Boxer Breed Magazine - Showsight

Boxer Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.


Let’s Talk Breed Education!

Page 1 of 3

Official Standard of the Boxer General Appearance: 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 to serve as guard, working, and companion dog, 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 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. Size, Proportion, Substance: Size - Adult males 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. Proportion - The body in profile is square in that a horizontal line from the front of the forechest 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. Substance – Sturdy, with balanced musculature. Males larger boned than females. Head: The beauty of the head depends upon the harmonious proportion of muzzle to skull. The blunt muzzle is ⅓ the length of the head from the occiput to the tip of the nose, and ⅔ 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 muzzle. Expression - Intelligent and alert. Eyes - 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. Ears - Set at the highest points of the sides of the skull, the ears are customarily cropped, 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. Skull - 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 topline 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 (downfaced), nor should it be concave (dishfaced); however, the tip of the nose should lie slightly higher than the root of the muzzle. The nose should be broad and black. Bite and Jaw Structure - The Boxer bite is undershot, the lower jaw protruding beyond the upper and curving slightly upward. The incisor teeth of the lower jaw are in a straight line, with the canines preferably up front in the same line to give the jaw the greatest possible width. The upper line of the incisors is slightly convex with the corner upper incisors fitting snugly in back of the lower canine teeth on each side. Neither the teeth nor the tongue should ever show when the mouth is

Page 2 of 3

closed. The upper jaw is broad where attached to the skull and maintains this breadth, except for a very slight tapering to the front. The lips, which complete the formation of the muzzle, should meet evenly in front. The upper lip is thick and padded, filling out the frontal space created by the projection of the lower jaw, and laterally is supported by the canines of the lower jaw. Therefore, these canines must stand far apart and be of good length so that the front surface of the muzzle is broad and squarish and, when viewed from the side, shows moderate layback. The chin should be perceptible from the side as well as from the front. Any suggestion of an overlip obscuring the chin should be penalized. Neck, Topline, Body: Neck - 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 Topline: The back is short, straight, muscular, firm, and smooth. The topline is slightly sloping when the Boxer is at attention, leveling out when in motion. Body - The chest is of fair width, and the forechest 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. An undocked tail should be severely penalized. Forequarters: 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. Hindquarters: 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. Coat: Short, shiny, lying smooth and tight to the body. Color: 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

Page 3 of 3

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. Disqualifications - Boxers that are any color other than fawn or brindle. Boxers with a total of white markings exceeding one-third of the entire coat. Gait: 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 sidewinding (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, 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 importance in the Boxer. 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, he 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. Any evidence of shyness, or lack of dignity or alertness, should be severely penalized. The foregoing description is that of the ideal Boxer. Any deviation from the above described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Disqualifications: Boxers that are any color other than fawn or brindle. Boxers with a total of white markings exceeding one-third of the entire coat.

Approved February 11, 2005 Effective March 30, 2005


AN INTRODUCTION TO THE BOXER Congratulations! You are now sharing your life with a Boxer— he wouldn’t have it any other way! The Boxer’s most notable char- acteristic is his desire for human affection. Though his spirited bearing, square jaw, and cleanly muscled body suggest the well- conditioned middleweight athlete of dogdom, the Boxer is happi- est when he is with people—especially children. He is truly a “dog for all seasons,” suiting the need for household guardian, attractive companion, playmate and loyal friend. HISTORY The Boxer’s origins are ancient, dating back as far as 2500 BC. But it was Germany in the 19th century that refined and developed the breed as we know it today. The Boxer was used on the ducal estates to run down and hold large, fierce game—wild boar, bear and bison—until the human hunter could approach and dispatch the quarry. To that end, the Boxer was bred to be a powerful, mus- cular dog with the wide undershot jaw for maximum holding pow- er. Though he is not used any longer for such pursuits, the Boxer of today should be able to perform the duties for which he was bred. BEAUTY AND BRAINS The Boxer is a hearing guard dog, ever alert to protect his family but tolerant of any stranger once he knows there is no danger. He is a happy, exuberant dog who delights in children and is eager to play long after he has left puppy hood behind. The mood-mirroring quality of his expression and his overall sweet nature have endeared him to generations of Boxer owners. He is a natural show-off, and Boxers excel at Conformation, and performance events ranging from tracking humans and scent work to agility, obedience and herding of livestock. The Boxer enjoys varied working tasks includ- ing police, search and rescue, service, assistance and therapy. The well-trained Boxer is a glorious sight to behold. The Boxer is a medium sized dog ranging from 21 ½ " in height for a smaller female to 25" and sometimes more for a taller male. Adult weight may reach 65-80 lbs. in the male with the females

