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Boxer

Boxer

A Dependable Friend

Affectionate, playful, fun-loving

Boxers are easygoing, intelligent, and courageous, large dogs. This strong and sturdy breed is a bit reserved with strangers, but loves to play with children. These dogs may exhibit signs of anxiety if they are left alone for long periods of time. Boxers do best in temperate climates because they are sensitive to hot and cold weather. They require a long daily walk or run to fulfill their exercise needs.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:21-25 in. Weight:50-80 lb Lifespan:11-13 years

Size
4

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
1

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
5

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
5

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
3

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: They are smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts. They can have a high prey drive, so they need to be leash walked and a sturdy fence is a must. Boxers can be sensitive to temperature extremes; avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the signs of heat stress.  

Grooming: The Boxer has low grooming needs. Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.  

Dental: Boxers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!  

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

 

The Boxer is a bright and energetic companion that forms close human bonds. With early socialization and consistent leadership, they are a cheerful and dependable addition to any family.

Positive Traits: 

  • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable 

  • Loves to play games, especially fetch 

  • Intelligent, friendly, and easily won over 

  • Large, strong, and athletic, with lots of stamina in cooler climates 

  • Good with kids and other pets 

  • An excellent guard dog, courageous and dependable 

Negative Traits: 

  • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog 

  • Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much 

  • Can be gassy and drool a lot 

  • Can be independent and strong-willed 

  • Needs frequent attention from her family 

  • Suspicious of strangers 

Whether you are considering adding a new Boxer to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Boxer will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Boxer you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert. 

Some health issues a Boxer could encounter: 


The modern Boxer was developed in Germany during the 19th century from mastiff type dogs, and was originally used to hunt large game and in fighting or baiting. Boxers are known for their characteristic “boxing” with their front paws while standing on hind legs. The Boxer is a high-energy dog with an enthusiastic and animated nature. They are a friendly and high-spirited breed that loves to play with children. Some Boxers can be stubborn but most are eager and quick to learn. Boxers enjoy close human contact and demand to be the center of attention with their clownish antics. The Boxer is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 11-13 years. 


Consult with a veterinarian if your Boxer shows signs of the following:

  • Coughing, exercise intolerance, rapid breathing at rest 

  • Fainting, collapse, breathing issues, cough 

  • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen 

  • Drinks and urinates more, eats more, potbelly, poor haircoat 

  • Dragging the hind toes and hind limb weakness 

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes 

  • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss 

  • Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse 

  • New or changing lumps or bumps, itchy or not 

  • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors 

  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain 

  • Loud breathing, tires easily at exercise

  • Care

    Routine Care: They are smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts. They can have a high prey drive, so they need to be leash walked and a sturdy fence is a must. Boxers can be sensitive to temperature extremes; avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the signs of heat stress.  

    Grooming: The Boxer has low grooming needs. Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.  

    Dental: Boxers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!  

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

     

  • Characteristics

    The Boxer is a bright and energetic companion that forms close human bonds. With early socialization and consistent leadership, they are a cheerful and dependable addition to any family.

    Positive Traits: 

    • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable 

    • Loves to play games, especially fetch 

    • Intelligent, friendly, and easily won over 

    • Large, strong, and athletic, with lots of stamina in cooler climates 

    • Good with kids and other pets 

    • An excellent guard dog, courageous and dependable 

    Negative Traits: 

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog 

    • Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much 

    • Can be gassy and drool a lot 

    • Can be independent and strong-willed 

    • Needs frequent attention from her family 

    • Suspicious of strangers 

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Boxer to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Boxer will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Boxer you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert. 

    Some health issues a Boxer could encounter: 


  • History

    The modern Boxer was developed in Germany during the 19th century from mastiff type dogs, and was originally used to hunt large game and in fighting or baiting. Boxers are known for their characteristic “boxing” with their front paws while standing on hind legs. The Boxer is a high-energy dog with an enthusiastic and animated nature. They are a friendly and high-spirited breed that loves to play with children. Some Boxers can be stubborn but most are eager and quick to learn. Boxers enjoy close human contact and demand to be the center of attention with their clownish antics. The Boxer is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 11-13 years. 


  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Boxer shows signs of the following:

    • Coughing, exercise intolerance, rapid breathing at rest 

    • Fainting, collapse, breathing issues, cough 

    • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen 

    • Drinks and urinates more, eats more, potbelly, poor haircoat 

    • Dragging the hind toes and hind limb weakness 

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes 

    • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss 

    • Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse 

    • New or changing lumps or bumps, itchy or not 

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors 

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain 

    • Loud breathing, tires easily at exercise

Boxer Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Boxer breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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