COURTESY OF THE AMERICAN BOXER CLUB
On October 1, 2004 the Americal Boxer Club members voted a number of changes to this standard.
One change addresses the natural ear.
Essentially an uncropped boxer can be shown in conformation without being given a fault for the natural ear. The standard includes a description of the way the natural ear should look.
Many natural ears do not fall correctly and there is a way to correct that when the boxer is a young dog.
EVEN SHOW DOGS NEED TO HAVE MANNERS
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the Board of
September 27, 2001
A PERSPECTIVE ON THE BOXER STANDARD
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.
|You can add a lot to your
knowledge of Boxers by absorbing the first paragraphs of the Standard, those
on general description. The details break down in parts the sum of the total
as you attempt to picture the Boxer. The relative importance of these parts
becomes clearer when you understand their originally designed purpose and
function. For instance, the square strong agile build of the Boxer lends
itself well to serve as a guard, working and companion dog. The spirited
bearing, square jaw and cleans muscled body suggest the well-conditioned
middleweight athlete of dogdom, so fitting for his current role of alert
family guardian. This is the same as for his original function of a hunting
dog found in feudal Germany. There, as a small courageous hunting dog of
mastiff type head and undershot bite, he was used to secure a tenacious hold
on bull, bear or board pending the hunters' arrival. Because of his
undershot jaw and layback in muzzle, he was able to continue to breathe
lengthening his tenacious hold on his prey. His strength, ability and
efficiency in motion aided him in overtaking, capturing and holding his hunt
without great harm to himself.
In time, the Boxer went through periods of use as a utility dog for peasant and shop owners and, with his trainability, even as a performer. As a guard and Seeing Eye Dog, he has also met with success. His current role of alert family guardian suits him well, too, as a walking companion and especially a children's playmate and protector.
In the Standard proper, are inclusions of phrases intended to explain considerations in evaluating the quest for the IDEAL. They
are presented to enhance understanding of relative importance of characteristics.For example, under "SIZE"..preferably males should not be under the minimum, nor females over the maximum; however, "proper balance and quality in the individual should be of primary importance since there is not size disqualification."
Under the description of "HEAD", its components, as described, are explicit in detail and require thorough study since a great deal of the type unique to the Boxer is presented in these paragraphs. In progressing through the remaining paragraphs, one can delve into acquiring a deepening understanding of the composition of an IDEAL individual of this wonderful Breed. The faults listed in the various sections are deviations from the IDEAL and should be penalized to the degree of deviation as set forth in the most recent 1999 Standard Revision.
Evaluating and judging toward qualities and desired characteristics will help to promote better Boxers for individuals to appreciate and direct their breeding programs to produce. This will help breeders avoid pitfalls of rising concentrations of undesirable and unhealthy factors, thereby governing choices in selective breeding and wise placement of show and breeding stock.
The Boxer Standard is an important guide for breeders, judges and exhibitors to understand and follow. Supporting the search for the IDEAL is of paramount importance in the development of high quality, sound and healthy individuals for the future success and enjoyment of our Breed.
By Eleanor Linderholm-Wood, Illustrated Standard Committee
Approved by The American Boxer Club Board of Directors on September 27, 2001
GENERAL APPEARANCE AND GUIDE TO JUDGING
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.
|Neck, Topline, Body
Neck: Round, of ample length, muscular and clean without excessive hanging skin (dewlap). The neck has a distinctly marked nape with an elegant arch blending smoothly into the withers.
Topline: Smooth, firm, and slightly sloping.
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.
Back: The back is short, straight and muscular and firmly connects the withers to the hindquarters.
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. Tail is set high, docked and carried upward. Pelvis long and in females especially broad.Substance: Sturdy with balanced musculature. Males larger boned than their female counterparts.
|Judging the Boxer
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.
The beauty of the head depends upon harmonious proportion of muzzle to skull. The blunt muzzle is 1/3rd the length of the head from the occiput to the tip of the nose, and 2/3rds the width of the skull.
Size, Proportion, Substance
|Proportion: The body in profile is
of square proportion 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
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.
|Head The chiseled head imparts to the Boxer a
unique individual stamp. It must be in correct proportion to the body.
Expression Intelligent and alert.
Eyes Dark brown in color, 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.
Ears Set at the highest points of the sides of the skill are cropped,
cut rather long and tapering, raised when alert.
Eyes -- Male and Female
Enlargement of Male Eye From Illustration Above
Enlargement of Female Eye From Illustration Above
Features of the Boxer Bite
|Bite--The Boxer bite is undershot, the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper and curves 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 incisors is slightly convex with the corner upper incisors fitting snugly back of the lower canine teeth on each side.|
|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 thigh long. Leg well angulated at the stifle with a clearly defined, well "let down" hock joint. 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.
|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
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.
View of Forequarters and Hindquarters
GRAPHIC VIEW OF COLOR DISQUALIFICATION
GRAPHIC VIEW OF COLOR DISQUALIFICATION
FRONT AND REAR VIEW
Visual Representation of Side Gait
The Boxer is NOT a racing breed, but one that has a smooth, steady, powerful trotting gait that is virtually effortless. A properly proportioned Boxer can move seemingly endlessly in a ground covering slightly springy stride, each part of his proud carriage blending into a picture of synchronized efficient motion. The trot seems a gait of ease and readiness and one that appears tireless in ability to perform.
Therefore, in determining quality of movement in the exhibits in the show ring, it is necessary to have the individuals move at a natural and not over extended pace, preferably on a loose lead.
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" should be evident to prevent interference, overlap, or "sidewinding" (crabbing). 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.
Viewed from Front and Rear
|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.||Faults
Stilted or inefficient gait. Lack of smoothness.
|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.|
FRONT AND REAR SKELETAL STRUCTURE
REAR UPPER THIGH
THE LENGTH OF EACH OF THESE PARTS IS VIRTUALLY THE SAME.
|SLIGHT SLOPE OF CROUP
A LINE DROPPED PERPENDICULARLY FROM THE REAR OF THE THIGH SHOULD DROP JUST IN FRONT OF THE FOOT.
|A LINE DROPPED PERPENDICULARLY HALFWAY THROUGH THE SHOULDER BLADE SHOULD DROP DIRECTLY THROUGH THE ELBOW AND TO THE BACK OF THE HEEL OF THE FOOT ON THE GROUND.|
ANATOMY OF THE BOXER
Definition of Terms
Scapula - Should er blade; Pro-sternum - Forechest; Humerus - Upper arm; Radius/Ulna - Foreleg; Sternum - Brisket/Lower chest; Occiput - top most crest back of skull; Nape - top of neck; Withers - the upper portion of shoulder blade union with the spinous processes of the 1st and 2nd thoracic vertebrae. (The highest area of the back). Loin - the lumbar area, between the end of the rib cage and the start of the pelvis; Croup - (rump) muscular area just above and around the set of tail and overlies the lower half of the pelvic region; Femur - upper thigh bone; Patella - kneecap (part of stifle joint); Fibula/Tibia - lower rear leg.
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