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Discussion Starter #1
I read this today while reading an old forum on black boxers (or the lack there of....)  I understood all that, but am not familiar with these terms that refer to improper conformation.  I tired to quote it from Burningriver Boxers post but I don't know how to do it properly.  So she wrote that, but can someone explain what these things mean?


"Things like his dane facedness, *horrible* ear crop, lack of stop, low tailset, roached topline, straight rear, etc.)"

Thanks,
~Anne
 

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Dane facedness refers to the plane of the skull in relation to the plane at which the muzzle sits. Danefacedness is also called "down faced".

Refer to the following photos of one of my girls. The first photo is correct for the boxer head with regards to the planes of the skull vs the plane at which the muzzle sits.



I took this same photo and modified it a bit to make my bitch appear to be "dane faced". You can see how the angles have changed.



This fault greatly affects expression and alters what the breed was originally bred to do. A dane faced boxer would not be able to breathe as easily while he was holding his prey, because his nose would be shoved right up against the prey's skin.

Similarily, a poor ear crop can affect the expression, although this is not a genetic, or a breeding issue, rather it is an issue of the skill of the vet (or lack thereof) who performed the surgery. A proper crop will enhance the boxer outline and make the overall appearance more elegant. The bitch above has a proper, tapering "show "crop.

The stop is the part of the boxer head that occurs right between the eyes where the muzzle meets the skull. There should be an indent there. The indent should not be so deep as to loose your thumb in it (if resting your thumb on top of the dog's muzzle), but it should be just deep enough so that the thumb can rest comfortably in it. Lacking in stop means that the head is totally devoid of this indent, which is very incorrect for our breed.

The tail should be set at 1 O'Clock when erect. A low tailset would appear closer to 2, or in extreme cases, even 3 O'Clock. You would likely also see a rounding of the croup (the area right before the tail, from the hip to the base of the tail) that would accompany this fault.

The topline, or backline, should be straight and slightly sloping. The topline extends from just behind the shoulders to the base of the tail. This line should not be curved or arched (swaybacked).

Front and rear assembly are a bit harder to understand (or at least, I'm still trying to understand proper front assembly, as certain issues can be very deceiving). This refers to the actual angles of the bones that make up the shoulders and rear of the dog. If you can imagine the dog's skeletal structure in profile, and draw mental lines where all the bones would fall, you will note that there are angles at which those bones meet.

With regards to proper front angulation, the angle between the scapula (shoulder blade) and humerus (upper arm bone) met should be at a 90 degree angle. A "straight" shoulder would be one at which the angle was less than 90 degrees. The rear is similar in that proper angulation should occur between where the hip meets the pelvis and the femur meets the fibula. A "straight rear" is a rear that is devoid of these proper angles.

Straight fronts and rears make it hard for a dog to move properly. The boxer is an agile breed, and should be able to move with a certain smoothness and efficiency that is virtually impossible to achieve if the structure is not proper and correct.

Many feel that dog shows are simply "doggie beauty pagents". This is simply not so. As you can see by the indepth analysis that goes on behind the scenes, these are the things that run through a boxer judge's mind while they are evaluating the stock that is presented before them in the ring. They tell this in a variety of ways - by evaluating the dog as he stands (structure) and evaluating the efficiency or lack there of in how the dog moves (movement). If any one of the things that I mentioned above are off or incorrect, the chances that a boxer will be able to perform the job that he or she is able to do are greatly reduced. Dog shows are about preserving the breed and maintaining the integrity of the purposes for what the breed was originally created to do.

Hope this helps.
 

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I dont mean to hijack the thread, but I followed the link Jessica provided (and thanks for that, I love it)

So I want to know what boxers that the people who wrote the "Temperament" part of all the clubs have around them

(Australia)
"The character of the Boxer is of the greatest importance and demands the most careful attention.  He is renowned from olden times for his great love and faithfulness to his master and household, his alertness and fearless courage as a defender and protector.  The Boxer is docile but distrustful of strangers.  He is bright and friendly in play but brave and determined when aroused.  His intelligence and willing tractability, his modesty and cleanliness make him a highly desirable family dog and cheerful companion.  He is the soul of honesty and loyalty.   He is never false or treacherous even in his old age."

(United Kingdom)
"Equable, biddable, , fearless, self-assured."

(U.S.A./Canada)
Character and Temperament
"These are of paramount importance in the Boxer. Instinctively a "hearing" guard dog, his bearing is alert, dignified and self-assured. In the show ring, his behavior should exhibit constrained animation.   With family and friends, his temperament is fundamentally playful, yet patient and stoical with children. Deliberate and wary with strangers, he will exhibit curiosity, but, most importantly, fearless courage if threatened.  However, he responds promptly to friendly overtures honestly rendered. His intelligence, loyal affection and tractability to discipline, make him a highly desirable companion."

