The Boxer is a breed of dog medium to large-sized in stature, with short hair, developed in Germany in the late 19th century. This breed was bred from the Old English Bulldog and the now extinct Bullenbeisser, and it is a part of the Molosser group. This is a working breed dog. The breed was introduced to other parts of Europe in the late 19th century. It was introduced to the United States around the turn of the 20th century. The breeds name “Boxer” is supposedly derived from this dogs tendency to play by standing on its hind legs and “boxing” with its front paws.
The most distinctive feature of the breed is its head. The breed standard says it must be perfectly proportionate to the body and mostly it must never be too light. The muzzle must be of correct form and in absolute proportion to its skull. The muzzle length in proportionate to the whole head should be a ratio of 1:3. There are always folds seen from the root of the nose and should run downwards on both sides of the muzzle. The tip of the nose should lie a little higher than the root of the muzzle. The Boxer should be slightly prognathous, or having a slight underbite. Originally Boxers had their ears docked and cropped, and in some countries this is still done. The coat should be smooth, shiny and should lie tight to the body. The recognized colors of the breed are fawn and brindle, often times with a white underbelly, and white on the feet. The white markings are often called flash, and sometimes extend onto the neck or face.
This is an energetic, bright, and playful breed that tends to be excellent with children. They are very patient and spirited with them but also very protective of them, making them a good fit for families. The dog requires adequate exercise to prevent boredom-associated behaviors such as chewing or digging, because they are an active, strong dog. Because of their intelligence and working breed characteristics, training that is based on corrections is often useless. This breed typically responds better to positive reinforcement techniques such as clicker training (an approach based on operant conditioning and behaviorism). This gives the dog an opportunity to think on its own and problem-solve. By nature, the Boxer is not aggressive nor vicious. It is instinctive and can become very attached to its family. Boxers are normally patient with smaller dogs and puppies, but has some difficulties with the larger dogs, especially ones of the same sex.
Some health issues related to this breed include; prone to cancers, heart conditions, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, epilepsy, gastric dilatation and torsion (bloat) intestinal problems, allergies, entropion, dystocia, histiocytic ulcerative colitis, and indolent corneal ulcers.