- The Boxer descends from two types of German Bullenbeisers, or bull-biters.
- The Bullenbeisers were originally used to chase large game, such as boar, deer, and bear, through the forests, grabbing and hanging on until the hunter could arrive to dispatch it.
- In the early 1800s, German hunters tried to improve their hunting dogs by crossing their Bullenbeisers with mastiff-type dogs and with Bulldogs. The result was a strong, agile dog with strong jaws and a recessed nose to enable it to breathe while hanging on.
- By the late 1800s, these dogs were popular as butcher's dogs, controlling cattle in slaughter yards.
- The slaughter yard dogs were called Boxl, which may have been the origin of the name, Boxer. The Boxer was established by 1895.
- The Boxer was one of the first breeds used as a police and military dog.
- In 1904, the AKC recognized the Boxer.
- The breed remained relatively obscure in America until the 1940s, when it began its slow but steady rise. It eventually peaked at number 4, and remains in the top 10.
Boxer Behavior Concerns
- Makes a loyal and protective companion.
- Playful and gentle with children.
- Fairly outgoing toward strangers.
- Generally good with other dogs, but some can be aggressive toward strange dogs.
- Generally good with other pets.
- Learns quickly, but can be both sensitive and stubborn.
- Does best with a firm owner who can combine reward-based training with good control and leadership.
Boxer Suggested Exercises
- Makes a calm and alert housedog, but can be restless unless it receives adequate exercise.
- Requires daily exercise in the form of a long walk, jog or energetic games.
- The Boxer's short muzzle makes it intolerant of heat.
- The Boxer's short coat makes it intolerant of very cold weather.
- Obedience training is essential not only for control, but for the mental exercise it provides.
- Boxers compete in obedience and agility successfully.
- Coat is short and shiny.
- It needs only occasional brushing, once every week or so, to remove dead hair.
- Shedding is average.
Suggested Boxer Nutritional Needs
- Boxers tend to stay in good weight.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
- Puppies should be fed a large-breed growth food, which slows their growing rate but not final size. This may decrease the incidence or severity of hip dysplasia in adults.