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Black Boxers

Black Boxer Dogs

Are There Black Boxer Dogs and Puppies?

There is a lot of talk about black Boxers dogs; some potential puppy buyers will actively seek out this colored puppy, but their searching is in vain. 

It may be hard to believe it when you see photos, but black boxers do not exist – the color gene responsible for black coat color does not exist within the breed. If you “see” a black Boxer, if that dog is a purebred Boxer, he or she must be a very dark brindle.

Brindle is a pattern of color, it is a striping effect. With most brindle Boxers, the dark stripes are clearly over a fawn background. However, with Boxer dogs that appear to have a black coat, this is due to super heavy reserve brindling. In fact, it can be so dark and so thick, that you cannot see any fawn beneath it. 

This gives the dog a very dark coat that does indeed appear to be black. 

Here, we'll go into the facts a bit more to talk about why black cannot exist with the breed and some myths are swirl about regarding this perceived coat color. 

Why Colors are Misinterpreted 

It is very easy to see a dog and immediately assume that he is a certain color, based on what your eyes are telling you. However, with some breeds, the Boxer included, you must take a second look. 

It is sometimes only when you realize how brindle can cause an effect of sorts, that makes a first impression of black, that it starts to make sense. 

In addition, some Boxers are given the term of black; however, in many cases, this is a shortened term that comes from longer 'black brindle'. 

The base color of all purebred Boxers is fawn. Brindles are actually fawn with a brindle marking. 
Those markings are made of a pattern for fur consisting of black striping which covers the fawn… Sometimes just a bit (lightly brindled) and sometimes a lot (a heavily brindled dog).  
Black Boxer with white flash
A black Boxer with white flash? Nope! Your eyes are playing tricks on you. This pup is super dark reverse brindle with white markings.
Cassandra, 5 months old
Photo couresty of Christopher
Many wonder if perhaps there were black Boxers that were mostly bred out of the lines and that perhaps now and again a dog with a black coat shows up somewhere. However, if we look to the record keeping of the past century, we can see that this is not the case. In this 100 year time period, a black Boxer appeared once, however there is a catch to this. 

In the Germany, in the late 1800's a Boxer was paired with a mixed dog that was part Bulldog and part Schnauzer. The resulting litter had puppies that had black coats. Since another breed was introduced into the bloodline, they were not purebreds. These dogs were not used for any further breeding and therefore did not have any influence on genetics going forward. 

Once in a while there will be a breeder that claims to have black Boxers and will point to this one incident long ago as evidence that black does indeed run in the bloodline. However, since those mixed dogs with black coats were never used for any sort of develop program this simply does not hold true. 

Another element that shows that this coloring does not exist in the Boxer line is the rule that the Munich Boxer Club created in 1925. This group had stringent control over breeding and development of Boxers in Germany and set the guidelines for the standard, conformation and all elements regarding appearance including coloring. 
This group did not wish for any experimenting to be done that would introduce the color black and for this reason they made a clear rule that black Boxers would not be accepted. 

Some make the argument that programs may have ignored this ruling and still attempted to breed black Boxers. However it would have not been in their best interest to do so and additionally, any resulting dogs would have not been part of the Munich Boxer Club since they couldn't have been registered there. 

This means that any such hypothetical dogs could not have genetically been included in the Boxer's bloodline since they would have been barred from any programs that were developing and perfecting the breed.

So, now that we know:
  • This color does not exist in the line
  • The only record of any black Boxer in the last century was a mixed dog and not a purebred
  • Guidelines and strict rules of of the club in Munich that was the foundation of today's Boxers clearly excluded black Boxers...
And it is also fair to say:
  • The chance of there being some odd, rare gene mutation that brings black into the coat is extraordinarily rare; mathematically the odds are so low that this can be ruled out
  • Black Boxer puppies cannot be born due to a hidden gene; this is because black is dominant over all other colors. It cannot be recessive, it always comes out over others
Why are some people still adamant that this coloring exists? 
Diesel, at 2 years old
Photo courtesy of Brittany Calvert 
This leads us to the conclusion of only two possibilities in this regard:
  • A 'true' black Boxer simply cannot be a purebred. There must be another breed in the bloodline 
  • The Boxer is not black and actually is a very heavily brindled dog or a reverse brindle

What About Breeders Who Claim to Have Solid Blacks?

1) It is always possible that some very inexperienced breeders that have a litter of dark pups simply dub them as black dogs.

2) An unethical breeder may purposefully be misleading in order to appear to have 'special' dogs that are 'rare'. It is assumed that in this case, it would be done to sell the pups at a higher cost. 

Some elements to ponder... 

1) Any puppy that is sold and verbally said to be a black Boxer would not be able to be registered as such. 
The AKC (American Kennel Club), FCI, (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) with over 80 member countries, KC (the Kennel Club of the UK), the CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) and all other reputable canine registration clubs do not register black Boxers. Their registration papers do not have that color code as an option. Therefore, even if someone verbally dubs a Boxer to have a black coat, the dog - if registered with a recognized club - would officially be another color; and that would most likely be brindle.  Since the pup would be handed over to new owners with papers stating he was not black, how can they simultaneously claim to have black Boxer dogs? 

2) Keeping the above in mind, if a Boxer came with registration papers that showed that he had a black coat, those papers would need to either come from some little known club that was not reputable or the papers would have to be forged. And this of course, is very unethical. 

In Summary

Every being (whether it is a mammal, like a dog, human, etc.) has genes. These genes determine everything about the being, from skin color to the number legs to where the eyes are...genes control everything.

Genes control coat color in dogs, too. In order for a dog to be black, that breed of dog must contain the gene for having a black coat. Boxer dogs do not have that gene. So, there cannot be any black Boxer dogs. It is genetically impossible.

A Boxer that is black, or true black with brown points, for example, MUST be a mixed breed or a heavily brindled dog.
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