• Boxer in Great Britain
  • Boxer Dog
  • Boxer Dog Breed
  • Boxer Breed
  • Boxers in the UK
  • Boxer
  • Boxer in the UK
  • Boxers in Great Britain
  • Boxer Dogs
  • Boxers
Exercise Level:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Height: 57 - 63cm M | 53 - 59cm F
Weight: 30 - 32kg M | 25 - 27kg F
Life Expectancy: 9 - 10 Years

Thinking of buying or adopting a Boxer?


The Boxer dog breed originated in Germany and has been around since the late 19th century. His main purpose is for hunting large game. But this dog breed was also useful in guarding and driving livestock. It is said that he got his name due to using his front paws for just about anything.

Boxer dogs look intimidating with their stern-looking faces and powerful bodies. But they are actually very loving family dogs that get along with children and other animals. They love being with their families, and being separated from them can lead them to develop separation anxiety.

The Boxer dog breed’s short coat is easy to maintain. Since this working dog is highly intelligent but stubborn in nature, he is better suited for experienced owners. The average lifespan of the breed is 9–10 years.

Interested in getting a Boxer puppy? Here is a brief background of this protective dog with a good sense of humour.

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The Boxer dog breed is a descendant of the now-extinct Bullenbeisser (a fighting dog with Mastiff ancestry) and the Old English Bulldog. He was developed in Germany in the 19th century as hunters of deer, wild boar, and bear. Later on, he was used to guard and drive cattle.

The man responsible for the creation of the Boxer breed was Georg Alt, who was from Munich. He crossed a brindle-coloured female Bullenbeisser named Flora with a local dog of unknown breed.

In 1895, the first German Boxer dog named Flocki joined a dog show in Munich. After winning the dog show, he was the first-ever Boxer dog to be listed down in the German Studbook. Modern Boxer dogs were believed to be the descendants of Flocki.

The Boxer dog breed slowly gained popularity throughout Europe in the late 1890s. He was then imported to the United States in 1903 and was accepted by the American Kennel Club the following year. The American Boxer Club was established in 1935.

In both world wars, various military tasks were given to Boxer dogs including guard dogs, attack dogs, and messenger dogs. After World War I, some Boxer dogs were brought to the UK. The British Boxer Dog Club was then formed in 1936.

The Boxer breed was recognised by the Kennel Club shortly thereafter and classified under the Working Group. Versatile and hard-working, these dogs are capable of carrying out different canine work.

Boxers are good choices for protection dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and guide dogs for the blind.

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Appearance and Grooming

The Boxer dog breed is large in size and has a square-shaped and well-muscled body. Full-grown male Boxer dogs measure around 30–32 kilos (66–70 pounds) in weight. They can grow up to 57–63 centimetres (22–25 inches) in height.

Full-grown female Boxer dogs weigh approximately 25–27 kilos (55–60 pounds). They stand up to 53–59 centimetres (21–23 inches) tall.

The Boxer breed has a big litter size that may comprise up to 6–8 Boxer puppies. In some cases, a female Boxer dog can give birth to 10 Boxer puppies.

When it comes to growth and reaching maturity, it will take at least 18 months for Boxer puppies to become fully grown. Others reach their full size earlier at 12 months.

The Boxer dog breed’s head is in perfect proportion to his body, highlighted by his wide, blunt, black muzzle and distinctive undershot jaw.

The Boxer dog has an arched skull and a slightly indented forehead with a distinct stop at the muzzle. His muzzle is usually one-third the length of the head and two-thirds the width of the skull.

Boxer dogs have dark brown eyes that show a lively and intelligent expression. They have moderate-size ears that are set wide apart. Their neck is strong and muscular. It should not possess any dewlaps.

Boxer dogs have smooth, glossy, and short coats that fit tight to their bodies. Fawn and brindle are the accepted coat colours according to the Kennel Club breed standards. White markings are also acceptable provided that they do not exceed one-third of the ground colour.

About 20–25% of Boxers are born white or have excessive white markings. They are called White Boxers, and they are more prone to sunburn and skin cancers. It also unfortunate that some of them are born deaf due to the piebald gene that causes this colouration.

