TRIFECTA BOXERS PRESENTS
THE OFFICIAL STANDARD OF THE BOXER DOG

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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proofing recalls at the beach and play time at the farm.

 

Boxer

Basics

A Visual

Study of

the AKC

Standard

Approved by

the Board of

Directors,

American

Boxer Club

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

  General Appearance
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.

Proportion of Head and Body

 

Head

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
Size: Adult males 22 1/2 to 25 inches, females 21 to 23 1/2 inches at the withers. 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 no size disqualification.

 
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 ground.

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 Studies -- Male and Female

   

   

      

Male Head

Female Head

   

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.
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. The head should be clean, not showing deep wrinkles (wet). Wrinkles typically appear upon the forehead when ears are erect, and folds are always present from the lower edge of the stop running downward on both sides of the muzzle.

Skull
The top of the skull is slightly arched, not rounded, flat nor noticeably broad, with the occiput not overly pronounced. The forehead shows 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 (cheekiness), maintaining the clean lines of the skull and should taper into the muzzle in a slight, graceful curve.

Muzzle
The muzzle, proportionately developed in length, width and depth, has a shape 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), nor should it be concave (dishfaced); however, the tip of the nose should lie slightly higher than the root of the muzzle.

Nose
The nose should be broad and black.

Jaw
The upper jaw is broad where attached to the skull and maintains this breadth, except for a very light tapering to the front. The lips, which complete the formation of the muzzle, should meet evenly in front. The upper lip is thick and padded, filling out the frontal space created by the projection of the lower jaw, and laterally is supported by the canines of the lower jaw. Therefore, these 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 perceptible from the side as well as from the front.

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 from it.

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

SIDE VIEW

 

 

GRAPHIC VIEW OF COLOR DISQUALIFICATION

FRONT AND REAR VIEW

 

 

 

 

 

Visual Representation of Side Gait

 

 

 

GAIT EVALUATION:

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.

Perspective on Gait

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

SHOULDER BLADE

(Scapula)

UPPER ARM

(Humerus)

PELVIS

REAR UPPER THIGH

(Femur)

LOWER LEG

(Fibula/Tibia)

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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