Originated from Germany, this breed’s ancestors are thought to be dogs such as the Great Dane, the Bulldog and a hunting dog named Bullenbeisser. This german word, meaning ‘bull biter’, is thought to have been the origin of the Boxer’s name. The Bullenbeisser was originally used for hunting large animals and it was only in 1895 that the first Boxer was officially shown. The first Boxer Club was also founded on the same year, in Munich.
The breed hasn’t suffered any significate changes since then, although most Boxers have their ears cropped in America. According to the Kennel Club, Boxers are included on the Working Breed Group. The breeds included on this group represent dogs who were selectively bred to become guards and search and rescue dogs.
Boxers are fun, energetic and extrovert dogs. They’re intelligent and full of stamina; if you’re looking for a dog who’s always willing to play, run and go for a long walk, this is the right breed for you. They’re not afraid to roll over on the mud or to fetch a stick… They’re joyful and playful! They’re characterized as lively, strong, loyal, friendly at play, but with guarding instinct. They’re also easy to train.
According to the Kennel Club, when it comes to their general appearance, they should be of great nobility, smooth and short coated (the color may be fawn or brindle; white markings are acceptable whilst not exceeding one-third of the ground color), medium-sized and square built, with a strong bone structure and evident, well developed muscles. The head shouldn’t be appearing neither light nor too heavy; the skull should be lean without exaggerated cheek muscles; the muzzle is expected to be broad, deep and powerful, never narrow, pointed, short or shallow. They may have a dark mask confined to the muzzle, distinctly contrasting with the color of the head, even when there’s white; their lower jaw appears undershot and curving slightly upward. The muzzle shape is completed by the upper lips and these should be thick and well padded, supported by the well separated canine teeth on the lower jaw. The top of the skull should be slightly arched, not rounded, nor too flat and broad. At the same time, the occiput mustn’t be too pronounced. There should be a distinct stop. When it comes to the nose, it should be broad, black, slightly turned up, with wide nostrils with a well-defined line between. The eyes should be dark brown, forward looking, not too small, protruding or deeply set. The ears are ought to be of moderate size, thin, set wide apart on the highest part of the skull, lying flat and close to the cheek. The neck is meant to be round, of ample length, strong, muscular, with a clean cut and no dewlap. The shoulders should be long and sloping, close lying, not excessively covered with muscle. The upper arm must be long, making a right angle to the shoulder blade. The forelegs, when seen from the front, are straight, parallel, with a strong bone structures. The elbows should not be too close or standing too far from the chest wall. When it comes to the body, it should appear square; the chest is ought to be deep and reaching the elbows. The ribs should be well arched, not barrel-shaped, extending well to the rear. Withers clearly defined and the back must be short, straight, slightly sloping, broad and strongly muscled.
With very strong hindquarters, we should find hard muscles that stand out noticeably under the skin. The thighs should be broad and curved. Broad croup slightly sloped, with flat, broad arch. The front feet must appear small and cat-like, with well arched toes, and hard pads; the hind feet should be slightly longer. The tail, when docked it should be set on high and carried upward; when undocked, it should be set on high and carried gaily, of moderate thickness.
Their size should be as stated next:
Height: dogs: 57-63 cms (221/2-25 ins); bitches: 53-59 cms (21-23 ins).
Weight: dogs: approximately 30-32 kgs (66-70 lbs); bitches: approximately 25-27 kgs (55-60 lbs).
Such as many other pedigree dogs, Boxers suffer from a number of genetic disorders and diseases. According to some studies, they appear to be prone to developing the following conditions: atrial septal defect (congenital), aortic stenosis (congenital and strong predisposition in males), dilated cardiomyopathy (prevalence of 3.4% in this breed whilst compared to 0.16% in mixed breeds and 0.65% in pure breeds), sick sinus syndrome, pericardial effusion, canine acne, pododermatitis, atopy, food hypersensitivity, oestrogen-responsive dermatosis, canine follicular dysplasia, demodicosis, Ehler-Danlos syndrome, truncal solar dermatitis, pyoderma, skin tumors, hypothyroidism, thyroid neoplasia, insulinoma, phaeochromocytoma, histiocytic colitis, chronic idiopathic (lymphocytic-plasmacytic) colitis, coccidiomycosis, congenital elbow luxation, melanoma, canine cutaneous histiocytoma, primary brain tumor, entropion, ectropion, corneal endothelial dystrophy and others.
They’re also very sensitive to acepromazine and other phenothiazines.
If you want to know what to buy for Boxers, check out my guide on the best dog products for Boxer.