Maryland Boxer Breeder Referral
& Buying A Boxer Puppy
Maryland Boxer Club Breeder Referral Contact: Bobbi Compton E-Mail

Thank you for your interest in a Boxer!  This is a generic response to those of you inquiring about puppies.  It’s a lot to type each time so I’ve finally gotten around to putting it down and saving it.   

As you’ve probably discovered by now, boxer puppies (and no doubt all well-bred puppies) have become very expensive.  For those of you buying a second or third boxer, you’ll probably have heart failure.  But a well-bred puppy in the Baltimore Washington area will cost between $2500 and $3500. 

Of course, you’re wondering why a tiny dog can possibly cost that much.  I’ll try to answer that for you.  Good breeders try to breed the healthiest dog that they possibly can and that involves a good deal of health testing prior to breeding.  That health testing comes with a high price tag!!!  As most of you know from experience with your own boxer or from your research into breeds, boxers are prone to several health issues.  The first is cancer and sadly, we’ve made little progress in that area.  I think cancer takes more of our dogs than anything else.  The second issue is a heart issue, specifically ARVC, and in this area, we’ve really made huge strides.  For the last fifteen years or more, all responsible breeders have been holtering their breeding stock and breeding only those dogs with good results.  In the past few years, we’ve seen far fewer dogs dying at young ages with no warning at all.  And the treatment for ARVC is much improved so the dogs who are affected are living much longer and happier lives.  Another heart problem is SAS or Subaortic Stenosis.  Again testing has lessened the incidence dramatically.  The third major issue is DM or Degenerative Myelopathy.  This is a neurological disease in which the dog gradually loses the use of his rear.  There is no pain at all for the dog but a great deal of pain for the owners watching the dog.  The dog usually must be put down because of incontinence or because physically he can no longer be taken in and out, etc.  It’s very hard to put down a dog who is happy, eating and wagging his tail.

I realize that’s a lot of doom and gloom but we really have made inroads into these diseases.  You MUST ask every breeder for the results of these three tests on the parents and possibly on the puppies.  Do not accept the breeder’s word but ask for hard copies of the following:

  1.  A 24-hour Holter monitor test.  This test should be done every year on breeding stock since the test is only valid for the day it’s given and results can vary greatly.  Ideally, both parents should have fewer than 50 irregular beats in 24 hours.  This test is for the parents.

  2. An echocardiogram.  This test will rule out SAS and need only be done on the parents once.  The acceptable flow rate is now 2.5 but lower is better, preferably under 1.8.

  3. A test for DM should be done on both parents.  Depending on the results of the parents, there may be no need to test the puppies.  However, if the puppy result is not predetermined, the puppies should be tested.  A dog or puppy is either clear (no copies of the defect), a carrier (one copy), or at risk (two copies).  A clear dog will never develop DM nor will he pass it on.  A carrier will never develop the symptoms of DM but can pass it on.  An “at risk” dog MAY develop the disease but may not.  This test appears to be holding up well in telling us what to expect.  And researchers say they’re very close to a vaccine for the at risk dogs. 

In closing, I want to say that buying from a reputable breeder increases your chances of a healthy puppy but sadly, cannot be a guarantee. A puppy is a living organism and can’t be compared to buying a new car.  Please know that we are all trying our best to produce a healthy boxer but it doesn’t always work out as we’d like.

Although they usually don’t have puppies, you may also want to consider adopting a boxer from Boxer Rescue.  Following are three the Boxer Rescue contacts in your area:

1) In Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and surrounding states, contact Adopt A Boxer Rescue.  Please visit the Adopt A Boxer Rescue website to see the available boxers and to fill out an online application located at their Website

2) In Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, DC contact Boxer Rescue & Adoption, Inc., Dianne Spessard who is in Reston, VA at their Website or E-Mail

1) In Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, DC, and New Jersey, contact Boxer Transfer Network.  Please visit the Boxer Transfer Network website to see the available boxers and to fill out an online application located at their Website



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