Boxer Breed Information
The Boxer is a beautiful, strong, and loving pet that has quite an interesting lineage. For instance, the Mastiff, English Bulldog, and German Bullenbeisser are all distantly related. While the German Bullenbeisser was originally bred to hunt, this breed was eventually bred down to a much smaller dog, which was called Brabanter. Then the 19th century, this breed was crossed with the English Bulldog, which led to what we know today as the Boxer.
By 1894, the Boxer had captured the attention of three Germans who decided to “clean up” the breed somewhat for show, which occurred in 1895. Just one year later, the Boxer Club was formed. Throughout the latter part of the 19th century, the Boxer was introduced to Europe and the United States. Again, being appreciated for its strength and excellent temperament, the American Kennel Club first recognized this dog in 1915.
Due to brute strength and trainability, the Boxer was used during World War I. At this time, the dog played a number of roles to include guard dog, pack dog, messenger, and even guard dog. While this breed remained a popular choice during the war, once fighting ended, the Boxer’s reputation spread around the globe but as a companion or show dog.
Although there is some debate as to the name of the Boxer, most historians and early breeders believe it came from the dog’s tendency to fight while standing on the hind legs, almost human-like. However, other experts believe the name was a derivative of the German word “baxer”, which was used commonly during the latter part of the 18th century. Regardless, what we know today is that the Boxer is a fine specimen of a dog, making an excellent option for guarding, showing, or just being a family pet.
Although the Boxer is an excellent dog, you want to work with a reputable breeder to ensure you purchase a strong bloodline. This particular dog is very loving and immensely faithful to its master, along with others within the home. The Boxer is highly alert, fearless, intelligent, cheerful, and friendly. Keep in mind that the nature of this breed is to be wary of strangers so you want to make introductions slowly. Because of this breed’s loyalty to family, it is an excellent companion.
The Boxer is strong and protective but amazingly gentle with children. The key however, is to socialize the puppy young and provide appropriate behavioral training. Remember, this dog is physically strong so you would need to teach it not to jump or play too rough, especially around children. In addition, while training, you want to make techniques fun and interesting. This breed can be somewhat headstrong so choosing something the Boxer would enjoy is important to success.
You will also find that the Boxer remains very puppy-like until around age three. Because of this, you need to be patience in raising this breed, knowing that it will have high energy early in life. In most cases, the Boxer is great with other dogs as well, particularly dogs smaller than it is. While you can certainly introduce a larger dog to a Boxer, you want to realize that there could be a reaction of protecting territory. Therefore, raising the Boxer from a young pup with a larger dog is best.
Boxer Size and Color
This breed of dog is considered medium-sized but stocky and strong. Typically, a mature Boxer would weigh anywhere from 55 to 70 pounds. For height, the males are between 23 and 25 inches at the withers while females are a little smaller, usually between 21 and 23 inches. One of the first things people notice with the Boxer is the strong, proud stance but keep in mind, early socialization and training will produce a gentle, loving dog.
The Boxer is also known for its square muzzle and strong jaws. The tail is docked and depending on the owner’s preference, the ears may or may not be cropped. While the American Kennel Club allows cropped ears, you would be penalized in show if the tail were undocked. However, if you were interested in showing your Boxer in European countries, both cropping and docking are prohibited. In addition to the look of strength, you would also notice the bold, strong head of the Boxer.
As far as color, you would likely find the Boxer with a brindle or fawn, color, which could include a white tummy, as well as white on the front paws or front and back paws, known as “flash”. In some cases, the white would also move up onto the dog’s face and/or neck. Sometimes, you will hear a breeder advertise reverse brindle pups, which is simply extra dark brindle. For show, the white portion on the body cannot cover more than 20% to 25% of the body. In fact, studies now show that does with excessive flashing are actually more susceptible to health issues to include skin cancer and sunburn.
Boxer Feeding and Grooming Requirements
The Boxer is not too fussy when it comes to food. Typically, breeders would recommend you feed this breed in the morning and then again in the evening to keep up with the active lifestyle. Keep in mind that sometimes, a Boxer will have a sensitive digestive system. In this case, the best food is one well balanced. Additionally, you might introduce treats to your Boxer’s diet to see if it can tolerate them.
In most cases, high quality dry food is best. While you might add high quality soft food in with the dry on occasion, this can lead to dental problems such as tartar, decay, and bad breath. The Boxer generally has no problem with obesity, again because of high energy, but remember that while a puppy, the breed would likely look a little on the thin side, which is perfectly fine. As the dog matures, it will begin to fill out.
The coat of the Boxer is short and smooth, which means brushing once or twice a week is about all you need to do. For this, we would recommend a rubber, grooming mitt. Because this breed sheds very little, it is a great choice for people with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory illnesses. For bathing, the Boxer is incredibly clean so once a month or every other month should suffice.
Boxer Exercise Needs
As mentioned, the Boxer is one breed of dog that remains very puppy-like until around age three. Therefore, you can expect medium to high energy levels. Playing is a normal part of this breed’s nature but as long as you can walk the Boxer three to four times per week, it would actually do quite well in an apartment or home with a small or no yard. However, having a yard for the Boxer to romp around would be best, but again, not necessary.
For training, be patient, especially during younger years. This breed is highly intelligent and loves to please its master. Even so, the Boxer does have a slight stubborn streak so you need to keep training interesting. If the dog becomes bored, training would become a challenge.
Read More About Boxer
- Owning a Boxer : Breeder Recommendations
- Boxer Health Guide
- Boxer Training Guide
- Boxer : 10 Most Common Questions