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The Boxer Standard

General Appearance--The Boxer is a medium-sized, square built dog of good substance with short back, strong limbs, and a 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 elegaance and style. His expression is alert and temperament steadfast and tractable. The chiseled head imparts to the Boxer a unique individual stamp. It must be in correct proportion to the bocy. 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 to which attractive color and arresting style contribute. Next is overall balance with special attention devoted to the head, after which the individual body components are examined for their correct construction, and efficiency of gait is evaluated.

Size, Proportion and Substance--Adult males - 22 1/2 to 25 inches: females - 21 to 23 1/2 inches at the withers. Males should not be under nor females over but keep in mind that there is no size disqualification. The body from the side is of square proportion ( the length of a vertical line from the floor to the top of the withers equals the length of a horizontal line measured from the tip of the forechest to the rear of the upper thigh. The substance should be equally balanced with elegance. Therefore, to be at his highest efficiency he must never be heavy muscled or heavy boned and , while he should be equipped for speed he must never look light boned or racy.

Head-- The overall beauty of the head depends on the harmonious proportion of the muzzle to the skull. The powerful blunt muzzle is one-third the length of the total head length ( from tip of nose to occiput). The head should be clean of deep wrinkles except on the forehead when ears are erect and on the muzzle where folds should run down both sides from the lower edge of the stop. Expression is intelligent and alert. The eyes are dark brown in color, not too small, protruding or deep set. The wrinkling together with the mood-mirroring characteristics of the eyes give the Boxer its unique expressive quality. The ears are set at the highest points of the sides of the skull and if cropped, should be cut rather long and tapering and raised when alert. The skull top is slightly arches, not rounded, flat or noticeably broad. The forehead show 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 helping to maintain the clean lines of the skull and should taper into the muzzle ina a slight graceful curve. The powerful muzzle, being two thirds the width of the skull is proportionate in length, width and depth. It is not pointed, narrow, short or shallow. The Boxer is normally undershot. Its shape is 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), not 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. The upper jaw is broad where attached to the skull and maintains this breadth except for a very slight tapering to the front. The upper lip is thick and padded, filling out the frontal space created by the projection of the lower jaw, and laterally by the canines of the lower jaw. Therefore, the 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 noticeable from the side as well as from the front. 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 back of the lower canine teeth on each side.

Faults- Skull too broad. Bulging cheeks. Wrinkling too deep (wet) or lacking (dry). Excessive flews. Muzzle too light for skull. Too pointed a bite (snipy), too undershot, teeth or tongue showing when mouth closed. Eyes noticeably lighter than ground color of coat.

Neck, Topline, Body-- The neck is round, of ample lenghth, muscular and clean without excessive, hanging skin (dewlap). The neck has a distinctly marked nape with an elegant arch blending smoothly into the withers. The topline is smooth, firm and slightlyt sloping. 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 back is short, straight and muscular and firmly connects the withers to the hindquarters.

Faults--Short, heavy neck. Chest too broad, too narrow or hanging between the shoulders. Lack of forechest. Hanging stomach. Slab-sided rib cage. Long or narrow loin, weak union with croup. Falling off of croup. Higher in rear than in front.

Forequarters-- The shoulders are long and sloping, close-lying, and not excessively covered with nuscle (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 pasterns are 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.

Faults-- Loose or loaded shoulders. Ties in or bowed out elbows.

Hindquarters--The hindquarters are stongly 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 thigh long. Leg well angulated at the stifle with a clearly defined, short hock. Viewed from behind, the hind legs should be straight with hock joints tilting in neither in or out. From the side, the leg below the hock should be almost perpendicular to the ground, with a sligtht slope to the rear permissible. They should be clean and strong. The Boxer has no rear dewclaws.

Faults-- Steep or over-angulated hindquarters. Light thighs or underdeveloped hams. Over-angulated (sickle) hocks. Hindquarters too far under or too far behind.

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 brindling ranges from sparse, but clearly defined black stripes on a fawn background, to such a heavy concentration of it that the essential fawn background color barely, although clearly, shows through (which may give the appearance of reverse brindling). White markings should be of such distribution as to enhancd the dog's appearance, but may not exceed one-third of the entire coat. They are not desirable on the flanks. On the face, white may replace part of the otherwise essential black mask and may extend in a upward path between the eyes, but must not be excessive, so as to detract from the true Boxer expression.

Faults--Unattractive or misplaced white markings. 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 powerful drive emanating from a freely operating rear. Although the front legs do not contribute impelling power, adequate reach shoud 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, by increasing speed, the legs move 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 the speed increases, the normally broad rear track will become marrower. Faults--Stilted or inefficient gait. Lack of smootheness. Temperament--The character and temperament of Boxers is of particular importance. Instinctively a hearing guard dog, his bearing is alert, dignified and confident. In the show ring, his behaviour should exhibit constrained animation. With family and friends, his temperament is playful, being particularly 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 makes him a highly desirable companion. Faults--Lack of dignity and alertness. Shyness.