How to Breed Boxers for Certain Markings

A flashy fawn boxer puppy
A flashy fawn boxer puppy (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Boxers are short-haired, medium-sized, square dogs that belong to the American Kennel Club Working Group. The boxer's coat can be fawn, a solid red or tan color, or brindle, which refers to black stripes over a fawn coat. Brindle occurs in varying degrees, from light striping to almost solid black. The boxer does not possess the gene for a solid black coat, however. Boxers also can have white markings covering some or all of their body. Boxers that are mostly white might also be deaf; worldwide boxer clubs prohibit their members from breeding white boxers.

Things You'll Need

  • Health-tested male boxer
  • Health-tested female boxer

Determine which colors and markings you want to produce. Responsible breeders consider health and temperament the most important considerations, but many people do prefer certain colors and markings.

Breed fawn to fawn if you want to have all fawn puppies. Fawn is a recessive gene, meaning a fawn dog must have two copies and can only pass on a fawn gene to its offspring.

Breed brindle to fawn or brindle to brindle if you want the chance of brindle and fawn puppies. Brindle is a dominant gene, so a dog only needs one gene to be brindle. A brindle dog might have one brindle gene and one fawn gene, or two brindle genes. If both parents contribute a fawn gene, the puppy will be fawn, but if one contributes a brindle gene, regardless of what the other gene is, the puppy will be brindle.

Breed plain to plain to produce dogs with minimal white markings. All boxers have a black mask, though part or all of it may be concealed by white markings. A plain boxer does not have the gene for white markings, but could still have white toes, a white chest and belly, and sometimes a splash of white on the face.

Breed flashy to plain or flashy to flashy to produce some plain puppies and some flashy puppies. Flashy boxers have one white marking gene; the flash, or white markings, may extend partway up the legs, onto or around the neck, and onto the face. Breeding flashy to plain produces 50 percent plain dogs and 50 percent flashy dogs. Breeding flashy to flashy produces 25 percent plain dogs, 50 percent flashy dogs, and 25 percent white dogs. White dogs have two copies of the white marking gene, and are predominantly white, sometimes with patches of fawn or brindle coloring.

Tips & Warnings

  • Unfortunately, heart problems such as aortic stenosis and boxer cardiomyopathy are common in the breed and may lead to sudden early death. Responsible breeders screen for heart and other health issues before breeding their boxers to minimize the chances of producing affected puppies.

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