Revised June 1988
The Boxer was developed
in Germany as a medium size security dog. The breed is valued
as a spirited pet and guardian of home and family. Developed to
serve the multiple purposes of guard, working and escort-dog,
he must combine elegance with substance and amble power, not alone
for beauty, but to ensure the speed, dexterity and jumping ability
essential to arduous hike, riding expedition, police or military
The Boxer is a medium-sized, sturdy dog, of square build, with
short back, strong limbs, and short tight-fitting coat. His musculation,
well developed, should be clean, hard and appear smooth (not bulging)
under taut skin. His movement should denote energy. The gait is
firm yet elastic (springy), the stride free and ground covering,
the carriage proud and noble. Only a body whose individual parts
are built to harmonious whole, can respond to these combined demands.
Therefore, to be at his highest efficiency he must never be plump
or heavy and, while equipped for great speed, he must never be
racy. The head imparts to the Boxer a unique individual stamp
peculiar to him alone. It must be in perfect proportion to his
body, never small in comparison to the over-all picture. His muzzle
is his most distinctive feature and the greatest value to be place
on its being of correct form and in absolute proper proportion
to the skull.
not typical, plump bull-doggy appearance, light bond, lack of
balance, bad condition, lack of noble bearing.
Character and Temperment
These are of paramount importance
in the Boxer. Instinctively a "hearing" guard dog, his bearing
is alert, dignified and self-assured even at rest. His behaviour
should exhibit constrained animation. His temperament is fundamentally
playfull, yet patient and stoical with children. Deliberate and
wary with strangers, he will exhibit curiosity but, most importantly,
fearless courage and tenacity if threatened. However, he responds
promptly to friendly overtures when honestly rendered. His intelligence,
loyal affection and tractability to discipline make him a highly
of dignity and alertness, syness, cowardice, treachery and viciousness
(belligerancy toward other dogs should not be considered viciousness).
Adult males - 22 1/2 - 25 in. (57
to 64 cm). Females - 21 to 23 1/2in. (53-60 cm) at the withers.
Males should not go under the minimum nor females over the maximum.
Coat and Colour
Coat - short, shiny, lying
smooth and tight to the body.
- the colours are fawn and brindle. Fawn in various shades from
light tan to stag red or mahogany, the deeper colours preferred.
The brindle coat in the Boxer is of two opposite types. The first
of these includes those dogs having clearly defined dark stripes
on a fawn background. The second type has what is best termed
reverse brindling. Here the effect is is of a very dark background
with lighter coloured fawn stripes or streaks showing through.
White markings in fawn or brindle dogs are not to be rejected:
in fact, they are often very attractive but must be limited to
one-third of the ground colour and are not desirable on the back
of the torso proper. On the face, white may replace a part or
all of the otherwise essential black mask. However, these white
markings should be of such distribution as to enhance and not
detract from the true Boxer expression.
The beauty of the head
depends upon the harmonious proportion between the muzzle to the
skull. The muzzle should always appear powerful, never small in
its relationship to the skull. The head should be clean, not showing
deep wrinkles. Folds will normally appear upon the forehead when
the ears are erect, and they are always indicated from the lower
edge of the stop running downward on both sides of the muzzle.
The dark mask is confined to the muzzle and is in distinct contrast
to the colour of the head. Any extension of the mask to the skull,
other than dark shading around the eyes, creates a somber undesirable
expression. When white replaces any of the black mask, the path
or any upward extension should be between the eyes. The muzzle
is powerfully developed in length, width and depth. It is not
pointed, narrow, short or shallow. Its shape is influenced first
through the formation of both jawbones, second through the placement
of teeth, and third through the texture of the lips. The Boxer
is normally undershot. Therefore, the lower jaw protrudes beyond
the upper and curves slightly upward. The upper jaw is broad where
attached to the skull and maintains this breadth except for a
very slight tapering to the front. The incisor teeth of the lower
jaw are in a straight line, the canines preferably up front in
the same line to give the jaw the greatest possible width. The
line of the incisors in the upper jaw is slightly convex toward
the front. The upper corner incisors should fit snugly back of
the lower canine teeth on each side reflecting the symmetry essential
to the creation of a sound non-slip bite. The lips complete the
formation of the muzzle, should meet evenly. The upper lip is
thick and padded, filling out the frontal space formed by the
projection of the lower jaw. It rests on the edge of the lower
lip and, laterally, is supported by the fangs (canines) of thelower
jaw. Therefore, these fangs must stand far apart and be of good
length so that the front surface of the muzzle shall become broad
and squarish and, when viewed from the side, form an obtuse angle
with the topline of the muzzle. Over-protrusion of the overlip
or underlip is undesirable. The chin should be perceptible when
viewed from the side as well as from the front without being over-rependous
(rising above the bite line) as in the Bulldog. The boxer must
not show his teeth or his tongue when his mouth is closed. Excessive
flews are not desirable. The top of the skull is slightly arched,
not rotund of flat nor noticeably broad, and the occiput must
not be too pronounced. The forehead forms a distinct sop with
the top line of the muzzle, which must not be forced back into
the forehead like that of a Bulldog. It should not slant down
(down-faced), nor should it be dished, although the tip of the
nose should lie somewhat higher than the foot of the muzzle. The
forehead shows just a slight furrow between the eyes. The cheeks,
though covering powerful masseter muscles, compatible with the
strong set of teeth, should be relatively flat and not bulge,
maintaining the clean lines of the skull. They taper into the
muzzle in a slight, graceful curve. The ears are set at the highest
points of the sides of the skull, cut rather long without too
broad a shell, and are carried erect. The Boxer's natural ears
are defined as: moderate in size (small rather than large), think
to the touch, set wide apart at the highest points of the side
of the skull and lying flat and close to the cheek when in repose.
