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Cleo's Blog | Dog Breeds | Working Group

The Delightful Boxer Is A Complete Family Dog

The Boxer is a medium to larger size dog, 50 to 80 pounds depending on its sex, that was developed in Germany. It has had many jobs over the years including hunting, farm work, police and military work, and guide dog.

Today, it is a very popular family pet that usually ranks in the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the United States. It gained a lot of popularity after Word Was II when returning servicemen brought dogs home with them.

The Boxer may have gotten its name for the way it uses its front legs and paws when it is playing. It sometimes stands on its back legs and “spars” or boxes with its front legs. This theory has its detractors but is probably here to stay. It does look like the dog has taken a few punches to its face, however. Despite its pugnacious name and appearance, the Boxer is a gentle, playful, and affectionate family pet and is great with children.

History of the Boxer Breed

Many years ago, Alexander the Great (356 BC to 323 BC) has a dog named Peritus. The dog’s breed is uncertain but may have been a Molossus of Epirus. Peritus was a brave and powerful dog and had the reputation of having killed a lion. The dog proved its courage in battle when it saved Alexander’s life by attacking the enemy. Alexander was saved, but Peritas was fatally wounded and died in Alexander’s lap. Heroic Peritas had given his last full measure of devotion.

Whether Peritas sired any offspring is a fact lost to history. But the Molossus dog breed is believed to be an ancestor of the Mastiff breeds that include the Boxer. The Boxer has several other dog breeds in its DNA including the now-extinct breeds of Old English Bulldog and Bullenbeisser. The Boxer is a brave dog who will defend its family without regard to its own safety. So just maybe they have some of Peritues’ blood coursing through their veins.

Boxers are part of the AKC’s working group and were used for hunting and guarding livestock. They also served as military and police dogs, and as guide dogs. They are part of the working group, Boxer owners will say, but the main job they have now is to play. And they are very good at that job.

What Boxers Look Like

The Boxer has a unique face with a pug nose and a lower jaw that protrudes, so it has an underbite. It has a serious expression that may lead one to think the dog might be aggressive, but that is far from the truth. The Boxer is serious most of all, about having a good time.

The hair of their coat is short and usually either fawn (color) or brindle. There is a white variety that is discouraged as these white-coat dogs are more likely to suffer from deafness.

The Boxer’s ears were frequently cropped and the tails docked. The practice of surgically modifying dogs has become increasingly criticized and is now unlawful in many countries.

 

Fawn color, uncropped ears.

“Reverse” brindle color, ears cropped

Brindle color, uncropped ears, docked tail

Are Boxers Healthy

Boxers have an expected lifespan of 10 to 12 years. This is about average for medium to large dogs. Boxers, like other purebred dogs, are prone to several ailments. For good information on their health concerns, visit the American Boxer Club website.

Boxers do not tolerance either hot or cold weather very well. This dog should be a family member and allowed to stay inside except when it is time to play or to take care of business. They are not outside dogs but need plenty of room to get the exercise they require to keep in good health.

 

BreedHeight (inches)Weight (Pounds)Life Expectancy (Years)Popularity (AKC)Origin
Boxer
21-2550-8010-1211Germany
Great Dane
28-32110-1757-1016Germany
Doberman Pinscher
24-2890-10010-1217Germany
American Staffordshire Terrier
17-1940-7012-1685United States
Beauceron
24-27.570-11010-12124France

Where to Get More Information

The American Boxer Club website has comprehensive information on the Boxer. They also publish a club flyer. Other good resources are the American Kennel Club and The Kennel Club.

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