The boxer is renowned from olden times for it’s great love and faithfulness to it’s master and household. It is harmless in the family, but distrustful of strangers, bright and friendly of temperament at play, but brave and determined when aroused. It’s intelligence and willing tractability, it’s modesty and cleanliness make it a highly desirable family dog and cheerful companion.
The Boxer is said to be descended from a variety of European breeds, including the old English Bulldog and the French Dogue de Bordeaux. The breed came to maturity in Germany and was one of the first breeds selected for police training there.
Boxers get their name from their tendency to stand erect on hind legs and box with the front legs.
The Boxer is a medium-sized dog, 21 to 25 inches tall and 50 to 80 pounds, with females smaller than males. The body is compact, muscular, and powerful. The tail is docked and carried high. The head is also carried high and has the short muzzle typical of bull breeds. The ears naturally drop but are often cropped. (Although cropped ears are required for competition by some clubs, many owners prefer the natural ears.)
Boxers are fawn with a black muzzle and mask and white on the chest, legs, and feet. The coat is short and smooth. Grooming is easy; the coat should be brushed twice a week with a soft bristle brush or curry comb. Exercise is very important. Boxers enjoy performance sports. The breed should not be exercised in the heat of the day during hot weather, especially in humid climates, as they can have breathing difficulties due to the shortened muzzle.
Young Boxers should meet and play with a variety of other puppies, as adult Boxers do tend to be aggressive toward strange dogs. Socialization can often keep this behavior in check. Boxers should attend puppy and basic obedience classes and ideally continue training. A Boxer can be stubborn at times, but when he wants to learn, he learns easily and retains training well. Training should be firm and structured, yet fair and fun.
Boxers are happiest when with their people. They are excellent with children, although puppies can be quite rambunctious and need to learn how to play with kids. They are usually quite good with other pets, although they do need to be taught not to chase cats. Health concerns include breathing problems, bloat, torsion, cardiomyopathy, and hip dysplasia.
It should also be noted that there are 3 types of boxer, the English boxer, the American boxer, and the German boxer. American being at the bottom of the size and weight range, and German being at the top.
The head is the most distinctive feature of the Boxer. The breed standard dictates that it must be in perfect proportion to the body and above all it must never be too light. The greatest value is to be placed on the muzzle being of correct form and in absolute proportion to the skull. The length of the muzzle to the whole of the head should be a ratio of 1:3. Folds are always present from the root of the nose running downwards on both sides of the muzzle, and the tip of the nose should lie somewhat higher than the root of the muzzle. In addition a Boxer should be slightly prognathous, i.e., the lower jaw should protrude beyond the upper jaw and bend slightly upwards in what is commonly called an underbite.
Boxers were originally a docked and cropped breed, and this tradition is still maintained in some countries. However, due to pressure from veterinary associations, animal rights groups and the general public, both cropping of the ears and docking of the tail have been prohibited in many countries around the world.
White Boxers are not caused by genetic birth defects. Just as human hair color is the product of the combined genetics of the human parents so too is the color of a Boxer’s coat a product of the genetics contributed by both the father and mother.
The exclusively white coat is created when both the mother and father are carriers of the gene that makes up the white coat and the offspring inherits the white coat gene from both the father and the mother. In every way the puppy is the same as all of it’s siblings, with all the energy, personality, and spirit that make them boxers. White Boxers are not albinos. Albinos completely lack pigment. This is evidenced by pink eyes, and a complete lack of color anywhere on the body. Most white boxers have some spots on their skin (which can be seen due to their short white coats) and have some markings around their nose and mouth. Some white boxers have colored markings in their coat (brown spots around an eye or on the back etc). All white boxers have pigment in their eyes, this alone rules out albinism as the cause of their whiteness.