- Group – Working
- Height – 21-25 inches at the shoulder
- Weight – 25-32 KG
- Life Span – 9-13 years
The Boxer is surprisingly good with children. This breed has a playful nature, yet is patient and intelligent. With early training, a Boxer can provide a strong and watchful companion to all family members.
Boxers are originally a German breed and are cousins to almost all types of Bulldogs. Their distant ancestors are believed to have come from fighting dogs bred in Tibet. Boxers were initially bred to be working, hunting and guard dogs. The Boxers’ predecessors include the Bullenbeisser mastiff (“bull-biter”), a stocky German breed used to chase, catch and hold fierce wild game, including boar, bear and bison. Its short, broad muzzle distinguished the Bullenbeisser from all other breeds of its time and made it particularly well-suited to the job it was bred to do. After 1815, Germany’s grand hunting estates were largely broken up, and hunting began to decline in popularity among the gentry. The last recorded boar hunt reportedly was held in 1865 at Kurhesser Courts; afterwards, most hunting dogs were sold.
In the 1850s, a Bulldog (which actually resembled a small Mastiff) was exported from England to Munich. Years later, early Boxer fanciers used descendants of that Bulldog and the German Bullenbeisser to form the foundation of the modern breed, which was developed to be smaller and lighter than its predecessors. For a period of time, European Boxers probably were used in bull-baiting – a betting-man’s “sport” that eventually was outlawed. In 1894, three Germans took steps to stabilize and exhibit the breed, which they did in Munich in 1895 for the first time and thereby brought Boxers to widespread prominence. The following year, the first German club devoted to the breed was founded as the Deutsche Boxer Club of Munich. The initial German breed standard was adopted in 1902, but was vigorously debated for several years by rival Boxer breeders and clubs.
Boxers were used to carry messages, ammunition and supplies during both World Wars. Returning soldiers brought some of these dogs to this country, where their popularity grew. The first Boxer was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1904; the first AKC championship was earned in 1915; and the American Boxer Club was founded in 1935. Since then, Boxers have continued to rise in popularity as guardians, watch dogs, show dogs and family companions.
The source of the breed’s name is uncertain, although some fanciers speculate that it was coined by an Englishman in reference to the characteristic sparring gestures made with its front legs during play, that remain a hallmark of this breed. Other theories concerning the origin of the name “Boxer” include: 1) that it is a corruption of “beisser,” which means “biter”; 2) that it is a corruption of the word “boxl” or “boxeln,” which were nicknames for one of the Boxer’s ancestors, a now-extinct breed called the Brabanter; and 3) that it was coined simply because the dogs were “prize fighters.”
Personality and Temperament
Boxers tend to be very friendly and intelligent dogs. They bond very closely with their family.
The breed gets along especially well with children. They also can get along well with most other dogs and household pets. They can be naturally inclined to protect a family from intruders.
Hair, Care and Grooming
White should not cover more than a third of the dog. Coat is short and smooth. The Boxer can get by with an occasional good brushing.
This breed has some major concerns such as cardiomyopathy, sub-aortic stenosis, and hip dysplasia. They are occasionally prone to epilepsy and, in later years, may be prone to tumors. They have a tendency toward allergies and heart problems.
Training and Activity
This breed needs special consideration in training to not jump on people, but it learns quickly. A consistent effort will pay off during training.
The Boxer requires a lot of exercise, including long walks and playing in the yard.
Monitor your Boxer’s diet as the breed suffers from allergies and metabolic problems. You may find that giving your Boxer several smaller feedings throughout the day works best.