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Canine University 71 Clinton St. Malden, MA

Breed Spotlight

The Boxer

The boxer originated in Munich in 1850. At that time it was used for bear hunting and bull fighting. Thankfully, breeders over time bred less fierce dogs and developed a gentle, devoted companion. The boxer should represent a well muscled dog with smooth lines and few wrinkles. The head and body should be in proportion and the lower jaw should extend slightly beyond the upper one. No teeth or tongue should show when the mouth is closed. The nose should be all black and the eyes dark in color. The ears are sometimes cropped but are often left natural. The tail is docked at an early age and should be short and carried high. Breed books describe the boxer as a square dog meaning everything parallel and in proportion. The height ranges from 21 to 23 1/2 inches at the shoulder, males should weigh between 66 and 71 pounds and females 53 to 55 pounds.

Personality wise the boxer is a devoted companion full of energy and always ready for fun. Most are fairly easily trained, but do have a high exercise requirement. As with all breeds, boxers need to be properly socialized with children and other dogs and usually get along well with both. Health wise boxers are not a long-lived dog. Many are afflicted with heart, eye and arthritic problems at a fairly young age. Research before you buy and ask lots of questions of your breeder. Meeting the parents and grandparents of your puppy is a good indicator of how your dog will turn out. Be suspicious of anyone who won't allow you to meet the mother of the puppies and the father too if he's available.

Keep in mind that these dogs have a very high exercise requirement. They are tremendous athletes and a walk around the block or even for a mile will not suffice to diffuse their energy. A 30 minute romp with other dogs or an active game of fetch with it's owner is the type of exercise needed. The sport of agility and flyball would be excellent outlets for these highly athletic canines. This is not a dog for all households, but those who put the time into research before they buy will not be disappointed.M

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