Should I Breed My Boxer?

I have been told by a couple different people that breeding my female will help her to calm down a little. Is this true? Is it smart? She is AKC, and we have considered having her bred, but I am nervous about what it takes to have puppies. Do you have any ideas?

Ultimately, the choice is

Ultimately, the choice is yours but it will not calm her down. But unless you do the proper health screening, I would not do it. When I got my first boxer, Lily, everyone (even strangers off the street) constantly told us that we needed to breed her because she was so beautiful. And she is beautiful and we very briefly thought about it but ended up spaying her instead because we want her to be our long life companion. Dogs are so domesticated now that every heat the female goes through, greatly increases her chances of getting cancer. Not to mention all the risks of putting them through an actual pregnancy. I would feel beyond awful if she were to die because I made the decision I wanted her to get pregnant.

Then you have to take into account the genetic health issues that are common in boxers. Simply vet-checked or a full comprehensive vet exam is not enough to breed your boxer. I found out at 16 months old that my now 3 year old boxer had Spondylosthesis. Another words, she has a very bad case of arthritis building up in her spine. What's worse, she was born with it, it is genetic, and there's no way to know she had it without doing an x-ray of her spine so a simple vet check would not find it. As she gets older, she's going to live a very painful life, will probably die young because of the lack of responsibility her breeders displayed by breeding two unhealth tested boxers (aka BYB's). So, if I were to continue and breed her myself, I would pass on this same sorrow to other future proud boxer parents that will end up having to part with their love ones at a younger age.

So, getting back to health screenings. I was LIVID when I learned what a BYB was and that Lily came from one. We wanted another boxer so we spent months researching for a breeder that did the necessary health testing that the American Boxer club recommends ( http://www.americanboxerclub.org/health-screening.html) We finally found a wonderful boy that for one, is of the correct boxer standard, and two, comes from a long line of health testing. He did end up being one of the best of the litter so we are showing him in conformation and now that he's coming of age, he's starting to go through the health testing himself. And it is not cheap. A true breeder breeds ONLY to better the boxer breed. They DO NOT make money off the litter, or because they want a puppy from their beloved pet, or because they think it is for the mom's sake. They breed to better their lines. They show in conformation and do ALL the required screenings. Boxers are rated Number 3 for thyroid disease and number 8 for heart diseases out of all the breeds out there.

Think of all the different looking boxers out there. BYB's do not breed to standard. That's why there are so many long snouted boxers, tall boxers, etc.. out there when that is not the true standard of the breed. I could go further into it on how the north american boxers are becoming very small boned as well compared to their european counter-parts but another words, there is much more to breeding than simply wanting to do it "once."

Breaking down the costs of what I'm currently going through for my male's health testing (this does not include the expenses to show him in conformation):

Eye Cerf (not required but I did it anyways) = $25 for test and $10 to register (done yearly)
OFA Heart (Echo/Auscultation/EKG) = $170 (done once after age of 24 months)
OFA Thyroid = $95 (must be done yearly)
Boxer Cardiomyopathy = $250 to rent holter monitor +fees to check the results
Hip & Elbow Dysplasia (I do not know the cost of yet)

As you can see, its not cheap to do.

But please take all of this into account before you decide to breed because I guarantee it won't settle her down. You have to decide in your heart what is the right thing to do. Just remember all the responsibilities and what is right for your dog and the boxer breed. I will be more than happy to help you further, or refer you to someone that can mentor you as well. Also, please keep in mind that you will not find a good stud on craigslist. That is full of people trying to make money and more than likely, they are not health tested and may/or may not expose your female to a STD. Please please please take everything into account. If you decide to do the recommended health testing, I will be more than happy to help you find a quality stud that will be best suited for your female to produce the best quality puppies. :)

A lot to think about

Wow! There are a lot of things I wasn't aware of. I think we should just have her spayed. We are planning on having her enrolled in some obedience classes. I am so glad you responded to my post. I could have made a HUGE mistake. Thank you!