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European Boxers – Are They Different Than American Boxers?

European Boxers – Are They Different Than American Boxers?

Boxers are popular dogs, despite their somewhat bad reputation. These are extremely loyal guard dogs that excel at being affectionate family companions, as well.

But did you know that there is more than one type of Boxer out there?

No, we’re not talking about different coat colors. There are, in fact, several Boxer types, and all have their own breed standard and features that set them apart.

Most Boxers you see on the streets fall into the American Boxer standard. However, this isn’t the only one that exists.

Today we’ll talk about European Boxers, which some dog experts might argue is the original Boxer breed.

These doggies are very similar to their American counterparts, but a few things make them stand out.

If you’re interested to learn more about European Boxers, you’re in the right place. Here is everything you need to know about these large dogs, and what makes them so unique:

What Is A European Boxer?

dog breed German boxer

A European Boxer is a Boxer that follows the FCI breed standard. Due to the Boxer breed origins, some people would argue that this is the way original Boxers looked like.

Boxers were first bred in Germany to be working dogs. They were used for hunting bears and bars, which is why they were called Bullenbeissers, or the German Bulldogs.

Over time, this exact breed of dogs disappeared, but its ancestors, the European Boxer breed (or rather, German Boxer dogs), kept its legacy.

As such, European Boxers have an appearance that is suited to their working dog history. They are strong, muscular dogs that can deal with many tasks, whether that be hunting or protecting your house.

Kennel Clubs And Breed Standard

The European Boxer belongs to the same dog breed as the American Boxer. In fact, there is only one Boxer breed. However, the issue lies in the fact that there is more than one kennel club that determines the breed standard.

Each area has its own major kennel club that determines how a specific dog breed should look. Some of the major ones are the American Kennel Club (AKC), the United Kennel Club (UKC), the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI), and the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC).

While there are many more kennel clubs, these four are likely the largest ones that determine the standard for the rest of the world.

Whether we’re talking about Bulldogs, Labrador Retrievers, Pitbulls, or Boxers, their standard is decided by a leading kennel club in your area.

The breed standard will affect the breeding practices and the desirable dogs in the area, which means that the breeders will focus on reproducing dogs that look and behave a certain way over the other ones. As such, some slight differences among dogs of the same breed are possible.

European Boxer Size And Appearance

German boxer dog

The European Boxer is a medium to large-sized canine. Females usually grow to be between 20 and 24 inches, while males are slightly taller, as they can reach up to 25 inches in height.

Similarly, males are slightly heavier than females, as females will rarely weigh more than 55 lbs, and males weigh on average 66 lbs.

These are muscular dogs with large frames. One of the most notable and prized features they have is their skull to snout ratio, which has to be exactly 1:2.

They have a wide chest that gives them a rectangular appearance, fairly short legs, high knuckles, and small feet for their size, and a short coat that comes in several colors – although most will have a black mask.

Standard European Boxers are:

• Brindle Boxers.

• ​Fawn Boxers.

While you can find white Boxers and black Boxers, they are not according to the breed standard in Europe. White markings are also desirable, but not the reverse brindle.

European Boxer Temperament

Boxer dog running

Some people are afraid of the Boxer breed as they consider them overly aggressive. However, this is nothing but a misconception. According to the Euro Boxer standard, these pups should never be aggressive. Any single sign of aggression disqualifies these pups from further breeding.

European Boxers are confident, calm, and brave. In fact, the dog’s behavior is the most important factor for this breed, next to its strength.

These dogs have to be loyal toward all of their family members and they need to be protective. This way, they can fulfill their guard dog duties without mistake. At the same time, this means they have to be wary of strangers, so socialization is the key to reducing any behavioral flaws.

These are friendly dogs that know when to be serious. They are fairly easy to train, as their biggest desire is to please their humans.

Even as they grow old, European Boxer dogs are fearless and will have no problem fighting for their owner if something is threatening them.

At the same time, they should be gentle towards children, although you should never leave them unattended with your little ones. Due to their large size, they might knock a child over or hurt them during a rough playtime.

European Boxer Health Problems

European Boxer lying on grass

Photo from @boxer_hound_purr

All dog breeds are prone to certain health issues. This includes Boxers, as well. Unfortunately, there are many hereditary conditions and not all can be entirely prevented.

Some of the conditions Boxers are prone to include:

Hypothyroidism, a condition in which the dog’s thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones.

Hip dysplasia, the most common orthopedic condition in dogs that can lead to arthritis.

Degenerative myelopathy, a disease that affects the dog’s spinal cord, leading to limb weakness and even paralysis.

Boxer cardiomyopathy, a heart condition specific to the Boxer dog breed.

Epilepsy, a neurological condition of unknown origin that leads to seizures.

Gastric torsion (bloat), twisting of the dog’s intestines and stomach that requires immediate emergency care.

Many of these conditions can be prevented by picking healthy bloodlines and giving your pup high-quality dog food. Obesity is the leading cause of many disorders, so make sure your pup eats healthy.

European Boxer Puppies For Sale

When looking for European Boxer breeders, you need to know how to recognize these dogs. Otherwise, you might be dealing with a breeder who is simply labeling their dogs to increase the sale.

Not just that, but we would advise you to always buy from reputable dog breeders. These people are selling only dogs that have been health tested. This results in healthy litters and dogs with a long lifespan.

If possible, always ask to see a female Boxer in the kennel, as the mother’s condition can tell you a lot of things about how the puppies will look and behave once they are adult dogs.

Reputable breeders will always give you a health guarantee, so you can know your dog will be healthy for a long time.

They’ll also make sure the dog’s behavior is according to the breed standard. This is especially important if you’re looking for a top-quality dog that you plan to keep in a family environment. You don’t want a Boxer of unknown origins left alone with your kids!

