Are Boxer Dogs Mean, Dangerous, or Aggressive?

Angry Boxer Dogs in a car

What comes in your mind when you hear the name Boxer? Yes, exactly that reaction I am talking about. People will say that the name Boxer makes us think that it must be a fighter dog and aggressive.

The mind says “alert,” it might be dangerous to be around this dog and it’s understandable. They were bred for the purpose of hunting and their body says it all.

You won’t believe if I say that despite their size and muscular body and traits, these dogs are very gentle and lovely pets one can have. But still, as you all might think that this breed of dog is dangerous or mean, I am here to clarify things.

After a lot of research, I think I will be able to answer your questions quite confidently. So, are you ready? It’s all about Boxers today.

Physical Traits

Boxers are working and hunting dogs and their traits were bred accordingly. They have all the traits that are essential for hunting and working purposes.

I will discuss all the physical traits of Boxers so that we can determine whether the Boxers are mean, aggressive, and dangerous.

  • Size: The size of a Boxer varies from medium to large. They are massive dogs. Their size differs a bit in both males and females. An average male Boxer is 22 to 25 inches in height and can weigh up to 60-71 pounds, whereas an average female is 21 to 24 inches in height and can weigh up to 55 to 64 pounds which is the perfect size for the body type they have. They look so attractive and fascinating by just standing in their pose. Size this big can make you think that they might be aggressive or dangerous dogs.
  • Muscular Body: Boxers are hunting and working dogs and working requires strength and energy. Boxers have a very fit and muscular body. Their coat is stocked tight to the muscles and it makes them look more muscular. Boxers are known as the bodybuilders of the dog world. This title is enough to explain what I am trying to say here. Every muscle is built and visible to make them accomplish their hunting and working goals. A muscular dog standing and staring will scare anyone but the question is, are they dangerous?
  • Head: The most distinctive feature of the Boxer is its head. They have a medium-size square head that has folds from the nose to the sides of the muzzle. Their lower jaw protrudes and bends slightly towards the upper jaw which is known as an underbite or undershot bite.
  • Ears: Boxers have long floppy ears that fold over naturally but they are cropped to stand erect. This cropping of ears is done since the breed was introduced to the world. They say that long floppy ears trap moisture which can lead to infections.
  • Eyes: Boxers have medium, innocent-looking dark brown eyes. If you just see their eyes, you will never think that this dog is dangerous but don’t be fooled by its eyes. These dogs are lovely to the owners and but aggressive toward any threat around them.
  • Teeth: Boxers have almost 42 teeth with 6 incisors. As they have a different jaw structure, their teeth are different too. They were used for hunting and holding the prey and their teeth are perfect for the grip. Their bite is known as an undershot bite.
  • Tail: Boxers were originally docked and cropped dog breeds. They normally have a docked tail but in some countries, it is illegal. Their tail was docked to prevent rabies and to gain more speed in their hunting purposes. As this is illegal in a few countries, you can also see a long tail Boxer.
  • Coat and Color: Boxers have a smooth, short-haired coat mostly fawn or brindle in color with or without white spots in the belly. They also have various colors but the most recognized colors are fawn and brindle. There are white Boxers too which are full white in color.

As some of these physical traits are pointing towards the words ” Boxers are dangerous,” there are traits that are opposing this thought. Yes, they have a big body size and a muscular body but that does not mean that they are dangerous to their owners.

Boxers are more family-friendly than any other dog breed and this dog is excellent with children too.

General Temperaments

Boxers are large and energetic dogs with above-average intelligence. They love to play and they know when to act as a watchdog and when to act as a cute, playful dog.

They are very loyal to their owners and they will do whatever it takes to please their owner. They love to be busy as they are working dogs. They get bored easily when they are left alone.

These are the general temperaments of Boxers and some of them may make them look and behave aggressively:

