All About White Boxers
When you picture a Boxer dog, you probably imagine a medium- to large-sized dog with a well-muscled body and a wrinkled face. In terms of the dog’s color, you probably see some shade of brown, perhaps with white markings on the chest or feet and black coloration on the face. While these are indeed the typical Boxer colorations, there is another color that many people do not associate with the Boxer breed – all white.
How Rare Are White Boxers?
The Boxer breed is known for its friendly personality and for its unmistakable wrinkled face. Boxers come in all different shades of tan and brown, sometimes with brindle markings and white patches on their chest and feet. Most Boxers have black or dark brown color on their faces as well. Though it is very common for Boxer dogs to have some white markings on their body, it is less common for them to be entirely white or mostly white in color. At one time it was common practice for Boxer breeders to cull white puppies because the lack of color was considered undesirable. Today, however, white Boxers are becoming more accepted, though there is still a great deal of controversy surrounding this particular coloration. Because white Boxers are not the typical standard for the breed, many people assume that all-white Boxers are rare. In reality, however, approximately 1 in 5 Boxer puppies is born white.
What do You Need to Know About White Boxers?
When you see an all-white Boxer your first thought may be that it must be an albino dog. While this is certainly possible, all-white color in Boxer dogs is usually the result of a genetic mutation and it can happen in other breeds as well (the Dalmatian is an example). Unfortunately, the same mutation that causes the all-white color in some Boxers is the same mutation that increases the dog’s risk for deafness. The genetic mutation that results in all-white color has the potential to cause deafness in white Boxers – this happens when the skin cells lining the ear canal lack pigment. Because most white Boxers simply have white hair, not hair that lacks all pigment (as is the case with albinism), only about 18% of white boxers are born deaf. Just because a white Boxer is deaf, however, doesn’t mean that it is any less intelligent – these dogs respond very well to alternative training methods including the use of hand signals. They can even learn to respond to sign language!
Perhaps the most important thing you should realize about all-white Boxers is that their atypical coloration doesn’t affect their temperament or personality. While there is a slight risk that an all-white Boxer will be deaf, these dogs have not been shown to exhibit any other color-related health problems and coat color does not affect personality. The only exception is that white-colored dogs are more prone to sunburn than dark-colored dogs, so be careful about keeping your white Boxer out in the sun for too long. Responsible breeding is the biggest factor in determining a Boxer’s temperament and personality – if two gentle and mild-mannered Boxers are bred together (regardless of their color), the puppies are very likely to have the same gentle temperament as their parents. Currently, white Boxers cannot be registered with the AKC but they can still be shown and they are just as wonderful as pets as their traditionally-colored counterparts.
In the same way that you wouldn’t make assumptions about a person based on the color of his or her skin, you shouldn’t make assumptions about a Boxer dog just because he is born with the atypical white coloration. White Boxers are just as friendly and lovable as the more traditional colorations and they are just as worthy of your love!