Their stature alone will get them noticed. You can’t ever miss a Boxer when you’re walking down the street. They command your attention, maybe even your fear. But people who know a thing or two about Boxers know that these dogs are some of the friendliest breeds you can ever come across. Boxers are known for their look. Their brachycephalic characteristic make them stand out, along with their large underbite and powerful jaws. Their bite is actually strong enough to hold on to a larger prey, but that’s something you shouldn’t have to worry about if you were its loving owner. Boxer dogs are quite loyal, and their temperament is good enough for a relationship with children. They are some of the most patient dogs around, and they’ll tire you out completely—in a good way—with their playful personalities.
Though they may look staggeringly scary, Boxers are actually rather nonviolent and non-aggressive by nature. However, they can be excellent choices for guard dogs because they will protect their family no matter what. It can become quite instinctive as it ages, learning from you cues and the world around it. The Boxer dog is a great breed to have, and owning it will offer you unique experiences that you wouldn’t have with any other dog. Besides that, Boxers will also offer you everything else that you expect with having a dog: companionship, love, mutual respect, and protection. If you’ve been thinking about getting a Boxer dog for a pet, consider these 20 things that you probably didn’t know about the breed before you make your final decision.
Extinct genetic code
The Boxer that exists today is a unique breed, and it’s one that can’t ever be remade in the lab ever again. The Boxer breed is the result of the cross between the Old English Bulldog and a Bullenbeisser. Bullenbeisser dogs are very similar looking to the Boxer of today. It’s very similar to the Dogo Argentino breed in many ways. The Bullenbeisser breed is now extinct. This extinction was the direct result of cross breeding, as many breeders back in the days wanted to rid the original Bullenbeisser of its white coat, while furnishing the demands for the dog due to its popularity. The closest thing we have to the Bullenbeisser now is the Boxer breed.
Dog shows have been going on for a long time now. This shows just how dedicated and fascinated we are about the animals. Dog shows have been around for more than a hundred years, and this is also how long the Boxer breed has been strutting along to audiences worldwide. The very first time the Boxer breed was presented to the public as an exhibition dog was in a dog show in Munich in 1895. That’s 123 years ago. It’s hard to imagine what dog shows must’ve been like back then or even how the Boxer breed looked over a century ago. But when the Boxer breed first graced the dog show stage, people were amazed at the dog’s presence and its temperament as well. Since then, the Boxer breed has been a most beloved breed throughout the world.
Docked and cropped
This has nothing to do with ships or pants or hair. If you’re a true dog aficionado, you’re probably already familiar with the terms “docked and cropped.” If you’re not, get ready to learn something new today. Docking is the terminology used for shortening a dog’s tail, and cropping is the terminology used for shearing a dog’s ears. Back in the olden days, Boxer dogs used to all be docked and cropped—they had their ears and tails cut. Over the years, people realized just how inhumane the practice really was, so various animals groups throughout history have fought against the practice until it was deemed completely cruel. The practice had been stopped a while back so you’re not going to see anyone do that today, but that period of docking and cropping did produce a line of naturally bobtailed Boxers that are still around today.
Fawn and brindle
Here are a couple more terminologies that might not be familiar to dog non-enthusiasts. Fawn and brindle are simply coat coloring patterns that can be seen in various animals. The Boxer breed comes in a wide variety of coat colors, but most of these varieties fall under one of these two coloring patterns. The fawn color set can be described as largely tan, sometimes with hints of mahogany. The tan spectrum can range from dark to light, but all those colors still fall within the fawn category. The brindle color set, on the other hand, is basically a fawn background that is streaked and detailed with darker and/or even black shades.
We’ve seen a lot of dogs make it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Some of them are pretty impressive, while others are just straight up unbelievable. Here is one record that will make you question its own verity. There was once a Boxer named Brandy, who ended up in the distinguished book of the most unbelievable things for something that’s quite shocking, to say the least. Imagine something that’s 17 inches long. A toddler’s arm could be 17 inches long. A stem of a rose could be 17 inches long. You know what else was 17 inches long? Brandy the Boxer’s tongue was 17 inches long. You read that right. We’re not sure if any other dog tongue ever beat Brandy’s 17 inches, but at least Brandy’s already made her mark.