  • Protective: Boxers are hunter dogs so there is no sign of fear in these dogs. They are big and muscular and they are one of the best watchdogs one can have. They are deeply attached to their owners and are extremely protective of them. They can be really aggressive and dangerous when it comes to the protection of their owner. They will either remove the threat or will die for their owner but will never stop protecting. This might make you think that they are aggressive and dangerous but, think again, this is actually a good thing. As an owner who wants protection, this is the best breed for you.
  • Loyal: Boxers are as loyal as any other dog breed. They attach themselves deeply to the owner and will stay on their side no matter what. They will show their power only when it comes to the safety of their owners. They are so smart dogs that they want to always please their owner. Loyalty is what Boxers are known for.
  • Energetic: Boxers are the bodybuilders of the dog world so they are very energetic. They need exercise on a daily basis and walks to keep them fit. They always love to work and they need something to use their energy. If you are looking for a dog that loves to run, jump, play, and do stuff that requires a lot of energy, this is the breed for you.
  • Intelligent: Boxers are above average intelligent dogs. They are 48th in the list of most intelligent dogs according to They are great learners and they can learn all the jumping, chasing, and running stuff quite easily. They are smart dogs and they know very well how to be with small children. They also look for ways to please their owner which is a very clever sign of high intelligence.
  • Working Dogs: Boxers were bred for working purposes and their physic says it all. They were used for many purposes like delivering messages in wars, guarding, hunting, and many more. They have high energy and they love to work. If you leave your dog alone or if your dog gets bored, he will find his own way to consume the energy. They will start digging or chewing which can be a little destructive. Just don’t neglect them so much that your dog gets bored and you will be surprised how great this breed is as a companion.
  • Neat and Clean: Boxers are short-haired breed and they also don’t need much grooming. They are easy to potty train and are excellent in keeping themselves clean. Just focus on the diet of your Boxer to get a smooth and shiny coat and brush once in two days. That’s all you need; your dog knows how to keep itself clean and tidy.
  • Friendly With Other Animals: Despite their size, Boxers are very kind-hearted and gentle towards small animals and pets. They will not harm them and they know that they don’t have to attack them. They bark and get anxious when they see other large dogs or dogs of their own size. It makes them scared that’s why they react but proper socialization and getting your dog meet other big dogs will solve this problem within no time. They do not need training for the smaller animals, they know that they are not harmful.
  • Attention Gainer: Boxers are big size dogs and their face, body, and posture can become the center of attention sometimes. It is normal if you are walking your Boxer on the street and people are stopping by staring, clicking pictures, and asking you about your dog. It makes you feel like a celebrity. This dog is an attention gainer. If you always wanted to be the center of attention, this is what you need.

How Boxers Were Bred to Work and Hunt

Boxers are man-made breed obviously. To learn about how they were bred to work and hunt, we have to dive into the history of this breed.

Boxers were developed in Germany in the 19th century from Bulldog, Bullenbeisser, and Mastiff and they were used in bull-baiting, hunting, and guarding purposes. They are one of the first working police dogs.

They are highly active and energetic and that makes them perfect for hunting and guarding purposes. They are one of the best watchdogs one can have.

An intruder will think a thousand times before entering a house that has a big muscular Boxer guarding it. It scares any threat coming towards you and make them go away.

The Modern-Day Boxers

Boxers are not the same kind of dogs they were years ago. Modern-day Boxers are family pets and are kind and gentle especially towards children. They have their strength but they know when to use them and when to not.

Modern-day Boxers, if socialized properly, are the perfect family pets as they love to play with humans especially children and other animals too. They are also good for families having small children or other pets as there is nothing to worry about.

Remember, socialization is the key here. Always train and socialize your dog as soon as possible and as early as possible and they will give you the best 7 to 10 years of your life.

How Likely Are Boxers to Kill Someone? (With Statistics)

Boxers are lovely pets and are very gentle and great with children but there is a stigma attached to these dogs for years. They are in the list of top 10 breeds of dogs involved in fatal attacks on humans in America according to U.S Dog Bite Fatalities.

The table below shows the breeds of dogs involved in fatal attacks on humans over the last 13-year period from 2005 to 2017:

BreedFatal AttacksPercent of Total
Pit Bull28465.6%
German Shepherd204.6%
American Bulldog153.5%
Mastiff (including Bullmastiff)143.2%
Labrador Retriever92.1%
Doberman Pinscher61.4%

They stand 10th in the list with 7 kills which are 1.6% of the total deaths. Numbers obviously don’t lie but they don’t tell the full story either. As much as I know, most attacks were on children and the attacks were from unsocialized dogs.

Boxers that were not properly socialized are more likely to attack children and adults. Unsocialized dogs may prove to be dangerous because of their hunting instincts. They may be on the list of top 10 dangerous dogs but this does not mean that they are dangerous dogs.

There are reasons behind the attacks as they were not trained and socialized properly. If you are ready to invest your time to train and socialize your dog, then there is nothing to worry about.

These dogs are not dangerous at all and they are excellent with children too if socialized properly.

Are Boxers Mean?

Boxers are one of the few smartest breeds that know how to be a good dog. They are not stubborn or bossy. There is no way you can say that this dog is mean.

Boxers are smart dogs and they get too attached to their owner. They care about their owner a lot and they will do anything that they think can help them please you.

How can a dog always want to please their owner be considered mean? This is not fair. I may say that this is a myth. They are not at all mean by nature. They are the breed who really cares about their owner.

Are Boxers Dangerous?

Boxers are unfortunately considered the top 10 dangerous dogs but there is another side to this story. Unsocialized Boxers are dangerous but well-socialized Boxers are not. Despite the fact that they are top 10 dangerous dogs, socialized Boxers not at all dangerous.

Boxers are one of the top 10 dangerous dogs according to U.S Dog Bite Fatalities but this does not mean that they are dangerous. The attacks have their reason behind it.

