Height: 21-25 in
Weight: 55-70 lbs
Life Span: 9-10 yrs
Coloring: Fawn and brindle; white boxers genetically fall under one of these two colorings
Area of Origin: Germany
Similar Breeds: English Bulldog, Mastiffs, Pitbull, Boston Terrier, French Bulldog
History and Origin:
A working breed developed in the 19th century, the early Boxer was used many ways; with Bulldog and Mastiff ancestry, it was a dog fighter, bull baiter, cart puller, cattle dog, and hunting dog. The unique use of its front legs made it particularly special; on the hunt, it could more easily pin down its prey, and it could bat at its opponents like a boxer in the dog fighting ring. It was invaluable as a message carrier, guard dog and attack dog in World War I, however it did not gain world-wide appreciation until after World War II.
Personality and Temperament:
Smart, energetic, and patient, the Boxer is excellent with children; it is both playful and protective, making it popular with families. It is naturally friendly and happy, and will flourish with strong, dominant leadership. The Boxer is a fantastic companion when raised in a structured environment; it can get stubborn and strong-willed with a nervous owner, and first-time owners should expect to work hard at ensuring their dog is not given freedom to display dominant qualities to them, other people, or other animals.
Exercise & Training:
The Boxer is extremely athletic, with a nearly endless supply of energy. It is happiest when performing a jobs; a simple walk can be made stimulating by having the dog carry a backpack with weights or toys. Obedience training from puppy-hood is needed to ensure the Boxer become a well-adjusted adult, and participating in activities such as police dog trials or agility is a fantastic way to bond with this dog. If given proper exercise, the Boxer can adjust to smaller homes, but a yard is ideal for it to blow off extra energy.
The Boxer has a short, smooth coat that lays very close to the skin, and requires regular brushing to remove dead hair. It is an average shedder, and should only be bathed when absolutely necessary.
Related to all of the European Mastiff/Bulldog breeds, the Boxer is frequently mistaken for a Pitbull due to its physical similarities. Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs are sometimes considered to be like miniature Boxers, although the only similarity between these breeds is their appearance.
Interesting Facts about the Boxer:
1. Genealogy suggests the Boxer is related to ancient fighting dogs of the Tibetan mountains.
2. Ancestors of the Boxer appear on 16th and 17th century Belgian tapestries, in which they are boar and stag hunting.
3. The Boxer is among the best German breeds that are used as police dogs; German Shepherds, Dobermann Pinchers, and Rottweilers (all German) are also commonly used.
4. Traditionally, the Boxers tail was docked and ears were docked. In recent years, these practices has slowed, and more and more Boxers are raised and shown in their natural state.