The AKC Standard for the Boxer Breed

                                     The Working Group

General Appearance   

The ideal  Boxer is a medium-sized, square-built dog of good substance with short back, strong limbs, and short, tight-fitting coat. His well-developed muscles are clean, hard, and appear smooth under taut skin. His movements denote energy. The gait is firm yet elastic, the stride free and ground-covering, the carriage proud. Developed to serve as guard, working, and companion dog, he combines strength and agility with elegance and style. His expression is alert and his temperament steadfast and tractable.

The chiseled head imparts to the Boxer a unique individual stamp. It must be in correct proportion to the body. The broad, blunt muzzle is the distinctive feature, and great value is placed upon its being of proper form and balance with the skull.

In judging the Boxer first consideration is given to general appearance and overall balance. Special attention is then devoted to the head, after which the individual body components are examined for their correct construction, and the gait evaluated for efficiency.


Adult males 23 to 25 inches; females 21½ to 23½ inches at the withers. Proper balance and quality in the individual should be of primary importance since there is no size disqualification.


The body in profile is square in that a horizontal line from the front of the forechest to the rear projection of the upper thigh should equal the length of a vertical line dropped from the top of the withers to the ground.


Sturdy, with balanced musculature. Males larger boned than females.


The beauty of the head depends upon the harmonious proportion of muzzle to skull. The blunt muzzle is 1/3 the length of the head from the occiput to the tip of the nose, and 2/3rds the width of the skull. The head should be clean, not showing deep wrinkles (wet). Wrinkles typically appear upon the forehead when ears are erect, and are always present from the lower edge of the stop running downward on both sides of the muzzle.


Intelligent and alert.


Dark brown in color, frontally placed, generous, not too small, too protruding, or too deepset. Their mood-mirroring character, combined with the wrinkling of the forehead, gives the Boxer head its unique quality of expressiveness. Third eyelids preferably have pigmented rims.


Set at the highest points of the sides of the skull, the ears are customarily cropped, cut rather long and tapering, and raised when alert. If uncropped, the ears should be of moderate size, thin, lying flat and close to the cheeks in repose, but falling forward with a definite crease when alert.


The top of the skull is slightly arched, not rounded, flat, nor noticeably broad, with the occiput not overly pronounced. The forehead shows a slight indentation between the eyes and forms a distinct stop with the topline of the muzzle. The cheeks should be relatively flat and not bulge (cheekiness), maintaining the clean lines of the skull as they taper into the muzzle in a slight, graceful curve.

Muzzle and Nose

The muzzle, proportionately developed in length, width, and depth, has a shape influenced first through the formation of both jawbones, second through the placement of the teeth, and third through the texture of the lips. The top of the muzzle should not slant down (downfaced), nor should it be concave (dishfaced); however, the tip of the nose should lie slightly higher than the root of the muzzle. The nose should be broad and black.

Bite and Jaw Structure 

The Boxer bite is undershot, the lower jaw protruding beyond the upper and curving slightly upward. The incisor teeth of the lower jaw are in a straight line, with the canines preferably up front in the same line to give the jaw the greatest possible width. The upper line of the incisors is slightly convex with the corner upper incisors fitting snugly in back of the lower canine teeth on each side. Neither the teeth nor the tongue should ever show when the mouth is closed.

The upper jaw is broad where attached to the skull and maintains this breadth, except for a very slight tapering to the front. The lips, which complete the formation of the muzzle, should meet evenly in front. The upper lip is thick and padded, filling out the frontal space created by the projection of the lower jaw, and laterally is supported by the canines of the lower jaw. Therefore, these canines must stand far apart and be of good length so that the front surface of the muzzle is broad and squarish and, when viewed from the side, shows moderate layback. The chin should be perceptible from the side as well as from the front. Any suggestion of an overlip obscuring the chin should be penalized.


Round, of ample length, muscular and clean without excessive hanging skin (dewlap). The neck should have a distinctly arched and elegant nape blending smoothly into the withers.

Back and Topline

The back is short, straight, muscular, firm, and smooth. The topline is slightly sloping when the Boxer is at attention, leveling out when in motion.


The chest is of fair width, and the forechest well-defined and visible from the side. The brisket is deep, reaching down to the elbows; the depth of the body at the lowest point of the brisket equals half the height of the dog at the withers. The ribs, extending far to the rear, are well-arched but not barrel-shaped.

