Foundation to Camano's breeding line
The Foundation to Camano's breeding line in 1983 was
Sunar's Indian Chief. Indian was the son of Oleg v. Knotenquell and
Shinneth Barbie Doll of Sunar. The ancestors of Oleg came from Heldenhuegel, Henningshof, Schütting and Witherford. Witherford and Schütting notable shaped the success of the German Boxer in the eighties.
Barbie Doll's ancestors were English. Excellent English breeding lines such as Steynmere produce good and healthy boxers. The
bottom branch of Indian's pedigree consisted of old-fashioned American boxers. In the eighties, the American boxer was still closely related to the earlier boxers who came to the American continent from Europe. The American continent still had experienced long time breeders and above all honest veterinary service. An owner of a purebred dog could still walk out of a veterinary clinic after being told that there was nothing wrong with the purebred registered dog because it was very healthy. Offsprings from the breeding line coming down from Indian enjoyed good conformation, health and longevity up to twelve, thirteen and over fourteen years.
Obedience Training in Canada
Already in 1980, I had acquired the Canadian boxer puppy
Mephisto Ardito Arrigo. With Arrigo I competed in Canadian and American obedience and tracking. We started out in a typical Canadian dog obedience class in Victoria on Vancouver Island in British Columbia and we finished the class as the worst dog with the worst handler! Me! We repeated the beginners class again and finished again as the worst dog only to be told that we had to repeat the class a third time. The experienced Canadian CKC instructors were of the opinion that a boxer could not work! We failed again!
Only then, I realized that despite all their efforts the instructors did not succeed in ruining my young spirited boxer. After the third class at the end of spring, we were heading into a hot summer. I had three weeks to restart Arrigo - this time on my own and my way - and get him ready for his first obedience trial. Record high temperatures on trial day were not exactly boxer weather. Covered with wet towels we waited for two hours until midday for our turn, occasionally subjected to the pitiful eyes of our instructors who were competing with their own dogs. We were scheduled as the last dog in the outdoor ring. I took the wet towels
off and entered the ring with Arrigo who seemed to have forgotten that it was a hot day. We won the trial! The instructors packed up and left. Only one instructor came forward and said to me "May be you can do it".
Show Exhibition in Canada
Twenty years later, the members of this Victoria obedience club still had not forgiven my deed of winning the trial with a boxer. Years later, when I entered the show ring with my female Arpege - she needed two more points for her Canadian champion title - a spectator shouted from the sideline across the ring "I saw you last time on the Schutzhund training field". The distinguished Canadian show judge picked up on it and immediately started moving his arm in front of Arpege, the way he must have seen somewhere a helper working a dog. Arpege looked at him with big eyes standing motionless in front of the judge. I burst out in laughter
after I could no longer hold it back, but the judge kept moving his arm determined that this was what makes a dog bite a person. He had made up his mind that this was what we do in Schutzhund. Arpege was by far the best dog in the boxer ring, but this judge would not give her a point despite her good performance. We both left the ring smiling without ever finding out about the culprit across the ring.
Arrigo completed his AM/CAN TD (American/Canadian tracking title) & AM/CAN CD (American/Canadian companion dog obedience title) just under the age of two. He had one leg into CDX when he suddenly started to refuse the high jump. I lost him to a heart attack. Unknown to me, Arrigo had been exposed to the Heart Parvo shortly after his birth, but survived. In 1980, the Canadian veterinarians did not know how to diagnose Heart Parvo,
only Stomach Parvo was recognized. (Ironically, shortly after, the Canadian Kennel Club lowered the height of the dog jump in the obedience, another step of lowering the Canadian dog standards by letting sick dogs pass and awarding them an obedience title.)
A year later, my Canadian Champion Mephisto's Sunburst followed Arrigo with an oesophagus problem.
My search for a boxer on the American Continent
Having lost two boxers at such a young age, I decided to research the boxer breeding lines on the American continent. My research and letters to many well-known breeders in USA and Canada resulted in the choice of
Sunar's Indian Chief from Colorado Springs, a good combination of two superior boxer-breeding lines from England and Germany. Together with his half brother Sunar's Starfire I enjoyed the company of two real boxers. Researching boxer-breeding lines turned into a time consuming task with no end in sight.
