While the Boxer breed as recognized today was refined to perfection in Germany in the 1890s, ancestors of the breed can be found all the way back to 1600s Europe. The breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1904, and over the decades it grew in popularity with American dog owners. It maintains a presence on the AKC top ten list of favorite breeds, coming in at No. 7 in 2010.
Legend has it that Boxers are descendants of the fighting Mastiffs of Tibet, though putting a modern Boxer next to those ancient Mastiffs you could barely see a resemblance. It is a cousin to virtually all breeds of Bulldogs, and the Germans refined the breed in terms of appearance and behavior through the 19th century. The Boxer became an AKC champion in 1915, and through the 1940s its talent for winning awards made the breed popular among American families.
Though white Boxers were introduced into the AKC in the early part of the 20th century, by 2011 they were no longer considered a breed standard. They can still be registered, but not shown in the conformation ring. The modern breed standard has a short and shiny fawn or brindle coat which doesn't require much grooming but can shed quite a bit. The Boxer has a compact body with a wide chest and a shoulder span of between 21 and 25 inches. Its dark brown eyes are medium size and dark rimmed, and its ears are set high and wide apart.
Boxers are alert and playful, a dignified clown that loves to be around people, other dogs and even small children. They are usually not aggressive, and respond well to good socialization. They are boisterous and require exercise, otherwise they can develop some destructive habits, such as chewing your favorite shoes or tearing into your family sofa. Boxers also like to be close to their humans, and will likely plant themselves right on your lap to command your immediate attention.
About 25 percent of Boxers are born white, but unlike albinos they only have white fur, as opposed to being born without pigment. According to the Northeastern Boxer Rescue, some breeders euthanize white puppies because they do not conform to the breed standard. They also have a bad reputation of being born deaf, harder to train and mean. In reality, only about 18 percent of white Boxers are deaf, and those that are deaf still respond to hand signals and sign language for training. The color of its coat does not indicate that one Boxer is meaner than any other.