Boxer's most notable characteristic is his desire for human affection.
Through his spirited bearing, square jaw, and cleanly muscled
body suggest the well-conditioned middleweight athlete of dogdom,
the Boxer is happiest when he is with people--especiall children.
His short smooth coat, handsome chiselled head, and striking silhouette
never fail to excite comments from passersby as he trots jauntily
by your side with neck arched and tail held erect. Yet the Boxer's
greatest wish is to be with children, watching protectively over
their play. He is truly a "dog for all seasons," suiting
the need for household guardian, attractive companion, and children's
playmate and loyal friend.
The Boxer's historical background begins in feudal Germany. Here,
a small, courageous hunting dog with mastiff-type head and undershot
bite was used to secure a tenacious hold on bull, boar, or bear---
pending the hunter's arrival. He became a utility dog for peasants
and shop owners. His easy trainability even found him performing
in the circus. In the 1880s, descendants of this type of dog were
bred to a taller, more elegant English import, and the era of
the modern Boxer had begun. Imported to America after the first
World War, his popularity really began in the late 1930s. His
appeal in the show ring led to four "Best in Show" awards
at prestigious Westminster Kennel Club between 1947 and 1970.
The Boxer is a medium-sized dog ranging from 21 inches high at
the shoulder in a smaller female up to 25 inches (sometimes even
taller) in a large male. Adult weight may reach 65-80 pounds in
the male, with females about 15 pounds less. There are no miniature
or giant varieties. The short, close-lying coat is found in two
equally acceptable and attractive basic colors-fawn and brindle.
The fawn may vary from a tawny tan to an especially beautiful
stag red. The brindle ranges from sparse, but clearly defined
black stripes on a fawn background, to such a heavy concentration
of black striping that the essential fawn hackground color barely,
although clearly, shows through (which may create the appearance
of "reverse brindling").
markings should be of such distribution as to enhance the dog's
appearance, but may not exceed one-third of the entire coat. It
is not uncommon to have a totally white Boxer born in a litter.
An all-white coat, or a predominantly white background (known
as a "check") may occur. In order to retain the beauty
of the true fawn and brindle colors, American Boxer Club members
are pledged not to register, sell, or use these "whites"
The Boxer's official classification in the "Working Group"
of dogs is a natural. His keenest sense, that of hearing, is enhanced
by the cropped, erect ears and makes him an instinctive guard
dog, always alert. He has also been used as a courier during war
time, and as a seeing-eye dog for the blind. Although always vigilant,
the Boxer is not a nervous breed, and will not bark without cause.
He has judgment, and an uncanny sense of distinguishing between
friend and intruder. One of the delightful qualities that sets
the Boxer apart is the unique mobility of his expressive face.
The skin furrowing of the forehead, the dark, "soulful"
eyes, and at times almost human attempts to "converse,"
make his replacement by another breed difficult for one who has
owned a Boxer. He mimics the mood of his master and can spend
hours quietly lying at his feet.