MEET THE BOXER............
The Boxer's most notable characteristic is his desire for human affection. The Boxer is happiest when he is with people--especially children, watching protectively over their play.This breed looks intimidating ,like most "Bully" breeds but extremes in aggression is NOT a trait. Boxers are considered the clowns of the dog world and love to make people laugh. Although regal in look and bearing their actions are sometimes not , like a true Jester ANYTHING for a laugh.........
The Boxer's historical background begins in Germany. Here, a small hunting dog with a mastiff-type head and undershot bite was used to catch and hold bull, boar,stag or bear for their owners. Many features of the Boxer were selected , in the beginning,to help serve this end.The under-bite,with the short slightly turned up nose helped the dog to breath while maintaining a hold on the hunted animal. The wrinkles on the forehead and deep indent (called a "Stop") BETWEEN THE BASE OF THE NOSE AND THE FOREHEAD helped channel blood from the held animal away from the nose eyes and mouth,to drip down the sides of the face.The ears were cropped short along with the tail (Boar will happily grab a dogs tail and do major damage) to keep from being cut or torn and bleeding profusely.Strong jaws,neck and chest muscles helped to wrestle and hold the animals. In the 1880's, descendants of this type of dog were bred to a taller, more elegant English import, and the era of the modern Boxer had begun. Imported to America after the first World War, his popularity really began in the late 1930s.IT continues today with the Boxer ranking # 6 in popularity via AKC registration numbers.
The Boxer is a medium-sized dog ranging from 21 1/2 inches high at the shoulder in a smaller female up to 25 inches (sometimes taller) in a large male. Adult weight may reach 65-80 pounds in the male, with females about 15 pounds less. There are no miniature or giant varieties. The Boxer is considered a MEDIUM SIZED BREED ACCORDING TO AKC BREED STANDARD . The short, close-lying coat is found in two equally acceptable and attractive basic colors-fawn and brindle. The fawn may vary from a light honey colored tan to a beautiful deep stag red (also called 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 bridling"). Completely black boxers are not breed standard and have an "alternate" registration code and color name (Seal) along with white or checked Boxers.Black boxers are also not "rare" and can be bred by crossing two very dark Brindle parents.
White markings should be of such distribution as to ENHANCE the dog's appearance, but may not exceed one-third of the entire coat. It is not uncommon to have a totally white Boxer born in a litter. This is NOT rare as is sometimes reported , and to a very large extent may be avoided by not breeding together two flashy dogs. An all-white coat, or a predominantly white background with fawn or brindle markings or patches(known as a "check") may occur. In order to retain the beauty of the fawn and brindle colors, American Boxer Club members are pledged not to use white boxers for breeding.Unfortunately white Boxers can have health issues that a Boxer of breed standard colors do not have.Skin cancers due to sunburn are of concern as is partial or total deafness due to lack of pigmentation in the nerve endings of specific areas of the inner ear. It has been noted by this breeder that this seems to be much less prevalent in Boxers with brown eyes and or markings (Checked) like an eye patch etc.
The Boxer's official classification is in the "Working Group" of dogs. Although always vigilant, the Boxer is not a nervous breed, and will not bark without cause. Unfortunately this breeds AVERAGE lifespan is only 8-10 years.
MEDICAL CONDITIONS AFFECTING BOXER
Despite a breeder's best efforts, Boxers do sometimes suffer from conditions to which the breed seems to be predisposed. In many instances, diagnosis and treatment will effect a cure or symptomatic relief.
Like many breeds of dogs, Boxers are subject to heart ailments. Like humans, these include congenital anomalies as well as acquired disease later in life as the dogs body ages. Boxer heart disease usually falls into two important categories: aortic stensois and cardiomyopathy. Heart Disease and Cancers are the biggest killers of this breed.
This is a congenital condition, a narrowing or constriction of the outflow tract from the left ventricle to the aorta. It can be detected as a systolic murmur by your veterinarian in young puppies an older dogs. Sometimes the murmur will not show up until the dog reaches enough physical size for the constriction to become evident.
