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Promoting Beautiful, Healthy Boxers


Federal Law requires that registration papers, transferred to the new owner, must be provided at no extra charge.
This applies to all purebred dogs in Canada.

 

The Northern Ontario Boxer Club has compiled these articles for your information. We hope they help you. More will be forthcoming as we have time.

If there is a topic you would like to see addressed here or if you have an article to contribute please contact
NOBC c/o Webmaster
Characteristics

Boxer Characteristics

The Boxer’s desire for affection is his strongest trait. Boxers combine the outstanding virtues of many with the faults of few. His distinctive appearance, and keen intelligence is combined with an even temperament that you can trust. These virtues alone are priceless if he is to be part of a family - and he should be. For anyone young or old who wants an all round dog he has no equal.

The Boxer offers something to each person he meets and can warm the hearts of even those determined not to like him - astonishing but true.

The head imparts to the Boxer a unique individual stamp peculiar to him alone. One of the delightful qualities that sets the Boxer apart is the mobility of his expressive face. The skin furrowing of the forehead, the dark soulful eyes and sometimes almost human attempts to converse make his replacement by another breed difficult for one who has once owned a Boxer.

The Boxer alone combines the strength of the Bulldog and the agility of the Terrier. He can run, jump and frolic with the best. He fairly bubbles with cheerfulness and the joy of life. He will greet you as joyfully after an hour’s absence as he would were you gone a week. Yet he also loves a quiet evening by the fire.

The Boxer’s tolerance of children is equaled only by his love for them, yet he ranks among the greatest of protection dogs. His judgment is far more reliable than most and he has a natural talent for sensing serious situations. Boxers thrive on love and attention, giving their all in return.

Please remember that owning a dog is a privilege and a responsibility. It is up to us all to ensure that we don’t abuse this privilege lest it be denied us in the future. We must realize our responsibilities and not neglect them.

Every living thing has the God given right to expect the same love and care that you expect for yourself.

Responsibilities

Responsibilities

Federal Law requires that registration papers, transferred to the new owner, must be provided at no extra charge. This applies to all purebred dogs in Canada.

The Breeder Should:

  • Discuss the breed fully with you to determine if a Boxer is right for you.
  • Furnish you with a Canadian Kennel Club certificate of registration, within six months of purchase, on which is recorded the change of ownership.
  • Provide you with a certificate of vaccination showing the date and type of shots given.
  • Provide you with information on diet and feeding schedule for your pup. When and with what your pup has been wormed.
  • Furnish you with a pedigree (Family Tree) for your pup.
  • Be available to answer questions and give you support before & after the sale of the pup. Your breeder is an invaluable source of breed specific information.
  • Give you a written contract stating any guarantees that apply.
  • Furnish you with a healthy well socialized puppy.

The Buyer Should:

  • Be aware of the responsibilities of owning a dog and be prepared to take a Boxer into their home as one of the family.
  • Research the breed by reading books and speaking with breeders.
  • Avoid impulse buying and be prepared to wait for a litter from a reputable breeder.
  • Follow the advise of their breeder as to care of their Boxer.
  • Be prepared to sign a non-breeding agreement if you are purchasing a pet.
Find Reputable Breeder

Finding a Responsible Breeder
Want a loyal friend? Buy a BOXER from a REPUTABLE Breeder..


By definition, a breeder is anyone who arranges a mating between a male and a female dog. That definition covers a lot of territory, so how can potential puppy buyers know whether they are dealing with a responsible, reputable breeder or simply a “backyard” breeder? You don’t have to be a detective to pick up on the clues. Here are a few:

A Responsible Breeder (RB)

Wants to know all about you and your plans for a pup. A RB will ask if your yard is fenced, if anyone in the family has allergies, if you are planning a move any time soon, if you have children , and so on. They may even ask you to fill out a questionnaire for their files. They are not prying: they are just trying to ensure that their precious, carefully raised pups are going to the right home. If they don’t believe you are the right person for their breed, they may refuse to sell you a pup.

 

A Backyard Breeder (BYB)

Is happy to take your money and hand over the pup, in that order. No questions asked.


A Responsible Breeder

Will provide proof of registration. If the pup’s registration is “still in the works”, the RB will show you the litter registration and/or the dam and sire’s registration certificates.