The loins are short and muscular. The lower stomach line is slightly tucked up, blending into a graceful curve to the rear. The croup is slightly sloped, flat and broad. The pelvis is long, and in females especially broad. The tail is set high, docked, and carried upward. An undocked tail should be severely penalized.


The shoulders are long and sloping, close-lying, and not excessively covered with muscle (loaded). The upper arm is long, approaching a right angle to the shoulder blade. The elbows should not press too closely to the chest wall nor stand off visibly from it. The forelegs are long, straight, and firmly muscled, and, when viewed from the front, stand parallel to each other. The pastern is strong and distinct, slightly slanting, but standing almost perpendicular to the ground. The dewclaws may be removed. Feet should be compact, turning neither in nor out, with well-arched toes.


The hindquarters are strongly muscled, with angulation in balance with that of the forequarters. The thighs are broad and curved, the breech musculature hard and strongly developed. Upper and lower thigh are long. The legs are well-angulated at the stifle, neither too steep nor over-angulated, with clearly defined, well "let down" hock joints. Viewed from behind, the hind legs should be straight, with hock joints leaning neither in nor out. From the side, the leg below the hock (metatarsus) should be almost perpendicular to the ground, with a slight slope to the rear permissible. The metatarsus should be short, clean, and strong. The Boxer has no rear dewclaws.


Short, shiny, lying smooth and tight to the body.


The colors are fawn and brindle. Fawn shades vary from light tan to mahogany. The brindle ranges from sparse but clearly defined black stripes on a fawn background to such a heavy concentration of black striping that the essential fawn background color barely, although clearly, shows through (which may create the appearance of reverse brindling). White markings, if present, should be of such distribution as to enhance the dog's appearance, but may not exceed one-third of the entire coat. They are not desirable on the flanks or on the back of the torso proper. On the face, white may replace part of the otherwise essential black mask, and may extend in an upward path between the eyes, but it must not be excessive, so as to detract from true Boxer expression. The absence of white markings, the so-called "plain" fawn or brindle, is perfectly acceptable, and should not be penalized in any consideration of color. Disqualifications  Boxers that are any color other than fawn or brindle. Boxers with a total of white markings exceeding one-third of the entire coat.


Viewed from the side, proper front and rear angulation is manifested in a smoothly efficient, level-backed, ground covering stride with a 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 sidewinding (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 never cross. The line from the shoulder down through the leg should remain straight although not necessarily perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, a Boxer's rump 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. The Boxer's gait should always appear smooth and powerful, never stilted or inefficient.

The Boxer Fears Neither Death Nor the Devil (Boxer Blatter)

Character and Temperament  

These are of paramount importance in the Boxer. Instinctively a hearing guard dog, his bearing is alert, dignified, and self-assured. In the show ring his behavior should exhibit constrained animation. With family and friends, 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 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. Any evidence of shyness, or lack of dignity or alertness, should be severely penalized.

The foregoing description is that of the ideal  Boxer. Any deviation from the above described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.

Myths & Facts about the White Boxer

 Sadly, the White Boxer has been the cause of tremendous controversy between breeders & owners for a long time. I hope the information on this page will help dispel any myths that you may have heard about the White Boxer.

is that  White Boxers are born deaf & are not trainable.
Although there is a higher incidence of deafness in a white Boxer not all are deaf. Deaf Boxers can be trained using a variety of methods including hand signals, ASL (American Sign Language,) Lazers & flashlights and more. Training any Boxer, hearing or not, requires time, patience & understanding as well as the ability to make the lessons fun. 
Please read Beau's Page he is the perfect example of what a Deaf Dog can accomplish. 

To learn more about Deaf Dogs Please Visit the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund at to help a dog in need.

is that  White Boxers cannot be registered.
THIS IS UNTRUE! as stated above White Boxers can be registered with the American Kennel Club. However, they can not been shown in the AKC conformation ring. White boxers are welcome to compete in Agility, Obedience, Flyball, Rally ect. White Boxers registered with IABCA (International All Breed Canine Association) can be shown in conformation. 

is that  White Boxers are rare. 
THIS IS UNTRUE! Approximately 1/4 (25%) of all Boxers are born white or checked. In fact, the foundation dogs for the Boxer breed were white. Meta V.D. Passage (white) is known as the "mother of the Boxer" She is the grandaughter of Dr. Toenniessen's Tom ( the bulldog) X Alt's Schecken (checked) & the daughter of the White Piccolo v. Angertor X Ch. Blanka v. Angertor also white. (See Photos Below)
 Since White Boxers do not conform to the current standard of the American Boxer Club (ABC) and the American Kennel Club  (AKC), many are still euthanized by their "breeders". This deeply sickens me. AKC allows for white boxers to have full registration, however it is against the ABC's code of ethics for breeders to give them more than limited papers.

