3 to 8 puppies is common with the average being 6.
Working, Utility, Guardian Dogs, Working Dogs.
CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
The under-colour should be tan or brindle (a mixture of brown with a sort of marbling), though the tan colour may actually occur anywhere along a continuum of brown-ish colours.
23 to 25 inches (57 - 63cm)
60 to 70 pounds (27 - 32kg)
21 to 23.5 inches (53 - 60cm).
55 to 65 pounds (25 and 29kg).
Boxers happily adapt to home life, though keeping them in an apartment is not advised. They are rather large for a mid-sized dog and seem to simply take up more than their fair share of space. Since Boxers also tend to be rather active, they are often running around the house.
This popular breed of dog is mid-sized, with a very square jaw and naturally floppy ears that are very often surgically altered to make them stand up. They are a naturally very intelligent breed with a characteristic short nose and slight under-bite. They have long, muscular legs and deep chests for resonant barking
They are very good with children and very trainable. Though they have a reputation for being strong willed, this is usually a result of owners who were too indulgent when they were puppies.
Boxers have been used for running animals to the ground and holding them there until their masters arrive with a gun to dispatch the creature that isn't a dog. Their ancestors once were trained upon bears (just like Pit Bulls or Staffordshire Terriers), and Boxers can take on deer or pigs.
Today they rarely are used for such hunting adventures. Instead they are used as police dogs as well as service, guide and therapy functions. They can be easily trained to be good with people if socialized well as early in life as possible.
They are always brown or brindle with white and black markings. Dark markings are very likely around the face and eyes. Some dogs are born with an over abundance of white markings that are often accompanied by deafness.
As a breed, Boxers are very loyal and fun loving dogs with a generally calm nature after they mature at about two or three years. Boxers are very loving with their families and will fiercely defend them from theft or attack. Their loyalty extends to other animal members of the family, dog or other pet.
As such, Boxers are now among the most popular breeds in the United States. Because there are so many dogs being bred to keep up with the demand, the breed now has quite a few disorders that they are particularly prone to. These include specific cancers, hip dysplasia, bloat as well as diet related allergies.
It's best to have a large yard with a stout fence for containing your Boxer. They are very capable hunting dogs that are bred to get the job done.
Boxer coats are rather thin and are easily maintained. They do shed, but the fur is so short and fine that it typically doesn't build up unless it's shedding season when the rate seems to about double.
The giant Molossian hound of ancient Greece that is the progenitor of many large headed dogs probably travelled there from the Middle East.
More recently, the boxer is of German origin and was bred from a now-extinct and somewhat larger breed of dog called the Bullenbeisser, once used to take down deer, wild boar and even bear, holding them down to the ground until the hunter arrived. Such dogs are today used for more civic uses and have been the companions of shop keepers.
When crossed with the English Bulldog (resulting in the characteristic square jaw and squared shoulders), the breed was stabilized and first brought to show in the 1890s. By 1915, the first American Kennel Club (AKC) champion boxer was "crowned." The breed has remains very popular 'til this day.
Boxers have a long and distinguished career working with various human enterprises, always looking to please. Indeed, a great many were used by German forces during the world wars as guard dogs and couriers. The popularity of the breed became international after the 1950s. Today there are so many boxers around, it is a good idea to check with your breeder to make sure your new pup doesn't have the congenital disorders of a puppy that is bred from parents demonstrating recessive traits.
Normally very relaxed when older, boxers can be quite a handful as pups. However, they will reward you with a lifetime of faithful service if you keep up with their early training.
Boxers are best loved for their temperament that is intelligent and very loyal. They are rather affectionate and will love to join you on the couch, preferring to be near their owners whenever possible.
They are often distrustful of strangers unless you really work on this aspect of their training when very small puppies. Otherwise, Boxers will very loudly announce visitors to your home and might make a point of diligently putting themselves between your self and your guests.
Typically, Boxers don't really calm down until they're two or three, though their physical development is usually over by 18 months. This means your early training can seem as if it's falling on deaf ears though it actually isn't. In fact, your dog may seem to rather suddenly realize what you've been telling him or her all along one day.
Though courteous to other animals in your home that they're brought up with, they have a tendency to chase after cats and other small animals that aren't part of their pack. If you have neighbours with cats, it's best to make it a point to keep your Boxer either well away from them or train them well not to take off after them.
