Let’s Talk Breed Education!
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NEW BOXER! BY AMERICAN BOXER CLUB
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE BOXER Congratulations! You are now sharing your life with a Boxer— he wouldn’t have it any other way! The Boxer’s most notable char- acteristic is his desire for human affection. Though his spirited bearing, square jaw, and cleanly muscled body suggest the well- conditioned middleweight athlete of dogdom, the Boxer is happi- est when he is with people—especially children. He is truly a “dog for all seasons,” suiting the need for household guardian, attractive companion, playmate and loyal friend. HISTORY The Boxer’s origins are ancient, dating back as far as 2500 BC. But it was Germany in the 19th century that refined and developed the breed as we know it today. The Boxer was used on the ducal estates to run down and hold large, fierce game—wild boar, bear and bison—until the human hunter could approach and dispatch the quarry. To that end, the Boxer was bred to be a powerful, mus- cular dog with the wide undershot jaw for maximum holding pow- er. Though he is not used any longer for such pursuits, the Boxer of today should be able to perform the duties for which he was bred. BEAUTY AND BRAINS The Boxer is a hearing guard dog, ever alert to protect his family but tolerant of any stranger once he knows there is no danger. He is a happy, exuberant dog who delights in children and is eager to play long after he has left puppy hood behind. The mood-mirroring quality of his expression and his overall sweet nature have endeared him to generations of Boxer owners. He is a natural show-off, and Boxers excel at Conformation, and performance events ranging from tracking humans and scent work to agility, obedience and herding of livestock. The Boxer enjoys varied working tasks includ- ing police, search and rescue, service, assistance and therapy. The well-trained Boxer is a glorious sight to behold. The Boxer is a medium sized dog ranging from 21 ½ " in height for a smaller female to 25" and sometimes more for a taller male. Adult weight may reach 65-80 lbs. in the male with the females
about 15 lbs. less. There are no giant or miniature varieties. The short, close-lying coat comes in two equally acceptable colors— fawn and brindle. The fawn may vary from a tawny tan to a stag red. The brindle ranges from sparse, but clearly defined black stripes on a fawn background to such a heavy concentration of black striping that the essential fawn background color barely, although clearly, shows through—creating the appearance of “reverse” brin- dling. White markings should be of such distribution to enhance the dog’s appearance, but may not exceed 1/3 of the entire coat. It is not uncommon to have an entirely white Boxer born in a litter, or one with predominately white background known as a “check.” In order to retain the beauty of the fawn and brindle colors, the Ameri- can Boxer Club members are pledged not to use these “whites” for breeding. They may not compete in Conformation classes but are eligible for Performance events. CARE OF YOUR BOXER The Boxer requires relatively little grooming, but ownership of any dog is a definite responsibility. He must not be allowed to run loose. Exercise within a fenced area or on a leash will be adequate. Death from automobiles, poisons, or other hazards await the Boxer who is allowed to roam. While he is learning to be a responsible member of the household, especially while still a puppy, a crate is very advisable. It will protect him from household temptations and dangers while you are away. In addition, it is a great aid in house- breaking—your Boxer will rarely soil his crate. Be sure to use a collar with care. They can and do snag on the most unlikely objects with tragic consequences. Your Boxer should not be left alone with a collar around his neck—or while playing with canine friends. The Boxer has a natural tendency to keep himself clean, but it is the owner’s responsibility to keep his nails trimmed to a reasonable length, and to keep his teeth clean as he ages. An occasional bath
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Congratulations on Your New Boxer!
well as to heart disease. The Boxer who faints or seems unsteady on his feet should see a competent veterinarian immediately, as these symptom are often warnings of cardiac arrhythmias. Hopefully, with com- petent veterinary care and immunizations according to current protocols from the AVMA (American Veterinary Medicine Association), your loving, devoted Boxer will live a rich and full life. THE AMERICAN BOXER CLUB This is the national parent club dedi- cated to the well-being of the Boxer breed. The Club is also responsible for the writ- ten Breed Standard—a description of the ideal Boxer. The American Boxer Club was founded in 1935 and now has over 900 members in 50 states. The ABC encour- ages interested Boxer lovers to join any of its more than 50 member clubs throughout the country. For information, or a copy of the Breed Standard, contact: Mrs. Sandy Orr, Secretary 7106 North 57th Street Omaha, NE 68152-2301 email@example.com Please visit us online at the American Boxer Club website: www.americanboxerclub.org RECOMMENDED READING A New Owner’s Guide to Boxers Richard Tomita Th e Boxer—An Owner’s Guide to a Hap- py, Healthy Pet Stephanie Abraham Th e Boxer — Family Favorite Stephanie Abraham Th e Everything Boxer Book Karla Spitzer Th e New Boxer
and/or currycombing should be all that he requires. You should feed your Boxer a good quality (usually kibbled) dog food. These are often found at feed or specialty stores. Most breeders recommend soaking the food in warm water as opposed to feed- ing it dry. Mixing it with a small amount of canned food is always enjoyable to your dog. Remember that the Boxer is a relatively fast-growing dog, and should not need sup- plementation with vitamins or calcium as he grows. Over supplementation can cause bone and joint problems. Always speak to your veterinarian if in doubt. SHALL I BREED MY BOXER? While it may seem appealing to con- template a cute litter of puppies, you should realize that breeding your Boxer is an unre- mitting commitment of time, money, and emotion. Maintaining contact with your Boxer’s breeder over the years, and asking his advice, will prove immensely helpful when making a decision to breed. For the majority of pet owners, spaying the female Boxer is to be preferred. This operation will also lessen the risk in later life of mammary tumors and other reproductive diseases. The male Boxer may also benefit from being neutered, and this procedure will cool his desire for any neighborhood female dog in heat. Spayed and neutered animals are not eligible to compete in AKC Conformation classes, but may still participate in numer- ous performance and companion events run by AKC such as herding, tracking, obedi-