about 15 lbs. less. There are no giant or miniature varieties. The short, close-lying coat comes in two equally acceptable colors— fawn and brindle. The fawn may vary from a tawny tan to a stag red. 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—creating the appearance of “reverse” brin- dling. White markings should be of such distribution to enhance the dog’s appearance, but may not exceed 1/3 of the entire coat. It is not uncommon to have an entirely white Boxer born in a litter, or one with predominately white background known as a “check.” In order to retain the beauty of the fawn and brindle colors, the Ameri- can Boxer Club members are pledged not to use these “whites” for breeding. They may not compete in Conformation classes but are eligible for Performance events. CARE OF YOUR BOXER The Boxer requires relatively little grooming, but ownership of any dog is a definite responsibility. He must not be allowed to run loose. Exercise within a fenced area or on a leash will be adequate. Death from automobiles, poisons, or other hazards await the Boxer who is allowed to roam. While he is learning to be a responsible member of the household, especially while still a puppy, a crate is very advisable. It will protect him from household temptations and dangers while you are away. In addition, it is a great aid in house- breaking—your Boxer will rarely soil his crate. Be sure to use a collar with care. They can and do snag on the most unlikely objects with tragic consequences. Your Boxer should not be left alone with a collar around his neck—or while playing with canine friends. The Boxer has a natural tendency to keep himself clean, but it is the owner’s responsibility to keep his nails trimmed to a reasonable length, and to keep his teeth clean as he ages. An occasional bath


Congratulations on Your New Boxer!


well as to heart disease. The Boxer who faints or seems unsteady on his feet should see a competent veterinarian immediately, as these symptom are often warnings of cardiac arrhythmias. Hopefully, with com- petent veterinary care and immunizations according to current protocols from the AVMA (American Veterinary Medicine Association), your loving, devoted Boxer will live a rich and full life. THE AMERICAN BOXER CLUB This is the national parent club dedi- cated to the well-being of the Boxer breed. The Club is also responsible for the writ- ten Breed Standard—a description of the ideal Boxer. The American Boxer Club was founded in 1935 and now has over 900 members in 50 states. The ABC encour- ages interested Boxer lovers to join any of its more than 50 member clubs throughout the country. For information, or a copy of the Breed Standard, contact: Mrs. Sandy Orr, Secretary 7106 North 57th Street Omaha, NE 68152-2301 Please visit us online at the American Boxer Club website: RECOMMENDED READING A New Owner’s Guide to Boxers Richard Tomita Th e Boxer—An Owner’s Guide to a Hap- py, Healthy Pet Stephanie Abraham Th e Boxer — Family Favorite Stephanie Abraham Th e Everything Boxer Book Karla Spitzer Th e New Boxer

and/or currycombing should be all that he requires. You should feed your Boxer a good quality (usually kibbled) dog food. These are often found at feed or specialty stores. Most breeders recommend soaking the food in warm water as opposed to feed- ing it dry. Mixing it with a small amount of canned food is always enjoyable to your dog. Remember that the Boxer is a relatively fast-growing dog, and should not need sup- plementation with vitamins or calcium as he grows. Over supplementation can cause bone and joint problems. Always speak to your veterinarian if in doubt. SHALL I BREED MY BOXER? While it may seem appealing to con- template a cute litter of puppies, you should realize that breeding your Boxer is an unre- mitting commitment of time, money, and emotion. Maintaining contact with your Boxer’s breeder over the years, and asking his advice, will prove immensely helpful when making a decision to breed. For the majority of pet owners, spaying the female Boxer is to be preferred. This operation will also lessen the risk in later life of mammary tumors and other reproductive diseases. The male Boxer may also benefit from being neutered, and this procedure will cool his desire for any neighborhood female dog in heat. Spayed and neutered animals are not eligible to compete in AKC Conformation classes, but may still participate in numer- ous performance and companion events run by AKC such as herding, tracking, obedi-

