Canine Breed Spotlight: Boxer
Dog breed group: Working
Average life span: 9-12 years
The history and creation of the Boxer is well documented. They were developed in Germany by crossing the now extinct Bullenbeisser dog (a type of mastiff) with Bulldogs. The Bullenbeisser was used for hunting for many years, but the use of a smaller dog with similar traits became popular. The aim was to was to create a dog that had all the traits needed to be a good hunting dog, but in a smaller package. Once the breed became established, people discovered they weren’t just good at hunting, but also made good guard and military dogs as well. At the end of WWII Boxers became companion dogs as well; soldiers took them home as family pets.
Boxers are known to be great family dogs. They are playful, friendly, polite and outgoing. They are patient and kind around children. They need to be involved with their family’s daily activities and enjoy a lot of companionship. If left alone for to long they can become bored, destructive and may suffer from separation anxiety. They haven’t lost their guard dog genes either, this breed is always alert and watchful and can be wary around strangers when first meeting them.
Is this breed right for you?
Young Boxers are very bouncy and rowdy. Caution should be taken around children or the elderly so that no one gets hurt. Also watch fragile items on your coffee table or in reach of a young Boxer.
They are stubborn and strong-willed. Consistency and training is important for Boxers.
They can be noisy. They are known for noises other than barking- snorting, wheezing and snoring are all common sounds you’ll get used to owning a Boxer.
Boxers sometimes have some bad personal habits. They are known for their slobbering, drooling and flatulence.
Cancer is considered the number one health issue in Boxers. According to a study from the University of Georgia, 44.3% of Boxers died from some type of cancer. Brain tumors and mast cell tumors are the most common types of cancers seen in this breed, however there are many other types of cancers that they could be diagnosed with.
Ulcerative Colitis or Boxer Colitis is caused by inflammation of the colon, which destroys the cells in the lining of the colon and then ulcers develop. This leads to uncontrollable diarrhea, which may also have blood and/or mucous in it. This health issue is usually controlled by diet and/or medication.
Cardiomyopathy (specifically, Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy -ARVC ) or Boxer Cardiomyopathy. This is a hereditary condition and signs of the disease are not usually apparent until the dog reaches adulthood. Symptoms seen in Boxers with this disease can range from showing no clinical signs toexercise intolerance, collapse and weakness. This disease ultimately results in congestive heart failure.