RECOGNIZED C.K.C. BOXER STANDARD,
REVISED JUNE 1988
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The Boxer was developed in Germany as a medium size
security dog. The breed is valued as a spirited pet and guardian of
home and family. Developed to serve the multiple purposes of guard,
working and escort-dog, he must combine elegance with substance and
amble power, not alone for beauty, but to ensure the speed, dexterity
and jumping ability essential to arduous hike, riding expedition,
police or military duty.
The Boxer is a medium-sized, sturdy dog, of square build,
with short back, strong limbs, and short tight-fitting coat. His musculation,
well developed, should be clean, hard and appear smooth (not bulging)
under taut skin. His movement should denote energy. The gait is firm
yet elastic (springy), the stride free and ground covering, the carriage
proud and noble. Only a body whose individual parts are built to harmonious
whole, can respond to these combined demands. Therefore, to be at
his highest efficiency he must never be plump or heavy and, while
equipped for great speed, he must never be racy. The head imparts
to the Boxer a unique individual stamp peculiar to him alone. It must
be in perfect proportion to his body, never small in comparison to
the over-all picture. His muzzle is his most distinctive feature and
the greatest value to be place on its being of correct form and in
absolute proper proportion to the skull.
Head not typical, plump bull-doggy appearance, light
bone, lack of balance, bad condition, lack of noble bearing.
These are of paramount importance in the Boxer. Instinctively
a "hearing" guard dog, his bearing is alert, dignified and self-assured
even at rest. His behaviour should exhibit constrained animation.
His temperament is fundamentally playful, yet patient and stoical
with children. Deliberate and wary with strangers, he will exhibit
curiosity but, most importantly, fearless courage and tenacity if
threatened. However, he responds promptly to friendly overtures
honestly rendered. His intelligence, loyal affection and tractability
to discipline make him a highly desirable companion.
Lack of dignity and alertness, shyness, cowardice,
treachery and viciousness (belligerency toward other dogs should
not be considered
Adult males - 22 1/2 - 25 in. (57 to 64 cm). Females
- 21 to 23 1/2in. (53-60 cm) at the withers. Males should not go under
the minimum nor females over the maximum.
Coat - short, shiny, lying smooth and tight to the body.
Colour - the colours are fawn and brindle. Fawn in various
shades from light tan to stag red or mahogany, the deeper colours
preferred. The brindle coat in the Boxer is of two opposite types.
The first of these includes those dogs having clearly defined dark
stripes on a fawn background. The second type has what is best termed
reverse brindling. Here the effect is is of a very dark background
with lighter coloured fawn stripes or streaks showing through. White
markings in fawn or brindle dogs are not to be rejected: in fact,
they are often very attractive but must be limited to one-third of
the ground colour and are not desirable on the back of the torso proper.
On the face, white may replace a part or all of the otherwise essential black mask. However, these white markings should be of such distribution
as to enhance and not detract from the true Boxer expression.
The beauty of the head depends upon the harmonious
proportion between the muzzle to the skull. The muzzle should always
never small in its relationship to the skull. The head should be
clean, not showing deep wrinkles. Folds will normally appear upon
when the ears are erect, and they are always indicated from the lower
edge of the stop running downward on both sides of the muzzle. The
dark mask is confined to the muzzle and is in distinct contrast to
the colour of the head. Any extension of the mask to the skull,
than dark shading around the eyes, creates a somber undesirable expression.
When white replaces any of the black mask, the path or any upward
extension should be between the eyes. The muzzle is powerfully developed
in length, width and depth. It is not pointed, narrow, short or
Its shape is influenced first through the formation of both jawbones,
second through the placement of teeth, and third through the texture
of the lips. The Boxer is normally undershot. Therefore, the lower
jaw protrudes beyond the upper and curves slightly upward. The upper
jaw is broad where attached to the skull and maintains this breadth
except for a very slight tapering to the front. The incisor teeth
of the lower jaw are in a straight line, the canines preferably up
front in the same line to give the jaw the greatest possible width.
The line of the incisors in the upper jaw is slightly convex toward
the front. The upper corner incisors should fit snugly back of the
lower canine teeth on each side reflecting the symmetry essential
to the creation of a sound non-slip bite. The lips complete the
of the muzzle, should meet evenly. The upper lip is thick and padded,
filling out the frontal space formed by the projection of the lower
jaw. It rests on the edge of the lower lip and, laterally, is supported
by the fangs (canines) of the lower jaw. Therefore, these fangs must
stand far apart and be of good length so that the front surface
the muzzle shall become broad and squarish and, when viewed from
the side, form an obtuse angle with the topline of the muzzle. Over-protrusion
of the overlip or underlip is undesirable. The chin should be perceptible
when viewed from the side as well as from the front without being
over-rependous (rising above the bite line) as in the Bulldog. The
boxer must not show his teeth or his tongue when his mouth is closed.