(F.C.I.)
"The Boxer should be free of nervousness, self assured, calm and balanced. Temperament is of utmost importance and requires most careful attention.  Devotion and loyalty towards his master and his whole own people, his watchfulness and fearless courage in defence have long been famous. He is harmless with his family but suspicious towards strangers, happy and friendly in play, yet fearless in a serious situation. Easy to train on account of his willingness to obey, , his pluck and courage, natural keenness and sense of smell. Undemanding and clean, he is just as agreeable and valuable in the family circle as he is as a guard, companion or working dog. His character is trustworthy with no guile or cunning, even in old age."
Cause every boxer (my own, the ones we rescue, the ones belonging to other rescue members, just off the street) every boxer I have ever met makes the word "Biddable" seem out of reach.  The FCI statement is nearly laughable. I just keep picturing my dog looking at me with "so what is in it for me?" when ever I tell her to do something.

I hardly would describe a boxer as biddable, intelligent and sneaky at times, but mine have never been biddable....unless I say "French Fry"

Anyhow, thanks Jessica, as a rescue person I believe it is good to know what is the "ideal" boxer, that way you can see things like structural issues that might preclude a dog from being successful as a running partner or agility dog. Love the site!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow Jessica!  That is exactly what I was wanting to know.  I really appreciate the time you took to tell this to me.  The part about the head and the dog not being able to hold its prey makes sense now why it seems that Cactus snuffles sometimes.  The dog in the pictures you showed me is gorgeous!  Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
~Anne
 

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Discussion Starter #6
After pouring over that wonderful link you sent, I was wondering if when being judged, does the handler get asked what his dog's faults are in an effort to show that they know and thus can breed that animal to correct that fault?
 

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Hi Carolyn,
To me, biddable means very willing to please. . . Golden Retrievers come to mind here, and I do not agree that this term is descriptive of any boxer that I've ever been around.

On the other side of the coin, "tractable" means easily trained. And I do agree with this. Boxers are very easy to train, given the right motivation (as you've noted with your guys "french fries" seem to do the trick! :lol: ) and once your training methods have been tailored to the individual dog.
 

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No problem cassie! Glad I could help! :)

During judging, the handler does not get asked what his dog's faults are. It is the judge's job to evaluate the dog and figure out what those faults are, and the purpose for which the Championship title is awarded. For the most part (and I am being careful to qualify the occasional political win here ;) ) the better dogs win their Championships, and this speaks for their breeding quality. Yes, you will often find that a quality dog does not finish because of something as miniscule as them deciding that the conformation ring is just not fun for them but for the most part, the Championship title speaks for the quality of the dog in question.

Breeding adds a whole other level of complexity to the situation, as it is the breeders job to later recognize what the dog's individual faults are and to find a stud dog that compliments her in those areas. It is not the judge's job to improve that particular breeder's breeding program. It is only the judge's job to judge the particular dogs as they are presented to him/her on that given day and award points based on the dogs' overall quality. It is the breeder's job after the fact to recognize what his or her dog's faults are and to try to create that next generation of show worthy animals. This takes a very careful, very honest scrutiny of your own dogs, and it can be very hard for many to distance themselves from "being mommy" (in which you always think that your babies are the most beautiful things on the planet :p ) and being a breeder. This is also known as "kennel blindness", and a given breeder needs to pay special attention not to get caught up in it.

Added to that, many handlers that you'll see in the ring aren't the breeders of the dogs whom they are handling. Many are professional handlers, hired on by the breeder or owners of the said dog in question.
 

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BurningRiver\";p=\"1213 said:
This takes a very careful, very honest scrutiny of your own dogs, and it can be very hard for many to distance themselves from "being mommy" (in which you always think that your babies are the most beautiful things on the planet :p ) and being a breeder. This is also known as "kennel blindness", and a given breeder needs to pay special attention not to get caught up in it.
The breeder that works in our rescue, emertis status though, has this problem. Thanks to the information that Jessica provided now I can pin point exactly what "I" think is wrong with her dogs rather than saying "they just dont look right"

And since I have to deal with this person on a regular basis, it amazes me that she doesnt see the same faults that are clear to anyone, even my untrained eye. I spend alot of time trying not to roll my eyes when she talks about how "beautiful" and "champion worthy" her dogs are. It really is hard to stop that from happening!

Anyhow, thanks Jessica. I passed on the website to the members of the rescue that do the temperament evals, so that we can add some of this knowledge into it.

Also, it is good to see a "perfect" version of the breed, here in NM there are a lot of Pit bulls crossed with boxers, and quite frankly a badly bred anything doesnt look like the breed anyhow, but knowing what a true boxer should look like helps to understand if we have a mix or a badly bred.