The bond that develops when the owner trains his dog in these disciplines only adds to the mutual love and respect of man and canine. The American Kennel Club or the American Boxer Club will prove help- ful in giving you advice and guidance in

these pursuits. CAUTIONS

The Boxer is not overly tolerant of extreme conditions of either heat or cold. He should definitely be kept in the house as a beloved member of the family, and enjoy safe climatic conditions. Never leave him in a closed car in hot weather, or even with the windows slightly open—the temperature may reach dangerous and even deadly levels in a very few minutes. Occasionally, Boxers are especially sen- sitive to certain forms of both local and general anesthesia. Certain tranquilizers are contraindicated. Always discuss anes- thesia protocols thoroughly with your vet- erinarian. The breed is relatively tolerant of mild discomfort, and most Boxers can have common skin tumors, should they develop, removed using local anesthesia alone. Especially as he ages, some Boxers may fall victim to cancers in various forms, as

Billie McFadden World of the Boxer Richard Tomita

ence, scent work and agility. EXHIBITING THE BOXER

Many Boxer owners become involved in the world of showing dogs and enjoy a lifelong passion for this sport. Showing may involve many pursuits such as conforma- tion, agility, obedience, scent work, herding and many others; the Boxer enjoys almost everything it can do with its owner as a team. The Boxer has proven to be a great success in all avenues of formal exhibition.




! he vision of the ideal Boxer head dates way back to 1896 when the proposed standard by the Deutscher Boxer Club (Munich) was made o ffi cial. Circa 1905, what is now known as the Munich silhouette became a guideline for perfection. A look at the head type from the early 20s shows the long way of selective breeding that eventually resulted in the correct proportions as depicted by the Munich silhouette. In my opinion, the first way to assess the correctness of the Boxer head is through expression. Th e proper proportions and features required by the standard all con- tribute to the resulting “intelligent and alert” required expression. A most unique feature of the Boxer head is the square muzzle. Th e length from the tip of the nose to the stop must be half the length of the skull when measured from the stop to the occiput and, when seen from the front it is ⅔ of the width of the skull. Th ree parameters are essential for the proper muz- zle: the formation of the jawbones, the place- ment of teeth and the texture of the lips. In the process of selective breeding, the length of the underjaw does not follow suit with the shortening or elongation of the upper jaw. Th at is why we see undershot bites in breeds with short heads like the Pekinese and the Bulldog and a tendency to overshot bites in breeds with long, nar- row heads. Since Boxers are a “short head” breed—brachiocephalic—the bite will be undershot. However, the muzzle should not be too short as to result in an exag- gerated projection forward of the underjaw

+,-./#$%&'#(,$)(#$)$0,"&(!$"#)*1$%(##*2 %()/"-&/#3")4-/2!"#$%-!#$5-44$%#$6.*#(,"&!78


nor should it be too long as to have the upper lips cover the underjaw when seen on a profile. Th e correct muzzle will have the upper and lower lips meet evenly. In order for the above to happen, the proper undershot bite will come from lower canines placed right in front of the upper corner incisors on BOTH sides. It also requires a wide and straight line of lower incisors placed between the lower canines. Very common deviations are nar- row underjaws, curved or misaligned lower incisors and wry bites were one side is more undershot that the other or crooked when seen from the front. Th e only way to evalu- ate the Boxer bite properly is by not only looking at it from the front but also from both sides. Very few judges do this in the rings nowadays. In a correctly built headpiece, with ade- quate proportions and balance, a skin fold will be present extending from the inside corner of the eye towards the corner of the lips on both sides. Also, when the dog is alert, wrinkles will naturally form on the forehead, in front or the ears. Th e placement of the Boxer eye is rather (although, not completely) fron- tal. Again, as selective breeding alters the length of dog’s heads, the placement of the eye is a ff ected along the way. Th ere- fore, breeds with extremely short heads like a Brussels Gri ff on or the Pekinese will have eyes that are placed in the frontal plane whereas dogs with elongated heads will have a more lateral position of the eyes. Placement of the eye, width of skull and amount of loose skin will greatly influence the shape of a dog’s eye. Longer heads will typically have an almond shape or triangular shaped eye whereas short- er heads will tend towards the circular shape with a fuller eye. Th e Boxer eye is NOT almond shape and is NOT circular either. Even though the Boxer is a notori- ous “head breed”, it is the ONLY breed in the Working group where the standard does not describe the shape of the eye. It merely says what it should not be. Th ere is a great website about judging the breed by the Australian Boxer authority Ms. Judy Horton Th ere, Horton suggests that the Boxer eye is shaped like a lemon. I like that

!"#$%&'&()*+,*)-&*&.&/*012)-*+,*345##* $(2*$'+5()*+,*#++3&*341(* !"##$%&'()#*$"+,#-'+.'$)/'$ 0/(1'$2,$($32%40$'*'56


