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VS Other Breeds

The Boxer Dog Vs Other Breeds


It's a bit hard to believe that there are so many different breeds in the world and as the years go by, more are continually being recognized. The AKC only recognizes 200+, yet the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) which has 80+ member countries, have made 340+ breeds official. This offers us a great opportunity to compare quite a few to the Boxer. 

Comparing the Boxer dog to other breeds will be an ongoing project. While there's not much of a need to do a side-by-side with toy Poodles or Pomeranians, we will be choosing breeds in which a comparison makes sense. 

Some factors that we'll be looking at include overall appearance, size, group, intelligence, life span, history, traits, temperament, health issues and more. 

First, we'll go over how the Boxer stacks up against other dogs in general, and then you can choose which comparisons you'd like to see. As always, if you have a suggestion, feel free to email us with your idea. 
Molly (at 3 mths) & Roxy (at 8 yrs); Photo courtesy of Jules

Boxer Dogs Vs Others - Classifications

There are many ways to classify the different breeds that exist, from size, to purpose, to physical traits.

Let's look at how the Boxer fits in, in several regards.  

Purpose Type - In this classification, breeds are grouped by their original purpose. Per the AKC, they are:
  • Herding
  • Hound
  • Non-Sporting
  • Sporting
  • Terrier
  • Toy
  • Working
  • Miscellaneous Class 
Though, there are also other sub-groups including: Companion, Guard, Hunting, and Sled.

The Boxer dog is part of the AKC's Working group. Breeds in the working group were bred specifically to perform certain tasks. This includes pulling sleds (Working>Sled), water rescue and, as in the case of the Boxer, guard and military. 

Though the Boxer was used as a military dog quite extensively by German forces in WWI, during WWII both the U.S. military and the British army used Boxer dogs to aid in battle. This breed was used to a large extent as guard dogs (tasked with keeping guard over military camps and used when conducting patrols) and to carry packs & messages throughout the battlefield. 

This was particularly dangerous work, though canines were used since they were a lesser target for snipers and were able to move quickly over all types of terrain. 

The AKC has 30 breeds (including the Boxer dog) in this group. The KC and CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) also have him in this group; however, each have only a total of 26 working breeds. 

The FCI has a very different way to categorize dogs. They have the Boxer in Group 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossoid breeds, Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs; Section 2.1 Molossoid breeds, mastiff type. However, his Utilization is: Companion, Guard and Working Dog. 
In regard to the AKC, the other breeds in this group are: the Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Black Russian Terrier, Boerboel, Bullmastiff, Cane Corso, Chinook, Doberman, Dogue de Bordeaux (Bordeaux Mastiff, French Mastiff), German Pinscher, Giant Schnauzer...

... Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Komondor, Kuvasz, Leonberger, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Newfoundland, Portuguese Water Dog, Rottweiler, St. Bernard, Samoyed, Siberian Husky, Standard Schnauzer and Tibetan Mastiff. 
The AKC Working Group is quite diverse...
Boxer dog compared to other working breeds
Traits Types - Another grouping is 'canine trait type' which relates to a dog's physical characteristics. This refers to the dog's set appearance and overall body structure. 

In this regard, the Boxer is part of the Molosser family. Molossers are mostly large dogs that all descend from the same common ancestor. The first record of Molosser type dogs is in regard to ancient dogs that were owned by the tribe of Molossians, ruled by King Molossus, the grandchild of Achilles. They inhabited the region of Epirus (now modern day Greece and Albania) starting in the Mycenaean era (c. 3200 BC – c. 1050 BC). 

Molossers can be generally categorized by having a heavy bone set, pendant ears, a rather short and well-muscled neck, and a short broad muzzle. 

The Boxer is part of the Molosser group because the Boxer was developed by pairing the now extinct Bullenbeisser with the English Bulldog.
There are 53 dog breeds in the Molosser family, including the Boxer dog. This takes many by surprise; and in fact, there are actually more if you factor in those that have not yet gained full acceptance. However, in taking a look at the recognized dogs in this trait type family, of which some are within the AKC and some are not (FCI only), the 53 are:

Aidi, Alano Espanol, American Bulldog, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Anatolian Shepherd, Appenzeller Mountain Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Boxer, Broholmer...

