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Boxer head portrait outdoors.

There are so many reasons to fall in love with a Boxer. Consider that powerful body, expressive face, clownish sense of humor, innate intelligence, and intense attachment to their owners.

If you haven’t fallen in love yet, some of these interesting Boxer facts may do the trick. Even seasoned Boxer owners may learn a few surprising things about their beloved breed.

1. Boxers Have a Long History

Along with their cousins, the Bulldog and Mastiff, Boxers have ancestors that can be traced to the ancient Assyrians, as long ago as 2000 BC. They were powerful, brave dogs, often used in war. Centuries later, these dogs were named for the ancient city of Molossis (in what is now Albania).

For centuries, the Bullenbeisser, the Boxer’s more recent ancestor, was used as a hunting dog for wild boar, bear, and deer. The breed spread all over continental Europe and England and can be seen in Flemish tapestries from the 16th century. Most experts agree that this smaller Bullenbeisser, from northeast Belgium, is the direct ancestor of the modern Boxer. However, it was in Germany that the breed developed into the remarkable dog we know today.

2. Boxers Were Relatively Late Arrivals to America

The Boxer, as we know the breed today, was first imported to the U.S. after World War I. But these dogs didn’t reach any real degree of popularity until the late 1930s. Four dogs, in particular, are considered the foundation of the American Boxer. They’ve even been nicknamed “the Four Horsemen of Boxerdom.” The first was Sigurd, born in Germany in 1929. Ten of his puppies were imported to America and became champions or were the ancestors of champions. The next two were Lustig and Utz, and each sired dozens of champions. Lustig sired 41 American champions, and Utz sired 35. The last of the four was Dorian, and he won the Working Group at Westminster in 1937.

3. They Have Excelled in Dog Shows

The breed has won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show four times, in 1947, 1949, 1951, and 1970.

4. The Boxer Has a Mind of Their Own

When racing the agility course, performing in AKC Rally, or strutting their stuff in obedience, the Boxer can be absolutely glorious. But this extremely intelligent dog has a mind of their own.

Boxers running and playing in the grass.
Megan Betteridge/Shutterstock

As their trainer, you must be patient, consistent, and creative. A Boxer becomes bored with repetition and may, given their sense of humor, invent their own idea of obedience or agility during training.

5. Boxers Are Lovers, Not Fighters

In spite of their heritage as powerful and courageous hunters, one of the modern breed’s most appealing traits is a tremendous love for their owners and a need to be loved in return. A Boxer is happiest when they’re with their family, especially children. They are protective and patient with kids and make an ideal family dog.

6. They Have Their Own Distinct Antics

When excited, which is every time they greet a beloved human, they are known for jumping up and down in exuberance and leaping about. “Down” may be the first command to teach them. And almost any lover of the breed can tell you about the “kidney bean” dance Boxers do. They twist their bodies into a sort of semicircle and, in their excitement, start turning in circles.


7. Boxers Make Excellent Service Dogs

With their innate attachment to humans and their intelligence, Boxers can be wonderful service dogs. They are often used as guide dogs for the blind and even as alert dogs for people who suffer from epilepsy, alerting them to an imminent seizure.

8. A Pair of Movie Stars Loved Boxers

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were both dog lovers. They received their first Boxer, Harvey, as a wedding gift, and he appeared in many of their publicity photos. They acquired two more Boxers, Baby and George, as well.
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