Is the Boxer the right breed of dog for you?The modern day Boxer was first established in 19th century Germany, but his history is much longer than that, having evolved from many strains of European dogs since about the 16th century. Like their close cousin the Bulldog they have very powerful jaws that were developed to hang on to whatever they were trained to attack. This included chasing, confronting, and holding on to game animals such as boars, deer and even bears, until the hunters arrived.
A slow trickle of these dogs began to arrive in America following the First World War, and steadily began to gain a following until today they're rated in the top ten most popular dogs in the United States. The American Kennel Club recognised the breed in 1904 and classified them in to the Working Group. They measure from 22 to 25 inches at the shoulder, and weigh in at around 60-75lbs.
Much of the Boxers' rise to popularity is due to his huge affection for, and loyalty to, his family. He's very much a fun loving and playful character nowadays, in contrast to his earlier tendencies towards aggression. It has been said that his name derives from those earlier days, and his propensity to go up on to his hind paws and use his front paws as if he was 'boxing'.
This breed stands out from the canine crowd mainly because of the shape of his head; in addition the Boxer has a distinctively undershot jaw. His coat is short and shiny and easily maintained. The most common colours are brindle and fawn, either solid or with white markings. When the white markings become the dominant colour they're known as 'White' Boxers.
They can thrive in an apartment setting, and with a first time owner providing the new owner is aware of the needs of these dogs. This is an energetic, athletic and active breed, consequently they need plenty of good on and off the lead exercise; without this type of exercise they will become bored, frustrated, and consequently up for mischief. Balls, Frisbees and other toys that can be thrown and retrieved are greatly appreciated by these dogs when out walking.
Boxers are very boisterous especially when they are young, but they remain full of zest and playfulness throughout their life, hence their popularity. Training is an absolute must-do as are puppy socialisation classes. They are headstrong, often stubborn, and if you don't take charge of your puppy--then your mature dog will take charge of you.
They are unfussy eaters and simply require a good healthy and nutritious diet, and a weather eye on their waistline.
Hip dysplasia is a health problem amongst this breed, as are allergies, heart problems, tumors and sometimes epilepsy. Like the Bulldog they're noisy snorers, and they have a tendency to drool.
If you're looking for a dog that is loyal, playful, intelligent, protective, and particularly excels in a family situation. But, needs to be properly trained to curb some of his more headstrong behaviour; then perhaps the Boxer is the right breed of dog for you.