Purebred Boxer puppies vary quite a bit in price.
It’s not unusual to pay as much as $3500 for a Boxer puppy, although a high price doesn’t always indicate the puppy has been responsibly bred with proper health screening of both parents.
How much it costs to buy a Boxer puppy depends on a range of factors including:
- Whether the litter is sold by a reputable, registered breeder or a “backyard” operator
- Whether the individual puppy is deemed “show quality” or “pet quality”
- What rights attach to the pup e.g. does the contract of sale allow you to show and breed from the dog?
While prices below $1000 may be a red flag, some of the most careful breeders doing all they can to produce healthy, long lived Boxers may charge less than unscrupulous operators who’re just seeking to make a buck.
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What Is The Average Cost Of A Boxer?
A review of the purebred Boxer puppies for sale on the American Kennel Club Marketplace at the time of publishing reveals a wide range of prices.
The cheapest AKC-registered, purebred Boxer puppies sell for just under $1000 and the dearest command as much as $3500.
Price Range For A Boxer Dog Puppy
Puppies with a champion sire are the most expensive, typically priced from $3000 to $3500.
A white female from two champion parents in Ohio is listed for $2500.
A Missouri-based breeder advertises pups at $1300 from health-tested parents.
One breeder asks as little as $950 but the listing appears to give less emphasis to screening for diseases known to run in Boxer bloodlines.
How Much Should A Boxer Puppy Cost?
Boxer puppies from Gentry Boxers, the gold standard in naturally reared Boxer puppies, are $3500.
Cheaper puppies sold by owners who’ve bred their pet Boxers, likely without any health testing, are just as cute and may seem 100% healthy at first.
These puppies are typically sold without papers i.e. are not eligible for registration with the American Kennel Club (AKC).
While you mightn’t care about papers, a Boxer advertised for $500 in the local classifieds may end up costing much more in the long run due to the health problems that can be associated with poor breeding practices.
Many of these issues won’t emerge until the Boxer is an adult.
Anyone who’s experienced having a Boxer struck down by a health condition that could have been avoided by proper screening and careful breeding can vouch for the expense — and the heartbreak.
However, price is not always an accurate reflection of the quality of a Boxer puppy.
Responsible breeders focused on the betterment of the breed may charge less than irresponsible, so called “backyard” breeders in it to make money.
How much the dog costs is only one of the many questions you should ask when choosing a Boxer breeder.
Protect yourself from scams by never buying a Boxer puppy off the internet, sight unseen.
It is always best to purchase a puppy in person, after inspecting the litter.
If you are buying long distance, it is well worth paying a visit the breeder to choose your pup.
Always verify a prospective breeder’s credentials by checking with official channels such as local Boxer clubs and the American Kennel Club.
Double check any claims made about health test results, pedigrees and championship titles held by parents.
Breeders worth their salt will welcome your questions and readily provide documentation or codes that you can look up official websites to view the parents’ health scores for diseases known to afflict the Boxer breed such as degenerative myelopathy (DM) and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC).
What Is The Difference Between A “Pet Quality” Boxer Puppy And A “Show Quality” Boxer Puppy?
Breeders define “pet quality” Boxer puppies as those that are not suitable, one way or another, for showing or breeding.
This generally means a puppy isn’t the absolute best example of the breed.
A pet quality puppy may have one or more features that are considered “faults” in that they don’t meet the official Boxer breed standard.
It can be as slight as the pup having:
- A nose that’s a touch longer than the breed standard dictates
- White markings covering more than a third of the body
- An unpigmented or pink haw (third eyelid)
While such a pup might be unfit for breeding or unlikely to find success in the conformation ring, he is 100% Boxer and likely to be indistinguishable from his “show quality” littermates in terms of health, temperament and longevity.
After all, the entire litter will have benefited from the same bloodlines, health testing, nutrition and care.
Note that breeders routinely attach conditions to puppies sold as pets, to protect their breeding programs.
These pups usually come with a “limited registration” meaning they are registered with the American Kennel Club but cannot be bred from i.e. the AKC will not recognize any puppies of these dogs.
More problematically, you may be required to neuter/spay a Boxer puppy you buy as a pet, as part of a non-breeding contract.
While common in the United States, neutering is known to have serious detrimental effects on the health of Boxers, particularly when done before maturity which is about two years of age.
Talk to the breeder and see what you can negotiate: you may have zero interest in breeding your Boxer but want to keep your dog intact on health grounds.
How Much Should You Pay For A Boxer Puppy With Papers Versus A Boxer Puppy Without Papers?
When a Boxer puppy comes “with papers” it just means he came from parents that are themselves AKC-registered, and that the owners had the right to breed from those dogs.
Papers are proof your Boxer is purebred.
Unfortunately, papers are no guarantee that you are getting a well-bred Boxer that will be free of health problems.
AKC registration certainly makes it more likely the breeder is serious, rather than a casual operator purely out for profit, or a pet owner whose Boxer had an accidental litter.
But, it will be up to you to find out all you can about the breeder, including what health screening they do (make sure you see proof), their rearing practices (including what they feed and their approach to worming and vaccinations) and whether they compete with or show their dogs etc.
Taking all these details into consideration, you’ll be able to decide whether a breeder’s pups are likely to be of the best possible health and temperament.
How Do Breeders Decide How Much To Charge For Boxer Puppies?
Most responsible breeders price their pups less to make money and more to recoup the considerable costs of running a quality breeding program and raising healthy litters.
The costs incurred by breeders include:
- Health testing — of both parents, for the range of diseases known to occur in Boxers, as well as tests for things like the bacterial infection brucellosis which can cause abortion and sterility in the dam (mother).
