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It was not reasonable wholly to relinquish a pursuit for which a man had some propensity and talent, merely because he never could succeed in it to full perfection. There were many vacant hours, he said, which might be filled up by it; and then by and by some result might be produced, which would yield a certain satisfaction to himself and others.
~J.W. von Goethe

The American Boxer?
A Discussion of Standards

Every so often, on the various Internet and e-mail discussion forums for Boxer matters, the topic of the differences between Boxers in different countries is bandied about. Some maintain that the breed is essentially the same around the world, the differences being those of "styles" and not of actual conformation. Others argue that the breed is so different as to require renaming, to the German Boxer and the American Boxer - or, quite often, the Boxer and the American Boxer. (Since the breed originated in Germany, some say, and since it is the American Boxer (that has "strayed so far" from the original standard, there is a need only to indicate the "new breed" that Americans (really, the North Americans, as the feeling is that the Canadian Boxers are the same as the American) have created.) The fate of the Boxers in the United Kingdom and Australia is, apparently, undecided.

While it is undeniable that there are some general differences between Boxers in the different countries, it is also unsurprising given the subjective nature of such a thing as a breed standard. There are very few exact measurements in any standard, and so things like "good substance," "sturdy," and "well-developed musculation" are very open to interpretation. In general, most will agree that North American dogs are more balanced and elegant (a word which is anathema to some, apparently) and the German dogs are stockier and heavier in the front - and the UK/Australian dogs are somewhere between the two. It is our contention that if the dogs are bred according to the standard, the real differences are slight regardless of country.

Following is a comparison and contrast of the five breed standards. While the argument above is virtually always North American vs. German, inclusion of the other standards is both useful and educational. Not all standards have specific wording on every item, and of course in the interest of "side-by-side" comparison the standards are not in the order they would be as a whole text. To read the standards in their entirety, visit BoxerWorld's World Standards page.

Color Key
American Kennel Club Standard (United States) *Note: The essay has been updated to incorporate the revised AKC standard, which became effective March 30, 2005
FCI Standard No. 144 (Germany (Europe), Africa, Asia, Central and South America)
The Kennel Club Standard (United Kingdom)
Australian National Kennel Club Standard (Australia, New Zealand)
Canadian Kennel Club Standard (Canada)


History and Development
Developed to serve as guard, working and companion dog, he combines strength and agility with elegance and style.
The small, so called Brabant Bullenbeisser is regarded as the immediate ancestor of the Boxer. In the past, the breeding of these Bullenbeissers was in the hands of the huntsmen, whom they assisted during the chase. Their task was to seize the game put up by chasing hounds and hold it firmly until the huntsman arrived and put an end to the prey. For this job the dog had to have as wide jaws as possible with broadly spaced teeth, in order to bite firmly and hold on tightly. A Bullenbeisser which had these characteristics was best suited to this job and was used for breeding. Previously only the ability to work and utilization were considered. Selective breeding was carried out which produced a dog with a wide muzzle and an upturned nose.
The Boxer was developed in Germany as a medium size security dog. The breed is valued as a spirited pet and guardian of home and family. Developed to serve the multiple purposes of guard, working and escort-dog, he must combine elegance with substance and amble power, not alone for beauty, but to ensure the speed, dexterity and jumping ability essential to arduous hike, riding expedition, police or military duty.
Obviously, the FCI Standard goes into much more detail on the history and development of the breed. Much historical information was removed from the AKC standard in 1989, possibly due to the AKC format for breed standards, which does not allow a History section except for those breeds in the Miscellaneous Group.


Judging
In judging the Boxer, first consideration is given to general appearance and overall balance. Special attention is then devoted to the head, after which the individual body components are examined for their correct construction, and the gait evaluated for efficiency.
When judging the Boxer the first thing to be considered is general appearance, the relationship of the individual parts of the body to the other. Consideration, too, must be given to colour. After these, the individual parts should be examined for their correct construction and their functions. Special attention should be devoted to the head.


