FCI-Standard N° 144
ORIGIN : Germany.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE OFFICIAL VALID
STANDARD : 01.04.2008.
UTILIZATION : Companion, Guard and Working Dog.
FCI-CLASSIFICATION : Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer- Molossoid
breeds- Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs.
Section 2.1 Molossoid breeds, mastiff type.
With working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY
The small, so called Brabant
Bullenbeisser is regarded as the immediate ancestor of the Boxer. In
the past, the breeding of these Bullenbeissers was in the hands of the
huntsmen, whom they assisted during the hunt. Their task was to
seize the game put up by the hounds and hold it firmly until the
huntsman arrived and put an end to the prey. For this job the dog
had to have jaws as wide as possible with widely spaced teeth, in
order to bite firmly and hold on tightly. A Bullenbeisser which had
these characteristics was best suited to this job and was used for
breeding. Previously, only the ability to work and utilization were
considered. Selective breeding was carried out which produced a
dog with a wide muzzle and an upturned nose.
The Boxer is a medium sized,
smooth coated, sturdy dog of compact, square build and strong bone.
His muscles are taut, strongly developed and moulded in appearance.
His movement is lively, powerful with noble bearing. The Boxer
must be neither cumbersome nor heavy, nor light or lacking in body
a) Length of body / Height at withers : Square build, which means
that the horizontal line of the back is perpendicular to the vertical
line passing through the point of shoulder and to the other vertical
line passing through the point of buttock, thus defining a square
b) Depth of brisket / Height at withers : The chest reaches to the
elbows. Depth of chest is half the height at withers.
c) Length of nose bridge / Length of head : Length of nose bridge in
relation to skull should be 1 : 2 (measured respectively from tip of
nose to inner corner of eye and from inner corner of eye to occiput).
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT
The Boxer should be fearless
self-confident, calm and equable. Temperament is of the utmost
importance and requires careful attention. Devotion and loyalty
towards his master and his entire household, his watchfulness and
self-assured courage as a defender are famous. He is harmless with
his family but distrustful of strangers. Happy and friendly in play,
yet fearless in a serious situation. Easy to train on account of his
willingness to obey, his pluck and courage, natural keenness and
scent capability. Undemanding and clean, he is just as agreeable and
appreciated in the family circle as he is as a guard, companion and
working dog. His character is trustworthy, with no guile or cunning,
even in old age.
This gives the Boxer his characteristic look. Must be in
good proportion to the body and appear neither too light nor too
heavy. Muzzle should be as broad and powerful as possible. The
harmony of the head depends on the balance between muzzle and
From whichever direction the head is viewed, from front, above or
sideways, the muzzle must always be in the right proportion to the
skull i.e. it must never appear too small. It should be clean, not
showing any wrinkle. However, natural folds are formed in the
cranial region when alerted. From root of nose, folds are always
indicated running in a downward direction on both sides. The dark
mask is confined to the muzzle and must be in sharp contrast to the
colour of the head so that the face does not appear sombre.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : The cranial region should be as lean and angular as possible.
It is slightly arched, neither too round and short, nor flat; nor should
it be too broad. Occiput not too pronounced. Furrow in forehead
only slightly marked, must not be too deep, especially between the
Stop : The forehead forms a distinct stop with the bridge of nose.
Bridge of nose must not be forced back into the forehead as in the
Bulldog, nor should it be downfaced.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Nose is broad and black and only slightly turned up with wide
nostrils. Tip of nose is placed slightly higher than root of nose.
Muzzle : The muzzle is powerfully developed in three dimensional
volume, neither pointed nor narrow, nor short or shallow. Its
appearance is influenced by :
a) Shape of jaw. b) Position of canine teeth. c) Shape of lips. The
canines must be placed as far apart as possible and must be of good
length, making the front of the muzzle broad, almost square and
forming a blunt angle with bridge of nose.
In front, the edge of the upper lip rests on the edge of the lower lip.
The part of the lower jaw with lower lip curved upwards, called the
chin, must not markedly protrude over upper lip, seen from front.
Nor should it be hidden by the upper lip but should be well defined
from front and side.
The canines and incisors of the lower jaw must not be visible when
mouth is closed, neither should the tongue show. Median groove in
the upper lip (philtrum) is clearly visible.
Lips : The lips complete the shape of the muzzle. The upper lip is
thick and padded and fills the space formed by the undershot lower
jaw; it is supported by the lower canines.
Jaws/Teeth : The lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw and is
curved slightly upwards. The Boxer is undershot. The upper jaw is
broad where it joins the cranial region, tapering only slightly towards
the front. The teeth are strong and healthy. The incisors are as even
as possible, set in a straight line. Canines wide apart and of good
Cheeks : Cheeks are developed in proportion with the strong jaws
without markedly bulging. They merge with the muzzle in a slight
Eyes : The dark eyes are neither too small nor protruding or deep set.
