Boxer - Appearance & Grooming
The Boxer, a member of the Mastiff family, is a medium sized, energetic powerhouse of a dog. They have well-developed muscles which are visible underneath their tight skin. They have wide, blunt, black muzzles which are the characteristic trait of the breed. Per breed standard, their muzzles should be one third the length of the head and two thirds the width of the skull. They have an arched skull and a slightly indented forehead with a distinct stop at the muzzle. They have dark brown eyes and a black nose. Another distinctive characteristic of the breed is their slight underbite. The Boxer's ears are usually cropped and the tail is almost always docked. They have a short, sleek coat which comes in shades of fawn or brindle.
Size and Weight
Female Boxers stand between 21.5 and 23.5 inches at the shoulder and the preferred height for male Boxers is between 23 and 25 inches. The average weight is 60 pounds for females and 70 pounds for males. In the show ring, there is no disqualification for size.
Coat and Color
Boxers are muscular dogs, with tight-fitting skin. Their coats are short, sleek and easy to maintain, though they do shed year-round.
Boxers come in two colors: brindle and fawn. Fawn shades range from a light tan all the way through to a deep mahogany. Brindles have a tiger-like pattern of strips against a fawn background. They may appear in solid colors or they may have white markings on the belly and/or the feet. White should not make up more than 30% of the dog's coloring. Solid colored Boxers are referred to as plain, while dogs with white markings that extend toward the face are called flashy. They should have a black mask across the face and some sport a white blaze on the muzzle.
Boxers with excessive white markings are more likely to be deaf and roughly 18-20% of Boxers are born without hearing in one or both of their ears.
The Boxer's short coat is relatively no-fuss. They are clean dogs who groom themselves, much like cats do. Weekly brushing will keep their year-round shedding under control and occasional wipes with a chamois cloth will keep the coat shiny. Boxers only need to be bathed as needed, which usually means once every three or four months.
It is suggested that Boxers get their teeth brushed on a weekly basis to keep tartar, gum disease and bad breath at bay. Additionally, weekly ear cleaning with a veterinarian approved cleanser can prevent ear infections. Active Boxers tend to wear down their toenails naturally, but if their nails click on hard flooring, it's time for a trim.