What Were Boxers Bred to Do?


Quick Answer

Boxers were developed in Germany during the 19th century, and originally bred to be a medium-size guard dog. Others used the breed for dog fighting and to run down and hold large game such as wild boar and bison until the hunter arrived, according to the American Kennel Club.

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Full Answer

The ancestors of the boxer were the Bullenbeiszer and the Barenbeiszer, two dogs similar to the German mastiff. The Bullenbeiszer and Barenbeiszer were later crossed with ancestors of the Mastiff and Bulldog. They were initially used for not only hunting and dog fighting, but also bull baiting, cart pulling, and herding cattle and livestock. Later, the breed gained popularity as circus and theater dogs.

Around 1903, the first boxers were imported into the United States. The boxer got its nickname for its tendency to stand on its hind legs and bat at its opponents with its front paws, which gives the appearance of a boxer. Today, the boxer is used in military work, police work, search and rescue, competitive obedience, and performing tricks. The American boxer and the German boxer are two types of boxers. The German boxer is typically more muscular than the American boxer and also has a bigger head.

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