The ancestors of this breed were the German Bullenbeisser, a dog of Mastiff descent, and the English Bulldog. The Bullenbeisser had been working as a hunting dog for centuries, employed in the pursuit of bear, wild boar, and deer. Its task was to seize the prey and hold it until the hunters arrived. In later years, faster dogs were favored and the Bullenbeisser grew smaller and was then called the Brabanter.
Boxers on the first boxer exhibition, Munich 1895 In the late 19th century, the Brabanter was crossed with an English Bulldog to start the line that would become the modern Boxer. In 1894, three Germans by the name of Roberth, Konig, and Hopner decided to stabilize the breed and put it on exhibition at a dog show. This was done in Munich in 1895, and the next year they founded the first Boxer Club. The breed was introduced to other parts of Europe in the late 1890s and to the United States around the turn of the century. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the first Boxer champion in 1915. During World War I, the Boxer was co-opted for military work, acting as a valuable messenger dog, pack-carrier, attack dog, and guard dog. It was not until after World War II that the Boxer became popular around the world. Boxer mascots, taken home by returning soldiers, introduced the dog to a much wider audience and it soon became a favorite as a companion animal, as a show dog, and as a guard dog.
German linguistic sciences and historical evidence date from the 18th century the earliest written source for the word Boxer, found in a text in the "Deutsches Fremdwörterbuch" (The German Dictionary of Foreign Languages), which cites an author named Musäus of 1782 writing "daß er aus Furcht vor dem großen Baxer Salmonet ... sich auf einige Tage in ein geräumiges Packfaß ... absentiret hatte". At that time the spelling "baxer" equalled "boxer". Both the verb ("boxen") and the noun ("Boxer") were common German language as early as the late 18th century. The term "Boxl", also written "Buxn" or "Buchsen", in the Bavarian dialect means "short (leather) trousers" or "underwear". The very similarly sounding term "Boxerl" is also Bavarian dialect and an endearing term for "Boxer". More in line with historical facts, Brace states that there exist many other theories to explain the origin of the breed name, from which he favors the one claiming
the smaller Bullenbeisser (Brabanter) were also known as "Boxl" and that Boxer is just a corruption of that word.
The character of the Boxer is of the greatest importance and demands the most careful attention. He is renowned for his great love and faithfulness to his master and household, his alertness, and fearless courage as a defender and protector. The Boxer is docile but distrustful of strangers. He is bright and friendly in play but brave and determined when roused. His intelligence and willing tractability, his modesty, and cleanliness make him a highly desirable family dog and cheerful companion. He is the soul of honesty and loyalty. He is never false or treacherous even in his old age.
Boxers are a bright, energetic and playful breed and tend to be very good with children. It's best if obedience training is started early since they also have a strong personality and therefore can be harder to train when older. This, in addition to their strength, might present a challenge for a first-time dog owner. Boxers have earned a slight reputation of being "headstrong", which can be related to inappropriate obedience training. Owing to their work dog characteristics and pain tolerance scolding often has limited utility. Boxers respond much better to positive shaping by means of rewards and redirection. It is also true that Boxers have a very long puppyhood and adolescence, and are often called the "Peter Pan" of the dog world. They are not considered fully mature until age three, one of the longest times in dogdom, and thus need early training to keep their high energy from wearing out their owner.
An adult boxer typically weighs between 55 and 70 lbs (25 and 32 kg). Adult male boxers are between 23 and 25 in. (57 nand 63 cm) tall at the withers; adult female are between 21 to 23 ½ in. (53 and 60 cm). Docking of the tail remains popular. Due to 'animal rights' pressure, both cropping and docking are now prohibited in some European countries. In March 2005, the AKC standard was changed to allow the showing of uncropped Boxers, but penalize an undocked tail; at this point cropped ears are still more common in the United States than uncropped. The head is the most distinctive feature of the Boxer. The breed standard dictates that it must be in perfect proportion to his body and above all it must never be too light. The greatest value is to be placed on its muzzle being of correct form and in absolute proportion to the skull. The length of the muzzle to the whole of the head should be as 1:3. Folds are always indicated from the root of the nose running downwards on both sides of the muzzle and the tip of the nose should lie somewhat higher than the root of the
muzzle. In addition a Boxer should have a slight underbite i.e. lower jaw should protrude beyond the upper jaw and bend slightly upwards. Boxers are typically either fawn or brindle, often with a white underbelly and white on the front or all four feet. These white markings, called flash, often extend onto the neck or face in which case the coats are known as "flashy fawn" or "flashy brindle". "Fawn" denotes a range of color, the tones of which may be described variously as light grayish brown, reddish tan, "mahogany," and dark honey-blond. Some brindle Boxers are so dark that they give the appearance of "reverse brindle", fawn stripes on a black body; however, the breed standards state that the fawn background must clearly contrast with or show through the brindling. The Boxer does not carry the gene for a solid black coat color and therefore purebred black Boxers do not exist. In the UK, fawn boxers are typically rich in color and are called "red".