AKC Dog Breeds: Boxer

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Working Group
Height: 21-25 inches   Weight: 55-70  pounds  Color: brown, brindle, white markings

Boxers are now among the most popular breeds in the United States. The well-conditioned middleweight athlete of dogdom, the Boxer is a powerful dog with an intelligent and alert expression. While they are instinctive guardians, the Boxer loves to be with his people. This personality has allowed them to succeed as couriers during war time and as seeing-eye dogs for the blind. Developed in Germany in the 19th century, Boxers were originally used for dog fighting and to run down and hold large game such as wild boar and bison until the hunter could arrive. The breed is known for standing up on its hind legs and batting at its opponent, appearing to box with its front paws. Imported to America after World War I, they began to grow in popularity in the late 1930s.

General Appearance

The Boxer is a dog that has a square built and strong, athletic limbs. He carries himself with grace and dignity, and his expressions are known to reflect his emotions. The tail is usually docked.  He has erect ears when cropped, which add to his alert expression, and a blunt muzzle. The coat of the Boxer is tight fitting, hard, short, and sleek, and the coloring of the Boxer is fawn or brindle with white markings. The Boxer weighs in at around 50-85 pounds, and the height of the Boxer is around 21-26 inches. The Boxer has distinctive drooping jowls. The Boxer has a shorthaired coat, which is shiny, smooth, and fits tightly to the body. The coat comes in such colors as fawn, red, and brindle, with "flashings" of white on their underbelly, chest, and all four feet. In some cases the "flashing" will appear on their face.

Boxers are lively, strong, and extremely loyal. They have an exceedingly high energy level. They carry themselves with pride, but are never arrogant. They have a stoic stance, and are intelligent, loving, delightful companions. The Boxer is patient, dignified, and self-assured. They exhibit curiosity, but are wary of strangers. This breed is fearless and courageous if threatened. They are keenly alert and have a heightened sense of hearing, which make them excellent guard dogs. The Boxer adores children and other pets they have been raised with. They have an inordinate need for human companionship and do not like to be alone for extended periods of time. They are not well suited for a two career family. Insufficient attention may lead them into "bad" behavior in an attempt to be noticed.

Taking care of their coat is a very simple affair, since there is so little of it. A regular rubbing with a hound cloth is often enough, though many boxers like the skin stimulation of a rubber comb. They are very clean dogs and often will actually keep themselves preened like a cat. Boxers that have had their ears bobbed should have their ears regularly examined for was build up and the presence of mites.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
Some major health concerns for boxers are cardiomyopathy and other heart problems, sub-aortic stenosis, and thyroid. They can be prone to skin allergies and are sometimes prone to epilepsy and hip dysplasia. From age eight on Boxers are more likely to get tumors than other breeds. They also have a tendency for allergies. These dogs may drool and snore and may have excessive flatulence. Some white Boxers are prone to deafness. The Boxer has a life expectancy of around 8-12 years.

Activity Level

Boxers are large dogs that can certainly benefit from at least an hour of good exercise every day. Joggers will find them perfect workout companions - walks aren't usually quite enough and they need them every day without fail. They do best when allowed to run around in a rural environment, though many urban owners are able to successfully keep them in small spaces if there's a large park nearby. Off-leash dog parks are ideally suited to the urban or suburban Boxer. When letting them run around in even a large yard, you should take extra care to be sure the fence is absolutely secure. These dogs have been known to pick locks and jump over fences - they are prone to escape, though usually not roving as long as male dogs are altered.


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