12 months is the minimum permissable age for breeding under English Kennel Club rules ; However, I personally believe that a boxer bitch is not mature enough to be mated until at least 18months - 2 years of age. Make sure your bitch and the stud dog of your choosing have had all necessary health checks PRIOR to mating. In the UK we specifically heart test boxers, this can only be done by a Cardiologist, vet testing is not sufficient.
Are you prepared to take time off work should any complications arise? Are you aware that the possibility exists that you may lose your bitch? If homes can't be found as soon as would be liked are you prepared to keep the puppies? Are you prepared to take back a puppy or help to re-home it should the need arise in the future?
If you cannot answer yes to the above questions then rethink your decision, there are all ready too many animals in our shelters.
The first being that white pups are the result of poor breeding. If you ever hear it said that certain dogs never throw back whites in litters sired by them, don't believe it!! This is not true!! Any dog no matter how good his pedigree, can, and most likely will at some time, sire white pups. If a flashy male is mated to a flashy female then the statistics for whites per litter are actually quite high, sometimes as high as 25% of the litter. This has nothing to do with poor breeding, and everything to do with genetics. Whilst not desirable in the show ring, the white boxer is no less a boxer than a brindle or a red, although the chances of deafness are a lot higher it does not affect all whites. However even if not affected by hearing problems a white boxer should never be bred from as the risk is greatly increased of deafness being passed on to their offspring. Never buy from anybody advertising their pups as 'rare whites'. They are obviously out to make money and have little regard for the quality of the dogs they produce. Quality and temperament should be the things a breeder aims for.
Another misconception is that certain males have 'dominant' genes, implying that they will pass on all of their good traits to their offspring regardless of the possible bad points of the bitch. Again this isn't true. No matter how great the male is, if he is only mated to a mediocre bitch he will only produce mediocre pups. Both dog and bitch give 50/50 towards the make-up of a pup. However if a male carries good qualities, that are proven in the lines he was bred from then the chances are high that he will also pass on these qualities to his offspring as would the bitch.
Should you breed from your
bitch? This is the time when you have to look at your bitch not as the family pet that you
love, but as the possible Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother etc. of a line of Boxers
that may continue long after her lifespan.
Now that you are happy that
your Bitch is of sound quality and temperament, the next stage to concern yourself with is
the choosing of the right stud dog.
During the first four
weeks of pregnancy you will notice little change in your bitch. She may seem quieter, and
some people say they see morning sickness (If your bitch is continually vomiting however,
take her STRAIGHT to the vet). But physical changes don't occur at this early stage.
Okay so the
day has finally come! Your bitch will want you with her during this time for reassurance.
She should be kept quiet, with no disturbance and as few people as possible around her. If
she shows signs of labour without producing any pups within an hour or so then let her
outside to walk around, this can help labour progress. If labour continues for more than 3
hours with no results , or your bitch seems to be straining without being able to produce
a pup, then call your vet for advice.