The Boxer has a very interesting history. Years ago when dogs were bred more for working than for pets, they were bred for usually hunting or guarding. The more longer legged dogs were swifter used more for hunting and tracking. The more slower Mastiff type dogs were used more as guards. It is from the early Mastiff type dog that the Boxer’s own ancestors stem.
These dogs had to be content to stay home, while other dogs went hunting. They had to be fierce looking to discourage intruders by their looks alone. In addition to that they had to be clever, to distinguish between friend or foe, and to brave if attacked. These dogs were cleverly bred in England, and were called the English Doggen. They were know for their intelligence, bravery, and protectiveness.
As well as being a guard, protector, and a companion they were used to hunt slow moving animals such as bear and boar. In Germany these dogs were called Baren Beisser or Bullenbeisser. These dogs had yellow and brown stripes, and looked vicious.
When the bear became scarce they were trained to chase bulls, which was really more of a sport for the butcher than the hunter. So by the early eighteenth century, there was established a type of dog that sounds very much like our present day Boxer.
In the year 1800, the boxer was perhaps adopted by the traveling theatre , artist, or circus people they probably admired their watchfulness and intelligence. This caused, other Boxer owners to admire their dogs for their remarkable mentality and adaptabtility or maybe his hunting and guarding qualities alone is what kept this wonderful breed of dog so popular, when other breeds died out.
In the nineteenth century is when the Boxer type dog became more and more heard of as pets and useful members of the family, in most European countries. Also in that time the Bullbaiting English Bulldog became very popular in Europe.
The dog fanciers in those days seen similar qualities in these two dog types and seen fit for them to be interbred. Selective breeding type ot type in those days were equal to pedigree dog breeding today.
These men wanted to breed a “ Super Dog” that processed qualities of substace, pace, beauty, and character. The dog also needed power, to be fearless, to be intelligent and to be active. The dog also needed stamina and speed plus the ability to jump like a cat yet attack and defend like the Mastiff. Also they wanted a dog with intelligence, performance and character to combine with beauty, style and nobility. These are still qualities that we look for in our Boxer today.
In 1887 a man by the name of Herr George Alt from Munich, and George Lechner were two of our first two Boxer breeders.
George Alt owned a bitch named Alt’s Flora and she was mated to a local dog from a strain called Boxls. A puppy out of this litter that was fawn and white went to George Lechner and was registered as Lechner’s Box. I am guessing that this is where the breeds name came from! So the Boxer is now the “Super Dog.” How proud they must have been.
The Boxer first came to America in 1903. It was in 1904 that the American Kennel Club has record of its first registered Boxer, which was bred in America. The Boxer’s name was Arnulf Grandenz, and was owned by James Welch of Illnois. So a big thanks to James!!
Boxers were used in World War 1 and World War 11, they served in a variety of war dog positions, including the role of a guard dog trained to prevent prisoners from passing messages to civilians, and a patrol dog that would alert his handler to danger or help th soldier find his way from one location to another along dangerous dark routes. Boxers were also used to run messages through battle-torn fields and under heavy fire. As an ambulance dog, the Boxer was used to find wounded soldiers and lead medics back to the wounded. In World War11 the boxers duties consisted of running communications lines.
After the wars, Boxer continued to work as service dogs, in the U.S. and in Europe. Today in the U.S. Boxers can be seen as service dogs for the disabled, and as trained animal- assisted therapy dogs. In Europe they are frequently trained as guide dogs for the blind. They are also trained by volunteer organizations and the Red Cross in search and rescue work.
The Boxer is still listed as one of Germany’s accepted breeds for police work. The German Shepard and Belgian Malinois are far more popular today…
The Boxer has many working dog characteristics for which it was selectively bred for generations. Along with these working dog characteristics , there are also a few traits that are well just pure Boxer! Armed with a working dogs knowledge and pure Boxer traits, you will be better equipped to understand your own Boxer and modify your training methods to match his needs. I strongly advise anyone who is interested in making a Boxer or any breed of dog a member of their family to research the breed, to more understand the breed and to see if they will be a good match for your family and lifestyle.
I also strongly suggest training, from an early age with any breed of dog and luckily the Boxer is easily trained with the proper training techniques. Positive reinforcement is the best tool for training, also making it fun and interesting an short sessions for the young puppy. The adult Boxer will have the ability to focus for longer training sessions. The young adult will sometimes still easily distract in training, it is not that they don’t have the ability to focus at a young age, rather it goes back to the Boxer being highly intelligent and her tendency to become quickly bored. With that being said the training must be fast paced, fun, and creative for any age Boxer. I have personally never had a Boxer I could not train, it is the time you devote, your attitude, and training methods that will give you successful training with any Breed of dog.
Here are a couple of books that I have learned a lot from and use frequently for information.. In my history of the Boxer, there is information from all three of these wonderful books.