History of the German Boxer

The origins of the Boxer go back to the early Middle Ages, when game, that was able to put up a fight, was still hunted with sturdy dogs of the Bullenbeisser-type. In these times, it was normal that dogs, used for the hunt or to fight, had cropped ears and docked tails, so that these sensitive parts would not be a weak spot or point of vantage.

Typically for the Bullenbeisser-type was the sturdy build, as well as a broad muzzle and heavy cheeks. Self-confidence and courage were essentially for those dogs because in the woods they were on their own. The losses on the hunt were heavy and therefore it was valued highly only to mate the best of the dogs with each other. In 17th century already one can find literature containing pictures of a boxer-like type of dogs.

With the increasing use of firearms for hunting, dogs were receding in importance and dogs of the sturdy type were then mainly used to help butchers with driving cattle or to protect them against cattle.

The Boxer, as we know the breed today, had its beginning in the first half of the 19th century, when several dog types (i. e. the smaller Bullenbeisser and the English Bulldog) were crossed on purpose. In 1895 in Munich, the Boxer could be entered for the first time in a dog show but only one Boxer was shown: Mühlbauers Flocki.

Mühlbauers Flocki went down in history as number 1 in the studbook of the Boxer, because in the same year the Boxer-Klub was founded. From the beginning it was of highest importance for the Boxer-Klub that the Boxer was approved as a working and service dog. So Boxers were sent into World War 1 which almost meant the end for this new breed because so many dogs died on duty and all the breeding achievements to this point had been gained through very close inbreeding already. In 1905, the first breed standard passed and in the year 1924 the much longed for official approval of the Boxer as a working dog followed. During the thirties, the Boxer breed reached a peak and the Boxer became well-known and loved throughout the German country. Needless to say that Boxers were called on duty in Word War 2 also. Due to high casualties during the war and the export of excellent studs to America, The Netherlands and Great Britain, the continued existence of the breed again had to be secured by only few good remaining stud dogs.

For more than 100 years the breed standard of the Boxer remains almost unchanged. Things that have changed over the course of time are merely height and weight and that the descriptions of natural ears and tail had to be added induced by the legal prohibition of cropping ears and / or docking tails in all of Germany.