Breed Category: Working
Country of Origin: Germany
Average Size: 53-63 cm
Average Weight: 26-32 kg
Average Life Span: 8-11 years
Grooming Requirements: Low
Exercise Requirements: Medium
The Boxer was created in Germany in the mid-1800s by crossbreeding existing breeds that are linked to today’s English Bulldog and Great Dane. The first Boxer club was formed in the late 1800s, which helped catapult the breed into popularity in its native country and eventually the entire world.
The origination of the Boxer’s name is widely thought to be a reference to its fighting stance in which it leans back on its hind legs with its front legs pointing outwards as if it were boxing. Before it became an illegal activity, the Boxer was commonly seen in dogfighting circles.
Today it is primarily seen as a wonderful and affectionate companion and family dog. It is also occasionally seen as a service dog or a police dog, the latter being similar to a role it held during World War I when it was often used in military work.
The Boxer is known for its distinct appearance, which consists of a stocky frame, a short coat and a large, square head and muzzle. Another popular characteristic of this breed is its underbite, caused by the lower jaw protruding out beyond the upper jaw.
The smooth, glossy coat of this breed is predominantly fawn or brindled in colour with white on its chest, belly and feet. Fawn colouring can include shades of chestnut, brown or red while a brindled pattern consists of black markings on a fawn background. Some Boxers are completely white in colour or have only an occasional fawn patch. Its dark brown eyes are often seen displaying an expression that conveys alertness and liveliness.
The tail of this breed is naturally short to medium in length. In some areas outside of Australia, docking of an animal’s tail is not illegal, so there are instances where it does occur with this breed. Similarly, the Boxer’s ears natural fall low, but are sometimes cropped so that they stand in a triangular shape.
This medium-sized dog averages 53-63 cm in height and can reach weights of 30-32 kg when fully grown.
Despite its powerful jaw and overall strength, boxers are docile and gentle in nature. They are playful and gets along well with children. Boxers make wonderful guard dogs in that it can have an intimidating presence and will alert its family to unwanted guests.
Early socialisation will help the Boxer suppress any aggressive tendencies it may have towards other animals, though it generally enjoys the company of both people and other dogs.
It is important for this dog to maintain an active lifestyle, as an outlet for its energy will discourage behaviours such as inappropriate digging and chewing, which can result from boredom and inactivity.
This breed can be prone to a number of health conditions, such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, heart conditions, epilepsy and cancer. Responsible breeders will perform genetic testing on their dogs to minimize the risk of inherited diseases.
Boxers that are white in colour are at a higher risk of being born deaf in one or both ears. They are also at a higher risk of skin problems and sensitivities.
This breed has a relatively short lifespan in comparison to other breeds of a similar size, with an average of 8-11 years.