Breed Standards (AKC, FCI, UKC)
*Obtained from the AKC website: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/boxer/
Official Standard of the Boxer
General Appearance: The ideal Boxer is a medium-sized, square-built dog of good substance with short back, strong limbs, and short, tight-fitting coat. His well-developed muscles are clean, hard, and appear smooth under taut skin. His movements denote energy. The gait is firm yet elastic, the stride free and ground-covering, the carriage proud. Developed to serve as guard, working, and companion dog, he combines strength and agility with elegance and style. His expression is alert and his temperament steadfast and tractable.
The chiseled head imparts to the Boxer a unique individual stamp. It must be in correct proportion to the body. The broad, blunt muzzle is the distinctive feature, and great value is placed upon its being of proper form and balance with the skull.
In judging the Boxer first consideration is given to general appearance and overall balance. Special attention is then devoted to the head, after which the individual body components are examined for their correct construction, and the gait evaluated for efficiency.
Size, Proportion, Substance: Size - Adult males 23 to 25 inches; females 21½ to 23½ inches at the withers. Proper balance and quality in the individual should be of primary importance since there is no size disqualification. Proportion - The body in profile is square in that a horizontal line from the front of the forechest to the rear projection of the upper thigh should equal the length of a vertical line dropped from the top of the withers to the ground. Substance – Sturdy, with balanced musculature. Males larger boned than females.
Head: The beauty of the head depends upon the harmonious proportion of muzzle to skull. The blunt muzzle is ⅓ the length of the head from the occiput to the tip of the nose, and ⅔ the width of the skull. The head should be clean, not showing deep wrinkles (wet). Wrinkles typically appear upon the forehead when ears are erect, and are always present from the lower edge of the stop running downward on both sides of the muzzle. Expression - Intelligent and alert. Eyes - Dark brown in color, frontally placed, generous, not too small, too protruding, or too deep set. Their mood-mirroring character, combined with the wrinkling of the forehead, gives the Boxer head its unique quality of expressiveness. Third eyelids preferably have pigmented rims. Ears - Set at the highest points of the sides of the skull, the ears are customarily cropped, cut rather long and tapering, and raised when alert. If uncropped, the ears should be of moderate size, thin, lying flat and close to the cheeks in repose, but falling forward with a definite crease when alert. Skull - The top of the skull is slightly arched, not rounded, flat, nor noticeably broad, with the occiput not overly pronounced. The forehead shows a slight indentation between the eyes and forms a distinct stop with the topline of the muzzle. The cheeks should be relatively flat and not bulge (cheekiness), maintaining the clean lines of the skull as they taper into the muzzle in a slight, graceful curve. Muzzle and Nose - The muzzle, proportionately developed in length, width, and depth, has a shape influenced first through the formation of both jawbones, second through the placement of the teeth, and third through the texture of the lips. The top of the muzzle should not slant down (downfaced), nor should it be concave (dishfaced); however, the tip of the nose should lie slightly higher than the root of the muzzle. The nose should be broad and black. Bite and Jaw Structure - The Boxer bite is undershot, the lower jaw protruding beyond the upper and curving slightly upward. The incisor teeth of the lower jaw are in a straight line, with the canines preferably up front in the same line to give the jaw the greatest possible width. The upper line of the incisors is slightly convex with the corner upper incisors fitting snugly in back of the lower canine teeth on each side. Neither the teeth nor the tongue should ever show when the mouth is
closed. The upper jaw is broad where attached to the skull and maintains this breadth, except for a very slight tapering to the front. The lips, which complete the formation of the muzzle, should meet evenly in front. The upper lip is thick and padded, filling out the frontal space created by the projection of the lower jaw, and laterally is supported by the canines of the lower jaw. Therefore, these canines must stand far apart and be of good length so that the front surface of the muzzle is broad and squarish and, when viewed from the side, shows moderate layback. The chin should be perceptible from the side as well as from the front. Any suggestion of an overlip obscuring the chin should be penalized.
