Do American Boxers Have Long Noses?

by Elizabeth Caraway
    The proportions of the boxer's head are given special consideration in judging.

    The proportions of the boxer's head are given special consideration in judging.

    Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    Whether you're a professional dog breeder or just a fan of man's best friend, you may be interested in the physical characteristics of the boxer. The boxer was the seventh most popular dog breed in the U.S. in 2010. So named for the way it stands on its hind legs and bast at an obstacle with its front paws, the boxer is beloved by many for both its loyal, playful and intelligent behavior and its strong physical characteristics. Particularly notable in its appearance is its broad nose and blunt muzzle.

    For all dog breeds, there is a detailed description, called the breed standard, of the perfect example of that dog breed. The breed standard is what judges use in dog shows to determine which dog is the best representative of its breed. The breed standard spells out everything from the ideal dog's gait and personality to body proportions.

    The breed standard describes the "ideal" boxer as a "medium-sized, square-built dog of good substance with short back, strong limbs, and short, tight-fitting coat." It should have well developed muscles and energetic movement. It has a proud carriage and alert expression. Overall, the dog "combines strength and agility with elegance and style."

    The boxer's head is given special consideration during judging. The breed standard states, "The chiseled head imparts to the Boxer a unique individual stamp. It must be in correct proportion to the body. The broad, blunt muzzle is the distinctive feature, and great value is placed upon its being of proper form and balance with the skull." In particular, the muzzle should be one-third the length of the head from the occiput (back of head) to the tip of the nose, and two-thirds the width of the skull.

    According to the standard, the top of the muzzle should not slant downward, nor be concave. The tip of the boxer's nose should lie slightly higher than the root of the muzzle. The nose should be broad and black. Boxers do not have long noses nor long muzzles.

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    About the Author

    Elizabeth Caraway has been writing since 2003, primarily for the Department of Defense. Her work has been featured in numerous print, radio and television campaigns. She has a B.S. in English from the U.S. Air Force Academy and an M.A. in English literature from the University of Delaware. Caraway is a former certified personal trainer with a specialization in sports performance enhancement.

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