The bond that develops when the owner trains his dog in these disciplines only adds to the mutual love and respect of man and canine. The American Kennel Club or the American Boxer Club will prove help- ful in giving you advice and guidance in
these pursuits. CAUTIONS
The Boxer is not overly tolerant of extreme conditions of either heat or cold. He should definitely be kept in the house as a beloved member of the family, and enjoy safe climatic conditions. Never leave him in a closed car in hot weather, or even with the windows slightly open—the temperature may reach dangerous and even deadly levels in a very few minutes. Occasionally, Boxers are especially sen- sitive to certain forms of both local and general anesthesia. Certain tranquilizers are contraindicated. Always discuss anes- thesia protocols thoroughly with your vet- erinarian. The breed is relatively tolerant of mild discomfort, and most Boxers can have common skin tumors, should they develop, removed using local anesthesia alone. Especially as he ages, some Boxers may fall victim to cancers in various forms, as
Billie McFadden World of the Boxer Richard Tomita
ence, scent work and agility. EXHIBITING THE BOXER
Many Boxer owners become involved in the world of showing dogs and enjoy a lifelong passion for this sport. Showing may involve many pursuits such as conforma- tion, agility, obedience, scent work, herding and many others; the Boxer enjoys almost everything it can do with its owner as a team. The Boxer has proven to be a great success in all avenues of formal exhibition.
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1. Where do you live? 2. What do you do “outside” of dogs?
I’ve been breeding, rescuing and showing Boxers since 1998, I’ve bred and owned over 50 champions, put multiple obedience and agility titles on my Boxers over the years. My Boxers have achieved all breed best in shows, several have ranked in the top twenty, won multiple awards/ titles at nationals and regionals along with much more. I own a boarding and training facility in Island Lake, Illinois. We offer board and train packages along with multiple classes from conformation, Rally, nose work and much more. I’m not only a professional all breed handler but I specialize in dog behavior and modification. I love what I do! I live in Island Lake, Illinois. The majority of my life is spent with dogs because I own a dog boarding and training facility. I show dogs professionally on the weekends. I love what I do and dogs! The enjoyment outside of dogs would be spending time with my family and working out. Does the breed’s ranking help or hurt the breed? I think it can help and hurt the breed. It’s helpful because Boxers are such wonderful family pets and can be perfect for an active family with children. They are one breed that really adore kids. The popularity can encourage families to choose a Boxer for a family pet. In this day and age the Internet is useful to educate families in their research for finding a proper breed such as a Boxer. It hurts our breed when Boxers can get into the wrong hands for unethical breeding purposes due to the popularity. What qualities in the field also come in handy around the house? Their protection qualities are helpful around the house. They are known as a “guard breed” and can be protective of their families. They have a muscular physique and are medium sized with a “look” that would discourage intruders. What about the breed makes them an ideal companion? They are an intelligent and active breed, perfect for families that want a dog to stay busy with. I love how funny and entertaining they can be. They do require a good amount of exercise and need a yard to run in. The drawback to the breed are that they are prone to cancer and heart problems. It’s important families research and find breeders that health test properly, of course there are no guarantees but it decreases risk in my opinion. Are there any misconceptions about the breed I’d like to dispel? There are definitely a few that I’ve heard over the years. I’ve had people ask me if Boxers are difficult to train? The breed can be stubborn but they are very smart and easily trainable. They learn quickly and with positive reinforcement training they will thrive. I’ve had people ask me if all white Boxers are deaf. They are more prone to deafness but are not all deaf. I’ve had only two deaf white Boxer puppies in over twenty years of breeding. There’s a BAER hearing test that breeders can utilize on white puppies before they go to their homes to assure puppy buyers they are purchasing a hearing white puppy. What special challenges do Boxer breeders face in our current economic and social climate? I don’t have challenges in this depart- ment. I breed selectively therefore I have families sometimes waiting up to a year or two for a puppy. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I like to evaluate my puppies for homes at eight weeks for show
3. In popularity, Boxers are perennially up towards the top of the list; they’re currently ranked #11 out of 192 AKC-recognized breeds. Do these numbers help or hurt the breed? 4. Few of these dogs really “work” anymore. Although he’s a tre- mendously hard-working dog with great power and stamina, he’s highly valued as a companion. What qualities in the field also come in handy around the house? 5. A strong Working dog requires a special household to be a perfect fit. What about the breed makes him an ideal companion? Drawbacks? 6. Are there any misconceptions about the breed you’ d like to dispel? 7. What special challenges do Boxer breeders face in our current economic and social climate? 8. At what age do you start to see definite signs of show-worthi- ness (or lack thereof)? 9. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? 10. What’s the best way to attract newcomers to your breed and to the sport? 11. What is your ultimate goal for the breed? 12. What is your favorite dog show memory? 13. Is there anything else you’ d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate AMY BIERI
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Boxer Q& A
“They are such kid-friendly dogs, and are very adaptable as long as they are with ‘their people’.”