is that  White Boxers develop more health problems & are sicker than the Fawn or Brindle Boxers. 
THIS IS UNTRUE!  All boxers are prone to certain conditions that have nothing to do with their color. Heart disease, hypothyroidism, & cancer can afflict any boxer, regardless of color. Because a Boxer is born white does not mean that it is going to be unhealthy. No clinical evidence has been recorded showing the White Boxer is at higher risk for health problems. There are only two extra health concerns with white Boxers. The first is that an estimated 18% of white boxers are unilaterally (one ear) or bilaterally (both ears) deaf.  This deafness is caused by a lack of pigmentation in the inner ear, & can be detected at an early age.  

is that  White Boxers are albinos.
THIS IS UNTRUE!White Boxers are not albinos. Albinos completely lack pigment which is evident by pink eyes, and a complete lack of color anywhere on the body. Most white boxers have some spots on their skin (which can be seen due to their short white coats) and have some dark markings around their nose and mouth. Some white boxers have colored markings in their coat (brown spots around an eye or on the back, etc). All white boxers have pigment in their eyes even the sky blue eyes are pigmented. These facts alone rule out albinism as the cause of their whiteness. 

 is that White Boxers are mean.
THIS IS UNTRUE! and one of the most rediculous things I have ever heard. A Boxer is a Boxer is a Boxer. A Boxer being mean has nothing to do with color. It is due to poor genetics, bad breeding, & a poor enviroment. 


29 March 1896 - Boxer fanciers at the first Deutscher Boxer Club show. 
Location - Home of Joseph Himmelreich
Judge - Elard Konig
Entries - 20
(Several were white, some were white with patches of brindle or fawn & Others were black)

Picture of the first dog show held in Munich at 1895.

The Truth About Black Boxers

 There has been a recent surge in backyard breeders charging upwards of $2,300.00 for the 'rare' BLACK Boxer. Unfortunately, these unscrupulous breeders are preying on the uneducated public as BLACK Boxers do NOT exist. Boxers do NOT carry the gene for the BLACK coat color, it is impossible to have a true BLACK Boxer, instead, there are brindles with such a concentration of striping that they appear to be Black. Often times, fawn (or brown) stripes can be seen under direct light, which indicates a brindle Boxer. All Boxers that are sold as BLACK are actually registered with the AKC as brindle or Black White and Tan. There is NO registration number for BLACK in the AKC for the Boxer. Calling your dog or bitch 'BLACK' because it looks black is no different than calling a fawn 'brown' or 'red' or a brindle 'striped'. However, if you desire a Boxer that looks BLACK, you should not be asked for a higher purchase price than that charged for his fawn littermates.


This is a 1902 picture of a Chicago Kennel Club Dog Show by famed artist George Ford Morris.  While his specialty was horses, this piece, done when he was 29, shows the powerful bodies and magnificent heads that were to be his hallmarks. The artists signature was printed on the original between the front and back legs of the boxer.George Ford Morris (1873 – 1960) was considered the master of horse paintings and drawings.  He was also a founding member and later President of the American Animal Artists Association.  

Black Boxer History 

This is the Chapter titled “THE BLACK BOXER” in its entirety as written by Friederun straight from the book in my possession titled:



