Developed in Germany in the 19th century, the Boxer was bred for dog fighting and hunting large game. The Boxer thrives on human company and affection. Patient, spirited and protective of children, he makes an excellent family dog. He will exhibit wariness and curiosity with strangers and fearless courage if threatened. The Boxer needs little grooming but does best with daily exercise.

DID YOU KNOW? The Boxer was one of the first breeds trained for police work in Germany.

ALSO KNOWN AS: German Boxer, Deutscher Boxer

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking one to two hours a day
  • Large dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks, alerts and it's physically protective
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Pet Card

  • Living Considerations: Good with children, not hypoallergenic, suitable for apartment living
  • Size: Medium/Large
  • Height: Males - 58.5 to 61 centimetres at the withers,& Females - 54.5 to 57 centimetres at the withers
  • Weight: Males - 27 to 31.5 kilograms, Females - 25 to 29.5 kilograms
  • Coat: Short
  • Energy: High
  • Colour: Fawn or brindle
  • Activities: Agility, Obedience
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both

Key Facts

Lifespan: 10–12 years
Weight: 25–32kg
Height: 53–63cm
Colours: The colour of the short coat comes in fawn and brindle, usually with some white markings; they can also be totally white in colour
Size: Medium
Kennel Club group: Working


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 4/5


Boxer dogs remain puppy-like throughout their lives, making them quite a handful! Lively, strong and loyal, they make great pets for all the family, adults and children alike, but can be boisterous so may not be suitable in a home with very young children - or where owners don't have time to give them the attention and exercise they need as they can get bored easily!

Fearless and very self-assured, they are not quick to pick a fight, but more than able to defend themselves if they have to. They do not like being left home alone and can become distressed and destructive.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Germany

The ancestors of this now well-known breed were the German Bullenbeisser and the English Bulldog - and for a while the breed was known as the German Bulldog. The Bullenbeisser was a formidable hunting dog who originally was able to tackle deer, boar and even bears, holding them by the nose until hunters arrived. By the late 19th century however, faster, lighter dogs became more useful than strong ones and so the breed became smaller before being crossed with the English Bulldog to create the Boxer breed.

After in-fighting between rival breeders as to what the Boxer should look like, the breed eventually stabilised in 1910, but then war broke out and the Boxer was drafted as a military dog acting as a highly successful messenger dog. After the war, many soldiers returned home and took the dogs who had fought alongside them with them where they became popular as family companions.

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Boxers

Training Boxers

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

  • Many famous people have owned and loved Boxers - including Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. They got their first Boxer as a wedding present - then followed that up by getting two more.
  • Their name comes from their tendency to stand up on their hind legs when playing and ‘box’ like a human does!
  • The Guinness World Record for ‘Longest Tongue on a Dog’ belonged to a Boxer named Brandy, their tongue was a huge 17 inches long.
  • Boxer’s are very excitable and always glad to see their favourite human, so much so that they’re known to do the ‘kidney bean dance’ which is where they’ll twist their bodies in a semicircle and start turning!
  • As they have short muzzles, they’re known to snore quite a lot!

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