or non-show homes. I can access structure and temperament fairly well at this age. The most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? I think in general it’s important to follow the breed standard. The most difficult part of our standard to judge in my opinion is the head piece. There are so many different styles of a Boxer’s head piece. It’s an important part of the breed but the over- all structure and type of a Boxer should be considered as well. The best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? I think getting our young people involved, mentoring and educat- ing them. We need to take them under our wings and be supportive. My ultimate goal for the breed is to continue to breed with high standards and ethics. I strive to breed for healthy Boxers with prop- er structures and temperament. My favorite dog show memory? Oh my goodness! I have so many amazing memories but I think my favorite one was when my son Luc was only about eight years old he showed one of our Boxers named Vixen (Ch Happy Tails You’re My Diamond Girl) at the Boxer nationals in Rally novice. He drew an audience that morning while he and Vixen did their course. She listened perfectly to his every command until she had to “down” on part of the course, after several attempts she finally did it while the crowd watched in suspense. When Luc and Vixen exited the ring they were greeted by the crowd with a standing ovation! They qualified with a great score and fourth placement! MARY FRANCES BURLESON
I live in a suburb of Dallas Texas, I’ve been in real estate for 60 years. Also past CEO of Ebby Halliday Real Estate Company in Dallas, Texas. Does the breed’s ranking help or hurt the breed? I think it hurts, mostly. Due to under educated and improper breeding, the NUM- BER of Boxers skyrocket, not the quality! While I understand the breed is extremely lovable, and “ fits in” alot of people’s life- styles, the breed type, health, and temperament must be preserved, most importantly, and this needs to be done by educated and qualified breeders. What qualities in the field also come in handy around the house? My first thought is they are fabulous protectors of their homes and families. They take their guard duty seriously. Also their compan- ionship/friendship is unique, they make you laugh, but are also very sensitive to your mood. They are such kid-friendly dogs, and are very adaptable as long as they are with “their people”. What about the breed makes them an ideal companion and are there drawbacks? Check out answer to number three for the first part of this question. Drawbacks for some—Boxers require a lot of exercise and attention, they are “people” dogs, need to have mental stimulation to be at their best. Also health issues might be a draw- back for some folks, Boxers are prone to having cardiac problems, cancer, and other medical issues. Also, unfortunately, their lifespan is not as long as some other breeds. Are there any misconceptions about the breed I’d like to dispel? The general public expresses to me that Boxers are such BIG dogs, to me they are medium sized. Some people say they are “hyper”, to that I go back to the 4th question and answer, they do need space and need to run, a Boxer does have a lot of energy, but they also know when/how to settle down and just be with you. What special challenges do Boxer breeders face in our current economic and social climate? Having dogs, any kind of dogs plural, is expensive. You must provide top of the line vet care, a good diet, and good training, among everything else. Showing a Boxer prop- erly costs, it just does. So getting involved in showing and breeding, one must know the expanse is real! As Boxer breeders we also must be concerned with continuing to have the right to crop and dock this breed, therefore we must be aware and active in our local gov- ernments and elections. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I feel we see definite signs when they are born, we like to look at them for actual show evaluations, good or bad, at around seven to eight weeks. From there you must rely on that evaluation as they continue to grow and hopefully become what you expected. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? For me, there really is not one thing more important than all of the characteristics that make up a good Boxer. But a very important thing to always keep in mind is to look at the OVERALL dog. Mrs. R. C. Harris (Bang Away’s Owner) told Rufus and me, ”A judge should never fault judge!” The best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? I think a Boxer can “sell” themselves. As far as dog shows go, we must encourage people to have fun, but also to remain mindful of the reason we have dog shows. My ultimate goal for the breed? To continue to preserve breed type and soundness. Also to improve our health testing by develop- ing and using more DNA testing for diseases, so we can prevent, rather than treat. And for Boxers to live long healthy lives!
Mary Frances is shown here with homebred Ch Marburl’s Eclair’ “Clair”, at almost 8 years old, she is the reigning matriarch at our place right now. Sired by Ch Marburl’s Hidalgo, Sire of Merit 2013 Stud Dog Class Winner and 2014 American Boxer Club Sire of the Year (tie), her dam is Marburl’s Zia
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Boxer Q& A
“The best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? I think a Boxer can ‘sell themselves’. As far as dog shows go, we must encourage people to have fun, but also to remain mindful of the reason we have dog shows.”
Mary Frances Burleson continued
Does the breed’s ranking help or hurt the breed? Once you have had a Boxer it’s hard not to have another one. Breeding healthy dogs is the biggest challenge our breed has to face. Losing a dog at a young age may have chased some Boxer people away from the breed. What qualities in the field also come in handy around the house? Boxers are extremely intelligent. They are still a good watch dog whose bark tells you a lot about what they are watching out for. They are good companions for young children. They are gentle and protective without being rough. They need a moderate amount of daily exercise but are couch potatoes otherwise. What about the breed makes them an ideal companion? The Boxer is a good family companion. Loyal and affectionate to all in the immediate household. They need to have a “alpha” human to keep them in their safe environment. They are a strong willed athletic dog that needs to have a boss. Are there any misconceptions about the breed I’d like to dispel? They can be aggressive if encouraged to be. They are affectionate and intelligent otherwise. What special challenges do Boxer breeders face in our current economic and social climate? The Boxer’s health issues need to be addressed. Complete testing can be expensive. When health issues are present they need to be disclosed or the dog shouldn’t be bred. At what age do we start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? Our mentor, Lynda Yon, could look at a new born puppy and make a good assessment. It takes me a few months before I can make an educated guess. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? The breed needs to be square with a straight top line. Attentive, not shy, athletic and physically fit. What’s the best way to attract newcomers to our breed and to the sport? Encouragement, encouragement, encouragement. Our ultimate goal for the breed? A heart healthy and cancer free dog. Our favorite dog show memory? We had a BIS win a couple of years ago with Savvy. The Boxer breed brings all kinds of people together to brag and talk about their dogs. Some from the past and some currently. Enjoy your time with someone who has a similar interest in the breed that you have.
