Boxer origins trace back to the 16th century, with ancestors that include Tibetan fighting dogs, central European hunting dogs, and bulldogs. Today’s Boxer owes much of its development to German breeders in the 1800s. One of the first breeds to serve as police and military dogs in Germany, by 1900 the Boxer had become a beloved pet. Recognized by the AKC in 1904, the Boxer soared in popularity in the 1940s to its current high ranking.


Medium to large; female 21 to 231/2 inches, 50 to 65 pounds; male 221/2 to 25 inches, 65 to 80 pounds.


Fawn or brindle, usually with white markings.


Intelligent, alert, courageous, and self-assured. Playful and exuberant, but patient with children.

Energy level:

High (not hyperactive), mellows with age.

Best owner:

Active family with a fenced yard.


Human contact (obedience, therapy, and companionship) and exercise (agility, play, leashed walks).

Life expectancy:

8 to 12 years.