Boxer is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.

Boxer dogs boxing
Boxing Boxers

Boxer dog breed got its name from its tendency to stand on its hind legs and box with its front paws during play!

Boxer breed origin

Boxers were developed in Germany as medium-sized security dogs. The breed is valued as a spirited pet and guardian of home and family.

Developed to serve the multiple purposes of guarding, working and as an escort dog, the boxer must combine elegance with substance and ample power. Not alone for beauty, but to ensure the speed, dexterity, and jumping ability essential for a working breed.

Boxer’s General Appearance

The Boxer is a medium-sized, sturdy dog, of square build with a short back, strong limbs, and short, tight-fitting coat. His musculation, well developed, should be clean, hard, and appear smooth (not bulging) under taut skin His movements should denote energy. The gait is firm yet elastic (springy), the stride free and ground-covering, the carriage proud and noble. Only a body whose individual parts are built to withstand the most strenuous efforts, assembled as a complete and harmonious whole, can respond to these combined demands. Therefore, to be at his highest efficiency he must never be plump or heavy, and, while equipped for great speed, he must never be racy.

Boxer Cropped earsPhoto: Brindle Boxer

The head imparts to the Boxer a unique individual stamp peculiar to him alone. It must be in perfect proportion to his body, never small in comparison to the overall picture. His muzzle is his most distinctive feature and the greatest value to be placed on its being of correct form and in absolute proper proportion to the skull.

Faults: Head not typical, plump bull-doggy appearance, light bone, lack of balance, bad condition, lack of noble bearing.

Boxer FamilyPhoto: Boxers with puppies

Boxer’s Character and Temperament

These are of paramount importance in the Boxer breed. Instinctively a ‘hearing’ guard dog, the boxer is alert, dignified, and self-assured, even at rest. His behavior should exhibit constrained animation. His temperament is fundamentally playful, yet patient with children. Deliberate and wary with strangers, he will exhibit curiosity, but most importantly, fearless courage and tenacity if threatened. However, he responds promptly to friendly overtures when honestly rendered. His intelligence, loyal affection and tractability to discipline make him a highly desirable companion. The boxer is an amazing dog breed for families with children.

Faults in temperament: Lack of dignity and alertness, shyness, cowardice, treachery, and viciousness (belligerency toward other dogs should not be considered viciousness).

Boxer’s Size

Adult males: 22-1/2 – 25 inches (57-64 cm); females: 21-23-1/2 inches (53-60 cm) at the withers. Males should not go under the minimum, nor females over the maximum.

Fawn BoxerFawn colored Boxer

Boxer’s Coat and Color

The coat should be short, shiny, lying smooth and tight to the body. The colors are fawn and brindle. Fawn in various shades from light tan to stag red or mahogany, the deeper colors preferred. The brindle coat in the Boxer is of two opposite types. The first of these includes those dogs having clearly defined dark stripes on a fawn background. The second type has what is best termed reversed brindling. Here the effect is of a very dark background with lighter-colored fawn stripes or streaks showing through. White markings in fawn and brindle dogs are not to be rejected; in fact, they are often very attractive, but must be limited to one-third of the ground color, and are not desirable on the back of the torso, proper. On the face, white may replace a part or all of the otherwise essential black mask. However, these white markings should be of such distribution as to enhance and not detract from the true Boxer expression.

Boxer puppy brindlePhoto: Brindle colored boxer puppy

The Boxer’s Head: The beauty of the head depends upon the harmonious proportion between the muzzle to the skull. The muzzle should always appear powerful, never small in its relationship to the skull. The head should be clean, not showing deep wrinkles. Folds will normally appear upon the forehead when the ears are erect, and they are always indicated from the lower edge of the stop running downward on both sides of the muzzle. The dark mask is confined to the muzzle and is in distinct contrast to the colour of the head. Any extension of the mask to the skull, other than dark shading around the eyes, creates a somber undesirable expression. When white replaces any of the black mask, the path or any upward extension should be between the eyes.

Boxer's head

The muzzle is powerfully developed in length, width, and depth. It is not pointed, narrow, short or shallow. Its shape is influenced first through the formation of both jawbones, second through the placement of the teeth, and third through the texture of the lips.