- Stud fees — can include cost of travel
- Progesterone monitoring — Reveals the ovulation date which is used to schedule mating and to accurately predict the whelping date. (Whelping refers to a dog giving birth.)
- Ultrasounds — To confirm the bitch is pregnant and gauge health of pregnancy
- Food for the dam — During pregnancy and peak lactation dams require enhanced nutrition and can consume as much as four times their normal amount of food
- Maternal supplements — Including homeopathic formulations if it’s a natural rearing breeder
- Whelping supplies — Including some that have expiry dates and must be ordered fresh for each litter e.g. fresh plasma may be fed to newborns and kept on hand to nourish puppies that fail to thrive
- Optional cosmetic procedures like tail docking and dew claw removal — done within a few days of birth, usually days two to five
- Food and supplements for puppies — Solid food introduced from about three weeks and increased as the dam weans the pups. Expense is greater the longer the breeder keeps the puppies (Eight weeks is standard but it’s better for Boxer puppies from a socialization point of view to remain with their littermates and mom until 10 weeks, and some breeders don’t release pups until 12 weeks)
- Nursery equipment including bedding, pens, pee pads, toys and a variety of socialization aides such as obstacles, wobble boards, scent items, sound desensitization recordings like the Through a Dog’s Ear 3 CD Set with Household & Outdoor Sounds, textured surfaces etc
- Fecal tests and worming — Ideally your breeder tests before automatically worming and uses natural methods, not store-bought chemical wormers which can be harmful
- Vet fees — Can quickly mount up if there are complications with the pregnancy or birth
- AKC registration for the litter and for each individual puppy
- Puppy starter kit supplied to owners
- Microchip implantation — You may or may not wish this to occur
- Wellness exam prior to rehoming including heart check at 8 weeks by board-certified veterinary cardiologist
- Vaccinations (Reputable natural rearing breeders will avoid vaccinating puppies before they leave the litter and may recommend homeopathic nosodes as a gentler way to build immunity, without the health risks associated with traditional injected vaccines.)
- DNA testing of pups for degenerative myelopathy (DM) and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC-1) if puppies’ genetic status cannot be determined on the basis of parents’ results
- Time off work to care for the litter (Breeders have day jobs too!)
- Gas, power and water bills associated with keeping a litter of puppies warm and clean
- Transport costs involved in taking puppies to vet checks, evaluations, play dates, socialization experiences
Why Do Some Boxer Puppies Cost So Much More Than Others?
Factors that may influence the price you pay for a Boxer puppy include:
- Pedigree and the parents’ success in the show ring i.e. whether the pup is from champion bloodlines, and what titles have been won by the dam and sire
- Location — Can be more expensive in coastal states and cheaper in the middle of the country
- Purpose — Puppies sold as pets are generally cheaper than those sold to show homes
- Contracts and conditions — Price can vary depending on the rights withheld by the breeder or attached to the dog i.e. whether the pup is sold outright or with an agreement that the breeder can include the dog in their breeding program in future
- Color — White Boxer puppies may be sold for less than fawn and brindle littermates because they do not technically conform to the breed standard. Less reputable breeders may advertise “black” Boxers as rare and attempt to charge more for this coat color variation which is actually a reverse brindle
- Markings/Flashiness — Distribution of white markings can make the difference between a puppy being a show prospect or not
- Age at which the puppies go to their new homes – From 8 to 12 weeks is standard. Responsible breeders will not be wiling to let their pups go any earlier
- Ancestral lines — European bloodlines are seen by some owners as more desirable than American bloodlines, increasing the demand for and market value of these puppies. If the breeder has imported chilled or frozen semen from Europe for the breeding, this can triple or quadruple the cost of regular stud fees and breeders may pass this cost on
- Gender — Both male and female Boxers make great pets but some breeders charge more for females because of the potential to breed from them
- Costs associated with buying and showing the bitch — Some breeders include these expenses in their puppy price calculation
Other Things To Know About Buying A Boxer Puppy
Keep in mind:
- Deposits may be required in order to go on the waiting list for puppies – some breeders ask for a quarter of the purchase pricze to reserve or hold a puppy
- Some breeders offer rebates or refunds for neutering/spaying and for titles won by their puppies
- If you are buying a Boxer puppy from an interstate breeder, it’s ideal to pick up the puppy yourself. If you can’t, there will be transportation costs and not-insignificant stress to the puppy in transit
- Never buy a Boxer puppy off the internet sight unseen e.g. from a Facebook post and give pet shops a miss as they have been associated with puppy mills
How Much Does It Cost To Buy An Adult Boxer?
Compared to buying a puppy from a breeder, rescuing a Boxer from a shelter can be a cheaper undertaking up front.
But there are still some costs involved.
Adoption fees for Boxers are usually in the order of a few hundred dollars.
It’s important to consider whether a rescue Boxer is right for you, as it can be a very different experience to buying a puppy you can train and shape from scratch.
If you’d prefer an adult Boxer, breeders sometimes have older pups and ex-show dogs available.
All being well, the cost of your Boxer puppy will be the single largest one-off expense you have to outlay throughout the life of your dog.
The most compelling reason to pay for a properly bred Boxer is because reputable breeders are much more likely than casual ones to do thorough health screening.
Regardless of what you pay, from $1000 to $3500, one thing is guaranteed: it will be worth it.
With or without champion bloodlines, your Boxer will pay you back a hundred fold.
AKC Marketplace, Boxer Puppies For Sale, July 30, 2021
O’Connor, Tara, How to Find a Reputable Breeder, Euro Boxx Boxers, Retrieved July 2021
Shames, V, American Boxer Club, Buying A Boxer Puppy?, 2019
Walker, J, Newcastle Boxers, Our Pricing Policy, 2001