This page was created to share information with boxer enthusiasts, and fans of our kennel who want to know more about the breed and the inner workings of our breeding program.
Why does Champ des Legendes keep tails on some of their boxers, and some are docked?
We have been keeping our dogs natural since 2001. We regard the tails on our boxers as a symbol of prestige and it marks their working heritage.
Historically, the boxer was created to be a working guard dog. The original breeders wanted to create a dog that could compete against the ever popular shepherd breeds of the time. Hence, the cropped ears. Upright ears were thought to increase hearing and alertness at the time. Honestly, I believe the first boxer breeders wanted to differentiate their new creation from their bulldog cousin as much as possible. The boxer tails were also docked at the time to separate themselves from their bulldog cousin.
Again, I also believe it was due to early boxers being born with kinks in their tales, which was another unwanted bulldog trait, since a white bulldog with a kinked tail was used as the boxers' foundation breed.
In the case of our boxers, we raise and train our dogs in many working dog sports. These sports involve a variety of explosive and high impact exercises or behaviors. These vigorous activities take their toll on the dogs' body, mainly the spine. Leading to calcium build-up in the lower vertebrates or lower lumbar region as the dog matures past middle age. We have seen many of dogs of the past, suffer from what veterinarians would simply describe as arthritis onset in elderly dogs
After years of contemplating a solution, I experimented with keeping the tails on my working dog prospects, and in time, I realized that the tails solved our dog's arthritis issue.
Since docking our tails we have seen 100% of our dogs remaining free of calcium build up in their lower vertebrates at an elderly age. I am to see many other North American boxer breeders following our trend of keeping the boxer natural.
As for some of our docked boxers, from time to time we may have a puppy born with a kink in their tail. This may be a hindrance as the puppy matures, having a tail that doesn't wag correctly or naturally. In those rare cases, I dock the puppy at 2 to 3 days of age.
Guzza du Champ des Legendes at 18months. Top
Ganesh du Champ des Legendes at 5 months doing protection work. Below.
There are pictures of dogs biting rags and doing protection work, what is that all about?
Yes, seeing pictures of boxers doing protection work can look very intimidating, but the training is necessary to maintain the breed's temperament. Boxer breeders need to understand working drives, especially when they are breeding dogs that are classified as a working breed, under the American Kennel Club breed description, such as the boxer is. Unfortunately, many breeders do not work their boxers, in turn, doing an injustice to the breed.
The history of man and dog was built on the premise of service and dedication. I breed to maintain the beautiful bond we have with our working dogs. My boxers are not only my best friends but they also serve as working companions that guard my home and family. To preserve the breed's working traits, they must be developed and then breeding pairs must be selected to keep these traits within in the bloodline.
In the United States, boxer breeders traditionally breed for AKC conformation (beauty) shows. In these shows, any sign of dominance in the way of growling, or challenging another dog or judge, will result in the dog's expulsion from the show. Naturally, show breeders will not breed these individual dogs, opting more for a stranger friendly, softer, dog. In time, the show lines tend to be more Bichon-like, then what a true boxer is suppose to be. The American show ring has been criticized for the demise of working temperament in many working and hunting breeds over the years. The reason is that show breeders put more emphasis on the dog's look rather than having a strong character and temperament.
For over 25 years I have been showing, competing, and training in working dog sports that include tracking, agility, and protection phases in order to properly select dogs for my breeding program. I personally have trained many other breeds for police work, and a variety of dog sports which has given me a distinct advantage in insight when choosing and testing my boxers for future breedings. A boxer to me is the ultimate canine athlete, and when bred correctly, has no equal among other working breeds.
What is the purpose of puppies being in a pose, or being stacked for pictures?
We take pictures of puppies in "stacked" pose to see their proportions and lines. A puppy's dimensions or proportions at 8 weeks of age is a tell tale sign of what they will grow into at maturity. These photos are a vital tool for assessment.
We also enjoy showing off our dogs and sharing these pictures with boxer enthusiasts as well as our boxer fans around the World.
ISLA du Champ des Legendes (pictured above)
You can see the balance between the length and the height at the shoulder of the pups, this gives the boxer its boxed shape that they are named after, as well as the boxed head type we produce. You want a nice powerful neck that raises the head over the shoulders, with a deep chest that is slightly deeper than the elbow. As all of these features come together, they give our puppies a very sturdy, and aesthetically pleasing look.
This is why we take these pictures.
Why don't you crop your boxers' ears?
Do you test for DM in your boxers?
Our dogs are not tested for DM (Degenerative Myelopathy), simply because we don't breed dogs with DM. Every year, the medical community comes with more tests for the ever increasing diseases in dogs. In truth, many of these diseases have cropped up in recent years due to poor breeding practices and people looking to make a quick buck. I have owned every dog to their late years, I have never seen DM. They only way to have DM is to breed DM, which is not something we practice. What we do practice is breeding excellent dogs to excellent dogs, which is seen by the titles and awards that we have won and continue to win in a variety of canine disciplines.
Ultimately DM is a result of breeders who don't understand or have limited knowledge of their pedigrees or the individual dogs they are using in their breeding program. Therefore in that case, they should test for DM.
Pair Selection for Breeding
All breedings are planned years in advance. This is why there is so much excitement around every litter we produce. Our dogs are selected by pedigree, temperament and conformation. We take great care of meticulously scrutinizing our pups to select the best for breeding. Our selection process starts at birth, you can see the raw genetics at play. From that time on, we may keep back or monitor prospects until they mature. Maturity may take up to 3 years for some dogs. We take great pride in every pup we produce and do not cut corners when selecting pair.
On average, our females are bred twice in their lives. The genetic possibilities are endless yet we are limited to only 6 or 8 offspring per litter. Her first breeding is usually done to what we feel is the best candidate for the overall achievement of our goals. The second breeding may be done to another excellent candidate, to widen our gene pool and give us more genetic variety in the years ahead but with always maintaining the same goals.
"My Last Dog Died of Cancer, Do You Have Cancer in Your Bloodlines?"
All living organisms degenerate, that is basically what cancer is. This condition can be triggered prematurely by the influencing of the genes with a poor diet (bagged dry commercial foods) or it come through the environment (over vaccinating plus altering is one factor).
Our dogs live very natural lives, feeding them raw meats made of veggies/fruit and a variety of species; chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, goat, rabbit, bison, etc. In other words we feed more of an ancestral diet. This combined with limited vaccinations and keeping them unaltered ensures a long healthy life free of Cancer.