!"#$%&'()*(+*%(,,-.&%/-+%$0'#$+%1+-22$*%-+%3)1+-22$*%$(+&4% "#$%/0+&'%&#-3,*%&'()*%$+$1'%.#$)%'#$%*-5%0&%(,$+'%()*%&#-3,*% #(6$%(%&#(2$%'#('%$)#()1$&%'#$%*-57&%,0)$&4% !"#$%&!'(&)$#&($*"+'),$)&-$&.&/%*!$ !"#$0"##1*$&%,$"&2#$&$3#))4,#5/%#,$ 0(#&*#$(/."!$&!$!"#$6&*#78

definition and believe the American Box- er Club should adopt it in the standard instead of being omissive about eye shape. Boxers should have dark brown eyes, the lighter shades result in a bird of prey expression that is not desirable for this breed. Th e third eyelids ideally should have a pigmented outer band but often because of the amounts of white markings on the face and other factors, it might be unpigmented on one or both sides. Th e standard allows for either cropped or uncropped ears. Th e first should stand erect when the dog is alert and should have a shape that enhances the dog’s lines. Th e natural ear should lay against the cheeks and have a well-defined crease right at the base. White markings are acceptable on the face and typically replace part of the oth- erwise necessary black mask on the muzzle and may extend onto the skull between the eyes. Th ere is no exact definition for what a “mismark” regarding markings on the head is in the standard but certainly the eyes should be surrounded by the black mask and no white markings should extend that far—I wish the standard would mention that requirement as it is common practice not to show dogs marked in such pattern—it’s like an unwritten DQ and in my view should be listed as a mismark and a disqualification. Sometimes while markings will cover the corner of the lips and side of the face. Th e standard does not address that but common sense would say that if the expression is not a ff ected the markings are likely acceptable. Unfortunately, there is a big trend now- adays to artificially enhance the black mask of showdogs and cover the “undesired”





!" Boxer is a complicated animal. More than any other dog, his moods mirror those of his mas- ter. His sensitivity is astonishing. While he is a great clown, always ready to run and play, he is also a dog of great fortitude and courage if threatened. His frontally- placed, large dark eyes are almost human in their expression, and in them you can clearly read his state of mind. His demean- or speaks to his nobility, body and soul. A dog with these sensitivities is no windup toy; he is not an animal who can always be counted on to do what is expect- ed. He is not a dog for everyone, and if you’re thinking about owning a Boxer, you must decide whether the characteristics of the breed will appeal. Th e Boxer is often the very de fi nition of “independence.” While he may mellow with age, a Boxer is a physically active dog. He loves to roughhouse—although not a natural retriever by nature, he will fetch an object and cheerfully dare you to take it back. Sometimes these games escalate into “Let’s not come when called.” Not the breed’s most endearing trait. He likes his space—he will refuse to move over if you attempt to push him aside. He has a ten- dency to jump, and there is considerable muscular force behind these loving greet- ings. Th is agile leaping is no doubt a part of his genetic heritage: His name derives from the German word “boxen”, which, of course, means “boxer.” Although it cannot be de fi nitely proven, the name probably derives from the Boxer’s habit of playing with his front paws. He uses these paws almost like hands—to poke, to punch, or to gently cradle those he loves. One cannot underestimate a Boxer’s strength. Th ough of medium size, usually between 22"-25" at the withers (depending

on gender), he is quite capable of knock- ing an adult man to his knees. It is there- fore imperative to train a Boxer to curb his natural tendencies to leap and make body contact. Remember, he was bred to over- power wild bear and bison in the forest, so these instincts come quite naturally to the Boxer. Happily, he has no interest in “holding” humans with his strong under- shot jaws. He will, however, grip a play toy with unshakable enthusiasm, and one of his great delights is to pull with you in a cheerful tug-of-war. Until he is trained, the Boxer will also have an instinctive desire to pull on his leash; he could eas- ily drag you down the street. It is obvious

that he must be fi rmly instructed in “civi- lized” behavior. He is not a dog for the proverbial “little old lady”—until he has learned his manners. While I have called your attention to the Boxer’s physical strength, it must be said that all his clownish and rough-and- tumble ways are usually tempered with good judgment. While he may gallop right at you as if to mow you down, he will turn (usually) aside at the last delicious moment. Nonetheless, he may be too much dog for the smallest of children, although he will love them beyond measure. In fact, Boxers are among the most patient, tolerant and loving of children’s pets, and will often