Their expression conveys energy and intelligence and must not be
threatening or piercing. Eye rims must be dark.
Ears : The natural ears are of appropriate size. They are set on wide
apart on highest part of skull. In repose they lie close to the cheeks
and turn forward with a definite crease, especially when the dog is
NECK : Topline runs in an elegant arch from the clearly marked
nape to the withers. It should be of ample length, round, strong and
Square body resting on sturdy, straight legs.
Withers : Should be marked.
Back : Including loin should be short, firm, straight, broad and
Croup : Slightly sloping, broad and only slightly arched. Pelvis
should be long and broad, especially in bitches.
Chest : Deep, reaching to elbows. Depth of chest is half the height at
withers. Well developed forechest. Ribs well sprung but not barrelshaped, extending well to the rear.
Underline : Running towards rear in elegant curve. Short, taut flanks
slightly tucked up.
TAIL : Set on high rather than low. The tail is of normal length
and left natural.
General appearance : Front legs, seen from front, must stand parallel
and have strong bone.
Shoulders : Long and sloping, connected firmly to body. Should not
be too loaded.
Upper arm : Long, making a right angle to shoulder blade.
Elbows : Neither too close to side of chest nor turned out.
Forearm : Vertical, long, lean and muscled.
Carpus (wrist) : Strong, well defined, but not exaggerated.
Metacarpus (Pastern) : Short, almost perpendicular to ground.
Front feet : Small, round, tight, well cushioned and hard pads.
General appearance : Very muscular, the muscles brick hard and
visible under the skin.
Hindlegs : Seen from rear : straight.
Thigh : Long and broad. Angles of hip and knee are open but as
little as possible.
Knee (Stifle) : When dog is standing, should reach sufficiently
forward so that it would touch a perpendicular line from point of hip
Lower thigh : Very muscular.
Hock : Strong and well defined but not exaggerated. Angle
approximately 140 degrees.
Metatarsus (Rear Pastern) : Short with slight inclination, 95-100
degrees to the ground.
Hind feet : Slightly longer than front feet, tight; well cushioned and
GAIT / MOVEMENT : Lively, full of strength and nobility.
Dry, elastic without any wrinkles.
HAIR : Short, hard, glossy and close fitting.
COLOUR : Fawn or brindle : Fawn comes in various shades from
light fawn to dark deer red but the most attractive shades are in the
middle range (red fawn). Black mask. The brindle variety : fawn
background of varying shades has dark or black stripes running
parallel to ribs. Stripes must contrast distinctly to ground colour.
White markings should not be discarded. They can be quite pleasant.
SIZE AND WEIGHT :
Height at the withers : Dogs : 57-63 cm.
Females : 53-59 cm.
Weight : Dogs : over 30 kg when height at withers is ca 60 cm.
Bitches : about 25 kg when height at withers is ca 56 cm.
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.
• Behaviour / Temperament : Lack of spirit.
• Head : Lack of nobility and typical expression, sombre face,
Pinscher or Bulldog type head. Dribbling, showing of teeth
or tongue. Muzzle too pointed or slight. Bridge of nose
falling away. Leather or weather nose, pale nose leather. So
called, “hawk eye”, lack of pigment in haw.
In uncropped ears : Flying, half erect or erect ears, rose ears.
Wry jaw, slanting teeth, incorrect position of teeth, poorly
developed teeth and unsound teeth due to illness.
• Neck : Short, thick and throaty.
• Body : Front too broad or low to the ground. Sagging body,
roach or sway back. Lean, long, narrow, sagging loin,
loosely coupled body.
Arched loin, croup falling away. Narrow pelvis, hollow
flanks, pendulous belly.
• Tail : Low set on, kink tail.
• Forequarters: French front, loose shoulders, loose elbows,
weak pastern, hare foot, flat, splayed feet.
• Hindquarters : Weak muscles. Too much or too little
angulation, down on hocks, barrel hocks, cow hocks, narrow
hocks, dewclaws, hare foot, flat, splayed feet.
• Movement : Waddling, insufficient reach, pacing, stilted
• Colour of coat : Mask extending beyond muzzle. Stripes
(brindling) too close together or too sparse.
Sooty ground colour. Mingled colours. Unattractive white
markings such as a entirely white head or white on one side
of the head. Other colours and white markings exceeding
one third of the ground colour.
• Aggressive or overly shy.
• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural
abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles
fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed
typical conformation should be used for breeding.
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