Grooming a Boxer dog is a breeze, as he only requires weekly brushing. A grooming glove is a perfect tool to use in combing through his fur and removing dead and loose hairs.

Although a single-coated breed, the Boxer dog is a moderate shedder. Make sure not to skip his brushing schedules as it helps deal with his shedding.

Bathing the Boxer dog can be done every 6 weeks. However, you can do it earlier if he starts to become dirty or smelly. Frequently bathing your dog should be avoided since it can dry out his skin and cause skin problems.

It is important to brush your Boxer dog’s teeth and provide chew toys to avoid dental problems. Always clean his ears, trim his nails, and inspect his skin for red spots and fleas. Owners tend to only focus on maintaining their dog’s coat and overlook other aspects of grooming.

The Boxer dog breed is not much of a drooler compared to other loose-jowled dogs. However, he may start slobbering when he’s eating or drinking. Some may also drool after exercise and playtime.

Always have a clean towel prepared during these times to wipe off your Boxer dog’s saliva. Placing a neckerchief on him and putting a mat under his food and water bowls will also keep his drool from falling on the floor.

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Temperament and Intelligence

Extremely patient and gentle, the Boxer breed is good with children. But he is recommended for families with older children as he may accidentally knock over toddlers.

Befriending other pets is possible if the Boxer dog is properly socialised at a young age. It will keep him from viewing small animals as prey and reduce his tendency to dominate same-sex dogs.

Is a Boxer a good family dog?

Yes, the Boxer breed is a good family dog. He may look noble and intimidating, but he is actually considered the Joker of the Dog World.

Boxer dogs are playful and fun-loving. They love to be part of family activities and be the centre of attention. They often make a unique “woo woo” sound when they need something or want attention.

Are Boxer dogs dangerous?

No. Boxer dogs may be tough-looking, but they are not generally aggressive. But they will stand guard and defend their families if necessary.

Boxer dogs are initially wary of strangers, but they eventually warm up to them if no danger is detected. Their protective and loyal nature makes them good guard dogs as well as watchdogs.

Are Boxers easy to train?

Yes, Boxer dogs are easy to train if you are already experienced in handling the breed. They are intelligent but tend to be independent and stubborn. Due to this, they are not suited for first-time owners.

Boxer dogs respond better to people that are firm and consistent. However, firm does not mean harsh. Instead of strict training methods, positive reinforcements are more effective in teaching this breed basic dog manners and tricks.

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Nutrition and Feeding

Adult Boxer dogs need at least 2–3 cups of high-quality dry dog food per day. It is better to measure and limit their food intake per day and avoid free-feeding as this can cause obesity. Size, age, and activity level of the dog are some of the important feeding considerations.

Here are the typical calorie needs of an adult Boxer dog per day:

  • Senior and less active: up to 1,300 calories daily
  • Typical adult: up to 1,500 calories daily
  • Physically active/working-dog: up to 1,670 calories daily

The Boxer breed is a muscular dog that needs a diet that is rich in high-quality animal protein. Protein helps build strong muscles, boosts bone growth, and aids in tissue repair.

According to experts, the overall diet of the Boxer dog breed should be comprised of 25–30% protein. These dogs are prone to skin allergies, but they still need carbs in their diet for energy sources and dietary fibre.

Just steer clear of wheat, corn, and soy as these ingredients are considered basic allergens. Lastly, always provide clean fresh water for your Boxer dog.

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Health and Exercise

Boxers are prone to certain health problems more than other breeds. Below are some of the most common medical conditions found in these dogs:

Aortic Stenosis

It is a congenital heart disorder commonly seen in large breeds including the Boxer dog. Aortic stenosis is used to describe the narrowing of the heart's aortic valve.

Mild cases of this cardiovascular disease do not require treatment but need regular monitoring. In severe cases, however, the vet may advise surgery to reverse its effects.

Boxer Cardiomyopathy

This is a heart disease that is clinically known as arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. However, its prevalence in the Boxer dog breed made it known as Boxer cardiomyopathy.

Affected Boxer dogs show symptoms such as coughing, irregular heartbeats, and fainting when they are around 2 years of age. This disease should not be left untreated as it can eventually result in heart failure.

