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Boxer Dog – Everything you need to know

Boxer Basic Information

  • Name: Boxer
  • Size: Large
  • Height: Males: 23.5 to 25 inches & Females: 22 to 24 inches
  • Weight: Males: 60 to 80 pounds & Females: 55 to 70 pounds
  • Coat: Short and shiny
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
  • Color: White, Black, Fawn and Brown
  • Energy: High
  • Origin: Germany
  • Activities: Herding, Drug detection, Therapy, Service dog
  • Barking Level: Medium
  • Shedding Level: Normal
  • Litter Size: 6 to 10 puppies
  • Group: Working Group
  • Other Names: German Boxer, Deutscher Boxer
  • Breed’s Original Pastime: Herding, Guarding

Different types of Boxers

Boxers are usually classified into three breeding types based on their bloodlines and the countries that breed them. German Boxer, American Boxer, UK Boxer are the three general Boxer breeds and they have minute differences between them.  

Boxers are also characterized by the color and pattern of their coats into four breeding types – Brindle Boxer, White Boxer, Black Boxer and Fawn Boxer.

  1. German Boxer
Closeup Photography of Tan and White Boxer

This German Boxer is often considered the official breeding type. They have a slightly large and dense bone size compared to UK Boxer and American Boxer. They are usually preferred for their massive frame with long legs and thicker thighs. This Boxer breed has a comparatively smaller snout differing in minute ratio than the other Boxer breeds.

  1. American Boxer

The American Boxer is the first type of Boxer to be recognized by AKC. They have a tight and denser coat without wrinkles. This type of Boxer also differs from other Boxer breeds by the shape of their legs and the way they stand.

  1. UK Boxer

The UK Boxer differs from German Boxer and American Boxer because of their relatively smaller legs with big knuckles. They are preferred for their elegance and agility.

  1. White Boxer
White Boxer Dog - Pros and Cons of Owning a White Boxer

This type of Boxer has a white coat but they are different from albino dogs. Some white Boxers also have black patches on their coat. These patches are usually visible around the eyes, around the neck region or their tail.

  1. Brindle Boxer

The Brindle Boxer can be easily identified from the black stripes on their coat. These black stripes will either be dense or sparsely dispersed. The color of this Boxer breed type ranges from tan to dark brown. They also have some white fur on parts like the chest and knuckles.

  1. Black Boxer

Black Boxers are the rarest of the Boxer breed types. They have a shiny coat that appears to be black. Black Boxer is the same as Brindle Boxer with much denser Black stripes. The black stripes are too dense to make the dog’s coat appear black. This breed type of Boxer also has white fur around the chest area like the Brindle Boxer.

  1. Fawn Boxer

Fawn Boxer, as the name suggests, has a fawn to deep brown colored coat. Fawn coat is common in other Boxer breed types also. A large amount of white fur on the chest and leg areas differs this breed from other fawn-coated Boxers.

Boxer History

Boxer has its origin in Germany. The ancestors of Boxers were German Bullenbeisser. The Boxer was developed in the late 19th C by George Alt. The first fawn and white-colored Boxer named Lechner’s box was developed from a brindle female German Bullenbeisser with a random local dog. Meta von der Passage, a white and brindle female Boxer, should be considered the mother of this breed because of her contribution to stabilizing the Boxer breed. 

The first Boxer club was started in 1985 at Munich in Germany that further stabilized the breed. The first Boxer was imported to the US in 1903. Arnulf Grandenz was the first Boxer to be registered in AKC in 1904. Sieger Dampf v Dom was the first Boxer champion of AKC. In 1935 American Boxer Club was started in the US and a year later, AKC accepted the club.

With the commencement of World War I, Boxers became a part of the military and worked as service dogs, messengers and guarding dogs. In the 1940s, after World War II, the soldiers brought back home Boxers resulting in their popularity in the US. Since then, the Boxers had become one of man’s best companions, guide dogs, guard dogs and rescue dogs. They are still ranked among the top ten breeds on the AKC listing. 

Boxer Breed Overview

Boxer, the peter pans of the dogs, holds the 5th position out of the 155 dog breeds recognized by AKC. The breed got its name Boxer because of how they move their front legs. The movement is similar to that of the fighting Boxers. They are best suited for herding, guarding, guiding and service in police and military fields. Boxer has a longer puppyhood than any other dog breeds

Boxers are highly energetic and require regular exercises and training to keep them busy. It is essential to engage them in some activity because they might get aggressive if bored. They should not be left alone for so long. They are sharp and will quickly lose interest if a game or training is repeated. If you plan on getting a Boxer, make sure you will have enough time and energy to play and train them.

