The Truth behind the White BoxerThe white Boxer now makes up 25% of all Boxers within the United States and there are still many misconceptions about this color of Boxer. Every week when viewing the classified ads of the local paper I see at least one breeder offering Boxer puppies that mentions that they have a few “Rare” white Boxer puppies. This article was written to educate potential Boxer owners about the White Boxer.
Although the color of a Boxer does not determine its’ individual personality or all those Boxer traits we love, much has been published about the White Boxer. In many cases they are listed as rare, but the fact is that they have been a part of the breed as long as the Boxer breed has been around. Although theories differ on how the white gene was introduced, many believe it is due to the early cross breeding with the English Bulldog, although the White Boxer existed before the time the breeds were mixed. Originally the Boxer is believed to have been white in color and could be registered in Germany until 1925.
A problem arose with the white color due to the Boxer being used as a police dog. Naturally the white color compromised the breeds ability to not be seen at night. In 1925 the white Boxer was no longer eligible for registration in Germany to help rule out the white gene. This led to many breeders killing any puppies of the white color and is where a lot of debate about the white Boxer begins.
Many people today believe that the white Boxer is an albino, which it is not. An albino is an animal that has no pigment whereas the white Boxer’s coat is simply white and the animal does not lack pigment. For this reason the white Boxer is not more susceptible to diseases that occur within albino animals than other Boxers are.
The white Boxer is not recognized in the show arena today. According to the AKC Guidelines a Boxer may be a color of fawn or brindle with white markings. Any Boxer with more than 1/3 of their body containing white markings is a disqualification. Although the white Boxer may not be shown, it can be registered with the AKC and compete in sporting events. There has been some debate of late in regards to if the white Boxer should be allowed to show. When discussing this issue the main point to remember is that a show animal should confirm to the breeds’ original intention, even if the breed is not used for working in today’s society.
One main issue when considering a white Boxer is of health concern. Contrary to popular belief no clear evidence has been presented showing the white Boxer is more susceptible to diseases. The one area of health, which occurs highly in the white Boxer, is deafness. This can be a major obstacle, but one that can be handled and by no means should discourage one from choosing a white Boxer.
It is a positive sign though that an increasing number of breeders are electing to place their non-standard boxers in pet homes rather than destroying them. Boxers are more likely to sunburn and white Boxers (like many other breeds with similar loss of pigment problems) are more prone to deafness in one or both ears. Neither of these reasons provides a compelling argument for the necessary destruction of these animals.
White Boxers are not caused by genetic birth defects. Just as human hair color is the product of the combined genetics of the human parents so too is the color of a Boxer's coat a product of the genetics contributed by both the father and mother. The exclusively white coat is created when both the mother and father are carriers of the gene that makes up the white coat and the offspring inherits the white coat gene from both the father and the mother. In every way the puppy is the same as all of it's siblings, with all the energy, personality, and spirit that make them boxers.
White Boxers are not albinos. Albinos completely lack pigment.. Most white boxers have some spots on their skin (which can be seen due to their short white coats) and have some markings around their nose and mouth. Some white boxers have colored markings in their coat (brown spots around an eye or on the back etc). All white boxers have pigment in their eyes, this alone rules out albinism as the cause of their whiteness.
Many breeders feel that white Boxers are inferior to standard colored Boxers and have more health problems that standard colored boxers and therefore this genocide is easily dismissed. The American Boxer Club does not activly discourage this behavior but it does allow white Boxers to be registered with the AKC on limited privilege.
The AKC will register any puppy, regardless of color, as long as both parents are registered---unless there is a contract signed by the breeder and purchaser of the puppy to the effect that the animal is not to be registered by the AKC.
There are many white Boxer resources available online by searching for “white boxer” in any popular search engine. Due to inconsistencies about the white Boxer I urge you to find a variety of resources before determining if the white Boxer is for your family. The main point to remember about the white Boxer is that they are still a Boxer and can provide an overwhelming amount of love and caring to their family.