You have heard that you should get your Boxer from a "reputable" or "responsible" breeder, but what does that mean?
It is very unlikely that you will find one in your local newspaper. Most people who must advertise their pups in the newspaper are pet owners who bred their bitch with little to no knowledge of the breed, health (and testing), bloodlines or much else. Their bitch was registered, and they bred it to a registered male, and that's all they needed to know.
No serious breeder would ever contemplate selling their puppies at a retail pet store. Both National and state breed clubs prohibit such behavior.
What about the internet? You can buy many things online, and a puppy is one. But take care not to be misled! Fancy websites can disguise poor breeders, just as "home-made" websites hide great breeders.
How can you use the internet to find a Boxer? Here are some suggestions:
- Go to a dog show in your area/state. Visit Infodog website to find a list of all dog shows in your state, dates and places where they will be held, and plan to attend.
When you get to the dog show, visit the superintendant's desk and purchase a show catalog. In the first few pages, you will find a list of the times and rings where the breed you are looking for will be shown. The catalog also lists the name of every dog entered, its sire/dam, breeder's name, and name/address of the dog's owner. When you see a dog in the ring that you like, make note of that dog, the owner's name, breeder's name and the sire/dam. With this information, you will be able to find a puppy who will (most likely) grow to resemble the dog you initially admired.
Please wait until after the dogs are finished showing to introduce yourself to its owner or handler. Some people are nervous or just too busy to chat before ring time. If you can't talk to them in person at the show, use the information contained in the catalog to contact them at a later date.
- Visit the American Boxer Club website. There you'll find much information on the breed, as well as links to many individual breeder and club websites.
- Next stop, visit local Boxer club websites - such as the Minnesota Boxer Club. Most club sites have an online list of members, some of whom have websites of their own.
- Visit the websites or email members of a local breed club, then contact them personally to learn about their breeding and placement philosophies. If possible, you should visit the breeder's home in person to see if you are comfortable with the conditions in which their dogs are living. Always ask for (and check) references from previous clients, other breeders, dog show handlers and/or veterinarian(s). If you are uncomfortable with anything you hear or see, walk away!
If you find a breeder you feel comfortable with and trust, but they do not have any puppies available, you can:
(1) Put your name on a waiting list for the next available litter, or
(2) Ask for references to another breeder. You will have to investigate each breeder as you did the first.
- Some breeder websites have online applications, which can be forwarded to an online community of boxer breeders with similar interests (showing, health testing, etc.). You must take care to check references and backgrounds of every breeder you contact (or who contacts you).
- Understand that while YOU are checking references for the breeder, they are doing the same for you. If you are just shopping around and talking to a lot of breeders, they will be talking to each other and noting that you seem to be "shopping around for the best deal." That will create a definite "black mark" and you may have trouble finding a breeder who will be willing to work with you.
My very best advice is to have PATIENCE, STOP LOOKING FOR A PUPPY and instead CHOOSE A BREEDER that you feel comfortable with, who stands behind their breeding, who will support you & your new puppy throughout its lifetime.
Purchasing a puppy from a sub-standard breeder who does nothing more than take your money, or worse, whose dogs live in horrible conditions, does not "save" or "rescue" that puppy; it condemns all the dogs (current, future, puppies) to remain in those conditions, producing puppies for sale because they are nothing more than a money-making operation. Dogs who cannot breed are often killed or dumped at a shelter. Many are not suitable for home environments - difficult to housetrain, have fear or aggression issues - because they did not get the socialization they needed. Shortcuts are taken on healthcare, health testing, socialization, nutrition -- because these things cost money and cut into profits.