Ask a Vet

Boxer: The Ultimate Guide

By Kerry
Updated on

Deciding on a breed of dog that is right for you and your lifestyle can be more difficult than you originally thought that it might be. There are so many things to consider when it comes to each breed, and the only way to find these things out is by researching the breed. In this guide, we tell you everything you need to know about the Boxer.

There are lots of positives to consider, but there are also some negatives that might just be a dealbreaker.


If you have been researching some dog breeds that you are interested in, you might have come across the Boxer, a large breed of dog originally bred in Germany.

These are friendly and intelligent dogs but also fearless and brave, and there is so much for you to learn about them.

For this article, we have created the ultimate guide to the Boxer breed, so you can find out everything that you need to know about the breed, all in one place. This will help to cut down your research time, so you can just focus on finding out everything that there is to know about the Boxer breed.

Boxer Key Facts

Before we get into the detailed information that you need to know about the Boxer breed, there are some important things that you will need to be made aware of, like their average lifespan, exercise requirements, and overall monthly costs. These are some of the most essential things you need to know about the breed before committing.

Average Lifespan

On average, the Boxer dog will live for between 10 and 12 years. 

Minimum Exercise (Per Day)

Boxers are dogs with high energy levels, which is why they will need at least an hour of exercise per day. However, the PDSA actually recommends that you provide them with a t least 2 hours of exercise per day, which can be split up into more than one walk. You can also play with them at home in the backyard, which will count towards their daily exercise. Games like fetch can help wear out these dogs and burn off some excess energy.

Coat Length

The Boxer dog has a short coat length, and their coats are often described as smooth and tight-fitting. The color of the coat can either be fawn or brindle, and it usually has white markings.

Minimum Cost (Per Month)

You can expect your Boxer dog to cost you a minimum of $60 a month, so you will need to be able to afford at least this amount every month to care for all of your dogs needs. This does not include the initial set up costs, but it will cover things like food, preventative healthcare, pet insurance, and essential accessories. You cannot avoid paying for these things, so it is important to work them into your monthly budget.


The ideal boxer dog will have a medium-sized square build of good substance with a short back, strong limbs, and a short, tight-fitting coat. They will have well-developed muscles that are clean, hard, and appear to be smooth under taught skin. They have an alert expression, and their chiseled head is one of the things that makes this breed unique. 

The head should be in proportion to the rest of the body. These dogs have a broad and blunt muzzle that is another of their distinctive features. Overall, they are sturdy dogs with balanced musculature, and males tend to have larger bones than females.


The Boxer is a medium-sized breed of dog.

Average Height

Male Boxers will typically stand between 23 and 25 inches tall, but females are slightly shorter, between 21 and 23 inches tall.

Average Weight

When it comes to weight, male Boxers will usually be between 60 and 70 pounds, whereas females will typically weigh between 55 and 65 pounds. However, there are some Boxers that will be even heavier than this.


The Boxer is often described as a ‘hearing’ guard dog as they are very alert and watchful. They are dignified and self-assured when they are not messing around to try and get your attention. When it comes to children, they are often playful and patient.

They may sometimes be weary with strangers, but they will usually be polite and friendly with new people. They are only usually aggressive when defending their family or home.

Their temperament can actually be affected by a variety of different factors, like their heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with the nicest temperaments will usually be both curious and playful while willing to approach people and be held by them.

It can be really helpful to meet the dog’s parents, siblings, or other blood relatives to learn a bit more about what the puppy will be like when they are older. However, there is no guarantee that they will be the same.

Like every other dog, Boxers need early socialization when they are puppies. It is really important to expose them to as many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences as possible when they’re young.

This will help to ensure that your Boxer puppy grows up to be a well-rounded, outgoing, and friendly dog.

Apartment Living

As long as you are willing to provide them with sufficient exercise, Boxers can adapt well to apartment living. They love being around their families, so they will be happy as long as you are there.

Good for Novice Owners

As long as you do your research beforehand, the Boxer could be an excellent choice for a first-time dog owner. They are loyal dogs that will form a close bond with their family. They do particularly well with active families, as they need a lot of exercise daily. They also require a strong foundation when it comes to their training, and even though they can be a bit hyperactive at times, they are trainable.

Sensitivity Level

Boxers can be quite sensitive at times, mostly due to the fact that they have a deeply affectionate nature and tend to bond firmly with their families. As they feel this connection so deeply, they can be quite sensitive when it comes to your emotions. It may also mean that they require your attention more than some other breeds would.

Tolerates Being Alone

Whether or not your Boxer will tolerate being left alone will depend on how close they are to their families. Some Boxers will tolerate being left alone much better than others. On average, you should be able to leave your dog alone for the normal working hours of the day without any problems. 

However, to be able to do so, you will need to build up to this by leaving them alone for shorter periods and gradually increasing the length of time they are left alone. Although, there are some Boxers that won’t get on board with this idea as they just love your company too much.

Tolerates Cold Weather

Due to the fact that Boxers have short coats, they are much more susceptible to the cold than other dogs. You should never leave your dog outside, especially during the night, as they can easily become too cold.

Tolerates Hot Weather

Boxers also aren’t very tolerant of hot weather, and you will need to take extra care to ensure that they do not get too hot. The structure of the Boxer does not allow for adequate body cooling, and they cannot regulate their temperature if they are left outside in the heat, even if they are in the shade.

