Boxer Breed Standard

Boxers belong to the Working Group of dogs.

A medium-sized, squarely built dog that possess good substance. The ideal boxer has a short back, strong limbs, and short slick coat. The dog should have well developed musculature that appears smooth and hard under his skin. His movements display energy. The gait is free striding ground-covering. The dog should have a proud appearance.

Boxers were first bred to serve as working guard and companion dogs, The ideal dog should combine strength, agility, elegance, and style. The dog appears alert. His disposition is energetic and steady.

The ideal Boxer's head should be in correct proportion to the body. He has a distinctive broad and blunt muzzle that is of proper form and balance.

Overall the boxer should be balanced, have correct head and body conformation and an energetic efficient gait.

Adult males 23 to 25 inches; females 21½ to 23½ inches at the withers. There is no disqualification for size but, again, balance and proportion are critical.

The body should be square, when seen from the side. A horizontal line could be drawn from the front of the chest to the rear of the upper thigh. That line should be equal in length to an imaginary line that runs from the top of the withers to the ground.

The ideal boxer is sturdy and muscled. Males are larger boned than females.

The muzzle should be one third the length of the head from the eye to the tip of the nose, and two thirds as wide as the skull. The head not show deep wrinkles . However the forehead will display wrinkles when the dog's ears are perked. There are also wrinkles from the lower edge of the stop running down both sides of the muzzle.

Intelligent and alert.

Eyes should be dark brown and large. They should be neither too protruding nor too deep set. The eyes and wrinkled forehead lend the Boxer a quality of expressiveness.

Cropped ears should be set high and trimmed rather short rather than long and tapering. Uncropped ears should be moderately sized and fall forward when the dog is alert. Alert uncropped ears display a definite crease.

The top of the skull should slightly arched rather than rounded. It should not be flat or too broad. The forehead consists of a slight dent between the eyes. It forms a distinct stop at the muzzle. The cheeks should be fairly and should carry on the clean lines of the skull as they taper and curve slightly into the muzzle.

Bite and Jaw Structure
The Boxer has an undershot jaw. Teeth and tongue should not be visible when the mouth is closed.

The upper jaw is broad. The lips, which complete the formation of the muzzle, should be even in front. The upper lip is thick and padded and is supported laterally by the canine teeth of the lower jaw. When viewed from the side the muzzle is broad and squarish with moderate lay back. The chin should be visible from the side as well as from the front.

The neck should be round, well proportioned to the rest of the body, muscular and clean, lacking a dewlap. The neck should have a distinctly arched and elegant nape that blends into the shoulders.

The back is short, straight, muscular, firm, and smooth.

The chest is fairly wide. When viewed from the side the fore chest should be visible. The brisket reaches to the elbows. he depth of the body at the lowest point of the brisket equals half the height of the dog at the withers. Ribs should extend to the rear and be arched without being barrel shaped.

Loins are short and muscular. The lower line tucks up slightly as it blends into the rear. The croup is slightly sloped, flat and broad. Pelvis should be long and broad. The tail is high set and carried upright.

The ideal Boxer's coat is short, shiny, smooth and lies tight to the body.

Character and Temperament:
The ideal Boxer's bearing is alert, dignified, and self-assured while exhibiting plenty of animation. Generally speaking Boxers are playful, patient and stoical with children. The Boxer's behavior around strange is deliberate and wary. He exhibits curiosity and, when threatened, fearless courage. He is quick to warm to friendly overtures. A Boxer's intelligence, loyal affection, and desire to please makes him a great companion.

The colors are fawn and brindle. Fawn shades vary from light tan to mahogany. The brindle ranges from sparse but clearly defined black stripes on a fawn background to such a heavy concentration of black striping that the essential fawn background color barely, although clearly, shows through (which may create the appearance of reverse brindling). White markings, if present, should be of such distribution as to enhance the dog's appearance, but may not exceed one-third of the entire coat. They are not desirable on the flanks or on the back of the torso proper. On the face, white may replace part of the otherwise essential black mask, and may extend in an upward path between the eyes, but it must not be excessive, so as to detract from true Boxer expression. The absence of white markings, the so-called "plain" fawn or brindle, is perfectly acceptable, and should not be penalized in any consideration of color.

Disqualifications - Boxers that are any color other than fawn or brindle. Boxers with a total of white markings exceeding one-third of the entire coat.
(Note on color from Lisa) White boxers and sealed brindle boxers are eligible for registration with AKC. They are qualified for certain AKC events such as obedience and agility, but may not participate in confirmation events.