The boxer goes back to 1895 then they first appeared in a show for St. Bernard’s in Germany. The original club was founded the following year. The boxer is increasing in popularity and is considered the sixth most popular dog in the United States.
The boxer was originally put in service to run and hold game. Wild boars and bison were its target until the hunter arrived. It characteristically stands on its hind legs to fight and has a stance common to a someone boxing. During wars, they were used as curriers and seeing-eye dogs. The colors are either brindle or fawn.
The boxer is in need of companionship by its people. They especially love being around children. They can be very patient with children and also protective. Families have made them a very popular choice. They are excellent guard dogs and are intimidating to potential perpetrators.
According to the American Kennel Club the perfect boxer is a midsized dog with a short back, tight fitting coat and strong limbs. The body appears clean and hard under tight skin. This beautiful dog has the potential to combine agility and elegance. His expression will be alert and he will have a steadfast temperament.
The muzzle is 1/3 the length of the entire head. It is 2/3 the width of the skull. The wrinkles will appear on the forehead as the ears become erect. There are always wrinkles running down the sides of the muzzle.
Acceptable colors are brindle and fawn. There is usually a white belly and feet. The brindling cannot be too pronounced. This can cause disqualification. There are no solid black boxers. If white covers more than 1/3 of the body of the boxer, it is considered a white boxer. This does not mean it is an albino or that it is rare. It is also estimated the white boxers are deaf in one or both ears about 18% of the time. Rescue organizations may differ on the number.
When white boxers were born, breeders used to euthanize them. Today a responsible breeder will place the white boxer in a pet home with an agreement for the owners to spay or neuter. Since this is considered the result of a recessive gene, they do not encourage breeding the white dogs. They cannot compete in conformation or are allowed to breed by the rules of any of the boxer clubs. They can still compete in agility or obedience and do well in those areas. They also do well as service dogs and therapy dogs.
This is a bright, playful and energetic breed. They are very strong and do require exercise regularly. They have been considered a bit “headstrong”, but this is usually the result of a lack of obedience training. They will respond positively to clicker training and positive reinforcement.
This working dog is not a vicious or aggressive breed. When provoked, it will be a strong guardian of the family unit or the home. It is important to socialize the boxer very well. They need to be around others.