Boxer Dog Breed
The proud Boxer dog is one of the most popular breeds in the United States, taking pride of place as trusted family pets in homes across the country. Boxers are graceful and athletic animals, with distinctive flat muzzles, alert ears, and a curious and courageous nature.
You can see why they are popular with dog lovers – but as with many breeds, Boxers can be aggressive and dangerous. There is a reason why the Boxer appears on many lists showing the most vicious dogs around. Their muscular bodies and ferocious bite mean that anyone who falls victim to a Boxer dog attack could be seriously hurt.
Anyone who is wounded in a Boxer bite attack should contact the expert dog bite attorneys at Bisnar Chase for comprehensive help in securing compensation for their pain and suffering. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Boxer breed. Our guide will cover Boxer aggression problems and Boxer dog attack statistics, as well as outlining the steps you should take if you become a bite victim.
History of the Boxer Dog Breed
The Boxer breed has ancient ancestors going back to 2500 BC, but the modern-day breed was developed in Germany in the 1800s. Boxers were bred from a German breed called the Bullenbeisser, which is now extinct, along with other breeds from across Europe – such as the English Bulldog.
The Bullenbeisser was once used by German nobles in hunting expeditions. It was capable of chasing down and taking on huge animals such as bison and bears – showing where the modern Boxers get their power and aggression from.
As the German nobles fell from power, their hunting traditions also fell by the wayside. Over time, Bullenbeissers were cross bred with other dogs to create a new variety of sleeker and more versatile dogs. While Bullenbeissers were gradually cross-bred into extinction, this process resulted in the hugely popular Boxer dog.
The first recorded Boxer was displayed by its German breeders in 1896. A year later, they founded the Deutscher Boxer Club. The club published a breed standard document for the Boxer in 1904, which has barely changed to this day. The first Boxer dog was also registered with the American Kennel Club in 1904, and has developed into a hugely popular breed across the world since then.
Where Does the Boxer Name Come From?
There are all kinds of conflicting tales over the origins of the Boxer name, with no cast-iron consensus. Here are just three of the possibilities:
- It was originally reported that the name may have come from the breed’s tendency to stand on its hind legs and use its front paws. However, this theory has been dismissed by some experts.
- Another theory is that the name comes from a term used for the old Bullenbeisser breed. A variety of the Bullenbeisser was also known as a ‘Boxl’, and it is believed that this may have inspired the Boxer name.
- Other historians have noted that ‘Boxer’ was once a popular dog name, and say the breed may have been named after one of the earliest so-named Boxer dogs.
It’s virtually impossible to know which (if any) of these provided the true origin of the Boxer breed’s name.
Boxer Breed Characteristics
- Height: Males – 22-25 inches / Females – 21-24 inches
- Weight: Males – 65-90 lbs / Females – 50-80 lbs
- Color: Usually fawn, brindle, or white, with black and white markings
- Coat: Short and shiny fur with a smooth feel
- Life Span: 9-15 years
Distinguishing Features of Boxer Dogs
Boxer dogs typically have long necks, with extremely distinctive faces. Its muzzle is described as ‘blunt’, meaning it is very short, giving the breed a fairly flat face compared to many other dog types. These dogs also have a trademark underbite, which can lead to plenty of doggy drooling.
The coat of the Boxer is very short and lies flat, and the majority are either a fawn color of various hues, or a browner brindle color. Some Boxers of these colors also have white markings on their stomachs, feet, necks or faces. These marks are known as ‘flash’. Additionally, around 20% of Boxer dogs are completely white in color.
Should You Get a Boxer’s Ears Cropped?
Boxers have naturally flappy ears which fold over, but in some cases they are ‘cropped’. This is the process of trimming the ears so that they point straight up. This is banned in many countries, but is legal in most parts of the U.S. – thought regulated in some states. The decision over whether to do this involves aesthetic, practicality, and moral considerations.
Boxer Dog Temperament
Here are some of the key behavioral characteristics of the Boxer breed:
- Active and restless
- Can be aggressive
Boxers are often seen as the perfect family pet, because they get on well with children, and are generally good-natured and playful. However, Boxers can also show a vicious streak, and can be trained to attack. They are excellent watchdogs, but their protective nature can sometimes cause them to show unwanted aggression. A Boxer dog bite can do a lot of damage due to that strong underbite jaw.
Most Boxer aggression problems can often be traced back to sub-par training as puppies. Other causes of aggression can include the dog dealing with pain or discomfort. These dogs are also extremely active, and if they are not given adequate exercise they may misbehave. Bad behavior may include digging, chewing, not listening to commands, and biting. They can also be headstrong and strong-willed, requiring a firm hand and effective training to be obedient.
While Boxers like company, they can be aggressive around other dogs, especially larger dogs and those of the same gender.
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Boxer Dog Popularity
The Boxer is one of the most popular breeds in the United States year after year. The American Kennel Club unveils an annual pooch popularity list, using the registration number associated with each different breed. The most recent figures available have Boxers at number 11 on the list – an impressive showing out of nearly 200 breed variations. This is also the first time in recent years that the Boxer is not in the top 10. As recently as 2013 it was at a lofty seventh place in the rankings.
