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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. 

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 either be a very dark brindle.

Brindle is a striping, however sometimes the colors of that striping can be so dark that they seemingly blend together and create what may be interpreted as a solid dark coat.

There are some people who believe that they own black Boxer dogs. Also, there are some breeders who claim to have black Boxer puppies for sale. However, neither can be correct.

Perhaps that seems a little confusing. Maybe you have even seen a Boxer yourself that appeared to be black, and you can't see how the above statement could possibly be accurate.
It is genetically impossible for a black Boxer dog to exist and we will explain why…And what Boxers that look black actually are.
Why Colors are Misinterpreted 

The dogs in question have brindle that is exceedingly heavy. When a Boxer has this sort of color pattern, it is sometimes called 'black brindle'. This terminology is then, in turn, sometimes misguidedly shortened to the one word of "black".

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? 

This leads us to the conclusion of two possibilities:
  • 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. 
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Learn about the differences between manufactured dog food and Home Cooked food to help you make the choice that best fits you and your Boxer dog. 
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. 
Why Some Boxers Do Look Black

There are definitely some very dark Boxer dogs that appear to be black. However, the coats do have a fawn base, that is covered by strong brindling. Judging the dog by eye, one may be tempted to call the dog a black Boxer, however in regard to genetics and registration this is not so. 

So, no matte how dark a Boxer appears to be, he will be a brindle. When this dark pattern is exceedingly heavy, some refer to it as reverse brindle Boxers.
Boxer dam with two puppies
A brindle is a coat that has some type of fawn coloring (from a tan color to a dark reddish color)-BUT, on top of the fawn coloring are black stripes.

Boxers can have any number or sort of black striping. They can even have such a quantity of black striping that they appear to be black with fawn-colored striping. The Boxers that have this much black striping are often called reverse brindle boxers.

Some of these brindles may end up with such a great amount of black striping that it can be quite difficult to find the fawn under-color. Boxer experts know that there is fawn underneath; even if you cannot see it without close inspection. 

Take note of this photo:This is a heavily brindled, white mis-marked Boxer. Not a black Boxer.
To Summarize
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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