Neck, Topline, Body: Neck - Round, of ample length, muscular and clean without excessive hanging skin (dewlap). The neck should have a distinctly arched and elegant nape blending smoothly into the withers.
Back and Topline: The back is short, straight, muscular, firm, and smooth. The topline is slightly sloping when the Boxer is at attention, leveling out when in motion. Body - The chest is of fair width, and the forechest well-defined and visible from the side. The brisket is deep, reaching down to the elbows; the depth of the body at the lowest point of the brisket equals half the height of the dog at the withers. The ribs, extending far to the rear, are well-arched but not barrel-shaped. The loins are short and muscular. The lower stomach line is slightly tucked up, blending into a graceful curve to the rear. The croup is slightly sloped, flat and broad. The pelvis is long, and in females especially broad. The tail is set high, docked, and carried upward. An undocked tail should be severely penalized.
Forequarters: The shoulders are long and sloping, close-lying, and not excessively covered with muscle (loaded). The upper arm is long, approaching a right angle to the shoulder blade. The elbows should not press too closely to the chest wall nor stand off visibly from it. The forelegs are long, straight, and firmly muscled, and, when viewed from the front, stand parallel to each other. The pastern is strong and distinct, slightly slanting, but standing almost perpendicular to the ground. The dewclaws may be removed. Feet should be compact, turning neither in nor out, with well-arched toes.
Hindquarters: The hindquarters are strongly muscled, with angulation in balance with that of the forequarters. The thighs are broad and curved, the breech musculature hard and strongly developed. Upper and lower thighs are long. The legs are well-angulated at the stifle, neither too steep nor over-angulated, with clearly defined, well "let down" hock joints. Viewed from behind, the hind legs should be straight, with hock joints leaning neither in nor out. From the side, the leg below the hock (metatarsus) should be almost perpendicular to the ground, with a slight slope to the rear permissible. The metatarsus should be short, clean, and strong. The Boxer has no rear dewclaws.
Coat: Short, shiny, lying smooth and tight to the body.
Color: The colors are fawn and brindle. Fawn shades vary from light tan to mahogany. The brindle ranges from sparse but clearly defined black stripes on a fawn background to such a heavy concentration of black striping that the essential fawn background color barely, although clearly, shows through (which may create the appearance of reverse brindling). White markings, if present, should be of such distribution as to enhance the dog's appearance, but may not exceed one-third of the entire coat. They are not desirable on the flanks or on the back of the torso proper. On the face, white may replace part of the otherwise essential black mask, and may extend in an upward path between the eyes, but it must not be excessive, so as to detract from true Boxer expression. The absence of white markings, the so-called "plain" fawn or brindle, is perfectly acceptable, and should not be penalized in any consideration of color. Disqualifications - Boxers that are any color other than fawn or brindle. Boxers with a total of white markings exceeding one-third of the entire coat.
Gait: Viewed from the side, proper front and rear angulation is manifested in a smoothly efficient, level-backed, ground covering stride with a powerful drive emanating from a freely operating rear. Although the front legs do not contribute impelling power, adequate reach should be evident to prevent interference, overlap, or sidewinding (crabbing). Viewed from the front, the shoulders should remain trim and the elbows not flare out. The legs are parallel until gaiting narrows the track in proportion to increasing speed, then the legs come in under the body but should never cross. The line from the shoulder down through the leg should remain straight although not necessarily perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, a Boxer's rump should not roll. The hind feet should dig in and track relatively true with the front. Again, as speed increases, the normally broad rear track will become narrower. The Boxer's gait should always appear smooth and powerful, never stilted or inefficient.
