The Boxer is one of the German developed dog breeds of stocky, medium-size. Boxers are short-haired dogs, with a smooth fawn or brindled coats and a square-jawed muzzle.
The name “Boxer” is a corruption of Bullenbeiser, which translated from German as ‘Bull-Biter’ a name derived from the ‘sport’ for which these dogs were originally bred.
History of the Boxer Breed
Dogs were used to chase large game (wild boar, deer, and small bear) through the forest hanging onto the game until the hunter arrived to kill it.
These dogs were bred to be agile but strong with a broad powerful jaw and a recessed nose to enable the dog to breathe while its jaws were holding the prey.
Similar attributes were required of dogs bred for bull baiting, a popular sport in many European countries.
In England different breeds, such as the Bulldog were used, while in Germany larger mastiff-type dogs were employed.
The original Boxers were derived from two, now extinct, central European dog breeds; the larger Danziger Bullenbeiser and the smaller Brabender Bullenbeiser.
Around the 1830’s German hunters began a concerted effort to create a new breed of dog, crossing their Bullenbeisers with other dog breeds such as mastiff-type dogs for size, terriers and bulldogs for tenacity.
When bull baiting was finally outlawed the Boxer breed was used as a butcher’s dog to control cattle in slaughter yards.
The boxer was first exhibited in a dog show for St. Bernards at Munich in 1895, with the first Boxer club being founded the next year.
Based on 2006 statistics, Boxers are the sixth most popular breed in New Zealand and seventh most popular breed of dog in the USA.
Breed Group: Utility
Height: male: 57-63 cm, female: 53-60 cm
Color(s): fawn or brindle with white or black markings
The head is the most distinctive feature of the Boxer. The breed standard dictates that it must be in perfect proportion to the body and above all it must never be too light.
The greatest value is to be placed on the muzzle being of correct form and in absolute proportion to the skull.
Boxers were originally docked and cropped, that is they are one of the dog breeds that traditionally have their tails docked and their ears cropped. This tradition is still maintained in some countries, however due to pressure from veterinary associations, animal rights groups and the general public, both cropping of the ears and docking of the tail have been prohibited in many countries around the world.
Boxers are typically either fawn or brindle, often with a white underbelly and white on the front or all four feet.
The Boxer is one of the dog breeds that do not carry the gene for a solid black coat color and therefore purebred black Boxers do not exist.
Boxers with white markings covering more than one-third of their coat – conventionally called “white” Boxers – are neither albino nor are they rare. Genetically these dogs are either fawn or brindle, with excessive white markings overlying the base coat color. Like fair-skinned people, white Boxers have a higher risk of sunburn and associated skin cancers than colored Boxers.
The Boxer breed is playful, exuberant, inquisitive, attentive, demonstrative, devoted and outgoing.
The boxer is a breed of dog most suited to an active family. Boxers can also be stubborn, but is sensitive and responsive toward commands. Boxers may be aggressive towards strange dogs, but are generally friendly towards other household pets.
Boxers like most dog breeds need daily mental and physical exercise. Boxers like to run but their exercise needs may be met with a good jog or long walk. Boxers do not do well in hot climates and generally are not suited to living outdoors.
Boxer Breed Details
- Group: Utility
- Size: medium
- Lifespan: 8-10 years
- Exercise: medium
- Grooming: very low
- Trainability: medium
- Watchdog ability: medium to high
- Protection ability: medium to high
- Area of Origin: Germany
- Date of Origin: 1800’s
- Other Names: none
- Original Function: bull baiting, guardian