Boxers are exuberant, happy dogs. They blast into any room they enter full of energy, mischief and a “Look at ME” vibe. A beloved family member today, Boxer’s were originally bred to work and work hard. You may still see Boxers employed as police dogs or other jobs throughout the world, but the majority work at entertaining their families or in the show ring.
In the late 1800s Boxers had their beginnings from the “Brabant Bullenbeisser”, a Mastiff type dog. Originally bred in Germany, the Boxer was used to. As hunt and hold the prey. As the breed evolved, they were outcrossed with a smaller Mastiff type dog. These dogs displayed a wider, more undershot lower jaw, a their nose that was further back, closer to the eyes. This created a smaller, more agile and alert dog than the original Bullenbeisser. These dogs were closely related to the dog that was to become the English Bulldog and of course, many of the other Bully breeds.
It is interesting to ponder WHY the early Boxer breeders wanted these characteristics. Sometimes the answers are a bit bloody, but so has been much of history in general! The Boxer dog of today is more refined than these early dogs, but you can easily see what they were bred for.
Longer legs than the other Bulldog types were desired to allow the Boxer to chase and catch prey were bred for.
Strong teeth, jaw power and an undershot “locking” jaw construction were desired to enable the dogs to “lock and hold.” They were to grab and lock onto the prey and hold on until their master made it to the scene to dispatch the prey.
Large, wide open nostrils, were set far back in the skull to allow him to breathe while holding on to a flapping bird or screeching rabbit .
And this one always makes me shudder, but all those wrinkles allowed blood to stream away from the eyes. I know, I know!
I hope you enjoyed this dash into Boxer history and why they look like they look!