I came across this blog after writing the final draft for today’s post. I recommend checking it out since it is very pertinent.

In the beginning Man created the Boxer. He brought together the bullenbeiser and bulldog, choosing particular offspring to be the Adams and Eves and then encouraging inbreeding to create dogs that would breed true to the standard set forth by Man.

And Man said, “Let there be competitions to find the dog who best represents the Boxer breed based on his appearance, temperament and gait.”

And the Champion sire was desperately sought by reputable breeders to breed with prized bitches, producing hundreds of offspring in his lifetime.

The reputable breeders only bred their dogs and bitches to the very best, of course. And over the decades, those professional Boxer breeders produced some show quality and many pet quality Boxers. Those pet quality Boxers often found their way into the hands of BYBs.

The oldest dog breed registry in America, the AKC, developed a special way for professional breeders to prevent their pet quality puppies from contributing to the AKC gene pools: Limited Registration. So, new registration clubs popped up to provide record keeping and pedigree services, thereby helping BYBs to document the bloodlines of their litters and sell lots of puppies with papers for a quarter of the cost of reputable breeders.

But the reputable breeders continued in the tradition of their forefathers: only breeding to better the breed, taking care to choose only healthy, beautiful breeding stock…

So why do the best Boxer breeders have to test for ARVC and aortic stenosis? Why do they need to spend hundreds of dollars on hip x-rays and thyroid testing? What about the high incidence of cancer and the advent of juvenile renal failure? Shouldn’t the bloodlines of professional breeders be much healthier than those of BYBs?

The reason reputable breeders have to spend gobs of money today on health testing is because decades of breeding by reputable breeders has led to an increase in heart and hip conditions in the Boxer breed…to the point that now the only way to be a reputable breeder is to test for conditions correlated with AKC reputable breeding practices in the first place. It’s not as if reputable breeders ever breed their prized stock to BYB stock.

And now Boxer puppies from health tested parents and impressive pedigrees will cost anywhere from $1200 to $2500.

“But it’s worth it!” clamor the breed enthusiasts, “because you’ll save thousands of dollars by avoiding expensive health problems in the future.”

That’s assuming the owner will spend that kind of money on dysplasia surgeries or chemotherapy or echocardiograms. And there’s no guarantee that the $1500 puppy won’t develop a serious inherited condition–you only decrease the likelihood of it.

But let’s say you buy that pricey puppy because you want to reduce the likelihood of bad genes.

And then you neuter him.

Yes, you neutered your expensive, healthy puppy with good bloodlines. He is a decent representation of his breed (just not “show quality,” whatever the heck that means according to today’s judges), and he likely was free of the serious gene mutations that are plaguing his breed and now you have permanently removed him from the gene pool. Good job, genius.

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