AKC Group: Working

Boxers originated from Germany and the now-extinct breed Bullenbeisser which used to take down, deer, wild boar and bears. Boxers were often found as guard dogs or wartime couriers.

Size: 21 to 25 inches, 55 to 70 pounds

Color: The under color should be tan or brindle with white markings.

Life span: 9 to 11 years

Health problems: Bloat, colitis, cancer, respiratory problems, thyroid problems, heart problems. Due to their short muzzles, guard against strenuous exercise or he may have respiratory troubles. His short coat leaves him open to sun or heat stroke.

Boxers are square-shaped dogs with strong, athletic limbs and carry themselves with dignity and grace. You’ll most likely be able to tell what he’s feeling by looking at his expression. If his ears have been cropped, a Boxer will have erect ears. They have a blunt muzzle, a short, sleek coat and distinctive drooping jowls.

A Boxer is friendly, playful and craves affection — don’t worry he’ll give it back to you. If you want a people loving dog full of spunk, get thineself a Boxer. He will calm as he ages, so be prepared. He will remain loyal and playful, so fear not. Some Boxers are stubborn and extra animated. All of them are protective by nature. They get along well with children of all ages and will play for hours. Just remember, Boxers are a large breed of dog to have around youngsters. If your Boxer has been properly socialized, he can get along with other companion animals. (Some may be aggressive to other dogs of the same sex.) Boxers may be wary of strangers or pretty welcoming — it depends on their individual personalities.

Highly intelligent with a touch of stubbornness, training is challenging at times. Whether you’re an experienced or novice dog owner, you need confidence and assertiveness to be successful in training him. Training should begin the day you bring him home. As the age — and grow — their natural headstrong nature kicks in even before they’re out of puppyhood! Punishment will get you nowhere with this breed; consistency, positive reinforcement, treating and praise is all you need. When considering getting a Boxer, check out the personality of his parents. If he’s hyperactive by nature, you can’t train that out of him. You’ll have to resort to exhausting him to get him to focus. (How can you then turn around and try to train an exhausted dog? Exactly. Impossible!) Crating will work as long as you find one large enough for him to stand and turn around in. Boxers want to please, but you’ll need to show them why it’s good to follow the commands. Aggressiveness isn’t an issue, mostly Boxers are enthusiastic and overly anxious.

His sleek, tight coat requires very little attention. Brush him occasionally to remove the dead hair. During shedding season, you may need to brush more. Keep an eye on his nails.

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