Dog Breed 101: Boxer

 Written by Dr. Muqeet Mushtaq DVM, MS ABG (Animal Breeding and Genetics)


An intelligent, devoted pet, the boxer has a high need for companionship and exercise. They are not happy when they left home alone. Boxers are intolerant towards hot weather, and care must be taken to prevent them from getting overheated.


Boxers are a breed of extinct bulldog. They were developed in some part of Germany in the 19th century, initially as ox-biting dogs and later as butchers' helpers, controlling cattle in slaughterhouses. Some generation says that the boxers' name is derived from the German word box, their altar. Other fans say the boxer's name comes from the feature he uses to play his forelegs, like a human boxer. Boxers were not imported into the United States until after World War I. After 1940, this breed became the most popular in the United States.

Boxers are considered working dogs. They were the first breed to serve as police dog and work as watchdogs. But they are also made companions and guard dogs later on, and they are especially fond of children.


Boxers are intelligent, high-energy, playful dogs who like to keep busy. Their temperament reflects their growth. They prefer to be in their owners' company and have loyal pets that provide strict protection against their family and strangers.

Some boxers bark excessively. If a boxer barks, there is usually a good reason for it. However, many boxers make wowy noises which is the way a dog speaks.


Boxers need more companionship and exercise. If these requirements are not met, boxers can be devastating. Boxers are perfect for people who want a dog companion most of the time or for large busy families who often live in houses. They can perform well in the countryside or a city apartment as long as they have the opportunity to exercise and use their energy. If you are living in an urban area, regular walks are essential.

They also need to be protected from the cold because they have short coats. Their coats, however, are easy to care for, and as long as they have a good diet. Bathe them occasionally and brush them regularly with any fitness or rubber curls.

Some boxers bark too much, and some gossip and snort. Boxers, like other large dogs, do not.

Breed Characteristic

Weight Ranges:

  • Males: 65-80 lbs.
  • Females: 50-65 lbs.
Height at Withers:
  • Males: 24 in.
  • Females: 22 in.
Other Body Features
  • Face: Brachycephalic (squashed face)
  • Eyes: Droopy eyes
  • Ears: Floppy ears (unsurprisingly)
  • Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
  • Energy Levels: Very energetic
  • The tendency to Bark: Low
  • Longevity Ranges: 8-10 yrs.
  • The tendency to Drool: High Tendency to Snore: Moderate
  • The tendency to Dig: Low 
  • Social/Attention Needs: High
  • Bred For: Bull-baiting, guardian

Coat characteristic

  • Coat Length: Short
  • Coat type: Flat
  • Coat Colours: Fawn, brindle, with or without white flashing and black mask
  • Overall Grooming Needs: Low

Club Recognition

  • AKC Classifications: Working
  • UKC Classifications: Guardian Dog
  • Prevalence: Common

Boxer is a stock, muscular and robust dog. Boxers have regular, different sized square heads. Boxers' ears floppy naturally, but traditionally, their ears are designed to stand up straight. Their tails are usually submerged and high. Their feet are compact, and they have robust toes.

The boxer's coat is short and flows moderately. Some boxers are creamy, light in colour and others are shiny. Their face or mask is frequently black, but most breeds have white facial scars and white spots on the chest and claws.

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