Getting to know the boxer breed

Getting to know your dog starts by getting to know its breed, and that includes getting a better idea about its appearance, personality, and health requirements. Here’s what you need to know about the Boxers:

The Boxer falls into the “working” class dog, being of medium size with a stocky body. Interestingly, the Boxer is an ancestor to two other breeds – the German Bullenbeisser and the English Bulldog. The actual Boxer breed was developed in the late 19th century, and was originally intended to be just for show, unlike its descendants, which were exceptional hunters. A few years later, the Boxer made its way to Europe, then the United States. In 1915, this breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Although bred for show, the Boxer began its history during WWII, at which time it served as a pack carrier, guard and attack dog, and messenger. However, soldiers returning home from the war took some of the dogs with them, helping its widespread reputation for being both a great guard dog and a great show dog. Soon, pet owners also discovered the Boxer to be a loyal and loving companion.

Physical Appearance

The Boxer has a very distinct appearance, one of strength and pride. This medium size breed is stocky built, has short hair, and a square shaped muzzle. Remember, because these dogs were originally used for hunting, the jaws are extremely powerful. Typical colors include:

* Fawn * Brindle * White underbelly and on all four paws is also common

Typically, a full grown Boxer will weigh anywhere between 55 and 70 pounds with the males being a little taller than the females, 23 to 25 and 21 to 23 inches respectively. In most cases, the Boxer’s tail is docked and ears cropped, although this latter trend is begin to diminish.

In fact, ear cropping is now banned in many of the European breeds. For many years, only Boxers with cropped ears were allowed to show with the American Kennel Club but that was changed in 2005. You will also notice that while the Boxer is gorgeous, it has an under-bite. Because of this, seeing the teeth snagged on the jowls is common.

Temperament and Personality

Boxers are extremely faithful and loving pets but they can be a little demanding. This breed is alert, usually showing fearless courage when it comes to protecting its owner. However, while the Boxer will show a little bit of distrust when first meeting someone new, it is a docile breed with high intelligence, bravery, cleanliness, and even modesty, something not always seen with powerful breeds.

Generally, the Boxer is highly devoted to its master and great with kids but sometimes, smaller children are too playful. If this breed is raised around other animals, they typically do well. Just remember that at first, the Boxer may react to unfamiliar animals or strangers.

Most Boxers are energetic so adequate playtime is important. Because the Boxer is a strong and determined dog, we recommend you start training at a young age for the most success. Since this breed does not reach full maturity until around age three, you will need to be patient while still a puppy


There are some potential illnesses associated with the Boxer that you should be aware of. These include Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Epilepsy, Cancers, intestinal problems, sinus infections, bleeding problems, Hip Dysplasia, heart murmurs, and arthritis. To ensure you end up with a healthy Boxer, the breeder can be tested and certified as “healthy” prior to purchase.

In addition, if you want a white Boxer, keep in mind that between 35 and 40 percent are deaf in one or both ears. Although a challenge, if you are not planning to breed your dog, with proper training and understanding, it would still make an excellent addition to the family.