Curse of the White Boxer
Boxers have had a dark history of cruelty with being docked and cropped back then. But the Breed has gone through something far, far more sinister than that. There was a time when there were a lot of white Boxers running around. You may think that a white Boxer might be good looking—they were. However, these white Boxers were more naturally predisposed to acquiring various diseases and health illnesses. So besides breeding Boxers out to eliminate the white coat gene, breeders back then also decided that it would be better to euthanize all white Boxer puppies rather than sell them to owners. Breeders literally killed puppies because they thought it was unfair to sell sickly ones. Now you know why white Boxers are rare today, and it’s probably something you wished you didn’t learn.
Supposed average intelligence
When the Boxer breed was first introduced to the world, everyone thought that they were one of the most intelligent dogs ever. They also had the behavior to go along with their smarts. However, there was a book published in 1994 that became the ultimate reference book when it comes to dog intelligence. This book purported that Boxers are only of average intelligence. Many owners and breeders were confused about the idea and have since fought against the author and publisher of the book regarding their description about the Boxer breed’s intelligence. You can be the just for yourself after you’ve owned one of these beautiful dogs. You can then decide if the Boxer deserves the number 48 in intelligence ranking or if it deserves better.
Boxers How exactly did the Boxer breed get its name? You may wonder. Some people have said that the breed got its name because of its behavior when playing. Sometimes when the Boxer dog plays, it has a tendency to leap up or get up on standing position that almost mimics the stance of a boxer. This is an actual observable fact and is a natural instinct for the breed. Even if you’ve never seen a Boxer play before, it’s easy to picture the statuesque dog up on its feet and ready to sock it to somebody like an old-school fighter. While that may sound like a lovely story, it’s rather highly unlikely according to The Pet Owner’s Guide to the Boxer, a very reputable book published in 2004.
We know that a lot of human history was learned from ancient tomb sculptures and carvings. Apparently, the same can be applied to dogs, especially one that’s of the Boxer breed. Some people question the true origin of the Boxer breed, stating that there are evidences of Boxer-like dogs in 16th and 17th century Flemish tapestries. In addition, there’s another evidence of an older Boxer lookalike in the 1368 tomb of one Elizabeth of Hohenstein in Arnstadt, Germany. It could be very well possible that the dog had two separate origins, but we’ll never really know for sure until some crazed animal scientist decides to dig further.
Bomber the Boxer
You might not know his name, but you certainly will recognize the dog once you’ve seen it. Bomber the Boxer was one of the most famous celebrity Boxer dogs in history. Bomber was the Boxer that melted our hearts in the U.K. version of the Oliver Twist TV series. There were stories about Bomber that claimed how he was almost killed at one point in his life. Just minutes before he was about to be euthanized, one of the animal nurses had a change heart and decided suddenly to take the dog home instead. Little did that nurse know that the very same Boxer dog would eventually become one of the most celebrated dogs in TV history. Bomber not only received the loving home that he deserved, but he ended up as being a part of millions of homes throughout the U.K. and throughout history as well. It’s truly amazing how one little step could change so many people’s lives.
Boxers were originally bred to be working dogs. They were made for brunt work and to help people with various tasks. They were also eventually bred for hunting and for guarding as well. They were great at those tasks—with guarding especially—because of how scary they can be to begin with. They are larger, stockier dogs that can give off a bite that can hurt quite a bit. However in 2012, the AKC recognized the Boxer breed to be eligible for herding titles. In one novice competition in 2010, one Boxer dog apparently showed that it has the ability to herd much like their gentler Border Collie competition. Crowds were surprised, and so were breeders and dog enthusiasts alike to learn that the Boxer breed actually has some herding skills.
Here’s another story about the origin of the Boxer breed. While many believe that the breed originated from Germany so many years ago, some people argue the true origins of the Boxer has to be regarded from its deeper roots. Much like the Pitbull and the Mastiff, the Boxer came from a line of dogs that were originally known as Molossers, Molosser is a category of dogs that describe those that have solid and large builds. Molossers came from Greece, in a small region known as Eprius, and people scattered the dogs all over the world to produce the breeds that we know today. This includes the Old English Bulldogs and Bullenbeisser that produced the Boxer. Whether you prefer the Boxer to have come from Germany or Greece is truly up to you. It doesn’t really matter because in the end, we still have the same great breed we have today.
