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 chase. Their task was to seize
the game put up by chasing hounds and hold it firmly until
the huntsman arrived and put an end to the prey. For this
job the dog had to have as wide jaws as possible with broadly
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 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
or heavy, nor light or lacking in body substance.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :
a) Length of body / Height at withers : Square build, which
means that the horizontal line of the back is perpendicular
to the vertical line passing through the point of shoulder
and to the other vertical line passing through the point of
buttock, thus defining a square outline.
b) Depth of brisket / Height at withers : The chest reaches
to the elbows. Depth of chest is half the height at withers.
c) Length of nose bridge / Length of head : Length of nose
bridge in relation to skull should be 1 : 2 (measured from
tip of nose to inner corner of eye or, respectively, inner
corner of eye to occiput).
BEHAVIOUR / 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.
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.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : The cranial region should be as lean
and angular as possible. It is slightly arched, neither round
and short nor flat; neither should it be too broad. Occiput
not too pronounced. Furrow in forehead only slightly marked,
must not be too deep, especially between the eyes.
Stop : The forehead forms a distinct stop
towards bridge of nose. Bridge of nose must not be forced
back into the forehead as in the Bulldog, nor should it be
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Nose is broad and black and only slightly
turned up with wide nostrils. Tip of nose is placed slightly
higher than root of nose.
Muzzle : The muzzle is powerfully developed
in three dimensional volume, neither pointed or narrow, nor
short or shallow. Its appearance is influenced by :
a) Shape of jaw. b) Position of canine teeth. c) Shape of
lips. The canines must be placed as far apart as possible
and must be of good length, making the front of the muzzle
broad, almost square and forming a blunt angle with bridge
In front, the edge of the upper lip rests on the edge of the
lower lip. The part of the lower jaw with lower lip curved
upwards, called the chin, must not markedly protrude over
upper lip, seen from front. Nor should it be hidden by the
lip but should be well defined from front and side.
The canines and incisors of the lower jaw must not be visible
when mouth is closed, neither should the tongue show. Median
groove in the upper lip (philtrum) is clearly visible.
Lips : The lips complete the shape of the
muzzle. The upper lip is thick and padded and fills the space
formed by the undershot lower jaw; it is supported by the
Jaws/Teeth : The lower jaw exceeds the upper
jaw and is slightly curved upwards. The Boxer is undershot.
The upper jaw is broad where it joins the cranial region,
tapering only slightly towards the front. The teeth are strong
and healthy. The incisors are as even as possible, set in
a straight line. Canines wide apart and of good size.
Cheeks : Cheeks are developed in proportion
with the strong jaws without markedly bulging. They merge
with the muzzle in a slight curve.
Eyes : The dark eyes are neither too small
nor protruding or deep set. Their expression conveys energy
and intelligence and must not be threatening or piercing.
Eye rims must be dark.
Ears : The natural ears are of appropriate
size. They are set on wide apart on highest part of skull.
In repose they lie close to the cheeks and turn forward with
a definite crease especially when the dog is alert.
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.
Withers : Should be marked.
Back : Including loin should be short, firm,
straight, broad and muscular.
Croup : Slightly sloping, broad and only
slightly arched. Pelvis should be long and broad, especially
Chest : Deep, reaching to elbows. Depth of
chest is half the height at withers. Well formed forechest.
Ribs well sprung but not barrel-shaped, extending well to
Underline : Running towards rear in elegant
line. Short taut flanks slightly tucked up.
TAIL : Set on high rather than
low, customarily docked and carried high.
FOREQUARTERS : Front legs seen from
front must stand parallel and have strong bone.
Shoulders : Long and sloping, connected
firmly to body. Should not be too loaded.
Upper arm : Long, making a right angle
to shoulder blade.
Elbows : Neither too close to side
of chest nor turned out.
Forearm : Vertical, long, clean muscles.
Carpus (wrist) : Strong, well defined,
but not exaggerated.
Metacarpus (Pastern) : Short, almost
perpendicular to ground.
Front feet : Small, round, tight, well
cushioned and hard pads.
: Very muscular, the muscles brick hard and visible
under the skin.
Hindlegs : Seen from
Thigh : Long and broad.
Angles of hip and knee are open but as little as possible.
Knee (Stifle) : When dog is standing,
should reach so far forward that it would touch a vertical
line from point of hip to ground.
: Very muscular.
Hock : Strong and
well defined but not exaggerated. Angle approximately
Metatarsus (Rear Pastern)
: Short with slight inclination, 95-100 degrees to the
Hind feet : Slightly longer
than front feet, tight; well cushioned and hard pads.
GAIT / MOVEMENT : Lively, full of strength
SKIN : Dry, elastic without
HAIR : Short, hard, glossy and close fitting.
COLOUR : Fawn or brindle : Fawn comes in
various shades from light fawn to dark deer red but the most
attractive shades are in the middle range (red fawn). Black
mask. The brindle variety : fawn background of varying shades
has dark or black stripes running parallel to ribs. Stripes
must contrast distinctly to ground
colour. White markings should not be discarded. They can be
SIZE AND WEIGHT :
Height at the withers : Dogs : 57-63 cm.
Females : 53-59 cm.
Weight : Dogs : over 30 kg when height at
withers is ca 60 cm.
Bitches : about 25 kg when height at withers is ca 56 cm.
FAULTS : 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.
Behaviour / Temperament : Aggressive, vicious,
cunning, untrustworthy, lack of spirit, overly shy.
Head : Lack of nobility and typical expression,
sombre face, Pinscher or Bulldog type head.
Dribbling, showing of teeth or tongue. Muzzle too pointed
or slight. Bridge of nose falling away.
Leather or weather nose, pale nose leather. So called, "hawk
eye", lack of pigment in haw.
In uncropped ears : Flapping, half erect
or erect ears, rose ears.
Wry jaw, slanting teeth, incorrect position of teeth, poorly
developed teeth and unsound teeth due to illness.
Neck : Short, thick and throaty.
Body : Front too broad and low to the ground.
Sagging body, roach or sway back. Lean, long, narrow, sagging
loin, loosely coupled body.
Arched loin, croup falling away. Narrow pelvis, hollow flanks,
Tail : Low set on, kink tail.
Forehand : French front, loose shoulders,
loose elbows, weak pastern, hare foot, flat, splayed feet.
Hindquarters : Weak muscles. Too much or
too little angulation, down on hocks, barrel hocks, cow
hocks, narrow hocks, dewclaws, hare foot, flat, splayed feet.
Movement : Waddling, insufficient reach,
pacing, stilted gait.
Colour of coat : Mask extending beyond muzzle.
Stripes (brindling) too close together or too sparse.
Sooty ground colour. Mingled colours. Unattractive white markings
such as a whole white head or white on one side of the head.
Other colours and white markings exceeding one third of the
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles
fully descended into the scrotum.
Reprinted with permission
FCI (144) Gp2
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