Breed Spotlight: Boxer

4 min read
Oct 04, 2023

What Are Some Facts About Boxer Dogs?


10 – 12 years

Dog Breed Group

Working dogs


60 – 75 pounds


22 – 27 inches

Do I Shed?: Yes

Personality: Fun-loving, energetic, smart

Health Problems: Obesity, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, heart issues

Boxer Dog: How Do I Look?

Boxers are impressive, sleek, and muscular dogs with broad heads, square jaws, and an underbite. They come in a few different colors, but are most known for their fawn coats with black masks and white markings. Their playful personality and long jowls make for some hilarious facial expressions.

Coat type and colors

Boxers have short, smooth coats that come in fawn, brindle, and white colors. Fawn and brindle boxers can also have white markings on their coats.

Shedding and grooming

The boxer is a short hair breed, so they don’t shed in large amounts and have minimal grooming needs. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance dog, this breed is for you. Cleaning out your boxer dog’s ears and brushing them weekly is sufficient.


Some boxers’ ears are cropped at a very young age, which is an elective measure. However, many boxer dogs’ ears remain uncropped and droop adorably at the sides of their face.

Drooling level

Boxer dogs aren’t excessive droolers, but some drooling can be expected. Keep in mind that certain boxers may drool more than others.

Boxer: Personality Traits

What my adoption bio would say:

I’m eager to please and to learn! Training me is pretty easy, but don’t be surprised if I have silly puppy tendencies for a few years — or my whole life. I love to play and show my family how much I love them by guarding them from danger (real or imaginary) and giving them sloppy kisses!


The boxer dog’s temperament is extremely playful and energetic.1 Boxers have a relatively long “puppy stage” — their behavior generally doesn’t mature until they’re about 3 years old.2 It’s important, especially during their puppy stage, that they’re properly exercised to avoid behavioral problems.1

Boxers are fearless family companions and love being affectionate with their “pack” or family. The boxer is also extremely friendly with children of all ages.1

There are plenty of boxer pros and cons. For instance, because they’re intelligent, the boxer's personality can also be pretty stubborn. While they’re friendly, they can be somewhat hesitant toward strangers, making them a good guard dog. This breed is often chosen as a loving family companion.1


The boxer is a very eager-to-please breed, which makes training relatively easy in comparison to other breeds. Boxers are also extremely intelligent. Due to these qualities, they can often be utilized as therapy dogs, as well as service dogs.1

Exercise needs

Your boxer will need plenty of activity per day to help them burn off their copious amount of energy and be better behaved at home. Activity could include playing a game of fetch or going for a walk.1

Good with kids?

Boxers are known to be very good with children and quickly become part of the family.1

Good with other pets?

Boxers typically get along well with other pets, particularly if your boxer dog is properly socialized at a young age.1

Barking level

Generally, barking isn’t a problem with boxers, but they can be vocal when excited or guarding.1

Boxers: A History

The history of boxer dogs is a long, storied one that’s spanned continents and centuries.

The boxer as we know it originated in Germany in the late 1800s.1 It’s thought that boxers were bred down from a larger German breed called the Bullenbeisser.

The Bullenbeisser was a big-game hunter in medieval times. But by the late 19th century, it had been crossed with an English mastiff-type breed that was smaller, creating the modern boxer.

The boxer got its name from the way it appears to spar when playing or defending itself.

Boxers have held many jobs throughout their history, including working on farms and serving as police dogs, as war dogs in both World Wars, as guide dogs for the blind, and as watchdogs.

Boxers have remained one of America’s most popular breeds throughout the years.1

5 Boxer Health Issues

Boxers can be prone to several health problems. These can include1:

  • Obesity: The boxer is a breed that easily becomes obese. To avoid overeating, free feeding should not be permitted. You should also limit their treats to ensure they remain at a healthy weight.1
  • Hip dysplasia: Common in many large dog breeds, hip dysplasia occurs when abnormal growth causes the hip joint to weaken.1
  • Degenerative myelopathy: This neurologic disease causes muscles to waste gradually over time, resulting in the inability to walk.1
  • Boxer cardiomyopathy: This hereditary condition affects adult boxers when the heart muscle becomes fatty or fibrofatty tissue.3
  • Deafness: White boxers are prone to deafness. Research has found that when the cells of the skin lining the ear canal lack pigment, there’s a higher risk of deafness.4

How Pet Insurance Can Help Boxers

A focus on boxer cardiomyopathy

Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) — also called boxer cardiomyopathy — is a genetic mutation that occurs primarily in boxers. With this condition, the normal heart muscle becomes fibrous or fatty tissue.3 This can cause heart arrhythmia, which can result in fainting. In extreme cases, it can be fatal.2

Symptoms to look for include fainting, coughing fits, shortness of breath, or difficulty with physical activity. There’s genetic testing available for boxer cardiomyopathy. If your vet diagnoses your pup with this condition, they’ll likely prescribe medication — like an antiarrhythmic — to manage the arrhythmia.5

However, the cost of testing, medications, and exams can add up quickly and feel overwhelming to pet parents who are on a tight budget. A dog insurance policy can help cover the costs.

The good news is this condition doesn’t automatically mean your boxer dog’s lifespan is going to be cut short. Many dogs with ARVC go on to live several more years symptom-free.3

A focus on hip dysplasia

Larger breeds, like boxer dogs, often experience hip dysplasia. It’s a painful defect in the hip joint that results in the ball and socket grinding against the pelvic bone.

If your furry friend has difficulty climbing stairs or getting up from lying down, is in obvious discomfort, or experiences limping or stiffness, they might be suffering from hip dysplasia and need to be examined by your veterinarian.

A vet may recommend hip dysplasia surgery as a way to extend the lifespan of a boxer. And hip dysplasia surgery can cost thousands of dollars. A total hip replacement (THR) alone may cost $6,000, and that’s without including the cost of prescriptions, follow-up visits, and other necessary care. Pet insurance may help take away some of the financial stress.

Learn more about how pet insurance works and how MetLife Pet Insurance can help your boxer live a long, healthy life with you.

Protect your Boxer. Enroll in 3 Easy steps


**As with any insurance policy, coverage may vary. Review our coverage and exclusions.

1 “Boxer,” American Kennel Club

2 “Boxer Progression: Growth Chart, Milestones, and Training Tips,” A-Z Animals

3 “Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy in Dogs and Cats,” Merck Veterinary Manual, 2023

4 “The White Boxer Myths and Facts,” The Boxer Rescue

5 “Cardiomyopathy in Boxer Dogs,” Atlantic Coast New York Veterinary Specialists

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, and Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85454. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota) and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

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