General Appearance
The ideal Boxer is a medium-sized, square built dog of good substance with short back, strong limbs, and short, tight-fitting coat. His well-developed muscles are clean, hard and appear smooth under taut skin. His movements denote energy. The gait is firm yet elastic, the stride free and ground-covering, the carriage proud. Developed to serve as guard, working and companion dog, he combines strength and agility with elegance and style. His expression is alert and temperament steadfast and tractable.
The Boxer is a medium sized, smooth coated, sturdy dog of compact square build and strong bone. His muscles are taut, strongly developed and moulded in appearance. His movement is lively, powerful with noble bearing. The Boxer must be neither cumbersome or heavy, nor light or lacking in body substance.
Great nobility, smooth coated, medium sized, square build, strong bone & evident, well-developed muscles.
The Boxer is a medium sized, sturdy, smooth haired dog of short square figure and strong limb. The musculation is clean and powerfully developed and should stand out plastically from under the skin. As a service and guard dog he must combine a considerable degree of elegance with the substance and power essential to his duties; those of an enduring escort whether with horse, bicycle or carriage and as a splendid jumper. Only a body whose individual limbs are built to withstand the most strenuous "mechanical" effort and assembled as a complete and harmonious whole, can respond to such demands. Therefore to be at its highest efficiency, the Boxer must never be plump or heavy. Whilst equipped for great speed, it must not be racy.
The Boxer is a medium-sized, sturdy dog, of square build, with short back, strong limbs, and short tight-fitting coat. His musculation, well developed, should be clean, hard and appear smooth (not bulging) under taut skin. His movement should denote energy. The gait is firm yet elastic (springy), the stride free and ground covering, the carriage proud and noble. Only a body whose individual parts are built to harmonious whole, can respond to these combined demands. Therefore, to be at his highest efficiency he must never be plump or heavy and, while equipped for great speed, he must never be racy.
Very similar here - medium-sized, sturdy, square, strong limbs (bones), well-developed muscles, energetic (lively) movement, nobility (proud carriage).

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Size
Adult males 23 to 25 inches; females 21 to 23 inches at the withers. Proper balance and quality in the individual should be of primary importance since there is no size disqualification.
Height measured from withers past the elbow to the ground: Dogs: 57-63 cm (22.5 - 24.8 in.). Bitches: 53-59cm (21 - 23.2 in.)

Weight: Dogs: over 30 kg (66 lb.) (at circa 60 cm (23.5 in.) height at withers). Bitches : About 25 kg (55 lbs.) (at circa 56 cm (22 in.) at withers)
Height: Dogs: 57 - 63 cms (22.5 - 25 ins). Bitches: 53 - 59 cms (21 - 23 ins).

Weight: Dogs: Approx. 30 - 32 Kg. (66 - 70 lbs). Bitches: Approx. 25 - 27 Kg (n 55 - 60 lbs).
Height: Dogs: 56-61cm (22-24ins) at the withers. Bitches: 53-58.5cm (21-23ins) at the withers. Heights above or below these figures not to be encouraged.

Weight: Dogs around 58.5cm (23ins) should weigh about 30 kg (66lbs). Bitches of about 56cm (22ins) should weigh about 28kg (62lbs)
Height: Adult males - 22 1/2 - 25 in. (57 to 64 cm). Females - 21 to 23 1/2in. (53-60 cm) at the withers. Males should not go under the minimum nor females over the maximum.
One area of specific differences, although really quite minimal. The US and Canadian standards call for a very slightly larger animal at the top end of the range. The North American standards do not include weight guidelines. The Australian standard, interestingly, calls for a much heavier bitch.


Proportion of Body
The body in profile is of square proportion in that a horizontal line from the front of the forechest to the rear projection of the upper thigh should equal the length of a vertical line dropped from the top of the withers to the ground.
Square build, which means that the horizontal line of the back is perpendicular to the vertical line passing through the point of shoulder and to the other vertical line passing through the point of buttock, thus defining a square outline.
In profile square, length from forechest to rear of upper thigh equal to height at withers.
The body viewed in profile should be of square appearance. The length of the body from the front of the chest to the rear of the body should equal the height from the ground to the top of the shoulder, giving the Boxer a short-coupled, square profile.
In profile the build is in square proportions in that a horizontal line from the front of the forechest to the rear projection of the upper thigh should equal a vertical line dropped from the top of the withers to the ground.
Again, very similar. Square body, the length of the body equal to the height at the withers.


