Boxer : an animal with characteristics that make it truly unique, all worth knowing.
The Boxer is a dog breed that is often perceived as potentially dangerous and aggressive. In reality, as we will see, it is only a perceived fact , linked to its history. Let’s start right from here.
The Deutscher Boxer (or German Boxer ), is a breed of dog belonging to the Molossian family. Its origins are to be found in Germany , in Munich.
Here, towards the end of the nineteenth century, a group of dog lovers succeeded in creating a new breed of English dog , crossing the Old English Bulldog with the Bullenbeisser ( German mastiff ). Its name means boxer, precisely because of its indomitable courage in the fight.
Character of the Boxer breed
The Boxer dog has a temperate, self-confident, balanced, vigilant and courageous character. It is wary of strangers and is fearsome in serious moments, but harmless to its surroundings, and cheerful and funny during play. It is easy to educate thanks to its predisposition to obey.
An all-terrain dog, the boxer is a good house keeper and an excellent companion animal. It has spirit, natural acuity and a good sense of smell, so it can do almost everything: aid to the army or the police, protection, rescue, agility, obedience …
This is a dog fundamentally with a happy and playful temperament, with a youthful spirit throughout its life, curious and very active.
Loyal and affectionate, it is always in contact with the family and is recognized as one of the best dogs in the world to live with children, whom it cares for and protects, and with whom it plays tirelessly.
In relation to the visitors, on the other hand, if they are friends or acquaintances of the family, the dog welcomes them with joy. But, if they are unknown, the territorial and protective nature of this breed leads them to take care of its home and its family.
So it warns of their presence and maintains a suspicious but prudent vigilance while they remain in the house.
In principle, the relationship with other dogs is also very good, especially if it has been since the boxer is a puppy. Even so, you have to be careful because its dominant nature makes it difficult to restrain the animal’s instincts towards its congeners.
So, if you want to be able to go quietly and safely to places frequented by other dogs, the basic thing is to teach them to control this dominating desire over other dogs from the first time that such behavior manifests itself.This type of attitude must be corrected firmly but calmly, without ever using force.
And with respect to other animal species, it can get along with some cats, for example, but the temptation to hunt them is sometimes too great. In the case of having mice, hamsters or other types of pets at home, it is better not to leave the dog alone with them.
Finally, we must not forget the daily exercise needs of this dog, which are very high and necessary to maintain the mental and physical balance of the animal.
It is essential to give them a good walk on a leash every day. For which, first, it is necessary to teach it to walk with its owner without pulling or trying to take a step faster than the one it takes.
This is something very common in boxers, not as a symbol of rebellion or an attempt at domination, but because its nature can and always asks them to go faster and faster.
Despite all this, thanks to its remarkable intelligence, its excellent capacity and the speed of learning and acclimatization, this dog is appropriate to live both in a small apartment in the center of the city and in a large house in the country , and with almost all kinds of families.
Even with those with little experience in keeping dogs, as long as they seek the advice of a professional or the support of a work group.
It can even be good for elderly or sedentary people who are willing and able to change their habits for more dynamic and healthy ones, because the only thing a boxer needs to be completely happy is activity and dedication.
- Energy: high level. Very dynamic and energetic, you need to do a lot of exercise and always be busy with some task.
- Temperament: dynamic, cheerful, playful and faithful, it is also courageous, dominant, self-confident and obedient. It is an unwavering guardian and a fearsome defender
- Adaptability: high. It adapts to any situation and circumstance, but it needs human contact.
- Sociability: high. It is suspicious of strangers, but with family, friends at home and other dogs its relationship is affectionate.
- Health: good. You may suffer from heart disease or thyroid disorders.
- Longevity: medium / High. Live between 10 and 15 years.
- Utility: very versatile.
- Use: companion, protection, guard and service dog.
Characteristics of the Boxer breed
In the boxer, its large size and short, square, compact and strong structure stand out among all its characteristics. It has strong bones and dry muscles, strongly developed and in relief. Harmonious and well proportioned, it is neither rough nor heavy, but not excessively light either.
- General Appearance: The Boxer has strong bones and dry, well-developed, raised musculature. Its appearance is not that of a rough dog, but robust, harmonious and balanced.
- Size: large.
- Height at the withers: between 57 and 63 cm for males and between 53 and 59 cm for females.
- Weight: between 28 and 30 kg for males and between 23 and 25 kg for females.
- Origin: Germany.
- Other names: Germán Boxer / Boxer allemand / Deutscher Boxer.
- Body: it is square, not very long and rests firmly on solid and straight limbs.
- Head: expressive and with dignity, it is square, powerful. It has a very marked stop and a very strong, short and square muzzle, with a powerful bite and a certain prognathous.
- Skull: very identifiable to this breed, it is well proportioned to the body and does not appear too light or too heavy. Its beauty depends on the harmonious relationship between the size of the muzzle and that of the skull. Rather square, lean and without wrinkles, when the dog is alert it frowns its forehead, and on the cheeks, from the base of the nose to the sides, furrows form downwards.
