The Boxer Breed Standard
As Issued by the Kennel Club
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Copyright The Kennel Club
Last Updated - September 2007
Great nobility, smooth-coated, medium-sized, square build, strong bone and evident, well developed muscles.
Lively, strong, loyal to owner and family, but distrustful of strangers. Obedient, friendly at play, but with guarding instinct.
Equable, biddable, fearless, self-assured.
Head and Skull
Head imparts its unique individual stamp and is in proportion to body, appearing neither light nor too heavy. Skull lean without exaggerated cheek muscles. Muzzle broad, deep and powerful, never narrow, pointed, short or shallow. Balance of skull and muzzle essential, with muzzle never appearing small, viewed from any angle. Skull cleanly covered, showing no wrinkle, except when alerted. Creases present from root of nose running down sides of muzzle. Dark mask confined to muzzle, distinctly contrasting with colour of head, even when white is present. Lower jaw undershot, curving slightly upward. Upper jaw broad where attached to skull, tapering very slightly to front. Muzzle shape completed by upper lips, thick and well padded, supported by well separated canine teeth of lower jaw. Lower edge of upper lip rests on edge of lower lip, so that chin is clearly perceptible when viewed from front or side. Lower jaw never to obscure front of upper lip, neither should teeth nor tongue be visible when mouth closed. Top of skull slightly arched, not rounded, nor too flat and broad. Occiput not too pronounced. Distinct stop, bridge of nose never forced back into forehead, nor should it be downfaced. Length of muzzle measured from tip of nose to inside corner of eye is one-third length of head measured from tip of nose to occiput. Nose broad, black, slightly turned up, wide nostrils with well defined line between. Tip of nose set slightly higher than root of muzzle. Cheeks powerfully developed, never bulging.
Dark brown, forward looking, not too small, protruding or deeply set. Showing lively, intelligent expression. Dark rims with good pigmentation showing no haw.
Moderate size, thin, set wide apart on highest part of skull lying flat and close to cheek in repose, but falling forward with definite crease when alert.
Undershot jaw, canines set wide apart with incisors (six) in straight line in lower jaw. In upper jaw set in line curving slightly forward. Bite powerful and sound, with teeth set in normal arrangement.
Round, of ample length, strong, muscular, clean cut, no dewlap. Distinctly marked nape and elegant arch down to withers.
Shoulders long and sloping, close lying, not excessively covered with muscle. Upper arm long, making right angle to shoulderblade. Forelegs seen from front, straight, parallel, with strong bone. Elbows not too close or standing too far from chest wall. Forearms perpendicular, long and firmly muscled. Pasterns short, clearly defined, but not distended, slightly slanted.
In profile square, length from forechest to rear of upper thigh equal to height at withers. Chest deep, reaching to elbows. Depth of chest half height at withers. Ribs well arched, not barrel-shaped, extending well to rear. Withers clearly defined. Back short, straight, slightly sloping, broad and strongly muscled. Loin short, well tucked up and taut. Lower abdominal line blends into curve to rear.
Very strong with muscles hard and standing out noticeably under skin. Thighs broad and curved. Broad croup slightly sloped, with flat, broad arch. Pelvis long and broad. Upper and lower thigh long. Good hind angulation; when standing, the stifle is directly under the hip protuberance. Seen from side, leg from hock joint to foot not quite vertical. Seen from behind, legs straight, hock joints clean, with powerful rear pads.
Front feet small and cat-like, with well arched toes, and hard pads; hind feet slightly longer.
Previously customarily docked.
Docked: Set on high and carried upward.
Undocked: Set on high and carried gaily, not curled over back. Of moderate thickness. In overall balance to the rest of dog.
Strong, powerful with noble bearing, reaching well forward, and with driving action of hindquarters. In profile, stride free and ground covering.
Short, glossy, smooth and tight to body.
Fawn or brindle. White markings acceptable not exceeding one-third of ground colour.
Fawn: Various shades from dark deer red to light fawn.
Brindle: Black stripes on previously described fawn shades, running parallel to ribs all over body. Stripes contrast distinctly to ground colour, neither too close not too thinly dispersed. Ground colour clear, not intermingling with stripes.
Height: dogs: 57-63 cms (221/2-25 ins); bitches: 53-59 cms (21-23 ins). Weight: dogs: approximately 30-32 kgs (66-70 lbs); bitches: approximately 25-27 kgs (55-60 lbs).
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
The Kennel Club General Code of Ethics
Last Updated - April 2011
ll breeders who register their puppies, and new owners who register ownership of their dogs with the Kennel Club, accept the jurisdiction of the Kennel Club and undertake to abide by its general Code of Ethics.
1. Will properly house, feed, water and exercise all dogs under their care and arrange for appropriate veterinary attention if and when required.
2. Will agree without reservation that any veterinary surgeon performing an operation on any of their dogs which alters the natural conformation of the animal, or who carries out a caesarean section on a bitch, may report such operation to the Kennel Club.
3. Will agree that no healthy puppy will be culled. Puppies which may not conform to the Breed Standard should be placed in suitable homes.
4. Will abide by all aspects of the Animal Welfare Act.
5. Will not create demand for, nor supply, puppies that have been docked illegally.
6. Will agree not to breed from a dog or bitch which could be in any way harmful to the dog or to the breed.
7. Will not allow any of their dogs to roam at large or to cause a nuisance to neighbours or those carrying out official duties.
8. Will ensure that their dogs wear properly tagged collars and will be kept leashed or under effective control when away from home.
9. Will clean up after their dogs in public places or anywhere their dogs are being exhibited.
10. Will only sell dogs where there is a reasonable expectation of a happy and healthy life and will help with the re-homing of a dog if the initial circumstances change.
11. Will supply written details of all dietary requirements and give guidance concerning responsible ownership when placing dogs in a new home.
12. Will ensure that all relevant Kennel Club documents are provided to the new owner when selling or transferring a dog, and will agree, in writing, to forward any relevant documents at the earliest opportunity, if not immediately available.
13. Will not sell any dog to commercial dog wholesalers, retail pet dealers or directly or indirectly allow dogs to be given as a prize or donation in a competition of any kind. Will not sell by sale or auction Kennel Club registration certificates as stand alone items (not accompanying a dog).
14. Will not knowingly misrepresent the characteristics of the breed nor falsely advertise dogs nor mislead any person regarding the health or quality of a dog.
Breach of these provisions may result in expulsion from club membership, and/or disciplinary action by the Kennel Club and/or reporting to the relevant authorities for legal action, as appropriate.