The Boxer is an active, intelligent, energetic, athletic, loyal, and loving dog breed with a sweet and cheerful temperament that makes it an excellent companion.
Boxers are dogs that often do well with children, and they naturally possess an instinct to defend the family. This makes them wonderful family dogs, regardless of their history as fighting dogs.
This dog has become particularly popular in the US, but Boxers date as far back as the 16th-century Europe.
- Group: Working
- Height: 1 foot, 9 inches – 2 ft, and 1 inch at the shoulder
- Weight: 55 – 70 pounds
- Coat and colors: Boxers have a short coat that comes in standard colors like brindle and fawn, but many kennel clubs do not generally acknowledge them. The usual markings would include a black mask, black mask with white patches, and white markings.
- Life expectancy: 10 – 12 years
Characteristics of the Boxer
- Affection Level: High
- Friendliness: High
- Kid-Friendly: Medium
- Pet-Friendly: Medium
- Exercise Needs: High
- Playfulness: High
- Energy Level: High
- Trainability: Medium
- Intelligence: Medium
- Tendency to Bark: Medium
- Amount of Shedding: Medium
Tracing the ancestors of Boxers will take us back to several dog breeds across Europe early in the 16th century. Nevertheless, the breed achieved perfection over the last hundred years in Germany. It’s safe to say that Boxers are closely related to almost all bulldogs.
Historically, they were bred as fighting dogs but later developed into loyal protectors that were used by hunters and couriers. Boxers were also the earliest breeds employed by Germany as police dogs.
Boxers gained popularity in the United States of America during the 1930s, although the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1904.
The American Boxer Club (ABC) was developed in 1935. Boxers often have cropped ears and docked tails, but many boxer owners are leaving their pet’s ears uncropped.
The Boxer is an affectionate, happy, and loyal companion that would make a fantastic addition to an active family. Despite their fighting history, Boxers are generally gentle animals without violent tendencies. They are sweet around kids once they are well trained and socialized.
It takes a long time for Boxers to reach maturity. It may be three or more years before your Boxer is no longer a pup. They are typically house trained between 5 and 7 months, but some could take longer.
Boxers have minimal grooming needs because of their short coats. Most of them do require occasional brushing and bathing. They also need to have their nails trimmed regularly in order to maintain healthy and comfortable feet.
Boxers do not do well with very hot or cold weather. Unfortunately, their short coat doesn’t provide enough insulation against the cold. Their short noses don’t allow them to pant well either, so they can’t efficiently cool off.
Owners should do well to keep their pet Boxer indoor during extreme weather (Hot or Cold). Exercising should be maintained during the coolest time of the day when the weather is hot.
If not properly trained, Boxers can become unruly and hyperactive. This could be because of their loving personality. They love to hop up on people but can be instructed to refrain from this act. Socialization is a primary key to achieving this for your Boxer.
Due to the elevated energy level and athletic physique of Boxers, owners would need to provide a significant amount of exercise daily. Owners would also have to give tasks that can stimulate their dog mentally as well.
At least a 30-minute walk twice every day, including simple games like fetch, are great ways to keep your dog healthy.
Although not all Boxers are droolers, some still drool in excess. They’ve also been known to snore really loud. As it so happens, they aren’t diggers and don’t even bark unless when they really have to.
Common Health Problems
Responsible breeders try to maintain the highest breed standards as laid down by kennel clubs, such as the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Breeders who breed their dogs by these standards are less likely to have dogs inherit common health complications.
Nonetheless, some hereditary diseases can still affect the breed.
Owners need to be aware that consistent veterinary check-ups are a vital aspect of keeping your dog’s health in check. Your veterinarian may be able to quickly detect early signs of complications that may affect your dog’s health before they manifest.
Here are some health conditions that may Boxers may suffer from:
- Aortic stenosis: This condition affects the aorta by narrowing it and causes the heart to work overtime. This is a genetic issue, and it’s advised that dogs suffering from this shouldn’t be bred. This condition can lead to fainting and sometimes death.
- Cancer: Boxers are susceptible to several types of cancer, including lymphoma, mast cell tumors, and skin cancer.
- Deafness: Loss of hearing can be linked with white coloring and may be noticed in all-white or mostly-white Boxers.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy: This inherited condition causes irregular heartbeat. Boxers affected by this condition should not be bred. Dilated cardiomyopathy can cause fainting and even sudden death.
- Hip dysplasia: Like many dogs, Boxers may experience this inheritable condition that causes pain, arthritis, and lameness. Breeders should do well to run tests on their Boxers before breeding.
Diet and Nutrition
Two meals of two/three cups of high-quality dry dog meal per day are just perfect for your Boxer.
Since Boxers have been known to suffer from stomach torsions (this happens when an animal’s stomach twirls around its axis), an elevated feeding station may have to be provided so that your dog does not have to bend down to feed.
It’s imperative that you monitor your dog’s weight to help prevent obesity.
Regular exercise and a change in diet are steps in the right direction to controlling your dog’s weight. You may also have to discuss with your veterinarian on any special dietary plans for your Boxer.
- Easily jumps on people
- Some of them drool excessively
- Can’t tolerate cold or hot weather
Adopting or buying a Boxer
You can check on responsible and reputable breeders of Boxers. You could also check on the American Boxer Club to get a Boxer puppy. There are some referrals online that you could use to locate rescue Boxers near you.
As with any dog breed, you’d need to do plenty of research before adopting one if you know the Boxer is the dog for you. Discuss with your veterinarian, reputable Boxer breeders, Boxer owners, and Boxer rescue groups to get more information.