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bu editorial

Virginia Zurflieh, editor

Virginia Zurflieh, editor

Moving the Boxer toward Y2K Compliance

As Bob Dylan said, "the times they are a’changing"....and never more quickly than now. Computer programmers are working frantically against time to eliminate the "Y2K bug" from their machines, and we in the Boxer fancy are going to have to work equally hard - and smart - to eliminate the "bugs" that, if ignored, will threaten the continued existence of our breed and the dog fancy in the Y2K and beyond.

The "health bug" is the first one that comes to mind. We are now breeding dogs in an age of "puppy lemon laws" and pet buyers who don’t hesitate to sue at the drop of a health defect. Far more important than that, we are breeding dogs in an age of almost miraculous technical and medical advances that promise to enable us in the not-too-distant future to check our puppies for hereditary defects via a simple blood test, and currently enable us to eliminate from our breeding programs dogs afflicted with any of several major hereditary health problems, such as SAS, hip dysplasia and, with less certainty, even Boxer Cardiomyopathy. The more informed buyers and breeders of the 21st Century will soon insist on that kind of testing, as well they should. The establishment of the ABC Boxer Health & Research Committee and the American Boxer Charitable Foundation are very positive signs that boxer breeders are beginning to address the health "bug" in earnest. More on this aspect of Y2K compliance below...

The second, and related, threat we will face (and are already facing) is the "PR bug." And lest anyone thinks that negative public relations is not a terrible threat to the continued existence of our breed and the dog fancy, just go to your local newspaper, TV station, and animal control agency for glaring evidence of the current anti-breeder/purebred dog atmosphere in this country, a direct result of publicity about the pet-overpopulation problem here. Or for reports - in living, blood-red color - about the animal rights activists’ anti-fur stance, which has now gained almost "mainstream" acceptance.

6 week old boxer litter

The major PR "bugs" in our breed are cosmetic surgery and white coat color. Those are the two points on which the general dog-loving public can legitimately call into question the Boxer breeder’s concern for animal welfare. However, considering that, despite opposition from the ABC board, 41% of the ABC membership voted recently to allow natural ears in the showring without penalty; AND that a respected longtime breeder, AKC judge, and current ABC board member recently suggested in a public forum that the ABC Code of Ethics be amended to allow for AKC Limited (non-breeding) Registration for white puppies, we are hopeful that the Boxer will be fully Y2K compliant on at least those two points within the next five years.

Step Right Up: FREE Ads in BU for Health-Tested Boxers!

As an incentive to health-testing, Pat and I are offering a FREE ad in every issue of BU for dogs who have been tested and found to be free of SAS and HD (both OFA and PennHip are acceptable), with normal thyroid and disclosure of numbers of PVCs from a Holter test. The Holter and thyroid test would have to be repeated on a yearly basis. Submission to BU of the current year’s results would entitle the dog or bitch to another year of FREE advertising! The ads will all be the same size - same format, and will include a picture of your dog. Personally, I hope we’re swamped!


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Bobtail Update
Aortic Stenosis
Handout on Boxer Heart Murmur
The UK Boxer
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
Musings & Idle Thoughts
How to Purchase a Show Prospect
Karla & Harpo

Editor: Virginia Zurflieh
Webmaster: Pat Mullen

Contact Virginia
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Last Revised: 04/22/00

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