- Muzzle: strongly developed, square and short compared to the skull. It is characterized by prognathous, that is, because the lower jaw protrudes from the upper one. The upper lip, thick and fleshy, fills the gap in the protruding part of the maxilla so that it covers the incisors.
- Eyes: they are very dark in color, medium in size and not sunken or prominent. Very expressive, its gaze is frank and denotes liveliness and cunning.
- Ears: of adequate size, set very high and quite far apart. They fall flat on the cheeks when the dog is calm, but if it is paying attention, they fall forward, drawing a marked fold.
- Nose-frontal depression (stop): it is well marked and the nasal bridge is placed backwards, as in the bulldog, but without being descending.
- Jaws: As the lower jaw protrudes and is slightly curved upwards, the boxer bites forward with a powerful bite. The upper jaw is wide at the level of the skull and tapers slightly forward. The incisors are placed as evenly as possible in a straight line, with the canines well separated from each other and so that the front part of the muzzle is wide, almost square.
- Neck: rather long, round and strong, it is muscular, dry and without dewlap. The upper line forms an elegant curve from the nape, well marked, to the withers.
- Chest: deep, measuring half the height at the withers and reaching the elbows. The front part is highly developed and has well arched ribs that extend towards the rear.
- Back: short, robust, straight, wide and with strong muscles, it has a slightly sloping, curved, flat and wide rump. The pelvis is long and, in females, wide.
- Forelimbs: seen from the front they are straight and parallel to each other, with strong bones. Its shoulders are strong and sloping, they are very close to the thorax. They are not overly muscular. The arm is long and forms a right angle with the shoulder blade. The forearm is vertical, long and has strong muscles.
- Hind limbs: With strong musculature, which is very hard and protrudes conspicuously, seen from behind the hind limbs are straight. The legs are very muscular, they have long and wide thighs. The hip angle is not very open. Its knees are at a slightly obtuse angle. The hocks are strong and well marked, but without exaggeration.
- Feet: Boxer feet are rather small and compact, with the toes close together. The foot pads are thick, hard and resistant.
- Tail: set rather high, it has a good length in its natural state, but in many countries it is docked by tradition. The dog carries her up.
- Skin: it is smooth and elastic, without forming folds or wrinkles, except on the head.
- Hair: the boxer coat is made up of a layer of very short, dense, tight and shiny hair in fawn or brindle color. With some black or very dark lines.
- Color: The boxer coat can be tawny (ranging from light to dark deer red) or brindle (with dark or black stripes on a tawny base). Both cloaks show a black mask and many specimens also have white spots.
- Movement: the boxer advances with a lively movement, full of strength and dignity.
- FCI Classification: FCI No. 144 GROUP 2 – Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossian, and Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs – Section 2 Molossian.
Puppies of the Boxer breed
If you are considering adopting or buying a boxer puppy, there are a number of aspects that it is good for you to know before deciding. They are very playful and funny, they are full of energy.
They love playing with their family and being active. In this sense, “boredom” is a word that should not exist in the vocabulary of an owner of this excellent breed.
When they are born, Boxer puppies already have a certain character or more or less established temperament. This can be shaped by a good early socialization work to achieve jovial, balanced and happy adults.
The most important phase in the education of a Boxer is the one that occurs in the first weeks of life. This early socialization is essential, since it depends on it that in the end you have a balanced and easy-to-work dog or, on the contrary, a stubborn, dominant animal with a complicated temperament.
Through this socialization process, the animal develops its skills for relationship and communication with other living beings and, in general, with its environment.
The puppy needs to be exposed to all kinds of situations, different noises, unfamiliar people, different textures, different surfaces and a long list of circumstances that provoke different responses in the animal.
Such responses give the owner or breeder very precise clues as to what their puppy’s basic temperament is.
At the same time, they accustom the little one to these situations and condition and model the responses so that the animal can interpret any type of event as familiar. Or at least, that it has the ability to react and analyze the circumstances in which it finds themselves without developing the typical signs of fear, shyness or aggression.
The natural character of the puppy is influenced, in addition to the environment, by the genetic inheritance it receives from its parents, and that is why it is so important to raise awareness among breeders so that they only use individuals with the typical and appropriate temperament of said temperament in their breeding programs. race.
However, according to some experts, 65% of the final temperament of a boxer depends on the work that has been done with them and the training to which it has been subjected.
The fundamental basis of this is the work of early socialization, whose main objective is to maximize the potential of the puppy by stimulating its learning capacity, its curiosity and its natural instincts.
All the experiences that a puppy goes through are crucial in the development of its adult temperament. Unfortunately, it is increasingly common for boxer owners to have tight schedules, typical of today, and to have time to dedicate to their pet.
There are many dogs that never leave the house if they have a plot to live in and never see other dogs, other people, or hear noises other than those that occur in the house.
The most normal thing is that this type of life inevitably ends in an adult boxer who is not sociable, hyper-excited or stressed before any new situation and with an exaggerated tendency to dominate.
It should be remembered that temperamental responses are nothing more than the reactions dictated by the brain when the dog receives a stimulus. And, that said response has one nature or another depending on whether the dog has previously known said stimulus or is capable of assimilating it.
