Boxers Urkabustaiz'tar
Boxer breeders since 1964

Inheritance of white colour in the boxer breed

There appears to be some controversy among fanciers regarding the white markings issue in the boxer breed, particularly as they relate to the all-white boxer. White puppies are often found in litters, much to the dismay of breeders - especially when they turn out to be deaf, a not uncommon occurrence.

I think a bit of theory about the mode of inheritance of white could be useful:

The allele for solid colour (brindle or fawn) is ‘S’ (dominant).
The allele for white markings is ‘sw’ (recessive).

So, genetically, our Boxers can be:

    ‘S S’ (genotipe solid)
    ‘S sw’ (genotipe flashy)
    ‘sw sw’ (genotype white)

Thus, the results of the “allowed” bredings are:

1) ‘S S’ x ‘S S’ = ‘S S’, ‘S S’, ‘S S’, ‘S S’
(solid x solid = 100% solid puppies)

boxer sólido X boxer sólido =

boxer sólidoboxer sólidoboxer sólidoboxer sólido

2) ‘S S’ x ‘S sw’ = ‘S S’, ‘S sw’, ‘S S’, ‘S sw
(solid x flashy = 50% solid, 50% flashy)

boxer sólido X boxer marcado =

boxer sólidoboxer sólidoboxer marcadoboxer marcado

3) ‘S sw’ x ‘S sw’ = ‘S S’, ‘S sw’, ‘S sw’, ‘sw sw
(flashy x flashy = 25% solid, 50% flashy, 25% white)

boxer marcado X boxer marcado =

boxer sólidoboxer marcadoboxer marcadoboxer blanco

So the first two types of breedings *never* produce white puppies.

White markings above the cracks of the toes (which usually go hand-in-hand with white markings on the face) “betray” the flashy Boxer (genotype ‘S sw’).

There are of course other genes that affect the whole colour pattern of our Boxers, like those controlling the black mask, fawn or brindle colour, size of the white markings, etc., but they do not affect the main issue we are discussing now.

I hope this explanation can help those who want to be able to avoid producing white puppies.

Natacha Moscoso (1998)

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