The following is an article written by Liz Phillips of JayRbar Boxers, in regard to the arguments so often used by Boxer owners to breed their dogs. If you fall into one of these categories, please read carefully and try to see the whole picture before you jump into breeding your beloved boxer pet! Here are the 5 most popular reasons for wanting to breed:
#5 "The Vet says my 'boxer' is gorgeous and should be bred"
- What is your vet's background? How many years has he/she owned and/or bred boxers? How many OTHER breeds is he/she an expert in? Can your vet recite the AKC boxer standard? Or even the one in your country (it MIGHT be slightly different). Most vets have no personal knowledge of any one breed and are hardly good 'referral' points for breeding standards. As nasty as it sounds, a pregnant female is money in the bank for them if you are a good owner. I'd hardly take the word of someone about to make several hundred dollars from the experience WITH no particular investment.
#4 "My friends and family ALL want a puppy from my boxer"
-Do you have cash deposits from all of these 'friends' and 'family'? A puppy isn't taken until the money is produced or agreements signed. Have you assessed their worth as a puppy owner on an unbiased level? Do they have the appropriate lifestyle? Monetary resources? Patience? What are you going to do if all of these people want a female? and you only have one in the litter of five? Or they are all white?? or fawn and everyone wants brindle? What are you going to do if no one wants the color/sex of puppy that you actually get? Sell it to strangers?
#3 "We want the children to experience the "Miracle of Birth""
-You WANT your small child to witness a bloody, watery mess? Why? There are excellent videos you can rent if you need this to explain the facts of life. Are you prepared to help your child deal with the mother EATING one of those precious bundles right in front of them? How about the puppy that is malformed or dead? This 'experience' can last for 2 days and try everyones patience. No matter how loving your female might be, she MAY take a dim view of being the center ring in a 'peep-show'; and if you stress her out, she'll reject every last one of those puppies...GREAT experience, eh?? And finally..what a great experience if your female should DIE delivering those puppies. I'm sure your child will thank you forever for giving them that wonderful experience.
#2 "We want a puppy exactly like its 'mom/dad'"
-Alright, let's do the math here. Your boxer came from a female and a male. If you breed THAT boxer to ANOTHER boxer, AT BEST you will only get 1/2 the dog you have now? How is breeding YOUR dog to ANOTHER One going to produce a EXACT replicate? The best you can do is go back to the breeder you got your boxer from, but lets be realistic...have you ever known 2 siblings to be identical? Even identical twins are very different... The only way to re-produce your dog to a tee is to clone it... Catch a plane/boat to England, they can help you out...they are doing it with sheep even now.
And the # 1 reason..(though NEVER STATED): "We can make a 'little money' by breeding her"
-Yeah..not if you do it right. Each breed is different, but let's take a boxer....First of all, if she does not have a solid, traceable pedigree and you can't see her immediate ancestors, you have NO idea of what she will produce (and if you can, it is still a crap-shot).. But, let's say her pedigree is solid and recognizable. To make money, you have to spend a little money...the most recent estimates are that 1 out of 5 boxers in the US have some form of heart problem (genetic).. Yours hasn't had a 'sick' day in her life, I'm sure, but most heart problems do not manifest themselves until the dog is past 5 years of age, and the only way to know if they are susceptible is to do the testing...and it won't even guarantee catching some of it.
Cardio testing - Plan on $500.00. Rental of machine and licensed cardio vet to read the result.
Aortic stenosis testing - Plan on $300.00 EKG, x-ray from qualified canine radiologist.
Hips/spine - Spondyolosis and displaysia, though not common are by NO means RARE. X-rays and OFA/PennHipp anaylsis is $300.00
Now, to keep this easy, we won't even include the standard shots, venereal disease testing and food that it takes to get a dog to breeding age (or the original cost of the dog).. We are up to $1,100.00 and you have to add a stud fee ($500) or if you own the stud, another $1,100.00 for his testing. Let's keep it simple and say we use an outside stud... $1,600.00. (We won't add time lost from work for the breeding & gas money; nor the specialized diets, vitamins etc you need to ensure a healthy female).
Whelping date arrives, and average litter size is 5. If she has to have a C-Section, add $500.00 (surgery, antibiotics, aftercare). Heaven forbid, if she doesn't have any milk (or had surgery), she might not be able to nurse, so you are off work for 4 weeks hand-feeding babies. Last cost estimate for milk replacer was $100 a week ($400)..(put we won't add these costs)
We have to have tails/dewclaws done. $25.00 a piece which should include mom's exam. Add $125.00 (total of a 'clean whelp' = $1,725.00) You will have to supplement mom's diet with a quality food that promotes milk, and keeps her nursing plus the vitamins, plus at 3-4 weeks, switch the puppy's to a gruel.. $75.00 (add at $1,800.00) Every health board requires one set of shots, though if you want to be reputable, you should give two...so add $25.00 per puppy ($150.00 =$1,950.00) and the cost of paperwork, litter registrations and health certifications, not to mention miscellaneous costs such as beginning house training supplies, carpet cleaner, bacterial cleanser...$50.00 should cover it..
So Grand total on a 'clean whelp' is $2,000.00. Divided by 5 puppies is $400 each, IF you have them sold at 8 weeks. WHAT..that is the EXHORBANT PRICES charged by the 'show breeder' for a companion puppy from their dual-champion bred litter?? IMAGINE THAT!!! I thought you were going to MAKE money on this deal..?? You can't sell them for more than $300 a piece?? ...I Know that you wouldn't want to breed from potential sick dogs, so the testing has to stay.... you can't control the vet costs...you want healthy puppies so the after-care has to stay.....
HUMMMMMMMMMM, MAYBE you ought to re-think your 'money-making' scheme...
Respectively submitted 12/19/99
Liz Phillips ABRA-Kansas JayRbar Boxer
-HOA Boxer Club Lawrence, KS
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