The Boxer wants to meet you, your children, and other members of your family.
The Boxer’s most notable characteristic is his desire for human affection. Though his spirited bearing, square jaw, and cleanly muscled body suggest the well-conditioned middleweight athlete of dogdom, the Boxer is happiest when he is with people — especially children, watching protectively over their play. His short smooth coat, handsome chiseled head, and striking silhouette never fail to excite comments from passersby as he trots jauntily by your side with neck arched and tail held erect. He is truly a “dog for all seasons”, suiting the need for household guardian, attractive companion, and children’s playmate and loyal friend.
Origin: The Hunter
The Boxer’s historical background begins in feudal Germany. Here, a small, courageous hunting dog with mastiff-type head and undershot bite was used to secure a tenacious hold on bull, boar, or bear — pending the hunter’s arrival. He became a utility dog for peasants and shop owners. His easy trainability even found him performing in the circus. In the 1880s, descendants of this type of dog were bred to a taller, more elegant English import, and the era of the modern Boxer had begun. Imported to America after the first World War, his popularity really began in the late 1930s. His appeal in the show ring led to four “Best in Show” awards at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club between 1947 and 1970.
The Boxer is a medium-sized dog ranging from 21 1/2 inches high at the shoulder in a smaller female up to 25 inches (sometimes taller) in a large male. Adult weight may reach 65-80 pounds in the male, with females about 15 pounds less. There are no miniature or giant varieties. The short, close-lying coat is found in two equally acceptable and attractive basic colors-fawn and brindle. The fawn may vary from a tawny tan to a beautiful stag red. The brindle ranges from sparse, but clearly defined black stripes on a fawn background, to such a heavy concentration of black striping that the essential fawn background color barely, although clearly, shows through (which may create the appearance of “reverse brindling”).
White markings should be of such distribution as to enhance the dog’s appearance, but may not exceed one-third of the entire coat. It is not uncommon to have a totally white Boxer born in a litter. An all white coat, or a predominantly white background (known as a “check”) may occur. In order to retain the beauty of the fawn and brindle colors, American Boxer Club members are pledged not to use white boxers for breeding. They may be AKC registered on the Limited (non breeding) option, and they are eligible for all performance events (Obedience, Agility, Rally, Herding, and any other Performance and/or Companion events.
Breed Characteristics: “Beauty and Brains”
The Boxer’s official classification in the “Working Group” of dogs is a natural. His keenest sense, that of hearing, makes him an instinctive guard dog, always alert. Although always vigilant, the Boxer is not a nervous breed, and will not bark without cause. He has judgment, and an uncanny sense of distinguishing between friend and intruder. One of the delightful qualities that sets the Boxer apart is the unique expressiveness of his face. The skin furrowing of the forehead, the dark, “soulful” eyes, and at times almost human attempts to “converse”, make his replacement by another breed difficult for one who has owned a Boxer. He mimics the mood of his master and can spend hours quietly lying at his feet.
The serious breeder often strives to produce a potential “champion.” Since not all in the litter can quite reach this goal, the breeder will able to offer you a good-looking brother or sister of the show prospect at a reasonable price. Sometimes the distribution of white markings alone may make the difference between the so-called “pet” and show-potential puppy. The pet puppy will have benefited from the same proven bloodlines, nutrition, and medical care as its “champion” littermate. His breeder will have health tested the parents and done the best he can to insure good temperament, soundness, and longevity. Here is your best buy.
A Dog For All Reasons!
What About Obedience, Rally, Herding, or Agility Training?
Many Boxers are great successes in performance events. However, that same innate intelligence that makes him quick to learn also gives the Boxer a mind of his own. The trainer must be purposeful and patient. The well-trained Boxer is a glorious picture going through his paces in the Obedience ring, or joyously rushing through the Rally or Agility course, such trials usually being held in conjunction with dog shows. You will quickly find that your Boxer has quite a sense of humor, and may invent the most unexpected games in the course of his training and performance. Boxers are also successful in Lure Coursing, Herding, Tracking, and other performance pursuits.
Boxers make wonderful service dogs — therapy dogs to brighten the days of shut-ins, guides for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, even seizure alert dogs for those who suffer from epilepsy. They were used as guards and couriers during war time, and perform beautifully as narcotics detectors, police dogs, and in search and rescue operations. The Boxer has an innate desire to help those in need.