 

A Backyard Breeder

Will insist that the pups are purebred but “we didn’t bother with papers.” Or a BYB might tell you that registrations are available “but you’ll have to pay extra for them.” (That’s illegal)

A Responsible Breeder

Has put a lot of time and thought into producing this litter. She/he may have shipped or driven the female halfway across the country to be bred to the stud dog that seemed the perfect match. The RB will have the female checked for whatever health clearances are appropriate for the breed, such as ex-raying for hip dysplasia, testing for von Willebrand’s disease or clearances for heart and eye problems, and will be happy to share the results with you. The RB will also have verified that the stud dog underwent similar testing and is clear of known hereditary problems.

A Backyard Breeder

Probably bred to the closest dog of his breed, ignoring the fact that the female is excessively shy, and the male is a fear biter. A BYB is rarely able to discuss the dogs in the pups’ pedigree or their genetic makeup. Health clearances for the parents are probably limited to yearly rabies shots.

A Responsible Breeder

Will provide you with a health record of the pups’ shots, wormings, veterinary examinations, etc. The RB will often offer health guarantees, including replacement if your pup is found to have any serious genetic fault.

A Backyard Breeder May provide proof of shots - or not. The BYB will not offer any health guarantee and may not even know about genetic problems in the breed.


A Responsible Breeder

Will provide you with a pedigree, written information on the breed, details on feeding, plus hints and tips on raising your pup. The RB will probably present a reading list of books about the breed and recommend books on training. The RB may also offer membership applications (or newsletter) for national and/or local breed clubs to help you learn more about the breed. The RB loves the breed and will happily talk about dogs while hauling out photos, scrapbooks and videos.

 

A Backyard Breeder

Knows little, if anything, about the breed or the puppy’s ancestry. The BYB has rarely read any books about the breed and has possibly never indulged in any training. More than likely, the BYB does not belong to any breed clubs.

A Responsible Breeder

Will be pleased to introduce you to the pups’ mother and, quite possibly, other relatives as well. This will probably not be the RB’s first litter, but neither will it be one of many litters produced in a relatively short time span. The RB does not breed pups to make mortgage money and is dedicated to producing healthy, well-adjusted puppies that are good examples of the breed.

 

A Backyard Breeder

May not want you to see the mother of the litter (“She is a bit shy”). This may be the first litter bred by the BYB, and it may have been produced “to make back the money we’ve spent on feeding her,” “because it would be fun for the kids”, or “because we thought it would calm her down to have a litter.” If the pups sell quickly and the venture is profitable, the BYB may decide to breed again - and again.

A Responsible Breeder

Has a continuing interest in the pups. The RB is always ready to answer questions and help with advice when needed. The RB may become a mentor for those interested in canine-related activities such as showing, herding, agility, flyball or sledding. If the owner is unable to keep the dog for any reason, the RB will take it back or find it a new home.

 

A Backyard Breeder

Will probably not have the experience or background knowledge to answer questions and may not wish to be bothered. Once a pup is sold, the BYB wants nothing more to do with it.

Being a Breeder

How Do You Earn the Title "Breeder"
by Sharon Simpson

How do you earn the title "breeder"? I don’t mean the term as it is used on a registration certificate or entry form. When I refer to someone as a breeder, I consider that person to be knowledgeable about their breed, but there are other qualities which I feel must also be present in order to qualify for the title.

First of all, you have to have paid your dues. By this I mean you have been around long enough to have experienced the ups and downs of the dog world - you’ve had some winners and some losers ( & survived both!). you’ve raised a litter or two or three (and you’ve already planned the breedings for the next two generations), you’ve experienced the heartache associated with the death of your favorite pet or the pain of losing one of your new puppies.

Secondly, you’ve learned the meaning of good sportsmanship. This is a learned art. You no longer pout at ringside, call the judge names, call the handler names, call the winner names. You begin to realize that 9 times out of 10 it is actually the dogs that are judged - not faces, not politics, not favors, just dogs. And you’ve learned how to win and lose gracefully. No gloating, please.

Third, you don’t rain on anyone’s parade. Why spoil someone’s excitement over a win or an upcoming breeding or new litter? Everyone has different tastes and opinions and they are entitled to them, just as you are entitled to yours.

