Boxer Basics
A Visual Study of the AKC Standard

Approved by the
Board of Directors, American Boxer Club
September 27, 2001

You can add a lot to your knowledge of Boxers by absorbing the first paragraphs of the Standard, those on general description. The details break down in parts the sum of the total as you attempt to picture the Boxer. The relative importance of these parts becomes clearer when you understand their originally designed purpose and function. For instance, the square strong agile build of the Boxer lends itself well to serve as a guard, working and companion dog. The spirited bearing, square jaw and cleans muscled body suggest the well-conditioned middleweight athlete of dogdom, so fitting for his current role of alert family guardian. This is the same as for his original function of a hunting dog found in feudal Germany. There, as a small courageous hunting dog of mastiff type head and undershot bite, he was used to secure a tenacious hold on bull, bear or board pending the hunters' arrival. Because of his undershot jaw and layback in muzzle, he was able to continue to breathe lengthening his tenacious hold on his prey. His strength, ability and efficiency in motion aided him in overtaking, capturing and holding his hunt without great harm to himself.

In time, the Boxer went through periods of use as a utility dog for peasant and shop owners and, with his trainability, even as a performer. As a guard and Seeing Eye Dog, he has also met with success. His current role of alert family guardian suits him well, too, as a walking companion and especially a children's playmate and protector.

In the Standard proper, are inclusions of phrases intended to explain considerations in evaluating the quest for the IDEAL. They are presented to enhance understanding of relative importance of characteristics.For example, under "SIZE"..preferably males should not be under the minimum, nor females over the maximum; however, "proper balance and quality in the individual should be of primary importance since there is not size disqualification."

Under the description of "HEAD", its components, as described, are explicit in detail and require thorough study since a great deal of the type unique to the Boxer is presented in these paragraphs. In progressing through the remaining paragraphs, one can delve into acquiring a deepening understanding of the composition of an IDEAL individual of this wonderful Breed. The faults listed in the various sections are deviations from the IDEAL and should be penalized to the degree of deviation as set forth in the most recent 1999 Standard Revision.

Evaluating and judging toward qualities and desired characteristics will help to promote better Boxers for individuals to appreciate and direct their breeding programs to produce. This will help breeders avoid pitfalls of rising concentrations of undesirable and unhealthy factors, thereby governing choices in selective breeding and wise placement of show and breeding stock.

The Boxer Standard is an important guide for breeders, judges and exhibitors to understand and follow. Supporting the search for the IDEAL is of paramount importance in the development of high quality, sound and healthy individuals for the future success and enjoyment of our Breed.

By Eleanor Linderholm-Wood, Illustrated Standard Committee

Index | Introduction | General Appearance and Guide to Judging | Proportion of Head and Body | Head Studies -- Male and Female | The Bite | Forequarters and Hindquarters | Side View of Color Disqualification | Front and Rear View of Color Disqualification | Side Gait | Front and Rear Perspective of Gait | Front and Rear Skeletal Structure | Anatomy of the Boxer | Temperament | ABC Home Page

All web content questions and comments should direct to Webmaster.