When the dog is alert the ears should fall forward with a definate
crease. The dark brown eyes, not too small, protruding or deep-set
and encircled by dark hair, should impart an alert, intelligent
expression. Their mood-mirroring quality combined with the mobile
skin furrowing of the forehead gives the Boxer head its unique
degree of expressiveness. The nose is broad and black, very slightly
turned up; the nostrils broad with the naso-labial line running
between them down through the upper lip which, however, must not
of nobility and expression, somber face, unserviceable bite, Pinscher
or Bulldog head, sloping top line of muzzle, muzzle too light
for skull, too pointed a bite (snipey). Teeth or tongue showing
with mouth closed, drivelling, split upper lip. Poor ear carriage,
light ("bird of pre") eyes. Wry mouth, that is when the upper
and lower jaws are not in parallel straight lines.
Round, of ample length, not too short;
strong and muscular and clean throughout, without dewlap, with
a distinctly marked nape and an elegant arch running down to the
Chest and Forquarters
The brisket is deep, reaching down
to the elbows; the depth of the body at the lowest point of the
brisket equals half the height of the dog at the withers. The
ribs - extending far to the rear, are well arched but not barrel-shaped.
Chest of fair width and forechest well defined, being easily visable
from the side. The loins are short and muscular; the lower stomach
line, lightly tucked up, blends into a graceful curve to the rear.
The shoulders are long and sloping, close-lying, and not excessively
covered with muscle. The upper arm is long, closely approaching
a right angle to the shoulder blade. The forelegs, viewed from
the front, are straight, stand parallel to each other, and have
strong, firmly-joined bones. The elbows should not press too closely
to the chest wall or stand off visibly from it. The forearm is
straight, long, and firmly muscled. The pastern joint is clearly
defined but not distended. The pastern is strong and distinct;
slightly slating, but standing almost perpendicular to the ground.
The dew claws may be removed as a safety precaution. Feet should
be compact, turning neither in nor out, with tightly arched toes
(cat feet) and tough pads.
too broad, too shallow or too deep in front, loose or over muscled
shoulders, chest hanging between shoulders, tied-in or bowed-out
elbows, turned feet, hare feet, hollow flanks, hanging stomach.
In profile the build is in square
proportions in that a horizontal line from the front of the forechest
to the rear projection of the upper thigh shoud equal a verticle
line dropped from the top of the withers to the ground.
The withers should be clearly defined
as the highest point of the back; the whole back short, straight
and muscular with a firm topline.
back, sway back, thin lean back, long narrow loins, wesk union
Strongly muscled with angulation in
balance with that of forequarters. The thighs broad and curved,
the breech musculature hard and strongly developed. Croup slightly
sloped, flat and broad. Tail attachment high, rather than low.
Tail clipped, carried upward. Pelvis long and, in females especially,
broad. Upper and lower thigh long, leg well angulated with a clearly
defined, well let-down hock joint. In standing position, the leg
below the hock joint (metatarsus) should be practically perpendicular
to the ground with a slight rearward slope permissible. Viewed
from behind, the hind legs should be straight with the hock joints
leaing neither in nor out. The metatarsus should be short, clear
and strong suppored by powerful rear pads. The rear toes just
a little longer than the front toes, but similar in all other
respects. Dew claws, if any, may be removed.
rounded, too narrow or falling off croup, low-set tail, higher
in back than in front; steep, stiff or too slightly angulated
hindquarters, light thighs, cow hocks, bowed and crooked legs,
over-angulated hock joint (sickle hocks), long metatarsus (high
hocks), hare feet, hindquarters too far under or too far behind.
Tail attachment high, rather than
low. Tail docked, carried upwards.
Viewed from the side, proper front
and rear angulation is manifested in a smoothly-eefficient, level-backed,
ground-covering stride with powerful drive emanating from a freely
operating rear. Although the front legs do not contribute impelling
power, adequate "reach" should be evident to prevent interference,
overlap or "side-winding" (crabbing). Viewed from the front, the
shoulders should remain trim and the elbows not flare out. The
legs are parallel until gaiting narrows the track in proportion
to increasing speed, then the legs come in under the body but
should remain straight, although not necessarily perpendicular
to the ground. Viewed from the rear a Boxer's breech should not
roll. The hind feet should "dig-in" and track relatively true
with the front. Again, as speed increases, the normally broad
rear track will become narrower.
or inefficient gait, pounding, padding or flailing out of front
legs, rolling or waddling gait, tottering hock joints, crossing
over or intereference-front or rear, lack of smoothness.
Boxers with white ground colour or
entirely white or any colour other than fawn or two types of brindle.
White markings that exceed one-third of the ground colour.