My favorite dog show memory? February 1979, in New Jersey, Judge Don Bradley (wearing a tuxedo) was judging at the 1979 American Boxer Club National, and our girl, CH Marburl’s Rahab of Wesan, “Penny “ was awarded Best of Breed with Johnny John- son on the end of the lead. Our mentor, Amy Ackland, was standing next to me, what a thrill! I remember it like it was yesterday! I’d also like to share that breeders need to remember to put tre- mendous thought, study and care into each and every breeding, it must always be about quality never quantity! Boxers have been a huge part of my life, they have brought me tremendous joy, tears of happiness and tears of sadness, many great memories of the past, and many more to make for the future! LOREN & LAURIE FREEMAN
Loren and Laurie Freeman and Savvy
Laurie and I live on a farm in Madera, California. We farm wine grapes, almonds and walnuts. Laurie retired from teaching a few years ago and is making craft type greeting cards to keep her safe and sane.
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CINDY MEYER I live in Cherry, Illinois. I showed my first dog, a German Shepherd, in 1958. I have been involved in the dog show world ever since. I was first exposed to Boxers in 1961 when I went to work for Larry Downey. While I was with Larry he showed Boxers for Salgray Kennels, including Ch. Salgray’s Fashion Plate. When I married my in laws had been breeding Boxers for many years under the My ken- nel name, so I became involved in breeding, raising and show- ing their dogs. As handlers my husband and I showed many Boxers, including some group and Best in Show winners. After more than 30 years as a professional handler I retired from handling in 1999 to start judging. I have judged both the American Boxer Club National and the Canadian Boxer Club National. I am now approved for five groups, Working, Terri- er, Toy, Non Sporting, Herding and a couple of hound breeds. SHARON STECKLER
I finished many Boxers out of my breeding with the Ber-Beu’s prefix and with my wife, Terry, under the Dante’s prefix. I became a professional handler in 1978 and finished many Box- ers until the end of 1993. I showed other breeds in Working, Hound, Sporting, Toy and Non-Sporting. However, my heart and devotion has always been with Boxers. I started judging in 1997 and have judged the American Boxer club national three times, American Boxer club regional; American Boxer club top 20; Boxer nationals in Mexico; Boxer nationals in Canada; Boxer national in Argentina; national and specialties in Brazil; as well as many specialties throughout the United States. Throughout the US, I have judged specialties in other breeds, all breed and rare breed shows. I currently judge the Sporting, Hound and Working groups as well as Juniors and Best in Show. ANN GILBERT
I live in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. I am currently still working for the Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I also enjoy reading and traveling (mostly to dog shows). I have had Boxers in my life for over 50 years now. I started showing dogs in the early 70s. I
I live in Texas in the greater Houston area. I am the executive director of a non- profit organization providing free legal sI started “in dogs” in 1969, with a Maltese puppy I fell in love with in a mall pet shop. I began showing dogs in 1989, with my home-bred Boxer, Ch. Ronard’s Kaiser
became a provisional judge in 2008 and obtained by perma- nent status as a judge in 2009. My late husband, Herb, and I began breeding Boxers nearly 48 years ago under the kennel name SARKEL. When it came time for a family dog the Boxer was the only consideration. To date over 31 champions have been presented to the fancy from our breeding program. I was a regular contributor to the Boxer Review in the mid 80s and early 90s and I have written two fictional books sharing my love and experience with the breed. I am an active mem- ber of the Boxer Club of Oklahoma and American Boxer Club, spending countless hours helping to promote our fabulous breed. In the future I hope to continue my dedication to our breed both in and outside the ring. Prior judging assignments include the Dallas Boxer Club Specialty, the Boomer Boxer Club Specialty, the Pikes Peak Boxer Club, the Cedar Valley Boxer Club, the Orange Coast Boxer Club, the Boxer Club of Arizona, the East Bay Boxer Club, the Allegheny Boxer Club and the Middlesex Boxer Club as well as assignments in New Zealand and Ireland. It has been both challenging and thrill- ing and perhaps the greatest honor to date was judging dogs at the 2013 ABC National. It was a breeder’s dream come true, to be in a ring surrounded by some of the very best of our breed. It has been a grand ride since I first sat in that 1967 Mustang with a Boxer puppy curled in my lap as Herb drove us home to those beautiful Colorado mountains.
Marshal. In 2006, I began judging Boxers, and now judge Boxers, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers and all-breed junior showmanship.
I live in Acworth, Georgia. I am a retired Civil Engineer after 30 years working in Construction Management for the Corps of Engineers. I now enjoy retirement with my wife, Terry and enjoy watching sports. I have been in dogs for over 40 years, first as a limited breeder, then 16 years as a professional handler
and as a judge since 1997. I have been involved in show dogs since 1970 when I started breeding and showing Boxers.
