The modern Boxer has evolved from two breeds of extinct European dogs. The larger Danziger Bullenbeiser and the Brabenter Bullenbeiser were both used as a hunting companions and assistants. These dogs were used to chase after prey, take them down and await the hunter’s arrival.
In the 1830’s the boxer was put to work in slaughterhouses as a cattle dog. Soon thereafter, The German Boxer Klub was formed in the 1860’s and the breed subsequently flourished. Around the turn of the century, Boxers were introduced to the US and in 1904 the AKC breed standard was established.
The commonly held belief is that the English name “Boxer” was given to the breed because of their tendency to use their front paws when fighting or playing. There are other theories to explain the origin of the name. “Boxer” was a name commonly given to dogs and it may be that the breed name was taken from the first known of the species. Still another theory suggests that the name “Boxer” came from the German word “Boxl,” which was his common name in the slaughterhouses of Germany.
Throughout the years, Boxers were often used for police work and it was believed that a darker color dog would be more difficult to see at night. During WWI they were used as military dogs and were utilized as pack dogs, attack dogs, guard dogs and messengers. Soldiers returning home from WWII brought Boxers with them and they quickly became popular family pets, show dogs and guard dogs.