Boxers are smart, playful medium-sized dogs. Because they’re so loyal and fun, they make wonderful companion animals. Due to their smarts and ability to bond deeply with humans, they’re also in demand as working dogs! Male Boxers often grow to around 25 inches at the shoulders and usually weigh 65–80 pounds. Females are usually a few inches shorter and about 15 pounds lighter than their male breed mates.
These active dogs require frequent exercise; long walks and games like frisbee are popular favorites. Boxers were the 14th most popular breed in the US in 2021, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). Below you’ll find 11 fascinating Boxer dog facts!
The 11 Fascinating Boxer Dog Facts
1. Boxers Are Working Dogs
The AKC classifies Boxers as working dogs, and the intelligent animals have quite a history of serving alongside humans. These highly-trainable dogs regularly form part of law enforcement teams, particularly in Germany, where they’re originally from. They’ve also served as military dogs during WWI; Boxers delivered messages and carried packs. They often work as seeing-eye dogs and can also be trained to alert companions of oncoming epileptic seizures.
2. Boxers Come in Three Colors
Boxers come in several shades, with fawn and brindle being the two recognized by the AKC. Some have black masks or white markings, but they also come in white. White Boxers don’t meet the AKC’s breed standard but can be registered and participate in agility and obedience competitions. One-fifth to one-quarter of Boxers are born with white (or mostly white) coats. Around 18% of white Boxers are born hearing impaired.
3. Boxers Snore
Boxers love a good snooze, but be ready with earplugs if you hope to get anything done with a Boxer sleeping in the same room since some members of the breed are loud snorers. As a brachycephalic breed, Boxers have short, flat faces, which can impact their breathing ability. It’s also what causes the dogs to drool excessively. Brachycephalic dogs often have trouble cooling off when the mercury rises, as many have difficulty panting enough to cool themselves down.
4. Boxers’ Ancestors Were Hunting Dogs
Boxers are a relatively young breed! They’ve only been around since the end of the 19th century. They’re directly related to Bullenbeissers, which were powerful hunting dogs that were used to catch large game such as boars, bears, and bison. As hunting declined in popularity, Bullenbeisser dogs fell out of favor.
Breeders responded by mixing these powerful hunting dogs with English Bulldogs to create the much-adored Boxer. Breeding efforts increased in the 19th century, resulting in medium-sized, friendly, and playful dogs. They were first shown as a breed in 1895 in Munich.
5. Boxers Box
Boxers often stand on their hind legs and put their paws up as if they’re getting ready to go a few rounds, and it’s usually a sign of excitement. Boxers are incredibly energetic and engage playfully with people and animals around them. Sometimes, they interact with people and animals by poking or jabbing at them with their paws. They also tend to enthusiastically greet people, often jumping and spinning around out of sheer excitement.
6. Boxers Are Popular Celebrity Pets
Boxers have been incredibly popular pets in the US since the late 1930s, but the breed first arrived in the US after WWI. Over the years, they’ve been popular celebrity pets. Lauren Becall and Humphrey Bogart owned three Boxers: Harvey, Baby, and George. Harvey, given to the couple as a wedding present, was born on the farm where the couple got married. Hugh Jackman, Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Reynolds, and Kim Kardashian have all had Boxers.
7. Boxers Have an Unexplainable Name
No one is exactly sure how the breed got its name. Some parts of the internet swear it comes from the breed’s tendency to jab and poke with their front paws. Other people claim the name is related to the word boxl, which is how the Bullenbeisser ancestors of Boxers were referred to in parts of Germany. The name was firmly attached to the breed by the end of the 19th century when the German Boxer Club was founded.
8. Boxers Make Great Family Pets
Boxers make fantastic family pets, and they’re loyal, playful, and curious. They’re always up for a walk or playtime but are usually just as happy hanging out doing nothing with their favorite people nearby. Boxers typically do well with children, but while some become protective, most respond exceptionally well to rewards-based training, which can help manage some of the breed’s natural tendencies.
9. Boxers Don’t Bark a Lot
Boxers aren’t usually excessive barkers! They often make excellent watchdogs, as they’re happy to hang out with the family and can remain aware of what’s going around them without being constantly on high alert.
So, while they’re not inclined to get on barking rolls, they will bark to let their humans know if something isn’t quite right. While Boxers don’t bark that much, they vocalize in other ways, including adorable growling sounds, grunts, and groans.
10. Boxers Are Low Maintenance Dogs
These gorgeous dogs only require a little grooming to stay looking good. Weekly brushing is usually all that’s needed to take care of their smooth, short coats. And they don’t need regular trips to the grooming salon for expensive haircuts. Like all dogs, they do best with routine dental care and nail clipping. Some veterinarians recommend brushing dogs’ teeth at least three times per week to prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar that can lead to gum disease in some pets. Most dogs need nail trims every 3–4 weeks.
11. Boxers Sometimes Chase
While Boxers are often great family dogs, they sometimes don’t do well with other pets, particularly smaller ones like cats. Boxers still have their ancestors’ chasing and hunting instincts, but well-trained Boxers who’ve learned to control their chasing instincts are often fine around cats. They can sometimes be difficult to train, so it pays to start working on basic commands with Boxer puppies as early as possible to ensure they’re socialized.
Boxers are some of the most popular dogs in the US; they’re playful, intelligent, and devoted. They’re wonderful family dogs and usually do well around children. Solid training is essential to help Boxers appropriately manage their hunting and chasing instincts and their natural exuberance. In the past, Boxers have worked as police, guard, and military dogs, but they also make great therapy, seeing eye, and medical alert dogs. They’re generally easy to care for and only require basic grooming.
Featured Image Credit: Gabor Kormany, Shutterstock