“The story of the black boxer goes back as far as the first boxer stud book, which was started in the year 1904.  It included the entry of the dog Graf Blitz von Graudenz 178, born 8th August 1899, whose parents were michels Max and Lore von Eisleben.  This dog was shown and won prizes, Naturally he became the occasion of quarrels.I got to know the black boxers through their founder, Mr. Schachtner.  This man bred these black boxers, but formented resistance against them by unacceptable behavior.  That they became extinct was also his doing.  I had only just started in the dog game and had just bought Rolf von Vogelsberg, when one day Mr. Schachtner asked me whether I would like to mate Rolf to his Biola and Asta, who were the black daughter of Graf Blitz von Graudenz.  It was something new and therefore I agreed with enthusiasm.When I met my friend Mr. Schmoger again I mentioned the black ones to him and he told me to leave well alone.  To his mind there were no really black ones: when seen by sunlight they were all dark brindles or brown.To offset this I told him that Biola and Asta had intensive black colouring, especially Asta.  Hr. Schmoger insisted that in those circumstances those two could not be  boxers. I could not agree with this, although I had to admit that neither of the black bitches were top class, but to further the quality of this black colouring intrigued me and I said so explicitly. My friend got very angry with me then, and told me in the end that Lore von Eisleben, the  grandmother of the two black bitches, was a Bulldog bitch. At a show she accidentally got mated by a Schnauzer, The breeder never disputer this.  Mr. Schmoger, however was sure that the black colour was wrong and therefore it was not accepted by the Munich Club.The gauntlet had been thrown down.  I should have gone ahead even though it meant going against my best friend, as I wanted to show that I was able to do what others could not.  In doing so I overlooked many things with which I was unable to cope. After some time I bought a bitch from Mr. Schachtner out of a black litter.  The price was high but the quality of the bitch so poor that I could not use her in my kennels. As she was an excellent guard dog and quite fearless, Mr. Schmoger managed to place her in a home where she would be well cared for, but would not be used for breeding purposes.  The money I had spent for her I had to put to my debit account.  As Mr. Schmoger was clever enough not to may any further conditions, the matter of the Bavarian black breed seemed finished. But the black colouring had interested not only myself.  A breeder from the Allgau, Edmund Halter, had also mated a black bitch to Rolf von Vogelsberg.  The result was a litter of extremely beautiful black animals, such as never before were seen.  The best of all was the black male Flock von der Adeleck.  Flock did very well in the ring, and I was tempted again.  In Munich at Nymphenburg Castle, a special boxer show was to be held.  From near and far Boxer Breeders were coming to this show. It was very difficult in those days to find  accommodations and Mr. Halter, therefore, wrote to ask me whether I would look after his Flock for a few days. I agreed, after making a special consideration.  Up to then only second-rate bitches from the black strain had been mated with the best dogs.  How would he like it if I mated my topclass Rassel von Dom with his black Flock? Rassel was just in season and my old ambition came alive again.  I would defy Mr. Schmoger, come what might. I had promised to take Flock to the show and had to be at his best, so I cut his toenails and brushed him, but the result did not satisfy me.  Mr. Schmoger was not altogether wrong. At the quarters the colour was not as  intense as it could have been. What would I do? a tin of shoe polish found its way into my hand.  At first as a joke, I began to brush Flock with the cream, but the more I did it the better I liked the result.  Flock looked marvelous and literally shone, and I was sure that everybody would be astonished. When I arrived at the show the next day, the first person I saw was the owner of Flock.  He was speechless at the sight of his dog, and then he said it was a pity that his wife could not look after Flock in the way that I had done.  I was in the best of Spirits. It was springtime and my dress, the only good one I had, was of cream coloured real Russian silk, and how it suited me!  I knew that the black dog would look twice as good with this as a contrast.  He walked close to my side and I made sure that the Munich Boxer bigwigs could see him.  In the ring, however, Flock had to be handled by his master.  As he came to collect his dog for the class, he told me with horror that my dress was all black on the left side.  My sins had found me out. The black shoe polish! I could do no more than hand the dog to the owner and ask Mr. Halter to lend me his coat so that I could drape it over my left arm.  From then on I kept out of sight. I do not know whether anybody noticed, but I doubt if they would have blamed me if they had.  The colouring did not add to or detract from the dog’s chances, and in America would have been regarded as a type of make-up in the fashion of that country.  But I did not feel too happy about it and it was the only time I ever did anything like that.“ It looked as though the mating was going as planned.  I wanted to have three puppies and no more.  One of the brindles was already bespoken and I wanted a pair for myself, a black dog and a black bitch.  One of these I wanted to be jet black and the other to have white markings.  It took me a long time to make up my mind which one I would prefer to have the white markings, but in the end I decided that the male would look nice with some colour and the bitch, as I wanted to breed from her, should be dead black.When the sixty third day arrived Rassel, and I had hoped, actually gave birth to a black brindle dog with white markings.  Just as I had dreamed, only the all black bitch was missing.  However the following day saw that wish come true too. As long as I have been breeding I have never predicted a litter like this again. Was this an omen? Surely fate had decreed that I should breed black boxers? Unfortunately time proved otherwise.The two black ones I named Ulla and Utter. Ulla was a charming little lady with a beautifully modeled head.  Utter became a striking looking powerful male. As I was unable to show these two I sent pictures of them and literature about them to the dog papers.  I had no intention of parting with them, but when I got a high offer for Utter from the found of the black strain I agreed.  It seemed to me that Mr.Schachtner had both the means and the talent to enable him to build up a black strain faster than I. Later I learned that he had lost a great deal because of his stubbornness and lack of consideration for the opinion of others.”


