Lifestyle Needs



The Boxer is a big, strong and usually confident dog.  He can be a good guard dog, usually has plenty of stamina but needs a firm hand.  He can be a good family dog.  He needs plenty of stimulation and exercise and an owner who is prepared to commit to this.  An owner would also need to be tolerant of his possible drooling and flatulence.  An advantage is his short coat which does not need a huge amount of grooming. Average lifespan 9 years.

Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 7.1% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Effective Population Size - EPS


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

  • Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)
  • Gastric dilatation volvulus (Bloat/Torsion)
  • Deafness (associated with white coat colour)

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Hip dysplasia:  breed mean score 14.4 (parents should be lower)
  • Elbow dysplasia: ideally 0:0
  • Eye testing in brachycephalic dogs should be routine as a foreshortened head/face can cause substantial welfare problems throughout a dog’s life.

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : No EBVs are currently available for this breed

DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)

  • Degenerative myelopathy (DM)
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC)
  • Factor V111 Deficiency (Haemophilia A)

Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test. Good breeders will have followed the recommendations of the appropriate breed clubs, Kennel Club and/or other qualified experts.

Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)
  • Other heart diseases: aortic stenosis; Atrial septal defect; Mitral valve dysplasia; Pulmonic stenosis
  • Canine follicular dysplasia
  • Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings Disease)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Splenic disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Factor 1 and 2 deficiency
  • Inflammatory myopathy
  • Cranial cruciate ligament disease (CCL)
  • Metaphyseal osteopathy
  • Osteochondrosis
  • Cancer: cutaneous histiocytoma; chemodectomas; chondrosarcoma; haemangioendothelioma; lymphoma; mammary neoplasia; mast cell tumour (MCT); testicular neoplasia; osteosarcoma; brain tumour
  • Central vestibular disease
  • Discospondylitis
  • Epilepsy
  • Steroid-responsive meningitis-arteritis (SRMA)
  • Renal disease
  • Dystocia
  • Eye disease – distichiasis; corneal ulcerative disease
  • Juvenile kidney disease (JKD)
  • Polyarthritis/meningitis syndrome
  • Polymyositis
  • Muzzle furunculosis
  • Panosteitis
  • Lumbar sacral disc disease

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

List of Dog Breeds