Group: Working Dog Group

Origin: Germany


    – Males: 22 ½ to 25 inches;
    – Females: 21 to 23 ½ inches.


    – Males: approx. 70 lbs;
    – Females: approx.60 lbs.

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Breed Profile

The Boxer is alert, dignified and self-confident. He is energetic, playful, and fun-loving with family and friends, with a particular love for children. He is, however, generally wary of strangers and makes an excellent guard dog. Always a loyal and intelligent family companion, the Boxer can be somewhat stubborn at times and early obedience training is highly recommended. Even tempered, noble in appearance, and fearless, the Boxer should not have any traits of aggression, extreme shyness or hyperactivity.

The ideal Boxer is of medium size with a square build. His nose is broad and the top of his muzzle appears slightly pushed in, leaving the jaw a bit undershot. His coat is short, shiny and tight to the body. The colours are fawn and brindles of varying shades. On the face, white may replace part or all of the black mask. The markings on the face should always enhance the true Boxer expression. His gait is firm with a free stride and proud appearance. He combines strength and agility with elegance and style. His twinkling black eyes show his intelligence and emotions. His face wrinkles up into expressions of curiosity, excitement, happiness, surprise, or sadness.

Today, the Boxer is often seen participating in Obedience, Tracking, Agility and, due to his natural instincts to guard and defend, he is also seen training in Schutzhund. Boxers are also used to work as Search and Rescue Dogs as well as Therapy Dogs.

A Brief History of the Boxer

The Boxer was developed in Germany from several other breeds, including the Bulldog, the Great Dane, the Brabant Bullenbeisser (a Mastiff-type dog), and others. Originally bred for hunting and holding prey, the Boxer was later used as a guard dog. He was introduced to North America after the end of World War I and since then, the breed’s popularity has grown immensely.

For further details on the history of the Boxer, see:


Health Issues

Boxers, as with other breeds, are susceptible to some health problems, some of a genetic nature, others viral. The Boxer — Health Issues document includes information on some of the known health concerns found in the breed.

If you are considering the adoption of a Boxer puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. This should include, among others, hip x-rays to exclude hip dysplasia and eyes should be checked to see that they are normal and PRA clear. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the General Information page.)

Additional Health Resources:


Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

  • The Worldwide Boxer — A detailed guide to Judging the Boxer
  • Coat Colors in Boxers from the ABC
  • White Boxers and Deafness by Bruce Cattanach
  • Boxer Pedigree Database
  • Council of Docked Breeds — “Tail docking is a very emotive subject the world over. The Council of Docked Breeds (CDB) campaigns to protect the freedom to choose the tail docking option. Based in the UK it is a non-profit making organisation manned by dog breeders.”
  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.


*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Breed Listing

Breed Spotlight: Meet the Boxer