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ALL ABOUT BOXERS: WORKING DOGS


– [Narrator] Dogumentary TV, producing the best breed documentaries. (optimistic music) – My name is Kathy Oaks and I’m here today to talk about my favorite breed
of dog and those are Boxers. I’ve only been involved with
Boxers for about nine years. I’ve been involved in
K-9s and working dogs for a little over 30 years. I started out with German
Shepherds, Malinois, Rottweilers, Dobermans. Initially my exposure to working dogs was through law enforcement. I became a police officer
in the late 80s, early 90s and I started working
with the K-9 officers. They were looking for
a volunteer initially to get into a bite suit
and they wanted a women because they thought sometimes their dogs really didn’t want to bite a female, and so that was something
they had requested of me. I got in the bite suit and started suiting up
for many of the dogs. So that’s where it began
and then later from there that became where I auditioned and put in to become a K-9 handler. Currently, I’m still licensed
with the state of Nevada for police dogs for patrol,
explosives, and narcotics. Later on in life I came across
a Boxer that was trained to do the same things that my German Shepherds
and Malinois were. And I just adored his
antics, his personality, and the fact that he was
capable of doing those things that I thought only my
working police dogs could do. For me, it’s just easier
to live with a large pack of Boxers than it is with,
say, a large pack of Shepherds. The fur, that’s a big part of it too. I tend to be a neat freak
and I’ve always found Boxers to be incredibly, meticulously clean dogs and easy to keep in a home
environment on the couch. With their antics and their behavior, they’ve just become my
absolute favorite breed. As far as the origin of Boxers, there’s several different theories. Some believe in the Bullenbeisser. From what I’ve been able to study and substantiate
scientifically and then also what I’ve been to able to just see in the
characteristics of the dog. I tend to lend my belief that the origin of the breed in the 1800s came from what we currently know as
the Old English Bulldog, which in those days were a
more streamlined dog with leg, but again with the flatter face, but not as many folds and
stuff as what we currently see, and also what we know of as the Spuds Mackenzie
dog or the Bull Terrier. And I believe that a perfect Boxer is a combination of these two dogs. So you have the top line,
you have the tail set, you have the angulation and
body type of a Bull Terrier, and you have the head
fixture of a combination between a Bull Terrier and a Bulldog. That is, in my opinion, what you have in the Boxer
breed today that we see. I don’t necessarily
dispute the Bullenbeisser, I’ve just not been able to
scientifically back that up. Some of my research and study has been not from necessarily Germany
where the information on the Bullenbeisser comes from. A lot of my background has been from all of Eastern Europe and from England and in studying them, I just
have not been able to see where this mythological dog, where they’re digging up bones of this dog and to make the connection back to that, often times we find in the
origin of any of our breeds is a lot of mythology. When they don’t know the answer, it just suddenly and they
create a story to go behind it. So for me, I see in my dogs the Bull Terrier and the Bulldog. I see the prey drive,
the tenacity, the antics, the energy of the terrier
and I see the aggression and the fierceness and the
fighting ability of the Bulldog and that’s what I see
in my modern day Boxer. The original working purpose of the Boxer after they were developed, I believe that they held a
lot work around the farm, around the household, also
for hunting and holding prey until the hunter could dispense with them. They maybe weren’t the
dog that chased them to the field, but they
were the dog that held it until the hunter arrived. I believe in the beginning of World War I they carried
messages behind enemy lines. With the development of World War II in the country of origin at this point, which was Germany, all dogs
had to serve a purpose. Otherwise, they weren’t fed
and they weren’t cared for. There were some caretakers of the breed that felt it was really important to preserve this animal
and so at that point the dogs became guard dogs and working dogs for the armies. Today’s modern Boxer is an
all-around working breed. They’re very biddable, they very much want to
please their owners. So any situation that you put them into, they will do well. I’ve known many that do
agility and dock diving and lure coursing and do fast cat running. There is also the common
practice throughout Europe, they are utilized for a sport, Schutzhund, IPO, or now
