Boxer (Deutscher Boxer)
The Boxer is a well-built and powerful guard breed, which appeared as the result of the assiduous work of the German breeders. Apart from being a fierce property and family protector it’s also valued as a brave, lively, affectionate, confident and utterly devoted companion dog. Currently it enjoys immense popularity in this role not only in its native land but all over the world.
The Boxer was developed in Germany of the late XIX century and it’s thought to be distantly related to the ancient Tibetan fighting dogs. It was originally assigned to perform guarding and hunting tasks although it was generally treated as the all-purpose working dog. The breed was produced after several generations of careful selective breeding and its primary forebears are considered to be the German Bullenbeisser and the Bulldog. The Boxer owes its brawny physique, tenacity and powerful bite to Bullbeisser Mastiff that was renowned in Germany for its ability to quarry such ferocious wild game as boar, bear and bison.
There are multiple suppositions as far as it concerns the breed’s name. One group of fanciers insists that it was invented by an Englishman and implies to distinctive sparring moves performed with its front legs while playing. Some believe that the «Boxer» is derived from «beisser», that means «biter». It’s also quite possible that it comes from the word «boxl» or «boxeln», which were nicknames for one of the breed’s predecessors, now-extinct canine variety called the Brabanter. The Boxer may also have been granted with its name because of its supreme fighting shape.
The dog wasn’t sufficiently established in conformation and temperament to be reckoned as a unique breed until 1894 when three German breeders took conscious steps to unify its specimens. Thanks to their efforts it was exhibited in the dog show held in Munich in 1895 and finally got in the spotlight of general public. The first breed’s standard was drawn up in 1902 and it was recognised by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1904.
Early versions of the Boxer were mostly utilised in so-called bull-baiting, which was a favourite entertainment of lots of people in XIX century. As this cruel sport was finally banned the breed was promoted to the position of a popular guardian and family companion. During both World Wars its specimens were trusted to deliver messages, ammunition and food supplies to the front line. Presently the sweet and docile nature of the Boxer as well as unpretentiousness in grooming won the hearts of thousands of dog fanciers worldwide.
The demeanour of Boxer heavily depends on both its up-bringing and pedigree. Because of its vast popularity there are plentiful of irresponsible breeders who are only interested in profit and often produce dogs with fearful, timid or vicious temperaments. That’s why make sure to invest enough time in choosing the breeder with good reputation and favourable reviews. The personality of this dog can be portrayed as sprightly, loving, curious, devoted and clownish. Grave separation anxiety is a common problem for this breed as it tends to feel itself very depressed if left alone for long periods of time. It loves spending time with family kids and handles them with great care. Of course only proper socialisation can ensure its tolerance to rough games and teasing, which are typical for very young kids.
In most cases the Boxer is innately wary of unknown people but some of these dogs stand out for such an easy-going character that they view all strangers as potential friends. Nonetheless this dog is always on alert and notices every minor change in its environment so this breed becomes a very reliable watcher. Its suitability for the role of a guardian varies from specimen to specimen. Majority of Boxers is territorial and suspicious enough to make fabulous guard dogs.
The Boxer commonly takes a hostile stand in relation to other canines. It’s particularly intolerant of strange dogs of the same sex and usually comes out as a provoker of cruel fights. It’s an absolute must to keep this dog on a good leash while it’s being walked. The Boxer has mixed reputation with other species of animals. On the one part it will persistently chase each and every homeless cat within eyeshot. On the other part it won’t trouble those individual pets with which it has had an opportunity to live since a young age.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· benign tumours;
· boxer cardiomyopathy;
· sub-aortic stenosis;
· gastric torsion;
· ovarian cysts;
· skin allergies;
· respiratory allergies;
· canine hip dysplasia;
· elbow dysplasia
· breathing problems;
· heat sensitivity;
· degenerative myelopathy.
The maintenance of the Boxer is a very simple task. Periodic brushing is needed to keep its short hair in a perfect condition. Bathe your pet as rarely as possible in order not to remove the layer of natural oils, which protect its skin from drying. It’s also imperative to daily clean the facial wrinkles to avert the accumulation of food, water, dirt and other alien objects.
Other than that this breed requires very standard care, which includes weekly teeth brushing and monthly nail trimming. The dog’s ears should be regularly inspected to reveal such first indications of infections as redness and unpleasant smell.
The Boxer is a highly trainable dog because of its great quick-wittedness and inquisitive nature. This dog usually becomes a tough competitor in agility and obedience trials. Nonetheless its innate stubbornness often complicates its training. Moreover it’s prone to selective listening and certainly doesn’t crave to please its master.
This dog demonstrates maximum willingness to obey if its efforts are rewarded with its favourite treats and kind words. On the other hand harsh discipline only aggravates negative tendencies in the behaviour of the Boxer and makes it totally unmanageable.
The exercise regimen of a cheerful, frisky and very athletic Boxer should consists of a long daily walk and playtime in a safely fenced territory. Lots of dog fanciers are appealed to the vigour of this breed since this makes it a willing companion for almost any kind of trip, no matter how physically tough.
Be mindful though that this dog requires both physical and mental stimulation to stay fully satisfied with its life. That’s why it would be an excellent idea to enrol the Boxer in an advanced agility course. This dog is highly predisposed to such serious behavioural deviations as destructiveness, hyper activity and aggressiveness if its owners fail to meet its exercise requirements.