One of my favorite spots for dog watching, a small strip of beach on the lagoon. People watching, too.
For some reason these two boxers tugged at my heart – both were white and I had never seen white boxers before. One was on a leash secured to the owner’s beach chair. I asked if I might take a few pictures, of course she wanted to know why. Just for myself, I said which seemed to make it okay. She had a small child with her and I only asked about the dogs. The tied up looked longingly at the water and other dogs running in and out of the salty lagoon. Turned out that he recently had hip surgery, both hips and was on pain meds.
As I snapped a few, another white boxer came up to me and leaned on me for a scratch, it was clear this one had been in swimming. A man, who was the owner of both boxers asked if I wanted a shot of them together, why not. He had a little trouble getting the soggy one to mind. The reason, this one was deaf. No wonder I was drawn to these two.
Boxers with white markings covering more than one-third of their coat – conventionally called “white” Boxers – are neither albino nor rare; approximately 20–25% of all Boxers born are white. Genetically, these dogs are either fawn or brindle, with excessive white markings overlying the base coat color. Like fair-skinned humans, white Boxers have a higher risk of sunburn and associated skin cancers than colored Boxers. The extreme piebald gene, which is responsible for white markings in Boxers, is linked to congenital sensorineural deafness in dogs. It is estimated that about 18% of white Boxers are deaf in one or both ears, though Boxer rescue organizations see about double that number. In the past, breeders often euthanized white puppies at birth; today, most breeders place white puppies in pet homes with spay/neuter agreements. White Boxers are disqualified from conformation showing by the breed standard, although in 2010, the German Boxer Club opened up an exhibition-only conformation class for white Boxers. They are prohibited from breeding by every national Boxer club in the world, but can compete in non-conformation events such as obedience and agility, and like their colored counterparts do quite well as service and therapy dogs.