These medium-sized German dogs are so versatile; they are often used as housedogs, guard dogs, service dogs and therapy dogs. The Boxer dog breed has been consistently maintaining its position among the most preferred dogs in the United States for years in a row. The interest in the breed is partly due to its suitability as a perfect companion for the owner. They are best matched with people who lead an active lifestyle.
The Boxer breed was developed towards the end of the 19th century from English Bulldogs and a Bullenbeiser breed of dogs. The latter has a long history of being hunters of large prey such as bear, deer and boar. They were known to hold down the prey till the hunters reached the spot.
It was in 1894 that the breed was stabilized, and soon its breed characteristics were spelled out, which remain unchanged even today. The breed quickly spread to other European countries, and reached the United States by the end of that century. The breed was officially recognized by AKC in 1904. Boxers have played their part in the World War I as messenger dogs, guard dogs, attack dogs and pack carriers.
Its popularity spread worldwide after the World War II, and they are in high demand as show dogs, house pets, guard dogs and personal companions.
Medium-sized and short-muzzled, this dog is easily recognized owing to its popularity. The head to muzzle proportion of 3:1 is a very important feature in this breed. They have the characteristic underbite, where the lower jaw is longer and protruding further than the upper jaw.
The dog has very short and smooth coat that tightly hugs the body, giving it a sleek look. The colors may vary from nearly black to various shades of fawn in combination with white. Pure black is non-existent as this breed doesn’t have the “black” gene. Pure white dogs are not favored in the Boxer dog breed, partly because they are more prone to certain health issues. In fact, there’s a practice of euthanizing white Boxer puppies.
Their ears are half or fully folded, except when the dog is in an alert pose. The tail is thin and long when it is not docked. A bob-tailed type of Boxer breed was developed in response to the banning of docking in many countries.
Boxers are extroverts with a pleasant and lively nature. They are intelligent, and good at learning commands and obeying them. They are curious dogs, and have a variety of expressions mirroring their moods. Being extremely friendly, they are good with children and other pets in the household. They are obedient as they are playful.
While they are very friendly with the people they know, Boxers are aloof and highly suspicious of strangers. This, combined with their constant alertness, makes them excellent guard dogs.
The dog is highly trainable, and performs well in tests of obedience and agility. With the right training, this versatile breed can be sight dogs for the blind and attack dogs for the police force.
Grooming and exercise
Boxer dog breed typically has a very short coat which makes grooming a breeze. All they need is a weekly brushing down to get rid of dead hair.
Boxers are active dogs that should not be cooped up indoors. They should have plenty of opportunities to exercise their muscles and stimulate their minds. Daily walks with the dog on the leash are an essential part of keeping Boxer as a pet. They love running, and would be happy to join you on your jogs.
Even though the dog needs plenty of time outdoors, they should be living indoors with the family. They cannot tolerate heat, so it is necessary to provide shaded areas for rest when the dog is going about its outdoor activities.
Common health issues of Boxer dog breed
Boxer dog breed is not exactly a long lived breed, the average life expectancy being 8-10 years. They are prone to a number of common canine health problems as well as a few breed-related disorders such as “Boxer cardiomyopathy” and “Boxer colitis.” Congenital heart disorder SAS is seen in this breed. They are at risk of potentially fatal gastric torsion too. Other health issues include musculoskeletal disorders hip dysplasia and spondylosis deformans, and eye disorders entropion and corneal erosion. Degenerative myelopathy and brain tumors are occasionally seen in this breed.