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3 Types of Boxer Dog Breeds: Pictures, Facts & History

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

german boxer dog standing on grass

If you’re thinking about getting a Boxer, did you know there are multiple variations you can pick from? They’re all Boxers through and through, but they’re different variations with slightly different characteristics.

But what are these different variations and what are the differences between them? We’ve answered all those questions and more for you here!

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How Are Boxers Classified?

two boxer dogs sitting on street
Image Credit: Danielle W Press, Shutterstock

While there are three Boxer variations, it’s important to note that all of these variations fall under the “Boxer” umbrella. They’re all one breed, even if they all have their unique features and characteristics.

They come from the now-extinct Bullenbaiser and the Mastiff, and it’s possible that the Great Dane and Terrier played a part too. Modern breeders select different traits to breed for depending on whether they want a German Boxer, a UK (English) Boxer, or an American Boxer.

They all have slightly different traits, but those differences aren’t enough to make them all different breeds.


The 3 Types of Boxer Dog Breeds

1. German Boxer Dog

german boxer dog standing on flower field
Image Credit: Lenkadan, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Height: 21 to 25 inches
Significant Characteristic: Smaller nose and wider thighs

The German Boxer has a larger bone structure compared to the other two Boxer types, and this larger bone structure leads to a slightly wider frame compared to the UK and American Boxer.

Because a Boxer’s original bloodline comes from Germany, many people think of the German Boxer as the “true” Boxer breed. However, this isn’t the case, and both the UK and American Boxers are just as much a Boxer as German Boxers.

2. United Kingdom (English) Boxer Dog

english boxer dog lying on a pub floor
Image Credit: Raven Imagery, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany/UK
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Height: 21 to 25 inches
Significant Characteristic: Small feet and high knuckles

The United Kingdom Boxer, also known as the UK Boxer or the English Boxer, is a Boxer just like the American Boxer and the German Boxer. However, they have slightly different breed standards and meet The Kennel Club of the United Kingdom (KC).

These standards are slightly different from the American Kennel Club (AKC), which is why some people classify them separately. They’re the same breed, but they have slightly different standards than the American Boxer. Some of the most notable differences include their foot size and knuckle location. They’re also a little smaller and thinner than other variations.

3. American Boxer Dog

close up of american boxer dog
Image Credit: Kassia Marie Ott, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany/United States
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Height: 21 to 25 inches
Significant Characteristic: Tight skin, shiny coat, and a wider muzzle

The American Boxer is a boxer that meets the American Kennel Club standards. It’s easier to tell an American Boxer apart from the UK and a German Boxer simply because they lack the wrinkles other boxer variations have.

They also have a denser and brighter coat, but the tightness of the coat really is the defining difference. However, American Boxers also have a slightly wider snout than other Boxer variations.



What Two Breeds Make a Boxer?

The modern Boxer is a mix of the Bullenbaiser and the Mastiff. The Bullenbaiser is a now-extinct breed, while the Mastiff is still around. These are the two primary dog breeds that the Boxer descended from, but it’s also possible the Great Dane and the Terrier played a role in their development.

Are Boxers Good Family Dogs?

While some people view the Boxer in a negative light, the truth is that they’re great family dogs. They get along phenomenally well with kids no matter their size, they’re highly trainable, and they want all the love you can give them!

Just keep in mind that they can get a bit territorial with other dogs, but with proper training and socialization, this is something you can manage.

young man with his boxer dog in the park
Image Credit: Juan_Hernandez, Shutterstock

Are Boxers Difficult to Train?

Boxers can be a little stubborn, but they’re far from the most stubborn dogs out there. The key is to stay consistent with their training. Keep training sessions short, but aim for one or two training sessions each day. That way, you can really focus on teaching your dog everything they need to know. And, of course, ensure you’re meeting all their other basic needs. Otherwise, you might be making their training that much more challenging!

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While the Boxer comes in multiple variations, they’re all part of one parent breed. There’s no wrong choice about the breed you want, and you can find German, UK, and American Boxers no matter what country you’re in. It might be a bit easier to find an American Boxer in the United States, but if you want a German or UK Boxer, you can certainly find one!

Featured Image Credit: MVolodymyr, Shutterstock

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