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boxer Q&A WITH CINDY MEYER, SHARON STECKLER, ALBERTO BERRIOS AND ANN GILBERT
1. Describe the breed in three words. CM: Square, elegant and muscular. SS: Medium-size, square and noble.
performed, as appropriate for the breed, to maintain breed character and preserve the history of the breed Ear cropping is done by a veterinarian under general anesthesia, between six and twelve weeks of age. Most puppies are up and playing as soon as they are awake and show no signs of lingering discomfort from the surgery. Uncropped ears are slightly more prone to infections and are more prone to hematomas. Although the Boxer standard allows exhibitors the choice between cropped or uncropped ears, cropped ears are customary. To me, the Boxer with a properly cropped ear exemplifies the unique headpiece of the breed. 6 Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? CM: I think that right now the overall quality of the breed is better than it was when I started judging in 1999. I think all breeds go through good and bad times and right now I feel the Boxer is doing better, but there still needs to be improvement and more consistency. SS: The breed has improved over time, as can be seen from photos and films of Boxer champions in earlier times. Through significant advances in health research and test- ing, the overall soundness of the breed has improved. AB: Unfortunately, they are not. When I started handling in 1978, competition was very tough. The entries were much larger and the quality was better. It was not easy to win a major. The ring also was full of very good profes- sional handlers. In 1997, when I started to judge the quality was still good but it had depreciated some. Today the quality is lower and the entries are much smaller. Therefore, competition is not as tough and it is easier to win majors. I think that a lot of breeders today do not think about their breeding programs carefully. The breed is in trouble with straight shoulders, no forechest, bad bites, lack of bone and bad feet. There are still some breeders who are really knowledgeable, who have been in the breed for decades. They are usually the old knowledgeable ones and should be consulted by newer breeders. A mistake done by many breeders is breeding only to top winners since it doesn’t necessarily bring success to their breeding program. AG: The good thing is we are seeing more classic Boxers in the ring today, less of the flashy white markings or chrome as I like to call it. I have seen that increase since my judging assignments began. Why or why not? I am saddened at times to see the lack of quality in some of the dogs I judge, but overall I think the breeders and owners try very hard to maintain a good balanced dog. 7. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? CM: I feel that new judges have a hard time understand- ing the head of the Boxer. The Boxer’s skull is slightly arched, should never be rounded or apple headed, and should not be heavily wrinkled. Wrinkles do appear on the forehead when the ears are erect, and are always
AB: Square, head and balance. AG: Funny, loyal and beautiful.
2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? CM: Square, elegant, muscular, but not coarse, well balanced and well proportioned, with a pleasing head and expression. SS: Proper, sound temperament, coupled with adherence to the breed standard in all significant aspects, especially those that materially affect the breed’s ability to perform the functions for which it was bred. AB: Type, correct head, medium size, square, proper combi- nation of substance and elegance, good front, good move- ment and good temperament. AG: Good temperament is always my first requirement on both the dogs I own and the dogs I judge. Being healthy and coming as close to the standard round out the top three requirements on my list. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? CM: Not at this time. SS: In certain parts of the country, Boxers are being exhib- ited that are sometimes significantly larger than the preferred medium-size called for by the Boxer standard. Often this larger size results in a loss of the squareness characteristic of the breed. AB: They are now taller than they used to be and have strayed from being medium-sized. They have lost good shoulder layback, good forechest and good bone. Breed- ers like more length of leg since it shows a more elegant look, but some are too much. We are also losing the square look since I see slightly longer body proportions in many. AG: Boxers are getting too tall. Boxers are medium-sized, square dogs. I am also concerned about some that are fearful in the ring. The Boxer is a stand-your-ground dog and a spooked or frightened dog does not belong in the show ring—or in anyone’s breeding program.
4. What’s the most common fault you see when travel- ing around the country?
CM: Poor feet and light eyes. SS: Shyness and skittishness.
