We have received many emails and have been asked many times by owners how to know purebred Boxers from those that may have another breed mixed in... Either in 1st generation or even several generations out.
Here we will discuss some ways to know.
The most obvious sign that a dog is not a purebred. is when something about their appearance seems "off". Now with this being said, one must allow for various deviations that can occur even with purebred Boxers with strong bloodlines.
One element is the ears...while a person may be used to seeing small, erect ears on purebreds (particularly show dogs), one must remember that this is accomplished by cropping.....Cropping is a choice that owners make and therefore there are plenty of quality Boxers that have larger, floppy ears. This practice is also not legal in many countries.
Another element will be the tail. As with cropping, tail docking
is an elected procedure and not legal in many countries. Most breeders in the United States and in other countries in which this practice of docking is legal, will have this done when a newborn is between 1-3 weeks of age. Some will opt to not have this done, thus leading to purebred Boxers that have longer, swinging tails.
Size is a hot topic regarding this breed. Being one of the largest of the "medium" breeds, the size of purebred Boxers can vary quite a bit. Gender plays a role....as does breeding practices and the goal of the breeder in regard to physique and size.
Still, there may be other differences in appearance which cannot be explained by the above variances. When this is the case, one may want proof.
If someone obtains their Boxer from privately licensed Boxer dog breeder who provided documentation of the dog’s pedigree at the time of the sale, that dog is considered to be purebred.
However, many Boxer owners obtain their dog via other methods, such as:
• Adopting a rescued Boxer dog
• Buying the dog from a home-based breeder who does not the expertise of a professional Boxer breeder
• Taking in a lost or abandoned dog
• A personal sale, often from an ad placed online – a previous owner may be moving or unable to care for their Boxer dog and another will step in an buy the dog – papers may have been misplaced and never given to the new owner
How Can You Know if Your Boxer is a Purebred?
When purchased from an experienced breeder, you can (and should) ask to see all paperwork.... The papers should show at least 5 generations back, letting you see that the sire and dam, their parents, their grandparents, and so on are all purebreds.
You should be given papers when you buy your Boxer puppy. In some cases, you will be given limited registration...This is a normal practice and simply means that you do not have the right to bred.
If you do not have papers but want to know if your Boxer is a purebred, you may certainly inspect your Boxer dog to see if he or she meets the AKC dog breed standards, however this will not give you solid proof by any means.
The Only Real Test
Currently, DNA testing is the best method to determine if your dog is a purebred. DNA does not lie. Genetic markers in the DNA will prove if a Boxer is purebred or not.
How is this done?
This is a relatively easy test; most are done with some quick swabs of the inside of the Boxer dog’s mouth. In some cases, a blood sample will be taken; however the majority of the test are done with saliva samples from the dog.
How long does it take for the results?
Results are given in about 3-4 weeks in most cases.
Will this prove that my Boxer is a purebred and then I can register him?
Yes and no. The DNA test will prove if your Boxer is a purebred but with most dog clubs, the DNA test alone will not allow you to register your dog without papers.
Many dog clubs if given the DNA results, will however use Limited Privilege Registration to allow you to enter your Boxer dog into agility and sporting events.
Depending on where you live, some dog clubs will allow your Boxer to be registered as a purebred if you show pictures of the dog which show conformance and you have witnesses sign a notarized letter that the Boxer is thought to be purebred.