Anyhow, thanks again! and P.S. I agree with Cassie, that is a stunning boxer in your example.  :D
 

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Hi Carolyn,
As I said, it can be hard, and I fully admit to feeling that my girl is the prettiest thing in the world. . . Why? Well, because I'm her mommy. :p Having said that, I also am trying to be very careful to recognize that she does have areas of needed improvement - I'd like a better bite for one. ;)

These are considerations that I am making with regards to her first breeding, which is still over a year away, even though I am currently speaking with stud owners, doing quite a bit of pedigree research and trying to get my hands on as many dogs as possible.

If I might be so bold to make a recommendation. . . Rather than pointing out all of your rescue's volunteer's dogs' faults, try pointing out the virtues (in which you feel her dogs may be lacking) when you see them on other dogs. For example, when at a dog show, nudge her, point to a dog and say, "I understand that that dog has a very nice topline. . . What do you think?"

Also suggest that she speak with other breeders and exhibitors, so that they can help her to see both the good things, as well as the bad things in not just her dogs, but in all dogs in general. It sounds as if she might be in need of a good mentor. I can't even begin to tell you how much my mentors (and peers) have helped me along the way. Speaking with other breeders will help her to be able to find a knowledgeable individual who can set her on the right track and help her to craft a very solid breeding program.

Understanding proper boxer conformation is *hard*. . . It takes a long time, and it's a never ending learning experience. As I mentioned above, there are still a few issues that I am unsure of, and other aspects of the standard are so in depth as to even describe how long the bones need to be.

It's very important to not get caught up only in the faults. . . as much as it is to not get caught up only in the virtues. We must be balanced in our focus on both, and ultimately hope that the virtues outweigh the faults. A long time breeder once told me that the true test of whether or not an individual understands our breed standard is whether or not they can point out the *virtues* as well as the faults. The faults are easy. Most times, it can be a lot harder to spot the good things. ;)

Thank you both for your wonderful compliments on my girl. She's my baby girl, and a sweetie pie to boot! :D
 

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BurningRiver\";p=\"1217 said:
If I might be so bold to make a recommendation. . . Rather than pointing out all of your rescue's volunteer's dogs' faults, try pointing out the virtues (in which you feel her dogs may be lacking) when you see them on other dogs. For example, when at a dog show, nudge her, point to a dog and say, "I understand that that dog has a very nice topline. . . What do you think?"
Actually, in my opinion it might be the height of rudeness to even mention the problems with her dogs, I don't point it out to her, just to myself. I smile and agree with her that her dogs are pretty. Cause when it comes right down to it, it is the temperament that matters most, in pet dogs so that is the only thing that I really pay much attention to. And even there, I dont point out faults.  :wink: learned a long time ago not to offer advice without being asked. It keeps me out of trouble. It is just nice to know that other than personal asthetics, there is a true basis for my thoughts that her dogs are not "right," Now I can say (to myself) the topline is off, the dogs are too short, chest too wide.....etc.
BurningRiver\";p=\"1217 said:
Also suggest that she speak with other breeders and exhibitors, so that they can help her to see both the good things, as well as the bad things in not just her dogs, but in all dogs in general. It sounds as if she might be in need of a good mentor. I can't even begin to tell you how much my mentors (and peers) have helped me along the way. Speaking with other breeders will help her to be able to find a knowledgeable individual who can set her on the right track and help her to craft a very solid breeding program.
:D Got a giggle thinking of me suggesting anything to this lady, she is one of those people who "know everything" and have been in breeding for "ever" and know what is right and what is wrong. Can't tell her anything. She actually told me once that she has never seen a healthy (i.e. no brain injury or diseased) boxer that was aggressive  8O  any dog can be aggressive, it just takes the right mix of hereditary and environment to do it. She still thinks the aggressive dog we had to put down was suffering from a brain tumor.  :roll:  Unfortunately, she is not the kind of person to take constructive criticism well. of course as a psychologist you would think she would be able to handle it. Anyhow, she takes kid gloves to handle about any issue, so most things I just let go and not worry about.
BurningRiver\";p=\"1217 said:
Understanding proper boxer conformation is *hard*. . . It takes a long time, and it's a never ending learning experience. As I mentioned above, there are still a few issues that I am unsure of, and other aspects of the standard are so in depth as to even describe how long the bones need to be.

It's very important to not get caught up only in the faults. . . as much as it is to not get caught up only in the virtues. We must be balanced in our focus on both, and ultimately hope that the virtues outweigh the faults. A long time breeder once told me that the true test of whether or not an individual understands our breed standard is whether or not they can point out the *virtues* as well as the faults. The faults are easy. Most times, it can be a lot harder to spot the good things. ;)
I was playing with the idea of getting into this area, but have quickly come to the conclusion that it takes more money and time than I want to spend. Although I do like to learn, if there is ever a show here in ABQ, I want to go and test out some things.
And yes Jessica, finding faults is easy, finding virtues takes special consideration.  :D  I have to work on that in many areas of my life, but it is a good goal!

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge. If you ever get to ABQ, let me know....I would be willing to buy you dinner to pick your brain some more  :wink:
 
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