- Euro and German Lineage
- American Boxer Club Official Standard
for the Boxer
- A Visual Study of the AKC Standard
- Fédération Cynologique Internationale
- A quick review of the above standards
for American and German Boxers dispels some of the "European"
Boxer myths that are being spread. Do a quick conversion
of Boxer heights and weights...pretty much the same. Head
proportions...pretty much the same. Description...pretty
much the same.
- There are a few differences. A
major one is that the FCI Standard is for natural ears and tail.
Here is a minor difference - the third eyelid is specified
to be dark, while an unpigmented third eyelid is not a fault
in the American Standard.
- Beware of fads. An injection
of "Euro" blood doesn't instantly confer quality to
Boxer puppies. Three-quarter and Half Euro (or German)
puppies don't necessarily mean you are getting a better Boxer.
In fact, our American Boxers have European ancestors in
their bloodlines already. Take a look at any well-documented
pedigree, and you will find imported Boxers listed.
- What about those imports? The
Germans are proud of their Boxers. Dogs have to pass a
number of qualifying tests before they are even allowed to breed,
and imported Boxers of quality are very expensive. There
are some American breeders who go through the trouble of actually
importing top-quality Boxers and implementing them in their
breeding programs, but those breeders are few because of the
cost and complications of importing dogs. The other side
of that coin is imported Boxers that are being sold because
they are not of best quality. In general, the "Euro"
dogs that fad-breeders are bragging about are actually discards.
- What about the size? Aren't
the "Euro" Boxers bigger? No, not necessarily.
The American Boxer Club standard does not implement any
weight or size requirement for Boxers, other than that a male
should not be smaller than the bottom of the female size recommendation
nor should a female be larger than the top of the male size
recommendation. The standard addresses a square-built,
athletic, balanced dog where proportion is key. So, though
many American breeders are tending toward a lighter-boned, smaller
Boxer, a larger heavier-boned example is acceptable within the
same standard. And there are breeders working with larger
Boxers to bring more bone and muscle into the mix.
- Don't the "Euros" have
bigger heads? Some of them do, but the Boxer standard
sets proportional requirements for the Boxer head and many of
the "Euros" don't fit that standard. Look for
a head where the muzzle is 1/3 of the length from tip of nose
to occipital bone. Look for a muzzle that is 1/2 the width
of the head. Look for a sharp break between muzzle and
forehead. And, look for a head that is in fine balance
with the Boxer's body. The problem with bigger heads is
that it can cause birthing complications. When a puppy's
head is too large, it can have difficulty passing through the
birth canal, endangering the mother and the rest of the unborn
puppies. Responsible breeders are always conscious of
such health issues and don't intentionally follow a fad that
can cause a c-section. In addition, many of the "Euros"
miss the Boxer standard by having a shorter muzzle and more
facial wrinkling than acceptable. In short, the Boxer
shouldn't look like a Bulldog. Boxers are only marginally
affected by the respiritory problems that plague many flat-faced
breeds, and that's where muzzle proportions become important.
- Look at that "Euro" picture.
Is the dog stacked with its legs extended far behind and
with a sharply sloping back? Imagine how crooked those
legs would look if brought farther forward to "box-up"
the dog. That angular leg is called "cow-hocked"
and is not desirable. You are looking for a Boxer that
stands relatively square.
- Are the breeders you are considering
promoting fads, or do they have generational breeding programs?
Can you follow the trail from pedigree (perhaps with photos),
to healthy parents, to up-and-coming adolescents within the
program, and to puppies? Can the breeder express a long-term
direction for their kennel? Finally, can you clearly see
how that direction applies itself to the Boxer standard?