5. Ear cropping has become a hotbed item of late. Your thoughts? CM: Although, I love the attentive and elegant look of cropped ears, I can accept natural ears if they fit the head and do not detract from the alert, dignified expression of the Boxer. SS: Ear cropping has been a part of the Boxer breed long before the breed itself was established. This procedure was developed to prevent injury to the dogs as they per- formed the various functions for which they were bred. I strongly support ear cropping, when humanely
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boxer Q&A WITH CINDY MEYER, SHARON STECKLER, ALBERTO BERRIOS AND ANN GILBERT
present from the lower edge of the stop running down on both sides of the muzzle. The Boxer’s eyes should be dark brown, generous in size, not too protruding or too deep set. Cheeks should be relatively flat and not bulging, maintaining the clean lines of the skull. The Boxer bite is undershot, the incisor teeth of the lower jaw ideally are be in a straight line, and the canines are in the same line to give the jaw the proper width. The upper incisors are slightly convex with the upper incisors fitting snugly in back of the lower canine teeth. Neither the teeth nor tongue should ever show when the Boxer’s mouth is closed. SS: New judges, particularly those from non-working breeds, sometimes worry excessively about evaluating the Boxer head, which, although extremely important, is only a part of assessing the entire Boxer. AB: New judges usually have problems understanding what a good head is and what details to look for. The Boxer is considered a head breed and it is the hallmark. You may find a Boxer with a square body and nice movement but without the proper head it would lack type. AG: Remember that this is a Working breed and a good dog should be of medium height, with a short back, good front and rear and with those virtues should sail around the ring to perfection. Dogs with a slight build do not represent what I have always considered the standard to require. 8. What five traits do you look for, in order, when judging Boxers? What do you consider the ultimate hallmark of the breed? AB: Type, balance, head, temperament and front. The hall- mark of the breed is its distinguishing and unique head. AG: When judging Boxers I look first for a medium-sized, square dog. I begin my examination with the head; it must be in balance with the rest of the dog. It is often said that the head is the hallmark of our breed and that is true to some extent but I also know that this breed does not go around the ring on their heads. A too large head, or not enough head can throw the balance off. Expres- sion is important, I want to look into those eyes and know there is somebody home. Good shoulders, a short back, good tail set and movement always come into play. Feet are also important to me, a dog with bad feet or flat feet will not move as they should. Lastly, but very impor- tantly, is temperament! A Boxer is a stand-your-ground dog and should be fearless in any situation. There is no room for a dog that is frightened of their own shadow. I will forgive a longer back, especially in a bitch, as long as the rest of the dog is balanced. Sometimes the tail set is a little lower than I would like but again that does not create problems in movement. The one thing I will not forgive is temperament. 9. Is there anything Boxer handlers do you wish they would not? AB: The most serious problem that I see with some handlers is when they try to influence your judging by bragging about the wins of their dog that I am about to judge.
Throwing bait is also a serious problem especially in the Boxer ring. AG: For years the Boxer has been considered a handler’s dog and there are many good Boxer handlers today and in days gone by. A good handler is invisible to me in the ring as my focus is always on the dogs. In recent years I have come to appreciate the owner handlers too, some do a remarkable job and it is always good to see the teamwork between them and their special dog. 10. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? CM: The Boxer should never be shy, his bearing should be alert, dignified and self-assured. Any evidence of shyness, or lack of dignity or alertness must be severely penalized. SS: This breed captured me from the start--Boxers are a joy to live with, as they are companionable without being clingy. Boxers can do anything and live to please the people they love (which is pretty much everyone)! That’s not to say the Boxer is not discerning--few breeds possess the ability to “read” people as well as the Boxer. Although inherently dignified (even regal), Boxers are playful throughout their lives. AG: The Boxer is a great family dog but that does not mean every family should have one. Lots of patience is required along with lots of love. I often tell people that a bored Boxer is a busy Boxer so you are wise to keep them active and engaged. 11. And, for a bit of humor: what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? SS: It was a lovely spring day, and I was looking forward to showing my Boxer, Boomer, in a small show outside Houston. Unfortunately, I had sprained my ankle and was hobbled. So, I asked a young handler to help me out, and took my Boxer and crate to the handler’s set up. I guess I didn’t mention that Boomer was something of a Houdini when it came to escaping from crates. I made my slow, painful way to the ring to await the start of the Boxers. However, I didn’t see the young man who was to take Boomer into the ring for me that day, and was getting anxious. As I was waiting for the handler, Boomer came nonchalantly strolling up to the ring, by himself(!) and nudged my knee. I don’t know how he knew where “his” ring was or the time that Boxers started, but somehow he had managed to get out of the crate at the set-up and found me. Five minutes later, a panicked, frantic young handler came racing to the ring, lead in hand, to find Boomer patiently waiting to be shown. AB: When I was starting to judge the Working Group at a show, all the dogs were lined up and a dog came in to join the lineup. The dog did not looked like it was anything that belonged to the group. Well, everybody laughed since it was a Chow Chow. It was obviously an honest mistake by a new exhibitor. I proceeded to explain to her when it would be her time to come into the ring and judging proceeded well.
268 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2018
IN THE RING WITH BOXERS
DAVID & STEPHANIE ABRAHAM
HOWARD ENGEL I grew up in the 50s and 60s with a Boxer as a family pet. In the late 70s, after college, I acquired my first personal Box- er as a companion. My wife, Patricia Healy, and myself cur- rently breed and show under the Ryzingstar Kennel prefix. We have owned or bred over 45 Boxer Champions, several Doberman Champions and many Beagle Champions. We have owned one Sire of Merit, and bred and owned three Dams of Merit. Most of the Boxers we have finished have been owner- handled. I was approved to judge Boxers in 2005 and have judged many specialties across the US including the ABC National (dogs and inter-sex) in 2014. ANN GILBERT
We live in a 250-year-old restored house in very rural Con- necticut. David just retired from teaching at UConn, and we continue to run our own real estate company, specializing in the sale of antique houses. We are pretty serious peren- nial gardeners and occasionally hybridize daylilies—when we are not traveling for judging or pleasure! We bought our first Boxer in 1970. Stephanie began judging in 1982 and David in 1994. David heads the Standard Committee and was respon- sible for many of the changes implemented in the latest revi- sion of 2005. Stephanie has been Judges’ Education Chair for many years.
