Boxer: Care & Characteristics of the Dog Breed

A Boxer dog standing in the tall grass

The boxer is a medium-to-large dog breed that originated in Germany and belongs to the working group. It has short, sleek hair and an athletic, nimble frame. Boxers often have a pleasant and lively demeanor, are loyal, and are active. When socialized from an early age, they frequently get along well with kids and have a natural drive to defend their family.

Breed Overview

Group: Working

Height: 21.5 to 23.5 inches (female), 23 to 25 inches (male)

Weight: 50 to 65 pounds (female), 65 to 80 pounds (male)

Coat: Short, smooth

Coat Color: Typically fawn and brindle, can have a black mask and/or white markings

Life Span: 10 to 12 years

Temperament: Active, affectionate, playful, energetic

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: Germany

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Click Play to Learn More About the Athletic and Friendly Boxer

Characteristics of the Boxer

Boxers typically have a friendly and playful temperament. They love people and can be quite affectionate. These people-oriented personality traits also make them relatively trainable dogs.

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs High
Playfulness High
Energy Level High
Trainability High
Intelligence Medium
Tendency to Bark Medium
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Boxer

The boxer's ancestors date back tens of thousands of years. However, near the end of the 19th century, the breed started to develop in Germany. Breeders reduced the size of bigger mastiff-like dogs, particularly the Bullenbeisser, a breed that had been utilized for big-game hunting. Due to the fact that boxers and practically all bulldog-type breeds are connected, bulldogs also contributed to the genetic composition of this breed.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the slimmer, smaller boxer expanded throughout Europe and subsequently to the United States. Sadly, they took part in cruel dog fighting and other blood sports. The devoted dogs served in the military, police, and even on farms as security dogs and service dogs. In reality, boxers were among the first dog breeds used in Germany as police dogs.

The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1904, and today boxers are one of the most in the U.S.

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Boxer Care

The athletic boxer enjoys playing and has high workout requirements. Additionally, the breed has to be properly trained to control its energy. Fortunately, the boxer requires little upkeep in terms of grooming.

Exercise

The majority of boxers have a lot of energy, thus they require daily activity that is sufficient. Ideally, you should walk your boxer for 30 minutes twice a day at the very least. Running, hiking, playing fetch, and other active games will keep the dog healthy and intellectually engaged. Boxers are people-oriented dogs, thus they would rather be engaged in an activity with you than left outside by themselves.

Keep in mind that boxers don't tolerate cold or hot conditions very well. They are not protected from the cold by their small coat. Boxers also struggle to effectively sweat out heat due of their small nostrils. So, whether it's hot outside or chilly indoors, boxers should primarily workout during severe conditions. If you can, schedule your walks for when it's the coolest of the day during hot weather.

Grooming

Boxers have very straightforward requirements due to their fairly short coats. To remove any loose fur and dirt from their coat, brush them with a curry brush once a week. Except for increased shedding and more regular brushing to make up for the increase in loose fur when the weather changes in the spring and fall.

The coat also maintains its cleanliness very well, typically just needing a bath every few months or so. However, bear in mind that many boxers drool, so you might need to wipe off part of their hair by wrapping a moist towel over their lips.

Depending on how much the dog's nails naturally wear down, nail trimmings will be required around every month. Additionally, it's recommended to brush your dog's teeth every day.

Training

If they aren't properly socialized and taught, boxers can become energetic and rebellious. Simply said, this is a byproduct of their vivacious personality. Boxers frequently like jumping up on humans; this habit is a holdover from when the breed jumped to pursue prey, therefore ideally they should receive constant training from a young age to stop it.

As soon as a boxer puppy reaches the required age, it is preferable to enroll it in a puppy training program. There, it will get up fundamental obedience and manners for interacting respectfully with both people and other dogs. Introduce your boxer to a variety of people and circumstances, and make sure everyone it comes in contact with rewards excellent behavior. Dog sports, service dog training, and similar classes can assist your dog improve its obedience and deepen your relationship with it.

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Common Health Problems

In addition to their intolerance to extreme temperatures, boxers also are prone to some common health conditions. They include:

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Diet and Nutrition

Give your dog a high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet, and always have fresh water available. To ensure your pet is eating the right amount and variety of food, pay attention to your veterinarian's recommendations. Keep an eye on your boxer's weight on a regular basis to avoid obesity and other health problems.

Boxers can also be prone to bloat, which can result in the stomach dangerously twisting on itself, like other deep-chested dogs. Bloat may be avoided by eating slowly, from a raised dish, and by being given smaller meals.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Boxer

In order to locate a boxer in need of a home, search regional animal shelters and breed rescue organizations. Boxers are quite simple to find because the breed is so well-liked. Expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 on average for a puppy from a reputable breeder, however this can vary greatly based on lineage and other considerations.

Some groups that can help you in your search for a boxer include:

  • American Boxer Club
  • U.S. Boxer Rescue Websites (via American Boxer Club)
  • Across America Boxer Rescue

Boxer Overview

Pros
  • Affectionate

  • Fun-loving

  • Good family dogs

Cons
  • Excessive drool with some

  • Can be hyperactive without training and exercise

  • Can't tolerate hot or cold weather well

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

To discover a boxer in need of a home, look into neighborhood animal shelters and breed rescue organizations. Boxers are quite simple to locate due to the breed's widespread popularity. Expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 on average for a puppy from a reputable breeder, however prices can vary greatly based on the dog's pedigree and other aspects.

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:

There’s a whole world of potential dog breeds out there—with a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!

FAQ
  • Are boxers good family dogs?

    When taught and socialized from an early age, boxers may make excellent family pets. Untrained boxers have a tendency to leap, which may be excessive around small children.

  • Are boxers aggressive?

    Boxers are typically very loving and affectionate with their families. But they also can have a protective nature that must be managed through training and socialization.

  • Are boxers good apartment dogs?

    Boxers can live in apartments as long as they receive enough exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day.

CITATION

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