- Activity Level: high
- Grooming Level: low
- Trainability: high
- Adaptability: moderate
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Medium
- Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
- Prey Drive: moderate
- Watchdog: aware
- Registered?: aca, akc
Boxer Breed Profile
- Owner Experience
- Activity Level
- Life Span
- Did You Know?
The Boxer is one of the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the US. It has been a recognized as a purebred by the American Kennel Club since 1904. The Boxer dog breed is of German descent and its origins date back to the late 19th century. Their ancient ancestors were the Assyrian empire war dogs, which can be traced back to 2500 B.C.
The Boxer, as we know it today, was originally developed in the late 1800s by crossing the Bullenbeisser and English-bred Bulldogs to chase wild game. Now, as part of the working group, Boxers can be found competing in dog sports, like agility, obedience, and herding. They also make great service and assistance dogs, as well as therapy dogs, and can be found working as search and rescue dogs, drug detection dogs, police dogs, and military dogs.
The Boxer is a muscular dog that is happy, intelligent, and friendly. Boxers tend to grow close bonds with their humans. They get along well with children and other pets as they love having a playmate. A Boxer will make a fantastic family companion that provides you with a lifetime of entertainment.
They are generally upbeat, playful, friendly, but they also have a natural instinct to protect their family from unwanted visitors. A Boxer will make an alert watchdog and a great guardian, if needed. As with any dog breed, socialization with various people and other animals early on makes for a well-adjusted dog later.
As with most dog breeds, the Boxer cannot tolerate extreme hot or cold very well. They do best in moderate climates, but can do well in hotter or colder climates as long as they are indoor dogs. They are medium-sized, energetic dogs, so they do best in a home with a fenced-in yard and some room to run. They can adapt to apartment living as long as they get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day.
Boxers can be prone to hip dysplasia, thyroid deficiency, degenerative myelopathy, and heart conditions, like cardiomyopathy and aortic stenosis. Reputable breeders will often scan for these health conditions. So, don’t be afraid to ask for health tests or about the genetic history of the parents!
Boxers will need to be trained for them to be a well-adjusted pet. Thankfully, a Boxer is one of the most trainable dog breeds and often excel at any task put before them. They are eager to please their owner and can adapt easily. Due to their intelligence and high energy, they can become bored, especially with repetition.
Because of their open, friendly nature and high-energy, they have a tendency to jump up at people, often in playfulness. However, these energetic puppies grow into powerful dogs; jumping up can often become a behavioral issue if they are not trained to stay “down”. It’s important to socialize early and enroll in puppy training classes, so you and your puppy learn how to channel their energy in a positive way.
Boxers have smooth and short coats that require minimal grooming. A brush down once or twice a week will keep their short coat healthy. Coat colors are usually fawn or brindle with white markings and can include a black mask on the face. A Boxer will only need the occasional bath, but their nails should be trimmed monthly and their teeth brushed regularly. If possible, brushing your dog’s teeth daily is ideal.
The Boxer is a high-energy dog breed. They need plenty of exercise to remain happy and healthy. Due to their breed’s heritage as a hunting dog, they have a high prey drive and tendency to chase. As such, they should not be permitted to run loose, but will do fine on a leash or in a secured area, like a fenced-in backyard or dog park.
This dog breed is bored with repetition, tends to be an excellent problem solver, and is naturally exuberant. It is imperative that Boxers are given proper exercise and mental stimulation. If not, they will often find their own games and amusements, which can sometimes result in destructive or unwanted behavior.
A Boxer will generally stand between 21 and 25 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 50 and 80 pounds. Females will generally be shorter and weigh less than males. They are usually between 21 and 24 inches high and weigh between 50 and 65 pounds. Males usually stand between 23 and 25 inches high and weigh between 65 and 80 pounds.
Boxers tend to live 10 to 12 years.
In Germany, the Boxer was one of the first dog breeds chosen for police training.