Punitive punishments rarely work with Boxers and, like many other dogs, are far more responsive to reward training. Many people have great results when training their boxers to a click or well-chosen set of commands. Click training has become very popular lately and they take rather well to it since it's reward based.
They remain very playful late into their lives, which are somewhat longer than most big dogs. Boxers love to roughhouse and are very happy to play with human companions, just as they might with another dog.
Boxers are prone to quite a few disorders. They have been inbred for over 100 years and in order to keep their appearance, there are several associated disorders. The breed also has one particular congenital defect related to coat colour.
Deafness: Somewhere between 20-40% of white puppies will be deaf in one or both ears. Such dogs were once put down to keep the trait from spreading, as long as there's white in the breed, 1/4 of the pups will come out white when normal dogs are bred. They're not allowed to compete in Show, but may participate in competitive trials such as Agility and Obedience.
Metabolic disorders: Hypothyroidism, Bloat and intestinal problems are all somewhat common in Boxers. Very careful Diet maintenance, including several small feedings per day, can help keep the instance of these conditions down.
Allergies: These are often diet related and can often be mitigated that way.
Phyiscal deformities: Sometimes boxer puppies have eyelids that are deformed. This condition, called Entropion, can be corrected by surgery.
Taking care of their coat is a very simple affair, since there is so little of it. A regular rubbing with a hound cloth is often enough, though many boxers like the skin stimulation of a rubber comb.
They are very clean dogs and often will actually keep themselves preened like a cat. Usually if they do require a bath, it's more of an annual event than a regularly scheduled one.
Their nails are never black, so it's easy for owners to clip them. Be sure to keep an eye on their dewclaws if not removed - they don't wear down with regular exercise as the other claws do and may need trimming as often as every week or two.
Boxers that have had their ears bobbed should have their ears regularly examined for wax build up and the presence of mites. You should never, ever put q-tips in your dog's ear canal. Instead you should pull the ear up and use a gauze pad around the tip of your finger to clean around the outside of the ear canal.
If a Boxer's ears are manipulated when he or she is young, there will be a period of recovery from the surgery, often a week or two at least. Usually your dog will come home with ear splints. Sometimes an Elizabethan collar is used, but many owners are able to keep the dog from too vigorously shaking his or her ears and scratching at them by simply keeping an eye on them.
It's a very good idea to get your pup used to having grooming done by touching his or her ears and paws regularly when they're young. Your dog's minimal "beauty" sessions should be pleasant events that result in treats and praise. If they choose to resist, they can put up quite a fight.
Boxers are large dogs that can certainly benefit from at least an hour of good exercise every day. Joggers will find them perfect workout companions - walks aren't usually quite enough and they need them every day without fail.
They do best when allowed to run around in a rural environment, though many urban owners are able to successfully keep them in small spaces if there's a large park nearby. Off-leash dog parks are ideally suited to the urban or suburban Boxer.
When letting them run around in even a large yard, you should take extra care to be sure the fence is absolutely secure. These dogs have been known to pick locks and jump over fences - they are prone to escape, though usually not roving as long as male dogs are altered.
Boxers require a great deal of firm training to keep their exuberance in check. Training should begin when they're quite young, since they can become difficult to handle even when still puppies since they're so large and strong.
Though you should be consistent and firm with Boxers (and many other large dogs), they do not respond to punitive punishment. It is best to set things up so they can't help but succeed, then reward them for it. Some small treats and praise should be used in conjunction for the desired result.
Some lines can be hyperactive and there is little to be done with such dogs other than trying to wear them out in a rural setting. When buying a pup it is good to check the parents for this trait, as they can have a hard time settling down to learn when too wound up.
Almost all puppies are fun-loving clowns that take a few years to really grow up from a psychological point of view. Because they are intelligent, you should never underestimate their ability to break out. Their soft mouths have been known to manipulate locks on doors when left to the task long enough.
Housebreaking is usually quick since Boxers are so fastidious. Keeping an eye on your dog and shuffling them outside whenever they start towards the door or sniffing will give them a chance to get it right and earn your treats and respect. The key with this type of training vigilance upon your part, tough at least these dogs are large enough that they won't be able to sneak under the furniture and get away with it
Many people have had good result with using crates. As long a they're large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in, they will come to think of them as a home and refuge. Of course, such a crate for a Boxer is rather large, so most people use classical methods of training.
Though somewhat stubborn, Boxers do generally want to please, and it's up to you to make them actually want to follow your commands. Aggression should be nipped in the bud, though most boxers are simply enthusiastic and curious.