It takes months, even years, to become an expert on anything. You may feel that you don’t have that kind of time. However, it is a disservice to the breed if you jump in willy-nilly and try to breed two dogs without knowing what you are doing. At the very least, read everything you can on Boxers. Read about their history and the history of the dogs that were bred to create Boxers. Read about what AKC show judges look for in Boxers- both the good and the bad. Read about every medical problem these dogs could develop and every medical problem with which your puppies could be born.
It is also important to read about what to look for and what to avoid when you want to breed Boxers. You will encounter unscrupulous breeders and puppy mills willing to put a male Boxer out to stud or offer a female Boxer in heat just because the bitch is in heat. Have any dog you want to breed get a thorough examination from a qualified vet before you even consider breeding your dog to another dog. Make sure your own dog is up to the challenge to breed too.
You should do everything in your power to join reputable dog breeding organizations, like the AKC. Get licensed as a dog breeder in your state, and have your home inspected for proper living conditions for breeding dogs. If you are properly licensed and accredited as a dog breeder, you not only do the breed justice, but you can also command a higher price for AKC-registered puppies.
Best Practices for Breeding Boxers
Don’t keep your breeding dogs in kitty model dog cages when successful breeding is more likely to occur when the dogs are roaming freely and have time to play together outside. Dogs have a tendency to mate when they are feeling playful, frisky, and roaming like the pack animals their wild ancestors once were. In fact, it may even encourage more frequent mating resulting in a higher number of puppies, which is quite desirable indeed.
Check to Make Sure Both Dogs Are Healthy Enough to Breed for Your Purposes
It is important to ensure that both dogs are quite healthy. Everything from heart and lung tests to blood tests should be completed before the dogs are even allowed to meet for the first time. If you are not going to buy a mating pair of dogs and rely on renting out someone else’s male dog or female dog, you have to coordinate with the other owner in regards to vet checks. If ANYTHING does not check out, DON’T breed the dogs! Those disorders and diseases can be genetically passed on to the puppies, and then they cannot be sold as healthy animals.
If the main point to your breeding these dogs is to produce quality show dogs, then you definitely need to avoid any and all genetic issues and health problems. Judges not only look for proper conformation and appearance in a dog, but every dog has to be prescreened before entering a dog show for overall health. If you failed as a breeder to look for physical defects and health problems in a breeder dog, and those issues show up in your show dog, your show dog may be disqualified and not allowed to be shown ever.
Doing Checks on Owners and Communicating Effectively
As for other dog owners, do all kinds of checks on them too. Ask to see their breeder’s certification and license. Ask to see where their dog is housed and the food the dog is fed. Ask to see the vet care records on the dog, and do background checks to make sure the other dog owner has not had any cases of animal abuse, hoarding, or mistreatment of animals brought against him/her. If your dog is to spend time with the other owner for breeding, you want to be absolutely certain your dog is being well-cared for.
Likewise you should be sharing your information with the other dog owner. If it is his or her dog that will be coming to stay with you during the breeding period, show how the visiting dog will be treated. If there are special instructions to follow from the other owner, follow them. You are both entering into a business partnership to produce puppies, and equal and kind treatment of the dogs is expected.
Both owners should agree upon a visiting schedule. As one of you will miss having a dog around during the breeding process, you should be able to visit the other owner and see your dog. If the other owner refuses, refuse to make the match. While it is true that the dogs will need time to breed, and you should not be present every single day, you are still entitled to see your dog on certain prescheduled days and times to ensure your dog’s overall health and well-being.
If It Doesn’t Feel Right, It Probably Isn’t
A lot of long-time breeders will tell you to trust your gut. If you meet another breeder and there just seems something “off” about the situation, back away and find another breeder. Just as you probably went out of your way to find a very healthy dog from a very responsible breeder, you should do the same for any dog to which you want to breed your own dog.
Some red flags to watch for are:
- A breeder that won’t let you see where his/her dog is kept.
- A breeder that won’t show you license and/or certification.
- A breeder that won’t let you visit your dog at all during the breeding process.
- A breeder that refuses to take his/her dog to vet appointments and wellness checks.
- A breeder that only allows you to stay in one room of his/her home and you are not allowed to go into the room where the other dog is kept.
Any suspicious behavior noted in another breeder is a good sign to find a different dog for your dog to mate with.
On another note, most professional breeders will never have any issues with any reasonable requests you make. They know that they have a responsibility to advance the breed in every positive light. This includes assisting newer breeders in their endeavors of producing high quality dogs with little to no health issues.