This murmur must be distinguished from other types of murmurs, often innocent flow or "puppy" murmurs that disappear as the puppy grows. There is no practical surgical treatment, and if the condition results in arrhythmia, arrhythmic therapy is usually instituted. Mild forms of the anomaly may go undetected and are not incompatible with a normal life span.
Cardiomyopathy is an electrical-conduction disturbance (sometimes referred to as ARVC--Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy), a condition of the heart muscle itself causing abnormal electrical impulses to disrupt the heart's normal rhythm. This arrhythmia may lead to sudden death or heart failure. Symptoms include weakness and/or collapse. Arrhythmia can be brought on by certain poisons, infections (notably parvovirus), severe uremia, diabetes, and heatstroke. However, in Boxers they most often occur due to no known cause. Heredity undoubtedly plays a role. Boxer breeders around the world are frustrated that there is at present no way to diagnose the propensity for this condition in asymptomatic dogs.
Boxers are at risk for a variety of cancers. These include benign and malignant skin lesions (because of their all white color and the fact that they sunburn easily White Boxers have a higher chance of skin cancers,notably on on their noses,ears and tail .) other areas that can be effected as well are the brain, thyroid, mammary glands, testes (undecended Testicles in a male dog almost always turn cancerous), heart, spleen, blood, lymph system (lymphoma), and other organs. Benign skin tumors usually respond to simple surgical excision under local anesthesia.
It is prudent to be alert to any unusual growths or medical developments, especially as your Boxer ages. Consult with your veterinarian immediately if you notice anything suspicious. Lumps,bumps sores that do not heal-unexplained weight chronic cough loss seizures ...all of these may be indicators of potential problems.Early detection is important to long term survival.
DM (Degenerative Myelopathy) is a neurological disease affecting the spinal cord and nerves coordinating the rear quarters. Over time, dogs lose the ability to walk, become incontinent, and are most often euthanize d at this point. DM is a sad disease in that the patient remains mentally alert; there is no pain; and yet, keeping such an animal happy poses special challenges.
Hip Dysplasia is a developmental disease of the hip joint that affects many breeds of dogs. The head of the femur (thigh bone) and the acetabulum (hip socket) become incompatible; the joint weakens and loses proper function. Reluctance to engage in strenuous physical activity, lameness and pain are all possible signs of dysplasia, usually manifested between the ages of 4 months to 1 year. X-rays are definitively diagnostic and will show evidence of abnormal joint laxity. Hip Dysplasia is a poly genetic disease and many factors contribute,including heredity,diet and type and amount of exercise on growing puppies.Many dogs can actually have Dysplastic hips and never show any signs of pain or lameness until old age which is then chalked up to "just getting old and stiff".
The condition may be caused by thyroid tumors or primary malfunction of the thyroid itself. The deficient thyroid may have an effect on many organ systems, including the heart. Symptoms may include excessive hair thinning, obesity, anemia, infertility, and lethargy. Diagnosis is confirmed by a complete thyroid panel blood test. Oral doses of thyroid hormones will alleviate most symptoms and will probably need to be given for the duration of the dogs life. Luckily, thyroid therapy is relatively inexpensive and effective. Remember, most Boxers can and do live long and healthy lives with thyroid problems.
STAYING IN TOUCH
It is very advisable to maintain a relationship with your puppy's breeder. The breeder can be an invaluable friend to you throughout your Boxer's life, and can advise you about care and health matters that are unique to the breed.Even though most breeders try to do their best to produce sound quality dogs occasionally things happen.A breeder doesn't know that their program needs to be tweaked if they are unaware of the problems.issues that arise are crucial to determining if the problem is a one time fluke or if it could become an issue with crossing certain lines. talk to your breeder and then both of you can decide the best course.Please keep in mind most breeders try very hard to breed quality dogs. If issues arise a respectful approach is best . I guarantee that if on the rare occasion something life threatening arises I feel just as bad as the owners and try very hard to make sure all involved are treated fairly.