Breed Spotlight: The Boxer

The Boxer

Learn more about the Boxer dog breed!

Boxer Stats:

  • Temperament: Bright, Fun-Loving, Active
  • Height: 23-25 inches (male), 21.5-23.5 inches (female)
  • Weight: 65-80 pounds (male), females are about 15 pounds less than male
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
Did you know that the Boxer’s ancestors, the war dogs of the Assyrian empire, go back as far as 2,500 B.C. But what we think of today as a Boxer can be traced to Germany of the late 1800s and early 20th century?

Working Dogs

The breed is thought to have been bred down by German dog fanciers from a larger, heavier German breed called the Bullenbeisser (“bull biter”).

"In medieval times the Bullenbeisser was Germany’s premier big-game hunter, used by noblemen to run down, catch, and hold such formidable opponents as bear, bison, and wild boar on vast ducal estates. By the early 1800s, the political situation in the German states was changing. German nobles were out of favor. Their estates were broken up, and the cherished tradition of lavishly appointed boar hunts came to an end. By 1865, the mighty Bullenbeisser was out of a job. Through judicious crosses to a smaller, mastiff-type breed from England, the obsolete big-game hunter gained a new lease on life. By the late 1800s, the modern Boxer—a sleeker, more elegant dog—had come into focus. (The English name Boxer refers to the way the breed spars, like a prizefighter, with their front paws when playing or defending themselves.)"

Over the years, Boxers have done many jobs: athlete, cattle dog, police dog, war dog (in both world wars), watchdog, protection dog, and guide dog for the blind. The AKC registered its first Boxer in 1904, but the breed’s U.S. heyday began in the 1950s, when a Westminster-winning Boxer named Bang Away became a national celebrity. Since that time, Boxers have reigned as one of America’s top 10 most popular breeds.

Boxer Fact: Some Boxers have really long tongues.

Temperament:

Early socialization and puppy training classes are vital in channeling the breed’s energy and exuberance in a positive way. Boxers are highly intelligent, but can become bored with repetition. They tend to have a mind of their own and are excellent problem solvers. Not always tolerant of other dogs of the same sex, most Boxers of opposite sexes enjoy each other’s company. Boxers excel in a wide range of canine sports, including obedience, agility, and herding, and they perform brilliantly as service, assistance, and therapy dogs, and in roles such as drug detection and search-and-rescue. Boxers often get along very well with children and possess an instinct to protect the family, making them wonderful family dogs, despite their history as fighting dogs.

Exercise:

Boxers are very playful, high-energy dogs. They need ample exercise every day, on leash or in a securely fenced area. The Boxer must never be allowed to run loose. The breed’s heritage as a chaser of wild game means that they spend a good deal of time jumping and leaping about—as young dogs, they are constantly in need of reminders to teach them to stay “down.” Because the Boxer is a powerful, active, and playful dog, he may not be the best choice for a very frail adult, nor for a small child who could be overwhelmed by a well-meaning but bouncy puppy.

Grooming:

The Boxer should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

 

 Boxer Fact: Boxers really do box.

Diet:

The Boxer should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Health:

The Boxer does not have a high tolerance for either extreme heat or cold, and he should always be kept inside the house as a beloved member of the family. Responsible breeders screen their stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia, heart conditions such as aortic stenosis and cardiomyopathy, thyroid deficiency, degenerative myelopathy, and certain cancers.

Boxer Fact: Celebrity Boxer Parents:


Kim Kardashian                      Luke Perry                                      Greg Biffle


Gator Kennels

Resources:  https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/boxer/