Boxers: The Gentle ‘Tough Guys’


Known for their rambunctious but patient personalities, boxers originated in Germany. During World War I, they were used to carry messages and extra materials. They also served as attack and guard dogs. At the end of World War II, American soldiers returned home with boxers in tow, and the breed quickly rose in popularity in the United States.

A photo of a boxer during the war. Photo from Pinterest.

Shapes and Sizes

Boxers are medium-sized dogs with a square, solid frame. Males typically weigh about 70 lbs, and females tend to weight about 60 lbs. They have short coats that require minimal grooming. Their coat colors include a range of fawn and brindle, with and without white markings.

Personality Traits

Boxers are devoted, intelligent and athletic. They are exceptionally protective of their loved ones, which is part of the reason they’re widely recognized as excellent guard dogs. Boxers are the 10th most popular dog breed in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club.

Jayme Quick’s boxer demonstrates how the gentle the breed is with young children.

Health Issues

Full of energy, boxers require exercise on a near daily basis to stay happy and healthy. These dogs live relatively long, healthy lives, averaging 10-12 years.

Boxers can occasionally suffer from digestive issues. They are also prone to experiencing hip dysplasia, which causes the hip joint to be loose in its socket, as well as hypothyroidism, in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the hormone controlling metabolism.

Boxers with white markings can sometimes develop sunburns, which can potentially lead to skin cancer. Remember to rub sunscreen on their white markings before spending time outdoors!

Jayme Quick’s boxer getting his exercise, bounding through the snow.

Fun Facts

  • A boxer holds a Guinness World Record for having the longest tongue on record for a canine. The boxer, Brandy, had a tongue measuring 17 inches long.
  • Boxers are descended from a now-extinct German hunting breed called Bullenbeissers.
  • White boxers are often more prone to being born deaf.

Photos courtesy of Jayme Quick.