Substance
Sturdy, with balanced musculature. Males larger boned than females.
None of the other standards have a section specifically on substance, although it is an integral part of the General Appearance and many other sections.

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Head
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.
This gives the Boxer his characteristic look. Must be in good proportion to the body and appear neither too light nor too heavy. The muzzle should be as broad and powerful as possible.
Head imparts its unique individual stamp and is in proportion to body, appearing neither light nor too heavy. Muzzle broad, deep and powerful, never narrow, pointed, short or shallow.
The head imparts to the Boxer a unique individual stamp peculiar to the breed. It must be in perfect proportion to his body; above all it must never be too light. The muzzle is the most distinctive feature. The greatest value is to be placed on its being of correct form and in absolute proportion to the skull.
The head imparts to the Boxer a unique individual stamp peculiar to him alone. It must be in perfect proportion to his body, never small in comparison to the over-all picture. His muzzle is his most distinctive feature and the greatest value to be place on its being of correct form and in absolute proper proportion to the skull.
The Head - the hallmark of the breed. Concurrence here - the head is the unique feature, it must be in correct proportion to the body, the muzzle is specified (not so much agreement on which aspects of the muzzle are pointed out, but there is a separate section on muzzles further on).


The Balance of the Head
The beauty of the head depends upon harmonious proportion of muzzle to skull.
The harmony of the head depends on the balance between the muzzle a skull. From whichever angle the head is viewed, front, above, or sideways, the muzzle must always be in the right proportion to the skull, i.e. it must never appear too small.
Balance of skull and muzzle essential with muzzle never appearing small, viewed from any angle.
The beauty of the head depends upon the harmonious proportion between the muzzle and the skull. From whatever direction the head is viewed, whether from the front, from the top or from the side, the muzzle should always appear in correct relationship to the skull. That means that the head should never appear too small or too large.
The beauty of the head depends upon the harmonious proportion between the muzzle to the skull. The muzzle should always appear powerful, never small in its relationship to the skull.
Concurrence again. Proportion of muzzle to skull is essential.


Proportion of Muzzle to Skull
The blunt muzzle is 1/3rd the length of the head from the occiput to the tip of the nose, and 2/3rds the width of the skull.
Length of nose bridge in relation to skull should be 1 : 2 (measured from tip of nose to inner corner of eye or, respectively, inner corner of eye to occiput).
Length of muzzle measured from tip of nose to inside corner of eye is one third length of head measured from tip of nose to occiput.
The length of the muzzle to the whole head should be as 1 is to 3.
Interestingly, the Canadian standard does not specify the proportion of muzzle to skull that is so essential. Of the four that do, there is concurrence - worded differently and somewhat confusingly in all three standards, but the correct proportions are that the muzzle is 1/3 the length of the whole head.

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Wrinkles
The head should be clean, not showing deep wrinkles (wet). Wrinkles typically appear upon the forehead when ears are erect, and folds are always present from the lower edge of the stop running downward on both sides of the muzzle.
. It should be clean, not showing any wrinkle. However natural folds are formed in the cranial region when alerted. From root of nose, folds are always indicated running in a downward direction on both sides.
Skull cleanly covered, showing no wrinkle, except when alerted. Creases present from root of nose running down sides of muzzle.
The head should not show deep wrinkles. Normally wrinkles will spring up on the top of the skull when the dog is alert. Folds are always indicated from the root of the nose running downwards on both sides of the muzzle.
The head should be clean, not showing deep wrinkles. Folds will normally appear upon the forehead when the ears are erect, and they are always indicated from the lower edge of the stop running downward on both sides of the muzzle.
Concurrence. No deep wrinkles, wrinkles appear when the dog is alert (ears erect), folds are always present down both sides of the muzzle.


