Information on White Boxers


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 its siblings, with all the energy, personality, and spirit that make them boxers.

White Boxers are not albinos. Albinos completely lack pigment. This is evidenced by pink eyes, and a complete lack of color anywhere on the body. 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.

According to the American Boxer Club "Approximately twenty-five percent (and this is an estimation as exact records have not been maintained) of all Boxer puppies are either
white or almost all white, making white puppies neither 'rare' nor 'unusual.'" Since the white coat color is recessive, both parents need to be carriers of the gene that creates white offspring. The boxer breed standard stipulates that two-thirds of the body be either fawn or brindle in color. Because of this limitation, white boxers do not meet the breed standard and are therefore frequently euthanized at birth. 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 actively discourage this behavior but it does allow white Boxers to be registered with the AKC on limited privilege.

The problem is that many local breed clubs have not adopted this same philosophy and still have by-laws calling for the euthanization of any white offspring. It is for this reason that
there is much controversy over white Boxers with no end in site. 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. It is for the same reason that there is inadequate research to either substantiate or dissuade the claims that white Boxers are more prone to problems than standard boxers. The only claims that seem to have merit is that white 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. They may also experience blindness. None of these reasons provides a compelling argument for the necessary destruction of these animals.



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