it’s renamed as IGP. So it’s very prevalent that the Boxers are involved in Schutzhund. It used to be that
Mondioring and French Ring were not allowed in Germany, the country of origin of the dogs, and so evidently that
has recently changed, and so I believe we’ll
start seeing more dogs in Mondioring and French Ring. As far as the ability of working Boxers to do law enforcement, it’s actually rather
common throughout Europe. I’ve seen many of ’em in
Belgium and France, Germany. So that is common, a little more accepted than
here in the United States. Although I do know of some
law enforcement agencies in the Wisconsin, Minnesota area that are utilizing Boxers
on a day-to-day basis. They have a long history of having many Boxers
with those agencies there. The Boxers, of course, like
many other working breeds have developed along the show
lines and the working lines. I don’t think either
one is exactly correct. I think in the best case
scenario you have a dog that meets the breeds standard that is correct confirmation-wise, form and function and also
has the drive and the ability, but like many working dogs,
that has indeed happened. You will find many beautiful Boxers that don’t have the drive
and prey and aggression that they were bred to have and you will see many working Boxers that don’t have the confirmation
that they should have. Again, the perfect scenario
is to combine both of those, having a dog that has
confirmation, beauty, ability to move and structure and hold up and also the prey drive and the aggression that the dogs were created to have. In my opinion , Boxers make
some of the best family pets for any type of situation. If you have little toddlers,
Boxers have an innate ability to sense when they need to be small and they need to be gentle. I’ve also had families where
individuals are handicapped or in wheelchairs, and again, Boxers have an innate
ability to pick up on that and to adapt themselves to that situation. So families with children, small children, teenage children, families that are active, of course, is wonderful. Boxers simply want to
be with their people. That’s one of the most
driving forces behind the dog, and they will adapt to anything in order to be near their
people at all times. Boxers, all in all, are
very healthy in my opinion. There are some difficulties that they’ve encountered over the years. Often times it has diverged genetically because some that have come to America and some in Europe face
different health challenges. One of the things my
predominant experiences is with European Boxers, and they struggle with subaortic stenosis which is a heart condition which can be a devastating diagnosis. However, it can be diagnosed very early and it can be handled with medication, and there is also spondylosis which is the fusion of the spine. There is also hip dysplasia, however, a lot of those things and
proper rearing and nutrition and keeping their weight can be mitigated as far as
their effects on the dog. In the American Boxers a little different health challenges, similar, but different. They tend to have a
heart arrhythmia problem which is ARVC and they also tend to suffer from degenerative myelopathy which is where the spinal
column shrinks over time and they have difficulty
utilizing their rear legs. So again, in any genetic pool, you tend to have these things occur. We are screening in both countries to eliminate that from our breeding pool, but all-in-all I would say
they’re a pretty healthy breed. The life expectancy, healthy,
active lifetime of a Boxer would be probably about,
on average, about 12 years. Some of the Americans I’ve
seen living 16, 17, 18 years, the American lines. But I would say your in for, it takes them a little time to mature. I would say you’re in for about a 10 year
active, nice life span. They’ll start slowing down
a little bit after 10. I have nine year old that still
likes to work and do things, and is very, very active,
and he’ll be 10 in September. I believe it’s critical and
important for any puppy, even Boxers, to have proper socialization when they’re very young. Boxers tend to come out of the womb as happy-go-lucky and very confident dogs, and very even-tempered,
not reactive and confident, but if they miss that
critical socialization period, you can develop a fearful dog. It’s important that they’re
exposed to loud sounds and they’re exposed to
unstable as far as footing and cans and bottles and noises that they would encounter
in every day life so that they’re not reactive, and when it comes as
well to obedience, again, this is a dog that the
greatest thing that they want is to be with their family
and with their people. They’re very smart and they
know whatever it is they need to do to be with that person