The Boxer is normally undershot – Therefore, the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper, curving slightly upward. The upper jaw is broad where attached to the skull and maintains this breadth except for a very slight tapering to the front. The incisor teeth of the lower jaw are in a straight line, the canines preferably up front in the same line to give the jaw the greatest possible width. The line of incisors in the upper jaw is slightly convex toward the front. The upper corner incisors should fit snugly back of the lower canine teeth on each side, reflecting the symmetry essential to the creation of a sound, non-slip bite. The lips complete the formation of the muzzle and they should meet evenly. The upper lip is thick and padded, filling out the frontal space formed by the projection of the lower jaw. It rests on the edge of the lower lip, and laterally is supported by the fangs (canines) of the lower jaw. Therefore these fangs must stand far apart and be of good length so that the front surface of the muzzle shall become broad and squarish, and when viewed from the side, form an obtuse angle with the topline of the muzzle. Over-protrusion of the overlip or underlip is undesirable. The chin should be perceptible when viewed from the side as well as from the front without being over-repandous (rising above the bite line) as in the Bulldog. The Boxer must not show his teeth or his tongue when his mouth is closed. Excessive flews are not desirable. The top of the skull is slightly arched, not rotund, or flat or noticeably broad, and the occiput must not be too pronounced. The forehead forms a distinct stop with the top line of the muzzle, which must not be forced back into the forehead like that of a Bulldog. It should not slant down (down-faced), nor should it be dished, although the tip of the nose should lie somewhat higher than the foot of the muzzle. The forehead shows just a slight furrow between the eyes. The cheeks, though covering powerful masseter muscles, compatible with the strong set of teeth, should be relatively flat and not bulge, maintaining the clean lines of the skull. They taper into the muzzle in a slight, graceful curve. The ears are set at the highest points of the sides of the skull, cut rather long without too broad a shell, and are carried erect. The Boxer’s natural ears are defined as: moderate in size (small rather than large), thin to the touch, set on wide apart at the highest points of the sides of the skull and lying flat and close to the cheek when in repose. When the dog is alert the ears should fall forward with a definite crease. The dark brown eyes, not too small, protruding or deep-set and encircled by dark hair, should impart an alert, intelligent expression. Their mood-mirroring quality combined with the mobile skin furrowing of the forehead gives the Boxer head its unique degree of expressiveness. The nose is broad and black, very slightly turned up; the nostrils broad with the naso-labial line running between them down through the upper lip which, however, must not be split.

Faults: Lack of nobility and expression, sombre face, unserviceable bite. Pinscher or Bulldog head, sloping top line of muzzle, muzzle too light for skull, too pointed a bite (snipey). Teeth or tongue showing with mouth closed, driveling, split upper lip. Poor ear carriage, light (“Bird of Prey”) eyes. Wry mouth; that is, when the upper and lower jaws are not in parallel straight lines.

Boxer puppies fawn brindlePhoto: Boxer puppies

Boxer’s Neck: Round, of ample length, not too short; strong and muscular and clean throughout, without dewlap, with a distinctly marked nape and an elegant arch running down to the back. Faults: Dewlap.

Chest and Forequarters: The brisket is deep, reaching down to the elbows; the depth of the body at the lowest point of the brisket equals half the height of the dog at the withers. The ribs, extending far to the rear, are well arched but not barrel shaped. Chest of fair width, and forechest well defined, being easily visible from the side. The loins are short and muscular; the lower stomach line, lightly tucked up, blends into a graceful curve to the rear. The shoulders are long and sloping, close-lying, and not excessively covered with muscle. The upper arm is long, closely approaching a right angle to the shoulder blade. The forelegs, viewed from the front, are straight, stand parallel to each other, and have strong, firmly joined bones. The elbows should not press too closely to the chest wall or stand off visibly from it. The forearm is straight, long and firmly muscled. The pastern joint is clearly defined but not distended. The pastern is strong and distinct, slightly slanting, but standing almost perpendicular to the ground. The dewclaws may be removed as a safety precaution. Feet should be compact, turning neither in nor out, with tightly arched toes (cat feet) and tough pads.