This is the Chapter titled “THE END OF THE BLACK BOXER” in  its entirety as
written by Friederun straight from the book in my possession titled:



"In the autumn of 1918 my husband once again had leave.  He was to take reinforcement to the front line, but it never came to that.  The collapse of our forces everywhere brought the war to an end.  Conditions at the time of the collapse were not so good, but everyone began to breathe more easily.  Peace, however bad, is always better than war and we were determined to shake off the depressions of the last four years.  We wanted to do everything anew and to do better than ever before. Munich began to prepare for a new show.  My old Rolf had come home.  Though he was eleven years old he looked well after his war duties.  He was noble and lean, with not an ounce too much fat, and his head was still clean and fine.  Only his daughter Rassel had a skull like his.  But he was tired, like an old man who had seen the grimness of war and grown weary of life. I had special hopes for this dog show.  I entered Ulla and Utter as I wanted to show two superb black specimens.  The only competition I feared was from the fawn males. To make sure, I entered Rolf in the open class for brindles. Utter was entered in the same class. Altogether there were seven dogs bred by me.  When I opened the catalogue I saw straight away that Rolf and Utter were the only two entries in their class.  If I did not show Rolf, then Utter must get the first prize and therefore win the title of Champion.  Utter was such a nice animal that first place could not be denied him and with this the blacks would have won a unique victory.  All the same I had an uneasy feeling about it.The fawns, always first in the ring, began to show.  They were poor specimens with nothing of their bygone spendour.  They were headed by a grandson of Milo, Alexander von Deutenkoven, a promising young dog that unfortunately vanished from the breed without sireing any progeny.  He was followed by a Milo son, also a war veteran, and in third place stood the old winner Rino von der Elbe.  At one time Rino had been Milo’s strongest rival.  His former owner had been an Englishman who would not have sold the dog at any price, but at the beginning of the war when he left Germany he was forced to leave the dog behind.  Now the dog stood in the ring, old and worn out, a mere shadow of his former self.  The judge wrote in his critique: “Still an outstanding dog for his age.  Just as he had once been beaten by Champion Milo, so today he had to give way to his son.” Then came the brindles. I fetched Utter and entered as the only one in the ring.  The atmosphere was not pleasant.  At the time I did not know that the judge had accepted the judging appointment on the strict condition that no first awards were to be made to black Boxers. I only learned that much later. There were many onlookers and Utter clearly made a great impression on all except the breeders.  This strong dog with his white markings and white neckband showed himself beautifully.  However, the Munich breeders received him in icy silence. All eyes were on the judge and I sensed he felt the atmosphere too.  He came over and told me that he liked Utter’s size, his beauty, although his back was a bit long, but his head was typical and noble.  He could not pass the colour, however.  In his opinion, to get first prize the dog should be all black and at this was not the case, the first prize must be withdrawn.  At that moment I could not take in the judge’s remarks, for in those days there was no colour definition. At first I did not want to return to the ring with Rolf.  But should I take away the last win from my old, true companion? So I brought in Rolf and he got the first prize with the mark “first class” and his fifth championship title.  In his critique the judge wrote only: “Still the beautiful Rolf.” To emphasize his decision, the judge withdrew the second prize too and gave Utter the third prize with the mark “very good”.  In his critique he wrote” “For the lovers of the black colour, a very nice dog, but he will never have success at a show.”  So I got my reprimand.  I had lost all along the line, not because my breeding was not good enough.  No, because the judging had been unfair and unsporting.  It was not much of a consolation that Rassel got her champion title that day.  Her half-sister Morna vom Dom followed her, and in third place came the little black Ulla, and the mark “excellent” could not be denied her.  People do not change.  Even long years of war cannot alter them. In those days surely there were more important matters for attention than vehement disputes about black or white colorations?  Agreed, the white colour had to be suppressed in case it got the upper hand.  But there was no reason to sign the death warrant of the black strain.  Maybe I could have done something had I really tried, but the ways and means of such discussions were abhorrent to my nature, and in any case it soon became clear to me that more was at stake in the country than the colour of Boxers.  The after war years were almost as bad as the war itself. Germany was near collapse and hundreds of thousands of livelihoods were in danger.  We too had to decide.  Should we change our life and would it not be better to give up the dogs?"

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