From its origins in Germany in the late 1800’s right up until today, it has an army of loving owners.
With a distinctive face and powerful, energetic body, this noble breed has character by the truck-load.
The Boxer as we know him today was probably bred from Bulldog and Great Dane ancestors.
They fall into the category of working dogs, having been originally intended as guarding dogs.
Boxers are a solid and stocky bunch, with a snubbed nose and overbite. Their tails used to be routinely docked, and in the USA their ears too, but this is no longer practiced in the UK.
Their coats are short, glossy and easy to manage. They are most commonly thought of as being fawn or brindle in colour, but white Boxers are also fair numerous.
Boxers are bags of fun and usually get along famously with the children in their families. However, because of their guarding nature they can be wary of strangers and unnecessarily protective of the people that they live with.
Very thorough socialisation from an early age will help your Boxer puppy to grow up into a well-mannered member of society, who understands that strangers are not something to be wary of.
They are very loyal to their owners and almost always full of the joys of life.
Boxers are not for the faint of heart in terms of exercise. This large and bouncy dog will take up a significant amount of your time in terms of daily walk or enthusiastic exercise sessions.
They are happiest in adventurous, outdoors-loving homes. Living with people who can empathise with their need to be ‘doing stuff’ for a large chunk of the day.
Boxers love to get stuck in to whatever activity you happen to be enjoying at that moment, and their short coat means that even if they arrive home covered in mud it’s not a huge effort to have them looking presentable again in short order.
Because of their large size and enthusiastic natures, they are best suited to big homes with big gardens. If you live in a flat or don’t have any outside space, you may struggle to keep your Boxer puppy happy when he grows up.
In general, Boxers are fit and athletic dogs. When in good condition they have excellent stamina and overall fitness. However, there are a few skeletons in their closets that you need to be aware of.
Boxers are a brachycephalic breed, which means that they have a snubbed nose and shortened muzzle.
This has not yet been bred to the worrying extent of some other breeds, but does mean that they do not cope well in hot weather. This is something that owners will need to take into account when caring for them in the summer months.
There are some genetic diseases that Boxers are prone to, similarly to other breeds of pedigree dogs. For example, hip dysplasia can be a problem in these large dogs.
Buying from a litter where both parents have been hip-scored and show lower scores than the breed average can reduce the risks of your puppy having this condition.
They are also susceptible to bloat, so if your puppy seems like a fast gobbler at dinner time it might be a good idea to get him a slow feeder, or to give him his meals in more frequent but smaller quantities.
Serious Health Problems
Serious diseases that impact the health of Boxers include a couple of nasty heart conditions. At the time of writing there are not any health tests that could predict the likelihood of your puppy experiencing one of them, but it looks optimistic that they will be available in the future.
They can also develop a devastating progressive neurological disorder, degenerative myelopathy. This however has tests, so make sure your puppy’s parents have been shown to be both clear, or one clear and one carrier. This will make sure that your puppy does not develop the condition himself, though remember if you are hoping to breed in the future that if one of his parents was a carrier he may be a carrier himself.
Juvenille Kidney Disease is also a serious risk for the show-bred Boxer. This deadly disease has been spread like wild-fire, potentially through a few specific dogs’ lines. Fortunately this issue is now being tackled by a very committed team of people on this website.
You can find out more about Juvenille Kidney Disease by watching the video clip from Pedigree Dogs Exposed below. If you are looking for a Boxer puppy, this is essential viewing:
Sadly, Boxers are also often affected by cancer. It is thought to account for nearly 40% of their fatalities. Looking at your dog’s ancestry could help you to see how long lived the parents are, and what the prevalence of cancer is in their family history.
The Boxer is a stunning dog, with a low maintenance coat and a good general level of health.
He is best suited to an active family, with lots of space in the house and garden.
When getting a Boxer puppy do think about how your lifestyle will change in the next few years. Factors that may influence your decision will include the arrival of children or grandchildren, or limits that could be placed on your time to exercise him.
Make sure that your puppy’s parents have had all the relevant health tests, and find out from the breeder how long lived the grandparents were and the prevalence of cancer in their lines. This will stand you in the best stead for finding a healthy puppy.
If you are looking for a companion for an active adult home, and are committed to properly socialising and training your growing puppy, a Boxer might be just what you are looking for.