What Makes a Boxer, a Boxer - Boxer Breed Standard Overview

The Boxer, a breed that is known for their temperament that makes it a great household pet, and also known for its show winning prowess. You may have had family boxers in the past, and are thinking of either breeding the boxers, or showing boxer. If this is the case, an important first step is to educate yourself about the breed standards. Knowing the breed standards will tell you what the AKC is looking for in the ideal dog of its breed. This is what dogs are judged against in shows, and often what registered breeders strive to breed to.

One of the first things to consider is the overall look, size and line of the dog. Generally there are different size ranges for males and females, which for the boxer are 23-25 inches for the males and 21 ½ to 23 ½ inches. These are measured at the withers (or shoulders). The Boxer’s body shape standard is square and should be sturdy with tight and balanced muscles. The male Boxer should appear a bit bonier than the female.

The head requirements are essential and specific for a Boxer. The muzzle (or nose) should be blunt, and 1/3 of the length of the whole head and 2/3 the width. Then boxer should not have a lot of deep wrinkles, but only a few when its brow is furrowed (that great expression when they hold their ears erect). I should have that deep wonderful, intelligent look to its face that the breed is known for and its eyes should be dark and not too small or set back into the head and placed facing frontwards on their head. The ears are normally cropped and set to the side of the head slightly. If they are not cropped the ears should be moderate with a line that comes forward when alerted. The top of the head should be slightly arched and have a crease as it comes down to the eyes. The line of cheeks slopes right from forehead to muzzle without bulge or indentation.

The muzzle should be rather square as well; however there will be a slant that causes the end of the nose to the higher than where the muzzle meets the head. This nose should be black and wide. The Boxer should have an under bite, and its bottom canine teeth should point straight up while the bottoms will curve a little. The top jaw is wide, however with all these distinct features of the mouth, you should not see its tongue or teeth when its mouth is closed.

The neck of a Boxer should be round and dense with muscle that flows into slightly sloped back when standing still. The chest and shoulders will be broad and deep and the underside will be low in the front and slope up into the loins with the stomach flat. It is also very important that the tail be docked, as missing this will most likely guarantee a show loss.

The coat should be very short and shiny and will lie very close to the skin of the dog. The only accepted colors are fawn and brindle. There can be while marking, but the dog may be disqualified if they make up more than a third of the coat.

When moving, the Boxer’s back should be straight and it should have a very strong stance and step. It’s mainly propelled by its rear legs, but should reach for a long step with its front as well. This walk exhibits one of the most important parts of the standard and that is temperament. Being a guard dog, the Boxer should appear confident, intelligent and animated. It your dog appears shy or aloof, he most likely will not win a show.

You are sure to find that breeding and showing Boxers both enjoyable past times, but in order to be successful in either endeavor, you must keep these breed standards in mind. They are paramount to your level of accomplishment, as they are what make a Boxer, a Boxer!

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