Originating in Germany, the Boxer was developed from an agile mastiff-type breed called the Bullenbiser that was also an early ancestor of the Bull Terrier, Dogue de Bordeaux, and English Bulldog, just to name a few. This ancient mastiff was commonly used to capture and hold large game such as deer and cattle until the hunters arrived. The modern-day Boxer, thought to have earned their name for being prized fighters, can still be traced back to over 4,000 years ago to Molossus, an ancient Mesopotamian city. The popularity of the breed rose in Germany and spread across Europe until they were brought to the United States in the late 19th century. Today, Boxers are one of the most recognized breeds in America due to their appearance and personality.
Also referred to as the German Boxer, these dogs are medium-sized, strong, and squarely built. They have well-developed muscles and strong limbs which attests to their abilities as guardians and all-purpose working dogs. Boxers have a short, shiny, and smooth coat that comes in only two colors, brindle and fawn, that may be seen with or without white markings and a black mask. The small-to-medium-sized eyes are dark brown in color and combined with their wrinkly forehead, gives them the unique expressiveness that they are known for. The ears of the Boxer are either left natural or cropped; natural ears are moderately lengthed, thin, and lay flat, while cropped ears stand erect and taper to the ends. The muzzle is well-proportioned with a broad and dark-colored nose. The tail of the breed is docked, high set, and carried upward.
Boxers have been used as guide dogs for the blind and also as police dogs in K-9 units due to their courageous and devoted, yet patient and well-behaved nature. They can be suspicious and alert around strangers but are not seen as aggressive or hostile. Lovers of the breed commonly mention that these gentle giants tend to mature later in life, but they can be trained effectively by a firm, consistent owner with positive reinforcement and affection. The Boxer is known for being friendly, happy, and extremely goofy with their long legs, especially as puppies. Like most active dogs, they need plenty of daily exercise, both mentally and physically, to remain healthy and out of trouble. Regardless of the size of the breed, they do very well with children of all ages, however, small children should always be supervised, and they generally get along well with other pets if they have been properly socialized from puppyhood. The patient and outgoing personality of the Boxer has won many hearts over the centuries and still earns their place as one of the most popular family breeds in America.