Questions That You Should Not Ask

I have been involved in Boxers for over 15 years. I have had a public web site for over 12 years. Since I am heavily involved on the web, in the show ring, in print, in the whelping box and with my local Boxer breed club, I am on everyone's list for Boxer breeder referrals. This equates to me getting 10-30 calls/emails a day asking for available Boxers. Since I only have a litter every year or so, this means I do not have many puppies available. I do know of many quality breeders and do refer folks on. But I will be honest and say there are some sure ways to make sure I do not consider a home for one of my future puppies.

"Where are you located? How much do you sell the pups for? "

1. "Where are you located?"
      Innocent question, yes? Well, it actually does irk me. Why?
Because the first paragraph on my web site states I am located in California. 99% of the people that ask this question mean what state I am located in with only 1% meaning to ask where in California I am. When people ask this, it is obvious they did not take the time to read even the first paragraph of my website. They do not seem to care about my personal commitment or history with this breed and they probably simply fast forwarded to the EMAIL button at the bottom of my web site. And if this is true, they are just looking for any old Boxer breeder with any old puppy. I have worked hard to not be just any breeder and would prefer to deal with folks that recognize this effort.

2. "How much do you charge?" or "I want a cheap puppy."
      Please do not approach a Boxer breeder who is obviously accomplished in the breed and who clearly goes that extra mile in their breedings with such a request. And while I completely understand price being important in any purchase, it had better not be the first or second statement made to me. "How much do you charge" being mentioned as the 1st or 2nd question means price is your priority.

3. "I don't need papers, so can I get the puppy cheaper?"
      Please see #2. AKC papers have no true value. The breeding behind the puppy is where the value lies not to mention the actual breeder behind that puppy. Please never set your sights so low as to welcome being taken advantage of.

4. "I want to buy 2 Boxers so I can breed them."
      I do not sell breeding animals for the soul purpose of breeding. I am not that type of breeder and completely recognize there are far too many irresponsible Boxer breeders already.

5. "To whom it may concern,"
      This one irks me as much as the "where are you located" one. I give a wonderful intro and quick bio on my web site. It is simply not in good taste to not at least refer to me by my name since I have introduced myself as well as my name being listed on every page of my web site. I want to you to know me as a person and not just some cold faceless breeder.

6. "              "
      What is this? This is the signature I get from about 50% of those emails. Folks, please sign your emails. It is terribly uncomfortable to return an email and not even know who I am responding to. Unfortunately this usually goes hand in hand with those that do not even address their email to me or anything. Please please please be courteous and allow me to do the same.

7. "I want a mini-Boxer"
      Sorry folks, but there is no such thing. Believe it or not, someone actually tried to argue this fact with me since they had a co-worker who proudly bragged they had one of these rare creatures. PT Barnum said: "There is a fool born every minute." Unfortunately this refers back to #3. There are far too many irresponsible breeders, period. They will sell anyone a bill of goods. But regardless of what fantasies they are creating, there is no such thing as a mini-Boxer.

8. "I want one of those rare white Boxers"
      White Boxers are not rare. Boxer breedings done between two genetically flashy marked parents will have approximately 20% white Boxers. They are a Boxer to be sure. But they are not rare and they are not to be described as such. Members of the ABC have only recently begun registering white Boxer pups with a Limited (non-breeding) AKC registration. The coat color "white" is an unacceptable coat color towards breeding and exhibition. But a caring breeder will find their white pups some of the most fabulous homes where they will just be a loved family member as every single Boxer is entitled to.

9. "I want one of those rare black Boxers"
      There is no such thing as a purebred black Boxer. There are Boxers with a brindle coat so dark as to appear almost black. Such a brindling is often called "reverse brindle" because it appears to have more black stripes than fawn background. Another popular description is "seal brindle" because it almost appears to be colored like an actual seal. Whichever descriptive term you use, the coat color is still a brindle. And all such Boxers must have a fawn background on which the brindling pattern is laid across. Con artists will try and sell a dark brindle as a Rare Black Boxer in an attempt to con good people out of a lot of money. Do not buy into their lies. It is genetically impossible for a Boxer to have a true black coat color. And it is against the AKC Boxer breed standard as well as being ineligible for AKC conformation competition. Long before Boxers ever came to America, one single German Boxer breeder bred a Giant Schnauzer to his Boxers to attempt to get a black coat. The coloring never came true and the line was short lived as few breeders were interested. That was the end of an attempt to have black Boxers.

