Boxer breed standard



The character of the Boxer is of the greatest importance and demands the most careful attention. He is renowned from olden times for his great love and faithfulness to his master and household, his alertness and fearless courage as a defender and protector.

The Boxer is docile but distrustful of strangers. He is bright and friendly in play but brave and determined when roused. His intelligence and willing tractability, his modesty and cleanliness make him a highly desirable family dog and cheerful companion. He is the soul of honesty and loyalty. He is never false or treacherous, even in old age.

The Boxer is a medium sized, sturdy, smooth haired dog of short, square figure and strong limb. The musculation is clean and powerfully developed, and should stand out plastically from under the skin. Movement of the Boxer should be alive with energy. His gait, although firm is elastic. The stride free and roomy: carriage proud and noble. As a service and guard dog he must combine a considerable degree of elegance with the substance and power essential to his duties; those of an enduring escort dog whether with horse, bicycle or carriage and as a splendid jumper.

Only a body who individual limbs are built to withstand the strenuous "mechanical" effort and assembled as a complete and harmonious whole, can respond to such demands. Therefore, to be at its best efficiency, the Boxer must never be plump or heavy. Whilst equipped for great speed, it must not be racy. When judging the Boxer, the first thing to be considered is general appearance, the relation of substance to elegance and the desired relationship of the individual parts of the body to each other. Consideration too, must be given to the colour. After these, the individual parts should be examined for the correct construction and their functions. Special attention should be devoted to the head.


The eyes should be dark brown; not too small or protruding; not deep set. They should disclose an expression of energy and intelligence, but should never appear gloomy, threatening or piercing. The eyes must have a dark rim.
Some American and Continental Boxers are cropped and are ineligible for competition under Kennel Club Regulations. The Boxer's natural ears are defined as: moderate in size (small rather than large), thin to the touch, set on wide apart at the highest points of the sides of the skull and lying flat close to the cheek when in repose. When the dog is alert, the ears should fall forward with a definite crease.

The canine teeth should be as widely separated as possible. The incisors should all be in one row, with no projection of the middle teeth. In the upper jaw they should be slightly concave. In the lower they should be in a straight line. Both jaws should be very wide in front; bite powerful and sound, the teeth set in the most normal possible arrangement. The lips complete under the formation of the muzzle. The upper lip should be thick and padded and fill out the hollow space in front formed by the projection of the lower jaw and be supported by the fangs of the jaw.

These fangs must stand as far apart as possible and be of good length so that the front surface of the muzzle becomes broad and almost square; to form an obtuse (rounded) angle with the top line of the muzzle. The lower edge of the upper lip should rest on the edge of the lower lip. The rapandus (bent upward) part of the under-jaw with the lower lip (sometimes called the chin) must not rise above the front of the upper lip. On the other hand, it should not disappear underneath it.

It must however, be plainly perceptible when viewed from the front as well as from the side without protruding and bending upward as in the English Bulldog. The teeth of the under-jaw should not be seen when the mouth is closed, neither should the tongue show when the mouth is closed.

The neck should not be too thick and short but of ample length, yet strong, round, muscular and clean-cut throughout. There should be a distinctly marked nape and an elegant arch down to the back.

The chest should be deep and reach down to the elbows. The depth of the chest should be half the height of the dog at the withers. The ribs should be well arched but not barrel shaped. They should extend far to the rear. The loins should be short, close and taut and slightly tucked up. The lower stomach line should blend into an elegant curve at the rear.

The shoulders should be long and sloping, close lying but not excessively covered with muscle. The upper arm should be long and for a right-angle to the shoulder-blade. The forelegs when seen from the front should be straight, parallel to each other and have strong, firmly articulated (joined) bones. The elbows should not press too closely to the chest-wall or stand too far from it. The underarm should be perpendicular, long, and firmly muscled. The pastern joint of the foreleg should be clearly defined, but not distended. The pastern should be short, slightly slanting and almost perpendicular to the ground.

The body viewed in profile should be square in appearance. The length of the body from the front of the chest to the rear of the body should equal the height from the ground to the top of the shoulder, giving the Boxer a short-coupled, square profile. The torso rests on trunk-like straight legs with strong bones. The withers should be clearly defined. The whole back should be short, straight, broad and very muscular.

The hindquarters should be strongly muscled. The musculation should be hard and stand out plastically through the skin. The thighs should not be narrow and flat but broad and curved. The breech musculation should also be strongly developed. The croup should be slightly sloped, flat, arched and broad. The pelvis should be long, and in females especially, broad. The upper and lower thighs should be long. The hip and knee joints should have as much angle as possible.

In a standing position the knee should reach so far forward that it would meet a vertical line drawn from the hip protuberance to the floor. The hock angle should be about 140 degrees; the lower part of the foot at a slight slope of about 95 to 100 degrees from the hock joint to the floor; that is, not completely vertical. Seen from behind the hind legs should be straight. The hocks should be clean and not distended, supported by powerful rear pads. Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


The feet should be small with tightly-arched toes (cat feet) and hard soles. The rear toes should be a little longer than the front toes, but similar in all other respects.
Previously customarily docked.

Docked: Set on high and carried upward.

Undocked: Set on high and carried gaily, of moderate thickness. In overall balance with the rest of the dog.


The coat should be short and shiny, lying smooth and tight to the body.
The permissible colours are fawn, brindle and fawn in various shades from light yellow to dark deer red. The brindle variety should have black stripes on a golden-yellow or red-brown background. The stripes should be clearly defined and above all should not be grey or dirty.

Stripes that do not cover the whole top of the body are not desirable. White markings are not undesirable; in fact they are often very attractive in appearance. The black mask is essential, but when white stretches over the muzzle, naturally that portion of the black mask disappears. It is not possible to get black toe-nails and white feet. It is desirable however, to have an even distribution of head markings.


22 - 24 inches at the withers.
21 -23 inches at the withers.
Heights above or below these figures are not to be encouraged. Dogs around 23 inches should weigh about 66lbs and bitches of about 22 inches should weigh about 62lbs.

Viciousness; treachery; unreliability; lack of temperament; cowardice.


a head that is not typical. A plump, bulldoggy appearance. Light bone. Lack of proportion. Bad physical condition. Lack of nobility and expression. "Sombre" face. Unserviceable bite, whether due to disease or faulty tooth placement. Pinscher or Bulldog head. Showing the teeth of tongue. A sloping top line of the muzzle. Too pointed or too light a bite (snippy).
visible conjunctiva (haw). Light eyes. Ears: flying ears; rose ears; semi-erect or erect ears.
Neck: dewlap.

too broad and low in front; loose shoulders; chest hanging between the shoulders; hare feet; turned legs and toes.
carp (roach) back; sway back; thin lean back; long narrow sharp sunken-in loins. Weak union with the croup, hollow flanks; hanging stomach.
afalling off or too arched or narrow croup. A low-set tail; higher in the back than in front; steep, stiff or too little angulation of the hindquarters. Light thighs; cow hocks; bow legs; hind dewclaws; soft hocks, narrow heel. Tottering, waddling gait; hare's feet; hindquarters too far under or too far behind.
Boxers with white or black ground colour, or entirely white or black or any colour other than fawn or brindle. (White markings are allowed but must not exceed one third of the ground colour).