Our Boxer Roots
We were first introduced to boxers by my brother, who researched breeds good to add to families with kids and other pets. He had 2 boxers, a fawn girl and her white brother. He talked us into getting a boxer when we were looking into dog breeds, so we began a search for just the right girl to start our program with. This was in 1992, and we began by looking through the internet for information on boxers, joining internet mailing lists to meet other boxer owners, buying the best books on the market (we will put a list on the about boxers pages), and going to local shows to meet dogs and breeders. At that time, there were few show breeders up here in Alaska, and after a frustrating local search, we turned out efforts to the *lower 48*.
Since I have bred and shown horses and persians, I was in no hurry to buy a dog right away. We educated ourselves and surfed around, met others and looked for 5 years, before finding the breeder that would start us on our journey.
I had met Karla Spitzer during this time, and after we got to know one another, and she knew what I wanted in a boxer, I asked her to keep an eye out for a litter that contained what we were looking for: a well conformed dog with a mind good enough for OB and performance. After a time, she contacted me about a breeder in her club that had a litter that sounded promising. I asked her to look at it for me and let me know if what we were looking for could be found. After seeing the puppies, she confirmed this was the litter. This is how we came to meet our mentor, Beth Pariseau of Bix-L Boxers, and aquire our foundation bitch, Bix-L's Mia Bella Rosa, Rosie. Rosie was of great west coast pedigree, and her litter mate (Mugsy)Bix-L's Riccochet to Greyhawk, is a Sire of Merit with relatively few litters on the ground. Since Rosie still had her ears, we decided to try the International shows with her. She earned her International CH title when she was 3 1/2 years old, at the same show 2 puppies from her first litter (Harry & Sophie) earned their puppy Championships.
One of our breedings for Rosie was to Feardorn Foggs Rising Star, an imported English male of top bloodlines. Our goal with this cross was to produce boxers with more bone, deeper muzzles, and shorter toplines than currently seen in the American arena. 5 puppies were born Nov 30th, 4 boys, and a girl- (which we kept for our own breeding program,) that embodied all the traits which we were striving for.
After a year of traveling to shows in an 8 foot camper, and it was clear we were show junkies, I told Roger it was time to upgrade our on road living quarters. In 2001, we sold the camper and purchased a 26 foot Prowler 5th wheel. It feels like the lap of luxury after the cramped camper, and we love it. In 2002, we packed all the dogs into it for a trip to the Whitehorse Dog Show and a vacation. It was so great to have all the dogs with us.
Then, in April of 2003, we packed up Harry, Mia and Sassy and made a 9000 mile round trip to Idaho and over to WI to attend the National Boxer Show. Mia was entered in Bred By as a plain, natural ear, shown by amateur owner; Sassy was entered in open brindle with a professional handler (Jimmy Bettis). Mia and Roger didn't place in their class, but we got lots of *atta boy's* from the crowd for bucking the establishment with our plain natural ear girl plus a lot of interest in her English breeding. Sassy got 5th in a huge open brindle class, which pleased us quite a bit as she is also plain as can be, but is cropped.
Alaska hosts 7 AKC show dates a year with a total of 16 shows, plus occasionally an International and SKC show. We try to make all the shows, since we have so few. It can also be difficult to get majors as we are isolated, and numbers can fluctuate widely for the points. We have quite a social crowd up here, though, and the shows are always fun, majors or not.
Roger has gotten pretty adept at showing and has added St Bernards and Great Danes to his show list, showing Saints for friends, and getting a couple Championships on the dogs. In 2005, he also got a WB and a WD and major for another friend on her pair of Danes (pic), finishing the male's Championship in August. He also another Harlequin puppy and got his first major (5 points) in the March show. His latest venture is showing an Irish Wolfhound. Roger enjoys showing for friends and adding new breeds to his handling experience. Jean has also been having fun showing toy dogs for friends as well.
Harry (Moosewoods Night Raider) was our first homebred Champion, having finished with a 4 point major after a year of no majors. He also earned his International titles in both puppy and adult, winning reserve Best Bred By Exhibitor puppy in his first ARG show. We are currently showing our third and fourth generation dogs, an english blend girl (Una) and a couple of our 1/4 Italian youngsters. Dude (one of our Harry kids) is only 3 singles from his CH, and Gurly (a Sophie kid) is only 1 point away from hers. We now feel we are well on our way to developing our own line, so in 2006, Moosewood Boxers registered it's name with the American Kennel Club.
Our breeding philosophy has settled on producing a blended European/American boxer that embodies the best of both worlds. By using the cross, we are looking to improve the amount of bone, the size and placement of teeth with good upturn of chin, and the more rounded head. Our crosses so far have been very promising and we are keeping the best girls from those breedings with which to continue.
We also believe in health testing our dogs, and own a 24 hour holter, do cardiac auscultation, thyroid check and hip xrays. Our foundation bitch was also CERF passed before breeding. We bought our own a holter monitor from Alba Medical, who read our tapes with very fast turn around times.
On diets, we feed the most natural foods we have access to. Our preferred feeding is a blend of Premium Kibble with raw and a few cooked items. We try to feed no kibble that contain grains (our choices have been Canine Caviar, Wysong, Solid Gold, Precise, California Natural, and Honest Kitchen dehydrated food.) We can no longer recommend Eagle Holistic since the company was bought out by a large corporation and the dogs are not doing as well on it anymore. We do feed rice, but rice is digestible for dogs (grains are not). Since going off grains, we find the dogs are rarely gassy. The raw part of their meals can consist of chicken backs, Cornish game hens (whole), turkey necks (which we grind), lamb necks and shanks, beef bones including meaty ribs, left over game meat and bones (that has been frozen for a few weeks at minimum), tripe, liver, kidney and heart. We feed a variety of pulverized veggies, both fresh and frozen, and whole fruits (bananas are a favorite). Cooked items include brown rice, sweet potato, squash, salmon, canned mackerel, and leftover ground meats.
Since going to this diet, our dogs carry good weight without being fat, coats are soft, silky and shiny, nails are hard, teeth are pearly white, and gums are tight and clean. Our dogs have never had to have their teeth cleaned and they are beautiful. Puppies are started on soaked kibble with esbilac and ground meat. By 3 months, they are on chicken backs, liver and other ground meats along with puppy kibble.