1988 CKC Registration of CAMANO
Since I could not find another boxer to my specifications, I decided to register the kennel name CAMANO with the Canadian Kennel Club. Through my profession as an architect, I had plenty of practice in working forty-eight hour sessions without sleep. I can still perform after the occasional 60-hour session, all of which is necessary to whelp a litter. The only one C-section in 26 litters, which had been caused by the neighbour's rat poison, undermined my record. After a litter is on the ground, I pull up my camping bed and sleep beside the whelping box for the next five weeks, and the mother knows that she can join me and watch her puppies sleeping from my bed after a feeding session. Like sleeping on a sailboat anchored out, the minute something goes wrong, you wake up.
First homebred Puppies
My first litter contained in the extended pedigree Schütting in several branches with the additional English
lines coming in from Steynmere on the mother's side. This litter produced
CH Camano's Arpege. Fourteen years later, Arpege had become a dear companion, strong and determined to enjoy her life. She taught me how to listen. She taught me how to see things from the perspective of the boxer. Over the years, I learned to respect each boxer individual and I learned to listen first. I whelped my first litter with the help of a fourteen hour long phone call to a long time breeder in Seattle, WA State USA, and with an old book, the same book that guided me through all my litters. The help that I received from this breeder deteriorated gradually during the long phone call and only common sense prevented me from making fatal mistakes. A few weeks later when she came to visit me, she made up her mind to steal the whole litter. She did not succeed, although it was a close call. I have never ever trusted another boxer breeder since.
Learning about genetic Inheritance and Veterinary Medicine
With my knowledge in veterinary medicine, a hobby, I have been able to help other boxer owners with advice. The ongoing studies of pedigree combinations led to another hobby, the breeding of heritage chickens for the purpose to gain some knowledge in genetics. Two fighting roosters and a few Silver Laced Wyandotte and French Maran hens gave me a start in the very basics of genetics. Chickens can produce more generations in a shorter time than dogs. A small home-built incubator perched on the kitchen counter allowed me to monitor the hatching - minus the occasional exploding egg that would plaster the kitchen walls. Small chicks were raised in a box behind the wood stove to keep them warm. My boxers enjoyed searching out the occasional escape artist.
The Boxer around the World
Many countries in the world are producing good boxers, however. the quality of the last century has been lost. We can only hope that countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Belgium, Sweden, Netherland, Finland, Poland, and Russia will be able to restore the quality of the boxer in the future. England appears to have preserved the good quality English boxer.
In 1999, the Zuchtwert was introduced by the SV in Germany on the German Shepherd. The BK followed with the German Boxer. The goal of the Zuchwert was to improve the breed and force breeders to be selective in their choice of dog for a mating. However, now after over a decade, experienced breeders around the world are questioning the system. What happened to the quality of the eighties? Why are experienced breeders in Germany forced to abandon their carefully built-up breed lines? Why can Germany not look at the forest beyond the trees? Excellent breeders reside in East-European countries. These breeders were able to preserve their knowledge and are now producing boxers from good quality breeding lines.
Unfortunately, the American continent has become the dumping ground for low quality German boxers. Why export a good German boxer onto the American continent? America does not know what a good boxer is. Faulty offsprings exported by dog brokers to the American continent as German Boxers, often with false or altered pedigrees are being used for breeding by some Americans who do not want to know better and do not want to learn about the boxer.
The American Boxer
Contrary to the development in Europe, a few decades ago breeders on the American continent started to head off into the opposite direction and by the year 2000, the true boxer was lost on the American continent with little chance of recovery. The knowledgeable breeders from the eighties retired one by one. The internet came along and mass hypnosis promoted false information as a campaign to reduce the dog population on the American continent. The new
generation of emerging breeders does not know how to go about it and they are not willing to learn. Since Canada and USA can no longer produce the true boxer, the boxer standard is now under review on the American continent. To suit this new American boxer specimen, a gazelle like animal with reduced substance, legs that look like matchsticks, and a head of incorrect proportions, the American standard is being changed, and will have to be changed repeatedly if breeders continue on the present path.