Did you think that Boxer was just a Boxer? There are actually several types of Boxer dogs – setting color and markings aside.
The primary bloodlines to consider are American, German, and UK Boxers. The differences are slight, and won’t be noticeable to the untrained eye, but they’re nevertheless real.
In today’s article, we’ll take a look at types of Boxer dogs and how you can figure out which one you have.
Be warned, however, this can be tricky to pin down. After all, breeders often import dogs to improve the genetic diversity of the gene pool.
Different Boxer Dog Types: How It Happened
The original Boxer genes come from Germany. Here, Bullenbaiser (bull baiting) dogs were bred for the “sport” of bull baiting.
It’s suspected that Mastiffs were crossed with Irish wolfhounds and possibly Great Danes with succeeding generations being improved by adding more athletic breeds into the mix.
The Bullenbeiser, which is likely to have been more of a job description than a uniform breed, is now extinct, but the Boxer remains.
Meanwhile, breeders in the UK, Germany, and the US worked with different Boxer gene pools to create their idealized version of what a Boxer should be.
All of these dogs are recognizably Boxers, and officially, it’s a single breed, but the distinct variations can nevertheless be spotted. Let’s look at each of these variants in turn.
The most recently-developed Boxer variant, American Boxers are very easily recognizable. The way it stands, as determined by the paws, knuckles, and ankles makes the American Boxer very similar to the German variant.
However, American Boxers have one big difference that anyone can spot. Specifically, they have no wrinkles on the body.
The head, of course, has its expressive character lines and folds, but the rest of the body is perfectly smooth.
It’s actually a huge advantage to have a dog with fewer skin folds. Dogs with lots of wrinkles are prone to skin fold dermatitis.
The fewer skin folds there are, the better it will be for your dog’s health. You’ll still have to be vigilant about infections in facial skin folds, of course.
Limit issues by keeping skin folds clean and dry. It’s an extra little step in your pet care routine, but a little bit of prevention is better than a whole lot of cure.
Of course, with variants other than the American Boxer, there’ll be more folds to attend to. We genuinely feel that fewer skin folds make the American Boxer a healthier, lower-maintenance Boxer type.
Since Boxers have their origins in Germany, there are many Boxer fans who feel that the German Boxer is the “real thing.
In fact, some of them will say that the German Boxer is the official variant that everyone should be aiming to match.
There’s no denying that as Boxers go, this is an impressive variant. It has a slightly larger, heavier build compared to its British and American counterparts.
All in all, a German Boxer is a big-boned, sturdy animal with very pronounced muscle definition.
For Boxer fans, it can be a tough call: the sheer impressiveness of the German Boxer makes it a hugely attractive animal.
The thighs are more powerful, and German breeders have created a very specific skull-to-snout ratio: exactly 1:2.
This makes the snout somewhat shorter than the UK and American variants but does mean that its “brachycephalic” snout makes it more sensitive to heat.
UK Boxer Or English Boxer
Most authorities agree that the UK, or English Boxer, is the most graceful of the three variants.
The high knuckles of the UK Boxer distinguish it from its German and American cousins. Its feet also tend to be smaller and the legs more slender and athletic.
Although it is the smallest and most lightly built of the Boxer variants, UK Boxers are thought to be the most athletic and agile. Despite their lighter-looking build, these dogs are still very strong.
Their sheer athleticism makes them an attractive option for active dog owners, especially if they are considering dog agility trials as a competitive sport that both dog and owner can enjoy.
What They All Have In Common
At a glance, all three variants of Boxer are very similar. All three Boxer varieties remain Boxers regardless of their origins.
However, kennel clubs around the world use their own sets of breed standards to describe the “ideal” Boxer.
So, if you’re hoping to win best-of-breed awards, it makes sense to select a type of Boxer dog that conforms to the expectations of the kennel clubs of the countries in which you’d like to compete.
Despite this, all types of Boxer dogs share similar traits. Apart from physical similarities, they have the same outgoing personalities and love of play.
And every one of these Boxer varieties is known for affection, loyalty, and a kind of permanent puppyhood that’s incredibly endearing.
Which Type Of Boxer Dog Is Best For You?
If you’re lucky enough to choose between any of the three Boxer dog types, you’ll have a tough time choosing. Each has its own advantages.
German Boxers are ideal for people who want an “authentic” German Boxer. In fact, some purists will say that this is the “true” breed standard.
But even if you don’t care about that, you may be attracted to the slightly heavier build, larger size, and pronounced musculature of the German Boxer. Its main drawback is the shorter snout which makes it more heat-sensitive.
If you love dog agility training and trials as a sport, all Boxers are pretty good choices, but the English Boxer is a clear winner. It may be somewhat daintier, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in physical ability.
The American Boxer, on the other hand, gives us an animal that’s close to the German Boxer in size and build.
Its top advantage is the lack of skin folds on its body – a definite health advantage – and for some, an aesthetic advantage too.
Are You The Boxer Type?
In closing, those considering choosing a Boxer dog as a pet should not only consider the type of Boxer they prefer but also whether they, as pet owners, will be right for a Boxer.
If they aren’t, their Boxers may well turn out to be the worst dogs they ever owned – and it’s not the Boxer’s fault.
Want to own a Boxer dog? You’ll need time, energy, patience, and a great sense of humor. While they’re not the most high-maintenance breed out there, The number one thing your Boxer will need will be you!