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 eitherwhite 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