Breed Standard

TRANSLATION: Mrs C. Seidler, revised by Mrs Sporre-Willes and R. Triquet. Revised by J. Mulholland 2008.
UTILIZATION: Companion, Guard and Working Dog.
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I.: Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer- Molossoid breeds- Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs.
Section 2.1 Molossoid breeds, mastiff type. With working trial.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : The small, so called Brabant Bullenbeisser is regarded as the immediate ancestor of the Boxer. In the past, the breeding of these Bullenbeissers was in the hands of the huntsmen, whom they assisted during the hunt. Their task was to seize the game put up by the hounds and hold it firmly until the huntsman arrived and put an end to the prey. For this job the dog had to have jaws as wide as possible with widely spaced teeth, in order to bite firmly and hold on tightly. A Bullenbeisser which had these characteristics was best suited to this job and was used for breeding. Previously, only the ability to work and utilization were considered. Selective breeding was carried out which produced a dog with a wide muzzle and an upturned nose.

General Standard Appearance

GENERAL APPEARANCE : The Boxer is a medium sized, smooth coated, sturdy dog of compact, square build and strong bone. His muscles are taut, strongly developed and moulded in appearance. His movement is lively, powerful with noble bearing. The Boxer must be neither cumbersome nor heavy, nor light or lacking in body substance.


Boxer proportions

BEHAVIOR / TEMPERAMENT : The Boxer should be fearless self-confident, calm and equable. Temperament is of the utmost importance and requires careful attention. Devotion and loyalty towards his master and his entire household, his watchfulness and self-assured courage as a defender are famous. He is harmless with his family but distrustful of strangers. Happy and friendly in play, yet fearless in a serious situation. Easy to train on account of his willingness to obey, his pluck and courage, natural keenness and scent capability. Undemanding and clean, he is just as agreeable and appreciated in the family circle as he is as a guard, companion and working dog. His character is trustworthy, with no guile or cunning, even in old age.

Boxer head proportionsHEAD : This gives the Boxer his characteristic look. Must be in good proportion to the body and appear neither too light nor too heavy. Muzzle should be as broad and powerful as possible. The harmony of the head depends on the balance between muzzle and skull.

From whichever direction the head is viewed, from front, above or sideways, the muzzle must always be in the right proportion to the skull i.e. it must never appear too small. It should be clean, not showing any wrinkle. However, natural folds are formed in the cranial region when alerted. From root of nose, folds are always indicated running in a downward direction on both sides. The dark mask is confined to the muzzle and must be in sharp contrast to the colour of the head so that the face does not appear sombre.



NECK : Topline runs in an elegant arch from the clearly marked nape to the withers. It should be of ample length, round, strong and muscular.

BODY : Square body resting on sturdy, straight legs.

TAIL : Set on high rather than low. The tail is of normal length and left natural.


FOREQUARTERS : Front legs, seen from front, must stand parallel and have strong bone.

HINDQUARTERS : Very muscular, the muscles brick hard and visible under the skin.

Boxers gait

GAIT / MOVEMENT : Lively, full of strength and nobility.

SKIN: Dry, elastic without any wrinkles.



Height at the withers:


Editors note: For a very detailed visual representation of the Boxer's topographical anatomy with angle and measurement references, please visit this trusted link:


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.