The Boxer Dog
The ideal Boxer is a medium-sized, square-built dog of good substance with short back, strong limbs, and short, tight-fitting coat. His well-developed muscles are clean, hard, and appear smooth under taut skin. His movements denote energy. The gait is firm yet elastic, the stride free and ground-covering, the carriage proud. Developed from puppies to serve as guard, working, and companion dogs, he combines strength and agility with elegance and style. His expression is alert and his temperament steadfast and tractable.
The chiseled head imparts to the Boxer even as a puppy a unique individual stamp. It must be in correct proportion to the body. The broad, blunt muzzle is the distinctive feature, and great value is placed upon its being of proper form and balance with the skull.
In judging the Boxer first consideration is given to general appearance and overall balance. Special attention is then devoted to the head, after which the individual body components are examined for their correct construction, and the gait evaluated for efficiency.
Adult males should be 23 to 25 inches; females 21½ to 23½ inches at the withers. Proper balance and quality in the individual should be of primary importance since there is no size disqualification.
The body in profile is square in that a horizontal line from the front of the fore chest to the rear projection of the upper thigh should equal the length of a vertical line dropped from the top of the withers to the ground.
Sturdy, with balanced musculature. Males larger boned than females.
The beauty of the head depends upon the harmonious proportion of muzzle to skull. The blunt muzzle is 1/3 the length of the head from the occiput to the tip of the nose, and 2/3rds the width of the skull. The head should be clean, not showing deep wrinkles (wet). Wrinkles typically appear upon the forehead when ears are erect, and are always present from the lower edge of the stop running downward on both sides of the Boxer muzzle.
Intelligent and alert
Boxer Show Dog: Perfection
Dark brown in color, frontally placed, generous, not too small, too protruding, or too deep-set. Their mood-mirroring character, combined with the wrinkling of the forehead, gives the Boxer head its unique quality of expressiveness. Third eyelids preferably have pigmented rims.
Set at the highest points of the sides of the skull, the ears are customarily cropped when puppies, cut rather long and tapering, and raised when alert. If uncropped, the ears should be of moderate size, thin, lying flat and close to the cheeks in repose, but falling forward with a definite crease when alert.
The top of the skull is slightly arched, not rounded, flat, nor noticeably broad, with the occiput not overly pronounced. The forehead shows a slight indentation between the eyes and forms a distinct stop with the top line of the muzzle. The cheeks should be relatively flat and not bulge (cheekiness), maintaining the clean lines of the skull as they taper into the muzzle in a slight, graceful curve.
Muzzle and Nose
The muzzle, proportionately developed in length, width, and depth, has a shape influenced first through the formation of both jawbones, second through the placement of the teeth, and third through the texture of the lips. The top of the muzzle should not slant down (down faced), nor should it be concave (dish faced); however, the tip of the nose should lie slightly higher than the root of the muzzle. The nose should be broad and black.
Round, of ample length, muscular and clean without excessive hanging skin (dewlap). The neck should have a distinctly arched and elegant nape blending smoothly into the withers.
Back and Top line
The back is short, straight, muscular, firm, and smooth. The top line is slightly sloping when the Boxer is at attention, leveling out when in motion.
The chest is of fair width and the fore chest well-defined and visible from the side. The brisket is deep, reaching down to the elbows; the depth of the body at the lowest point of the brisket equals half the height of the dog at the withers. The ribs, extending far to the rear, are well-arched but not barrel-shaped.
The loins are short and muscular. The lower stomach line is slightly tucked up, blending into a graceful curve to the rear. The croup is slightly sloped, flat and broad. The pelvis is long, and in females especially broad. The tail is set high, docked, and carried upward.
The shoulders are long and sloping, close-lying, and not excessively covered with muscle (loaded). The upper arm is long, approaching a right angle to the shoulder blade. The elbows should not press too closely to the chest wall nor stand off visibly from it. The forelegs are long, straight, and firmly muscled, and, when viewed from the front, stand parallel to each other. The pastern is strong and distinct, slightly slanting, but standing almost perpendicular to the ground. The dewclaws may be removed. Feet should be compact, turning neither in nor out, with well-arched toes.