Character and Temperament: These are of paramount importance in the Boxer. Instinctively a hearing guard dog, his bearing is alert, dignified, and self-assured. In the show ring his behavior should exhibit constrained animation. With family and friends, his temperament is fundamentally playful, yet patient and stoical with children. Deliberate and wary with strangers, he will exhibit curiosity, but, most importantly, fearless courage if threatened. However, he responds promptly to friendly overtures honestly rendered. His intelligence, loyal affection, and tractability to discipline make him a highly desirable companion. Any evidence of shyness, or lack of dignity or alertness, should be severely penalized. The foregoing description is that of the ideal Boxer. Any deviation from the above described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
Disqualifications: Boxers that are any color other than fawn or brindle. Boxers with a total of white markings exceeding one-third of the entire coat.
Approved February 11, 2005 Effective March 30, 2005
*Obtained from the UKC site: https://www.ukcdogs.com/boxer
Official UKC Breed Standard
Revised December 1, 2014
The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.
Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.
Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
The Bulldog is an ancestor of the Boxer; various terriers were also part of its make-up, which gives the breed its speed, agility and more graceful body. The term “boxer” is British, but the most recent home country for the breed is Germany. “Boxer” seems appropriate since it has a mannerism of using its front legs in combat, much as a man would in fighting.
The breed was virtually ignored until World War II, when it was brought into use as a military or police dog. This helped to insure instant popularity with returning servicemen, and the breed became in demand in the United States.
The Boxer was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1948.
The Boxer is a medium sized, square built, smooth coated dog, with strong bone and a sturdy but never cumbersome appearance. His muscles are taut, well-developed and molded in appearance. He appears lively and powerful and has a noble bearing.
A breed of completely trustworthy character, the Boxer is energetic, agreeable, self confident and fearless. He is devoted and loyal to his family and a studied watchdog and defender.
The head gives the Boxer its characteristic look. It must always be in correct proportion to the body, appearing neither too light nor too heavy. The harmony of the head depends upon the balance between the skull and foreface. The ratio of the length of the nose bridge to the length of the skull should be 1:2, measured from the tip of the nose to the inner corner of the eye, and the inner corner of the eye to the occiput.
Head properties should remain free of exaggeration so as to not compromise breathing and/or obstruct normal vision.
SKULL - The skull should be clean and free from wrinkle; however, natural folds occur in the cranial region when the dog is alert. The skull should be lean and angular, slightly arched, never round or flat. The occiput is not too pronounced. There is a slight furrow in the forehead that must not be too deep. The forehead forms a distinct stop. The cheeks are well-developed but not bulging. They join the muzzle in a slight curve.
MUZZLE - Powerfully developed, and influenced by the shape of the jaw, the position of the canine teeth and the shape of the lips. The canine teeth must be as far apart as possible and of good length, making the front of the muzzle broad and almost square. In front, the edge of the upper lip rests on the edge of the lower lip and the chin must not markedly protrude over the upper lip when viewed from the front. Neither should the chin be hidden by the upper lip. The tongue and the teeth of the lower jaw must not show when the mouth is closed. The upper lip is thick and padded and fills the space created by the undershot lower jaw. The lip is supported by the lower canines.
Faults: Heavy, “bulldoggy”, too light or non-typical head; teeth or tongue showing when mouth is closed; down face or snippiness; drooling; skull too round, too flat, too broad.
Guardian Dog Group
TEETH - The Boxer's normal bite is undershot. The lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper and curves slightly upward. The canine teeth are widely separated in broad jaws. The teeth are strong and healthy and the incisors are even and set in as straight a line as possible.
Fault: Poor bite.
EYES - The eyes are not too small or deep set, but never protruding. They are dark brown in color, with dark eye rims. Expression is energetic and intelligent.
Faults: Deep-set eyes; protruding eyes; light eyes; visible conjunctiva (haw).
NOSE - The nose is broad and black and only slightly upturned. The tip of the nose lies somewhat higher than the root of the muzzle, but the nose must not be forced back into the forehead, as in the Bulldog.
EARS - The ears are set high and far apart on the skull. If cropped, they come to a point, are fairly long, and the base is not too broad. If natural, the ears fold forward and lie close to the cheeks.
The neck is clean, firm, and gracefully arched, blending cleanly into the shoulders. It is fairly long, round, strong and muscular.