Mask
On the face, white may replace part of the otherwise essential black mask, and may extend in an upward path between the eyes, but it must not be excessive, so as to detract from true Boxer expression. The absence of white markings, the so-called "plain" fawn or brindle, is perfectly acceptable, and should not be penalized in any consideration of color.
The dark mask is confined to the muzzle and must be in sharp contrast to the colour of the head so that the face does not appear sombre.
Dark mask confined to muzzle, distinctly contrasting with color of head, even when white is present.
The dark mask is confined to the muzzle. It must be in distinct relief to the colour of the head so that the face will not have a "sombre" expression.
The dark mask is confined to the muzzle and is in distinct contrast to the colour of the head. Any extension of the mask to the skull, other than dark shading around the eyes, creates a somber undesirable expression. When white replaces any of the black mask, the path or any upward extension should be between the eyes.
Some differences here. The US standard is the only one that does not specify the dark mask must be confined to the muzzle, although it does place it on the face. The UK standard does not mention expression at all, the US mentions it in the terms of white markings and not the mask.


Expression
Intelligent and alert.
Their expression conveys energy and intelligence and must not be threatening or piercing.
Lively intelligent expression.
They should disclose an expression of energy and intelligence, but should never appear gloomy, threatening or piercing.
Alert, intelligent expression.
Concurrence here as well. The expression should be intelligent and lively (alert, energetic).

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Eyes
Dark brown in color, frontally placed, generous, not too small, too protruding, or too deep-set. Their mood-mirroring character, combined with the wrinkling of the forehead, gives the Boxer head its unique quality of expressiveness. Third eyelids preferably have pigmented rims.
The dark eyes are neither too small nor protruding or deep set. Their expression conveys energy and intelligence and must not be threatening or piercing. Eye rims must be dark.
Dark brown, forward-looking, not too small, protruding or deeply set, showing lively intelligent expression, Dark rims with good pigmentation showing no haw.
The eyes should be dark brown; not too small or protruding; not too deep set. They should disclose an expression of energy and intelligence, but should never appear gloomy, threatening or piercing. The eyes must have a dark rim.
The dark brown eyes, not too small, protruding or deep-set and encircled by dark hair, should impart an alert, intelligent expression. Their mood-mirroring quality combined with the mobile skin furrowing of the forehead gives the Boxer head its unique degree of expressiveness.
Concurrence. Dark eyes, not too small, protruding, or deep-set. The Canadian standard does not mention the haws.


Ears
Set at the highest points of the sides of the skull, the ears are customarily cropped, cut rather long and tapering, and raised when alert. If uncropped, the ears should be of moderate size, thin, lying flat and close to the cheeks in repose, but falling forward with a definite crease when alert.
The natural ears are of appropriate size. They are set on wide apart on highest part of skull. In repose they lie close to the cheeks and turn forward with a definite crease especially when the dog is alert.
Moderate size, thin, set wide apart on highest part of skull lying flat and close to cheek in repose, but falling forward, with definite crease when alert.
Some American and Continental Boxers are cropped and are ineligible for competition under Kennel Club Regulations. The Boxer's natural ears are defined as; moderate in size (small rather than large), thin to the touch, set on wide apart at the highest points of the sides of the skull and lying flat and close to the cheek in repose. When the dog is alert the ears should fall forward with a definite crease.
The ears are set at the highest points of the sides of the skull, cut rather long without too broad a shell, and are carried erect. The Boxer's natural ears are defined as: moderate in size (small rather than large), thick to the touch, set wide apart at the highest points of the side of the skull and lying flat and close to the cheek when in repose. When the dog is alert the ears should fall forward with a definite crease.
The major difference, obviously, is that some of the standards does not allow cropped ears. However, all standards call for the ears to be set high, and to be forward (raised) when the dog is alert. The descriptions of uncropped ears call for them to be set wide apart, to lie close to the cheek in repose, and for a definite crease when alert.


