Breed review: Boxer dogs and puppies
A handsome dog with a distinctive profile, the Boxer is a large dog which is known for its intelligence.
This handsome dog has its roots in the Middle Ages although it was only officially recognised as a breed the late 19th century and has developed into a cross between English and German breeds over the centuries.
The Boxer used to be involved in hunting trips owing to its skill in sniffing out prey and holding it down until hunters arrived at the scene. Its name comes from an endearing habit it has of raising its front paws during play and moving them in a boxing-like fashion.
During the world wars, the Boxer was used extensively as a messenger dog. When soldiers returned home afterwards, they brought their faithful friend with them, introducing the breed to the wider public in the process.
Appearance of the Boxer
The Boxer is a medium to large-sized dog with a muscular, square-shaped body. It has a large head with a prominent muzzle and strong jaw, while the ears can be cropped to stay upright or left in their natural, loose state.
The tail is high and often docked, while the coat is smooth and short and comes in three different tones; white, brindled and fawn. A significant number of predominantly white boxers can suffer from deafness – this is a trait to be aware of if buying a Boxer.
Perhaps some of the most endearing features of the Boxer are its eyes, which are large and dark brown in colour.
This breed is very intelligent – which accounts for its curiosity, ability to learn and liveliness. Being very energetic, Boxers love activity but are only noisy when alarmed. Loyal, playful and good-natured, the Boxer is great with children; making it an ideal family dog. It does have a reputation for being strong-willed but this can be avoided with correct training, something which the boxer takes to well.
Trustworthiness is one of the Boxer’s most valuable characteristic and this makes it ideal as a guard dog or for working with the blind.
The Boxer is very energetic and spirited so needs regular and vigorous exercise. If it doesn’t get the activity it needs then it may resort to displacement activities such as chewing inappropriate objects or unwanted digging. These are usually signs of boredom rather than unruly behaviour so make sure you don’t punish your dog for this behaviour but simply adjust their daily routine to offer more stimulation and exercise.
Its high energy means it will do well in outdoor spaces and owners with bigger gardens are generally preferable for the breed.
A boxer’s owner will only need to take a brush to its coat frequently when it is shedding. At other times, other than a weekly brush, the boxer’s coat does not require any special care.
The Boxer is prone to skin cancer and this is especially the case with those which have mostly white coats. It also has a disposition towards some heart conditions and intestinal bloating.
The average age a Boxer lives to is 10 years with cancer being the cause of death in a significant amount of cases.