Boxer is highly protective and is really good at guarding and watching over children. Their forehead with wrinkles and their curious eyes gives them a watchful appearance. They are enthusiastic, affectionate towards their owners. The Boxer loves their family and children and will always be ready to play with them. Their behavior depends on how they are trained and treated. It is advisable to socialize them a lot from puppyhood. 

A Boxer has a mind of his/her own and doesn’t always like to be bossed around. They also have a playful, funny nature. They don’t want to be on the lease and like to run around freely. They are extremely active and like to run and jump around. Because of this nature, the Boxer is not suitable for weak adults or young children. 

Boxer Pros and Cons:

ProsCons
Highly intelligent & loyalIntolerance to heat and cold
Exceptional guard dogExcessive drooling
Low sheddingMight be aggressive when bored

Boxer Highlights:

  • Boxers are enthusiastic, and you will be overwhelmed by their greeting.
  • Early training and socialization are essential, or Boxers can become destructive.
  • Boxers mature slowly mentally and retain their puppy behavior for many years.
  • Boxers, if left alone for a longer duration, can become destructive and aggressive.
  • Boxers tend to drool and snore excessively.
  • Some Boxers are exceptional guard dogs while some don’t have guarding instincts. 

Boxer Personality

The Boxer is a highly energetic, muscularly built, intelligent breed. An average male Boxer will stand as tall as 23-25 inches and weighs around 60-30 pounds. The females have lesser bones and are relatively smaller with 22 to 24 inches height and they weigh 55 to 70 pounds. They are squarely built with elegance and style. Their coat color ranges from fawn to deep brown and some breed types also white and black coats. Their coat is shiny, tight and they shed only occasionally, so they need minimal grooming. They are hyperactive, loyal and very fond of their family. They are strong and highly confident, and are employed in military and police services. 

Boxer Breed Physical Features

Head
The head of a Boxer is beautiful and proportional to its muzzle. The head is free of wrinkles except for the wrinkles appearing on the forehead when their ears are erect. The wrinkled forehead and deep brown eyes give them an alert, watchful appearance. They have perfectly placed eyes in perfect size. Their blunt balanced muzzle adds to their elegance. The skull of the Boxer is broad, flat and arched where the ears are set.  Mostly their ears are chopped off and they stand erect when the dog is vigilant. Some owners prefer not to chop off the ears and, in such cases, the ears will be drooping close to the cheeks. The cheeks are flat, projecting the skull’s elegant curves. The nose is small. Their jawline is set in such a way that neither their tongue nor their teeth will be visible when their mouth is closed. Their teeth are arranged in a straight line. The projected lower jaw is covered by the thick layer of the upper jaw. 

Neck
The tight coat and muscle-built body of a Boxer hold the skin from hanging on the sides. The shape of their neck is circular, long and without wrinkles. The neck is arched and ends into the wither. The projected neck makes the Boxer look confident and brave. Their back is muscular, clean and short.

Topline
The topline changes from sloping to leveling depending on the attentiveness and movement of the Boxer. Their topline is clean and smooth. Their shoulders are strong, long and close to each other.

Chest
Boxers have a broad and distinct chest which can be seen from its side. Their brisket stretches deep towards their elbow. The fore chest reaches down to their stomach, making the loin tight and not pouchy. Ribs are well projected and arched but to a perfect level to not make them protruding.

Legs
The front legs of the Boxer are thick muscled with long straight bones. They are arranged to look parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground when viewed from the front. The Boxer has thick lengthy thighs. When seen from the back, the hind legs appear slightly curved and perpendicular to the ground. Their feet are well-rounded and appear bigger in certain Boxer breed types. The hind legs don’t have rear claws and those in the front legs can be removed.

Tail
Boxer has docked tails. They usually stand erect from the back and little movement can be seen when excited. Today many owners prefer to let the Boxer’s tail grow. An undocked tail is rejected during shows.

Coat
The coat of a Boxer is shiny, short and tight. The skin is smooth and without any wrinkles except on the forehead region.

Color
The color of a Boxer ranges from tan to deep brown. Some Boxer breed types have a completely white or completely black coat. Fawn is a predominantly accepted color. Some Boxers have white or black patches around their eyes, neck and legs. Brindle breed has more black stripes compared to other breed types of Boxers. A Boxer with more white patches or any different color except fawn or brindle is disqualified.

Gait
The gait of the Boxer should be efficient and straight. The elbow reaching from the shoulder should be straight and not titled. When seen from the side, the legs should run parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. 

