close cousin to the bulldog,
with origins traced back to medieval Europe, the boxer as we know
it today was developed by breeders in 19th century Germany.
Why the breed
is called boxer remains the subject of dispute among dog fanciers.
However, the most common theory points to an English derivation
of the German word, 'boxl', meaning "short trousers"
to describe its color and shading. Yet
another popular story points to the boxer's habit of jabbing with
its front forelegs while playing or fighting.
A boxer by
any other name would still be known and admired today for its
muscular frame, square muzzle, and pronounced under bite. Its striking
appearance, coupled with its energetic personality and utter devotion
to its adoptive family, has rightly earned it a place on the Top
Ten list of most popular dogs in the U.S.
Flocki, a notable boxer
in 19th century Germany.
A strong and
confident character, the boxer makes for a great family pet due
to its legendary loyalty, talents as a trustworthy watchdog, and
utmost patience with small children in their protective care.
they are noted for taking a longer time to reach maturity than
most other dog breeds, and during this time their high energy
levels may make them resistant to training. However, rather than
harsh treatment, rewards and positive reinforcement usually go
a long way in disciplining the naturally rambunctious boxer.
The boxer's high energy levels require owners to provide
frequent bouts of play and exercise. While boxers make for excellent
jogging companions in urban areas, care should be taken in summer
since they normally do not tolerate extremes in heat or humidity.
short coat does not need as much attention as long-haired breeds,
but it will benefit from an occasional brushing to enhance
its natural sheen.
concerns for the breed include a genetic defect of the heart,
leading to a condition called boxer
cardiomyopathy which can often prove fatal. Boxers are also
prone to a variety of joint and muscle diseases including hip
dysplasia and degenerative
myelopathy, a form of muscular dystrophy. Less
serious conditions include a propensity toward food allergies,
bloating and intestinal problems.
More information about Boxers around the Web:
Boxer Information and Pictures - Get a good intro to learning more
about the breed with facts on its origin and history, appearance
and temperament, possible health problems, plus dozens of photos
of boxers and boxer puppies in an online gallery.
Kennel Club - Boxer - Find out what the judges look for including
an ideal boxer description, fun facts & boxer trivia,
Boxer - Meet an Australian boxer breeder with a detailed and illustrated
guide for show dog breeders including boxer standards from around
the world, boxer history & origins, famous sires, how to choose
a puppy, photo gallery.