The Boxer originally was bred in Germany, with ancestors as early as the 16th century. They were initially bred from a combination of the Old English Bull Dog, and the Bullenbeisser (meaning "bull-biter" or "bear-biter"), which is unfortunately extinct. The strength and tenacity of these stocky dogs has made them superb hunters and guards.
Boxers can be solid amber or reddish, with a brindled or fawn coat. They often have a black or black-and-white mask, and white colored spots or markings. It is also worth noting that 20-25% of boxers are entirely white.
Boxers show enthusiasm and curiosity, and are high-energy learners. They crave play time with their owners, and though they do not work well with small animals like rodents or birds, they do enjoy the company of other dog or cats. Boxers like to use their front paws when they play, eat, or wrestle, and tend behave in a silly way. They are known to be loyal, good watch dogs, and will prove brave protectors of the family as they are suspicious of strangers.
With a tendency to jump up on visitors, the Boxer will need to be taught solid limits. Because of his size and dominant personality, this breed will need strong leadership and guidance. Having your pup's respect is an enormous component to maintaining obedience in the house, and they will need consistent rules and boundaries in order to respect their master. They can be stubborn, sneaky, difficult and domineering if not corrected.
Thyroid and heart conditions seem to assail Boxers, as well as seasonal and skin allergies. They have been deemed prone to cancer, tumors, arthritis, knee and back pain, as well as epilepsy. White boxers have higher skin sensitivity and can easily get burned or develop skin cancer. Less severe issues include flatulence, snoring, and drooling (after all, a dog is man's best friend)!
Because Boxers are an energetic breed with a naturally muscular build, they require frequent exercise. Running sports suit boxers well, such as jogging while their master rides a bike, or playing fetch in a large field or doggie park.
Boxers do well with modest yard space to roam around, and tend to be more active indoors. Temperature sensitivity makes Boxers appreciative an air conditioned space, but note that if Boxers are kept as indoors pets in an apartment, they will need to have sufficient and strenuous exercise.
Like many short haired breeds, Boxers do not require regular baths as the frequent use of soap usually dries out their fur. However, brushing is encouraged to help them when their coat is itchy.