The shoulder blades and upper arms are long and sloping, forming an apparent right angle. They are connected firmly to the body and should be smoothly muscled.
FORELEGS - The forelegs, when seen from the front, have strong bone and are straight and stand parallel to one other. The elbows do not press too closely to the chest wall, nor do they stand off too far. The pasterns are short and almost perpendicular to the ground. The length of leg from elbow to ground is one-half the height at the withers.
The body is square and compact. The withers are pronounced and the back, including the loin, is short, straight, hard, broad and muscular. The chest is deep to the elbow and the forechest is well-developed. The ribs are well-sprung but not barrel shaped and extend well to the rear of the body. The croup is broad and slightly sloping. The underline is elegant due to an upward curve towards short, taut flanks which are slightly tucked up.
Well-angulated with strong, hard muscles that are visible under the skin.
HIND LEGS - Thighs are long and broad, lower thigh is very muscular. The hock is well defined but not exaggerated. The rear pastern is short. Viewed from the rear, the legs are straight and parallel from hip to foot.
The feet are small, round, tight and well-cushioned.
The tail is generally docked, set high and carried upward. If left natural, it is of normal length and in overall balance with the dog.
The coat is short, hard and shiny, and lies smooth and tight to the body.
Acceptable colors are fawn and brindle. The fawn is found in various shades, from light yellow to a deep dark red. The brindle variety has black stripes on a golden yellow or red brown background. The stripes are clearly defined.
White markings are permissible if attractively distributed, but not required. A black mask is absolutely required. When white stretches over the muzzle, that portion of the black mask disappears. However, there must not be so much white on the muzzle that all the black is displaced.
Disqualifications: Albinism. Any color other than fawn or brindle. White markings that exceed one-third of the entire coat.
Males: 22½ to 25 inches. Females: 21 to 23½ inches. Proper balance and individual quality are of primary importance.
The gait is alive with energy; firm, but elastic. The stride is free, roomy and ground-covering. The carriage is proud and noble.
(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a bench show/conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.
Any color other than fawn or brindle.
White markings that exceed one-third of the entire coat.
The docking of tails and cropping of ears in America is legal and remains a personal choice. However, as an international registry, the United Kennel Club, Inc. is aware that the practices of cropping and docking have been forbidden in some countries. In light of these developments, the United Kennel Club feels that no dog in any UKC event, including conformation, shall be penalized for a full tail or natural ears.
*Obtained from: http://www.worldwideboxer.com/FCI_new.html
FEDERATION CYNOLOGIQUE INTERNATIONALE
F.C.I. - Standard No 144 / 14. 04. 93 / GB
TRANSLATION : Mrs C Seidler, revised by Mrs Sporre-Willes and R. Triquet.
ORIGIN : Germany
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE VALID ORIGINAL STANDARD : 13th March 2001
UTILISATION : COMPANION, SECURITY, WORKING DOG
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : GROUP 2 : Pinscher and Schnauzer type- Molossian type and Swiss Cattledogs
SECTION 2.1. : Molossian type-Mastiff type With Working Trial
Note: This version allows only natural tail and ears. NB: In countries where cropping or docking are allowed, these are not faults
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: The small, so called Brabant Bullenbeisser is regarded as the immediate ancestor of the Boxer. In the past, the breeding of these Bullenbeissers was in the hands of the huntsmen, whom they assisted during the chase. Their task was to seize the game put up by chasing hounds and hold it firmly until the huntsman arrived and put an end to the prey.
For this job the dog had to have as wide jaws as possible with broadly spaced teeth, in order to bite firmly and hold on tightly. A Bullenbeisser which had these characteristics was best suited to this job and was used for breeding. Previously only the ability to work and utilization were considered. Selective breeding was carried out which produced a dog with a wide muzzle and an upturned nose.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: The Boxer is a medium sized, smooth coated, sturdy dog of compact square build and strong bone. His muscles are taut, strongly developed and moulded in appearance. His movement is lively, powerful with noble bearing. The Boxer must be neither cumbersome or heavy, nor light or lacking in body substance.
a) Length of body / Height at withers : Square build, which means that the horizontal line of the back is perpendicular to the vertical line passing through the point of shoulder and to the other vertical line passing through the point of buttock, thus defining a square outline.
b) Depth of brisket / Height at withers : The chest reaches to the elbows.
