Known worldwide as one of the best and most loyal and intelligent guard dogs, the Boxer dog has become a popular pup to have around. These dogs are known for their intelligence and easability in training, and tend to intimidate many with their big droopy bodies. Boxers are currently one of the most popular guard and watch dogs around, but have also worked their way into many families with their affectionate and loving personalities.
Boxer dogs date back to early 19th century Germany, and were mainly used for domestic activities such as tending to livestock, pulling carts and catching prey. It is believed that they have originated from two well known German dogs, namely the Barenbeiszer and the Bullenbeisser. Both these dogs are known for their strength, agility and superb athletic prowess, all qualities that the Boxer dog possess. It is also believed that they received their name from their ability to stand on hind legs and fight in a boxer like position.
These dogs are noted as some of the first dogs to be used in police and military operations, dating as far back as the 1900s, but they only rose to popularity in the World War II, acting as messengers for soldiers. This feat has been passed down till now, and boxer dogs are still being used in police and military operations, as well as in security, and as watchdogs. There intelligence makes them admirably one of the best canines for the job, and they love to excel and obey their owners.
Appearance and characteristics of the Boxer dog
Boxer dogs are naturally stocky, compact and muscular dogs who are highly energetic and active. They have short shiny coats which vary in colours, but normally contain patches of white. Their coats vary in colour from fawn with white speckles, to being brindle coloured. They have noticeably cropped ears, a large nose and a strong jawline. Most Boxer dogs have a distinct look, that makes them easily identifiable from afar.
Boxers are normally medium sized, ranging in weight up to 70 pounds maximum for males, and 60 pounds maximum for females. They are generally average height dogs, with men standing at 22.5 – 25 inches tall, and women at 21 – 23.5 inches tall. Their most distinguished and perhaps most well researched features include their heads and their popular underbite. Perfect coordination among the size of the skull and length of the muzzle leads to a well proportioned and seemingly perfect head shape and structure, and helps to perfect the underbite, which helps them to hold on to larger prey.
Boxers are naturally highly intelligent and witty dogs, but they are also very affectionate, loving and caring pups who loves the attention of their owners. Their agility and playfulness makes them ideal for a family home with children, but their loyalty and protectiveness of their owner makes them stand out from many other watchdogs. It is imperative that you challenge your Boxer dog both physically and mentally, to ensure that they are kept energized, stimulated and healthy.
Their innate nature to be protective and watchful makes them perfect watch dogs, and their loyalty to their owners makes them the perfect guard dog. If properly socialized and trained, Boxer dogs can be taught to react affectionately to strangers, but their innate nature is to watch the situation until they determine that there is no harm coming to their owner. These dogs are patient and playful around small children, which ultimately makes them ideal to have in and around the home. Their lovable personality, warm and doting character and alert and defensive temperament makes them the perfect dog for any family or situation.
Grooming and maintenance
A noted feature of Boxer dogs is there ability to actively self grooming, significantly reducing the amount of grooming time you’d normally spend on a dog. They do tend to shed though, so ensure to brush them weekly to get rid of excess hair and dirt. Boxers should be bathed as needed, and their faces and ears should be wiped down with a wet cloth or towel. Ensure that their teeth are brushed and their nails are trimmed regularly, or take a monthly trip to the dog groomer’s to get your pup to the correct standard.
While the amount of food your dog eats is determined by their physical characteristics, (size, weight, height, etc,) it’s important to ensure that they are adequately fed. Examine the portions of your pup and his body type to ensure he gets the correct amount of food all the time. Overfeeding can lead to cases of obesity, which may introduce other health issues and diseases in your Boxer’s body.
Health care and lifespan
Boxers, like many other dogs are prone to a variety of health concerns and congenital defects, but with adequate medication and early detection, they go on to live happy and healthy lives. The average Boxer dog lives from 9 – 12 years, and make great companions for growing children. The main health concerns for Boxers include:
- Hypothyroidism – With this condition, the thyroid glands of the Boxer dog malfunctions resulting in weight gain and a lack of growth. Symptoms include a brittle and dull fur coat, excessive shedding and an overweight dog. This issue is normally developed overtime and is treated with daily medication to regulate the hormones.
- Corneal Dystrophy – This condition is normally inherited from the mother, and speaks to diseases in the eye causing certain layers of the cornea to become opaque. It is not easily detected by the naked eye until the disease has reached an advanced level, so it is essential to take a look at the Boxer’s parents before taking him home.
- Deafness – Deafness is particularly common in white boxer dogs, which has led to a significant decrease in the number of them being bred. Boxer dogs with excessive white spotting or markings may also be more susceptible to become deaf.
- Cancer – This has become a recurring concern for many who want to adopt these dogs, as they are highly prone to developing tumor cells, and suffering from issues such as lymphoma and skin cancer. A healthy lifestyle should prevent your boxer from falling prey to different forms of cancer, but the disease can still rare its ugly head at any time.
Boxer dogs make some of the best watchdogs this world has ever seen, but underneath their tough rigid exterior, they are the sweetest most loyal creatures to have in your family.