Perhaps the most famous Boxer dog ever was a pup named Bang Away – an outstanding show dog who set a record with a whopping 121 Best-in-Show titles at dog shows. At the top of Bang Away’s list of accomplishments is the 1951 crown for Best-in-Show at the prestigious Westminster Dog Show – the premier show in the United States. He appeared in magazines and newspapers, and even got priority treatment on airplanes once the pilots realized they had a celebrity pup on board. Bang Away’s success further enhanced the growing reputation and popularity of the Boxer breed.
Of course, dogs like Bang Away are purebred and highly trained, and provide no hint of the devastating aggression that a Boxer dog is capable of.
Boxer: A Working Dog
Boxers are classified as working dogs by the American Kennel Club, while the United Kennel Club regards it as a guardian dog. This breed is not restricted to just being a family pet, but is trained and put into use in a wide range of other positions.
- Police Dogs – Boxers are one of the preferred breeds for police work. They have a supreme focus and are effective in performing drug searches. They can also be trained to attack when faced with threats, and target criminals on command.
- War Dogs – Boxers have long been used in military work, and are one of the breeds used in the U.S. Army. Their intelligence, adaptability and athleticism makes them highly valued. Boxers make great sentries, because of their protective nature and aggression. They also excel in detecting explosives and taking on search and rescue missions.
- Service Dogs – Boxers are often used as seeing-eye dogs for people who are visually impaired, due to their intelligence and obedience when trained properly. They might also be used to help people who suffer other disabilities.
- Therapy Dogs – Highly-trained Boxers are sometimes used as therapy dogs in schools, hospitals, hospices, retirement homes, and other similar venues.
The Boxer has distinguished itself in a wide variety of roles throughout history. When working as a police dog or military dog, this breed can display its bravery – as well as its fearsome attack capabilities.
In November 1946, two British military Boxer dogs named Punch and Judy were awarded gallantry medals for their service. The dogs saved the lives of two officers who were stationed in Israel from an assassination attack. After detecting the assailant, the Boxers attacked him, suffering serious wounds but saving their soldiers in the process.
It is important to remember that Boxers used in such jobs are always extremely well trained to ensure their obedience. These Boxers will bite and attack, but they are taught by expert handlers and do so only on command.
Problems with Boxer dogs arise when inexperienced or careless owners do not provide the proper training, guidance or care that they need.
Owning and Training a Boxer
Inexperienced and irresponsible Boxer dog owners can allow their dogs to become mischievous, overly aggressive, and become prone to biting. Here are just some of the best training methods for owners to stop Boxer puppies biting, and prevent their Boxers from attacking humans.
Top 7 Tips for Training a Boxer Dog
- Learn about the breed. You should learn about your dog as an individual, as well as the Boxer breed in general. Pay attention to the behavioral traits of your dog and tailor your training accordingly.
- Socialize your Boxer puppy early. Boxers are naturally protective, and that can mean that they are distrustful of strangers, sometimes even attacking both people and other dogs. Make sure your dog learns to handle contact with others.
- Use positive motivation in training. Two of the best forms of training motivation are praise and food. Reward your dog to reinforce lessons and teach good behavior.
- Deploy chew toys. Boxer dogs can be prone to heavy chewing destruction. Use a variety of chew toys to control the chewing, help to prevent biting, and as a reward.
- Give your Boxer plenty of exercise. Boxers are naturally very energetic and athletic. One of the leading causes of aggressive behavior is restlessness. Keep the dog active to help prevent your Boxer attacking others.
- Teach your dog key commands. This is one of the most important aspects of training a Boxer and ensuring it can socialize without providing a danger to others. A Boxer needs to be taught to obey commands telling it to stop jumping at or attacking someone, and to give up an item it is protective of.
- Keep things positive. Try to make training positive. Negative or aggressive behavior on the part of the trainer can be mirrored by a Boxer.
Boxer Dog Bite Force
Boxers have extremely powerful jaws and a strong bite. If a Boxer decides that you are a threat, or attacks for another reason, there is a good chance that it will result in a serious bite injury.
Testing the strength of a dog bite is difficult, because the power of a bite can vary hugely depending on the dog’s motivation. Sometimes a Boxer may attack with a warning bite, while other times it might be intending to seriously wound its target. It is impossible to put a number on the power of a Boxer bite, simply because the relevant testing has never been carried out. However, some experts put the bite force of a Boxer dog at about 230 pounds-per-square-inch (PSI) as a rough estimate. It is widely believed that the Boxer’s bite would be in the top five of bite power statistics across different dog breeds.
The Boxer is genetically designed to bite. Its ancestor, the Bullenbeisser, was bred specifically for hunting. The Boxer shares many traits with this extinct breed. They have short muzzles with an underbite, allowing it to clamp its teeth around victims with its incredibly strong jaw. Some breeders also believe the Boxer's wide nostrils are designed to help it breathe while its teeth are clamped onto a target.