Fourth - you’ve learned to mind your own business and avoid hurtful gossip. I realize that it is human nature to be curious. I like a good story as well as the next person. But often people, in an effort to appear more knowledgeable, pass off second-hand stories and/or opinions as though they were the gospel truth. The next time you hear a story being repeated - consider the source and also consider the reputation of the person repeating it.

Which leads me into the most important aspect of qualifying as a breeder. ETHICS. This is something which cannot be learned by reading a book or attending a class. The definition of ethics is "The moral quality of a course or action", the definition of ethic is "A principle of right or good conduct". Your ethics will determine the one thing that will cause you to succeed or fail in dogs - YOUR REPUTATION.

I am a firm believer in the "full revolution theory" - "What goes around comes around", and nowhere is this more true than in the dog world. If you treat others fairly - your fellow breeders, your puppy purchasers, the judges, your fellow exhibitors - you will very likely benefit from your fair behavior. And just the opposite is true - if you involve yourself in backbiting, gossip and poor sportsmanship, your reputation will suffer accordingly.

A reputation is earned
-- which type you choose to earn is up to you!!
Reprinted with permission of author, from Boxer Shorts, official newsletter of the Boxer Club of Canada Inc.

Buyer checlist

Checklist

If tails are docked it should be done within a few days of birth. Optional removal of dew claws done at the same time.

Ear Cropping is optional for show and pet Boxers in Canada. If you wish to crop your pup it should be done between 7 and 9 weeks of age and your breeder should advise you as to taping and after care.

Show males must have two testicles descended into the scrotum. A dog with undescended testicles may not be shown in Conformation but makes a fine pet and is still eligible for entry into Obedience Trials and other events.

White Boxers or Boxers with predominately white background colour are a disqualification in the breed standard and cannot be shown nor should they be bred.

Avoid the unusually quiet, inactive puppy or the one that shys away from you. This could mean a fault in temperament or even ill health.

Puppies should remain with their littermates until the age of 8 weeks for proper socialization.

New Puppy tips
New Puppy Tips
Training tips and information for the new puppy owner 
Mary L. Curl - Shadowdale Boxers Perm. Reg.

 

Should he be confined? Ownership of any dog entails a definite responsibility. Do not let your Boxer run loose. Exercise in a fenced area or on lead eliminates the better than 50% chance of death by automobile or poison.

The Boxer should be considered an inside dog. He is usually sensitive to extremes in temperature. Be sensible and do not leave your dog out in extreme heat or cold for long periods of time.

It is advisable to have a large wire crate in a quiet spot where your puppy can see you. He can then retreat from possibly over enthusiastic children or company. A young puppy requires much rest. It is also an invaluable aid to housebreaking.

How much grooming does a Boxer require?

The Boxer requires very little grooming and if done daily will only take a few minutes of your time. A rubber curry comb or glove and a soft bristle brush or glove is all you need for his coat. Bathe your Boxer when he needs it with a gentle shampoo making sure that you rinse well, you may also use a cream rinse if you wish. Put cotton in his ears to prevent water from getting in. The ears need regular cleaning. Some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball will do the job. Trim the nails regularly, once a week to ensure good feet.

Housebreaking vs. House training.

The key to training the young puppy is to train yourself to a special timetable for the first few weeks, and to recognize the signs and signals your puppy gives you.

The very young puppy should be confined when you are unable to watch him, put him in his crate. A crate simulates the den of wild dogs and wolves and gives the pup security and a "place of his own". Young pups do not like to soil their beds and this lessens the chance of mistakes. House training need not be a time of trauma for pup or owner if you will only be consistent and conscientious.

The most common times for puppies to relieve themselves are after sleeping, eating and playing. Try to establish regular times to take the pup outside to relieve himself. Take him out every hour for the first few days, until you find out how often he needs to go. Increase the intervals as he gets older and can handle it. Only scold the pup for making a mistake if you catch him doing it. Tell him No and place him where you wish him to go, then praise him on that spot. Always praise him when he goes where you want him to. Take your pup to a specific spot in the yard. Give the pup a cue like "get busy", then praise him when he goes. This works well and comes in handy later when you need him to go in a hurry. You will then only have to give the cue word and he will go.