Faults: Chest too broad, too shallow or too deep in front, loose or over muscled shoulders, chest hanging between shoulders, tied-in or bowed-out elbows, turned feet, hare feet, hollow flanks, hanging stomach.

Body: In profile, the build is of square proportions in that a horizontal line from the front of the forechest to the rear projection of the upper thigh should equal a vertical line dropped from the top of the withers to the ground.

Back: The withers should be clearly defined as the highest point of the back; the whole back short, straight and muscular with a firm topline. Faults: Roach back, sway back, thin lean back, long narrow loins, weak union with the croup.

Hindquarters: Strongly muscled with angulation in balance with that of forequarters. The thighs broad and curved, the breech musculature hard and strongly developed. Croup slightly sloped, flat, and broad. Tail attachment high, rather than low. Tail clipped, carried upward. Pelvis long and, in females especially, broad. Upper and lower thigh long, leg well angulated with a clearly defined, well-let-down hock joint. In standing position, the leg below the hock joint (metatarsus) should be practically perpendicular to the ground with a slight rearward slope permissible. Viewed from behind, the hind legs should be straight with the hock joints, leaning neither in nor out. The metatarsus should be short, clean and strong supported by powerful rear pads. The rear toes just a little longer than the front toes, but similar in all other respects. Dewclaws, if any, may be removed. Faults: Too rounded, too narrow, or falling off croup; low-set tail, higher in back than in front; steep, stiff or too slightly angulated hindquarters, light thighs, cow hocks, bowed and crooked legs, over-angulated hock joint (sickle hocks), long metatarsus (high hocks), hare feet, hindquarters too far under or too far behind.

Boxer image tail undocked

Photo: Boxer with an undocked tail

Tail: Tail attachment high, rather than low. Tail docked, carried upward.

Gait: Viewed from the side, proper front and rear angulation is manifested in a smoothly efficient, level-backed, ground-covering stride with powerful drive emanating from a freely operating rear. Although the frontlegs do not contribute impelling power, adequate “reach” should be evident to prevent interference, overlap or “side-winding” (crabbing). Viewed from the front, the shoulders should remain trim and the elbows not flare out. The legs are parallel until gaiting narrows the track in proportion to increasing speed, then the legs come in under the body but should remain straight, although not necessarily perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, a Boxer’s breech should not roll. The hind feet should “dig-in” and track relatively true with the front. Again, as speed increases, the normally broad rear track will become narrower.

Faults: Stilted or inefficient gait, pounding, paddling, or flailing out of front legs, rolling or waddling gait, tottering hock joints, crossing over or interference; front or rear, lack of smoothness.

Boxer PuppiesPhoto: Boxer Puppies

Disqualifications: Boxers with white ground colour or entirely white or any other colour other than fawn or two types of brindle. White markings that exceed one-third of the ground colour.

White Boxer dog imagePhoto: Albino (white) Boxer

What problems do boxer dogs have?

Boxer dog health issues and problems – Some possible health problems that may inflict Boxers include:

  • Boxer Cardiomyopathy (BCM) Boxer Cardiomyopathy, also known as BAC, FVA, or ARVC, is a genetic condition that causes the heart to beat with an entropic rhythm.
  • Hip Dysplasia.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Arthritis.
  • Bloat.
  • Ear Infections.
  • Seizures.

Is the boxer breed a good family dog? Is the boxer good with children?

Though most Boxer dogs are fine with other family pets, including cats, quite a few Boxers (especially males) are dominant or aggressive toward other male dogs, and some are cat chasers.

Boxers are extremely patient and excellent with children. They are probably the best dog breed for families with children.

How smart is the boxer dog breed? Are Boxer’s intelligent dogs? Are Boxers easy to train?

Boxers are smart and intelligent but not very focused. Therefore, it may be challenging to train them as a serious guard dog – for example like a doberman pinscher.  However, Boxer dog training is fun, rewarding and a good thing about Boxers is that they are quick learners. All the basic obedience training commands such as sit, stay, come, fetch, down etc. are easily learned by Boxer puppies.

