10 Quick FACTS
They are not rare -Approximately 25 percent of all boxers born are white.
They are not albinos – They have colored eyes, colored touch, inside of the ears, belly and bottom of the paws.
They can sunburn easy – an owner should use human sunscreen on their dog if they are to be outside for more than 30 minutes – And remember that the UV sun rays CAN penetrate through clouds, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
They can be deaf and this is one of the biggest reasons why most breeders do not purposefully breed for the white color. Approximately 25 to 30% will be deaf either in one ear or both.
Blindness is a bit more common with the white Boxer.
Some people believe that white Boxers develop cancer more easily than the more standard colored dogs; however this is still up for debate and has not been proven.
They can be registered BUT they currently do not meet the American Boxer Club's standard. The member’s code of ethics states that it is an infraction to register with the American Kennel Club a Boxer of any color not allowed by the set standards. The AKC will deny registration for any puppies born to a registered white Boxer.
Due to the fact that deafness IS more common with this colored dog, it is highly recommended to spay/neuter your white Boxer unless you are planning on keeping all of the potential puppies…since public opinion may make it difficult to place them in loving homes.
They have the same temperament and personality as other Boxers..They are happy, loyal, social, friendly dogs when raised in a loving, appropriate home.
When one has spots of fawn or brindle on them, almost to the point of 50/50, the dog is called a “Check”.
Opposite to this, you may be interested in reading: Boxer Dogs Without White Markings
The Difference Between White Boxers and Check Boxers
The terms whites and checks are often used interchangeably but this is not correct…Because they are very different. The white Boxer may have pigmented patches around the eyes and ears and other limited points on the body, but the Check has much more pigment and could be called piebald (50:50).
The white carries two doses of the extreme white spotting gene, s-w (s-w/s-w) and is produced 2 “Flashy Boxers”. A flashy Boxer is one who carries one dose of the gene.
Regarding deafness, the genetic basis of white in Boxers is the same as in Dalmatians, although without the ticking factor to give the spots. In the United States, approximately 8% are bilaterally deaf and approximately 22% unilateral, the total number is approximately 25-30 % who are affected either way.
The cause of the deafness connected with the white color is the absence of pigment cells in the inner ear resulting in a loss of sensory hair cells at about 6 - 8 weeks of age.
The shortage or absence of pigment cells is also the cause of the white coat and un-pigmented third eyelids (called the haw). In general the more pigment in the coat the lower will be the risk of deafness, but all predominantly white dogs are at risk of being deaf, not just the Boxer breed.
Please note however that not all white dogs are white because of a lack of pigment cells. Some breeds such as the West Highlands and Poodles just have extremely diluted pigmentation; they have a full complement of pigment cells, so are not at risk of being deaf.
There are of course many other causes of deafness in dogs. Not all are attributable to the absence of pigment cells. And deafness can be caused by external factors too.