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11 Amazing Boxer Dog Facts You Need to Know

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on June 25, 2024 by Dogster Team

brindle boxer dog standing outdoor

11 Amazing Boxer Dog Facts You Need to Know

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REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

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You’re probably familiar with the Boxer, as they’re a popular breed. This canine breed is a medium-sized one known for being loyal and fun, making them wonderful pets. They’re also quite intelligent and bond easily with people, so they also make fantastic working dogs. But how much do you really know about these dogs?

Do you know how long the Boxer breed has been around? Or where the name “Boxer” comes from? We have answers to those questions and more below! Keep reading to learn 11 amazing Boxer dog facts (trust us, you’ll be impressed).

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The 11 Amazing Boxer Dog Facts

1. The Origins of the Boxer Name Are a Mystery

The origins of this breed’s name are a mystery. Many people think that the name “Boxer” comes from how these dogs take a boxer-like stance when playing. However, that may not be true.

Instead, the name Boxer might come from these dogs’ ancestor, the Bullenbeisser. The Bullenbeisser was also known as the Bierboxer, a name which later on turned into the “Deutscher boxer.” So, it’s a distinct possibility the name “Boxer” came from this.

Another theory on the Boxer name is that it originated from this breed’s former role as working dogs who controlled slaughterhouse cattle. “Boxl” used to be the German word for “slaughterhouse,” so the name “Boxer” might have evolved from that.

a boxer dog sitting on the grass
Image Credit: Chris Shafer, Pexels

2. The Boxer Is an Old Breed and One That Was Formerly an Ancient Hunter

The Boxer’s ancestors go back further than the Bullenbeisser. In fact, this breed’s ancestors can be traced all the way back to the Assyrian empire! Within the Assyrian empire, these canines often followed their owners into battle, making them war dogs. After that, the breed evolved into the Bullenbeisser, a dog known for hunting big game.

This breed has come a long way to the elegant, friendly canines we know and love today!


3. Boxers Were War Dogs for Several Wars

Because the Boxer breed is a working one, these dogs were also utilized during World War I. During this war, they were used as guard dogs, messengers, attack dogs, and pack carriers.1 They were also used during World War II, and it was after this war that the breed became more popular. This was due to soldiers bringing Boxers back home with them after the war was over.

boxer dog walking in the grass
Image Credit: Sue-Thatcher, Shutterstock

4. The Breed Can Be Found Throughout Western Art

Did you know that a lot of our knowledge of this breed’s past as a hunter we learned from artwork? It’s true! The Boxer has been an icon of art for centuries. In fact, Boxers have been located in tapestries depicting boar hunts from the 16th and 17th centuries. One famous tapestry shows one of Maximilian, the Roman Emperor’s, boar hunts.2 In it, a presumed ancestor of the Boxer can be found jumping on a boar. There’s also a work by Peter Paul Rubens, a Flemish painter, called The Calydonian Boar Hunt,3 which features a dog that looks incredibly similar to the Boxer.


5. The Dogs Considered the Foundation of the Modern Boxer Were Known as the “Four Horsemen of Boxerdom”

The Boxer we know and love today was actually a relatively late arrival to the United States, as the breed wasn’t imported until after World War I. Even then, the Boxer wasn’t very popular until the tail end of the 1930s. Their rise in popularity is mainly due to four dogs who have been called the “Four Horsemen of Boxerdom”. Sigurd was born in 1929 in Germany; ten of his puppies came to the United States and ended up becoming champions. There were Utz and Lustig. Utz was the sire of 35 champions, while Lustig was the sire of 41. Then, there was Dorian, who was the winner of the Working Group at Westminster in 1937.

female boxer dog on the sand
Image Credit: Photobac, Shutterstock

6. This Breed Ranks Consistently in Top Competitions

There’s no doubt the Boxer breed is a popular one! Part of the reason for this popularity is that these dogs are known for ranking consistently at top competitions. A Boxer has won the Westminster Dog Show a total of four times, in 1947, 1949, 1951, and 1970. One of those pups, Bang Away, ended up being a national celebrity in the 1950s, immortalized in broadcasts and art, and credited with further popularizing the Boxer in the United States. As of 2022, this breed was the 16th most popular!


7. The Boxer Breed Is the Holder of a World Record

Did you know that a Boxer holds the world record for the longest dog tongue? Yep! In 2023, a Boxer named Rocky set the Guinness World Record for this. How long is Rocky’s tongue? Exactly 5.47 inches past the end of his nose. That is one incredibly long tongue!

Rocky isn’t an outlier, though. Boxers are believed to be one of the dog breeds with the longest tongues, so any Boxer may have a longer-than-normal tongue to give you kisses with.

Brown Boxer Dog With Orange Black Powerdog Vest
Image Credit: Marcus Christensen, Pexels

8. Boxers Are Super Fast

When you think of fast dogs, you probably picture a Greyhound or a dog that looks similar. But Boxers are super fast, too! While most medium-sized canines run around 15 to 20 mph, the Boxer is capable of running 38 to 45 mph. Consider that the Greyhound also clocks in at about 45 mph; this means the Boxer is one of the fastest dogs around. If you have a Boxer who is done growing, be sure to let them get in plenty of running time!


9. The Boxer’s Head Is Shaped to Help Them Catch Prey

The Boxer is a breed that was bred to hunt, and the way their heads are shaped is one of the things that made hunting easier for them. The Boxer’s head shape and look are somewhat unusual, as they have an undershot jaw and short snout, plus a flat nose and wrinkles on the face. How do these things help them with hunting, though?

All of these unique head features made catching prey simpler. The shorter snout and undershot jaw let these dogs bite with power and hold prey close to their bodies. Meanwhile, the flat nose helped them breathe even when their jaws clamped around prey. And the wrinkles? Those helped keep blood out of their eyes.

brindle boxer dog drooling outside
Image Credit: Cari Rubin Photography, Shutterstock

10. There’s No Such Thing as a Boxer Who Is Black

Think you have a black Boxer? Think again! Your Boxer may look like their coat is black, but this breed doesn’t have the gene required to have a solid black coat. In fact, these dogs can only come in three colors—white, fawn, and brindle. Boxers who appear to have a black coat actually have one that is dark brindle.


11. Boxers Are a Favorite Pet of Celebrities

There have been many celebrities throughout the years that have had Boxers as pets. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall had three Boxers in total—George, Harvey, and Baby. Other famous Boxer owners include Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, Justin Timberlake, and Cameron Diaz!

Boxer dog dressed like a rapper
Image Credit: Stone Valley Photos, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

Now you know more about the Boxer breed than ever before! If you’ve been on the fence about adopting one of these wonderful pups, maybe the amazing facts here will help sway you. And even if not, you’re now an expert on the Boxer, so you can wow your friends and family with your knowledge.


Featured Image Credit: volofin, Shutterstock

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