gravitate to the child in a room full of people of all ages. I will always remem- ber our aging Boxer in her yard, sleep- ing soundly, when the neighbor’s toddler poured a cup of sand in her ear. Startled, she leapt to her feet, but when she realized who had done the deed, she simply shook herself and moved o ff . Th ere was never an aggressive moment. Th e Boxer will treasure a favorite toy from puppyhood into old age. Not a natu- rally destructive breed, he may carry this toy around for months or even years with- out harming it signi fi cantly. He trains eas- ily for Obedience and Rally, but a Boxer is not content to perform repetitious exer- cises without a reason—he bores easily. He needs to know “why.” Years ago we had a Boxer who learned to jump hurdles in the backyard in a nanosecond. However, after the third time my father told her to jump, she simply sat down and wagged her tail. Clearly she had “been there and done that.” Typical Boxer! Often labeled ‘stubborn,’ a self respecting Boxer is anything but. He just needs a job he likes and understands. Many Boxers are great crowd pleasures at Obedience trials. If the spirit moves them, they may wander over to greet the gallery instead of heeling at their owner’s side. Just when both owner and judge are at their most frustrated, the Boxer may rush to fi n- ish the exercise fl awlessly. In his own time. Th ose trainers who learn to be one with the Boxer’s “wavelength” often achieve great distinction in the Obedience ring. And Agility was made for the Boxer. He has great speed, and the shifting from one Agility apparatus to another is just what the Boxer ordered—not boring at all! Th e Boxer is known as a ‘hearing guard dog.’ His courage is one of his great vir- tues. But he does not preach about it— one of his great attributes is his relative silence. If you attend a Boxer specialty show, you will be struck by how quiet it is. Th at does not imply that the Boxer is mute— indeed, he has the ability to approximate a roar if the situation calls for it. But unless he is protecting you or your property, he will have little to say. He is an extremely e ff ective watchdog, with the good sense to know when a situation is tense, or when his protective insights are not needed.



closed car on even a mild summer day. Likewise, in the winter, they can become chilled as they have no long hair or double coat to protect them from the elements. And most Boxers hate getting their feet wet in any weather—they can swim, but do not often enjoy it unless trained from puppyhood. A Boxer belongs with his human family, inside the house unless he is supervised by a sensible owner. He will not tolerate being tied to a stake or a tree, and needs a good fence to maintain a happy distance from those who might do him harm. Sadly, the breed is often mistaken for the much maligned Pit Bull—often with unhappy consequences for the Boxer. Just as the Boxer guards us, we must be his own human guardians in times of stress or drama that are none of his own making. Th ere are great strides being made in terms of Boxer health and longevity. Although the breed is sadly prone to can- cers in many forms, as well as to heart disease (usually electrical disturbances of the heart muscle that result in poten- tially fatal arrhythmias), many Boxers live into their teens. Our oldest was 14 when we lost him. Blood tests to detect sev- eral medical conditions, as well as cancer research, are helping breeders to produce healthy dogs who live longer than their relatives did in recent decades. And the American Boxer Club Charitable Foun- dation remains the largest single breed contributor to the AKC Canine Health Foundation, a testament to Boxer breed- ers and owners all across the nation. Living with the Boxer is an odyssey, full of adventure and fun. Such a jour- ney requires that the humans involved take complete responsibility for the wel- fare of the one creature on earth who will never offer criticism, never com- plain, and always stand ready to serve and to protect. The bond between the Boxer and his family is really no less than a remarkable, caring, and totally committed love affair. Some portions of this article have been excerpted from the author’s Howell books, Th e Boxer: Family Favorite and Th e Hap- py Healthy Boxer.


Little babies are often the recipients of the Boxer’s best instincts, and they somehow know to be gentle around them. Th e Boxer is not only a great family companion, but also has been used very successfully as a guide for the visually impaired, a therapy dog, a seizure alert dog, a narcotics detector and a Search and Rescue animal. A Boxer was used as a cadaver dog after the 9-11 tragedy. Recently, the Boxer won the right to compete at AKC Herding trials, with excellent success. He truly is a dog for all reasons! Not always fond of other dogs, the individual Boxer may or may not be delighted to lend his toys to another canine. He is jealous of the human a ff ec- tions of his masters, and not always ready to share them. Having said that, many Boxers do get along nicely, but may be happier sharing the couch with a dog of the opposite gender. While I have known exceptions, in many homes two adult male Boxers do not play well with others. Although Boxers love to run outdoors, they are sensitive to extremes of heat and cold. On warm days, for example, they must not be allowed to race and play too hard, as they are prone to overheating. Th eir short muzzles make them espe- cially susceptible to the torrid heat of a




