Boxer Breed Information

Boxers are a member of the ‘Working’ breed group. Working breed dogs were bred to become guard and search and rescue dogs. Breeds in this group are specialists in their work.

Boxers love children and, given positive socialisation as puppies, make great, loyal family pets - they will be first to join in if a game is on offer! They need to be in lively, busy households and will need to be with family who can match their energy levels. A bored Boxer can be quite destructive. Grooming once a week will remove any dead hair, although they may need a wipe down after being out and about exploring.

Breed-related health problems:

Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Boxers are prone to include:

  • Heart problems
  • Hip dysplasia – hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – often known as ‘bloat’, this is a condition where the stomach twists, trapping the contents and gases. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention. It’s often seen in large, deep-chested breeds.
  • Cancers
  • Brachycephalic syndrome – upper airway abnormalities which are commonly seen in flat-faced dogs. Can include stenotic nares (narrowed nostrils) and elongated soft palate. This causes breathing problems and symptoms such as exercise intolerance, increased noise when breathing and difficulty in breathing. Boxers can be prone to this and it is often the cause of their snoring or wheezing. There are both surgical and medical managements available and you should speak to your vet if you think your Boxer is showing any symptoms of BOAS or having any difficulty breathing.
  • Epilepsy – a brain disorder which can lead to seizures.
  • Panosteitis – a painful, inflammatory bone disease.
    Eyelid problems – such as entropion and ectropion – can occur in Boxers due to excessive skin over the face and eyes. This skin causes the eyelids to droop either downwards, or in towards the eye, where the skin rubs and irritates the eye, causing problems.

For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.

You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.

Read our statement on the problems with brachycephalic (‘flat faced’) breeds here.

Exercise requirements:

Boxers have high energy levels and need over 2 hours exercise daily to keep them physically and mentally fit. They are gentle, lovable, happy dogs that get on well with everyone – other pets and people alike, and love to join in with family fun. For a Boxer, the more people they can be surrounded by the better! For more information on how to socialise your Boxer and train using reward-based techniques, check out our dog behaviour page.

Estimated lifetime cost:

The likely lifetime costs for a Boxer are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:

The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.

Insure your Boxer with PDSA:

1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Boxers that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:

  • 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
  • 4 levels of cover to suit you
  • Monthly payment at no extra cost

*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.

By insuring your Boxer with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.

For more information on taking care of your dog please visit our puppies and dogs section.

Rehoming from a reputable source:

Where you get a dog from can have a big effect on how healthy and happy it is for the rest of its life. Find out where our PDSA vet experts recommend you get your dog from.

Energy levels
Easy to train
Exercise needed
Barking/likely to be vocal
Size Large
Average height 53-63 cm
Average weight 25-32 kg
Average lifespan Over 10 years
Minimum exercise (per day) 2 hours
Coat length Short
Minimum cost (per month) £105

Not sure if the Boxer is the right pet for you?