood, or even our entire state. If need be, I will seek out a boy that resides on the other side of the continent and fly my bitch there for the breeding, or have frozen semen shipped to my vet for artificial insemination.

It is my belief that only the best of the best should be bred, and that we need to select carefully. . . because there are far too many unwanted boxers in rescues at present for us to bring more sub-par quality dogs into this world. Because of this, I also strongly believe that breeders and would be breeders volunteer with rescue prior to breeding, so that they can see the ones who have been forgotten.
 

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Also - you need to consider the $$ aspect as well.  The health testing of sire and dam, the vet costs, feeding costs, etc. usually will not make you $$ - it will cost you $$.  

So I agree - the only reason to breed is to further the breed/better the breed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Who has bred before?
i am looking for actual information here...
how long the puppies should have the mothers milk.. how long after theyre born do they get their tails and dewclaws done.. and any other helpful information, things like that..
I have already taken into consideration all that was stated in BurningRiver's post.
 

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Sorry for the b*tchy tone - but if you don't want to take your puppy who is visibly bloated to the vets because of the vet bills - how are you going to financially handle responsibly breeding your dogs?

You can find the information you are looking for here.
 

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Who has bred before?
I'm not sure of the relevancy of this question. While I have not bred my own dogs, I have assisted with a few litters that my parents have bred, helped with a couple that my friends have bred and researched breeding in general.

As for the rest of your questions, a mentor should be able to answer them for you. As I stated in my original post (which I'm glad that you've found to be "unhelpful") a mentor is the best place to obtain information related to breeding. There are also quite a few books about breeding that you may find helpful. . .

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Boxer- ... 1860540546

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Book-Bitch-J-M- ... 1860540236

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-Dog ... 14?ie=UTF8

http://www.amazon.com/Successful-Dog-Br ... 0876057407

These places are where you should be looking to find this information. Not a message forum, a dog board, or an internet web link.

Aside from that, it is my opinion that it is far too early for you to be thinking about the questions that you mentioned in your post. Your primary consideration at this point should be training your dogs to prove them in the areas that I mentioned above and crossing your fingers that they pass their health tests in the future; not how you're going to raise the next generation.

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