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Dogs 101 — BOXER
Top Dog Facts About the BOXER
The Boxer, with its distinctive strong jaw and flat muzzle, is a breed of mixed European ancestry. The two main breeds that it can be said to be a direct descendant of are the Old English Bulldog and the, now extinct, German Bullenbeisser. The dogs were meant to be able to hold the bull for long periods, in a sport called bull baiting. Their typical jaw and nose structure helped in this sport.
For the same reason, these dogs were also used to hunt large game, like deer, wild boars, and even small bears. To improve the size and agility of the breed, some German breeders also introduced terrier and mastiff-type bloodlines.
There are several theories on how the very English name Boxer came to be associated with this German dog. One theory, popular but most likely incorrect, is that the dog gets its name from its fighting stance. The dog was certainly very popular in dogfights, but that is the extent of the plausibility of this theory. A more widely accepted one is that this is a derivation from the German slang word ‘Boxl’, meaning ‘short trousers’. The breed is a smaller form of the German Bullenbeisser, and Boxl is said to have been a term used to refer to the breed.
The adult male’s height ranges from 22 to 25 inches, and the female’s from 21 to 24 inches. Weight for both the male and the female is in the range of 55 to 71 pounds. The head, with the broad short skull, is the most distinguishing feature of a Boxer. The lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper one. The tip of the nose lies a little higher than the root of the muzzle. Folds are present along the muzzle down from the nose. The coat is smooth, shiny and tight, with short hair. Recognized colors are fawn, mahogany, black or brindled, with or without white markings, and white.
Grooming: The Boxer is easy to maintain. It has short hair and requires occasional grooming with a soft bristle brush to maintain its coat. Regular care includes trimming of its strong nails, checking ears for debris and brushing of teeth.
Temperament: Despite its image, and violent origins, the Boxer is not an aggressive breed. It is particularly caring of children, and craves family affection. It is also very good with other smaller pets, but can get combative with animals of the same or larger size. Its agility, alertness and suspicion of strangers make it a very good guard dog.
Training: The Boxer is a fairly intelligent dog that learns better with a reward style of training than one based on corrections. Its versatility makes it suited for a wide range of services that require attentiveness, fearlessness and strength. It requires daily mental and physical stimulation, but a good jog or a long walk on leash can be good enough.
Health: The lifespan of a Boxer is 8 to 10 years, on the lower side for dogs of this size. Infant mortality is a little high in this breed. The most common ailments seen are cancer, certain heart-related diseases, hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism. The dog is also not well suited to hot climates. Close to 20% of white Boxers are deaf in one or both ears.
The Boxer is considered the full doggy package, and it is not difficult to see why. It is loyal, loving, hard working and good looking. It also does not require too much effort for maintenance, and is perfectly happy as long as it gets to spend a lot of time with the family.
• The Boxer was one of the first breeds to be used as a police and military dog in Germany.
• Many believe that the Boxer is one of the many descendants of the fighting dogs of old Tibet, which were brought over to Europe.
• Boxers have been favorites of celebrities past and present – Humphrey Bogart, Robin Williams, Jodie Foster, Sylvester Stallone, Justin Timberlake and Alec Baldwin, to name a few.
• Boxers come in a number of colors, but can never be pure black.
Music by Kevin McLeod — Royalty Free