... Bull Terrier, Bulldog, Bullmastiff, Bully Kutta, Ca de Bou, Cane Corso, Cão Fila de São Miguel, Castro Laboreiro Dog, Caucasian Shepherd Dog, Central Asia Shepherd Dog, Cimarrón Uruguayo, Dogo Argentino, Dogo Canario, Dogue de Bordeaux, English Mastiff, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Estrela Mountain Dog, Fila Brasileiro....

... Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Gull Terr, Hovawart, Kangal Dog, Karst Shepherd Dog, Komondor, Lakota Mastino, Landseer, Leonberger, Miniature Bull Terrier, Moscow Watchdog, Neapolitan Mastiff
Newfoundland, Pyrenean Mastiff...

... Rafeiro do Alentejo, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Shar Pei, Spanish Mastiff, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Tibetan Mastiff, Tosa Inu and the Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog.
You can find some similarities to the Boxer with many, but not all, of the other dogs in the Molosser family...
dog breeds in Molosser group
Cephalic Index - This is the method of classifying canines based on their head shape, and more exacting, by the length of their snout. There are 3 levels to this index:
  • Doclichocephalic - This shape has a round head and a very long snout. Dogs such as Greyhounds and Whippets have this elongated snout and it allows for lots of room for the nasal cavities.
  • Mesaticephalic – With this shape, the skull and snout are each just about the same size (in length) and dogs in this group are said to have ‘medium’ sized muzzles. Canines such as the Beagle and the Lab are in this grouping. 
  • Brachycephalic - With this profile, the dog has a compressed jaw, a short muzzle and a compact skull. This compressed shape consequently causes the upper respiratory system to be compressed, which is why many breeds in this grouping can have breathing issues, with - depending on the severity - such things as wheezing, exercise intolerance and snoring. The Boxer dog is in this brachycephalic category.
Including the Boxer, there are 31 breeds that are classified as brachycephalic, though the extent varies from minor to extreme. 

The 31 breeds are:  Affenpinscher, American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bichon Frise, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Brussels Griffon, Bulldog, Bullmastiff, Cane Corso, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel...

... Chihuahua, Chow Chow, Dogo Argentino, Dogue de Bordeaux, English Mastiff, French Bulldog, Japanese Chin, Lhasa Apso, Maltese, Neapolitan Mastiff, Newfoundland, Pekingese, Presa Canario, Pug, Shar-Pei, Shih Tzu, Silk Terrier, Tibetan Spaniel, Valley Bulldog and Yorkshire Terrier. 
One may at first assume that all brachycephalic breeds would look similar; but not so...
Brachycephalic dog breeds including Boxer dog
Size - There are 5 size groups: Toy, small, medium, large and giant.  The AKC places the Boxer in the medium size group; though albeit, medium-large is more accurate. The KC (Kennel Club - UK) considers him to be large. 

Having the Boxer dog being classified as 'medium' by some clubs surprises many, seeing that, per the AKC, males should range from 23-25 inches (58.42-63.5 cm), with females 21.5-23.5 inches (54.61-59.69 cm). There is no official weight range, however males are typically between 60-70 pounds (27-32 kg) and females from 55-65 pounds (25-29 kg).

And this being said, there are some Boxer dogs that exceed this size range, reaching upwards of 100 lbs (45 kg).

In regard to this sort of size bracketing, there are inconsistencies, where sizes overlap each other.

In regard to the AKC, let's look where the Boxer dog fits in with other breeds...

Toy - Dogs in the toy group are tiny; this ranges from the smallest of all, the Chihuahua with a desired max weight of 6.6 lbs to the much larger Pug that typically falls between 14 and 18 pounds (6.35 and 8.16 kg).

Small - Breeds in this grouping include the Jack Russell Terrier that is generally between 14-18 lbs (6.35 and 8.16 kg) - notice that this is the exact same as the Pug and the Boston Terrier at 10 to 25 lbs (4.5 to 11.33 kg).

Medium - There are many dogs in this grouping, though most are smaller than the Boxer. This includes the Brittany at 35 to 42 lbs (16 to 19 kg), the English Springer Spaniel at 35 to 55 lbs (16 to 25 kg), and the Whippet at 15 to 31 lbs. (6.8 to 14 kg).

Large - Here, you'll find the German Shepherd which is smaller than the Boxer at 49 to 88 lbs (22 to 40 kg), the Golden Retriever, which is just about the same size as the Boxer at 55 to 75 lbs. (25 to 34 kg), and the Rhodesian Ridgeback that is larger than the Boxer at 71 to 86 lbs. (32 to 39 kg). 