I live in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. I am currently still working for the Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole in Tul- sa, Oklahoma. I also enjoy reading and trav- eling (mostly to dog shows). I have had Box- ers in my life for over 50 years now. I started showing dogs in the early 70s. I became a provisional judge in 2008 and obtained by
I live in Acworth, Georgia. I am a retired Civil Engineer after 30 years working in Construction Manage- ment for the Corps of Engineers. I now enjoy retirement with my wife, Terry and enjoy watching sports. I have been in dogs for over 40 years, first as a limited breeder, then 16 years as a professional handler and as a judge since 1997. I have been
permanent status as a judge in 2009. My late husband, Herb and I began breeding Boxers nearly 48 years ago under the kennel name SARKEL. When it came time for a family dog the Boxer was the only consideration. To date over 31 champions have been presented to the fancy from our breeding program. I was a regular contributor to the Boxer Review in the mid 80s and early 90s and I have written two fictional books shar- ing my love and experience with the breed. I am an active member of the Boxer Club of Oklahoma and American Boxer Club, spending countless hours helping to promote our fabu- lous breed. In the future I hope to continue my dedication to our breed both in and outside the ring. Prior judging assign- ments include the Dallas Boxer Club Specialty, the Boomer Boxer Club Specialty, the Pikes Peak Boxer Club, the Cedar Valley Boxer Club, the Orange Coast Boxer Club, the Boxer Club of Arizona, the East Bay Boxer Club, the Allegheny Box- er Club and the Middlesex Boxer Club as well as assignments in New Zealand and Ireland. It has been both challenging and thrilling and perhaps the greatest honor to date was judging dogs at the 2013 ABC National. It was a breeder’s dream come true, to be in a ring surrounded by some of the very best of our breed. It has been a grand ride since I first sat in that 1967 Mustang with a Boxer puppy curled in my lap as Herb drove us home to those beautiful Colorado mountains.
involved in show dogs since 1970 when I started breeding and showing Boxers. I finished many Boxers out of my breed- ing with the Ber-Beu’s prefix and with my wife, terry, under the Dante’s prefix. I became a professional handler in 1978 and finished many Boxers until the end of 1993. I showed other breeds in Working, Hound, Sporting, Toy and Non- Sporting. However, my heart and devotion has always been with Boxers. I started judging in 1997 and have judged the American Boxer club national three times, American Boxer club regional; American Boxer club top 20; Boxer nationals in Mexico; Boxer nationals in Canada; Boxer national in Argenti- na; national and specialties in Brazil; as well as many special- ties throughout the united states. Throughout the US, I have judged specialties in other breeds, all breed and rare breed shows. I currently judge the Sporting, Hound and Working groups as well as Juniors and Best in Show.
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WITH DAVID AND STEPHANIE ABRAHAM, ALBERTO BERRIOS, HOWARD ENGEL, ANN GILBERT, THOMAS J LATTA, JANET AND LARRY SINCLAIR, SHARON K. STECKLER & JUDITH VORAN
THOMAS J LATTA
of Boxers for 55 years. In the early sixties, we purchased a female Boxer as a pet. We then became active in the Spo- kane Boxer Club where a member offered us a show potential Boxer on a co-ownership. This led to the beginning of being breeders, owners and handlers of Boxers. In the mid seven- ties, Larry became an AKC Licensed All Breed Professional Handler where he specialized in Boxers. In addition to assist- ing with all facets of showing Boxers, Janet was a Kindergar- ten Teacher. We retired from professional handling in 1998 and applied for judging. In addition to Boxers, we are each approved to judge three groups plus Best in Show. SHARON STECKLER
I live in Corder, Missouri. My wife Carol (who also judges Boxers) and I own a property management/real estate office. We also travel and vaca- tion as often as we can, with St. Croix USVI being one of our favorite spots. I’ve been showing dogs for 20 years and judging for 6 years. We started out as many others do with a Boxer as a
pet. Her name was “Brande”, and though she was certainly no show dog, she introduced us to a breed without equal in terms of companionship, fun and enjoyment! A couple years later we purchased male and female littermates from Pam Savoye of Omaha, Nebraska, both of which completed their championships. Seventeen of our Boxers have acquired their AKC Championships, two of which also earned their CKC Championships. Eleven of those were “home-bred”, but we have had the pleasure and opportunity to raise each and every one of our champions in our own home and adjoin- ing hobby kennel in Corder, Missouri. Carol and I joined the Heart of America Boxer Club in 1998 and I have served on the Board of Directors for much of that time in addition to terms as both President and Vice-President. We joined the American Boxer Club in 1999 and I currently serve as the ABC Regional Coordinator and as a member of the Judges Education com- mittee. Since being approved to judge Boxers in May 2010 and Dobermans in November 2011, I have had the opportunity to judge numerous all breed and specialty shows, including my personal highlight in judging bitches, junior showmanship and intersex at our American Boxer Club National Specialty in May 2016. JANET & LARRY SINCLAIR
I am a “naturalized Texan” having been transplanted from the midwest when I was a child and now I live in Houston. In my life outside of dogs, I am an attorney and a CPA and serve as Executive Director of a non-profit organization providing free civil legal services to low-income residents in my area. I have been “in dogs” since 1969, when I acquired my first pure-
