Boxer Dogs

The Boxer Doesn’t Really “Box”

By Michael Russell

The Boxer is a modern breed, developed around 1890. The boxer is actually descended from a combination of the bulldog and the German “Bullbeisen”, a hunter of wild boar and bears. It appears that the first actual Boxer probably sprang from “Tom”, an all white bulldog mated to a Bullbeisen female. This may explain the prevalence of all white boxers which are often produced in litters today. Most boxers of today do have white markings on the face, chest, and legs. The first standard for the Boxer breed in the American Kennel Club was drawn up in 1905 and has been changed several times since then, as it is still a continually developing breed.

One might believe that the Boxer, because of the formidable temperament possessed by its ancestors, would be fierce and possibly aggressive. However this is very far from the truth. Careful breeding and years of selection for temperament has produced a fine dog which has an extraordinary temperament, intelligent and responsible. The Boxer has been used as a guard dog, a guide dog for the blind, and as a police dog. The Boxer is considered a “working dog” and has become an excellent family pet, non-drooling and easy care for as far as coat is concerned. The Boxer is a naturally clean dog, exuberant as a youngster but usually settles into a well mannered and affectionate family pet in later years. Boxers do love to play and they have a hardy constitution, they can do well as a “jogging companion” except in the heat of the day, when their slightly braccocephalic (short stub) nose will not allow for easy breathing. Boxers usually live to about the age of 12.

Boxers can be any color, the most popular being the red and white. Brindle, black and white, and all white are also seen. It is true that often the all white Boxer also carries the genetic component of deafness and should not be used for breeding.

The fashion for many years was to “crop” the ears but recently laws have been passed in Great Britain and Europe and it is now frowned upon, so more and more Boxers have naturally folded ears. However the tail is still bobbed. This is partly due to the fact that a longer tail, especially on a dog that wags its tails so much, can be beaten bloody from wagging and hitting it against various objects. In fact, the happy disposition is one of the characteristic traits of the Boxer.

Boxer owners know that this is a special breed, most of them will never settle for any other, once they have had a Boxer as part of their life.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Animals

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Boxer Dog
Photo: Mike Wilkes

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  • Kim

    need to update this regarding tail docking which is now illegal in Australia (yippeeee); and boxers look so much better with that gorgeously long tail .. as do all previously docked breeds

    Comment | Wed 19 May, 2010
  • Hi Kim. Good point, thanks. I’ll look at replacing this article with a better one. Feel free to offer suggestions if you know of any good sources. Cheers

    Comment | Wed 19 May, 2010
  • Hi Steve –

    An updated article about this fabulous breed would be most welcome!
    Feel free to contact the Boxer Association of Victoria for a great up to date opportunity! Website is:

    Cheers – Jill
    Professional Breeder of Boxers
    Current Vice President of the Boxer Association of Victoria

    Comment | Fri 17 June, 2011
  • Zac

    Hi Steve,
    i am going to be contrary to Kim, because, although the docking of the tail is illegal, is it really worth it?
    yeah sure, it can be seen that it stops the dog from being without a tail, and it doesn’t go through some pain.
    Although, how much difference is there from doing that to the tail, and doing that to a dew claw?
    (sorry Kim, i agree with you, but im just wondering what the difference is 🙂 )

    Comment | Wed 6 July, 2011
  • Rob

    The idea is exactly the same as circumcising a baby. It’s simply removing the problem before it can occur. A baby has no recollection of being circumcised when it’s older, and a pup would have no memory of the tail docking or jew claw removal when it’s older, but it would certainly suffer more if the jew claws were ripped off or infected as a result of an accident, which is why it was performed initially in controlled environments where infections could be monitored and managed whilst whelping.
    My 10 yr old boxer has a large callous on the end of his stub that hair has never covered. I’m neither for nor against the practice but I hate the thought of having that callous spread through the length of a full tail.
    My only point is: if it’s barbaric to dock a tail or remove jew claws, then it must also be barbaric to circumsize a baby, therefore if docking is illegal, then so should circumcision, or if circumcision is legal, then docking should be also.
    I’m only showing both sides of the debate.

    Comment | Thu 8 December, 2011
  • Laraine

    It is in the dogs best interest to remove the dew claws,they are prone to tear if caught, causing great pain.

    As for tail docking! The UK would have to be the most animal loving country and they still dock the tails! as for the US, have a look at what they do to the poor animals ears, they look weird with those stupid pointed ears. If tail docking and dew claw removal is done by a veterinary surgeon, I say why not? they not only look better but this can prevent a tail injury, Boxer lovers know what boisterous animals they are.

    How about those involved in animal welfare concentrate on closing all the puppy farms down, banning the sale of animals in pet shops and get serious about animal welfare. I would suggest raids by the Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink, RSPCA and local councils to all these disgusting parasitic “puppy farmers”. They make enormous amounts of money from these poor animals and none of it would ever be declared to ATO or Centrelink.STOP THE SALE OF ANIMALS IN PET SHOPS AND THESE PARASITES HAVE NOWHERE TO SELL THEIR SAD COMMODITY,they certainly don’t want prying eyes looking at the way they make their “living”

    Comment | Thu 29 December, 2011

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