Boxer Dog Attacks
Between its biting power, significant size, and powerful, muscular body, a Boxer dog can be deadly. This is why the breed is a mainstay on lists chronicling the most dangerous dogs around.
Boxer Attacks by the Numbers
Dog attack statistics have been produced through detailed studies, including one study which examined dog attack reports over a 32-year period. The numbers from this data show that Boxer dogs are the eighth most dangerous breed. Over that time period, there were 74 reported Boxer dog attacks which caused serious bodily harm, as well as nine deaths. This places Boxers ahead of other dangerous dog breeds, such as Akitas and Chows.
Top 15 Dangerous Dog Breeds by Attack Numbers
- Pit Bull
- German Shepherd
- Presa Canario
- Wolf Hybrid
- Great Dane
- Cane Corso
Dog Bite Statistics in the U.S (Infographic). Download or share our dangerous breeds dog bite info-graphic to educate others on the dangers of approaching a dangerous dog.
Boxer Dog Bite Incidents
These are just some of the fatal incidents involving people being mauled to death by Boxer dogs which have made headlines in recent years.
Pablo Fleites, aged 56 – 2006 – Florida
Fleites was mauled to death by a male Boxer, owned by his employer, after walking into the dog’s pen. The dog was euthanized.
Michael Landry, aged 4 – 2009 – Louisiana
Youngster Michael Landry was playing in the yard outside his home when he was attacked and killed by three Boxers. The dogs belonged to the family next door and had been let out of their kennel while it was cleaned.
Tom Vick, aged 64 – 2013 – Arizona
Former teacher Tom Vick, and his wife Diane (a former mayor) tried to break up a fight between their two dogs – a Boxer and a smaller cocker spaniel. The Boxer attacked its owners, killing Tom and seriously injuring Diane.
These are just some of the recent violent deaths caused by Boxer dogs. While Boxers can be calm, good-natured, and friendly family pets, you can see that this is not always the case. Perhaps these violent Boxers were provoked, badly trained, feared a threat, or became distrustful and aggressive toward humans due to mistreatment. No matter the reason, the statistics and past incidents show that people should be wary around these dogs. Those who are too complacent could become the next Boxer bite victims.
Surviving a Boxer Attack
Here are a few steps you can take to survive an attack or a bite by a Boxer.
- Avoid putting yourself in a dangerous position if possible. If you see a hostile-looking Boxer, be aware of how dangerous it can be, and steer clear of it.
- If you are confronted by an aggressive Boxer, stay still and keep your arms down, look away and do not make any sudden moves or loud noises.
- Use a makeshift shield. A Boxer bite is strong, and you should use anything you can as a buffer between its teeth and yourself.
- Stay on your feet. Boxers are muscular, powerful, and can have a substantial weight and size. They will try to drag you off your feet and are at their most dangerous when facing a grounded victim.
- Fight or flight. When you are trying to fend off a vicious Boxer attack, you might reach the point when you need to fight back. You need to target sensitive areas and use any weapons available to you. Get to safety as soon as possible – climb to a high point that the dog cannot reach, or put a solid door or wall between you and the attacking animal.
- Get medical attention. If you have been bitten by a Boxer, you will probably need treatment. The severity of your bite injury will dictate the kind of treatment you will need.
Boxer Bite Legal Action and Compensation
It can be difficult decision for some people to pursue police and legal action after being attacked or bitten by a Boxer dog. For many dog owners, their pet is a huge part of their family. No one wants to be the reason a pet is put down, but that does not mean that you should not take action.
If a dog is dangerous, and has bitten and caused harm to a person, it is an extremely serious matter. In the state of California, liability for a dog attack fall solely on the owner. It is their responsibility to ensure that their dog is safe to be around and does not harm others. If an owner is careless or negligent, other people will pay the price.
Any legal action will depend on the circumstances of the attack. However, in many cases, victims are entitled to seek compensation. Dog attacks can be terrifying and traumatizing events which affect victims for years to come. They can also leave people with serious injuries, from puncture and tear wounds to broken bones and torn tendons.
An expert dog attack attorney can help victims seek compensation for the pain and suffering they have endured.
Expected compensation will vary depending on the specifics of a dog bite attack, but may be impacted by a victim’s medical bills, lost wages, and ongoing care expenses, among other factors.
Documenting a Dog Attack
Victims can help their legal case by documenting the attack incident. This could include:
- Writing a detailed personal account of the event
- Taking pictures and video footage of the attack, as well as the scene of the incident
- Securing police and medical reports
- Obtaining statements from anyone who witnessed the attack
- Documenting any injuries, with photos of all stages
Make sure this information is organized in a clear and ordered way to help your dog bite lawyer build an effective case.
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Bisnar Chase has dedicated dog bite attorneys who excel in dealing with these cases. They know how traumatic an attack can be, and will go above and beyond to ensure clients receive the best possible compensation.
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