Bigger than a Bulldog and smaller than a Mastiff, Boxers are classified as one of the “Bully Breeds”. Boxers are very muscular, fit dogs with lots of physical power. Adult males can weigh between 70-90lbs, and females are usually on average between 60-80lbs of solid dog body. An ancestor of the now extinct Bullenbeisser (aka the German Bulldog), Boxers were bred to carry parcels and packs for militia persons, and returned home with troops to serve as loyal guard dogs and companions.
Puppies especially can be rambunctious, and they will grow to adult size by age 1; therefore, they may seem aggressive as youngsters, but they are truly just full of energy and a desire to do just about anything you do. They make excellent service and guard dogs not only because they look intimidating and grumpy, but also because they are very smart, loyal and obedient helpers.
But grumpy, they are not. Looks are very deceiving to the Boxer. Boxers love to cuddle, kiss and play like any other dog. They do smile and pant when they are excited and happy. As they age, they may become slower but they do not lose their attentiveness and ability to remain alert for long periods of time.
They are vocal dogs, and will bark in patterns and tones to convey messages to other animals and humans. They also have very good body language and can direct others with facial expressions and body movements. They are patient, and are good teachers as well as learners.
Boxers, like most bully breeds, have short, smooth fur. Their colorings can be white, brindle, black, or tan (fawn), and may have a variety of common color blends and markings due to natural selection. The Boxer comes from a history of crossbreeding, so there can be a high risk for genetic, cosmetic and defective health flaws.
Boxers are born with long, muscular tails. Often breeders and owners will opt to dock (surgically remove) the tail. It is an elective, however it remains an option to prevent accidents and injury. If you have ever been smacked, even accidentally, by a Boxer’s tail, you know it is similar to being kicked in the shin by a four year old.
This working group dog can be recognized by its short, square snout, drooping slobbery jowls and classic “bully” jaw under-bite. They may have a cute mug, but be careful, they also have a very strong jaw and grip. This makes Boxers supreme opponents for rope tug-of-war.
Living with a Boxer is living with a big baby. He will sleep where you sleep, eat where you eat, and will follow you like a shadow. That’s their job. To protect you, to love you and to pick up anything you drop on the floor. They will work for your praise, so use this to your advantage and train your Boxer to be a functional and productive member of the family. He will appreciate the attention and reciprocate the trust.