Boxer dogs are like celebrities. They currently rank 11th among the most famous canine breeds according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). Thus, the number of pet fanciers curious about their different types and color variations is also increasing.
Breeders recognize three varieties of Boxer dogs: the United Kingdom Boxer, the German Boxer, and the American Boxer.
Further, they are also classified according to their coat color: brindle, fawn, white, and black Boxer dogs. However, only the first three colors are listed on the AKC standard.
Aside from their differences in where they are developed, there are few significant distinctions among them in terms of appearance and build. In this article, I’ll be discussing exactly what makes each type of Boxer unique.
How Many Types of Boxer Dogs Are There?
Officially, there is only a single type of Boxer dog recognized by major kennel clubs. All Boxer dogs originated from the Bullenbeisser dog breed and they have no subcategories or variants acknowledged by either the AKC, FCI, UKC, or CKC.
However, fanciers and breeders have set the distinctions between Boxer dogs bred in different countries. Each type is named after the region where they are bred: UK Boxers, German Boxers, and American Boxers.
The differences between the types of Boxer dogs in each region are heavily dependent on preferences. Breeders from each location have been cultivating specific characteristics or traits that they want the breed to exhibit.
International kennel organizations also contributed to their variation as they prioritize the characteristics of a certain region over the other.
Here are the three types of Boxer Dogs according to their region:
United Kingdom Boxer Dog
United Kingdom Boxers are also known as British Boxers or English Boxers. Among the three types of Boxers, this is the second variant that has been merited as a standard in 1948 by The Kennel Club (KC), one of the oldest canine organizations in the world.
This substantiates why the UK standard leans more to the characteristic of this Boxer type.
One of the defining characteristics of UK Boxers is their small feet, high knuckles, and slender legs which give them a more elegant look. It is considered to be the smallest and slimmest among the three.
Nonetheless, the masculine physique which is the core trait of Boxers is still evident. Its slender body also provides more room for agility and precision in moving.
The KC describes the UK Boxer dog’s personality as a loyal, strong, and lively family companion while being distrustful to strangers. It is also expected for UK Boxers to be biddable, calm, fearless, and self-assured.
German Boxer Dog
Considering that the ancestors of the Boxer dogs we have now originated from Germany, the German Boxer Dog is considered to be the traditional type.
Oddly enough, the standard for this type of Boxer was only established after the two other Boxer types were standardized. It was only in 1995 that the official standard for the German Boxer was recognized by the FCI.
Among the three, the German Boxer remains to be the more robust and largest type in terms of muscle mass and bone structure. Their physique has a more defined masculine figure with longer and stronger legs.
These traditional Boxer features are probably retained through time since most German Boxers are still bred for their natural talents in herding and hunting.
Another key characteristic of German Boxers is that they have a shorter snout compared to American Boxers but wider than the UK Boxers.
The German Boxers should have a temperament that is calm, confident, and equable/calm. According to most Boxer breeders, German Boxers are calmer and easier to train compared to the other types of Boxers.
American Boxer Dog
The American Boxer Dog is the first-ever variant of Boxer to have its standard recognized by a major kennel club. The traits and characteristics of the American Boxer were officially acknowledged in 1904 by the American Kennel Club.
The muzzle of an American Boxer Dog is wider than those of the UK or German Boxers. The most defining trait of this Boxer type lies in its coat.
An American Boxer has a smooth, tight, and shiny coat that has no wrinkles. With this unique trait, it would be easy to distinguish an American Boxer among other variants.
Boxer fanciers claim that American Boxers have a more elegant and balanced look. The reason could be because most American Boxers are bred to be show dogs or champions of conformation events.
When it comes to temperament and behavior, the American Boxers are said to be playful yet constrained, patient, and stoic towards family members – especially with children. Also, they are said to be the most energetic Boxer among all types.
Boxer Dog Colors and Markings Explained With Pictures
Aside from their country origin, Boxers are also classified according to their coat colors. The American Kennel Club (AKC) along with the American Boxer Club (ABC) recognizes two standard colors: fawn and brindle – with white as a non-standard color.
For the markings, black masks, black masks & white markings, and white markings are considered to be standard with brindle and fawn markings as non-standard markings.
If you have been searching about Boxers, you might have also heard about black Boxers although there are none in reality. Confused? Let me explain to you in this section the different coat colors and markings that Boxer dogs have.
Fawn Boxer Dog
Fawn coat color can exhibit a range of hues, including shades of yellow, tan, red, and mahogany. It is one of the two standard coat colors recognized by kennel clubs and possibly the most iconic.
Usually, Boxers with this coat have white markings on the chest and paws which they call “flash” or “flashy.” However, only a third of white markings are allowed on conformation shows. Too much white on the coat is considered a fault.
The common markings for fawn Boxers are white (flash) and a black mask. The black mask refers to a black muzzle that can also be seen on German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois.