presented seminars to the Connecticut Dog Judges Association, Princeton Dog Judg- es Association, New Jersey Boxer Club, Sacramento Valley Boxer Club, and in the UK to the Cotswold Boxer Club and Wales Boxer Club. He has been a repeated guest speaker at several judges and breeders seminars at the American Boxer Club Nationals and other parent clubs abroad. He is the author of many articles in the Boxer Review, Dog News and ShowSight , as well as several dog magazines abroad. $%&#+0%&12# +-1-.*!3-1$# 4/--2#"%/#!*# !)+*-(2#%"# &+!)5#"%/-!5)# +&4+*().-+67 !"#$%&&'(#)*#+*,'#-.*,# )$'#*/0#1+$**/#2$'.' !"#$%&#'()*#(# +,-.!"!.#*/(!*#

white markings with permanent hair dyes. Some exhibitors may think it’s an enhance- ment or just another grooming technique. AKC says it’s a disqualification and as long as judges keep ignoring it this trend will continue. I happen to come from the old school where if you want a specific trait you should selectively breed for it instead of using foreign substances. For those who love this breed, it is a great pleasure to go to a show with an entry of quality Boxers and see that the original type envisioned over a century ago has been understood, achieved and preserved by serious breeders throughout generations and that the current proper Boxer head is a true fulfillment of the old Munich silhouette. BIO Dan Buchwald is a graduate of the School of Veterinary Medicine, Univer- sity of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Along with his mother, Agnes Buchwald and family, he founded the internationally famed Hex- astar Kennels in 1973. Over 150 Boxer champions have been finished under the Hexastar banner. Of those, more than twenty attained International FCI cham- pionships and six others American AKC championships. Dan obtained his Brazil- ian Kennel Club‚ all-breeds judge’s license in 1988; the youngest ever at that time to

attain these credentials. His assignments have taken him all over South America and into the United States. In 1989 at the Kennel Review’s Invitational Tourna- ment of Champions; in 1991 he judged at the New Jersey Boxer Club (dogs and intersex competition), Southern New York Beagle Club at Westchester K.C., Trenton K.C. (Toy Group), Sussex Hills K.C. (Sporting Group), and the New Brunswick K.C. (Herding Group). He has also judged numerous sweepstakes, as well as the Futurity at the American Boxer Club twice. Since moving to America over 20 years ago, Dan has pursued a successful career in professional handling and started selec- tively breeding Boxers and established the Avalon and Renaissance kennel names. Dan has also mentored other co-owners to establish their breeding programs. Even though retired from actively breeding, Dan takes huge pride of being the breed- er and handler of the first ever Boxer to go WB/BOW from the BBE class at the American Boxer Club Nationals. Dan is the author and illustrator of “The Boxer Blueprint”. He is an award- winning sculptor and is the illustra- tor for “The Brazilian Kennel Club Official Book of Standards” and the “Brazilian Kennel Club Conformation Book for Judges”. As a speaker, he has



W hy is it that some breeds have a ‘Univer- sal Type’ that appears basi- cally the same throughout the world and other breeds, Boxers for instance, are phenotypically di ff erent depending on what part of the world in which they are created? For years, I have tried to understand this very chal- lenging concept, as it relates to the Boxer breed I dedicate myself to bettering, and I’m afraid to say that the answer may pos- sibly be the number of people actively breeding Boxers, that seem to have little understanding or interest in learning what makes a good Boxer, per the breed standard in any region worldwide. While there are some minor di ff erences in each region’s interpretation of their Boxer stan- dard, the standards are all fundamentally similar in their description of the breed. So why do the Boxers from di ff erent parts look so di ff erent than what we all see at

By Michael Todd

local shows? Th ough it seems rather awk- ward for a conformation judge to have so much variety in breed type to examine at a large specialty show or national event, and in many cases, you can note such variety in the classes of our American Boxer national specialty, that there appear to be di ff erent breeds competing amongst ‘our Boxers’. Th is original question of Universal Type in Boxers, is what I would like to discuss, as it relates to all Boxer breeders interested in joining e ff orts to produce dogs of uniform type at a global level, rather than sentimental attachment to show careers and changing the progno- sis of the breed, regardless of consistent universal breed likeness. Realizing that the many active breeders have chosen the Boxer as their breed for its di ff erent characteristics and for various reasons, I accept that this may be a di ffi cult con- cept for some and they may find it hard to relate. My early images of Boxers came from the time when I was just learning

