Breed Highlight: Boxer


The Boxer is an intelligent and loyal dog. This breed has a high need for companionship and exercise. We will discuss this breed to help you determine if it is ideal for you and your family.

The Boxer

Vital Stats of Boxers

  • Dog breed group: Working
  • Height: 21-25 inches at the withers
  • Weight: 55-75 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years

Physical Characteristics of Boxers

The Boxer is a tightly muscular breed, with a squarely proportioned body. The head is the most distinctive and the most valuable in overall appearance. This breed has a blunt and broad muzzle and an undershot jaw, which means that the lower jaw is longer than the upper.

While not as extreme as the Bulldog, this breed is a brachycephalic breed. Additionally, the muzzle is not as short, and the underbite not as pronounced. The teeth and tongue are not visible with the Boxer when its mouth is closed.

Care for Boxers


Boxers are housedogs. The short noses and short coats make Boxers unsuitable to living outdoors. However, they will enjoy having a fenced yard to play in. To keep their muscles toned and satisfy their need for exercise, plan on playing with them or walking them at least twice a day for half an hour.

Training is also essential for this breed. Boxers are so big and strong that they can accidentally hurt people by knocking them over if they don’t learn to control their actions. It is essential to start training early and using firm, fair training methods and positive motivation in the form of praise, play and food rewards.

Health of Boxers

Similar to any other breed, the Boxer is prone to specific health problems. The Boxer can suffer from minor ailments such as colitis, gastric torsion, corneal erosion and hypothryoidism. More complicated diseases may include the following:

  • canine hip dysplasia
  • Boxer cardiomyopathy
  • subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS)
  • degenerative myelopathy
  • brain tumors

The breed severely reacts to acepromazine and is sensitive to heat. Also, white boxers can be deaf.

History of Boxers


The Brabenter Bullenbeiser and the Danziger Bullenbeiser are the two extinct central European breeds from which the present day Boxer derives from. Bullenbeiser stands for bull-biter, and these types of dogs were helpful in chasing large game such as small bear, deer and wild boar in the forests. The dogs would hang on to the prey until the hunter came and killed it. Achieving this required an agile and strong dog with a recessed nose and a powerful broad jaw. These same qualities were sought in a dog used for bull baiting, a sport that was popular in several European countries. The English favored the Bulldog for the sport. However, Germans utilized large mastiff-like dogs.

Around the 1830s, German hunters made efforts to form a new breed by crossing their Bullenbeisers with mastiff-like dogs for size, and with Bulldogs and terriers for tenacity. The crossbreed result was a hardy and agile dog with a strong grip and a streamlined body. When British law put an end to bull baiting, the Germans utilized the dogs mainly as butcher’s dogs to take charge of cattle in slaughter yards.

A boxer was entered into a dog exhibition in 1895. The following year the first Boxer club, Deutscher Boxer Club was established. It is believed that the name Boxer might have originated from the German word, Boxl — the name which the dog was known as in the slaughterhouses. The Boxer was among the first breeds to function as military or police dogs in Germany. This established the breed as a utility dog, show dog and family pet by 1900. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1904, but it wasn’t until the 1940s that the Boxer began to make gains in popularity.

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