Dog Group Kennel Club: Working (AKC, KC)
The boxer dog is a medium sized breed with an impressive well muscled athletic body. They are well known for their expressive faces.
They have short smooth coats. Colours include: red, fawn and brindle with white markings on face, chest and paws.
Weight: 50 – 80 lbs
Average Life Span: 10 – 12 years
Boxer dogs are playful, affectionate, loyal, intelligent, high energy dogs who can be very stubborn at times. They are excellent with children and other dogs and animals making them great family pets. They like to be involved in family activities and love human attention. They can develop destructive behaviours if left alone for long periods of time. If you are out at work for most of the day this is not the breed for you.
Boxers are intelligent dogs but training must begin early and be consistent as they can be very stubborn and full of self confidence. Owners need to be patient and have the time to give efficient training, otherwise the boxer will always get his own way. Early socialisation is also recommended as some males can become male dominant.
Their short coats are low maintenance, once weekly brushing will keep it shiny and healthy.
This breed is full of energy and requires lots of daily exercise to keep them healthy and happy. They love to run off the leash, chase balls and frisbees.
Boxer Dog Health Issues
Bloat (gastric torsion), though not a hereditary condition, but has been found to affect the boxer. This is a very serious condition. When a dog bloats, the stomach can turn and block, causing a build up of gas. Unless treated quickly, bloat can be fatal. Signs of bloat include futile attempts to vomit and to salivate. Bloat, which may lead to cardiovascular collapse, usually occurs when exercise too closely follows eating. The incidence of bloat may be lessened by feeding adult dogs twice a day and, of course, by allowing a dog time to digest before taking him for a run in the park. Click Here for more information
Hip dysplasia: a malformation of the hip joint resulting in a poor fit between the head of the femur bone and the hip socket. This condition can be alleviated by surgery, at some cost to dog and owner. Because dysplastic dogs often produce dysplastic puppies, buyers should ask if both the sire and the dam of the puppy in which they are interested have been rated clear of hip dysplasia. Do not take yes for an answer without seeing a certificate, and ask for a copy to take to your veterinarian.
Ulcerative keratitis (boxer ulcer or corneal erosion): This condition, for which no causative bacterium or virus has been identified, is peculiar to boxers. The ulceration of the cornea may affect one or both eyes. The lesion is small and superficial and has no tendency to spread. At first there is no discharge, corneal opacity, or growth of blood vessels associated with this condition. In its later stages, however, constant tearing occurs and may resist treatment. More than 80 percent of these ulcers occur in spayed bitches five years of age or more.
Aortic Stenosis: is a narrowing of the outflow channel between the left chamber of the heart and the main artery (aorta). In most cases, an abnormal sound of the heart (a systolic murmur), detected by stethoscope, is the only finding. With moderate to severe stenosis, signs may vary. Some dogs may show signs of exercise intolerance or fainting. As the condition progresses, symptoms may include difficulty in breathing, coughing, abnormal heart rhythms, and sudden death.
Monorchidism: The failure of one testicle to descend into the scrotum. Monorchidism occurs more often in boxers than is the norm. If the testicle is retained inside the abdominal cavity, it should be removed while the dog is young.
Boxer Dog History
There are theories as to why and how the Boxer as a breed originated, but we do know the Boxer was a man made breed in the late 1800’s. His ancestors, the “Brabant Bullenbeisser”, a Mastiff type dog, were originally bred in Germany. As the breeders of that time wanted dogs suitable for hunting and holding prey, these dogs were then out crossed with a smaller Mastiff type dog, (the originator of the the English Bulldog). These dogs possessed a wide undershot lower jaw, a nose that was set further back, and was a smaller and more active dog than the Bullenbeisser.
This dog’s strong and wide undershot jaw and strong teeth were needed in order to have him lock onto his prey and to continue holding it until his master arrived. His nose with its large, open nostrils, was set back in order that he could breath while holding on to his quarry. The wrinkles on each side of his muzzle were also there for a purpose which was to keep the blood of the animal away from his eyes. This criteria for the perfect boxer head still stands to this day.