|The standard is a written description
of the "perfect" Boxer. The main purpose is to give judges and breeders
a guideline for choosing dogs that embody the qualities that make the Boxer
distinct from other breeds. It also describes the ideal conformation
and temperament that allows the dog to best perform the tasks that it is
required to do. The following standard was developed by the American
Boxer Club and is the official AKC standard.
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 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 to which attractive color and arresting style
contribute. Next is overall balance with special attention devoted to the
head, after which the individual body components are examined for their
correct construction, and efficiency of gait is evaluated.
|Size, Proportion, Substance:
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.
Proportion--The body in profile is of square proportion 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.
Substance--Sturdy with balanced musculature. Males
larger boned than females.
The beauty of the head depends upon 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.
Expression--Intelligent and alert.
Eyes--Dark brown in color, frontally placed, generous,
not too small, too protruding, or too deep-set. 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.
Ears--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
Skull--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--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
Bite--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 incisors is slightly convex with the corner upper incisors fitting snugly
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.
Neck, Topline, Body:
Neck--Round, of ample length, muscular and clean without
excessive hanging skin(dewlap). The neck has a distinctly marked nape with
an elegant arch 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.
Body--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. 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 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.
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.
Boxers that are any color other
than fawn or brindle. Boxers with a total of white markings exceeding
one-third of the entire coat.
Approved February 11, 2005
© Copyright The
American Kennel Club, Inc., 2005
Effective March 30, 2005