is what they’re gonna do. We call it being biddable, and Boxers are very biddable, very smart, and they take very well to obedience. The importance of crate training for me, as a competitor and a person, I travel to Europe with my dogs, it’s vitally important
that they learn that crates are a safe place and it’s
a place to calm themselves. I just flew in with a puppy from Germany and she was probably in
that crate for 16 hours. So with that they need to understand that it’s not a punishment thing, it’s very positive thing. I start crate training with my pups at about six weeks. First all together in a
crate and then I separate out the litter mates and stuff
and it’s very important. Also the owners that my
puppies would go to in time. It’s important that if they have to work that they can leave the dog
crated for the dog’s safety and so that the dog doesn’t get bored and get destructive while they’re at work for six, eight hours a day. So it’s a vital, vital
instrument that helps the dog just adapt to life around humans. I also find the potty training is relatively easy with Boxers. They tend to want to be clean, always. They tend to be a very clean dog. So, as far as the potty training, that just let it develop
at it’s natural course. Crate training is a little,
maybe a little more difficult. I usually start it with pups
very young like six weeks, but they don’t wanna be
away from their people. So often times when you
start crate training, they’ll give you many mournful howls and tell you of their dislike of it, but a slightly little
corrections and stuff and they understand
what’s required of ’em. I have four puppies or
four dogs with me today. They’re very young dogs, very early on in their training and stuff and so we’ve been working
with Oscar for a little while, and we’re gonna continue to do a little bit of
protection phase training today. The first dog is female
and her name is Eramus and she’s from Czech Republic in German. She’s a cross of Czech and German lines. So she is a working Boxer, and she is a very, very
fierce working dog, but she is probably the
most gentle, loving at home. The switch goes off and
she melds into your body and kisses and she’s just
a very gentle, loving soul. I have Mr. Bentley and he
is, again, Czech and German, and he’s a very dark Boxer with some white markings on him. He’s a young male and he is a character. He loves to do protection work and he loves to bite work. He’s very good with obedience
and he is just a goofball. Of my whole pack, he’s the
one pulling the antics. He’s the one that bites that other dogs on the heels so they’ll pull away from their food bowls so he
can go in and get the food. So, he’s got some pretty
interesting antics. Then I have a Spanish dog from Spain that is a fawn female
and her name is Kiki. She is ancient, ancient genetically. She’s been pretty much put in this area of Zaragoza, Spain and bred within there. So she doesn’t share any
of the modern pedigrees of many of the common
sires through Europe. So she’s a very ancient-looking dog, and she’s just an incredible young puppy. Early this is the first
training that she’s ever had, and she’s doing very well. And then if you want to see, I have my little Boxer, my
10 week old Boxer puppy. Her name is Grace and she
just flew in from Germany, so just literally got off the airplane, and she’s little 20 pounds of cuteness. There is no cuter puppy than
a Boxer puppy in my opinion. She has never done any bite
work or anything like that, just chased a little towel and rag, but she’s just adorable and so cute. As far as for me with
my future with Boxers, it’s only just beginning. I’ve spent probably the
last five or six years amassing genetic bloodlines
that I’ve studied. I believe I probably have
some of the strongest and best working lines
of Boxers in the world. My future is indeed to begin breeding the lines that I’ve amassed
over the last few years, and to continue in sport and competition. I have a large training facility that I’m getting ready
to open to the public. Indoor, of course, in
Nevada where it’s so hot we have to have an indoor facility where I’ll continue training my dogs and then setting up a
breeding and a kennel facility on a large residential property. So for me Boxers are
going to be, probably, the rest of my life. I adore the breed. I believe that they’re at a crucial point in their development, that they need someone to spearhead and to champion the breed and to preserve those wonderful things that we all fell in love with. ♪ Don’t really break too
easily, but I’m worth it ♪ ♪ ‘Cause I’ll slip into
your dreams tonight, oh ♪ ♪ So gimme, so gimme your all ♪ ♪ I’ll take it, I’ll take it to Mars, oh ♪ ♪ I’ll stick right
through inside your mind ♪ ♪ Just watch me break in your sweat ♪ ♪ You’re falling into me, touch me ♪

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