Affectionate With Family

Boxer dogs are one of the most affectionate and loving breeds. They like to be in your company throughout the day and will probably even follow you around the house. Despite their larger size, they will more than likely try to jump in your lap for a cuddle and give you lots of sloppy kisses.


Boxers absolutely love children, and they can make excellent playmates for active and older children. While they will also get on with younger children and they are very patient with them, they can often be too rambunctious for them. They can easily accidentally knock them over when playing, which isn’t ideal.

You should always teach children how to properly approach and touch dogs and supervise any interactions between young children and your dog. This will allow you to prevent any unwanted behavior from occurring from either side. You should also teach your children never to approach any dog while they’re eating or sleeping and that they should never try to take the dog’s food away. No dog should be left alone with a child, no matter how trusting they are.

Dog Friendly

Boxers will generally get along well with other dogs and even cats, especially if they have been raised with them. However, if you are planning to introduce another animal when your dog is older, then proper socialization, when they are puppies is essential. You will need to introduce new animals slowly and in a calm manner until your Boxer gets used to the idea.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Boxers can be weary with strangers at first, but their loving and friendly nature always wins in the end. 

Health And Grooming


Now that you know everything there is to know about the appearance and temperament of the Boxer it is time to take a look at their health and grooming requirements. The information below will help you to prepare for a future of living with the Boxer breed.


Boxers are a moderate-to-high shedding breed. Lots of people wrongly assume that their shorter coats and single layer of fur won’t shed much, but this is not the case. If you get a Boxer, you can expect some hairs around your home as normal shedding is normal among healthy Boxers.


There are many Boxers that will not drool all of the time, but lots of them will tend to have excess amounts of drool after they have exercised. When it comes to Boxer puppies, one of the most common reasons for drooling is that they are teething. As their new adult teeth erupt, it is common for them to drool excessively.


The Boxer coat doesn’t require much grooming, as Boxers are clean dogs known to groom themselves like cats do. Boxers can shed quite a bit, but brushing them weekly with either a bristle brush or hard rubber grooming mitt will help you keep hair under control.

You can also work to enhance the natural sheen of your Boxer’s coat by rubbing it down every now and then with a chamois cloth. If you decide to use a shedding blade, you will need to be extra careful when using it around your dog’s legs.

Otherwise, you might accidentally cause an injury. You will only need to bathe them when they are dirty or they start to smell.

Another grooming requirement that you need to be aware of is dental hygiene. You will need to brush your Boxer’s teeth a few times a week to help remove tartar and bacteria. Although, it is best to brush them every day if you want to prevent periodontal disease.

The final thing that you will need to do is trim their nails once or twice a month if they are not being worn down naturally. If you hear their nails clicking on the floor, they are too long. Short and neatly-trimmed nails will keep the feet in good condition and help to prevent accidental scratching if your dog jumps up to greet you.

General Health

Generally, Boxers are healthy dogs. However, just like all other breeds of dogs, there are certain health problems that they are more likely to develop than other breeds. While they are not guaranteed to develop any of these conditions, they are at a higher risk of developing them, which is why it is important to be aware of what they are if you are considering this breed.

Common Health Problems

Some of the most common health problems for the Boxer breed are:

  • Cancer
  • Aortic stenosis/subaortic stenosis
  • Boxer cardiomyopathy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Corneal Dystrophy
  • Demodectic Mange
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus
  • Allergies
  • Deafness

Potential For Weight Gain

Boxers are more likely than other breeds to gain weight if they are overfed, which is why you should try to stick to a regular feeding schedule. You should also limit their treats and avoid leaving their food out all day. You can speak to your vet to find out more about how to provide your Boxer with a healthy and complete diet.


Boxers are really intelligent, which is why they respond best to firm but fun training. However, they also have an independent streak and certainly don’t like to be bossed around or spoken to harshly. If you make their training fun and enjoyable, you will likely see the best results.

Easy To Train

Boxers are really easy to train as long as you  are consistent in their training and make a start when they are still puppies. Otherwise, your Boxer can become too difficult to handle.


Boxers are very intelligent, which is one of the main reasons that explains why they are so easy to train. They tend to learn new things quite quickly, but this also means that they do not respond well to repetitive training. You will need to keep things new and exciting for them to get the best results.

Potential to Bite

Boxers are not likely to bite you aggressively, as they are too loving and good natured. However, they are very hyperactive and energetic dogs, so it is possible for them to bite you playfully. It is usually a good idea to try and teach them not to do this when they are puppies, as this is behavior that can get out of control when they are older.

Tendency To Bark Or Howl

Boxers aren’t really known for barking excessively, so if they are barking, it is usually for a good reason. Although, there are some Boxers that are quite vocal, and they make a low growling noise in order to communicate.


The Boxer is a dog that originated in Germany and was developed in the 19th century. In 1894, three Germans called Roberth, Konig, and Hopner decided to stabilize the breed and they put it on exhibition at a dog show. The following year, they created the first Boxer club. The breed became well-known in other parts of Europe in the late 1810s, and they were first registered by the American Kennel Club in 1904. When the First World War started, Boxers were enlisted in the military as messenger dogs and guard dogs.


The average cost of a Boxer puppy from a reputable breeder is anywhere between $1000 and $2000. However, if you are looking for a Boxer puppy with top breed lines, it can cost you anywhere between $3000 and $4500.

Boxer Fun Facts

  • The family tree fo the Boxer dates back to 2000 years ago
  • Boxers can become great service dogs with the right training
  • Boxers are a brachycephalic breed

Photo of author
About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.