Another helpful hint is to hang some bells on a rope on the knob of the door you will use to take the pup out. ring these bells every time you take the pup out that door, sometimes bumping them with his nose or paw. It won't be long before your pup is ringing the bells when he needs out.

How about Obedience Training?

Definitely! Training helps eliminate problem dogs, usually those who have been given the freedom to do as they please when they please. A puppy needs to know his limits as a child does and will respect his owner far more if his limits are set early and adhered to. Proper Obedience training creates a bond between owner and dog and gives a great sense of accomplishment.

Feeding:

We recommend that you feed your pup as your breeder tells you in the fact sheets given to you at time of purchase.

Worming:

Your pup should have been wormed on at least two occasions prior to going to his new home. When you take him to your Vet for his booster shots you should take a stool sample to be tested in case he has picked up any new worms.

Vaccinations:

Your pup should have received at least one set of innoculations (dependant on the age of the pup) before you take him home. Vaccinations are essential to the health and longevity of your dog. Please keep them up to date.

Heartworm:

Please check with your Veterinarian regarding Heartworm in your area. All dogs should be check each year and steps taken to prevent infestation.

Ear Cropping:

Ear cropping is not essential. Now even uncropped Boxers may be shown in Canada. If you wish to show your Boxer uncropped it is preferable that he have the correct ear type. Whichever you decide be sure to keep the ears clean. If you opt for cropping be sure that it is done correctly and safely. Ears should be cropped between 7 1/2 and 10 weeks of age.
We hope that the foregoing information has been of help to you and that you and your puppy have a long and happy relationship.

Please remember that if you have any questions contact your breeder and please stay in touch as we like to know how our puppies are doing. Thank you.

Taping The Cropped Ear

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:
Good quality adhesive tape, scissors, popsicle (or craft) sticks cotton balls, rubbing alcohol and patience. An extra pair of hands can also be very useful.

Make sure the ears are clean and dry. Rubbing alcohol wiped in the shell of the ear with a cotton ball works well.

earsStart by measuring the popsicle stick to the ear, as shown, from the bump to the tip. Figure 1 Trim the popsicle stick to the right length.

Cut 2 strips of tape for each popsicle stick to be used, a little longer than the stick. Affix these strips of tape to the sticks in the following manner. Place the stick onto the sticky side of one piece of tape, then place the other piece of tape on top of both with the sticky side facing out. Figure 2 This is very important as this sticky side affixes to the ear.

Cut two more pieces of tape for each ear, one to go around the bottom - approx. 5 - 6" long and another to go around the top - approx. 2" long.

Take one of your tape covered sticks and prepare to affix to the ear. This is the time to have someone hold the pup facing you if possible. ears

To affix the stick to the ear begin at the bottom putting the rounded end just above the bump in the ear. Hold the stick at an angle away from the head of the pup and bring the era to the stick, stretch the ear up and out gently as you do this so that the ear will sit at and angle away from the head slightly.

Holding the stick to the ear wrap your longer piece of tape around the ear starting at the front and going around between the ears as shown in figure 3. Do the same with the short piece of tape at the top of the ear.

ear3BE CAREFUL NOT TO WRAP THE TAPE TOO TIGHTLY AS YOU COULD CUT OFF THE CIRCULATION IN THE EAR!

When both ears are up you may find it useful to put a brace between the ears. A 10 -12" piece of tape will do. Starting at the front of the ear at the bottom (stretch ear up and out) take the tape across the front of the head to the other ear (stretch that ear too) and affix to the bottom of this ear. Continue around the ear to the back where you will join the tape to the piece you just placed across the front, go all the way across until you are back where you started. Figure 4

Keep the tapes on as long as you can (as long as the ears are pointing straight up or slightly out at the top. ear4

It is important that the ears do not tilt towards each other. Keep the tapes in good repair and remember that for every day you let the ears flop you have 2 extra weeks of taping ahead of you. GOOD LUCK.

Mary L. Curl - Shadowdale Boxers Perm. Reg.

When a pet dies

The Loss of a Pet
Helping Your Family Cope When a PET Dies

A Pet is a Family Member Too
A pet is a member of the family. The term “man’s best friend” brings to mind unconditional love, constant companionship and acceptance. And Why Shouldn’t it? Your pet can take you for a walk, listen when you need someone to talk to or even guard your house. A pet can also lower your blood pressure, change your heart rate or alleviate feelings of chronic loneliness. With this capacity to love your pet, comes the necessity to grieve when that “best friend” dies. The death of a pet is, without a doubt, a traumatic experience.

