The Boxer dog is medium-sized, very muscular, sturdy and deep-chested. They have a short muzzle and a slightly upturned chin. The colour of the short coat comes in fawn and brindle, usually with some white markings; they can also be totally white in colour. The average height of adult males is 57-63cm, and their weight is 30-32kg. Adult females ideally stand at 53-59cm and weigh approximately 25-27kg.
The Boxer dog breed was derived from two mastiff-type dogs used as hunting dogs in the Middle Ages in Germany. These dogs were used to hunt boar, bear and deer. These ancestors of the Boxer dog were also used for bull-baiting when this became a sport. In the 19th century these breeds were crossed with the Bulldog and the Boxer dog was created.
Boxer dogs remain puppy-like throughout their lives, making them quite a handful! Lively, strong and loyal, they make great pets for all the family, adults and children alike, but can be boisterous so may not be suitable in a home with very young kids. Fearless and very self-assured, they are not quick to pick a fight, but more than able to defend themselves if they have to. They can be very destructive if they are left alone at home for long periods of time.
Boxer dogs are predisposed to a variety of potentially serious diseases, in particular heart problems and cancers. Checking that dogs have been bred from lines that are free of these specific health problems will help reduce the likelihood of these disorders.
The Boxer dog is a high-energy breed that does require plenty of exercise – they love to go charging around open spaces, chasing balls and Frisbees. Two-plus hours each day is recommended .
Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. Boxers are prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.
The Boxer dog's coat is easily kept clean, as it is very short. A rubber grooming mitt can be used once in a while, to keep the coat in good condition.