The Boxer Dog, a member of the Working Dog Group is a fantastic all around dog breed. Could a Boxer be the right dog breed for you? Here are the standards and other pertinent information you should read prior to buying a new dog or puppy of any dog breed for your home.

History: Boxers can be traced back to the 16th century and are thought to have descended from two German mastiffs-type dogs known as Bullenbeiszer and Barenbeiszer. They were crossed with a native Bavarian dog which was subsequently mated with the English Bulldog giving birth to a new breed of dogs called the boxer. The breed was initially used to hunt boar and deer and was later also used in sports such as bull-baiting and pit fighting. After these sports were banned around the 1850s, Boxers were employed for the purpose of guarding cattle. Indiscriminate breeding followed until the breed was stabilized in 1904 with the introduction of the first Boxer studbook. Even though the breed was used in the gruesome sports of bull-baiting and dog fighting, over the years it has been carefully bred to develop a non-aggressive temperament.

The type of work the breed does: During the last century, the Boxer was methodically bred for security purposes along the German border, resulting in a breed that could smell smuggled contraband, attack interlopers and guard land areas. The Boxer was among the first canines to be used for military and police work. They are also used as watchdogs, guard dogs and in search and rescue operations.

Physical Representation: The breed has a strong, compact and medium-sized body with strong back and short limbs. The muzzle is broad and blunt resembling that of a bulldog. The coat is close to the body and is fawn, brindle or white in color. Red colored coat with white markings is also prevalent. Its head is unwrinkled and in proportion to the rest of the body. The large nose is black in color with visible nostrils. The lower jaw protrudes under the upper jaw and is seen to curve upwards. Its eyes are dark and the neck is strong and round.

Personality and Temperament: Boxers have an endearing personality as they are always looking for an opportunity to please their owner. They are highly intelligent, loyal and affectionate as well. This breed can prove to be stubborn but responds to training. Known to be of a playful nature, they love to interact with children and often act like puppies. However, one should not leave them with children unsupervised as they can unintentionally cause harm due to their immense size and stature. Boxers are not hostile to strangers or others pets but early socializing is advisable. Their name was bestowed upon them because of their tendency to begin play by using their front paws, using motions similar to that of a boxer.

Care: The short and smooth coat of the Boxer is very easy to groom. Brushing with a firm bristle brush is advisable and it should be bathed only when necessary in order to prevent the loss of natural oils from the skin. Boxers are usually quite clean as they are accustomed to grooming themselves.

Living environment: This breed can adapt to apartment life, but they are relatively active indoors but an average-sized yard is recommended. They should be sheltered from extreme climatic conditions. Boxers require a lot of exercise and daily walks as well as occasional play sessions are necessary.

At a glance:

  • Breed Group: Boxers

  • Height: 21 to 25 inches

  • Weight: 53 to 70 lb

  • Color: fawn, brindle, white and red with white markings.

  • Life Expectancy: 11 – 14 years

  • Average litter size: 6