They are high-energy, playful dogs that like to stay busy. Most boxers are hyperactive and always excited to meet people (not just their owners but also strangers). This may be an undesirable trait if you are looking for a serious guard dog or a one owner dog. Boxers prefer to be in the company of people and children – the more the merrier. Few boxers bark excessively.

Can Boxers swim? Does the boxer dog like to swim?

Boxer dogs are not good swimmers. However, boxers can be taught to swim with patience and plenty of treats. Here is a list of dogs that swim well.

Do Boxers like to cuddle? Are boxers friendly?

Boxers are a very friendly, social and an affectionate dog breed! They are often referred to as the best breed for children to play with. Boxers will follow you from room to room. They will crawl in your lap and jump on you if permitted. Younger boxers will also show a little less but similar affection towards strangers.

How long do Boxers live? What is the average age for a Boxer? 

Boxers will live for about 11 to 14 years.

Is it true that Boxer dogs have breathing problem? Do boxers have difficulty breathing? Can you travel with boxers?

Boxers have breathing problems at higher altitudes. Boxers are a brachycephalic dog breed. Brachycephalic breeds have short wide heads with pushed in faces. Their short faces predispose them to snoring and upper respiratory problems. Therefore, Boxers are not allowed in cargo – you cannot check in a Boxer dog with most airlines.

2 thoughts on “Boxer”

  1. I have always loved the Boxer breed since I was a kid. My first dog was a boxer and although I have had several other breeds since then, my first love probably will always be a boxer. My observations as follows..

    Boxers love a game. And they’ll invite you to play with them by bowing down in front of you. Accept the invitation and throw a ball for them, you’ll be playmates forever.

    But all that playful bounce and energy can turn destructive if they’re left to their own devices. These dogs are the absolute worst when it comes to chewing your shoes, hairbrushes and chair legs. Mine once ate a whole three-seater leather sofa. Make sure you put those powerful jaws to better use.

    Boxer puppies are soft, rounded and silky to the touch, with huge floppy ears and expressive eyes. They are absolutely adorable. But check out those massive paws. Yep, they’re going to grow big, and quickly.

    The adorable silky pup gives way to an outsized, lairy lager lout. Suddenly large, long-legged and boisterous, your junior boxer has all the energy.

    Distinctive looks From that really deep chest to the boxy head, you can spot a Boxer a mile off. They have face masks of a different color to the rest of their coats (like furry superheroes), and sometimes a white line between the eyes. And they usually wear matching socks. Oh, and their thick strong tails are like whips; watch the kids and your ornaments.

    Stand under a Boxer and that square head with long jowls look takes on the shape of a shovel. And if they lie on their backs, they just become one big head made of floppy pink lips.

    They don’t box and they’re not natural fighters, despite their muscular and powerful looks.

    These dogs can reach great heights using their springy legs and they love to jump about for any reason.

    While not snappy or barky dogs, the boxer loves a chat and to sing. They’ll often yawn and howl at you, followed up with a big harumph. And they listen back when you talk to them.

    Boxers like to know where their humans are and will do their level best to be equidistant to everyone they love. They’ll round you up into a herd if they could and lie on you to keep you safe and within view.

    And they love and want to protect you so much they’ll annoy you with their nosy and noisy behavior as they scope out anyone who dares enter their domain. These dogs are curtain twitchers with no time for delivery drivers.

    The curious head tilts – No dog does it better than the Boxer!

    While some dogs can be a little manipulative, stubborn and self-serving, the boxer has no agenda – they’re completely open. And incredibly loyal – they love you and show it and that’s the end of it.

    They’re first in line to see who is at the door and willing to help out, but so wilful that if they want to get on your lap or sleep on your bed, that is what is going to happen. A boxer dog will wedge himself between two very close humans with no problem at all.

    Those distinctive boxer masks turn a distinguished grey as your Boxer ages. But no matter how old and grey your boxer gets, they’ll be a puppy inside forever. Still wanting to jump, romp and chat with you, there’s no growing older gracefully for these charming chaps.

  2. Boxers are good guard dogs when you don’t want anyone to get hurt.. they appear dangerous but will never bite anyone. They take long time to be calm and mature.

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