Boxer Breed Traits & Facts

A well-bred and well-socialized Boxer can get along with children and pets. They are very trainable but can be stubborn, which is usually viewed by their owners with amusement. You can’t help but love this dog’s wrinkled, constantly worried face and unwavering devotion.

This breed is part of the AKC’s “working category” of breeds. These dogs are active and energetic and require lots of exercise. They also excel in flyball and agility. These puppies are Molosser breeds and share similar traits with other bully breeds such as the Pitbull terrier.

This article will take a closer look into the breed. This article will provide information about the breed’s history, personality, and possible health issues. After reading this article, you will be able to decide if a Boxer is the right canine companion for your family.

boxer dog

History

The Boxer comes from Germany and was developed as a working dog in the late 19th century.

Early Boxers belong to the same family as Bulldogs or Bull Terriers. It is also possible that large, Mastiff-type Mastiff dogs called “Bullenbeissers,” were the ancestors of the Boxer. Bullenbeisser is a German term that means “bull biter.” These dogs were used on large estates to bring down large game animals. Later, Bullenbeisser was employed as a guardian and livestock herder.

The smaller, lighter-weight dog we know today appeared in the 1880s. These versatile dogs were used as guide dogs and police dogs. They also served as scouts in the German military during World War I.

Primarily due to anti-German feelings following the two World Wars, it wasn’t until the 1950s that the Boxer began to enjoy popularity as a family pet.

They can also be used as see-eye dogs but their primary function is to be a family dog and guardian. The Boxer ranks at number 10 of 193 on the American Kennel Club’s breed popularity chart, making him one of America’s favorite pets.

Temperament

The Boxer is a great family pet. Boxers can be very energetic and spend hours outside.

Boxers can be shy around strangers, even though they are social. Boxers may bark or act suspicious until they are welcomed by their owners. They make great family pets due to their loyalty and protective nature.

Boxers are intelligent and loyal making them easy to train. They get along with children and other pets in the house. Families love their bouncy energy, positive demeanor, and slightly goofy mannerisms for decades.

Size & Appearance

Boxers are medium-sized dogs that can reach a maximum weight of. Males tend to grow larger than females. An adult can weigh from 48.5 pounds to almost 80 pounds, standing from 22 inches to 24.5 inches tall at the shoulder.

Their well-shaped bodies are characterized by long legs and square-shaped. bodies. Boxers have narrow waists and deep chests. Their tails are long, and they carry them high. Their faces are round and their lower jaw is shorter than their upper. They are Brachycephalic dogs, meaning they have breathing difficulties. Although the underbite is cute, it can also be quite annoying.

Coat & Colors

Boxers can be found in a variety of colors, including bridle and tan. The Boxer’s white coloring is not due to a genetic mutation ., unlike other breeds. As with all white animals, Boxers are more susceptible to hearing loss than tan and brindle animals. You’ll also need to ensure that your white Boxer does not get a sunburn, which could lead to skin cancer.

They have a short and smooth coat and shed moderately.

Exercise Requirements

This breed is known for its energy and boisterous temperament. These dogs require a lot of exercise every day. You’ll need to keep them busy with plenty of dog toys when you aren’t running them around the yard or neighborhood.

Your Boxer will not be content with just a short walk around the block. He will need at minimum two long walks per day as well as as much playtime as possible during the day. You should have a large backyard for your dog to play in.

Living Conditions

They are very family-oriented dogs and won’t take kindly to being put outside alone.

Exercises that are prolonged in the elements for long periods of time are not good for Boxers. Their body is not able to tolerate extreme heat or cold. A Boxer left outside in hot weather is at risk of heatstroke, breathing difficulties, and dehydration. Boxers are susceptible to extreme cold because of their thin and fragile coats.

In winter, it is a good idea to provide a warm fleece or coat for your Boxer in order to keep him warm during colder temperatures.

Training

Boxers are intelligent and can be trained. Like the Rottweiler and other stubborn breeds, you will need to be patient and prepared to persevere with training, as they can be a tad stubborn!

Take your Boxer puppy to obedience training classes as soon as possible. Early education and training will help your Boxer stay on track until he is fully grown. If you plan to harness train your Boxer, you should ensure you find a harness specifically made for the Boxer breed, because they love to pull!

Health

Boxers are susceptible to a few health issues, including genetic issues like arrhythmogenic right-ventricular cardiomyopathy (a severe congenital heart condition that can lead to death) Other health issues that Boxers may be affected by include

Responsible breeders will ensure that all breeding dogs are screened for genetic abnormalities by a qualified vet. Puppies bred from healthy parents should be healthy. Before you purchase a Boxer puppy, make sure you ask for the certificates of veterinary screening.

Some other non-hereditary conditions can also affect them, such as

  • Bloat, sometimes resulting in gastric torsion
  • Skin allergies
  • Cancers, including hemangiosarcoma, mast cell tumors, lymphoma
  • Hypothyroidism

Boxers are classed as brachycephalic dogs. These dogs can have breathing difficulties due to their flat face and deep wrinkled snout, especially in hot weather.

They don’t have an exceptionally long life expectancy, usually living for eight to ten years. Consider pet insurance for your boxer to help offset the likely medical bills you will face.