Unsocialized dogs are always dangerous and I don’t blame the dog for that as it’s the owner’s fault. Do not opt for a Boxer if you can not socialize it or give proper attention to it. The lack of attention and socialization is the reason why this dog is in the list of top 10 dangerous dogs.

As far as I know, these dogs are great with children and they are most playful when they are around them. A well-socialized Boxer will come out as the best family pet and the least dangerous dog you ever had.

Are Boxers Aggressive?

It all depends on how you socialize your Boxer. A well-socialized Boxer is only aggressive when it comes to the safety of the owner as they are super protective dogs. They will show aggression only when there is a threat around; otherwise, they are calm dogs.

Boxers are bred for hunting and guarding purposes so they have the aggression inside them to accomplish these tasks.

They are really great family pets one can have because they are great with children and a dog that is getting along well with children is more likely to be calmer than other dogs. Many dogs this big are not that good with children but Boxers are great with children.

They will act aggressively only if there is a threat around just to make sure that their owner is safe. Boxer or I may say, every dog needs socialization and if your dog is not socialized properly, it may behave aggressively.

Reputation vs. Reality

Boxers have a very bad reputation. They are considered one of the most dangerous dogs as there are incidents and kills. People are afraid because of their bad reputation.

The reality is quite the opposite. This is important and people should know that the incidents that made this breed most dangerous were mostly from the dogs that were not well socialized. It’s not their fault, it’s their owners.

Modern-day Boxers are very intelligent, brave, lovely, and gentle dogs. They are my recommendations if you want to have a big, fit, and attractive dog as your pet. A guardian, companion, and joyful dog. What else do you want?

What Makes a Boxer Aggressive?

If you find your Boxer behaves aggressively, these may be the reasons:

  • Illness: How would you behave when you are not feeling well? They also have feelings and emotions. If your dog is acting aggressively without any reason, visit a vet and make sure your dog is not sick. Illness can make them aggressive because they get frustrated.
  • Protective: As I mentioned above, Boxers are always ready to go beyond limits for their owners and they can fight till death to protect their owners. Protection requires aggression towards the threat. This dog will get extremely aggressive when it comes to the protection of its owner.
  • Lack of Socialization: Socialization is very important when we talk about Boxers. Don’t opt for a Boxer if you don’t have time to train them and socialize them. Lack of socialization will lead to aggression because they have their hunting instincts and if you don’t train them, they can misjudge children and attack them.

How to Calm an Aggressive Boxer?

  • Be Calm: In order to calm your dog, you have to be calm first. Handle the situation calmly because aggression for aggression will not work. Be calm and train your dog and do whatever your dog needs but always “be calm.”
  • Socialize Your Boxer: This is very important as this is the key solution to deal with the aggression of your Boxer. Many cases of aggression we see are because there is a lack of socialization. Socialize your dog properly and there will be no chance of your dog getting aggressive without any reason.
  • Get Help from an Animal Behaviorist: If you are out of solutions to deal with the aggression of your Boxer, you can seek help from the nearest animal behaviorist. You will be guided very well about the problem, reasons, and what to do next.

My Final Thoughts

Boxers may have a bad reputation and are one of the most dangerous dogs but I have clearly mentioned all the reasons behind that behavior. We can’t judge them by seeing just one side of the story. There is always the other side and I showed you that.

I think Boxers are not at all aggressive and dangerous. They are great companions and best family pets one can have. You just need to give them time and attention and socialize them properly.

I recommend it for families only if you are ready to give them time and attention. They will give you the best 7 to 10 years of your life.

Related Questions

How and what should I train my Boxer? You have to train your Boxer from the very beginning. Here is a complete guide on the daily training of your dog from the puppy stage.

Are Boxers easy to train? Boxers are very smart dogs and can learn new things fast. Training with treats may help to avoid the bossy behavior of the dog.

Do Boxers shed a lot? Boxers don’t shed like other dogs. They just need to be combed a few times a week to remove dead hairs and that will be enough.

Are Boxers good with children? Yes. A well-socialized Boxer is excellent with children, in fact, they love to play with small children.

1 comment

daria May 23, 2022 - 9:36 am

Your article about the traits of Boxers is spot on. I recently lost my male boxer at 12 years old. He was the sweetest and smartest dog in the world to me and my family. I miss him terribly. I trained and socialized him from puppyhood, but unfortunately at a doggy day care center, the owner (a female) didn’t watch the big dogs which of course got into fights and made my Boxer anxious around big dogs and females. He was young when it happened and I never got to enjoy him to the fullest because I always had to worry about who he would like and not like. I’d worry every time he met a new woman. He had no issues with men at all. We were also attacked by a Pit Bull that jumped over a fence. That also made him cautious. He was very protective of me, even around friends. As much as I want another dog and I’d love another Boxer, I’m afraid they may be too protective. Maybe he was like this because of his experiences, but I can see from your article that they can be prone to these traits. I wonder what the least aggressive dog is.


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