Q: My name is Nicholas. I am 14 and I have a beautiful female boxer. I want to breed her. Where can I get a male for breeding?
-- N.S., cyberspace
A: Irresponsible back-yard breeders contribute big time to the pet overpopulation problem. These are people who may mean well but just breed a pet for "the experience," or because their dog is "so beautiful." Responsible breeders understand that breeding is a science. Increasingly, they are exceedingly careful about choosing the right partner for a dog based on genetics. Hit-or-miss breeding only contributes to the medical mess that already exists.
I realize, Nicholas, that you want the experience of having puppies. And most of the time, female dogs give birth without problems. Veterinary care isn't all that expensive. However, Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate. Sometimes, there are significant medical problems, and this could cost your parents a lot of money.
If you're serious about breeding, get involved in the dog show world by participating in junior handling (check out www.akc.org for information) to learn more about your breed. To find out about breeding the right way, contact your local boxer breed club, or attend a dog show and talk with boxer breeders.
Actually, your own dog would benefit medically if she were spayed. Spayed dogs, for example, are less likely to develop breast cancer or a life-threatening uterine infection.
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