Boxers were originally bred in Germany as guard dogs in the 18th century. This medium to large-sized dog was bred as a cross between the Bullenbeisser dog (now extinct) and the Bulldog. The Boxers we know and love today for their silliness and energy have emerged from a Molosser-type dog that was used in hunting.
Fun Fact: The term “Boxer” is derived from the breed’s propensity to use their front legs in a manner that looks similar to boxing athletes with their gloves up.
It is important to note that officially there is only one type of Boxer breed that has different bloodlines. Sometimes, these bloodlines are mixed, while other times they are absolutely pure. There are no variant types or official sub-categories in the official sense. However, there are plenty of morphological differences among Boxer breeds to consider.
Below are the different types of Boxer dog breeds and their differences.
1. German Boxer Dog
- Defining characteristic: Larger and more robust than other Boxers
Some purists think this is the only “official” Boxer breed. The dog is preferred for its slightly larger frame as compared to the UK and American Boxer. The bones are dense and large that helps give the musculature a slightly more pronounced definition. The width of the thigh in this breed is slightly wider as compared to others.
A feature typical to German Boxers is the length between their skull and snout. The length is exactly in the ratio of 1:2 in German Boxers with a pure bloodline. The snout, in comparison to other types, is smaller than the American Boxer and wider than the UK Boxer type.
2. United Kingdom Boxer Dog
- Defining characteristic: Considered the most elegant among all Boxers, owing to its high knuckles atop small feet
This breed is also called the English Boxer or British Boxer. The Kennel Club of the United Kingdom (KC) established this dog as a pure breed in 1948. The UK Boxer stands out for being more lithe, sleek, and athletic as compared to other Boxer breeds. It has a slender musculature and a stylized body that allows for further agility and precise movements.
The breed doesn’t lose its gracefulness while charging and hunting, which is a typical characteristic. English Boxers have the highest knuckles of all other variants. They are also thought to be the smallest with thinner and shorter legs. However, this does not mean that they lack strength or speed.
3. American Boxer Dog
- Defining characteristic: A tight and shiny coat with no wrinkles, and a wider snout
The American Boxer was the last variant to be developed in the Boxer line. However, it was the first one to be given official recognition in 1904 by American Kennel Club. The breed is the easiest to recognize among all other variants, thanks to the lack of wrinkles in adult dogs. Their coat is also denser, brighter, and stronger than English and German Boxers.
The American Boxer stands differently from the English Boxer. This is because of the shape of its ankles, paws, and knuckles. However, it is easy to confuse American Boxers with German Boxers since both of them have the same stance.
4. Brindle Boxer Dog
The breed is characterized by a fawn fur with dark stripes that can be dense to scarce (one or two stripes). Brindle Boxers have white fur on the legs and chest.
5. White Boxer Dog
These Boxers are almost all white but not technically albino. They may have brindle patches or fawn-colored fur near the eyes, on top of the head, base of the tail, and ears. A typical feature of White Boxers is the lack of a black mask that is a standard in almost all Boxers.
6. Black Boxers
Black Boxers are a myth. These doggos appear black. But, in fact, they are actually reverse brindles. This means that their brindle stripes are so thick that you cannot notice the fawn-colored coat underneath. Reverse brindles give these dogs such a dark coat that it almost appears black.
7. Fawn Boxer
These are highly common Boxers with the color of their coat ranging from a deep red to solid light tan. Fawn Boxers, as compared to other types of Boxers, tend to have more white on their legs and chest.
Boxer Bulldog Mix
This breed is a cross between English Bulldog or American Bulldog and Boxer. They are highly energetic and extremely playful. The “Bulloxer”—as they are lovingly called—is protective, loyal, friendly, and a happy breed.
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Boxer Beagle Mix
This cross between a Beagle and Boxer is called the “Boggle”. The breed is strong, athletic, confident, and very playful.
This breed is a cross between the Boston Terrier and Boxer. It is also called the Boxer Terrier mix. The cross is a highly intelligent, active, loyal, and mischievous family companion.
Boxer Lab Mix
This is a cross between Labrador Retriever and Boxer. This breed makes an amazing family companion. It gets a loyal and loving nature from the Labrador and an energetic and playful personality from the Boxer.
Pitbull Boxer Mix
The cross between a Boxer and a Pitbull is called a “Bullboxer”. The mix has an easygoing personality and makes a great running buddy because of their athletic nature. Bullboxers are friendly and extremely loyal.
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Boxer German Shepherd Mix
This mix gets the best traits of a German Shepherd and Boxer. The cross is energetic, highly intelligent, and surprisingly good-natured. They are also loyal to their human companions. However, Boxer German Shepherds are typically recommended for an individual and not a family.