Brindle Boxer Dog
Brindle is not a color but a pattern. This is characterized by the presence of streaks of irregular and darker color against the light color background of the coat. For Boxers, the background is usually a color ranging from fawn to deep red.
The appearance of the brindle coat will vary depending on the thickness and thinness of the color strips. Some may look like almost solid fawns while some may have more defined patterns in their body.
Depending on the shade of the brindle, a Boxer dog may be called a light brindle, golden brindle, fawn brindle, red brindle, or mahogany brindle.
The concentration of brindle patterns in Boxers can also be classified into three: tiger brindle, reverse brindle, and seal brindle.
The tiger brindle is the most common and it resembles the body pattern of a tiger’s coat in a more subtle way. The streaks of irregular darker hair patterns are spread across a light background.
On the other hand, reverse brindle dogs have strips of irregular lighter color against a darker color background. They differ from a seal brindle Boxer who sports a heavy concentration of dark streaks on their coat.
The patterns in seal brindle Boxers are too tight which “seals” the color of the background.
Black Boxer Dog
The internet is all-hyped for this type of Boxer because of its majestic looks and rarity. However, for the record, there is no such thing as black Boxer dogs in reality.
Purebred Boxer dogs do not carry the black color gene so it is impossible for them to have a black base. Boxers can only either be fawn (to mahogany), brindle, or white. So why are there breeders who sell “black Boxer dogs” if there is no such thing?
The black Boxer dogs that are advertised are brindle in nature. Remember the seal brindle that I mentioned earlier?
When the streaks of the darker color patterns are too tight that they seal or shut the light background off, the coat appears to be solid black. In other words, the black coloration is nothing but an illusion.
White Boxer Dog
White is probably the most controversial coat color for Boxer dogs. Although they are undeniably charming and elegant looking, a lot of people consider them undesirable because of the many “myths” about them.
Worst, due to the hoaxes about white Boxers, they were even culled back then.
Contrary to popular belief, white Boxers are not albino. Albinism occurs when a dog lacks pigmentation on its body. However, that is not the case for white Boxers.
Similar to seal, the white coat for Boxers is produced due to an unusual patterning in the body. In short, they just have large white patches.
White Boxers are either fawn or brindle with a large area covered with white markings. The amount of white color can vary from more than a third of the coat to 100% white.
Boxers with this coat color typically do not have other markings in their body including a black mask.
Those with patches of other colors in their body (patches on the eyes, black mask, ears, back) are called Check Boxers and are considered to be particolored.
Boxers that have more than a third of white color in their coat or are all white are disqualified on conformation shows. The good news is that the AKC now recognizes the white coat color but is still considered to be non-standard.
White Boxers are allowed to have limited AKC registration but are prohibited from being used on breeding. Surprisingly, white Boxers are just as common as fawn-colored ones as it is estimated that 25% of Boxers are born white.
How Can You Identify the Type of Boxer You Own?
Knowing the type of Boxer you have would be easy if you bought from a reputable breeder. You can simply ask your breeder or you can look for your dog’s pedigree papers.
However, if circumstances do not allow the aforementioned ways, you can also try observing the unique characteristics of each type of Boxer.
As discussed earlier, English or UK Boxers have long, slender legs which give them an elegant look. One of their defining characteristics is their high knuckles and small feet. If your dog sports this appearance, it is probably a UK Boxer.
If your dog is large compared to other Boxers you see, there is a high tendency that it is a German Boxer. This type of Boxer is the biggest among the three. It has a dense bone and a larger and more masculine frame compared to the UK and American Boxer.
Spotting if your Boxer is an American type would be easy. The defining trait of an American Boxer is its slick, smooth, shiny, tight coat. If your Boxer doesn’t have wrinkles on its coat, it is probably an American Boxer.
In terms of temperament, it would be hard to distinguish the three types of Boxers as they exhibit similar behaviors: confidence, patient, calm, and watchful.
However, the German Boxer is said to be the calmest Boxer among the three. The American Boxer on the other hand is the most energetic type.
If your Boxer sports extraordinary demeanor and composure unlike other Boxers, there is a great possibility that it is a German Boxer. Subsequently, if it acts like a bomb of energy, it is probably an American Boxer.
What Type of Boxer Is Expected in Dog Shows?
Although all of the types of Boxers can join dog shows, some are more favored by specific kennel clubs. Conformation shows usually set guidelines following the standards provided by these organizations.
Thus, Boxers that perfectly adhere to the standards are more favored than the others.
If you want to join Boxer shows, the first thing you need to do is to identify the type of Boxer you own as well as the kennel club that sponsors the event.
The American Boxer is much favored in AKC events while the UK Boxer has an edge on KC-sponsored dog shows. On the other hand, the German Boxer does well on FCI conformation shows.
