Getting to Know the Loyal and Playful Boxer

Looking around in the “mid-size” section for your next canine companion? If the traits you are looking for include: experienced, loyal, high-energy, and fun-loving—the Boxer just might be for you.

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The Origin of Boxers

The AKC recognized the Boxer as an official breed in 1904, making it (believe it or not) a relative newcomer as a recognized breed. Their history lies in Deutschland, where some of the early members of the breed were trained for the German police force. Bred from the Old English Bulldog and the now extinct Bullenbeisser, Boxers are the 8th most popular dog breed, according to the AKC’s website. The breed also owes much of its notoriety to St. Bernards, for they were first exhibited in 1895 in a dog show for their larger comrades in Munich, Germany.

Why The Name “Boxer”?

Origins for the breed’s name have varying degrees of acceptance. The breed’s tendency to play by standing on its hind legs and “boxing” with its front paws is said to have lead to the name “Boxer.”. However, Boxer is also the name of a dog owned by John Peerybingle, the main character in the best-selling 1845 book The Cricket on the Hearth, by Charles Dickens. Many point to this mention as evidence that “Boxer” was commonly used as a dog name at the onset of the 19th century, before the establishment of the official breed by the end the same century. Finally, the breed name could simply come from names of the very first known specimens of the breed (Lechner’s Box).

Boxer Looks and Personality

A Boxer’s coat is smooth and shorthaired. Fawn (including red fawn) and brindle are the most common coat patterns, while a white version of the breed is becoming more common. In fact, 20-25% of all Boxers are born white. They typically stand 20-25 inches tall and weigh between 55 and 70 pounds. The most prominent feature of any boxer is the short muzzle, and slight underbite of the lower jaw.

2015.04.15 two boxer breed kissing

Of all the traits to admire in a boxer, their adoration and faithfulness to their owners is the easiest! Boxers are often good with young children, even craving their approval over that of their adult masters. Their loyalty is only matched by their need to protect their families, so expect some training to be necessary for social situations.

Boxers are active, strong dogs and require adequate exercise, heart food, and healthy dog treats to prevent boredom-associated behaviors such as chewing, digging, or licking. If trained correctly, your Boxer will catch on quickly, as learning stimulates their need for acceptance. Be sure to reward your Boxer for correct behavior, and expect to enjoy their obedience and loyalty for an average 10-12 year lifespan.

Boxers enjoy mental challenges and vigorous physical activity. In you are the type with a longing for the outdoors and an adventurous spirit, you’ve found your new running buddy.