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Country of Origin: Germany

Height: Males 22–25 inches, females 21–23.5 inches

Weight: Males 66–70.5 pounds, females 55–62 pounds

Coat: Short, hard, shiny, lies smooth and tight against body

Colors: Fawn shades, brindle; may have white markings; black mask

Other Names: Deutscher Boxer; German Boxer

Registries (With Group): AKC (Working); UKC (Guardian)


About 4,000 years ago, the Assyrians used large, powerful dogs as weapons of war. They were called “Molossians” (for the city of Molossus), and their popularity spread across Europe. In Germany, descendents of the Molossians became the bullen-beisser (bull-biter), whose original purpose was to bait bulls, hunt, and pull carts. The smallest version of the Bullenbeisser eventually became the foundation for the modern Boxer, and he evolved into a do-most-anything breed, working as a guardian, herder, and even a trick dog. The Boxer began his development as a distinct breed around Munich, Germany, beginning in the late 1800s and was refined by three Germans: Friedrich Robert, Elard Konig, and R. Hopner, who brought the Boxer to world prominence. The Boxer was brought to the United States after World War I and has been popular ever since. Today’s Boxer is handsome, athletic, and tractable, excelling in everything from service work to competitive obedience.


The Boxer’s short muzzle and broad skull give him a curious expression that is instantly recognizable the world over. His name conveys a style of fighting that is apt for this dog—when he plays with other dogs or people, he “puts up his dukes” and appears to box his playmate. Boxers are playful, curious, energetic, and high-spirited.


Exercise: The Boxer is an energetic, athletic dog. He needs long walks, lots of active play, and activities that include mental as well as physical challenges, such as agility, flyball, and rally.

Grooming: The Boxer’s short, smooth, and sleek coat is easy to keep clean and neat with a simple rubdown and soft bristle brush. His face requires extra attention to keep the wrinkles and flews free of dirt and debris.

Life Span: The average life span of the Boxer is 11 to 14 years.

Training: The Boxer’s high intelligence and problem-solving ability allows him to thrive on obedience training. His strength and energy can make him a challenge to manage, and he needs a firm but fair leader.

Find a Nylabone chew, treat, or toy for your Boxer or large dog!

Excerpt from World Atlas of Dog Breeds, 6th Edition. © 2009 TFH Publications, Inc.

World Atlas of Dog Breeds

World Atlas of Dog Breeds Book

Other Books on this Topic:
Boxers (Animal Planet™ Pet Care Library)
The Boxer (Terra Nova)

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