For more on the family history of the Boxer breed, read on. So we already know that Boxer dogs and Bulldogs are cousins. It’s easy to see. They both have the same Molosser characteristics—similar builds, similar faces, and a lot of other similar characteristics. So there’s really no question there. However, according to historical records, the Germans also mixed in some Terrier blood to the Boxer blood. This makes these two breeds cousins as well, but you may wonder which Terrier characteristics does the Boxer carry on with it to this day. Of course, since genetics manifest itself both in physical and nonphysical ways, you’ll have to look deep in order to see the similarities. The trait that the Boxer breed inherited from the Terrier is none other than the hunting trait. The fact that Boxers are cousins with Terriers is all that makes them a great hunting breed.
We mentioned earlier that the Boxer breed was created to become working dogs. Many people relied back then on the dogs’ intelligence, courage, and working skills. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that these dogs were the first dogs to train for the German police. According to the AKC, the Boxers were the first type of dogs in Germany to have undergone and successfully complete police training. It really isn’t difficult to imagine Boxers as police dogs. Like also mentioned before, Boxers are tough, and they surely won’t back down from a fight or a chase.
As tough as these animals can be, Boxers can actually be quite loving and affectionate. There’s a certain loyalty and familiarity that breeds between dogs and dog owners; most of us know that fact already. But you won’t really get it until you’ve felt it with a dog before. Boxers are just the same. On one hand they can be the best police dogs ever; but on the other hand, Boxers can also be the best family dogs you could ever own. They have an innate desire for human affection and they can easily develop a connection with children as well. This is why Boxers are great choices for those families looking for a dog that can grow up with their small children. Not only will a Boxer play and love kids; they will also undoubtedly protect them at all costs.
The Lion of Belfort
Here’s a true story that will touch your heart like no other. In 1871, there was a white Boxer aptly called “Box,” who stood in the battle frontlines during the Franco-German War. Basically, Box sacrificed his life to save that of his owner’s, 2nd Lt. Burckhardt. The lieutenant recounts the story in a letter about how he would’ve died if his dog had not stood by him. There was a grenade that hit close by, which took the life of the already wounded dog. Box’s presence by his owner was the very reason that the lieutenant survived the blast. The Lion of Belfort sculpture now commemorates the Franco-German War, and Box’s memory will live on just as the memorial stands tall.
More on the Boxer name
The boxer has a tendency to look like a boxer sometimes when it plays around; we’ve learned that much so far. It’s true that Boxers are very paw-oriented. They use their paws a lot to do different things. That’s one story about the derivation of the Boxer name. There are more. Some people say that the Boxer breed was named so because the dogs’ heads are shaped like boxing gloves. That one might be a little too stretched. But still others have suggested that the Boxer name itself is just a derivative of other German names in the past. It could’ve been the name Box that was the original, or it could’ve been Boxl. Boxel is also a possibility, especially since it was a typical name back then. Again we ask, who knows really?
You may not hear the name Boxer called out as much as Labradors or Golden Retrievers or little tiny Teacup Poodles. But Boxer dogs are actually considered to be one of the most popular breeds in the United States. Boxers actually rose in popularity because of how well they perform and how consistently good they are in show rings. This has been the case since the 1940s, and Boxers still perform very well today. In 2015 AKC registrations, the Boxer breed actually ranked 10th in popularity out of all the other dog breed types out there. That’s a pretty high number considering there are literally hundreds of breeds that are registered under the AKC. It’s also not very surprising to find out because we all know just how amazing the Boxers truly are.
Just how well do Boxers really perform in show rings? Well so far, 16 Boxers have earned a Versatility Companion Dog Title. Dogs that excel in tracking, agility, and obedience are the only ones that can win this title. In addition, at least one Boxer has managed to claim a Champion Tracker title. This particular title is fairly difficult to get because the VST title needed to achieve the Champion Tracker title only has a 5 percent pass rate. Add all of these accolades to everything else that the dog can do, and you can easily see just how versatile the Boxer breed is. Boxers can hunt, guard, work, herd, and apparently so much more.
High energy dogs
They’re playful as ever. Boxers are absolutely fun animals to be around and to have at home. They also have very high levels of energy that might become difficult to match. If you tend to be on the more mellow side, you might have to get creative about how you can give your Boxer enough activity. The truth is your Boxer will need regular exercise, and this exercise can amount to up to two hours daily. Two hours of exercise for a dog can be a lot for any owner, but you can find ways to let your Boxer run around outside or do other activities. It’s extremely important for a Boxer’s health to have regular exercise, and it can be something that can benefit you as well. Modern-day Boxers are not particularly sickly animals, but it’s still good to keep them at tip top shape. They’ll have a longer lifespan, which means they’ll be able to keep you company for much longer.