Depth of chest is half the height at withers.
c) Length of nose bridge / Length of head : Length of nose bridge in relation to skull should be 1 : 2 (measured from tip of nose to inner corner of eye or, respectively, inner corner of eye to occiput).
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: The Boxer should be fearless self-confident, calm and equable. Temperament is of the utmost importance and requires careful attention. Devotion and loyalty towards his master and his entire household, his watchfulness and self-assured courage as a defender are famous. He is harmless with his family but distrustful of strangers. Happy and friendly in play, yet fearless in a serious situation. Easy to train on account of his willingness to obey, his pluck and courage, natural keenness and scent capability. Undemanding and clean, he is just as agreeable and appreciated in the family circle as he is as a guard, companion and working dog. His character is trustworthy, with no guile or cunning, even in old age.
HEAD : This gives the Boxer his characteristic look. Must be in good proportion to the body and appear neither too light nor too heavy. Muzzle should be as broad and powerful as possible. The harmony of the head depends on the balance between muzzle and skull. From whichever direction the head is viewed, from front above or sideways, the muzzle must always be in the right proportion to the skull i.e. it must never appear too small. It should be clean, not showing any wrinkle. However natural folds are formed in the cranial region when alerted. From root of nose, folds are always indicated running in a downward direction on both sides. The dark mask is confined to the muzzle and must be in sharp contrast to the colour of the head so that the face does not appear sombre.
Skull: The cranial region should be as lean and angular as possible. It is slightly arched, neither round and short nor flat; neither should it be too broad. Occiput not too pronounced. Furrow in forehead only slightly marked, must not be too deep, especially between the eyes.
Stop: The forehead forms a distinct stop towards bridge of nose. Bridge of nose must not be forced back into the forehead as in the Bulldog, nor should it be downfaced.
Nose: Nose is broad and black and only slightly turned up with wide nostrils. Tip of nose is placed slightly higher than root of nose.
Muzzle: The muzzle is powerfully developed in three dimensional volume, neither pointed or narrow, nor short or shallow. Its appearance is influenced by :
a) Shape of jaw.
b) Position of canine teeth.
c) Shape of lips.
The canines must be placed as far apart as possible and must be of good length, making the front of the muzzle broad, almost square and forming a blunt angle with bridge of nose.
In front, the edge of the upper lip rests on the edge of the lower lip. The part of the lower jaw with lower lip curved upwards, called the chin, must not markedly protrude over upper lip, seen from front. Nor should it be hidden by the lip but should be well defined from front and side.
The canines and incisors of the lower jaw must not be visible when mouth is closed, neither should the tongue show. Median groove in the upper lip (philtrum) is clearly visible.
Lips: The lips complete the shape of the muzzle. The upper lip is thick and padded and fills the space formed by the undershot lower jaw; it is supported by the lower canines.
Jaws/Teeth: The lower jaw exceeds the upper jaw and is slightly curved upwards. The Boxer is undershot. The upper jaw is broad where it joins the cranial region, tapering only slightly towards the front. The teeth are strong and healthy. The incisors are as even as possible, set in a straight line. Canines wide apart and of good size.
Cheeks: Cheeks are developed in proportion with the strong jaws without markedly bulging. They merge with the muzzle in a slight curve.
Eyes: The dark eyes are neither too small nor protruding or deep set. Their expression conveys energy and intelligence and must not be threatening or piercing. Eye rims must be dark.
Ears: The natural ears are of appropriate size. They are set on wide apart on highest part of skull. In repose they lie close to the cheeks and turn forward with a definite crease especially when the dog is alert.