about the di ff erent characteristics of the many breeds common then; these are images that stay with me throughout my experience as a breeder, though education from a few senior Boxer ‘specialists’ along the way has aided in a more thorough understanding of those characteristics most crucial to breed type. Other breed- ers must also work with their own early images as well, but I doubt that any two have the exact same images to draw from as they develop their own proposition of a Boxer. Presumably, those di ff erences in their early breed models, education of breed history and rendering of the ideas projected from the standard, together with sentimentality of the multitude of breeders in the position to make breed- ing decisions that influence the vision and foresight of the breed, all prove to be a challenge in achieving the end result of Universal Type in Boxers, at present… but it doesn’t hurt to share thoughts on the subject. Just as there are breeds which have experienced dissent among breeders and parent clubs regarding the purity of type in their breed—such as that of the great Japanese Akita/American Akita debate— it could be reasoned that Boxer breed- ers and parent clubs find similar issue in the future, as the breed image around the world has become less uniform over time. What will constitute an exemplary Boxer in one country, could someday be unaccepted as a Boxer in another coun- try, as their traits become more exagger- ated and breeders concern themselves with the fashion and style in their corner of the globe. Sure, this is a hypothetical situation, but not so o ff the wall when you consider the idea of breeding trends a ff ecting the form and functionality of both individuals within a breed and the breed in general. If you can follow what you’ve read so far, then you might be

4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& . ": t

ready to grasp the significance of this pro- posal of Universal Type. Soon enough, in the ‘Home of the Free’, Boxer exhibitors will also likely be faced with the imposition of a ban on ear cropping and tail docking and ultimately in the conformation arena. It shouldn’t be so di ffi cult to imagine how Boxers will then be judged using a more cosmo- politan scope of criterion, but then they should also derive the benefit of passing more freely amongst those countries that already experience the grip of such leg- islation. Considering that all would be made to submit to the crop/dock bans, through legal enforcement as well as ken- nel club compulsion, the present may well be the best time to train those concerned to the notion of a Universal Boxer. Th e impression of a cropped/docked Boxer will someday be a thing of the past. If you can imagine Boxers from your breeding program, or even your peer breeder’s ken- nel, competing successfully in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, etc… then you might be ready for the task at hand. It would certainly not be an e ff ort- less solution—in fact it would take con- siderable attention to detail in the quality control department! Primarily, the thing to focus on would be the characteristics that Boxers share around the world, and those which set them apart. Th en in order to realize this Universal Type matter, we gravitate toward the moderate, balanced, middle ground, where all can be content with the resulting e ff ect of Boxers being shared throughout the world, enlarging the gene pool exponentially, and likely improving the general health benefits of those Boxers retaining that diversity in their heritage. Th ere are many benefits to this gravi- tation towards universal type, but prob- ably the most significant in my opinion would be the ‘gifts’ of health and breed vigor. Th en follows the ability to inte- grate foreign lines with minimum risk of deviation in the first generation. I believe it is commonly accepted by Boxer fanci- ers having observed the cross of North American types with those of foreign types, that the first generations are often much di ff erent then either of their par-

straight, imbalanced rears, could likely make use of some worthy North Ameri- can lines, with their better proportion- ing and overall balance, to add a bit of elegance of posture and gracefulness of movement. t 4PNF CSFFEFST DPODFOUSBUJOH PO mostly North American lines could be impressed with the results of utilizing Boxers from Europe, UK, Australia, with regard to their strength and substance to spare, which o ff er their dogs a chance of becoming dogs with functionality, rath- er than couch and yard ornaments. In addition, the thoughtful working drive disposition can be an asset to the lines more weak in temperament, noted in some imports. t /PSUIFSO BOE 4PVUIFSO &VSPQFBO breeders, with their pedigrees tighter in working dog lines, o ff er intelligence and trainability (through desire to please their humans) to many breeders in need of that influence. Th is virtue of intelligence lends a new Heir to the regal, noble bearing which is a fundamental factor in evaluat- ing a Boxer’s merit. t #SFFEFST GSPN BMM BSPVOE DBO mOE benefits from ‘blending’ (key word) Box- ers with superior head form, as it pertains to all the various standards distinguishing the details of the perfect Boxer head. Few head types in Boxers come without their own deficiencies and carefully intermin- gling those types with the express inten- tion of reinvigorating features distinct worldwide. Clearly, the details of that thought are for a much greater body of work than what I have outlined here, but definitely worth mention. Perhaps, my next challenge will be to prepare a study on the many di ff erent head types and their significant virtues of, and depar- tures from, a recognizable worldwide Boxer type. In summary, though my opinions have clearly taken shape with influences of my personal chronicles in Boxer his- tory, it is my wish that Boxer breeders around the world have the ability to com- prehend my foresight into the future of a breed so dear to my soul, and welcome the idea of a Universal Boxer Type to focus and discuss.

