Boxers are powerful, medium-sized, squarely built dogs. Their coat is short, shiny, and tight fitting, and it comes in fawn and brindle. These dogs have well-developed muscles that are hard and defined, and they have a wrinkled forehead and broad, black nose. The breed stands 21.5 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 50 to 75 pounds. Boxers often live 10 years or more with proper care.
Boxers are one of the most popular dog breeds in America for a reason. They are lovable, playful, intelligent, and they crave affection and attention, especially from children.
This breed is instinctively protective and loves to be with family. Boxers are affectionate and adore children, and they require very little grooming. These traits make them an ideal choice for busy families. However, the breed is known to suffer from a number of health conditions and requires regular veterinary checkups.
According to AKC Registration Statistics, the Boxer is one of the most popular dogs in the United States.
Boxers are one of the most popular dog breeds in America for a reason. They are lovable, playful, and intelligent, and they crave affection and attention, especially from children. They are also patient and loyal, which makes them a great choice for families. These dogs get along decently with cats they are raised with, but they are not a good fit for households with other dogs.
These dogs are very protective of their home and family and make excellent guard dogs. They will bark furiously if they hear someone approaching their home. However, if a stranger actually opens the door and interacts with the Boxer, he'll encounter a happy and friendly dog. Boxers will stand their ground with great courage if threatened.
Active and patient families provide the best environment for Boxers. Due to their barking, size, and energy levels, these dogs generally do much better in a home with a large yard than in an apartment. They need regular exercise to maintain physical and mental health.
Boxers are prone to a number of health conditions, including bloat, hip dysplasia, allergies, and skin problems. The breed is also more prone than other breeds to certain cancers, including lymphoma, mast cell tumors, hemangiosarcoma, and others. Additionally, Boxers are at risk for developing degenerative myelopathy, which is a type of progressive neurological dysfunction. Genetic screening can help determine an individual dog's risk of developing this disorder.
A gene was recently identified that may be responsible for a potentially fatal heart disease known to affect Boxers, called arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. This may help identify at-risk dogs before the disease strikes. Boxers are also prone to other heart problems. Also, these dogs cannot tolerate acepromazine, which is one of the most common veterinary sedatives. Use of this medication can cause heart arrhythmia, collapse, and cardiac arrest.
These dogs tend to experience soft tissue injuries, including scrapes, lacerations, and abrasions, due to rough play. They are also known to develop stomach problems from eating garbage and non-food items. Additionally, Boxers are very sensitive to heat and cold. Their coats do not provide much insulation during winter months, and their short snouts prevent these dogs from properly cooling themselves during the summer. White Boxers are at increased risk of developing skin cancer and should wear sunscreen when outdoors.
Good nutrition, daily exercise, weight management, routine veterinary care, and timely vaccinations help ensure Boxers live 8 to 10 years.
Early training and socialization can help prevent Boxer puppies from growing up into hyperactive and unmanageable adult dogs. Boxers have a difficult time taking training seriously. They are very good at spotting loopholes in rules and routines, and these dogs will exploit those loopholes whenever possible. Anyone considering the purchase or adoption of a Boxer must have a sense of humor and a lot of patience to survive training one of these dogs.
Boxers may attempt to dominate their human companions and establish themselves as the leader of their home. This cannot be tolerated. These dogs also like to carry things around the house. While this behavior might seem adorable, it's not uncommon for a boxer to misplace important items, such as shoes, mail, belts, and other things. Training can teach the boxer to carry only approved items, such as dog toys.
Without training, physical stimulation, and mental stimulation, these dogs will become bored and destructive. To thrive, they need plenty of attention and exercise, as well as firm and consistent rules.
Boxers are low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. A weekly brushing with a rubber curry brush or firm bristle brush will remove dead hair and reduce shedding. It will also help distribute skin oils throughout the coat to keep it healthy and shiny.
Unless these dogs roll around in something gross, sticky, or dangerous, they only need bathing a couple of times each year. A gentle, canine shampoo will help prevent skin irritation and dryness. The Boxer's coat is durable and can handle bathing as often as weekly, if desired.
The ears tend to become dirty and should be checked weekly for signs of wax accumulation and infection and then cleaned with a veterinarian-approved otic cleanser. The outside of the ears can be wiped with a damp cotton ball, as needed, to remove dirt and debris. The nails need trimming every few weeks, and the teeth should be brushed as often as possible to prevent cavities and periodontal disease.
Boxers were developed in Germany during the 19th century from English Bulldogs and German Mastiffs. The breed was originally used for dog fighting and to run down large game, such as bison, and hold the animals until the hunter could arrive. These dogs also became known as skilled circus performers.
The modern Boxer originated in the 1880s in Munich. A man, George Alt, brought a brindle bullenbeisser over from France. This dog's offspring laid the foundation for the Boxer breed as we know it today.
During World War I, these dogs worked as couriers and scouts. They were later imported to the United States and took off in popularity during the late 1930s. They found work as seeing eye dogs for the blind and as police dogs, although many were kept simply as companion animals.
The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Boxer in 1904.