The boxer dog (Deutscher Boxer), also known as the “German boxer” or simply “boxer” is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world and was born from the cross between a Brabant bullenbeisser and a bulldog.
The Boxer is a medium sized guard dog. For household members, this dog is a devoted and loyal friend, for strangers – a great watchdog. Among all guard dogs, the boxer is the most cheerful, energetic and fun-loving dog. He loves children very much, is ready to frolic with them all day long. It seems that his energy reserve is inexhaustible.
If the distant ancestors of the German boxer took part in battles, fought with wild animals while hunting and guarded farm goods, then the role of modern representatives of this breed is completely different.
Now the boxer is used as a guide for people with disabilities, as a police dog and a watchdog. Also, a devoted companion comes out of a well-mannered German boxer.
Origin of the Boxer dog
Boxer dogs are the direct descendants of the bulldog and the little brabant or “bullenbeisser”, a breed developed by hunters. Bullenbeisser was mainly used for big game, helping hunters to jam and hold their prey. The best specimens were used for reproduction and, in addition to selecting them for their capacity in this task, they also sought to improve certain morphological characteristics, such as the broad muzzle, the upturned nose or the strong bite, qualities which helped to better perform its duty. The breed was developed in Germany, thanks to Friedrich Robert, Elard König and R. Höpner, founders of the first “Deutscher Boxer Club” in 1895.
The American Kennel Club (ACK) was the first international canine federation to recognize boxer in 1904, later it was recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1948 and finally by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1955.
The breed was quite ignored until World War II, when the boxer was used as a dog of war to perform various duties, including body collection and delivery of messages. Likewise, the breed has also been introduced into official German authorities. Later, the boxer breed gained popularity and was in high demand in the United States. Boxer dogs are currently excellent companion dogs.
Finally, we could not fail to mention the origin of the name, which has generated several assumptions among lovers and fans of breeds. According to the UKC, the term “boxer” is of British origin and is due to the predisposition shown by the breed to use its front legs, in the same way as the boxers. The truth is that, in effect, the boxer is a dog who regularly uses these two ends. However, another hypothesis emphasizes that the term derives from the word “boxl” in German, which was used to refer to bullenbeisser colloquially.
Physical characteristics of the boxer dog
The German boxer has developed muscles in all parts of the body and a compact build. Representatives of the breed are a combination of nobility, endurance and power. The weight of adults is 25-30 kg, the height is 54-62 cm.
A rather large head rests on a rounded, dry neck. It shouldn’t have wrinkles. Hanging ears, not too large.
The muzzle is wide. There are pronounced skin folds on both sides of the bridge of the nose. Dark eyes of medium size.
The nose is slightly upturned. The cheekbones are well developed. The lower jaw is curved upwards, it is longer than the upper one. Bite – undershot. The canines are large.
The build is square. The back is short and straight. The belly is slightly tucked up. The chest is deep and well developed. Legs are straight. The paws are small, the pads are hard. Confident and energetic step.
The tail of medium length is not docked according to the requirements of the standard.
The skin should be free of folds. The German Boxer belongs to the short-haired breeds. His coat is tough to the touch.
The color can be red or brindle. A black mask is required on the face. White spots are allowed.
There are albinos. Their coat color is white, but this color is not included in the standard.
Character of the Boxer dog
The boxer generally behaves like a puppy throughout its life, which makes this quite problematic. Active, strong and loyal, it is a great pet for the whole family, both for adults and for children, but it can be lively, so it is not recommended in homes with very young children. The boxer is courageous and self-assured, it does not fight easily, but it is more than able to defend itself if it has to. It can be very destructive if left alone at home for long periods of time.
The boxer dog is distinguished by its loyal, alert, active and friendly character. It is a particularly sensitive and kind dog when it is well socialized. In addition, it can become particularly protective and patient with the children it loves and cares for. However, it should be noted that it is a breed with great physical strength, so you should always supervise the games with the little ones. We are talking about a curious and affectionate dog, who creates a very special bond with its guardians, from which it does not separate, because we are talking about a specially attached and accommodating breed.