10. "I just want a pet, but what if I change my mind about breeding later?"
      Boxers are over bred. There are too many irresponsible breeders. I know I have said it, but just wanted to repeat it. If you want a loving pet Boxer, that is fantastic! But please do not then consider breeding them simply because it would be a neat thing to do. I sell my pet puppies on a written spay/neuter agreement as well as a Limited (non-breeding) AKC Registration. I want their value to your family to be the loving dog they are and not for any future $$ you can make off them or puppies you can share with the world. With all the risks involved in breeding, it really is best to just love your pet Boxer for as long as the good Lord allows :-)

11. "I can't afford a puppy, but if you have a sickly one I could take it."
      If I have a pup that is having problems, the last thing I want to do is place them in a new home. They stay here until they are 100% healthy regardless of the problem. And I have had some doozy of some puppy accidents. Besides, why do you want a sickly puppy? If you can't afford to pay a fair price for a pup you definitely will not be able to afford the expensive vet care a sick puppy will cost you.

12. "I don't care what you say. I will buy a Boxer and do what I want with it."
      I just have two things to say when I get this email (oh yes, I get it alot):
1. Poor poor poor Boxer dog
2. You won't be getting one from me.

13. "I need a Boxer puppy right now since my daughter's birthday is this weekend"
      Buying a Boxer puppy should never been a rush job. The worse thing you can do is just grab the first available puppy without doing prior research and using your common sense. If your daughter's birthday is this weekend, put a leash and a collar into a box along with a note saying "IOU a Puppy". She will open it up, be just as in love as with the real puppy, and then you can go about the task of responsibly searching for that new puppy.

14. "I need a puppy as a surprise Christmas present."
      This goes along with #12 but is even more perilous. Christmas time is a bad time to bring home a new puppy. They require 24/7 care in the beginning and just how will you manage that during the busiest holiday season of the year? As well, they make horrible presents. Why? Ever seen what becomes of most non-alive gifts a few months after Christmas? Either broken or forgotten. A puppy should not just be the thrill of the moment. It should be a well thought out process that will be with you 10+ years.

A few items of note:
      a. When someone emails me with a puppy request, I usually send them a short questionnaire. Those questions are important as are your answers. Please return it and answer *all* the questions. If you do not answer those few questions, I will either assume you have some bad answers to give or you simply do not want to take the time to work with me.

      b. Please copy/paste your original email and my response when you are responding for a second time. I get so many emails I honestly can't remember each one. And if I don't understand your email because you are continuing an earlier conversation, I may not have the time to go back and piece it together. In short, I may not have the time to respond to you.

      c. Please be courteous. I often times have to give people information they really do not want to hear. But I am being honest since my Boxers are my first priority. I am being courteous in responding to you so please be courteous in your own responses. I am finding people are getting ruder and ruder in emails simply because they are not getting what they want when they want it. Not only will that kill your chances at a puppy but such stories are shared with other breeders so we can beware.

d. If I do not respond in 24 hours, please do not email me yet again and push for a response. This is just plain rude and will definitely not make me think favorably about your inquiry.

e. If I have you on my waiting list, and I just had my litter, please do not try to pressure me into making a puppy decision. I am honest with everyone about the amount of time I need to decide the future for each puppy. Just because one person is more insistent does not mean I will "give in". I understand the excitement of the possibility of getting a puppy, and the frustration of not having a solid answer. But the worse thing you can do is try to pressure me. Intimidation will only make me quickly say NO just to be rid of the situation, knowing I have many other wonderful homes eagerly waiting just behind you. So if I am obviously trying to work with you, please just trust me and let me worry about my newborn puppies.


Now, the best question, "Why should I care about what you have just told me?".
Why, indeed. Well, the answer is you have seen my Boxers and are drawn to them for any number of reasons. You would like to open your home up to a Boxer and are hoping it will be a PawPrint Boxer. You probably know you are one of hundreds of people trying to get a puppy from a single litter. Kind of like trying to get a job when you know there are a ton of other qualified applicants.

Folks, just because you say "money is no object" does not mean I am impressed. While my puppies obviously do have a price, they are not up for sale to the highest bidder. Just because you assure me you are a fabulous home does not mean I am impressed. I will be intrigued at best. The home I am looking for is one just like my own. And the person I am looking for is just like myself. I have a firm commitment towards both my own Boxers and the breed as a whole. I want someone who can appreciate why I am as choosey as I am and be patient with the process. Never doubt I do not love my dogs and never doubt the decision I make for each new home is one of the hardest I will ever do; each and every time.





Christina Ghimenti



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