Everything, any situation, including stress, is trainable. Boxers subjected to varied and diverse situations in their first weeks of life have been shown to develop the appropriate response capacity for all kinds of circumstances.
This work of socialization with the puppy can begin from the moment it is born. There are early stimulation methods that have been tried with success, some of them developed by the armies of different countries, which have highly prestigious canine units.
These exercises basically consist of manipulating the puppy by placing it in different positions and subjecting it to different palpations and temperature changes that stimulate its cerebral cortex. So that it gets used to changing situations, far beyond the tranquillity and calm that the mother transmits to him.
As the days and weeks go by, this neurological stimulation becomes more and more complicated, as different smells and noises are introduced, while continuing with the different manipulation, touch and temperature exercises.
After a few weeks, when the puppy is ready to go outside, the range of games aimed at stimulating the dog is expanded. It is encouraged to play with children, music and the radio are put on him, the first outings are made by car. Also, it receives different people at home, staffs and more complicated surfaces are placed on which it must advance.
With this type of work, the Boxer’s capacities to become a curious, jovial and balanced adult are much greater than in the case of individuals who grow up alone and neglected.
Boxer education and training
The Boxer is the working and utility dog par excellence. Thanks to its great versatility and its ability to learn quickly, its owners can dedicate it to a huge variety of activities and perform multiple functions.
These can range from guarding, protecting, assisting the army or the police, working as a rescue dog in disasters, competing in agility, obedience or schutzhund tests, to practicing as a therapy dog or even as a guide dog for blind or blind people. with some other physical disability. In fact, the limit of its possibilities is in the imagination of its owners.
In general, the Boxer performs very well all the tasks that are entrusted to him, although it may perhaps err of being a bit hasty, and this implies that its guides must be patient with him.
Its owner, when training it , has to try to make the task fun, but it has to be constant and have a lot of patience.
He must become a dominant leader, capable of always imposing its will, if it is to control and channel in a positive way the true torrent of activity and energy that this dog wastes.
It is recommended that training begins very early , with consistent, firm and continuous work.
The basic objective is to make the animal understand that it lives within an organized group and that it occupies a specific position within the hierarchical pyramid, always below all the human components of said social nucleus.
Thus, the whole family must intervene in the puppy’s education so that it is very clear to them who is its leader, what is the order, hierarchical order and where is its place within it.
Likewise, orders and tasks must follow a logical order and be applied by all family members in the same way, so as not to emit erroneous messages that provoke inappropriate responses.
It’s easy for a boxer to take everything as a game, including the most serious work. This in itself is not bad, the problem is that one of its leaders is taken as a joke, because then from that moment on it does not consider any of its orders serious and comes to systematically disobey them. Developing even a stubborn, disobedient and difficult to control behavior.
Thus, although it is an easy breed to train, this dog needs to interact a lot with its owner and maintain almost constant contact with the entire family nucleus.
Another of the first things that should be worked with the copies of this breed is to teach them to restrain their displays of joy. They usually greet visitors or family members by jumping on top of them, licking their hands and face, or attempting to play by nibbling and pulling at their clothing.
This attitude, which can be fun for the owner himself, can become a very annoying habit and even lead to some unpleasant accident inadvertently.
Diet of the Boxer breed
Regarding the boxer diet , for the dog to stay healthy, with good muscles and an excellent condition of skin, hair, eyes, it is very important to provide a diet rich in essential nutrients and with the right level of fats . The daily ration must be divided into two intakes to avoid stomach problems.
Boxer health and diseases
Once grown up, this is a basically healthy dog that reaches old age in very good condition.
And furthermore, as they retain their cheerful and jovial temperament throughout their lives, elderly specimens always seem younger than they are.
Even so, there are some diseases that affect the breed on a recurring basis, among which some heart disease and thyroid gland dysfunctions stand out.
Also, skin problems caused mainly by allergies , hip dysplasia , which affects the breed to a similar extent to other breeds of similar size, epilepsy and cancer , which are also frequent, but not to the point of having to obsess over it.
On the other hand, obesity is such a common condition among all dog breeds today that it can be considered a pandemic and the Boxer does not escape it.
Some of its most obvious side effects in this breed are the tendency to snore and excessive flatulence, which is, of course, very annoying. Finally, the specimens with the white coat may suffer cases of deafness more frequently than the rest.
In fact, the appearance of white individuals in some litters of this breed is a source of strong controversy.
There are purists who considered them such an aberration that they did not even enter them in the genealogical records. They even used to eliminate them, something not at all logical because they are normal and healthy individuals, not albinos.
Apart from these specific conditions, to control the health of this breed it is very important to act preventively.
Going regularly to the veterinarian to complete the relevant annual vaccination , revaccination and deworming programs .
The veterinarian is also in charge of checking the state of the animal’s mouth, eyes and skin, as well as its ears.
Specific care of the Boxer breed
And when it comes to aesthetic care , despite the large size of this breed, it is very simple. It is limited to a weekly brushing with the help of a chamois or a good natural bristle brush.And, a bath only when the animal is really dirty , trying to dry it very well afterwards and never leave it wet in the open.