Breed of the Week: Boxer

This is a bit late because I’ve been busy with a new babysitting job, but this week we’re taking a look at the Boxer because Luna is about 1/4 Boxer, as seen in her barrel chest (though that could very well also be attributed to her Whippet half) and bowed back legs.


It can also be seen in the way she plays, using her front paws much like a cat to drag and paw at her toys and to “play-tap” or boop Pixie while they’re wrestling as seen below.


Her short tail is also a trait from her Boxer heritage.  Boxers, as one might or might not know, were originally a cropped and docked breed (as in they’d crop the ears and dock the tail).  However, in a lot of countries cropping and docking has fallen out of favor and is even prohibited in some regions due to pressure from veterinary associations, animals rights groups, and the general public.  A line of naturally bob-tailed Boxers were developed in anticipation of this in the UK.  It is my belief her short tail comes directly from one such bob-tailed Boxer line.

My other reason to feature the Boxer breed is in memorial of our neighbor’s dog and Luna’s bestest play-buddy, Bella, who was tragically hit by a car.  Unfortunately, we don’t have pictures of her, but she did look a lot like the Boxer in the featured image above.

Originally bred as a guard dog, the Boxer of today is a favorite family companion largely due to their gentleness and near-legendary patience with children.

Boxer and baby

Like any dog, they should not be left unsupervised with children.  Their large size and enthusiasm for play can cause them to knock over a toddler or small child, and accidents do happen, even with these gentle goofballs.  The gentleness and patience often also crosses over to include small dogs and puppies.

The Boxer looks imposing with their square head, muscular body, and large size, however, once more closely acquainted with the breed people often find them comical and a blast to play with.  Most Boxers are high energy dogs and require at least two walks a day and plenty of play time to prevent destructive behaviors such as chewing, digging, and excessive licking out of boredom.  A tired Boxer is a happy Boxer.

When excited, Boxers perform a little dance called the “kidney bean” in which they twist their bodies into a semi-circle and then turn in quick circles.  They’ll also make a sound that’s not quite a bark and sounds more like “woo-woo,” though they may also make this sounds when they want something.

When not playing, jumping about, running around, or generally goofing off, the Boxer can be found most often beside or even on their owner’s lap.  They bond closely with their people and want to be with them as often as they can.

My personal favorite trait of the Boxer is their tendency to make this super concerned face as well as the other comical expressions they make with their expressive eyebrows and wrinkly forehead (*squee!!*) as shown below.

Boxers are generally wary of strangers, but should not be aggressive unless a threat is present as they are not an aggressive or vicious breed.  This wariness of strangers and their loyalty and close bond to their family make them excellent guard dogs.  If an intruder is found, they will subdue and restrain them in the same manner as a Mastiff by cornering them and holding them in place until called off.

As natural a guard dog as they are, they are not suited to the outdoors as their thin coat makes them susceptible to frostbite in the winter and their short, squashed nose makes it difficult for them to keep cool during the heat of the summer.  This does not mean they cannot be effective guard dogs, just that they should be indoor guard dogs.

White Boxer

Boxers should have a fawn or brindle-colored coat, most often with white markings known as “flash.”  The more white markings, the “flashier” the dog!  Although white Boxers do exist and are actually quite common, they are considered undesirable, especially in the show ring, as they are more susceptible to health conditions such as skin cancer and deafness.  Approximately 20-25% of Boxers are white and about 18% of those white Boxers are deaf in one or both ears.


Pet Black And White Boxer Ball Dog Run Snow PlayThe Boxer does not carry the gene for a solid black coat.  They do, however, have brindle Boxers whose coat might appear to be mostly black with fawn-colored markings.  Some like to call these reverse brindle Boxers.  That name is a misnomer, however, as the coat still has a fawn base with black stripe-like markings, the markings are just so numerous and so closely packed together that it appears to have a black or dark-colored coat.


Boxers may appear in events such as agility, obedience, and flyball.  They are also used as service dogs, guide dogs for the blind, therapy dogs, police dogs in K9 units, and occasionally as herding dogs for cattle and sheep.

If you are considering purchasing or adopting (please adopt!) a Boxer, remember that they are not for everyone.  These are high energy dogs that require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.  They also love to cuddle, which is great, except that they also drool.  Drool can be a deal-breaker for some people (excessive drooling is a deal-breaker for me unless the dog is going to be a mostly outdoor dog).  So please do your research!

Fun Fact:  Boxers are often called the “Peter Pan” of the dog breeds due to their playful nature and seemingly boundless energy.

Do you or have you owned a Boxer?  Please tell us about him/her in the comments below!  I’d love to hear about your experiences with the breed.

Have suggestions?  Comment below!

Have a breed you’d like to see featured in our next Breed of the Week?  Leave your suggestion in the comments below!

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