A Pet’s Death is Traumatic
No, it’s not “just a dog” or just a cat”. The animal is a family member. With the death of a pet the family experiences a very great loss. A difficult problem, however, is that society often denies you the need to grieve for your pet. You may even be chastised for openly and honestly expressing your feelings. As a result, you may bury, hide or even try to ignore your grief. This is not good, grief should be expressed. Although denied understanding and support, your family needs to grieve the death of your pet. Grieving means to express your feelings, no matter how painful, outside of yourselves.

Clichés Don’t Help You Heal
Your family will probably be greeted with many clichés when your pet dies. Clichés are trite comments intended to diminish the loss by providing simple solutions to difficult realities. Comments like, “It was just a dog,” or “You can always get another one.” Or “Be glad you don’t have to take care of him anymore” are not constructive. Instead they hurt and make your family’s journey through grief more difficult.

Memories are Very Helpful
Memories are one of the best legacies after the death of a pet. Talk about and embrace these memories. Your pet entertained, comforted, frustrated and always loved you. Remember those times. If your memories bring laughter, smile. If they bring sadness, cry. Remember, though, memories made in love can never be taken away.

Your Emotions Will Be Very Mixed
When your pet dies, you will probably experience a variety of emotions: confusion, disorganization, sadness, explosive emotions or guilt. Don’t repress these feelings and ignore anyone who tells you that you should. Don’t over-analyze your response. Just allow your feelings to find expression. As strange as some of these feelings may seem, they are normal and healthy. Each Family member probably had a unique relationship with the pet. Allow for different emotional responses within the family, and be careful to respect each person’s need to grieve in his or her own way.

Should You Choose Euthanasia?
When you love your pet, no question is more difficult than whether or not to euthanize. Yet this difficult choice is often the right one, particularly if your pet is in agonizing pain or the quality of life has deteriorated. Talk to your veterinarian about euthanasia. Fortunately, humane procedures can end needless suffering for both you and your pet. The intravenous drug used for euthanasia does not cause pain. After visiting with your vet, make your decision based on your own good judgment. If you have always treated your pet with gentleness and love, you will make a wise choice based upon reality. Some owners want to be present when their pets are euthanized. Some do not. Do what you feel is right for you and the family. Whichever choice you make, you may still want to spend some special time saying “good-bye” to your pet.

Rituals Can Be Helpful
Allowing and encouraging your family to have a funeral for the pet can be helpful. It provides a time to acknowledge the loss, share memories of the pet and create a focus for the family to openly express emotions. While some friends or even family members may think having a funeral for your pet is foolish, don’t let them take this special time away. Design a ritual that best meets your needs as you gather to pay tribute to your pet who was and always ill be loved.

Children Need to be Involved
The death of a pet is often the first opportunity parents have to help children during times of grief. Unfortunately, parents often don’t want to talk about the death assuming that by doing so the children will be spared some of the pain and sadness. Children, however, are entitled to grieve for their pets. Any child old enough to love is old enough to grieve. Many children love their pets with all their hearts. To them their pet is their “best friend”. They need to grieve

Premature Replacement Can Cause Problems
The temptation after the death of a pet may be to run out and get another one right away. In fact, you are often encouraged by family and friends. Although it may sound like a good idea, you should be careful about premature replacement. You need some time to grieve and to heal when your pet dies. A new pet demands your energy and attention which at some point you may be ready and willing to give. Right now, however, you should first attend to your grief. Be especially careful about premature replacement of pets with children. It sends a message to a child that says when something is lost all that you have to do is buy another one. In reality, that is often not the case. It also devalues the significance of the pet that just died. While there is no specific timetable for when to get a new pet, when in doubt - wait. Allow an additional healing to occur. When the family is ready for a new pet, involve the children in the discussion and selection. You will know when it is time for another pet. Follow your instincts.

Boxers in the North

Trials & Tribulation of Living in Northern Ontario
by Shirley Bell - Bellcrest Boxers Perm. Reg.