The hindquarters are strongly muscled, with angulation in balance with that of the forequarters. The thighs are broad and curved, the breech musculature hard and strongly developed. Upper and lower thighs are long. The legs are well-angulated at the stifle, neither too steep nor over-angulated, with clearly defined, well "let down" hock joints. Viewed from behind, the hind legs should be straight, with hock joints leaning neither in nor out. From the side, the leg below the hock (metatarsus) should be almost perpendicular to the ground, with a slight slope to the rear permissible. The metatarsus should be short, clean, and strong. The Boxer has no rear dewclaws.
The colors are fawn and brindle. Fawn shades vary from light tan to mahogany. The brindle ranges from sparse but clearly defined black stripes on a fawn background to such a heavy concentration of black striping that the essential fawn background color barely, although clearly, shows through (which may create the appearance of reverse brindling). White markings, if present, should be of such distribution as to enhance the dog's appearance, but may not exceed one-third of the entire coat. They are not desirable on the flanks or on the back of the torso proper. On the face, white may replace part of the otherwise essential black mask, and may extend in an upward path between the eyes, but it must not be excessive, so as to detract from true Boxer expression. The absence of white markings, the so-called "plain" fawn or brindle, is perfectly acceptable, and should not be penalized in any consideration of color.
Viewed from the side, proper front and rear angulation is manifested in a smoothly efficient, level-backed, ground covering stride with a powerful drive emanating from a freely operating rear. Although the front legs do not contribute impelling power, adequate reach should be evident to prevent interference, overlap, or side winding (crabbing). Viewed from the front, the shoulders should remain trim and the elbows not flare out. The legs are parallel until gaiting narrows the track in proportion to increasing speed, and then the legs come in under the body but should never cross. The line from the shoulder down through the leg should remain straight although not necessarily perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, a Boxer's rump should not roll. The hind feet should dig in and track relatively true with the front. Again, as speed increases, the normally broad rear track will become narrower. The Boxer's gait should always appear smooth and powerful, never stilted or inefficient.
Character and Temperament
These are of paramount when buying a Boxer puppy. Instinctively a hearing guard dog, his bearing is alert, dignified, and self-assured. In the show ring his behavior should exhibit constrained animation. With family and friends, his temperament is fundamentally playful, yet patient and stoical with children. Deliberate and wary with strangers, Thr Boxer will exhibit curiosity, but, most importantly, fearless courage if threatened. However, he responds promptly to friendly overtures honestly rendered. His intelligence, loyal affection, and tractability to discipline make him a highly desirable companion.
Buying Boxer Puppies
Puppies can be purchased from a variety of sources. In order for YOU to get a quality, healthy Boxer puppy for either pet or show purposes, buying from a REPUTABLE breeder is the best choice. Most listed breeders are proud to have some of the top Boxer pups for sale in the country.
It is important to understand why you are considering buying a Boxer puppy. Why a Boxer? Why a puppy? (Puppies take lots of time, patience and money!) What are your goals for the dog? (Do you want a loving family pet? Do you want to show the dog in conformation/obedience/agility/tracking events? Do you want to become a breeder?) How much time can you devote to the pup?
Responsible breeders (with puppies for sale) carefully study the lineage and characteristics (personality and conformation) of the dam and sire they plan to breed. They study the health background of both puppies for sale and their ancestors. They plan their litter to IMPROVE THE OVERALL QUALITY OF THE BREED. A reputable breeder should make sure that there dog for sale will be free of hereditary defects, brucellosis, heartworms, and other parasites. Frequently the dogs will have been x-rayed to determine if there is hip dysphasia and the puppys for sale may be certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). A blood test for thyroid levels may be run prior to breeding. The puppies for sale will have the correct number of teeth to adhere to the standard. Many breeders will be aware of the history of genetic disease in the ancestry of the dogs and is likely to have researched cardiomyopathy, cervical vertebral instability. The puppies will have a stable temperament, neither overly shy nor overly aggressive. A Boxer pup may be 'sharp' (alert and protective) without being dangerous. Any Boxer used for breeding should be a good representative of the breed.
To learn more about Boxers
Most responsible Boxer breeders will require a puppy buyer to sign a contract. Some provisions you might expect to see in a typical contract will outline your responsibility as an owner to keep the puppy in good health and safe. Breeding rights will typically be stipulated. The breeder will have a lifetime commitment to the puppy for sale, which may take the form of a health guarantee, taking the pup back throughout its life, or offering to help place the Boxer dog if the owner becomes unable to care for the dog. Each breeder is an independent kennel and sets his or her own prices.