ents, to the point that they often encoun- ter di ffi culty being accepted as dogs of outcrossed type. Th at generation, when bred back to one side or the other, gen- erally produces renovated versions of the linebred part of their pedigree, due to the hybrid vigor which came with the introduction of the outside line’s genetic contribution. Th is observation is inher- ent with firsthand experience of intro- ducing an unrelated dog of a certain “heritage”, finding the first generation, dogs of quality, though with types some- what awkward to categorize. Th en using the result of that outcross breeding back to the more familiar line of comparable quality and noting numerous individu- als that appear to possess quality which exceeds that of both parents. If there were more universal type stud o ff erings conveniently available, it could provide more opportunities for the first genera- tion, instead of the limbo that is encoun- tered waiting for that generation to be committed back to one side or the other. Please, consider that there is much potential to remedy the deviant character- istics of noteworthy calibre Boxers in any region with ‘careful’ (keyword) exchange of other quality examples with our distant comrades joined in improving the Boxer breed. For instance: t#SFFEFSTBCSPBEQSPEVDJOH#PYFSTPG much ‘cobbier’ or stocky type, with heavy fronts (deep chested with short upper and lower arms, tight angles and bunchy musculation) and strong but somewhat

t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& . ": 


By Dan Buchwald, DVM

V ery few standards are so richly descriptive of the headpiece as the Boxer standard is. Th e details and harmony between the head parts in this breed create a hallmark of uniqueness which at the same time poses as a chal- lenge to many to properly understand and evaluate it. A most distinctive feature is the Box- er’s square muzzle. It is broad, blunt and in balance with the skull. Such balance “A MOST DISTINCTIVE FEATURE IS THE BOXER’S SQUARE MUZZLE. It is broad, blunt and in balance with the skull.”

t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& . ": 


is achieved when the length (the muzzle is half the length of the skull, from stop to occiput when viewed on a profile), width (about ² ⁄ ₃ the width of the skull) and depth are properly developed form- ing a squarish look. For that to happen, it’s necessary to have thick, well padded lips; well developed jawbones and a proper undershot bite. Th e undershot bite is wide with the lower incisors set in a straight line and with lower canines aligned with the inci- sors making it as wide as possible. Th e back part of the lower canines sit snuggly in front of the upper corner incisors on both sides—this defines how undershot a Boxer

bite should be. In order to properly evalu- ate the bite, it should be viewed not only from the front but also from both sides so one can get the full picture. Very seldom this is seen being done in the show ring so it should come as no surprise that many Boxers have been rewarded in spite of wry bites and too undershot bites. Th e underjaw should turn upwards thus creating a well defined chin. Th is combined with a muzzle of proper length allows for the lips to meet evenly in the front of the muzzle. Neither an overlip (upper lip covering the lower lip) nor an excessively developed chin (too undershot/ muzzle too short) is correct for this breed.

Th e eye is a very important feature as it is crucial to create the proper expression. Th e current standard, in my view, is both omissive and inaccurate when address- ing the Boxer eye. Firstly, it’s omissive in addressing the eye shape—it merely says what the eye should not be “not too small, too protruding or too deep set”. Secondly, it calls for the eye to be “frontally placed” and that is not accurate for this breed. A frontal placement is found in the Pekinese and the Pug—these breeds are extremely brachiocephalic causing the eyes to be truly frontal and leveled with a rather flat face. Boxers, however brachiocephalic too, are not as extreme as the breeds aforemen- tioned. Th erefore, the eye placement tends to be frontal, but it is not completely so. Th e width and length of the head deter- mines eye placement—there is a spectrum of variation on brachiocephalic heads, the more extreme the head the more frontal the eye placement. As far as eye shape goes, there seems to be a lack of proper, commonly accept- ed term to describe the Boxer eye. Judy Horton ( and other authors have suggested the term “lemon shape”. I find that to be the best description as of yet. Longer headed dogs mostly will have elongated, almond shaped eyes and shorter headed dogs tent to have circular eyes. Boxers sit some- where in the middle. Boxer eyes are fuller than the almond shape and tend towards the circular yet the outer and especially the inner corners are still well defined.

t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& . ": 

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39

Powered by