Giant (unofficial) - The AKC sees giant breeds as 'large'. This includes the Great Dane at 99 to 200 lbs. (45 to 90 kg), height 28 to 34 inches (71 to 86 cm) and the English Mastiff at 120 to 230 lbs. (54 to 100 kg).
When all is said and done, the Boxer is a medium-to-large breed,
 like several others that generally fall between 55 and 70-80 lbs.
Life SpanThe Boxer dog's life span in comparison to other breeds is considered slightly shorter than average: 9 to 12 years with a median age of 10.5. This said, some Boxer dogs live well into their mid-teens, as documented in our oldest living Boxer dogs section. And there are things that you can do to help your Boxer dog live a longer life. 

Breeds with a shorter life span than the Boxer include the Great Dane at 8.5 years, the Irish Wolfhound at 7 years and the Mastiff at 8 years.

Breeds with a much longer life span than the Boxer include the Collie at 14 – 16 years, Australian Shepherd at 13-15 years, Jack Russell terrier at 13 – 16 years, Siberian Husky at 12-15 years, the Beagle at 12 – 15 years, Boston Terrier at 13-15 years, and the Chihuahua at 17 years. 

Breeds with a similar life span as the Boxer include both the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever at 10-12 years, and the Doberman Pinscher at 10-13 years.
Intelligence - Unfortunately, there has been little work done in regard to rating dog breeds by intelligence levels since the 90's. It was Dr. Stanley Coren ,a professor of canine psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, who wrote the first book on this in 1994 (revised, 2006) and there's not much out there to either backup his claims or dispute them. 

He never saw the dogs himself; rather, he sent questionnaires out to AKC and CKC judges and asked them to rate breeds on obedience only and off of what they had witnessed in the show ring

Only based on command elements, 131 breeds were placed into 6 different groups of intelligence levels. 52 of the breeds tied. The Boxer placed at #48, at 'average', though we know better

Other breeds ranked the same or close to the Boxer and within the same category of 'average' are the Great Dane (tied at #48), the West Highland White Terrier, Havanese, and Scottish Deerhound (all tied at #47) and the Dachshund, Shiba Inu, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier (all tied at #49).
Breeds ranked as smarter then the Boxer include the Dalmatian (#39, 'above average'), the Collie (#16, 'excellent working dogs') and the Border Collie (#1, 'brightest dogs').

Breeds ranked lower than the Boxer include the Italian Greyhound (#60, 'fair'), the Bullmastiff (#69, 'fair') and the Bulldog (#77, 'lowest degree').
Year of AKC Recognition 

The AKC was founded in 1884 and started off very small, with just a group of 13 breed clubs (10 American and 3 Canadian, at that time). As each year passed, more breeds were recognized. And still today, every few years breeds are added. Let's see where the Boxer fits in.

The Boxer was recognized in 1904, 20 years from the date the AKC was formed. 

Other breeds recognized the same year are the Chihuahua, Schipperke, and the Standard Schnauzer.

Breeds that were accepted earlier include: the Basset Hound (1885), Bloodhound (1885), Bulldog (1886), Airedale Terrier (1888), Dalmatian (1888), and the French Bulldog (1898). 

Some of the breeds accepted much later include the Miniature Pinscher (1925), Rottweiler (1931), Black and Tan Coonhound (1945), Rhodesian Ridgeback (1955), Australian Terrier (1960), Staffordshire Bull Terrier (1974), Australian Cattle Dog (1980), Shiba Inu (1992), Bluetick Coonhound (2009) and the Cane Corso (2010).
The Boxer VS Specific Breeds - Here you can compare the Boxer side-by-side with other breeds. Seeing as we just got this rolling, there's... one... for now. 


Is there a certain comparison you want to see? 

Just email us at to let us know, and we''ll work on it! 

Things to do now... 
Become a Member  - Receive reminders when we add new pages of information, add the new Boxer Dog Blog - Topic of the Month here, and you can suggest something for us to write about. 

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Check out The GIANT Book of Boxer Dog Care - Available in both hard copy & eBook; this is the most comprehensive Boxer care book that exists.
Boxer Dog Supplies - A round-up of our recommended items for optimal care. 
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