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If they do, it will likely take quite some time, and I have to admit that the thought of introducing them into our breeding programs worries me. The show ring is first and foremost a method of evaluating our breeding stock; this is why show dogs are not to be spayed or neutered. As beautiful as they are, and as much as I do believe that they make wonderful pets, as well as great performance dogs, I do not wish that they be introduced into our breeding programs, as they have a tendancy towards deafness. According to Dr. Strain (who is largely considered to be *the* leading expert in canine deafness throughout the world), if used for breeding, white boxers have the potential to introduce deafness even in colored boxers. With all of the other health concerns that we currently have to deal with (heart issues, hip dysplasia, thyroid conditions), it is my opinion that the last thing that we need to worry about is deafness.

Here is a quote, by Dr. Strain, taken from the article linked to below (BCM refers to Boxer Cardiomyopathy; a heart condition):

It is my opinion that white boxers carry a version of the regulatory gene that causes over- expression of the piebald gene, producing heavy white color, blue eyes, and deafness. Breeding these dogs back into the boxer gene pool will very likely increase the overall incidence of deafness in ALL boxers (white or otherwise). I do not know the genetics of BCM, but it is not likely that white boxers are free of the defect, and nothing associated with pigmentation (or its absence) should logically protect against BCM. Breeding a white boxer without BCM back into the breed gene pool is not likely to affect BCM incidence, and in fact could worsen it if BCM is polygenic and the white boxer carries some of the responsible genes. If asked, I would be opposed to breeding white boxers -- to either whites or colors. If this practice is continued the prevalence of deafness in all boxers will increase as has happened with other breeds.
http://www.boxerunderground.com/bu2000/ ... boxers.htm

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have done alot of research on this also. Everything I have read is an opinion. There has never been an actual study done to prove or disprove his opinion.  My other question would be whydoes AKC give a full registration to white boxers? I have a white female and she was given a full AKC registration. Doesn't AKC consider by the breed standard when issueing registration?
 

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You are correct that a study has never been done to disprove Dr. Strain's theories with regards to white boxers, however, there really is no reason for the American Boxer Club to conduct such a study, as proponents of breeding whites cannot offer anything by way of an advantage of introducing them into the gene pool.

The discussion that I linked to above was prompted by a discussion on the Show Boxer List with regards to whether or not introducing whites into the gene pool would open the gene pool and offer "new blood" in hopes to eradicate inherited conditions like Boxer Cardiomyopathy (which is unarguably the worst disease that our breed currently faces). Dr. Strain's observations and years of research with regard to canine deafness state otherwise. That whites are not free of BCM (now called ARVC), and introducing them into breeding programs would 1) likely NOT benefit attempts to eliminate BCM, and 2) likely introduce deafness in colored stock as well, thereby introducing that worry into our breed.

Because of these two things, the ABC has seen no reason to conduct such studies.

As for the AKC, we need to remember that the AKC is merely a registry body. They do not set rules and/or standards, they simply register dogs within their registry. The AKC *adopts* the boxer standard from the American Boxer Club (as they do with the parent clubs for all breeds). The American Boxer Club is the organization that maintains our breed standard, and the organization that maintains our Code of Ethics, etc. So, given this, the AKC does not consider the breed standard while issueing registration, as they are merely a registry body.

Oddly enough, and as a side note, a very similar discussion is currently going on on the Show List. ;)
 

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I know everything I have read says to spay my white female but will this ever change? I myself would hope so. But that seems to be a rare opinion. I know the deafness is another risk but isn't that a risk in all white animals? I don't know that answer maybe toy do. I would love to breed my female but I have alot of reservations about it because of everything I have read. But also I get a feeling from some thinngs I have read that alot of people are for breeding whites. Am I wrong?
 

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Ethically, according the the Code of Ethics (COE) that is set forth by the American Boxer Club (which is again, who creates the blue print of what makes a boxer a boxer) yes, you should spay your girl.