Excessive flews are not desirable. The top of the skull is slightly
arched, not rotund of flat nor noticeably broad, and the occiput
not be too pronounced. The forehead forms a distinct sop with the
top line of the muzzle, which must not be forced back into the forehead
like that of a Bulldog. It should not slant down (down-faced), nor
should it be dished, although the tip of the nose should lie somewhat
higher than the foot of the muzzle. The forehead shows just a slight
furrow between the eyes. The cheeks, though covering powerful masseter
muscles, compatible with the strong set of teeth, should be relatively
flat and not bulge, maintaining the clean lines of the skull. They
taper into the muzzle in a slight, graceful curve. The ears are set
at the highest points of the sides of the skull, cut rather long
too broad a shell, and are carried erect. The Boxer's natural ears
are defined as: moderate in size (small rather than large), thick
to the touch, set wide apart at the highest points of the side of
the skull and lying flat and close to the cheek when in repose.
the dog is alert the ears should fall forward with a definite crease.
The dark brown eyes, not too small, protruding or deep-set and encircled
by dark hair, should impart an alert, intelligent expression. Their
mood-mirroring quality combined with the mobile skin furrowing of
the forehead gives the Boxer head its unique degree of expressiveness.
The nose is broad and black, very slightly turned up; the nostrils
broad with the naso-labial line running between them down through
the upper lip which, however, must not be split.
Lack of nobility and expression, somber face, unserviceable
bite, Pinscher or Bulldog head, sloping top line of muzzle, muzzle
too light for skull, too pointed a bite (snipey). Teeth or tongue
showing with mouth closed, drivelling, split upper lip. Poor ear carriage,
light ("bird of prey") eyes. Wry mouth, that is when the upper and
lower jaws are not in parallel straight lines.
Round, of ample length, not too short; strong and muscular
and clean throughout, without dewlap, with a distinctly marked nape
and an elegant arch running down to the back.
The brisket is deep, reaching down to the elbows; the
depth of the body at the lowest point of the brisket equals half
height of the dog at the withers. The ribs - extending far to the
rear, are well arched but not barrel-shaped. Chest of fair width
forechest well defined, being easily visible from the side. The loins
are short and muscular; the lower stomach line, lightly tucked up,
blends into a graceful curve to the rear. The shoulders are long
and sloping, close-lying, and not excessively covered with muscle.
upper arm is long, closely approaching a right angle to the shoulder
blade. The forelegs, viewed from the front, are straight, stand
to each other, and have strong, firmly-joined bones. The elbows should
not press too closely to the chest wall or stand off visibly from
it. The forearm is straight, long, and firmly muscled. The pastern
joint is clearly defined but not distended. The pastern is strong
and distinct; slightly slating, but standing almost perpendicular
to the ground. The dew claws may be removed as a safety precaution.
Feet should be compact, turning neither in nor out, with tightly
arched toes (cat feet) and tough pads.
Chest too broad, too shallow or too deep in front, loose
or over muscled shoulders, chest hanging between shoulders, tied-in
or bowed-out elbows, turned feet, hare feet, hollow flanks, hanging
In profile the build is in square proportions in that
a horizontal line from the front of the forechest to the rear projection
of the upper thigh should equal a vertical line dropped from the
top of the withers to the ground.
The withers should be clearly defined as the highest
point of the back; the whole back short, straight and muscular with
a firm topline.
Roach back, sway back, thin lean back, long narrow
loins, weak union with croup.
Strongly muscled with angulation in balance with that
of forequarters. The thighs broad and curved, the breech musculature
hard and strongly developed. Croup slightly sloped, flat and broad.
Tail attachment high, rather than low. Tail clipped, carried upward.
Pelvis long and, in females especially, broad. Upper and lower thigh
long, leg well angulated with a clearly defined, well let-down hock
joint. In standing position, the leg below the hock joint (metatarsus)
should be practically perpendicular to the ground with a slight
slope permissible. Viewed from behind, the hind legs should be straight
with the hock joints leaning neither in nor out. The metatarsus
be short, clear and strong supported by powerful rear pads. The rear
toes just a little longer than the front toes, but similar in all
other respects. Dew claws, if any, may be removed.
Too rounded, too narrow or falling off croup, low-set
tail, higher in back than in front; steep, stiff or too slightly angulated
hindquarters, light thighs, cow hocks, bowed and crooked legs, over-angulated
hock joint (sickle hocks), long metatarsus (high hocks), hare feet,
hindquarters too far under or too far behind.
Tail attachment high, rather than low. Tail docked,
Viewed from the side, proper front and rear angulation
is manifested in a smoothly-efficient, level-backed, ground-covering
stride with powerful drive emanating from a freely operating rear.
Although the front legs do not contribute impelling power, adequate
"reach" should be evident to prevent interference, overlap or "side-winding"
(crabbing). Viewed from the front, the shoulders should remain trim
and the elbows not flare out. The legs are parallel until gaiting
narrows the track in proportion to increasing speed, then the legs
come in under the body but should remain straight, although not
perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear a Boxer's breech
should not roll. The hind feet should "dig-in" and track relatively
true with the front. Again, as speed increases, the normally broad
rear track will become narrower.
Stilted or inefficient gait, pounding, padding or flailing
out of front legs, rolling or waddling gait, tottering hock joints,
crossing over or interference; front or rear, lack of smoothness.
Boxers with white ground colour or entirely white or
any colour other than fawn or two types of brindle. White markings
that exceed one-third of the ground colour.