The Boxer dog breed will fill your life with fun, laughter and play. Maturing at around three years old the Boxer is the Peter Pan of the dog world.
If you want a cheerful, loyal and energetic partner, then the Boxer dog could be the perfect hound for you.
Coming from working stock, the Boxer dog is a high-spirited family pet that needs regular exercise and plenty of company.
Looking at the Boxer dog breed history can offer a better understanding of the characteristics of the modern dog. So, what was this goofy, attention greedy dog originally bred to do?
The modern Boxer was first imported to the U.S. after World War 1. However, it’s ancestors can be traced back to 2000 B.C. to ancient Assyria.
Despite the Boxer’s affable nature, its descendants were hunting dogs. In fact, hunting was just one of the jobs of this versatile breed.
They were also raised to be capable guard dogs for both livestock and the home, war dogs and herders. The ancestors of the Boxer had a reputation for being loyal, fierce and brave.
As part of the Molosser dog group, the Boxer is related to the now extinct Bullenbeisser, (meaning Bull-biter) a descendant of both the Mastiff and Bulldog.
Bred to hunt, bear, wild boar and deer the Bullenbeisser was tenacious in pursuit and held onto its prey while waiting for the hunters to catch up.
As the breed developed, faster, more nimble dogs were preferred. Leading to the development in Belgium of the Brabanter Bullenbeisser, and it’s this smaller dog that is thought to be a direct ancestor of the modern Boxer.
However, the Boxers development didn’t reach its peak until the nineteenth century in Germany where the newly formed Boxer Dog Club of 1895 produced a guide for the breed standard.
Boxer dog breed appearance
So, what do these breed standards mean for the ideal Boxer dog’s appearance?
Well, the perfect Boxer is a medium-sized, muscular dog weighing between sixty to seventy pounds and standing around twenty-one to twenty-five inches tall. Square and strong the Boxer is nevertheless agile and energetic.
With a distinctive blunt muzzle and hanging pendant ears, the Boxer has a short, muscular neck, deep chest and a tight smooth coat.
Born naturally with a long tail, Boxer dogs are sometimes seen with docked tails and cropped ears although both practices are illegal in many countries.
Boxers come in two coat colours; fawn or brindle with or without white markings. Fawn ranges from pale tan to deep mahogany while brindle is black stripes over a fawn coat.
White markings vary and can appear on the face, chest and paws. Although around twenty-five percent of Boxers are born all white, this is not a colour recognised in the show ring. Nevertheless, it doesn’t stop them from being family dogs or competing in other events like agility.
All white Boxer dogs may need slightly more care than their fawn or brindle coloured counterparts as they sunburn quickly and are more prone to deafness.
Boxer dog breed temperament
Fun-loving, spirited and goofy, the Boxer dog is engaging and entertaining. Loving, patient and playful, the Boxer is particularly good with children.
Despite the Boxer’s docile nature, they protective of their family and home and are fearless in their defence of it.
Boxer dog breed at its best A fantastic all-rounder. An ideal family dog that is loving and patient with children
Aloof and dignified with strangers, the Boxer is a complete clown with family and friends. Quick-witted and easily bored, the Boxer likes to stay busy.
Boxer dog breed at its worse An over exuberant, powerful dog that is stubborn and over-protective
Loyal, confident with a stubborn streak and mind of their own, the Boxer dog is a fantastic all-rounder and a great family dog.
Boxer dog breed exercise
Not surprisingly, given its history as a working dog, the Boxer needs above average exercise. Bouncy, energetic and agile, the Boxer requires one to two hours of physical activity a day.
As the Boxer is an intelligent dog, mental stimulation is also necessary. Games, scent-work, agility and other activities that involve a Boxer dog’s brain are all ideal for keeping your dog happy.
Boxer’s are prone to separation anxiety and can become destructive when bored or left alone. Boxer’s are not the dog for you if you want a chilled-out dog that you can leave for extended periods of time.
However, if you can commit the time and energy to provide an environment in which your Boxer dog will thrive, the Boxer is a joy to have around.
Boxer dog breed health
The Boxer is a generally healthy breed. So, you can expect to share your life with your dog for between nine and twelve years.
However, they are part of the Brachycephalic dog group which means that their breathing is very shallow.
While they don’t suffer as much as some other short-nosed dogs, it does mean that they are not good at regulating their temperature during warm weather.
This inability to cool themselves through panting means that the Boxer dog is more prone to heatstroke than most other breeds.
As Boxers are an energetic breed, precautions may be necessary to keep your dog cool in hot weather.
What’s more, some common conditions affect the Boxer dog, and it’s always worth knowing what they;
Not only are Boxers prone to the above health conditions they are also known to develop allergies.
While the list of potential issues looks long, your dog may never experience any of these problems. Look for a reputable breeder who should be able to provide test results for the parent dogs.
Boxer dog breed grooming
The Boxer has a short, sleek coat that needs minimal maintenance. The wash and wear nature of the Boxer’s fur means that a weekly brush is enough to keep it looking good.
While the Boxer’s coat doesn’t suffer from mats or tangles, they do shed, so regular grooming is useful for keeping fur loss under control.
A rubber curry brush is ideal as it removes dead hair while stimulating the natural oils in your dog’s skin.
What’s more, you can add extra shine to your dog’s coat using a chamois leather after brushing to wipe your dog down.
While bathing is necessary, it should only be as needed. Boxer’s have sensitive skin, and over-bathing can create issues as the natural oils are stripped out.
The natural oils protect the skin from contaminants like viruses and bacteria. Unfortunately, each time we bath our dogs we remove the layer of protective oil.
Although our dog’s body replaces the oil in around twelve hours, it becomes vulnerable in the interim to bacteria.
What’s more, the bacteria can create an unpleasant smell resulting in another bath, and the cycle continues.
Boxer dog breed highlights
If you choose a Boxer dog to share your life with, you’re in for a treat. A great all-rounder the Boxer makes an ideal family pet.
Patient and playful, especially with children, the Boxer is nevertheless a fierce and determined guard dog.
While Boxers do have a mind of their own, their fun-loving and spirited personality more than makes up for the odd moment of selective deafness!
Affectionate, playful and confident, the Boxer dog is happiest when included in family activities and surrounded by loved ones.