The Boxer effortlessly combines intelligence, loyalty, and courage with a playfulness and vitality that make it one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. The square-built breed features strong muscles underneath a short coat and a distinctive muzzle with undershot jaw. The Boxer looks alert and often curious and is a friendly dog that’s trainable, protective, and affectionate.
The male Boxer stands about 23- to 25-inches tall at the shoulder, while the female is a couple of inches shorter, as listed by the American Kennel Club (AKC). On average, the males can weigh between 65- and 80-pounds, with females weighing in about 10 pounds lighter. Their short coat requires only minimal grooming, but the Boxer does need frequent exercise and room to play as this breed is energetic.
Boxers may have been named for their graceful yet forceful way of moving, much like a professional prizefighter. They have a rich history and are credited with many notable achievements. Check out these eight fun facts about the amazing Boxer breed.
1. Bullenbeisser Descendent
Today’s modern-day Boxer dog descends from the Brabanter Bullenbeisser, an extinct breed originally from Brabant, Belgium. The Bullenbeisser became a favorite breed of German nobleman who used it for hunting animals like wild boar. The dog’s disposition made it a popular pet as well as family guard dog.
2. Artistic Inspiration
As a notable hunting dog, the Boxer became the subject of inspiration for artists in the 1700’s and 1800’s. According to the AKC's official Boxer page, Flemish tapestries during these times often featured the ancestors of today’s Boxer hunting wild boar and stags.
3. Only Three Breed Colors
The Boxer has just three breed colors: brindle, fawn, and white. White is the only one not considered standard. Black is not a Boxer breed color, so if someone tells you that their Boxer is black, it’s actually a dark brindle.
4. The White Boxer Myths
When considering fun and unusual facts about Boxers in relation to their coloring, we have to talk about the myths that surround white Boxers.
While white isn’t a standard Boxer color, it’s not considered rare because one in four puppies are white.
The white Boxer is not an albino and most have some colored spots in their coats. However, they can sunburn more easily because of their light coloring.
Not all white Boxers are born deaf, although the percentage is higher than with fawn or brindle Boxers.
5. Decorated War Dogs
Even before the onset of the first World War, the Boxer breed was used as a police dog in Germany because of its work ethic, bravery, and loyalty. As the United States entered World War I, the Boxer joined other breeds like the German Shepherd at the battlefront. One famous War Dog of the first World War was Sergeant Stubby. This brave Boxer became the most decorated War Dog of his time and the only one to earn the rank of sergeant. Sergeant Stubby fought in 17 battles with his unit including saving his fellow soldiers from a mustard gas attack. The heroic Boxer even caught a German spy. After the war, Sergeant Stubby retired and took on the responsibilities as mascot for the Hoyas at Georgetown University.
6. Meet Bang Away: Celebrity Boxer
In 1951, Bang Away won Best in Show at Westminster. Bang Away of Sirrah Crest stole the show that year and quickly became the top producer of the Boxer breed. Everyone loved Bang Away and he soon was the most published dog of his era appearing in popular magazines like Esquire and Life.
7. Brandy the Boxer: World Record Holder
Brandy the Boxer is a Guinness World Record Holder for longest tongue on a dog. Brandy’s tongue won the record with a length of 17-inches (43-centimeters). Brandy was owned by John Scheid of St. Clair Shores, Michigan and lived from 1995 to 2002.
8. Good Choice as Service Dogs
Boxers aren’t the first dog breed you think of when it comes to service dogs. However, the Boxer has joined the ranks for the retrievers, collies, and shepherds as a good choice for a service dog. Boxers may be trained and employed as guide dogs for the blind, as autistic support animals, and other services. Their amiable disposition, intelligence, and trainability are all traits that help make the Boxer a good service dog choice.