It is my feeling that if this ever changes, it will be a very long time in coming. The ABC *just*, as of last year, made the following alteration to the COE:

Boxers of any color not allowed by the standard. Such a Boxer will be placed on a contract, to be signed and a copy retained by all parties, that includes the following provisions:

  1. Limited registration will be provided upon completion of a spay/neuter.
  2. The new owner will give the breeder a deposit to cover the amount of spay/neuter. This deposit will be returned upon presentation of a certification from a veterinarian that the procedure has taken place.
  3. The breeder may charge veterinary expenses directly related to the puppy.
(This can be read in full on the ABC's website: http://americanboxerclub.org/ethics.html )

Given this, I would expect to see a change in the COE stating that breeders may charge amounts equal to that of what they charge for colored puppies long before they ever considered granting full registration and breeding rights.

I know that at first glance this seems like the "elitest" point of view, and to be perfectly honest, to some it is. I am of the opinion that whites should not be bred, for the simple fact that experts have determined:

1) That there would be no advantage of introducing whites into breeding programs.

and

2) That doing so could possibly bring with it the chance for introducing deafness in all boxers.

That is enough reason for me to stick with colored dogs, and strive for flashy to plain breedings in order to try to breed to the standard, rather than away from it. Which, IMO, can hardly be considered elitest, as these are very valid concerns that take into consideration the health of the breed as a whole (which ultimately should be our first and foremost concerns with regards to breeding).

I guess my question would be what do you feel the advantage would be of introducing whites into the breeding population?

And more importantly, how do you feel that breeding your girl (regardless of her color) will improve the breed as a whole?

I'm not asking these questions to be trite or elitest, rather the second question is a question that we all need to ask ourselves prior to considering any and every breeding we plan to undertake, and one that I ask myself on an almost weekly basis as I seek out potential stud dogs for my girls.

Which brings me to another thought as well. If your girl is not to the standard, and is disallowable from breeding by the ABC's COE, how will you be able to find a quality Champion male to breed her to?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I understand and respect your opinion. I do also have a male that is fawn with a black mask. If I breed her it would be done so with limited registration to my litters. I would do it becaise of both of my dogs great temperment and I love the species. The way they are with my children and visitors. I know boxers in general have great temperment. I have also owned boxers that were as wild as can be. I also believe there are opinions that are to the far right and ones to the far left.  I am just saying I am am probably in the gray.
 

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I do agree with you that there are individuals on both sides of the spectrum, however, I guess, to me, the far left seem to be the proponents of breeding whites, while the far right seems to be the breeders who still (disgustingly) euthanize whites at birth. To me, the grey in the middle are the individuals who are placing them as well beloved pets and performance dogs in loving homes on spay and neuter contracts where they will be cherished and loved throughout their lives.

Also, I did want to suggest that you show your male in Conformation. I know that you are interested in showing (per your initial question), so I thought that starting with your male might be a great way to go. . .

Have you considered showing him instead?

Might be a great way to meet other people in the breed, as well as to speak with others to get their thoughts on this subject. Shows can be a great way to find a mentor, and a great mentor is worth their weight in gold when it comes to showing and breeding boxers.

Believe me, I understand your concerns with the ABC COE. . . While I personally don't believe in breeding whites (for the reasons mentioned above), I have other points of contention with the organization from time to time. Having said that, I do believe very strongly in their purpose, as an organization that maintains the breed standards and sets rules of ethics by which breeders adhere to in order to work toward the improvement of the breed as a whole.

If the ABC didn't exist, there would be no boxers, period, because there would be no standards, and the things that are out lined by the standard make a boxer look like a boxer (the shortened muzzle, the well muscled square build, the docked tail, etc). It is for these reasons that I will adhere to their Code of Ethics, as this is the way that the integrity of the breed is maintained.

If you truly believe that white boxers can and should be shown and bred, I encourage you to enter into the show ring with your plain male, become a member of the ABC, and use your vote to try to change things. This is the only way that changes can be accomplished: by a vote of the membership.

Good luck!  :)
 
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