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The Boxer is an athletic working breed with a sense of humor. This native of Germany requires minimal grooming but plenty of exercise and makes a great family dog.

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Physical Characteristics
  • Medium, muscular build
  • Blunt muzzle with thick lips and an under bite
  • Coat: Shiny, short hair
  • Coloring of fawn, white, brindle or red
  • Black nose
  • Dark eyes
  • Height: 21-25 inches
  • Weight: 53-75 pounds
  • Average lifespan: 11-12 years
  • Happy, playful, energetic, courageous, protective, confident, affectionate, loyal, smart, eager to learn
  • Interaction with people: Good with children; needs lots of human companionship; wary of strangers
  • Interaction with animals: Gets along with noncanine pets and other dogs if socialized properly
  • Training: Needs firm, consistent training by a dominant owner
  • Protection: Good guard dogs and watchdogs
Medical Conditions
  • Acquired cardiac disease (including Boxer cardiomyopathy)
  • Bloat
  • Cancers
  • Congenital cardiac diseases (including subvalvular aortic stenosis, pulmonic stenosis and ventricular septal defect)
  • Degenerative myelopathy (neurological condition that can lead to paralysis)
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Hypothroidism
  • Susceptible to anesthesia (Acepromazine)
While the listed ailments may be common in this breed, not all members of the breed suffer from these conditions. Responsible breeders screen for orthopedic and genetic diseases.
At Home
  • OK for apartments with plenty of exercise
  • Prefers mild climates
  • Needs long daily walks
  • Tends to drool and snore
  • Easily groomed
  • Average shedder
  • Tends to self-groom
Other Facts
  • The name "Boxer" may come from the tendency to use its front paws for various tasks and toying with items
  • Popular in the circus and theater
  • Talented in police and military work, search-and-rescue missions, obedience, tricks and guarding
Breed History
  • Originated in the 1850s in Germany
  • Bred from German mastiff-like dogs, bullenbeissers, barenbeiszers and bulldogs
  • Boxer's ancestors are depicted in Flemish tapestries from the 16th and 17th centuries in hunting scenes
  • Used for hunting, herding cattle, pulling carts and military work
  • Originally a fierce breed, but now kind and gentle
For more information about this breed and breeder referral contacts, please visit the American Boxer Club For breed rescue opportunities, visit ABC Rescue
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