|Boxer Dog Breed Information
Boxer dogs have compact and powerful bodies with shiny coats that fit close to their skin. They come in a variety colors including brindle, fawn, and various shades of red. Some also have white markings. Most show dogs have docked tails. Docking is a procedure where part of the tail has been surgically removed shortly after birth. They have strong necks, squared bodies, straight front legs, and dark eyes. Their lower jaws curve upward and extend over their upper jaws. The average male Boxer is 22-24 inches tall (56-61 km) and weighs about 60-70 pounds (27-32 kg). Female dogs are usually 21-23 inches (53-58 cm) tall and weigh about 55-65 pounds (25-29 kg).
Happy, high-spirited, intelligent, energetic, curious, loyal, and affectionate are all terms that describe the temperament of Boxers. They are very reliable and protective around children. They are very loving toward children and like to play as well. Boxers are easily trained and are often eager to learn. Known friends or guests may get an exuberant greeting while intruders may be restrained in the same manner that a Bulldog might use. These lively dogs have a tendency to jump up at people and this trait should be controlled at an early age. Training should start early with these dogs and the owner must be dominant over the dog. Boxers have often been used in military and police work.
Boxers have shorthaired coats that are very smooth and easy to groom. It is recommended to brush them weekly with a firm bristled brush and to only bathe them when it becomes necessary. Boxers are very clean dogs that groom themselves in a similar manner that cats use. These dogs require vigorous activity and exercise on a regular basis in order to keep them fit. Walking, running, and playing are all good ways of giving these dogs the daily workout they need. Be aware that Boxers have a tendency to become very aggressive at times when they encounter other dogs. It is advisable to use a leash when walking them in public areas.
Sinus infections and breathing difficulties may be of concern to this breed due to the shape of its nose. They may also be prone to other health conditions such as hereditary heart problems, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, stiffness of the spine, allergies, and skin cancer. Skin lumps that are found while grooming should be examined to see if they are malignant tumors. Boxers also have some traits that are not life threatening but are not very desirable such as drooling, snoring, and at times excessive flatulence. The life expectancy for Boxers is typically 11-14 years.
Boxers are descendents of two German Mastiff type dogs, the Barenbeiszer and the Bullenbeiszer. Later they were crossed with ancestors of the Mastiff and the Bulldog. These dogs were once noted for hunting and cart pulling and later became cattle dogs.
Today they are used in guarding, police work, search & rescue, and other various tasks. The average cost of these dogs varies on bloodlines and availability.
Although it has reached its greatest perfection in Germany during the past hundred years, the Boxer springs from a line of dogs known throughout the whole of Europe since the 16th century. Prior to that time, ancestors of the breed would hardly be recognized as Boxers could they be placed beside modern specimens. Still, evidence points to the Boxer as one of the many descendants of the old fighting dog of the high valleys of Tibet.
The Boxer is cousin to practically all recognized breeds of the Bulldog type, and these all go back to basic Molossus blood. Few other strains can claim such courage and stamina; and from this line emanates the attractive fawn color that has recurred throughout the centuries.
Flemish tapestries of the 16th and 17th centuries show scenes of stag and boar hunting; the dogs are the same as the Spanish Alano, found in great numbers in Andalusia and Estramadura, and the Matin de Terceira or Perro do Presa, from the Azores. The Alano and the Matin have been regarded as the same breed-they are either ancestors of the Boxer or they trace back to a common ancestor.
In France, there is a breed known as the Dogue de Bordeaux that is very close both in appearance and size to the old Tibetan Mastiff, and it is from this massive dog that the Bouldogue de Mida was developed. The Bouldogue du Mida, found principally in the south of France, possesses many of the points of the Boxer.
While all the European breeds mentioned are related to the Boxer, this favorite of Germany has been developed along scientific lines that not only have succeeded in retaining all his old qualities, but have resulted in a much more attractive appearance. Besides Bulldog blood, the Boxer carries a certain heritage from a terrier strain. There is also some reason to believe that English Bulldogs were at one time imported into Germany. Indeed, Reinagle's noted Bulldog, done in 1803, is not unlike the Boxer, and pictures of some English specimens of 1850 are almost identical with the German dog.
The first AKC registration of a Boxer was in 1904, and the first championship was finished in 1915, but it was not until about 1940 that the American public began to take a real interest in the breed. This came about because of the consistent Group and Best in Show wins scored by some outstanding Boxers.
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