We usually have the first snows of the winter on our Thanksgiving weekend, which is the second weekend in October. The lakes, of which we have many, freeze over to a depth of some four feet and the snow can reach up to the rooftops of the houses. With a little bit of luck, the snow is gone by the end of April. This makes for an extremely long hard winter.

The Northern Ontario Boxers are a tough bunch. They grow thicker coats to compensate for the extreme temperatures. When temperatures reach the extreme lows of -40 degrees C. It becomes necessary to stay right at the door when putting dogs outside. If dogs are left out for more than five minutes at these temperatures frostbite of ears and feet can occur quickly. It is so easy to put them out and then get busy doing something, so I stand at the door and wait. They learn to co-operate by being very, very fast!! Now, because they cannot stay out for any length of time, this also affects the amount of exercise that they get, thereby affecting overall condition. It is possible to take them out for a run on the milder days, when the temperature at noon is about -15 - -20 degrees....but they must keep moving!

So, along about the first of March we must start brushing dogs daily to help get rid of the excess coat. Especially the Boxers destined to be shown at the American Boxer Club National Specialty in early May, where all are in top condition. Not only is it necessary to get coats into show condition, it is also necessary to get muscle tone in shape and exercise must be gradually built up again after the relative inactivity of the winter months.

Come April and May we are bombarded with black flies in the daytime and mosquitoes at night. The black flies eat pieces out of the dogs, which again makes it impossible to leave dogs outside for any length of time, or work with them outdoors for more than a few minutes at a time as the black flies also love human blood too!
As well as having the elements, temperature, bugs etc. To contend with, we also have distance and attitude to take into account .

Let's discuss distance. We are at least four hours drive from most shows, and a major airport. This cannot only mean more costly time and travel, but much more stress on out Boxers ...and of course on their owner/breeders too. Often, even if a dog that was the perfect dog to breed to a certain bitch lived here in the North, that breeding would never take place, because the cost of flights between Toronto and most Northern airports are amongst the most expensive of any anywhere in Canada. Many of us live in less populated areas and therefore things that most people take for granted are not available to us.

The nearest University of Veterinarian Medicine is a five and a half hour drive each way. So all testing of our Boxers for hereditary defects, hips, thyroid, eyes and hearts etc. Is a costly and time consuming process, needing at least one nights stay in a hotel while away.

Now, let's discuss attitude. For some unknown reason, people in the North think and feel that "if you want something good then you must go South to get it, It could not possibly be found in Northern Ontario." This applies to most anything - doctors, furniture, clothes and purebred dogs or all breeds. Well, I would like to state that this is emphatically not true, especially in Boxers. We in the North are very proud of our Boxers. We have some of the top breeding in the world and feel that our Boxers are second to none!!

We are aware that some people think that a Canadian Championship is easy to come by. This is not necessarily so. Those Boxers that finish quickly in Canada ca, and often do, finish easily in the U.S. An American Championship is a nice title to add to our dogs, but because of the extra expense and travel caused by where we live, it is not always feasible.
We in Canada also have the option of showing and finishing natural eared Boxers. This is a definite plus. We Northerners must drive to Toronto and back (minimum four hours down and four hours back) in a day with our pups to have them cropped. Sometimes because of weather conditions and timing, it is not possible to crop the up an coming young hopeful. So, at least we can show here, and win.

By now, you are probably saying, so if it is so hard to show and breed Boxers in the North, then why do it? Why? Because we love the breed and want to do well by them. We live here because we must, family obligations, work, etc. Between dog shows it is a wonderful place to live. We do not have to lock our doors or our cars. Our children and grandchildren do not have as many temptations as those in large city centers.

In short, we love our Boxers, we love the North, and we do the best that we can. I guess, for me, at least, the pleasures and rewards far outweigh the trials and tribulations of Northern living.

Reprinted with permission of author, from Boxer Review Magazine - Oct. 1995

An Obedience boxer

Keri - An Obedience Boxer
by Mary Curl - Shadowdale Boxers Perm. Reg.

Keri was the recipient of the Boxer Club of Canada annual award for The top Obedience Boxer in the Open Class and Dogs In Canada award for the second top Obedience Boxer in Canada in 1975. This article was written in the late 1970's and was published in Boxer Review.

