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Your Ultimate Guide to The Boxer Dog Breed

Veterinarians.org Team

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You’d never know it, but the Boxer dog was originally bred as a guard dog. Often referred to as the “Peter Pan” of dog breeds, Boxers tend to stay in Neverland until they are around three years old.

Don’t fear the long puppyhood, though – this breed is silly, full of joy, and sweet as can be.

They’re Joyful, They’re Energetic, They’re Boxers!

The Boxer dog is a breed with endless energy and a playful nature. They are also extremely intelligent and fearless while remaining friendly and good-natured.

The Appearance of Boxer Dogs

Characterized by their muscular, large square-head, they only look intimidating. One look into their eyes and you’ll find a mischievous, playful pup.

Female Boxer vs. Male: Average Size and Weight!

Categorized as a medium-sized dog, male dogs can be as tall as 22.5 to 25 inches at the shoulder while females can grow between 21 and 23.5 inches.

Male Boxers weigh between 65 and 80 pounds while female boxers weigh around 50 to 65 pounds.

The Coats and Colors of this Breed

Like many other dog breeds, this breed comes in different colors!

Brindle Boxer Dog

The Brindle Boxer is characterized by dark stripes on fawn fur with white on the chest and legs. The stripes can be from scarce (one to two stripes) to dense.

White Boxer Dog

These dogs are all-white or mostly white with fawn or brindle patches on the ears, top of head, eyes, or base of the tail. What’s more is that they don’t have the standard black mask.

Black Boxer

You may be surprised to know that black Boxer’s don’t exist. They may look black but are actually “reverse brindles”, which means the brindle stripes are so thick, you cannot see the fawn color underneath. The reverse brindle gives them a very dark coat that looks black.

Fawn Boxer

A Fawn Boxer dog has a solid light tan to deep red coat. They also tend to have a little more white on their chests and legs.

Boxer Temperament and Personality

What makes the American Boxer dog so popular besides its cuteness? Their temperament and personality! This breed is playful and patient but also watchful and alert. They are known for their guarding abilities and friendly personality.

The breed can be wary of strangers but these dogs are typically polite to friendly humans. They shine when it comes to children, thanks to their playful and patient nature. For them, it’s Playtime, all the time.

Boxers will Thrive with Training and Early Socialization!

As you can imagine, these ever-playful dogs won’t always respond to serious training. Therefore, consistent training is very important. Start training early to avoid a much bigger, more stubborn adult dog.

This dog breed is excellent at spotting loopholes in your training consistency and will try to get away with everything and anything they can. Try to keep training sessions short and full of positive rewards like treats or toys. They don’t respond well to harsh training methods.

As with many other dog breeds, these puppies need early socialization. Expose your pup to different sights, humans, experiences, and other four-legged friends to ensure your adult doggo is outgoing and friendly.

This is a breed that needs its physical and mental exercise. Adequate physical and mental exercise helps keep your pup from destructive behavior. At least one hour of daily exercise in the form of walks or games of fetch will keep your furkid – and you – happy.

How Long do These Doggos Live? Boxer Lifespan!

Like most medium to larger breeds, the American Boxer dog doesn’t have the longest lifespan. Their average lifespan is around 10 to 12 years old.

Boxer (Dog) List of Potential Health Issues

Though this breed is generally healthy, they are prone to health issues. This breed is prone to cancer –  specifically mast cell tumors, lymphoma, and brain tumors. Light-colored or white Boxers are prone to sunburns and skin cancer.

Boxer cardiomyopathy (BCM) or Boxer Arrhythmic Cardiomyopathy (BAC), Familial Ventricular Arrhythmia (FAV), and Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is an inherited genetic condition.

It causes the heart to beat erratically due to an ‘electrical conduction disorder’ and cause weakness, collapsing, and even death. It’s difficult to detect BCM, so sadly, it can easily cause an unexpected death.

