What we know today as the Boxer breed was initially developed in Germany in the late nineteenth century. The first Boxer puppies were bred from the Bullenbeiser, a now-extinct breed, and the Bulldog. This heritage makes Boxers part of the Molosser group of dog breeds, sometimes known as Mastiffs. Boxers were first shown in a Munich dog show for Saint Bernards in 1895. Since then, thanks to high showings in American dog shows, Boxers have grown to be the seventh most popular dog breed for sale in the US today.
Appearance of Boxers
According to the American Kennel Club, the ideal Boxer is a medium-sized, square-built, substantial dog with a short back, strong limbs, and a short coat taut over clearly-defined, hard, smooth-looking muscles. An adult Boxer can range from 55 to 70 pounds in weight, with the male 23 to 25 inches tall at the withers (the highest point on the back, between the Boxer’s shoulder blades), and the female 21.5 to 23.5 tall. A Boxer appears sharp and alert.
A Boxer’s coat is typically fawn (ranging from light tan to a mahogany color) or brindle (fawn with any concentration of black stripes). The hair can be marked with any amount of white on the Boxer’s face, chest, and/or feet, which is referred to as “flash”. “White” Boxers are genetically fawn or brindle with a substantial portion of their coat flashy (white).
The Boxer’s most distinctive feature is its head. Its muzzle should be one-third the length of its head, and two-thirds the width of its skull. Ideally, the Boxer has skin folds down both sides of its muzzle and a slight underbite. The Boxer’s face features dark brown eyes and a black mask, possibly with flashy markings.
Boxer dogs appear dignified, confident, and alert. The breed is affectionate and faithful to its owner and playful and friendly with children, though it may be too energetic for very young children. The Boxer is wary of strangers; this combination of characteristics makes it an excellent family and guard dog. Boxers are dominant and confrontational when interacting with other dogs unless they are well-socialized early in life.
A Boxer’s Role
Due to its friendliness and faithfulness to its owner’s family, a Boxer puppy makes an excellent family pet to buy. Because they are agile, strong, alert, and suspicious of strangers, Boxers make good guard dogs for home and elsewhere. The Boxer’s strength and confidence also make it suitable for training as a service dog, whether as a guide dog for the blind, a therapy dog, a police canine, or even for herding livestock.