The Boxer

By the Qld Boxer Club

The Boxer is unique in the dog world; no other dog is more individual in appearance. His trim, square-built body is strong, muscular and elegant, with a head having no equal.

His noble bearing, strong character, alert expression and confident attitude have attracted admirers all over the world. He is a medium-sized dog with a short coat, strong limbs, a seemingly endless supply of energy, and all the desirable qualities that make him an ideal family dog.

Boxers come in two colours: fawn or brindle. Fawn ranges from light yellow to dark deer red. The brindle variety should have black stripes on a golden-yellow or red-brown background.

The earliest ancestors of the Boxer were an ancient strain of dogs with powerful build, heavy head, and great courage, which were used in war. These same dogs were also the ancestors of the Mastiffs, the Great Danes and the Bulldogs. Over the centuries these dogs became hunting dogs on the noble estates of Europe, and when the estates were disbanded they became butchers’ dogs, guard dogs, and were used for small game hunting. And because of their endearing temperament, they also became a family dog.

The first Boxer club was formed in Munich, Germany, in 1895, and the founders drew up the first Boxer Standard as a guide for their future breeding. Much of this first standard still remains in the Boxer standards of today.

There are two sides to the Boxer character. He not only has a reputation for his great love and faithfulness to his master and household, being a fearless protector of all, but is particularly tolerant and protective of children and loves to join in their games whenever the opportunity arises. Even in old age, the Boxer never fails to be interested in family activities - a fun-loving dog that has a way of edging his way into the hearts of all those who come to know him.

The Boxer’s needs are few. As long as you provide a warm place to sleep, suitable food to eat, much love and attention, and good exercise, you will be rewarded with a lifetime of loyalty and companionship.

Being such strong and exuberant dogs, Boxers should be trained from an early age. Boxers are very intelligent (even though most people won’t believe it). They learn their lessons quickly (both good and bad) and then want to move onto something else. If they get bored, they can become distracted, naughty and destructive.

Boxers need training but in numerous short spells instead of long repetitive sessions. Puppies especially have a short attention span so you need to break up serious training sessions with games, which can also be indirect training sessions. Food rewards are nearly always successful with Boxers. Food will keep their attention on you and motivate them to obey quickly.

As working dogs, Boxers enjoy being challenged. They were used in the trenches during the wars and are still used as police dogs in Europe, and as therapy dogs and guide dogs for the blind. There are many activities you can do with your Boxer – for fun or in competition. They have been very successful in obedience, agility, tracking and lure coursing. Boxers have also been successful in search and rescue, and as drug detection dogs.

The breed has two major health issues: cancer and heart disease. Unfortunately cancer is in all our Boxers, and any lumps or bumps should be checked by a vet. The two main heart conditions are Boxer Cardiomyopathy which causes the heart to beat erratically, and Sub-Aortic Stenosis, which is a narrowing of a chamber of the heart.

We recommend that Boxer puppies should be purchased only from experienced breeders who have health tested the parents, have raised their puppies in a healthy environment, and also offer an after sales back-up service. A puppy from a reputable breeder will cost about $1,000.

The Queensland Boxer Club can put you in touch with experienced breeders and assist you with any enquiries about the Boxer breed. We are proud to announce that 2008 is the Club’s 50th Anniversary.

The club is made up of people who are dedicated to the wonderful Boxer and who deal with issues that affect all Boxers - show dogs and family pets alike. We don’t “control” the breed; what we do is examine the issues that may affect the Boxer, and make recommendations for what we think will be the best in the long- term for all Boxers.

We promote the Boxer through bringing specialist Boxer judges to our dog shows, and through community events like Pet Expos and our Family Fun Days.

If you have a question on any aspect of your Boxer’s life, we can refer you to a member who is experienced in that particular area. There is a lot more information on the Boxer and our Club on our website: www.qldboxerclub.org

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