The boxer breed can adapt to different types of families, whether or not they include children, provided they have an active and enthusiastic lifestyle, which can offer this dog the doses of stimulation, exercise and activity it needs. In addition, the boxer should not spend much time alone, because we are talking about a close and affectionate dog, which can become destructive of boredom and loneliness. Therefore, we do not recommend leaving it alone for more than 6 hours a day.
Boxer Dog Health
Statistics indicate that the boxer breed shows a certain predisposition to suffer from various hereditary diseases, the most common and relevant being the following:
- Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy
- Corneal dystrophy
- Subaortic stenosis
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Degenerative myelopathy
In addition, as it belongs to the breeds of brachycephalic dogs considered, the boxer dog must not perform extreme exercises nor be exposed to extreme heat, because in both cases, it is sensitive to heat stroke, a serious emergency. veterinarian who can put the dog’s life in danger. Therefore, it is essential to make regular veterinary visits, every 6 or 12 months maximum, as well as to strictly follow the vaccination schedule and periodic deworming.
In general, the life expectancy of boxer dogs is around 10 and 13 years.
The boxer dog requires a minimum of three daily walks, where it can sniff, socialize and do its needs with total comfort. In addition, we must guarantee small sessions of physical exercise, so that the dog can continue to develop its muscles and channel stress. It is a particularly playful dog, so we can buy Frisbees, balls and other accessories that it likes. Daily activity will help maintain weight, which should also be monitored with an appropriate diet to avoid overweight or anorexia.
In addition, it will be essential to stimulate our dog mentally and physically so that it is happy and has an adequate emotional well-being, because it has been found to respond wonderfully to the attentions given to it. The well-socialized boxer tends to easily bond with other pets and likes to investigate the smell of various plants and objects. It can live as well in an apartment as in a large house, provided it has the walks and exercises required by each individual.
The German boxer is not suitable for enclosure keeping. It does not tolerate cold at all, so this dog must live indoors, in a warm place. In a one-room, small-sized apartment, the boxer is not comfortable, he needs enough space, since he does not like to sit all day.
The boxer needs daily walks. The more often the owner takes the pet outside, the better. You need to walk it at least twice a day, while one of the walks should be active, so that the dog can run around and play. In other words, to spend the accumulated energy.
A high level of physical activity is required for the representatives of this breed.
The short coat cannot protect the boxer from the cold. Therefore, in the autumn-winter period, he must be dressed in special clothes for dogs. It is also recommended to shorten the walking time if it is severe frost, snow or rain outside.
Important! Boxers cannot be kept in kennels and enclosures, as they cannot stand cold and hot weather.
We determine the place in the house for the pet from the first day. We set up a stove bench, bowls for water and food there. This place, and since the dog is thermophilic, should not be near heating devices.
Grooming a German boxer is not difficult. The main thing is to teach him from puppyhood to the following procedures and carry them out regularly:
- We brush the boxer once or twice a week. Its short hair does not tangle, but combing is required to remove dead hair and massage the skin with a brush.
- Using the boxer’s detergents, we bathe a couple of times a year. If the dog has smeared a certain area of the body, you can simply wipe it with a damp cloth or rinse it with warm water. After every walk we wash the dog’s paws.
- For a well-groomed and shiny coat, prepare a rubberized napkin and a leather patch. First, we wipe the dog with a napkin, then with a leather rag soaked in water.
- Long claws not only prevent the dog from moving freely, but can also be painful. They must be trimmed regularly using the cutters provided for this procedure. This must be done carefully so as not to damage the blood vessels.
- The German boxer has droopy eyelids and is also prone to conjunctivitis. Therefore, we pay special attention to the eyes of such a pet. You need to inspect them daily, remove dirt and excretion from the corners. To do this, there must be a soft patch in the hold. Even with the slightest redness, it is worth treating the eyelids with a special ointment, which the veterinarian will prescribe.
- We clean the ears once a week to remove dirt and ear discharge. For this, cotton swabs are not recommended; it is better to use a soft handkerchief.
