One of the most popular dog breeds in the UK is the Boxer, but how much do you really know about this adorable and devoted breed? Here are 10 fascinating facts.
The last two years have seen many of us welcome a new four-legged friend into our homes, as the Kennel Club saw dog ownership soar.
But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your perfect pup.
Those with active lifestyles might want to consider a larger dog, while somebody with allergies will be looking for a hypoallergenic dog.
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall both loved Boxers and recieved their first, called Harvey, as a wedding present. They would go on to have two more Boxers, named Baby and George.
There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
One dog that often appears at the top of people’s canine wishlists is the Boxer – they are one of the UK’s most popular breeds and have a range of positive attributes that make them a great family pet.
Boxers have been used for a whole range of jobs, thanks to their intelligence and versatility, including as service dogs, guide dogs for the blind, therapy dogs, police dogs and even to herd cattle or sheep.
Here are 10 fun and interesting facts about the Boxer.
A Boxer has never been awarded the Best in Show rosette at Crufts but has had more luck on the other side of the Atlantic. The breed has been victorious at the Westminster Dog Show – the most prestigious in the USA – on four occasions, in 1947, 1949, 1951, and 1970.
The theory that the Boxer got its name from a habit of using its front paws to ‘box’ is thought to be apocryphal. It’s more likely to be a corruption of a nickname for their Bullenbeisser ancestors – ‘Boxl’.
Boxers have ancestors that can be traced to the ancient Assyrians more than four thousand years ago. They were powerful and brave dogs, often used in war.
The Boxer’s coat can have many different patterns and colours – including fawn, brindle and even pure white. But the breed does not carry the gene for a solid black coat, so purebred black Boxers do not exist
Two Boxers called Punch and Judy were awarded the Dickin Medal for conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty (the animal Victoria Cross) for their service in Israel in 1946. The commendation notes: “saved the lives of two British Officers by warning them of and attacking an armed terrorist who was stealing upon them unawares.”
During World War I, many Boxer were co-opted for military work, acting as valuable messenger dogs, pack carriers, attack dogs, and guard dogs.
The Boxer is a hunting mastiff developed in Germany in the late 19th century from the now-extinct Bullenbeisser and Bulldogs imported from the UK.
In 1895, three Germans – named Friedrich Robert, Elard König, and R Höpner – founded the world’s first Boxer Club. The creators of the Deutscher Boxer Club were then the first people to put a Boxer in exhibition at a dog show the following year.