Boxer Characteristics

Friendliness:

Affection Level                           High
Family-FriendlyHigh
Kid-FriendlyMedium to High
Pet-FriendlyLow to Medium
Strangers-FriendlyMedium to High 

Adaptability:

Good for New Pet OwnersMedium
Good for Apartment LivingMedium to High
Sensitivity LevelMedium to High
Tolerates being aloneLow
Cold ToleranceLow to Medium 
Heat ToleranceLow

Trainability:

Easy to TrainMedium to High
IntelligenceMedium to High
Prey DriveMedium
Tendency to Chew, Nip & Play-biteLow to Medium
Tendency to Bark or HowlMedium 
Wanderlust AbilityMedium
Attention/Social NeedsMedium to High

Boxer Temperament

Boxer is naturally a protective and guarding dog. They are alert and keen on guarding. They show much affection towards their families and are playful around young kids. Boxers are incredibly loyal to their owners. They exhibit confidence and bravery while facing strangers. A Boxer will attack strangers only when disturbed and threatened. Boxer’s ancestors were used for herding and guarding.

 They require proper and adequate training from puppyhood for their proper behavior. An untrained and lonely Boxer can become destructive. 

They love to conduct themselves. They are too intelligent and like to behave on their own. Too much discipline and restrictions can annoy them. They are elegant and confident in their way of carrying themselves.

Any deviations from the recognized qualities of Boxer will be disqualified in a show. Their response to orders and elegance will be considered. Any exhibition of timidity will be disqualified. 

Boxers love to play, and they need sufficient exercise to maintain their energy. Boxers’ small noses and short coats make them intolerant to hot and cold weather. While training or exercising, they must not be kept outdoors for long. Boxers tend to jump on people and accidentally hurt people, so it is necessary to train them early to restrict this behavior.

Boxers can be difficult to house train, and crate training can make this process easy.  Before training a Boxer, take the dog for a walk or an exhaustive play session to focus better.

Boxer Exercise Needs

As Boxers are highly energetic dogs, they need regular training every day to focus their energy positively. They are dangerous when left alone for long periods. Playtimes and regular exercises are necessary for their proper behavior.  Early training and socialization are essential to keep them in control. Consistency in exercises and training is required. If you plan to bring home a Boxer, make sure to spend sufficient time with them every day.

They like to run around freely, but it is dangerous to let them on their own without a leash. Their nose and coat are not suitable for long durations outdoors. Therefore, everyday exercises for a Boxer should be carried out twice or thrice every day in short durations.

Exercise Needs Overview:

Energy Level                                High
Exercise Needs                           High
Playfulness                                  High
IntensityHigh

Boxer Grooming

The coat of a Boxer is thin, tight and close to the body. Boxer sheds less and requires minimal grooming. Occasional combing is sufficient. Boxers are naturally clean dogs, so they need bathing once or twice a week. Focus on their dental health and groom their nails regularly.

Grooming Overview:

Amount of Shedding                  Medium to High
Tendency to DroolHigh
Tendency to SnoreHigh
Easy to GroomHigh

Boxer Health Information

Boxers are susceptible to many health issues so regular health checkup is absolutely necessary. Health Overview

Basic HealthLow to Medium
Weight Gain PossibilitiesMedium to High
SizeMedium

Some common health issues seen in Boxer include:

  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip Dysplasia is a painful, life threatening condition caused when the bones of the rear legs don’t fit properly in the joints. While some dogs show symptoms, most dogs won’t have any visible symptoms. Though Hip Dysplasia is mostly hereditary, factors such as injuries, excessive weight gain, wrong exercises can cause hip dysplasia. Treatments range from medication to replacement of the hip through surgeries. To prevent this condition, avoid breeding Boxers with hip dysplasia parentage, undertake regular checkups.
  • Hypothyroidism: Deficiency in thyroid hormone is hypothyroidism with clearly identified symptoms which are obesity, unusual shedding, rough patchy coat, fall in the Boxer’s energy levels. Hypothyroidism is not life-threatening and can be treated with regular medication throughout the dog’s life. 
  • Cancer: The Boxer with a white coat is more prone to cancer on their skin while the other Boxer breeding types can be affected by cancer in their brains and cells.  Though white Boxers are different from albino dogs, too much sun exposure can burn their skin. The owners of Boxer with a white coat or more white patches should be cautious of the Boxer’s time outdoors.
  • Cardiomyopathy: Cardiomyopathy is one of the heart conditions, caused due to the improper conduction of blood to the heart resulting in a sudden rise in heart rate. As there are no symptoms, this can cause normal fainting to unexpected deaths. 
  • Aortic Stenosis: Aortic Stenosis is another heart condition that can cause deaths in Boxers. The blocking of the aortic valve will reduce the blood supply from the heart to other parts of the dog’s body. The transmission mode has not yet been identified but this condition can be detected with regular checkups.
  • Deafness: Deafness is the lack of hearing ability seen in many breeding types of Boxers. Like cancer, a white Boxer is more prone to deafness. It is more common in pigmented dogs. As it can also be hereditary breeding white Boxers with hearing issues should be avoided.
  • Corneal Dystrophy: Corneal Dystrophy is also an inherent disease that can affect the layers of cornea in Boxer’s eyes.  Symptoms such as the formation of an opaque layer is seen in some Boxers but it is not painful.
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus: This condition is also called bloating, affects dogs with a large chest like a Boxer. The Boxer will be affected if fed more than sufficient meals a day, rapid drinking of water and exercise after a meal. This bloating commonly occurs in older dogs. It is life-threatening because the dog would have excessive air in its stomach, which it can’t get rid of, so the blood flow to the dog’s heart will be suspended.  Immediate medical treatment is necessary if a Boxer gets affected by Gastric Dilatation- Volvulus. As this could also be inherent, it is advisable not to breed Boxers with this condition. Some symptoms include retching without any actual vomiting, restlessness, and heart rate rise.
  • Allergies: Boxers are more susceptible to many allergies than other dog breeds. They can be allergic to certain food or something from their environment. Regular checking and being careful about the food and habitat can avoid allergies in Boxer.
  • Dental Disease: It affects 80% of pets by the age of two. It causes tartar build-up on the teeth, infection of the gums and roots, and in extreme cases, loss of teeth and damage to the kidneys.
  • Infections: The Boxers are prone to certain bacterial and viral infections such as rabies, parvo, and distemper. The viral infection can be prevented by giving a vaccination based on the dog’s age.
  • Parasites: The Boxers can be infested with worms, bugs, fleas, and ticks that can get into their systems through unclean water, contaminated soil, or bitten by an infected mosquito. It can also be transmitted to you and your family. Symptoms include discomfort, pain, and even death.
  • Obesity: It is a significant health condition in Boxers. Excess weight can cause joint problems, back pain, digestive disorders, and heart disease. The best way to prevent this lifestyle disease is a healthy diet and regular exercise.
  • Spay or Neuter: In spay, the ovaries or uterus in females is removed, and in the neuter, the testicles of the male dogs are removed. It is done to eliminate the possibility of pregnancy or fathering unwanted puppies and also decreases the likelihood of certain types of cancer.

National Breed Club Recommended Health Tests for Boxer:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • AS\SAS Cardio
  • Aortic Valve Disease
  • Boxer Cardiomyopathy
  • ARVC DNA Test
  • Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Test

Boxer Diet and Nutrition

Two healthy meals per day is advisable for a happy and healthy Boxer. When overfed, a Boxer can gain more weight leading to obesity in them. Feed your Boxer quality food with sufficient nutrition to keep their energy level constant. Make changes to the diet as the puppy grows into an adult Boxer. Planning diets based on their height, weight and nutrition needs will keep the Boxer healthy. Consulting a veterinarian on planning diets for your Boxer is recommended. 

Boxer Living Condition

Living conditions play a vital role in Boxer’s life. The Outdoors is not suitable for a Boxer because of their short nose and thin coat. They are highly suited for apartment living and require two to three short outdoor sessions per day. 

Did You Know?

  • Boxers were involved in Dog fighting until it was outlawed.
  • Boxers and almost all Bulldog types are cousins as they all descend from molossus blood.
  • Boxers are the first breed selected in Germany for police training.

Boxer Club Recognition

  • ACA = American Canine Association Inc
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • FCI = Federation Cynologique Internationale
  • CCR = Canadian Canine Registry
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
  • UKC = United Kennel Club

Boxer Rescue Groups

There are countless Boxers in need of adoption and/or nursing, and there are several breed-specific rescue associations across the country that are listed below:

  1. Boxer Rescue
  2. Boxer Rebound
  3. Wiggle Buttz Boxer Rescue
  4. Second Chance Boxer Rescue

These groups can provide proper guidance with respect to adoption, and if you aren’t sure which breed is right for you, foster care to test if the breed is a good fit for your home.


To Buy a Boxer Now: Buy a Boxer Pup Online

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