The Boxer's ancestors belong to the Mastiff family of dog breeds known for their remarkable courage and massive size. These dogs were used to hunt lions and wild boar as far ago as 2000 B.C. Later, these dogs were named Mollosian, after the city of Molossis (modern Albania). From there they were brought to the British Isles and then to Rome (second century A.D.). In the Middle Ages, a new, lighter and faster type of dog was developed by crossing the ancestors of modern Deerhounds, Irish Wolfhounds and Great Danes. It was brought to Germany where it soon became popular among court aristocrats as a hunting and watchdog and was called "Englische Dogge". These dogs were the ancestors of the modern Great Dane, or Deutsche Dogge.
Another variety of the Molossian, of smaller size but heavy built, with cropped ears and tail, was called "Bullenbeisser," or "bull-biter," was bred and trained to hold in check the most fiery bull and to obtain a grip on the nose which he held, regardless of the animal's efforts. The breed became very popular for his intelligence, alertness and high trainability. In those days these were entirely acceptable forms of entertainment and sport. The Bullenbeissers were also used as hunting hounds, but with the decline of hunting, the Bullenbeisser was mainly seen around cattlemen where he was used to round up cattle. It is from the Brabanter, a smaller type of Bullenbeisser, that the Boxer is believed to have been bred. The Brabanter is almost entirely of German descent, although an occasional Bulldog crossing was used in those days.
The Deutscher Boxer Club was created in late 1890's. The development of the breed continued which resulted in producing a powerful dog of well balanced temperament, elegance, striking coloring and nobility.
In the United States, the first Boxers were shown at Westminster dog show in 1925. Many devoted and talented Boxer fanciers played a part in the breed's development and rapid rise to popularity: Cirral Kennels, Barmere Kennels (often referred to as "father of American Boxers"), Sumbala Kennels, Box M Kennels and many other kennels.
Particularly tolerant and protective of children, the Boxer loves to join in their games whenever the opportunity arises and will take any kind of mauling and roughhousing. Even in old age, a Boxer never fails to be interested in family activities - in short, this is a fun-loving, energetic dog with a way of edging itself into the hearts of all those who come to know it. Bred to be both a guard dog and a playmate, the Boxer has a well-controlled temper that sometimes breaks out. Faced with danger it becomes determined and brave, but with its human family he is docile and affectionate. This breed is generally obedient and easily taught. As a short-haired dog, he is clean, easy to take care of. Unlike some other similar breeds, he is not good in extremes of heat and cold.
Country of Origin: Germany
Registration: FCI Classification: Group 2 - Pinschers, Schnauzers, Molossoid breeds, Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs and other breeds. Section 2.1 - Molossoid breeds, mastiff type; AKC Classification: Working Group
Size: Medium (21-25 inches at shoulders)
Colors: Fawn or brindle. Fawn comes in various shades from light fawn to dark deer red but the most attractive shades are in the middle range (red fawn). Black mask. The brindle variety : fawn background of varying shades has dark or black stripes running parallel to ribs. Stripes must contrast distinctly to ground color. White markings should not be discarded.
Litter Size: 6
Life Span: 10-12 years
Grooming Requirements: A quick brushing will be sufficient.
Personality: Intelligent, playful, fun-loving, even-tempered, affectionate, very devoted to its owner. The Boxer is weary of strangers and makes an excellent protection dog. When threatened, they exhibit fearless courage that would deter most intruders. They are highly adaptive to the home environment and will not claim all your spare time.
Social skills: Gets along with familiar dogs quite well, but can be aggressive toward strange dogs.
Suitability for Children: The well-bred Boxer is gentle, fun loving and patient with children. He may be wary of unfamiliar children.
Exercise Needs: Very high. The Boxer needs plenty of daily exercise (2 hours daily would be ideal for this high energy dog).
Train Ability: Easy to train but can be stubborn.
Health & Behavioral Issues: Boxers are considered strong and sturdy dogs, but they suffer from several diseases