Boxer Dog Facts and History

What we know about the origins of most breeds, including the Boxer, is largely owed to early sculptures, painting and drawings.    In the Boxer’s case, a carving of a dog looking much like a boxer can be seen on a tomb in Arnstadt where Elizabeth of Hohenstein who died in 1368 lies. Flemish tapestries from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries show dogs resembling the Boxer engaged in stag- and boar-hunting.


The boxer dog breed originated in Germany in the late 19th century. Boxer dogs became very popular in Munich where the breed is thought to have originated.  But the history of the breed has not been without controversy. In fact the first Boxer Club in the UK was closed because of disagreements over almost everything pertaining to Boxers. By 1905, however, the most enthusiastic followers of the German Boxer met to develop a standard for the Boxer which would be accepted by all. The Munich Boxer Club drew up the standard which exists largely unchanged even today. This is recognized as the standard. A great deal of this standard remains in today’s written standards from around the world. The Boxer was bred from the Alt's Schecken, which was bred to a bulldog in the year 1895.

This resulted in the birth of the first boxer dog which was registered in the Stud Book in the year 1904. In the early lines, there was a high level of inbreeding which was done to set a type in order to establish the breed. In the earliest years of breeding, one of the most important dogs was the bitch named Meta v.d. Passage.


The first Boxer dog in America was imported in 1903 from Switzerland.  The new owner of the dog was New York Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals, Irving Lehman who imported many other Boxer dogs.  The first Boxer dog registered with the American Kennel Club was in 1904.  The dog was Arnulf Grandenz, bred in America by James Welch of Illinois.


The boxer dog descended from the early mastiffs. Their ancestors were used for hunting bears and even wild boars, and also to fight dogs when the hunt was ineffective. The bull dog fights were banned and the dogs became watchdogs and circus dogs. The boxer is the result of the cautious and selective breeding of these dogs and it crossed over to other breeds such as the Great Danes and the English Bulldogs. This was achieved in the 19th century.


The boxer dog gained rapid popularity soon after the Second World War ended, ironically more prominently in countries formerly opposed in war with the Boxer’s most likely native home, Germany.  Listen to what Rowland Johns says in Our Friend the Boxer:  ‘The re-emergence of the Boxer breed has added proof that warring nations do not carry their antagonisms for long into the relations between them and other nations’ dogs.  Both with the Alsatian and the Boxer their popularity derives directly from the contacts made during a state of war.  In those two wars the adoption of both breeds by members of the British forces provided some personal satisfaction and uplift of the spirit in long periods of exile from home, family, and friends.’


The boxer dog is recognized and designed for his attachment, defensive skill, cleverness, aptitude, and learning abilities. A boxer is a playful dog which is high spirited and known to make a good guard dog.


Boxer dogs have helped us in many ways. Not only do they look good but they have played a vital role in investigating crime scenes.


These dogs often seem scary but they are one of the most amazing dogs in the world. They are capable of giving unconditional love to their owners. They are often mistaken to be violent but, actually, their looks are deceptive.


Many Boxer dogs end up being deserted and abandoned because they are used as just a guard dog or a protector and are not given much attention. Although they are very much capable of protecting their masters, the breed is not destructive by nature. Unkind owners cannot teach or train them aggressively which is why they are abandoned. They need to be trained with an even hand to get the best from them as a breed.