NECK: Topline runs in an elegant arch from the clearly marked nape to the withers. It should be of ample length, round, strong and muscular.
BODY : Square body resting on sturdy straight legs.
Withers: Should be marked.
Back: Including loin should be short, firm, straight, broad and muscular.
Croup: Slightly sloping, broad and only slightly arched. Pelvis should be long and broad, especially in bitches.
Chest: Deep, reaching to elbows. Depth of chest is half the height at withers. Well formed forechest.
Underline: Running towards rear in elegant line. Short taut flanks slightly tucked up.
TAIL: Set on high rather than low. Tail is left natural.
FOREQUARTERS: Front legs seen from front must stand parallel and have strong bone.
Shoulders: Long and sloping, connected firmly to body. Should not be too loaded.
Upper arm: Long, making a right angle to shoulder blade.
Elbows: Neither too close to side of chest nor turned out.
Forearm: Vertical, long, clean muscles.
Carpus (wrist): Strong, well defined, but not exaggerated.
Metacarpus (Pastern): Short, almost perpendicular to ground.
Front feet: Small, round, tight, well cushioned and hard pads.
HINDQUARTERS: Very muscular, the muscles brick hard and visible under the skin.
Hindlegs: Seen from rear straight.
Thigh: Long and broad. Angles of hip and knee are open but as little as possible.
Knee (Stifle): When dog is standing, should reach so far forward that it would touch a vertical line from point of hip to ground.
Lower thigh: Very muscular.
Hock: Strong and well defined but not exaggerated. Angle approximately 140 degrees.
Metatarsus (Rear Pastern): Short with slight inclination, 95-100 degrees to the ground.
Hind feet: Slightly longer than front feet, tight; well cushioned and hard pads.
GAIT / MOVEMENT: Lively, full of strength and nobility.
SKIN: Dry, elastic without any wrinkles.
HAIR: Short, hard, glossy and close fitting.
COLOUR: Fawn or brindle : Fawn comes in various shades from light fawn to dark deer red but the most attractive shades are in the middle range (red fawn). Black mask. The brindle variety : fawn background of varying shades has dark or black stripes running parallel to ribs. Stripes must contrast distinctly to ground colour. White markings should not be discarded. They can be quite pleasant.
SIZE AND WEIGHT:
Height at the withers : Dogs : 57-63 cm.
Females : 53-59 cm.
Weight : Dogs : over 30 kg when height at withers is ca 60 cm.
Bitches : about 25 kg when height at withers is ca 56 cm.
FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
Behaviour / Temperament : Aggressive, vicious, cunning, untrustworthy, lack of spirit, overly shy.
Head : Lack of nobility and typical expression, sombre face, Pinscher or Bulldog type head. Dribbling, showing of teeth or tongue. Muzzle too pointed or slight. Bridge of nose falling away. Leather or weather nose, pale nose leather. So called, "hawk eye", lack of pigment in haw. In uncropped ears : Flapping, half erect or erect ears, rose ears. Wry jaw, slanting teeth, incorrect position of teeth, poorly developed teeth and unsound teeth due to illness.
Neck : Short, thick and throaty.
Body : Front too broad and low to the ground. Sagging body, roach or sway back. Lean, long, narrow, sagging loin, loosely coupled body. Arched loin, croup falling away. Narrow pelvis, hollow flanks, pendulous belly.
Tail : Low set on, kink tail.
Forehand : French front, loose shoulders, loose elbows, weak pastern, hare foot, flat, splayed feet.
Hindquarters : Weak muscles. Too much or too little angulation, down on hocks, barrel hocks, cow hocks, narrow hocks, dewclaws, hare foot, flat, splayed feet.
Movement : Waddling, insufficient reach, pacing, stilted gait.
Colour of coat : Mask extending beyond muzzle. Stripes (brindling) too close together or too sparse. Sooty ground colour. Mingled colours. Unattractive white markings such as a whole white head or white on one side of the head. Other colours and white markings exceeding one third of the ground colour.
NB: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.