- The owner of the boxer must be prepared for the increased salivation of the pet. Especially when he sees food. You should always have a towel or napkin with you to wipe the dog’s face.
Important! German boxers who do not receive physical activity become difficult to control.
German Boxer feeding schedule by age:
- 3-5 months – 4 times a day
- 5-12 months – 3 times
- 1-1.5 years old – 2 times
From 1.5 years old, you can feed once a day, depending on the physical activity of the dog.
Pregnant females also need increased nutrition.
If dry food is chosen for the nutrition of the German boxer dog, pay attention that they have the required protein content – at least 30%.
This indicator can be increased if the dog is under intense physical activity, pregnant or still a puppy.
When choosing a natural type of diet, the protein balance should also be 1/3 of the total diet.
Make sure the food is not too cold or hot.
After eating, do not let the dog be active for a couple of hours to avoid disruptions in digestion.
A German Boxer dog’s natural diet can consist of:
- Boiled lean beef and offal.
- Boiled sea fish, from which bones will be removed.
- Raw liver.
- Semolina, pearl barley, vermicelli.
- Various vegetables (except for starchy ones).
- Stale bread.
It is strictly forbidden to give to a German Boxer dog:
- Sausages, sausages and the like.
- Bones of any kind.
- Pork and fresh chicken.
- Starchy foods (legumes, potatoes).
- Spices, salted.
- River fish.
The German boxer is prone to obesity. If you do not monitor portions and calories, he will overeat and quickly gain extra pounds.
Natural feeding is preferable for German boxer dogs. If you opted for dry food, purchase it from trusted sellers. This product must be premium.
Important! Two weeks before vaccination, the dog must be treated for worms and parasites.
Training and education
The German boxer is smart and easy to train if you find a way to eliminate stubbornness and build trust. It is also important to clearly give commands to the pet so that he can understand the owner’s intentions.
Puppy training begins at the age of three months. Classes are thought out in advance, they should not be too long, not monotonous, playful. Encourage successes, do not punish failures, but calmly achieve the desired result.
The German boxer, by virtue of his intelligence, is able to remember a new command after only three repetitions. But in many cases, stubbornness gets in the way of learning. If you have no experience with such dogs, it is recommended to use the help of a dog handler who will help you to take training courses.
Puberty in German boxers occurs at the age of 8-12 months. But breeders do not recommend mating females under 20 months, and males under 2 years old. This is due to the fact that puberty occurs before the dog is physiologically ready to continue offspring.
Premature mating can lead to health problems and physiological abnormalities in the animal.
German boxer Fun Facts
- The Boxer dogs were named so because of their behavior during a fight. These animals skillfully strike the opponent with their paws, like boxers in the ring.
- Boxers have a universal blood group. Representatives of the breed are valued by veterinarians as donors. Timely transfusion saved more than one dog. Some boxers who donate blood regularly have been given the title of Honorary Donor.
- Representatives of this breed were favorites of such celebrities as Robin Williams, Sylvester Stallone, Pablo Picasso.
Boxer Dog Breed Highlights
The boxer is suitable even for beginners with no experience in dog breeding. The main thing is that they provide him with proper activity, love and take care of him. To understand whether this breed is right for you or not, check out its main pros and cons.
- The boxer is extremely affectionate and loving.
- It is very intelligent.
- Boxer is incredibly fun and comical by nature with its silly dances.
- It is very active and energetic, which means it needs a lot of exercise.
- It thrives on being with people and hates being alone.
- Learns quickly
- It protects its family and their properties.
- The boxer is a very good natural watchdog.
- Simple care needs
- Suitable for inexperienced dog owners
- Extremely energetic and needs a ton of mental stimulation and daily exercise.
- Some boxers can drool a lot.
- If it is not well handled and trained, it can show a more dominant side to its nature.
- Unfriendly with strangers dogs, prone to fighting
- Known to suffer from some hereditary health problems.
- Need for firm handling and early training.
- Does not tolerate cold, easily catches cold
- It can be destructive if left to itself.
- The boxer suffers from separation anxiety.
- Prone to obesity
- This dog can be a little overprotective if it is not well socialized from an early age.