One of the most common inherited heart defects in the breed is Aortic stenosis/sub-aortic stenosis (AS/SAS). Their heart must work harder to supply blood to their body and can cause fainting and sudden death.

Other potential health issues include hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, demodectic mange (a treatable skin condition), and corneal dystrophy. They are also prone to allergies and deafness (especially in white Boxers).

Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That: Boxer Mixes Make Wonderful Doggos!

Think you can only have the awesome personality of this doggo? Think again. Take these seriously cute mixes, for example:

Boxer Bulldog Mix

This mix is either a cross between a Boxer and American Bulldog or English Bulldog. They are an energetic and playful breed. The Boxer Bulldog – or ‘Bulloxer’ is loyal and protective but also happy and friendly.

Boxer Beagle Mix

This is a cross between a Boxer dog and a Beagle. Also known as the ‘Boggle’, this mix is athletic, strong, playful, and confident.

Boxer Terrier Mix (Miniature Boxer)

This is a cross between the Boxer dog and Boston Terrier. Often referred to as the Miniature Boxer, this mix makes an active, intelligent, mischievous, and loyal family companion.

Boxer Lab Mix

The “Boxador” is a cross between the Boxer and Labrador Retriever. This mix makes an amazing family pet thanks to the Boxer’s playful and energetic personality and the Lab’s loving and loyal nature.

Pitbull Boxer Mix

The “Bullboxer” is a cross between the Pitbull and the Boxer. This mix is easygoing, loyal, friendly, and makes a great running buddy thanks to their athletic nature.

German Shepherd Boxer Mix

This mix is a cross between the Boxer and the German Shepherd. They are energetic, loyal to their humans, good-natured, and intelligent.

6 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Boxer Breed!

Here are some lesser-known facts about the breed to whip out at your next trivia night!

1. Their ancestors were used for hunting

The ‘German Bullenbeisser’ (a Mastiff descendent) is the Boxer’s ancestor. They were used as hunting dogs for centuries to hunt wild boar, bear, and deer. Bullenbeisser’s eventually moved from estates to farms where they were used to guard and drive cattle.

2. They originated in Germany

Boxers, as we know them today, were developed around the 19th century by a gentleman in Munich.

3. They helped the military

During World War I, they helped in the military by being messenger and guard dogs. By World War II, soldiers brought Boxer dog mascots back with them, solidifying their popularity in the United States.

4. Yes, they actually “box”

The breed is known for its cat-like behavior – often pawing at their dog food bowl, toys – and humans.

5. They have special “moves”

When they are excited, they tend to do a “kidney bean” dance that involves their entire body twisting into a semi-circle or kidney bean. And, they make a unique “woo-woo” sound when excited or want something.

6. They’re not all fun and games

In addition to their happy-go-lucky nature, they are also extremely courageous and smart, often excelling as police dogs, in military work, and search-and-rescue.

Boxer Puppies for Sale! 

Ready to add this puppy to the family? Congratulations! You’re in for a treat. If you are looking to purchase a puppy from a breeder, choose a reputable one that is knowledgeable about the breed.

Boxer Breeders

Take a look at the American Boxer Club for more information on the breed and the American Kennel Club for more information on breeders.

Boxer Puppy Price!

The average price of a puppy from a reputable breeder is between $700 and $1,500.

Adopt, Don’t Shop! Ask an Animal Shelter About Boxer Rescues!

Unfortunately, Boxers end up at the shelter for various reasons. Whether they are too much for dog owners to handle, aren’t the right fit, or lost dogs, they can be found in many local shelters and rescues. Call or visit your local shelter to see if they have any doggos available for adoption.

There are also designated Boxer dog rescues like the Across America Boxer Rescue, NorCal Boxer Rescue, and Boxer Rebound, Inc.

This is an extraordinary breed, and there’s no question why it’s one of America’s favorites breeds. Their playful, fun-loving, loyal, and eccentric personality means there will never be a dull moment!