Other names: German Boxer, Deutscher Boxer
The Boxer is a very energetic dog that, while naturally skilled in protecting and being a watchdog, is just as predisposed to being an excellent companion dog. Considered one of the best babysitters of his species, he loves children and can seamlessly integrate himself into family life. Active by nature, this molossian loves joining his owner in various activities, especially since he’s not too keen on solitude.
Key facts about the Boxer
Origins and history
He is a descendant of the ancient ‘Bullenbeisser’ (‘bull-biter’), and particularly the Brabant variety, which is a less stocky, nimbler version of the Bullenbeisser. The Boxer is thus the result of a cross between the famous Bullenbeisser and the English Bulldog. The breed’s first club was created in Germany (his native country) at the end of the 19th century, in 1895- just before the publication of the breed’s first standards in 1902. Used by the army during the First World War in his capacity as a working dog, he took part in the first ever championships for police dogs in 1924. It is a few years later, in 1936, that the British Boxer Club saw the light of day.
Physical characteristics of the Boxer
Female : Between 21 and 23 in
Male : Between 22 and 25 in
Female : Between 53 and 71 lb
Male : Between 66 and 84 lb
The coat can be fawn or brindle. White patching is admissible on condition that they constitute less than a third of the overall base colour.
White Boxers- which have more substantial and dominating white patching- do exist. They are recognised by the FCI but are not recognised by the Kennel Club. There are also black Boxers, but more often than not, they quite simply are a very dark brindle.
Type of coat
The coat is very short.
The coat is coarse, shiny, and close-lying.
The eyes are very dark.
Of medium size, this dog is robust but also proportionately-built and elegant. The head is square-shaped with a muzzle that is short in comparison to the rest of the skull: the ratio is roughly 1:2. He is a prognathous dog, with the lower jaw delicately protruding beyond the upper jaw. This kind of ‘underbite’ is often considered a defect in most breeds, but it constitutes part of the official standard for this breed. The ears gently fold over forward. The tail is set high and is of medium length.
Good to know
Since it is a very popular breed, pups are easy to come by. Which means they aren’t always bred properly. It is therefore highly recommended to seek out a good breeder, as poorly bred dogs could be lacking in the breed’s wonderful, aforementioned personality traits.
This dog just loves to cuddle, and can actually be quite insistent when it comes to soliciting affection from his owners.
Lively, dynamic, and endlessly excitable, this dog is very playful. He takes a lot of pleasure in playing with children, who often constitute this dog’s favourite kind of human!
Calmness is not part of the ‘Deutscher Boxer’s’ (his foreign namesake) natural predispositions- he is, in fact, often considered to be ‘hyperactive’.
Be wary of the latter term, however, as it tends to be overused. One mustn’t forget that hyperactivity is a syndrome symptomatic of developmental disorders, which need to be diagnosed by a vet specialised in behaviour.
In truth, he is simply a dog with large stores of energy to spare, only calm whenever all of his needs for exercise have been met.
This molossoid’s intelligence is mainly evident in how versatile he is, since he is naturally predisposed to fulfilling the roles of companion, guardian, defense, and working dog all at once.
Rather brash by nature, this dog can take to pursuing a trail on a wim- be it in search of prey or simply to stretch his legs. Given this propensity, walks must take place in a fully secure environment.
Fearful / wary of strangers
While never dangerous towards his own family, the Boxer does remain rather wary of strangers, and can prove to be quite vicious if he feels that his adoptive family is in any kind of danger.
In order for this molossoid to accept the presence of a stranger on his turf, a proper introduction must take place in due time. Once this has been done, he becomes very friendly.
Being a guardian inevitably implies being very attached to one’s social group. The Boxer is anything but independent, and is known for being very loyal to his adoptive family.
Behaviour of the Boxer
Solitude is one of the worst imaginable situations for this dog who is remarkably attached and loyal to his family. Isolation and exclusion are both notions that do not comply with this dog at all, and in the midst of which he can develop serious behavioural problems related to boredom, frustration, and anxiety.
Easy to train / obedience
Being the exemplary molossoid that he is, the Boxer is not necessarily easy to train if he is placed in novice or overly lenient hands. If, however, he is handled by confident and experienced owners, or trained by an expert in canine behaviour, he can achieve very good results.
As long as the training methods consist of positive reinforcement, are respectful and coherent, and completely devoid of brutality- this dog will be very pleasant to train, not least because pleasing his master is of such importance to him.
Training must be started as early on as possible, especially given this dog’s rather strong character. Very alert, some disciplinary basics can start being implemented as soon as the Boxer pup integrates the home.
Given his strong watchdog instinct, he does bark a lot, but usually with good reason.