Boxers have a natural instinct to protect and are a very loyal breed. They also crave affection from people and tend to be patient and playful with children. When trying to determine if the breed of a dog is indeed a Boxer, many physical characteristics can aid in the determination. The Boxer is one of the most popular breeds in the United States, so be sure to utilize the following tips to ensure that the breed you are taking home is in fact a true Boxer.
Look at the color of the dog's coat. The American Kennel Club recognizes Boxers as having either a fawn coat, which means brown or tan coloring, or a brindle coat, which means streaks of black over a base coat of lighter brown or tan. The coats might vary in concentration of black streaking, and might also include some white markings distributed evenly on the body, sometimes in moderation on the face.2
Understand the difference between a German Boxer and an American Boxer. Slight differences exist between these two breeds: The German Boxer has a slightly larger bone structure and has a minimally smaller nose. The American Boxer has no wrinkles in his skin or coat compared with the German Boxer who has a less shiny, tight coat.3
Pay attention to the dog's ears. Many people believe that all Boxer's have cropped ears, but this is incorrect. If a Boxer's ears are cropped, then they are positioned at the top of the skull and stand straight up in a point. However, it is possible to leave a Boxer's ears uncropped, meaning that they are still positioned at the top of the skull but should lay down flat against the cheek instead of pointing up.4
Examine the dog's tail, but understand that this is not a definitive method of determining if a dog is a Boxer. Many Boxers have a "docked" tail, meaning that it appears as just a short stub at the end of the body that remains erect. It is thought that this makes a dog appear more Boxer-like, but in fact many Boxers have their natural tail intact. It is possible to have a Boxer with a long, smooth tail; most often with a white tip at the end.