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

The spinal cord is the primary organ affected by DM. It gradually weakens and degenerates, resulting in paralysis.

Affected Boxer dogs may suffer from hip dysplasia and loss of bowel and bladder control as DM continues to progress. There is no cure for this disease, but treatments that can alleviate its effects are available.

Dog Bloat

It is a fatal condition commonly seen in large breeds like the Boxer dog. It causes the stomach to twist, which disrupts the blood flow to the heart and traps gas and liquid in the digestive system.

Boxer dogs with bloat may die within a few hours if immediate treatment is not administered. As it is a recurrent issue, some dog owners opt to have their dog’s stomach tacked through surgery. This will prevent bloat from happening again.

Hip Dysplasia

It is characterised by the malformation of the hip joints. This crippling and painful health problem can cause lameness and onset arthritis if not treated properly.

Boxer dogs with mild forms of hip dysplasia are usually prescribed medications for treatment. Severe cases may need surgical correction.

Skin Cancer

Clinically known as hemangiosarcoma, this condition is a malignant tumour that forms from the cell lining of the blood vessels. The tumour can quickly grow and rupture, which results in bleeding.

The Boxer breed is one of the dog breeds that are highly vulnerable to skin conditions. Affected dogs will need surgery and chemical therapy to treat this health problem.

The Boxer breed is an active and energetic dog, so he needs plenty of exercise. This working dog needs to be mentally stimulated or he will become destructive.

The Boxer dog needs a minimum of 2 hours a day spent on walking, running, and playtime in the back garden. Consider enrolling him in dog sports. The breed excels in obedience, agility, and Schutzhund.

Mentally stimulating exercise is just as important as physical exercise. Engage your Boxer dog in various mind-challenging games and activities such as the shell game, hide-and-seek, find the treats, and dog puzzles.

What problems do Boxers have?

Boxer dogs are brachycephalic, which means they have flat faces. This trait narrows their airway and causes breathing problems.

As a result, Boxers should not be out in the sun for a long time as it can lead to heatstroke. Overexercising them must be avoided too to avoid triggering breathing difficulties.

How long do Boxer dogs live?

The Boxer dog breed has a short lifespan compared to other dogs. He can only live up to 9–10 years, and this is due to the prevalence of health issues in the breed.

When buying a Boxer puppy, look for a reputable breeder whose breeding stock and litters are health-screened. This will help you determine how likely is your chosen Boxer puppy going to develop certain health conditions.

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Cost of Ownership

The cost of a well-bred pedigree Boxer puppy from a KC-registered breeder is anywhere from £400–£1,500 depending on the bloodline and the appearance such as coat colour and build.

Consider adopting from a Boxer rescue organisation or rehoming centre to help save the lives of neglected Boxer dogs.

The Boxer dog is a large dog breed, so he needs to consume more food to gain enough energy throughout the day. Thus, you must also set aside around £60–£70 for his monthly food expenses.

Taking home a new canine companion means providing him with his daily necessities to make him comfortable in his new home. Basic supplies including a dog bed, toys, food and water bowls, lead, and collar will cost around £200–£400.

Keep in mind that the Boxer dog breed is vulnerable to several diseases. Thus, your Boxer puppy will need to have regular vet visits to make sure that he is free from any health problems. The fees per vet check-up range from £50 to £60.

Puppies are very fragile and easily contract deadly infections and viruses. To prevent this problem, vaccines need to be administered.

You may need to pay around £100–150 for the first shots of the vaccines and £39 for annual boosters. The cost for spaying or neutering your puppy is around £100–£300.

Medical expenses can be very expensive, but you can lower the cost by getting your Boxer puppy insured.

If you choose to get a time-limited package, it will require you to spend approximately £15–£20 every month. Opting for a lifetime cover has a steeper monthly cost that ranges from £18 to over £80.

Boxer Breed Highlights

  • The Boxer dog breed is a loving, loyal, and protective companion.
  • Boxer dogs are comical companions despite their intimidating appearance.
  • The Boxer breed has low-maintenance grooming needs.
  • As an energetic working dog, he has high exercise needs.
  • Boxer dogs tend to be destructive when they are left alone or unable to let off steam.

Are you sure the Boxer is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.

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The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.

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