Frequently Asked Questions

Breeder Ethics and Control

How can we be sure white Boxers won’t be bred irresponsibly?

How far-reaching is a Code of Ethics?

One of the common objections to changing a Code of Ethics is the effect it will have on breeders who aren’t members of the breed clubs. The vast majority of the time this is a moot point; non-member breeders generally ignore the Code of Ethics anyway. 

Questions and Answers


How can we prevent people from breeding white to flashy or white to white?

The proposed revision to the Code of Ethics includes the following language:

Boxers with more than 1/3 white markings shall be bred only to plain Boxers. DNA testing at the S locus is recommended in situations where the genetic makeup of the dog is not clear.

This will apply to ABC members and members of ABC member Boxer clubs. Non-member breeders will not be constrained by this restriction, but they aren’t constrained by it currently, either.


How can we make sure the white Boxers are fully health tested?

The same way we can make sure that fawn and brindle Boxers used in breeding programs are fully health tested. The proposed revision also discusses testing for deafness, among the other recommended health screens.


Will ABC allowing whites to be bred increase the number of non-members who breed whites?

It’s unlikely. Again, non-members have always been able to breed whites. Allowing members to utilize whites may actually decrease the number of non-members breeding whites, because there will be less novelty to a litter with a white parent. We saw a similar result after the COE was changed so that breeders were allowed to place white puppies in homes — the number of “rare white Boxer” puppies for sale decreased exponentially.


Will the next thing be wanting white Boxers shown?

This proposal is purely about allowing breeders to utilize the best puppies in their litters, regardless of color or marking pattern. There are no plans springing off of this to allow white Boxers to be shown.

That said, if enough ABC members are interested in showing white Boxers, they might in the future develop a similar proposal and petition drive. Showing whites would involve a change to the breed standard, rather than the Code of Ethics, but the process for changing both documents is the same. Either involves a vote of the entire ABC membership.


Will breeders using two colored parents be held to the same standards as those who use a white parent?

Of course. The entire point is that white Boxers have the same genetic potential as their colored littermates. Breeding standards should be the same no matter what color the parents are or how  they’re marked.