bred dog—a Maltese. My love affair with Boxers began in 1984, when we brought home Gretchen, an adorable fawn puppy with the blackest mask I’d ever seen. When Gretchen was old enough, she producing a litter of six gorgeous fawn Boxers. We kept what we thought was the best one and he became our first champion, Ch. Ronard’s Kaiser Marshall. I began showing Boxers in 1989 and have been judging Boxers since 2007. Boxers are the great joy of my life and have been so for the past thirty years. I have been blessed with won- derful companions, who also became champions of record. The fun and camaraderie of competition with my Boxers has been a source of happiness for me for many years and I have had the pleasure of breeding and finishing eleven champions, including a dam of merit. In 1988, I joined the Bluebonnet Boxer Club and in 1991, the American Boxer Club. Through those memberships, I have had the privilege of serving the breed and the fancy I’ve loved for a long time. I have served Bluebonnet Boxer Club in almost every office and committee and am presently serving the American Boxer Club as trea- surer and director. It is my honor to serve as a board member of the National Animal Interest Alliance. Several years ago, I founded the Houston Animal Welfare Coalition to fight local legislation that would have eroded our rights as animal own- ers and as everyone in the fancy knows, the battle continues to preserve our rights as animal owners. It has been my plea- sure to judge numerous specialty and all-breed shows, both domestic and internationally and I look forward toe seeing the young Boxers that will be the continuing foundation of
We have lived in Spokane, Wash- ington, all of our married life. In our younger years, we spent a lot of our extra time camping in our motor home, boating, fishing and hunting with our two children. Now we are still involved with family and our three grandchildren and participate in many of their activities. During January and February, we leave Spo- kane for the warmth of Lake Havasu, Arizona, where we can relax and
enjoy the outdoors. We have also taken cruises to Alaska and the Panama Canal. We have been involved in the world
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WITH DAVID AND STEPHANIE ABRAHAM, ALBERTO BERRIOS, HOWARD ENGEL, ANN GILBERT, THOMAS J LATTA, JANET AND LARRY SINCLAIR, SHARON K. STECKLER & JUDITH VORAN
our breed grow better in quality year after year. It was a dis- tinct privilege to join the AKC judging community almost 10 years ago and I am honored to have been selected to judge the 2017 American Boxer Club specialty. JUDITH VORAN My husband, Bruce, and I live in Strawberry, Arizona, at 6000 feet in the deep Ponderosa Forest of northern Arizo- na. The house was built 40+ years ago on a small acreage while we were professional educators working in the Metro- politan Phoenix area and was remodeled some 17 years ago. Currently, Bruce runs a “micro-farm” and I dabble in geneal- ogy and other techy-stuff. Bruce and I obtained our first reg- istered Beagle in 1972 and in 1980 became acquainted with a Boxer Club of Arizona member who shepherded us into the show world with one of her puppies that became one of our first AKC Champions. Other members of the BCOA helped us along with two beautiful bitches that became the founda- tion for a line of Boxers—Strawberry Boxers. Each produced a long line of American Boxer Club Dams and Sires of Merit. Each DOM or SOM descended generation after generation from American/Canadian Ch. Strawberry’s Caballero, SOM who finished his AKC Championship in 1983 under the guid- ance of the late Chuck Steele. We both are AKC approved judges. I began judging in 2002 and now judge the Working Group and Bruce began judging in 1990 and judge both the Working and Herding Groups as well as Best in Show, plus a number of other breeds.
J&LS: Our “must have” traits in the Boxer breed are as indicated in our standard. Square—Body in profile from front of forechest to rear upper thigh is equal to the top of the withers to the ground. Head—Harmonious propor- tions as listed in the standard plus an alert expression. Temperament—Should be animated with an outgoing personality but under control. Conditioning—Before entering the show ring, should be properly exercised and conditioned which enhances body weight, coat condition and temperament. SKS: Balance, squareness, substance and elegance. JV: Square, well-balanced and proportioned, well-propor- tioned headpiece, ease of reach and drive, medium-sized and with solid temperament. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? D&SA: There is too much elegance to the detriment of type as well as a lack of substance and forechest, straight shoulders and imbalance. AB: They are now taller than they used to be and have strayed from being medium sized. They have lost good shoulder layback, good forechest and good bone. Breed- ers like more length of leg since it shows a more elegant look, but some are too much. We are also losing the square look since I see slightly longer body proportions in many. AG: Boxers are getting too tall. Boxers are medium-sized, square dogs. I am also concerned about some that are fearful in the ring. The Boxer is a stand-your-ground dog and a spooked or frightened dog does not belong in the show ring—or in anyone’s breeding program. TJL: The Boxer is defined as a “medium, square” dog, but there has been a trend towards larger exhibits. Also, shoul- ders and angulation seldom meet the standard’s descrip- tion of a 90 degree angle, often creating a topline sloping in excess of the standard’s description of “gently sloping.” “SQUARE, SOUND, BEAUTIFUL HEAD; IMPECCABLE TEMPERAMENT ABOVE ALL ELSE.”
1. Describe the breed in three words. D&SA: Noble, intelligent and fun-loving.
AB: Square, head and balance. AG: Funny, loyal and beautiful. TJL: How about four words, from the Boxer standard— strength, agility, elegance and style! J&LS: Our three words to describe the Boxer are square, head and temperament. SKS: Square, balanced and substance. JV: Square, medium-sized/well chiseled and energetic. 2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? D&SA: Square, sound, beautiful head; impeccable tempera- ment above all else. AB: Type, correct head, medium size, square, proper combi- nation of substance and elegance, good front, good move- ment and good temperament. AG: Good temperament is always my first requirement on both the dogs I own and the dogs I judge. Being healthy and coming as close to the standard round out the top three requirements on my list. TJL: Proper head (it’s what defines the breed), proper movement (essential for fulfilling its purpose) and proper temperament.
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