Santa Barbara, California
Pennsylvania, United States
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Breed group: Working Group dogs
Other name(s): German Boxer;
Deutscher Boxer; Deutsche Boxer
Country / place of origin: Germany
History: It is believed by many that the origin of the Boxer began as far back as the 16th Century, while others believe the mid-1800’s are more likely. In either case, the development of the Boxer started with ancestors of the Mastiff and Bulldog, including the Barenbeiszer and the Bullenbeiszer. They were used for hunting, bull baiting, and pulling carts. As time went on, the use of the Boxer’s ancestors changed to that of cattle dogs. Though early Boxers may have been ferocious, the breed today is a very gentle, loving family companion. In 1904, the first Boxer studbook was started and, with this advent, stabilization of the breed standard began. The name "Boxer" is an English name and describes the dog’s habit of fighting with its front paws, as well as using his feet to paw at toys, his water and food bowls, and even at you in a manner that has been described as “cat-like.” Some of the Boxer's uses are watch dog duties, military and police work, guarding, search & rescue and competitive obedience. There are two types of Boxers currently being bred: the German Boxer and the American Boxer. The German Boxer has a bigger head and is more muscular than American Boxer.
Details: The Boxer's build is compact and powerful, well-muscled, and should have a sturdy, strong, squarely built appearance. In the U.S., the tail is typically docked and the ears cropped, while both docking and cropping is now illegal in some Countries. Their ears, left in the natural state, are dropped. The head should be in proportion to its body, lean and unwrinkled except for the forehead. The teeth should meet and have an undershot bite; the lower jaw extends beyond the upper jaw and curves upward. Boxers have a broad, blunt muzzle, dark eyes, a black nose, and should have an expression of alertness.Boxers have been used as guard dogs, therapy dogs, guide dogs for the visually impaired, hearing dogs for the hearing impaired, and even seizure alert dogs. They perform exceedingly well as law enforcement dogs, search and rescue, and narcotics detection.
Average height and weight (mature size and weight): 21-25 inches, 50-80 pounds
Color / coat variations: The hair should be short, glossy, smooth and lie close to the skin. Coloration should be fawn, brindle, and various shades of red, with white markings that do not comprise more than 1/3 of the dog’s coat. The brindle can range from sparse but distinct black stripes on a fawn background all the way to heavy black striping that is so thick that the fawn background color is barely visible, but can still be clearly seen. Though there are white Boxers, they should never be bred in order to maintain the integrity of the breed colors.You will hear the word “flashy” used in describing a Boxer’s coloration. “Flash” refers to the white markings on a Boxer. The classic Boxer has very little white coloration and what it has is usually confined to the chest and feet. “Flashy” refers to a Boxer with more pronounced white markings, such as those that extend up the legs or on the face and neck. “Flash” is caused by a lack of pigmentation; a Boxer with flash carries the genes for extreme white spotting. A Boxer carrying two copies of that gene will be either mostly or completely white and, again, should not be bred. Be suspicious of any breeder who tries to convince you that a white, or mostly white, Boxer is rare. They are not rare but, rather, carry genes that should not be put back into the stock. Also, there are no black Boxers.
Lifespan: 8-14 years
Litter size: 4-10 puppies
Grooming and shedding: Brush your Boxer with a firm bristly brush. Do not bathe unless absolutely necessary as it removes the natural oils from their skin. The Boxer is one of the few dog breeds that groom themselves in a cat-like fashion and are very clean. The Boxer is an average shedder.
Food habits: The Boxer is a high-energy, playful dog and this energy output must be sustained and supported with a healthy diet! Because of their very muscular and strong build, Boxers do eat more than other dogs. This makes it very important that you provide your Boxer with enough quality food to meet his needs every day.Boxers are not large breed dogs. Even if the dog food packaging defines a “large” breed dog as one weighing over 50lb as an adult. The Boxer is, and always has been, considered a medium sized breed. They should not be fed large breed food.
Climate and environment: The Boxer is a brachycephalic breed; that is, it has a very short muzzle with the lower jaw extending somewhat further than the upper jaw (undershot). This type of facial structure gives a very secure ‘bite’ but it also makes it difficult for the brachycephalic dog to regulate body temperature. None of the brachycephalic breeds do well in very hot (can be very difficult for them to breathe) or cold conditions; they may also snore because of the short muzzle. Because of this short muzzle, the air they breathe in can cause them to chill easily in cold weather and have trouble cooling off in very hot weather.
Behavioral aspects: The Boxer is a fun-loving but protective breed. They are a confident dog, both self-assured as well as self-confident, and can be fearless. Many maintain a puppy-ish demeanor throughout their life, playing, clowning around, and being generally active.A Boxer's temperament is as much a matter of training as it is of genetics. You should expect your Boxer to be alert but gentle, loyal and obedient. While they are usually a rather easy-going breed, some can be stranger-aggressive and potentially overly protective of their family. Boxers can be stubborn but they remain a sensitive breed and respond well to training. It is vital for the Boxer to have a lot of human companionship.
With children: Boxers are well-known for their ability to get along very well with children. Because they are so boisterous and never lose the ability to play like a puppy, they can forget how large they are and inadvertently knock someone over, so playtime with children should be supervised.
With other dogs and animals: As a general rule, a properly brought-up and properly socialized Boxer who has been well trained will get along with almost every other pet in the household; however, if you have another female dog and a female Boxer, you can expect them to occasionally fight even though they will usually get along well together. The same will hold true of a male Boxer with another male dog; and, in either gender, may well be the case with strange dogs.
Training and learning rate: The Boxer needs a dominant owner. Training should begin early, be consistent, and be firm; training should not, however, be harsh due to their sensitivity. Because they love to jump, teaching your Boxer not to jump up or on people is very important and should be part of the early training process. Their learning rate is fast because they are alert, they are attentive to their owners, and they want to please you. Because you will be dealing with a dog with very high energy levels and a very high intelligence level, you will need to be willing to spend the extra time required to exercise patience in training, but it will be time well spent with years of dividends.
Agility: Boxers do well in the Agility course and the Obedience ring. They require a patient, sensitive, but dominant trainer for this, just as they do for obedience and general training.
Affinity to water: Their attitudes toward water are as individual as they are, themselves; but, generally they do like the water.
How noisy are they: Generally the Boxer is a quiet dog that does not bark except to alert. They are exuberant in their play and can become noisy inside the home during play.
Exercise: Because they retain their puppy-like behavior well into their senior years, it is the nature of the Boxer to love to play, so have an ample backyard or, if you’re an apartment dweller, taking him for long walks each day is beneficial and allows him to burn off some of that puppy energy.
Health issues: Food allergies are common in Boxers; it is recommended that you avoid foods that contain corn in any form, wheat, brewers yeast, and all forms of by-products. Typical indications of food allergies are itchy and/or red skin, ears and/or feet, persistent ear infections, diarrhea, vomiting, or hives.Additionally, though they are a generally healthy breed, Boxers can be prone to a number of other health issues/conditions, including:
|Barks a lot||2.7|
|With adult family members||4.9|
|With children below eight||4.7|
|With children above eight||4.8|
|With strange dogs||3.9|
|Watch dog ability||4.2|
|Guard dog ability||3.6|
|Low cost to own||2.6|
|Easy to groom||2.4|
Caring for (1 video)