If you're looking for a large, friendly, athletic dog, either the boxer or the standard poodle can fill the bill. The decision could come down to how much time, money and effort you want to put into grooming. The American Kennel Club includes the boxer in its working group, while the standard poodle falls into the nonsporting group. However, the standard poodle was developed for retrieving.
At maturity, male boxers stand between 23 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder, with females slightly smaller at 21.5 to 23.5 inches. Weight is proportionate to height, ranging between 50 to 70 pounds. The full-grown standard poodle must stand over 15 inches tall. If he's any smaller, he's considered a miniature poodle. Standard poodles weigh between 40 and 55 pounds in adulthood.
Coat and Colors
The boxer's short coat can appear in fawn -- ranging from light to dark brown -- and brindle. The latter consists of black striping among the base coat, which varies from light to heavy striped patterning. Up to one-third of a boxer's body may be white. The standard poodle's coat consists of dense, tight curls, which become corded if the animal isn't clipped. Acceptable poodle colors include white, black, silver, gray, blue, apricot, cream, brown and cafe au lait, which is a faded brown.
While the poodle's coat requires regular trips to the groomer -- as often as every six weeks -- it also doesn't shed. You'll still have to give a poodle a weekly brushing to remove debris and prevent matting. While no dog is truly hypoallergenic, the poodle comes close. The boxer's coat needs minimal maintenance -- just a good weekly brushing -- but he's a moderate shedder. He does need his facial wrinkles cleaned every few days to keep bacteria and possible infection at bay.
These two breeds have much in common temperamentally. They're both loyal, loving dogs who bond tightly with their people. Both dogs are good with children, but if you have other pets, especially canines, the standard poodle tends to be more compatible. The boxer is the better watchdog, but the poodle is no slouch in that department. Boxers are smart, but not as bright as standard poodles, one of the most intelligent of all breeds. Stubbornness can make the boxer harder to train, compared to the more eager-to-please poodle. Both dogs require a fair amount of exercise and enjoy canine sports, such as agility or obedience. Even though poodles are classified as nonsporting, that really holds true more for the miniature and toy varieties. Standard poodles thrive with some sort of job other than mere companion.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.