The Boxer dog is actually a breed of dog that was first developed from the now-extinct Bullenbeisser Mastiff dog. The Boxer’s origins can be traced back to Germany, when Bullenbeisser dogs were crossed with Bulldogs which were imported from Great Britain. Three German breeders first decided to stabilize the Boxer breed, and formed the Deutscher Boxer Club in 1896. By 1902, the Club had published the first-ever Boxer breed standard, which remains mostly unchanged for today’s Boxer breed standards. The AKC (American Kennel Club) first registered the Boxer breed in 1904, with the first Boxer champion being recognized in 1915. The Boxer was used extensively in World War I and World War II. Most of the dog’s duties during wartime involved carrying messages, carrying supplies, and being an attack dog. The dog was taken home by post-war soldiers, which helped augment its popularity in the United States.
Most Boxer dogs are most easily recognized by the shape of their head. According to the breed standard, the length of a Boxer’s muzzle in relation to its entire head should be in a 1:3 ratio. Folds of skin are present from the muzzle to the start of the neck, while the tip of a Boxer’s nose should be slightly higher than the start of the muzzle. The breed standard for the Boxer also dictates the appearance of an ‘underbite’, which is when the lower jaw protrudes slightly beyond the upper jaw, while tilting slightly upwards. A Boxer is typically seen in several different brown or russet color variations, with some white markings. However, if a Boxer has more than 1/3 of its coat classified as ‘white’, it is then called a ‘white boxer’. White Boxers are disqualified from most shows, since they do not represent an ideal portrait of the boxer breed.
Boxers are energetic and playful, while also requiring constant interaction. Due to their high activity level, most Boxers need to be entertained on a regular basis. Boxers make useful guard dogs, due to their tendency to distrust strangers. However, this can also sometimes manifest as dominant behavior, though there is no danger to a Boxer’s owner of being the subject of this behavior as long as the Boxer is properly trained.
Boxers are a short-haired breed, though they are also prone to have moderate shedding. Since a Boxer’s coat is so short, they will respond well to regular brushing with a short-haired dog care brush. These brushes are usually made of flexible or stiff rubber, and are available for purchase at most pet care supply stores.
Most Boxers will resort to destructive behavior if not trained properly, due to their active nature. Boxers are of average intelligence, and may take a bit of patience to train. The best method to use when training a Boxer is clicker training, which is based on behaviorism and operant condition. This is a positive reinforcement training technique, and is usually very effectively used to train most Boxer dogs.
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