Group classification: Working Country of origin: Germany Date of origin: 19th century
Weight (M): 65 - 80 lb Height (M): 22 - 25" Life expectancy: 8 - 10 years
Weight (F): 50 - 65 lb Height (F): 21 - 24"
General Description of the Boxer
The Boxer is a powerful, squarely built dog of medium size, easily recognized by its distinct muzzle and face. The head is clean, with a noticeable stop and wrinkles on the forehead and the sides of the muzzle. Ears are set high on the sides of the skull, long and generally cropped. The eyes are dark and, along with the forehead, primarily responsible for giving the Boxer an intelligent, highly expressive visage. The muzzle is blunt and broad, and topped with a nose that is wide and black. The Boxer’s bite is undershot and very strong. The neck is round, muscular and long, and flows smoothly into the back, which is short, powerful and sloping toward the back. Overall, the body gives the impression of efficient strength and power. The dog’s coat is short, lying close to the body with a smooth sheen. The Boxer’s color is either brindle or fawn, often with white markings; these markings can appear on the chest, legs, feet and face, but should not take up more than one third of the coat. The face has a black mask.
An exceedingly versatile dog, the Boxer is many things to many people, and it is difficult to describe his personality precisely. The Boxer is energetic, playful, intelligent and curious. This dog is always ready for a game or adventure, and tackles challenges with gusto and joy; the Boxer is often said to be an “eternal puppy,” in that it does not begin acting like an adult until two-and-a-half to three years of age. However, the other half of the Boxer’s personality is very serious and deliberate, and harkens to the breed’s working dog history. The Boxer is heroically brave and uncommonly devoted to its family, and though the dog is not inherently vicious or aggressive, it will repel a perceived attack against its masters with brutal tenacity. For this reason, proper socialization is imperative. The Boxer is neither overtly friendly with nor aggressive toward strangers; if the dog detects that its master approves of the stranger, it will take on an accepting and slightly guarded attitude toward the newcomer. This response is also common with strange dogs, though the Boxer tends to be a bit more aggressive in this area. The Boxer is respectful of other pets and playful and protective with children.
Caring for a Boxer
In order to stay happy and healthy, the Boxer needs physical and mental exercise every day. A challenging game in the park or a good jog are usually sufficient. The Boxer should have a yard to play in, but it prefers to sleep indoors and does not do well in either hot nor cold climates; particularly in the heat, the short-muzzled Boxer can have difficulty breathing and keeping cool. Coat care is very basic and entails a weekly or biweekly brushing; Boxers are very clean and tend not to smell. Major health concerns for the Boxer include subvalvular aortic stenosis, boxer cardiomyopathy, and canine hip dysplasia. Other health concerns in the breed include colitis, low thyroid, corneal erosion and gastric torsion (Bloat).
Description: The Boxer is a medium-sized, squarely built canine of good substance with a short back, strong limbs, and short, tight-fitting coat. Boxers should have a broad, blunt muzzle and an expression of alertness. Their faces resemble that of a Bulldog, and their tails are usually docked for show. Ears are sometimes cropped for show as well, but they naturally have drop ears. Boxers should have a fenced yard to roam in, but will do well in a city environment if walked daily. They do not do well in the heat, but adapt to most other aspects of living environments. The Boxer is considered a "people dog" adapting well to other dogs and children. They are a popular breed all over, retaining their puppy-like tendencies well into old age. Boxers love to play, do well with children, and are youthful at heart. They are obedient, loyal, and learn quickly. Boxers can make excellent guard dogs, as they were used for that purpose in the past and today. They should never be aggressive, but rather even-tempered and loving towards their family, thus making the Boxer an ideal family pet.
Colors: Fawn, brindle with or without white markings on the face, chest, on the insides of the forelegs and on the feet. They can have a black mask over their face and eyes. Sometimes puppies are born almost all white, but it is not as common.
Coat: Short, shiny, smooth and glossy. The coat is easy to maintain.
Temperament: Boxers are playful, affectionate, friendly, headstrong, and high-energy. They remain loyal, loving and obedient to their masters. They can be stubborn but are still sensitive and responsive to training. They have the attitude of a puppy when around a loving family, and can be excellent guard dogs towards strangers or strange dogs. They are active dogs, positive and fun-loving. They are very strong and not opposed to a scuffle with other dogs. Boxers can sometimes forget their size and play like a puppy, forgetting the possibility of knocking something or someone over.
With Children: Yes, loyal playmate. Boxers are an affectionate, playful breed who do well with children. Precaution should be taken, however, with small children considering the Boxer's puppy-like attitude when he is much bigger than he thinks.
With Pets: Although generally good with other pets, including dogs, socialization is best. May be aggressive with other male dogs, or new strange dogs.
Special Skills: Guard dog and family pet.
Watch-dog: High. Their guard dog tendencies exude watch dog abilities.
Guard-dog: High. They are deliberately wary with strangers. Used for guarding in the past, the Boxer retains its status to this day. They are sometimes aggressive towards other strange dogs. Boxers are not afraid of a brawl with the neighbor's dog.
Care and Training: Boxers require low maintenance for grooming. Nails need regular attention. Boxers are an energetic breed who needs lots of exercise either by a long walks or runs. A well-fenced yard is a must. The Boxer does well with obedience training.
Learning Rate: High. Training can be a challenge as high intelligence combined with dynamic nature demands a patient owner willing to spend extra time and energy on their training. Yet, Boxers are very trainable and learn quickly. They can be stubborn, but remain sensitive and responsive to commands.
Activity: High. They retain their playful puppy-like nature well into their golden years, and will remain active. The Boxer also needs lots of exercise.
Special Needs: Attention and exercise.
Living Environment: Indoor and outdoor dog. Boxers are people dogs and love to be social inside with their families. But they are also active and love to play, by which they need space and/or good runs or long walks. Boxers do not do well in the heat and should not be kept in a hot enclosure. A yard is a must for Boxers, they are not suitable for an apartment because of their playful, sometimes boisterous nature. Boxers will not let you forget them in the backyard. The best owner for a Boxer would be a family living in the city, suburbs or country. They generally can adapt to most places.
Health Issues: Usually quite healthy. Boxers may have problems with heart murmurs, hypothyroidism, tumors, and hip dysplasia. Other health concerns include digestive problems.
Country of Origin: Germany
History: The Boxers origins stem from as far back as the sixteenth century in Europe. His ancestors are thought to involve mastiff-type dogs called Bullenbeissers (translating to "bull-biter"), English Bulldogs, Great Danes, Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs, and some type of terrier. The general consensus of the Boxers' genetic makeup is that around the 1830s, German hunters created the Boxer from mating a small Bullenbeisser (mastiff-type breed) female to a native, possibly Bavarian, male dog, by which the two produced a female who was then mated to an English Bulldog. Boxers were first used as hunters to the Germans and Nederland residents to hunt boar and deer. Later in Germany, the breed was used in bull baiting and the popular sport of dog fighting. When dog fighting was banned in Germany in the mid-nineteenth century, the Boxer was then put to use as a guard and for controlling cattle at slaughterhouses. This may have been where the Boxer received its current name, being called "boxl" in the slaughterhouses. Another theory states that the name "Boxer" was formed due to their use of front legs when in the fighting ring, resembling a boxer. In 1895 the Boxer breed was exhibited in Munich, by then making a reasonable standard by which to judge, and in 1904 was registered by the AKC. After World War II these dogs became more popular in the United States, and has since received steadily rising praise. Boxers were among the first to become military and police dogs. Although originally bred and raised in a bull-baiting and fighting environments, over the years they have been refined to have a non-aggressive temperament, which certainly shows.