Boxer Dog Breed at a Glance
The Boxer dog breed, also known as the German Boxer and the Deutscher Boxer, is a strong and intelligent dog. This dog loves to be with his family and is an instinctive guardian, which is why it is one of the most popular dogs in the US. It is affectionate and playful with children and also a good breed for owners without previous dog ownership experience. In addition to being a great watchdog, barking and alerting owners if an intruder is present, the Boxer will protect its family.
Breed Group: Working
HISTORY of the Boxer Dog Breed
Developed in Germany, the Boxer was the result of crossbreeding the Old English Bulldog with the Bullenbeisser. It is a part of the Molosser dog group. The boxer was a valuable working dog in World War I, serving as a pack carrier, a messenger dog, an attack and guard dog. After World War II, the Boxer grew in popularity as returning soldiers took them home and introduce them to a much wider audience.
The Boxer is an energetic, intelligent, loyal, and courageous dog. Although playful, friendly, and outgoing, it won’t hesitate to protect his owners. Expect occasional barking and minimal mouthiness from this breed. It’s good for new owners, kids, and is also cat-friendly. However, it is a sensitive dog, and has a moderate hunting drive and impulse to wander, so keep it on a leash when out and about.
Boxers are believed to be stubborn or headstrong, but that is only due to the lack of appropriate obedience training. With positive reinforcement, like clicker training, Boxers will be more responsive. Boxers are easy to train but need lots of attention and exercise.
If considering adopting a Boxer, consider the statistics, although it is said that the Boxer is harmless in the family. The Boxer has been linked to 77 human attacks (23 child victims) since 1982, placing it in the top 10% of dog attacks, which include maimings and fatalities. The Boxer was involved in a total of 40 maimings, meaning permanent disfigurement or loss of a limb.
Eight deaths were linked with the Boxer as well.
However, according to these statistics from DogsBite.org, it’s unlikely that this dog breed will cause death.
Physical Characteristics of the Boxer Dog Breed
The boxer has a very distinctive, broad head and square muzzle, with an under-bite. Their jaws are extremely powerful and can hang onto a large prey without difficulty.
The common colors of the Boxer include white, brindle, and fawn. Its coat lies tight to the body, is short, shiny, and smooth. It tends to have white markings underbelly and on the feet, known as flash. Purebred Black boxers do not exist, as this dog breed does not carry the gene for a solid black coat. There are however, white boxers which are not rare.
Depending on the gender, the Boxer weighs between 50 and 80 pounds, making it one of the heavier of the dog breeds. It stands 21 to 25 inches tall.
Shedding is to to be expected with the Boxer. Be prepared to increase your cleaning efforts. It is not a hypoallergenic dog.
HEALTH and CARE of the Dog Breed
The life expectancy of the Boxer is between 10 and 12 years, which is slightly shorter than the average lifespan for large dogs.
Common Health Concerns
Each dog breed is susceptible to certain health issues, and the Boxer breed is no exception. The Boxer is at a high risk of developing:
- Aortic stenosis
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus
- Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy
- Spondylosis Deformans
They are also prone to:
- Cancer (highest incidence of all the dog breeds)
- Hip Dysplasia
- Indolent Corneal Ulcers
The Boxer dog breed is at a high risk of gaining weight, so be sure to feed it the proper amount of high quality dog food and give it plenty of exercise. Adequate exercise will prevent it from developing boredom associated behaviors.
Be careful not to over exercise a young dog, which could lead to damage to its growing bones. Once fully grown, Boxers, with their high energy levels, make excellent running companions. However, it should be noted that they do not fare well in high humidity or high heat, due to their brachycephalic head, nor in very cold climates. Its short and smooth coat needs protection from cold temperatures and a dog coat or dog jacket and booties are recommended.
Feed your Boxer high quality food that contains quality calories right through into their senior years, as they are a very energetic breed. Being a large dogs, the boxer should be fed between 3 and 4 cups of kibble each day.
The Boxer requires very little grooming. Clean the muzzle folds regularly to avoid problems and infections from developing. For years, this was a docked and cropped breed, but that practice is prohibited in many countries.
The Boxer dog breed was recognized by the AKC in 1904.