Myths about the "European" Boxer

In addition, we have written on a number of subjects concerning...
Euro or German Boxers     Health Issues in Boxers     Issues and Opinions
Christmas Puppies     Choosing a Breeder     About our Contract
Ohio Canine Legislation
Euro and German Lineage
American Boxer Club Official Standard for the Boxer
A Visual Study of the AKC Standard
Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)
A quick review of the above standards for American and German Boxers dispels some of the "European" Boxer myths that are being spread.  Do a quick conversion of Boxer heights and weights...pretty much the same.  Head proportions...pretty much the same.  Description...pretty much the same.
There are a few differences.  A major one is that the FCI Standard is for natural ears and tail.  Here is a minor difference - the third eyelid is specified to be dark, while an unpigmented third eyelid is not a fault in the American Standard.
Beware of fads.  An injection of "Euro" blood doesn't instantly confer quality to Boxer puppies.  Three-quarter and Half Euro (or German) puppies don't necessarily mean you are getting a better Boxer.  In fact, our American Boxers have European ancestors in their bloodlines already.  Take a look at any well-documented pedigree, and you will find imported Boxers listed.
What about those imports?  The Germans are proud of their Boxers.  Dogs have to pass a number of qualifying tests before they are even allowed to breed, and imported Boxers of quality are very expensive.  There are some American breeders who go through the trouble of actually importing top-quality Boxers and implementing them in their breeding programs, but those breeders are few because of the cost and complications of importing dogs.  The other side of that coin is imported Boxers that are being sold because they are not of best quality.  In general, the "Euro" dogs that fad-breeders are bragging about are actually discards.
What about the size?  Aren't the "Euro" Boxers bigger?  No, not necessarily.  The American Boxer Club standard does not implement any weight or size requirement for Boxers, other than that a male should not be smaller than the bottom of the female size recommendation nor should a female be larger than the top of the male size recommendation.  The standard addresses a square-built, athletic, balanced dog where proportion is key.  So, though many American breeders are tending toward a lighter-boned, smaller Boxer, a larger heavier-boned example is acceptable within the same standard.  And there are breeders working with larger Boxers to bring more bone and muscle into the mix.
Don't the "Euros" have bigger heads?  Some of them do, but the Boxer standard sets proportional requirements for the Boxer head and many of the "Euros" don't fit that standard.  Look for a head where the muzzle is 1/3 of the length from tip of nose to occipital bone.  Look for a muzzle that is 1/2 the width of the head.  Look for a sharp break between muzzle and forehead.  And, look for a head that is in fine balance with the Boxer's body.  The problem with bigger heads is that it can cause birthing complications.  When a puppy's head is too large, it can have difficulty passing through the birth canal, endangering the mother and the rest of the unborn puppies.  Responsible breeders are always conscious of such health issues and don't intentionally follow a fad that can cause a c-section.  In addition, many of the "Euros" miss the Boxer standard by having a shorter muzzle and more facial wrinkling than acceptable.  In short, the Boxer shouldn't look like a Bulldog.  Boxers are only marginally affected by the respiritory problems that plague many flat-faced breeds, and that's where muzzle proportions become important.
Look at that "Euro" picture.  Is the dog stacked with its legs extended far behind and with a sharply sloping back?  Imagine how crooked those legs would look if brought farther forward to "box-up" the dog.  That angular leg is called "cow-hocked" and is not desirable.  You are looking for a Boxer that stands relatively square.
Are the breeders you are considering promoting fads, or do they have generational breeding programs?  Can you follow the trail from pedigree (perhaps with photos), to healthy parents, to up-and-coming adolescents within the program, and to puppies?  Can the breeder express a long-term direction for their kennel?  Finally, can you clearly see how that direction applies itself to the Boxer standard?


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