With all the aesthetic charm of the Bulldog, and as much energy as a Labrador, the Boxer is a popular dog breed to own. As playful as he is protective, this exuberant breed is called the “Boxer” because of their tendency to stand on their hind legs and paw with their front legs, in motions similar to those you’d see in a boxing ring. Find out more facts about these endearing dogs, and why they’ve come to be regarded as beloved family pets and affectionate companions.
These dogs originally hail from Germany during the late 1800’s, where they were bred for bull baiting. In the United States, Boxers were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1904, and were classified as a “working dog” breed, while in the United Kingdom, Boxers are in the “guardian dog” classification.
The dogs were used as military messenger dogs and guard dogs during World War I. The love of Boxers increased in America when US soldiers fighting in Europe brought home the dogs they’d gained an appreciation for during their wartime experiences. Currently the Boxer ranks in the top ten most popular dog breeds in America, according to the AKC.
Boxers are medium in build. Male Boxers can weigh up to 80 lbs., while females can be as low as 50 lbs. Though their muscular limbs resemble those of a leaner and longer Bulldog, this strong breed does require plenty of exercise. They love running, playing fetch, joining in on sports, and have impressive stamina for short-snouted canines.
The most common look of Boxers is a ruddy-brown color with white markings on the chest and belly, and a black muzzle. However, Boxers can be brown and black brindled, fawn, and they may or may not have white flashes and dark masks.
Their coats are short and flat, making them a great dog to keep in warm climates, though they can get cold in the winter if left outside for too long. Like many brachycephalic dog breeds, the Boxer is known for snoring when asleep, snorting and sneezing while awake, and drooling often because of their sagging lips.
Most Boxers have ears that hang down, and docked tails. The practice of docking tails and cropping ears is becoming less common, as more people wisely prefer their dogs to be natural and unaltered.
Boxers are very affectionate dogs that become exceedingly attached to their humans. When they are socialized well as puppies, the Boxer is very comfortable around children and the elderly. They are known for cuddling with their owners, or greeting them with a sloppy wet kiss when they come home.
This breed is an easy pet to keep, as they bark seldom, and do not have strong tendencies toward digging. They do however need to be exercised at least 40-60 minutes daily to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
The Boxer is as winsome and energetic as a puppy for a fair portion of his life, simply because the dogs are not considered to reach full maturation and adulthood until they are 3 years old. So a 2.5-year-old Boxer might well be considered a puppy!
Boxers live usually between 8-10 years, and will prove a protective pet and loving companion to their families as long as they live.