BOXER HISTORY DEEPDIVE
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The most ancient of the Boxer's ancestors goes back to 2500B. C. Where they were war dogs in the aspirin he and empire. The breed has come a long way since then with the modern Boxer being able to trace its roots to Germany in the late 1800s to early 1900s. The now extinct Bullenbeisser, part of the Mastiff family, was a large and powerful breed that formed the stock of the modern Boxer. The breed was a favorite of German nobles who frequently went on the lavish bear and wild boar hunt with the dogs. By the mid to late 1800s hunts like these were no longer common in the region but the fierce, and larger Bullenbeisser of the time, was crossed with other smaller breeds. The results of these crossings were smaller, more elegant, and sleek canines that excelled at protection and guarding work throughout Germany.
There was originally a wide variation in physical characteristics of the breed until the breed standard was developed in 1904. Several years earlier, in 1896, three German fans of the breed, Friedrich Robert, Elard Konig, and R. Hopner put an exhibition of the breed at a dog show in Munich to bring uniformity to breed. These same men are also responsible for the founding of the first Boxer Club and writing of the breed standard which still holds today.
Many modern Boxer’s can trace their lineage back to one of several early pairings between the first registered dogs of this club. At the time, few had under/over bites and often had large joules. These are the only characteristics that have changed much since that time. There was significant inbreeding during the early refinement of the breed which is how modern Boxer’s are able to trace their genes so clearly.
The Boxer is a medium-size canine with a boxy head and jaw set on a lean but very powerfully muscled body. Their coats are short and thin so they don’t do well in cold environments without some added layers now. Some of them are prone to allergies and skin irritations now as well. It’s hard to say if this was an issue the breed’s ancestor faced as well, but it’s unlikely that it was a common issue at the time.
Despite their ferocious and bloody history, these sleek dogs tend to have huge personalities. Many Boxers are known to be quite comical, vocal, playful, and full of clownish antics. Their personalities can be surprisingly soft. Meaning that they can get their feelings hurt easily, and even unintentionally. They are all fun and games most of the time but they have a very deep rooted instinct and drive to protect and defend which makes them very capable guards and watchdogs still today.
The name for the breed, Boxer, actually originated from the breed's tendency to play and use their front paws much more frequently than other dogs and vaguely resemble how a Boxer in the ring might jab and hook an opponent. We see this today and Boxers and how they play with the toy or reach out with their paws to demand attention. They use their front paws like hands and even flex and curl them to grab and drag toys to them.
From ancient to modern ancestors, the Boxer has been a fierce guardian and powerfully built protector. Boxers were used in both World War I and World War II for various purposes and they've also found great success as police dogs, protection dogs, watchdogs, and even service dogs. Though the breed was used in both world wars they didn't become overly popular until the 1950s in the US. Since that time they have remained as one of the top 10 most popular breeds in America. It’s easy to see why.
Their size and temperament are ideally suited to active homes and families. They are athletic and intelligent with a curious and playful nature that delights everyone they meet. The quick intelligence of the Boxer has made them successful in a wide variety of working and service roles over the years. Like many modern guard breeds, the Boxer was initially developed and is still wildly popular in its native home of Germany. You’ll find the breed has also been used to revitalize other large breeds in modern history, one of the most popular being the Cane Corso. Many Corso’s now use their paws like hands and have very vocal tendencies thanks to the Boxer lines used to bring genetic variety to the breed without losing their guarding instincts.