European Boxer Price

The price of the dog depends on many factors, such as the breeder’s reputation, the dog’s bloodline and pedigree, and even the breeder’s location.

Another thing that highly influences the price is the dog breed’s rarity.

European Boxers aren’t that common in the U.S. As such, they tend to be a bit more expensive – although not so much to make a huge difference!

The average price of the European Boxer is $1,000 – $3,000, although puppies of exceptional bloodlines can cost more.

American Boxer Vs European Boxer

boxer dog standing in nature

The differences between the American and European Boxers stem from the purpose they were bred for.

We’ve already mentioned that the European Boxers have been bred to be working dogs. While American Boxers are also used to guard homes, they’re primarily used to be family pets or show dogs meant to participate in the conformation ring.

In other words, European Boxers were bred for their purpose, while American Boxers breeders were focused primarily on the dog’s appearance. The function is secondary, while the aesthetics are primary.

As such, here are some of the main differences between the American and the European Boxers:


First and foremost, European Boxers are a bit larger and stronger than their American counterparts. This is because their main function is to be guard dogs and hunting dogs, and there’s no place for elegance.

They are bulkier and more muscular, and they can truly look scary, especially to strangers. However, they can be a tiny bit shorter than American Boxers due to their shorter legs.

American Boxers don’t need to have the exact skull to snout ratio as European Boxers do. They have a larger but narrower snout compared to their European counterparts, which ruins the ratio slightly.

AKC breed standard also recognizes white Boxers, but this isn’t the standard color and your dog won’t be able to participate in the dog show if its coat is more than one-third white.

Another thing that’s important to mention is that ear cropping and tail docking are not standard practices in Europe. Quite the opposite – it’s forbidden in pretty much all EU countries.

While cropping the Boxer’s ears isn’t as common as, for example, Rottweiler ear cropping, some breeders still do this, which can make people think that the American Boxer dog has upright ears while the European Boxer has floppy ears.

However, both types of Boxers are born with floppy ears, and it is up to the breeder whether their ears will be cropped. Still, European Boxers should have their ears and tail intact.


The main factor that influences the dog’s temperament is how the owner raises him. If you know how to properly socialize and train your pooch, you can battle most inherited behavioral traits.

However, some things are written in the dog’s genes. While you can teach a dog not to be aggressive, you cannot fully influence his character.

Compared to American Boxers, the European Boxers are more distant and careful, fully aware of everything that’s going on around them.

They also have more stamina and higher energy levels, as they have to run in the field to catch their prey.

On the other hand, American Boxers are more laid-back and less energetic, although they are still far from couch potatoes.

These dogs are friendlier and more social, sometimes even prone to separation anxiety.

No matter the Boxer type, all Boxer dogs are loyal and affectionate toward their owners, and they shouldn’t exhibit a single aggressive trait.

Which One Makes A Better Family Pet?

Both the European Boxer and the American Boxer make great family companions. They love all of their family members, and they love having playtime companions.

As such, it all goes down to what you expect from your family dog.

The American Boxers are slightly calmer, with a mellow temperament that might make them appear a bit more stable. However, this is only a mask, as any quality Boxer will have a stable temperament that shouldn’t provide you with many surprises.

They are loyal dogs that would do anything for their owners.

As such, you won’t make a mistake no matter which type of Boxer dog you choose.

Which One Is A Better Guard Dog?

Both the European and the American Boxer make top-quality guard dogs. These pups were bred to protect your home and keep it safe from intruders.

However, American Boxer dogs were bred for show and homes for decades. This doesn’t mean they’ve lost their guard dog instincts.

However, they might not be as aware of everything as European Boxers are. Also, they are not as strong nor as fast as their European counterparts.

As such, European Boxers might be a slightly better choice – but only by a little. All Boxers make great pets, and the breed standard won’t affect this too much.


Does The European Boxer Shed?

German boxer in the woods

Boxers are very clean dogs. It isn’t unusual for a European Boxer to clean himself the same way as cats would.

However, their short coat will shed. In fact, some Boxers are known to be huge shedders! Fortunately, most dogs shed a small to moderate amount all year round.

They aren’t overly prone to seasonal shedding, which means they won’t have an increased shedding amount two times a year. This is a great thing, as it will reduce the amount of maintenance required.

However, they are known for their bad smell, but their coat isn’t the cause of this. Instead, Boxers are known for their flatulence which leaves a bad odor.

At the same time, they are not a good choice for people who struggle with dog allergies. This is not just due to their shedding amount, but also because they are known to drool.

As drool is another common allergen, next to dander that gets stuck to the dog hair, these are not hypoallergenic dogs.

What Is A Boxer’s Life Expectancy?

Boxers are a large dog breed, which also means that they don’t live very long. This is because large dog breeds are more prone to cancer, as well as to some life-threatening conditions such as bloat.

In fact, cancer is the main cause of a shorter lifespan in Boxers. However, they can also die due to degenerative myelopathy, another condition that is known to take a dog’s life rather quickly.

Most European Boxers will live 8 to 10 years. However, with a good diet and a reasonable amount of exercise, they can live a bit longer. It isn’t unheard of that a Boxer lived 12 years.

What Are The Three Types Of Boxers?

There are three types of Boxer dogs that evolved due to the differences in the Boxer breed standard. These are:

• The American Boxer.

• The English Boxer.

• The British Boxer.

While the American Boxer and the English Boxer are considered to be on the opposite sides of the spectrum, the British Boxer (also known as the UK Boxer) is something in between the two, making it the less extreme type.

British Boxers are mostly bred in the United Kingdom, but also in Australia, where they’re up to the Australian and the New Zealand breed standard.