The Boxer is one of America’s favorite dogs – but how much do you really know about them? Sure they are silly, active, and like attention, but did you know they excel at sports and a line of Boxer has been developed in the UK that has a naturally docked tail? Read below to learn all about the amazing Boxer!
#1 – A Herding Breed?
While a member of the working group, the Boxer can and will herd. In 2012, the AKC changed the rules and added Boxers to the list of breeds eligible for herding titles. According the American Boxer Club, “In 2010, one Boxer was shown non-competitively in a novice class at a USBCHA Border Collie train…surprising bemused Border Collie handlers with her calm, focused attention on the stock!” (www.americanboxerclub.org)
#2 – Molosser Dog
Like the Pit Bull and the Mastiff, the Boxer comes from a line of dogs originally called Molossers. This ancient group of diverse dogs came from the Eprius region of Greece. From there, different countries took the dogs and refined them into the breeds we know today.
#3 – German Ancestry
While the English took the Molosser dog and turned him into the Mastiff and the Great Dane, the Germans continued to use a dog that more closely resembled the ancient breed, the Bullenbeisser, as a hunting dog. This would be the dog that would become the Boxer. (www.americanboxerclub.org)
#4 – Bulldog and Terrier Relatives
Boxers are considered “cousins” to the bully breeds, but the Germans also added terrier blood to them, which made them a great hunting dog.
#5 – First German Police Dog
According to the American Kennel Club, The Boxer was one of the first breeds used for in Germany for police training. It makes sense, considering the breed was developed there for intelligence, courage and workability. (www.akc.org)
#6 – Extremely Affectionate
Across every site about the Boxer one thing stands out – his desire for human affection and his affinity for children. The boxer is a happy dog that loves people and kids, making them a great family dog as long as you can handle the energy.
#7 – The Lion of Belfort
In 1871, a white dog name “Box” (an early Boxer) stood bravely at the frontlines of a battle during the Franco-German War. Box was already standing on three legs, having been hit by shrapnel days before, but he stood defiantly next to his owner, 2nd Lt. Burckhardt. The dog was hit by grenade—his owner standing next to him spared. There is now a monument to this battle called the “Lion of Belfort” and while Box’s name is not on it, his memory lives on through his owner’s letter, who believed he would have been hit by the grenade had his dog not been there. (www.americanboxerclub.org)
#8 – Myth: All White Boxers Are Deaf
This is a myth, according to the Boxer Aid & Rescue Coalition Inc., as only 12 to 14 percent of white Boxers are deaf due to lack of pigmentation of the hair cells in the ear. They are undesirable in-show dogs, however, because the AKC does not permit a dog with white covering more than one third of its body in the conformation ring. The Coalition adds that no one should breed white Boxers, however, due to their higher deafness rate. (www.boxerarc.org/)
#9 – Naturally Docked Boxers
With knowledge that tail docking would soon be banned in the UK , Bruce Cattanach set out to add the “bobtail gene” to the Boxer line by crossing them with…Corgi genes! He also works extensively with finding genes responsible for specific diseases.(www.americanboxerclub.org)
#10 – The Boxer Name
There doesn’t seem to be a particular story as to why the breed was named “Boxer.” Some say it’s because of the way they use their paws, others because the shape of the head looks like a boxing glove, and there are several stories about dogs with names such as “Box,” “Boxl,” and “Boxel” that may be where the name “Boxer” was derived. Regardless of why he is named a Boxer, they do seem to live up to the name, being very “paw oriented.”
#11 – One of America’s Most Popular Breeds
Since the 1940’s, when the Boxer rose to popularity due to its consistent success in the show rings, it has been one of the America’s top breeds. In 2015, they were the 10th most popular breed in terms of AKC registration numbers. (www.akc.org)
#12 – A Versatile Breed
The Boxer, as a member of the working group, is one of the most versatile breeds. Not only are they one of the handful of non-herding group dogs eligible to earn herding titles, but they also excel at obedience, agility and tracking. In fact, 16 Boxers have earned a Versatile Companion Dog Title and a Boxer has earned a Champion Tracker title, which is difficult since the final title (VST) needed for this has only a 5 percent pass rate. (www.americanboxerclub.org)