Boxer Dog

A Quick Look at the Boxer dog...

Boxer dogs are happy and high-spirited mid-sized dogs that are playful, curious and energetic. They are well-conditioned, and athletic. Their expression is very alert and intelligent, and this breed enjoys learning and having a challenge. He is smart and excels at many different things including guarding, competitive obedience, seeing-eye dog, rescue and police work.

While he enjoys being busy, the Boxer is happiest when he is with his family. He loves people, is a very sociable dog, and is well known for his fondness for children. They are loyal and affectionate canines that are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the United States.

Here are some fast facts about the Boxer dog:

Dog Group:
Working (AKC)
Recognized By:
Dogs – 60-70 lbs. (27-32 kg)
Bitches – 53-65 lbs. (24-29 kg)
Dogs - 22 -25 in. (56-63 cm)
Bitches – 21-24 in. (53-61 cm)
Average litter size:
Life expectancy:
12  years (average of 9 – 15 years)
Health problems:
Coat care:
Exercise needs:
Suitable for children:
Pet compatibility:
Barking frequency:

Brief History

The Boxer originated in Germany during the 19th century. The breed’s ancestors include two German dogs of the mastiff variety - the Barenbeiszer and the Bullenbeiszer - as well as the Mastiff and Bulldog. Initially, Boxers were bred for working and fighting and were primarily used for pulling carts, as cattle dogs for rounding up livestock, to catch and trap bison and wild boar for hunters, as well as for bull baiting and dog fighting. They were later enjoyed as circus and theater dogs.

The Boxer is well known for the way he appears to box with his front legs, when he bats his opponent, and some believe this is how he received his name. Throughout the years, Boxers became popular pets and were also utilized for police work, search and rescue, military work, competitive obedience and performing tricks. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904.

Boxer Breed Appearance and Characteristic

General Appearance - The Boxer dog is a medium sized canine that has a very sturdy, strong, compact and deep chested body. They have a short and blunt muzzle with a defined stop. Both the head and the muzzle have a few wrinkles. Their large, black nose has wide nostrils and their jaw has a natural under bite. Boxers have dark brown eyes, and their ears are set high and can be cropped to stand erect or left natural and fold over close to the head. They have round, strong and muscular necks and well-muscled legs. Their tail is set high and is typically docked. The Boxer coat is smooth, short and rests close to the body. It comes in different colors including fawn, tan, brindle, black and mahogany and often there are white markings mixed into the coat.

Typical Temperament - Boxers are a good natured, happy and lively breed. Their playful, inquisitive and energetic personality makes them an endearing pet, and their love for learning and intelligence makes them easy to train. They are courageous and make good watch and guard dogs, as they have a natural inclination to protect their family and their home; however, they will welcome known visitors.

This active, loyal and affectionate pooch loves to be with his family and bonds very close with those in his pack. He gets along exceptionally well with children, and as long as he is well socialized as a puppy he can be very accepting of other canines and cats. That said, he is less tolerant of smaller household pets, such as rodents, birds, etc.

He requires plenty of exercise and attention from his owner. If he is not sufficiently exercised or not included in regular family activities, he can become high-strung and engage in destructive behaviors.

Basic Boxer Care Requirements

Grooming - The boxers, short and smooth coat is fairly simple to care for. Brush with a firm bristle brush daily or once every other day to keep the coat free of lose hairs, debris and to make it shiny. This breed needs a bath only when necessary and should not be bathed often, as this can dry out his skin by stripping the natural oils from his body. The face of the boxer should be cleaned with a damp cloth on a daily basis and extra attention needs to be given to the wrinkles to ensure they are clean and free of dirt. Trim nails once a month and brush teeth a few days per week to help control plaque and tartar buildup. Boxers are average shedders.

Exercise - A very active and energetic breed, the Boxer requires a brisk daily walk and should also be engaged in other forms of exercise and/or work, such as playing fetch, swimming, agility trails and the freedom to roar around a safe enclosed area like a backyard or dog park. Boxers generally require about 2 hours of exercise throughout the day.

Approximate Food Cost - The average Boxer ingests 3 ½ to 4 cups of dry food daily at an estimated cost of $20 - $25 per month.

General Health Information

Boxers are a relatively healthy breed but are prone to certain health concerns including heatstroke, skin and other allergies, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, thyroid problems, heart ailments, sub-aortic stenosis and cardiomyopathy. Moreover, after this dog reaches 8 years of age, he is far more susceptible to developing tumors compared to other breeds, and some white Boxers are at a greater risk for deafness.

It is always in your best interest to make sure you obtain a Boxer from a reputable breeder who tests their dogs for genetic defects, and only breeds the strongest and healthiest dogs to strengthen the line.

Common Illnesses include: Heart murmur, lymphoma and epithelial dysplasia (inherited condition).

Are You the Right Boxer Owner?

Living conditions - Boxers are a very high-energy and active dog that are best suited to a home with a nice sized yard that provides them with the freedom to run around. That being said, they are active indoors and will do alright without a yard and can adapt to apartment life as long as they are sufficiently exercised. Keep in mind that this breed is very temperature sensitive and can become chilled quickly in cool weather and overheat easily in hot temperatures. Therefore, he should never be exercised heavily in extreme weather conditions.

Training - The Boxer is a highly trainable canine that loves to learn, making him an excellent student when provided with the right teacher. Handlers need to be firm and direct with their commands, and - above all - must be consistent in both their training and their discipline. A Boxer needs a strong and dominant leader or he will quickly become defiant and try to take on the alpha role himself. If training and socialization are not started early, and not taken seriously, he will be very difficult to control and develop dominance issues that could become a real problem if not corrected immediately.

Common Problems - Boxers are typically easy going and happy dogs but they are not perfect. Since this pooch has a flat muzzle, owners should be prepared for a pet that has the potential to snore and drool. Furthermore, this breed has been known to have excessive flatulence, especially when they are given other foods that are not part of their regular dog food diet. Finally, he requires a lot of love and attention from his owners, and if this is not provided, he can suffer separation anxiety and will often exhibit destructive behaviors.

The bottom line...

Boxers are an ideal family pet. He is a happy, affectionate, loyal and active dog that enjoys human company, has a fondness for children and is happiest when he can be part of the daily activities of his pack. He is easy to groom and will naturally feel inclined to guard, protecting his family and his home. He needs significant daily exercise and obedience training to ensure he is controlled and properly stimulated to be the best companion he can be.

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