Watch the Boxers in action in the show ring:
Boxer Dog Puppy Prices: Which Type of Boxers Is More Expensive?
The prices of the three different types of Boxers have no significant differences. In general, a Boxer puppy ranges from $800 to $2,500 no matter where they came from or what type they are.
You can own a purebred Boxer (of any type) for $1,000 on average. However, this price may vary depending on factors such as lineage, breeder’s reputation, and the puppy’s coat color. Boxer dogs with champion blood are more expensive than ordinary purebred Boxers.
When it comes to coat color, the most expensive Boxer puppy would be the one with a seal brindle.
As discussed earlier, a Boxer with this coat creates an illusion of a solid black color. Due to their rarity, Boxer dogs with seal brindle color are highly valued and priced.
Places to Find Different Types of Boxer Dogs for Sale and Adoption
In buying a Boxer dog, you should only transact with reputable breeders and avoid buying from backyard breeders and puppy mills. A professional Boxer breeder only aims to enhance and further the characteristics of the breed.
Here are the places where you can find reputable and professional Boxer breeders.
- AKC Marketplace – The AKC Marketplace is an avenue for professional Boxer breeders to advertise their litters online. This online marketplace is regulated by the AKC itself so you have the assurance that all of the Boxer puppies sold are bred ethically and professionally. Most of the advertised Boxers in this marketplace came from the bloodlines of American Boxers.
- Boxers Von Amadeus – This breeder focuses on breeding English (UK) Boxer and German Boxer lineages. It was established in Germany in 2003 and is now located in Wisconsin, USA. They have a 27-acre facility dedicated to breeding German and UK Boxer dogs.
- Big Mac Boxers (BBC) – BBC follows the FCI standard for Boxer dogs. This breeder is interested in breeding German Boxers that is why all of the dogs in their facility have German pedigrees.
Unfortunately, a great number of Boxer dogs also end up in rescue centers. If you are eyeing to adopt one, here are the places where you can apply:
- American Boxer Club Rescue Directory – The parent organization of Boxer clubs in America has a complete list of the numerous Boxer rescue organizations across the country. There are dedicated shelters for each state and region of the US.
- Adopt A Boxer Rescue (AABR) – This Boxer rescue aims to rehabilitate homeless Boxer dogs across Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Rhode Island.
- Adopt-a-Pet – This is an online pet database that is dedicated to rehoming Boxer dogs. There are hundreds of Boxers posted on their sites every day that are available for adoption. It is affiliated with over 12,000 pet shelters across the US and Canada.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Rarest Type of Boxer Dogs?
All types of Boxer dogs (English, German, and American) are pretty common. In fact, kennel clubs do not consider these types as exactly legit.
The terms American, UK, and German Boxer dogs are mostly used by breeders residing in a certain location. The boat only tips in terms of coat color.
What Is the Rarest Color of Boxer Dogs?
Contrary to popular belief that white is the rarest color for Boxers, seal brindle Boxers are the real gems.
The tight patterns of a dark streak of hairs give an illusion of solid black coat color. Due to their rarity, they are also considered to be more expensive compared to other colors.
What Is a European Boxer Dog?
A European Boxer dog is another term used to refer to German Boxers. This type of Boxer has more substance compared to the UK and American Boxer. They are more masculine and have larger body frames.
Which Type of Boxer Dog Is Better?
To be fair, all Boxer dogs are equally good. However, there are unique traits evident to each type of Boxer dog. The physique of a German Boxer dog is more robust than the other types, giving it an impression of a more reliable guardian.
On the other hand, the unique features of American Boxer (shiny tight coat) and UK Boxer (high knuckles and slender feet) give them a more elegant look.
If you are after a sport or a working dog, German Boxers would be preferable. On the other hand, if you would like to join conformation events, the American or UK Boxer will be your go-to.
In addition, you should also consider your region as judges favor a certain type of Boxer depending on their origin.
For the behavior and temperament, all three are lively yet calm, easily trained, and self-composed. However, breeders and owners testify that American Boxers are more energetic compared to the other types of Boxers.
Your preference and lifestyle will be your criteria in choosing which Boxer matches you.
Final Thoughts: Which Boxer Dog Is Right for You?
There aren’t many differences between the types of Boxers. Aside from their slight differences in size and appearance, they are all Boxer dogs that exhibit elegance and vigor.
Their temperament and behavior will heavily depend on the environment they are raised in and the training they received.
In terms of Boxer types according to coat colors, you should carefully weigh your options and refer to what the standard says.
If you aspire to enter show events, you should not choose a Boxer puppy that is white or has white patches that cover more than a third of its body as such traits are considered faults.
You should take note that a Boxer is not a dog for beginners. It is a breed that requires proper training and attention.
You should only consider owning a Boxer if you are a hundred percent sure that you can provide for the Boxer’s needs and you can take care of it.