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The Boxer was developed in Germany in the 19th century. The Boxer's ancestors were two German mastiff type dogs, the Bullenbeiszer and the Barenbeiszer. They were later crossed with the powerful ancestors of the Mastiff and Bulldog. Early Boxers were used for dog fighting, bull baiting, cart pulling, cattle dogs, to round up livestock and to catch and pin wild boar and bison until hunters could arrive. They later became popular theatre and circus dogs. The first Boxer studbook was started in 1904. Up until then the dogs varied widely in looks and size. The Boxer is known for the way it uses its front legs to bat at its opponent, appearing to be boxing with the front paws, most likely giving the dog its name. Some of the Boxer's talents are watchdog, guarding, police work, military work, search & rescue, competitive obedience, and performing tricks.


The Boxer's body is compact and powerful. The head is in proportion with the body. The muzzle is short and blunt with a distinct stop. The nose is large and black with very open nostrils. The jaw has an under bite. The eyes are dark brown. The ears are set high, either cropped or kept natural. When cropped they are trained to stand up on the head, tapering to a point. When left natural the ears are thin, falling forward, laying close to the head. The neck should be round, strong, and muscular, a without dewlap. The muscular, front legs are straight and parallel when viewed from the front. The back legs are well muscled. The tail is set high and used to be docked. Dewclaws are usually removed. The short, smooth, close-fitting coat comes in, fawn, brindle, tan, mahogany, black often with white markings. Boxers also come in a white coat that cannot be registered with some clubs.


The Boxer is happy, high-spirited, playful, curious and energetic. Highly intelligent, eager and quick to learn. The Boxer is a good dog for competitive obedience. Constantly on the move, bonding very closely with the family. Loyal and affectionate, Boxers are known for the way they get along so well with children. A well brought-up Boxer and one introduced to other animals from a young age will also get along with his own kind and other household pets. Farm animals and smaller pets may be too tempting, however, they can be taught to, "leave it" but it is still not recommended they be left alone with them. It has been said that the name Boxer came from the way the Boxer likes to use is front paws for just about everything.

If you have ever watched a Boxer go about his business you may have noticed the way he paws at his toys, food bowl and you for that matter, in a very playful cat-like way. While participating the sport of schutzhund, Boxers are known to jump up and use their front paws as if they are boxing. They are very clownish and playful.

The Boxer's nature is to protect you, your family, and your home. Known visitors will be welcomed. They are always keen to work and play. Boxers need to know that their master is the alpha pack leader. Teach the Boxer not to be boisterous and especially not to bound up to people with a risk to knocking them over. This breed is noted for courage and is good a guard dog. Boxers have a wide use in military and police work. An excellent watchdog, the Boxer will restrain an intruder in the same way as a Bulldog does. They are extremely athletic, sometimes even in their old age.

This dog needs to go on several walks a day with the rest of his pack. Daily mental and physical exercise is paramount. Without it, the Boxer will become high strung. This breed requires a proper pack leader. Training should start young and be firm and consistent. The objective in training this dog is to be looked on as the alpha dog who is in charge. When people live with dogs we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined. You and all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. That is the only way your relationship can be a success.

Meek Boxer owners will find their dogs to become stubborn. If they do not believe that you are the leader they will be sneaky, demanding, boisterous and hard to control. Teach the Boxer dominating another dog is not acceptable. Any signs of dominance needs to be immediately corrected by the owners in a calm, but firm, confident way.

Height, Weight

Height: Dogs 56-63 cm. Bitches 53-61 cm
Weight: Dog 27-32 kg. Bitches 24-29 kg

Health Problems

Some major concerns are cardiomyopathy and other heart problems, sub-aortic stenosis, and thyroid. Can be prone to skin and other allergies. Sometimes prone to epilepsy and hip dysplasia. From age eight on they are more likely to get tumours than other breeds. These dogs may drool and snore. May have excessive flatulence, especially when fed something other than their own dog food. Some white Boxers are prone to deafness.

Living Conditions

Boxers will do okay in a flat or small dwelling if sufficiently exercised. They are fairly active indoors and do best with at least an average-sized garden. Boxers are temperature sensitive, getting easily over heated and chilling very quickly.


An active, athletic breed, Boxers need daily work or exercise, and at least two long walks a day. They also enjoy fetching a ball or other sessions of play.

Life Expectancy

About 11-14 years

Litter Size
2 - 10 puppies - Average 6


The Boxer's smooth, short-haired coat is easy to groom. Brush with a firm bristle brush, and bathe only when necessary, for it removes the natural oils from the skin. Some Boxers try and keep themselves clean, grooming themselves like a cat. This breed moults.



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