FAQs and Training Tips
WHAT COLORS ARE BOXERS?
American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes three colors in the boxer
breed, fawn, brindle, and white. The standards for the breed are
fawn and brindle with several variations of each color.
FAWN – A fawn coat can vary from light tan to a red mahogany. A fawn will often have white toes, white on its chest and/or a minimal amount of white between the eyes.
BRINDLE – A brindle will have a fawn background with black striping. The striping can be sparse with a dominant fawn backing, to heavy with a faint fawn base coat, also called reverse or sealed brindles. There are no “Black Boxers.” Boxer genes do not allow for a black boxer. Reverse brindles appear black, but a closer inspection should reveal at least some fawn or brown. If the dog is solid black, it is probably mixed with another breed.
FLASH or FLASHY – A flash fawn or flash brindle will have the above color variations combined with heavier white markings around the neck, face, and/or legs. Flashy boxers will have white markings that enhance their appearance, but not exceed one-third of the dog’s entire coat. White markings are not desirable on the flanks or back or the torso proper. White markings can be on the face and between the eyes, but not so much as to detract from the boxer’s expression. A flash boxer will be classified as its dominate color – a flash fawn will be registered as a fawn with white markings. Boxers that are any color other than fawn or brindle do not meet the standards of the breed.
WHITE – Boxers with a total of white markings exceeding one-third of the entire coat are considered white boxers. While the original boxers were white, the color has been discouraged in breeding due to health concerns. Though there is some debate as to the health issues with predominately white boxers, breeding is discouraged over concerns of increased blindness, deafness, and skin problems. White boxers can be registered with the AKC, but it does not meet the American Boxer Club's standard and can not be shown. It can compete in agility competitions however, and should not be confused as an inferior dog as far as personality and temperament. A white boxer can make a great family dog, but should be spayed or neutered.
HOW BIG DO BOXERS GET?
The “American” boxer average 23 to 25 inches in males, measured to the withers, and 21½ to 23½ inches in females. The average boxer will weigh around 75 pounds for males and 60 pounds for females. According to the AKC, the proper balance and quality in the individual should be of primary importance since there is no size disqualification. European boxers are much larger and can weigh 90 to 100 pounds.
TRAINING YOUR PUPPY
You can start training your new family member immediately. Boxers are very intelligent and easily trained. The breed is so smart however, repetitive training can become boring. A lot of times, if you begin the training the right way, the boxer will learn the trick or behavior quickly and will tire of performing it over and over. Learn your puppy’s behavior. When he “gets it” you’ll know to move on to something else.
HOUSE TRAINING – The most important aspect of house training is setting up a routine. We have had puppies that have NEVER had an “accident” inside the home. If you establish a regular feeding schedule, and take your puppy outside to relieve themselves at the same times everyday, their bodies will acclimate to that schedule and they’ll become used to “going” at those times. Praise your pup and give them a treat when they do relieve themselves, and if they start to go inside the house, tell them “no” and immediately take them outside.
We like to feed outside, when possible, then let the puppies run around the yard afterwards for a while. Puppies will usually need to relieve themselves after feeding, with their bladders small and full. Remember their size. They are small and will need to go every few hours.
CRATE TRAINING – A crate provides your dog a den or safe-haven to take refuge in times of stress. It’s also a good tool to use to aid in housebreaking and for transportation. You’ve heard of a “man-cave,” well a crate can be your pet’s “dog-cave.” You can use a plastic kennel, collapsible fabric crate, or a wire cage that is covered in a dark material.
Do not let the crate become a pet sitter. Your puppy will need exercise and play time several times a day or they will begin to resent being locked up. They can become depressed if constantly kept in the crate. Do not use the crate as a punishment. You want your puppy to feel safe and secure inside.
A dog’s natural instinct is to not soil the place where he or she sleeps, but remember a puppy can not go more than two or three hours without having to go. Whenever you let your pup out from the crate, be ready to take them outside, because the excitement of being shown some attention, and the need to go, will make matters urgent.
When beginning crate training place it where the puppy can see you. They may whine or act up, but seeing you are there will make them feel more secure. Once they stop whining you can start leaving them alone in the crate, out of site. Soon, the puppy will find the crate as his or her little haven and will feel comfortable inside.
Crates should be used throughout their chewing period to reduce the risk of them tearing into something they shouldn’t. Once they have learned not to chew on certain things, the crate can be opened and the dog will probably continue to use it as their refuge or safe place.
CHEWING AND CHOKING HAZZARDS
Your puppy is naturally curious and will use their mouth to probe and explore objects. Teething also makes chewing on objects attractive to your pup. But, while a damaged shoe may be an annoyance as a new pet owner, other objects can be dangerous and deadly to your boxer.
Just like a human infant, small objects can be a choking hazard to your puppy. Small toys, buttons, and even half-chewed rawhide bones can easily become lodged in your puppy’s throat. Always be aware of items that your puppy has access to and just like a human child you should take precautions.
Electrical cords are another hazard to puppies. Lamp cords hanging from an end table, or a cord to a space heater, make an enticing lure to a playful puppy. You need to take actions to prevent access to such things.
Houseplants are another danger. Many people don’t realize that some houseplants are poisonous to dogs. A puppy may simply be playing by destroying a houseplant, but ingesting the leaves can be deadly. Make sure your houseplants are out of the reach of your boxer and ensure their safety.
FEEDING YOUR PUPPY
You should feed a young puppy at least three times a day. Set a schedule and feed them at the same times each day, then put the food away. Don’t let your pup just eat whenever they want. Sticking to the schedule will help with house training.
Many people prefer the natural “floppy” ears of a boxer, but others like the look of cropped ears. There is no requirement that a boxer’s ears be cropped in order to participate in shows, however most show boxers have the procedure done. A boxer is usually about three months old before the ears are cropped and a qualified veterinarian should perform the procedure.
GROOMING AND SHEDDING
Yes, boxers do shed, but they are shorthaired and are far easier to deal with than other breeds. They will shed twice a year like most breeds, but grooming of your boxer is minimal. A bath once or twice a month is usually fine, combined with trimming of their claws if needed. Boxers enjoy the water and if started young they will let you bathe them with no troubles.