My first experience with Obedience was in the fall and winter of 1973 when I decided to take my Boxer Bitch, Keri, to classes. York Regional Dog Obedience Club was my choice, a fairly young club but with friendly, helpful people, and a common sense approach to training. As classes progressed, Keri and I both learned the basics and the goal of an Obedience degree did not seem too difficult to reach.

I was invited to join the club and after sitting in on a meeting was overjoyed to find it so pleasant and informative. I found later that this spirit of comraderie is widespread in Obedience circles in Ontario.

Keri and I continued on in classes trying to polish our performance before actually entering a trial and the more I learned about it the more I came to realize that it was not as easy as I had once thought. Not only did Keri have to do everything right, but I had a thousand ond one things to remember not to do!

By summer 1974 we felt we were as ready as we ever would be, so off to the trials we went. It is well known what can happen to people, when they are the centre of attraction and surrounded by a large crowd. I had no idea how it would affect a Boxer. I'm sure Keri thought the whole show was for her benefit - and what a show she put on. Nevertheless, she qualified in 3 out of 4 trials and completed her C.D. with an average score of 184.5.

We decided that a C.D. was just a start and that Keri might like Open work so back again to the advice and help of, by this time, fellow club members who gave me hope and patience when Open work seemed a mountain of insurmountable problems. After 10 weeks of classes and a graduation score of 194.5, we again entered trials.

In her first two trials Keri gained 2 legs toward her C.D.X and a following of spectators that would rush to the ringside to see her perform. Her bag of tricks included such things as throwing the dumbell in the air and catching it in the middle of the "retrieve on flat". Keri's trademark became a thing she never did in practice sessions but always did in Trials - her method of doing the "drop on recall". On the call "Keri come" she would race towards me as if shot from a cannon; on the command "Down" she would stop instantly, then turn 3 circles as she went down (it was always 3 circles) and would then come in like a bullet on the next command "Keri come". A big smile on her face always finished this particular exercise while those Keri now considered her subjects gave her her due, laughter and applause.

Keri became Houndhaven Nymph of Shadowdale C.D.X in August 1975 and continued to consistently clown her way through the rest of the Trials for the year. I must admit I was as proud of her as I was her sire, Ch Shadowdale's War Lord (a Jolly Roger son), when he became my first Champion seven years earlier. The nicest surprise of all came when I was presented with a Boxer Club of Canada award for the top obedience Boxer in the Open Class and a Dogs In Canada award for the second top Boxer in Obedience in Canada for 1975.

Keri by this time had become the sweetheart of our Obedience Club, not for high scores I can assure you, but because of her obvious enjoyment of being such a clown.
The scarcety of Boxers in Obedience always puzzled me. Comments at ringside and in the ring were equally strange. Here are two examples: Fellow exhibitor: "Boy, I have to give you a lot of credit". Me, somewhat puzzled:"Really? Why?" Fellow exhibitor, as he pointed at Keri: "For training one of those"... Judge in the ring, as he approaches me for the first exercise: "You have a lot of guts Lady". I beg your pardon", said I, wondering what part of my attire I had forgotten in the rush to get to the show. "Anyone who can train a Boxer in Open has to have a lot of guts", returned the judge.

With compliments like these it is difficult to know if you should thank people or take offense.

Obedience Trials in Canada are not as competitive as in the United States. It seems enough for most of us to have our dogs do as well as they can and gain legs for titles, although that elusive "High In Trial" is ever present in our minds. I feel I can always relax and enjoy myself at Trials because the people are so friendly, everyone is happy if you qualify and willing to help you if you don't. I hope that never changes.

I am starting another bitch in obedience this year - Ch Leskev's Almost Angel. I hope that she will help me to realize my goal of Conformation and Obedience Champion Boxer. I know there are long hours of training ahead and times when I will wonder if I should have named her "Angel" or not - but if I have as much fun with her as I did with Keri, it will all be worth it.

Footnote: Angel achieved her C.D. in both Canada and the U.S but maternal duties interfered with higher levels of training. I later took Keri's son - Ch Shadowdale's High Noon Can/Am C.D. on to Trials and he was an excellent worker with scores in the high 190's. Many things have changed since I wrote this article and I have not had much time to keep up in Obedience but the people haven't changed, they are still as friendly and helpful as ever.