Nutrition

Boxers don’t usually have specific food needs. These high energy boxers will burn calories quickly if they get enough exercise.

Always feed your Boxer high-quality food as typically will be recommended by your vet. Your dog should be fed the recommended ration for his age and weight on the packaging.

Dry dog food (kibble) is the best choice of food for your Boxer, as the biscuits help to remove bacteria from the dog’s teeth as he eats, helping to prevent the formation of plaque and tartar that could cause gingivitis or canine periodontal disease.

Boxers are inclined to be scavengers, so be sure to keep trash cans well out of reach of your dog, and don’t leave your meal unattended and within range of your pup!

Grooming

The Boxer is an easy-maintenance dog, as far as grooming is concerned. It’s a good thing, considering the amount of time your pet will need to exercise.

The Boxer’s smooth, short coat only requires a brushing every other week to keep it healthy and shiny.

Unless your Boxer is ingesting something particularly disgusting, you won’t have to bathe him as often. Bath your Boxer with a gentle, allergy-free shampoo. It won’t dry out his skin or cause an allergic reaction.

To keep your dog’s nails tidy, trim their nails every few weeks. If you don’t feel like doing this yourself, ask your local dog groomer for help.

Breeders & Puppy Costs

The key to finding the right puppy is to go to a reputable, licensed breeder who abides by the American Boxer Club’s Code of Ethics.

A decent breeder will have had a veterinarian screen the parents of the puppy to make sure there are no genetic defects that could be passed on to their offspring. You should request written documentation from the breeder confirming that the parents of the puppy have been checked and cleared by the relevant health organizations.

You can find a list of reputable Boxer breeders on the American Kennel Club website at this link.

The price of a Boxer puppy will vary depending on where he is from, his sex, and whether his parents have been prize-winning show dogs. The current price for Boxer puppies varies from around $750 to $1,500. Expect lots of costs to add up during year one.

Recently, there has been much well-deserved bad press about so-called puppy mills.

Many people purchase puppies from puppy mills for their low price. However, they don’t realize that the breeding dogs used in producing them are often poorly cared-for and kept in unhealthy, miserable conditions. Often the puppies are sickly and unvaccinated, and many succumb to illness or death within a week or so of arriving in their new home.

*Puppy mills can be purely commercial businesses that are designed to make lots of money quickly. many places go away in an hour, leaving owners with no recourse if their puppy dies or is diagnosed with inherited health issues.

The moral of the story is that you only purchase a Boxer puppy from a reputable breeder preferably one recommended by a veterinarian. Don’t be intimidated if the breeder won’t introduce you to the puppy’s siblings or parents, and doesn’t allow you to tour his kennels.

Rescues & Shelters

*Puppies can be a lot of work, but they are great fun! It may be that an adult Boxer is better suited to your lifestyle and needs than a puppy.

There are dozens of shelters all over the United States. You could find the perfect adult Boxer for you at one of these shelters. Although their parents can be unsure, some rescue centers have Boxer puppies.

If you adopt a Boxer or puppy from a shelter, always have your vet inspect the dog for any health issues. Before allowing a dog to be re-homed, most rescue groups will conduct temperament and personality tests.

Also, many shelters now operate a kind of “try before you buy” scheme, where you can take a dog home for a trial period before committing to a permanent arrangement.

At this link, you’ll find lots of Boxer shelters and rescue organizations across the U.S.

There are many different Boxer mixes that have come out in recent years, especially with the “designer dog” craze that’s hit the United States and other countries.

Below are some of the most popular Boxer mixes.

As Family Pets

So, is a Boxer the right companion canine for you and your family members? Let’s see!

  • They are boisterous dogs, and they need a lot of exercise. This breed is ideal for outdoor-loving families who have plenty of time to walk their dog and play with them.
  • They are brilliant watchdogs, but they’re not aggressive unless they lack proper leadership.
  • The athletic Boxer excels in activities such as agility and flyball, which could provide hours of fun for you, your dog, and your family, as well as introduce you to a whole new social circle of like-minded folk.
  • This breed is loyal and loving, and they get on well with kids and other pets if properly socialized.
  • They don’t bark excessively, although they can snuffle and snore!
  • They need company and can be destructive if left home alone for long periods.
  • They don’t need much brushing to keep their short coats in good condition.
  • These dogs are intolerant of extremes of heat and cold. If you live in hot climates, such as the summers being scorching hot or the winters being bitterly cold, this could be a problem.
  • This breed needs to live indoors with you and his human family.
  • Boxers tend to drool excessively. If you don’t like being slobbered on, this could be a problem!

Final Thoughts

A Boxer is the perfect dog for those who have lots of space and a large yard. Make sure you find the perfect name for your new Boxer.

A family environment is essential for a Boxer who can be trained. This is especially true if you are keen to take your dog to flyball and agility events. While your Boxer will require a lot of exercise, his grooming needs are minimal.

Boxers can be affected by inherited diseases. If you are looking to purchase a Boxer puppy, make sure to use a licensed breeder and request to see health screening certificates from your grandparents and parents. Avoid buying a Boxer puppy at a puppy mill. The puppies can be sickened and kept in poor conditions.

If you are looking for an adult boxer to adopt, a shelter or rescue center might be the place for you. There are many homeless Boxers all over America who would love to settle down in a loving forever home.

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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