I got my first dog when I graduated from high school. She was a Rottweiler mix named "Haley". I have been hooked on dogs ever since.
My first boxer came to me quite unexpectedly. In late 2000, a friend who knew I was really involved with dogs came to me with a stray he found wandering his neighborhood. It was a 4-month-old plain brindle boxer boy we came to know as "Trey". He was very skinny, covered in wounds, and had been shot with a pellet gun. Even after all that, he was just a little love bug. He never held a grudge—not a mean bone in his body.
So I agreed to take him in as a "foster" dog. We nursed him back to health, did extensive obedience training with him, and gave him a great year with us before finding him a forever home. The hardest thing was letting him go, but we already had two other dogs at the time and a baby on the way. After a long selection process, he went to a wonderful home in Olympia, Washington.
I have never been the same since that day. I missed his happy, outgoing personality, and the trademark boxer "wiggle butt". I knew this was the breed for me, and just had to have another one...and another... and another...
I began my career working with dogs through an intensive apprenticeship program at The Academy of Canine Behavior in Bothell, WA. During the apprenticeship I learned about obedience training–teaching dogs how to live with people, and canine behavior–with an emphasis on working through aggression issues. I went on to become a trainer (training dogs) and an obedience instructor (teaching people to train their dogs). Additionally, I was exposed to the world of showing dogs for conformation.
Through this experience and my love for the boxer breed, I became hooked and developed a strong desire to better the breed through educated, selective breeding. I firmly believe in breeding dogs of sound health, temperament, and conformation (according to breed standard). It is also very important to me to match my dogs with the most appropriate homes, in order to enrich the lives of the dogs and their people.
I previously offered my boxer breed expertise and behavior experience for a period of time to help start up Northwest Boxer Rescue, first on the Board of Directors, then as Chief Of Operations, between December of 2011 and June of 2013, when I resigned from my position and left the rescue. The time in rescue was enriching, pushed me to think even further outside the box, see all all the affects of humans on the outcome in dogs behavior, both positive and negative, and was proud to be a part of many lives being saved that otherwise would not have had a chance. Also was on the Board of Directors, Vice President, as well as head trainer / behaviorist of MustLuv Boxers Rescue, from Spring 2015 to October 2016.
I thrive on watching a dog start at one point, and come leaps and bounds in a positive direction. No two dogs temperament and behavior is ever identical, like a fingerprint, every one is individual and I love cracking that puzzle and making the connection, teaching positive association and confidence, making a lifelong change not only for the dogs happiness and well being, but for their human family as well.
– Heather McIntosh Trainer, Behavior Specialist, retired breeder.
18 years dog training and behavior experience
Everlast Boxers established -2006