Skull
The top of the skull is slightly arched, not rounded, flat, nor noticeably broad, with the occiput not overly pronounced.
The cranial region should be as lean and angular as possible. It is slightly arched, neither round and short nor flat; neither should it be too broad. Occiput not too pronounced.
Top of skull slightly arched, not rounded, nor too flat and broad. Occiput not too pronounced.
The top of the skull should be slightly arched. It should not be so short that it is rotund, too flat, or too broad. The occiput should not be too pronounced.
The top of the skull is slightly arched, not rotund of flat nor noticeably broad, and the occiput must not be too pronounced.
Concurrence. The skull should be slightly arched, not rounded, flat, or too broad, occiput (back skull) not too pronounced.


Stop
The forehead shows a slight indentation between the eyes and forms a distinct stop with the topline of the muzzle. The top of the muzzle should not slant down (downfaced), nor should it be concave (dishfaced); however, the tip of the nose should lie slightly higher than the root of the muzzle.
Furrow in forehead only slightly marked, must not be too deep, especially between the eyes. The forehead forms a distinct stop towards bridge of nose. Bridge of nose must not be forced back into the forehead as in the Bulldog, nor should it be downfaced.
Distinct stop, bridge of nose never forced back into forehead, nor should it be downfaced.
The forehead should show a suggestion of furrow which, however, should never be too deep, especially between the eyes. The forehead should form a distinct stop with the top line of the muzzle, which should not be forced back into the forehead like that of a Bulldog. Neither should it slope away (downfaced).
The forehead shows just a slight furrow between the eyes. The forehead forms a distinct sop with the top line of the muzzle, which must not be forced back into the forehead like that of a Bulldog. It should not slant down (down-faced), nor should it be dished.
The UK standard is the only one that does not mention the slight furrow between the eyes. All mention a distinct stop with the topline of the muzzle. The muzzle should not be downfaced or dishfaced.

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Cheeks
The cheeks should be relatively flat and not bulge (cheekiness), maintaining the clean lines of the skull as they taper into the muzzle in a slight, graceful curve.
: Cheeks are developed in proportion with the strong jaws without markedly bulging. They merge with the muzzle in a slight curve.
Skull lean without exaggerated cheek muscles. Cheeks powerfully developed, never bulging.
Corresponding with the powerful set of teeth, the cheeks accordingly should be well developed without protruding from the head with "too bulgy" an appearance. For preference they should taper into the muzzle in a slight, graceful curve.
The cheeks, though covering powerful masseter muscles, compatible with the strong set of teeth, should be relatively flat and not bulge, maintaining the clean lines of the skull. They taper into the muzzle in a slight, graceful curve.
Concurrence. Cheeks should not bulge. The UK standard does not metion the graceful curve to the muzzle.


Muzzle
The muzzle, proportionately developed in length, width, and depth, has a shape influenced first through the formation of both jawbones, second through the placement of the teeth, and third through the texture of the lips.
The muzzle is powerfully developed in three dimensional volume, neither pointed or narrow, nor short or shallow. Its appearance is influenced by :
a) Shape of jaw;
b) Position of canine teeth;
c) Shape of lips
Muzzle broad, deep and powerful, never narrow, pointed, short or shallow. Lower jaw undershot, curving slightly upward. Upper jaw broad where attached to skull, tapering very slightly to front. Muzzle shape completed by upper lips, thick and well padded, supported by well separated canine teeth of lower jaw.
The muzzle must be powerfully developed in length, in breadth and in height. It must not be pointed or narrow, short or shallow. Its shape is influenced through the formation of both jawbones, the placement of the teeth in the jawbones, and through the quality of the lips.
The muzzle is powerfully developed in length, width and depth. It is not pointed, narrow, short or shallow. Its shape is influenced first through the formation of both jawbones, second through the placement of teeth, and third through the texture of the lips.
Basically concurrence. Length, width (breadth) and depth (height) development are mentioned specifically in four standards; the UK standard mentions the muzzle should be broad, deep and powerful. All note that the shape of the muzzle is influenced by the jawbones, the teeth, and the lips.


Nose
The nose should be broad and black. The tip of the nose should lie slightly higher than the root of the muzzle.
Nose is broad and black and only slightly turned up with wide nostrils. Tip of nose is placed slightly higher than root of nose.
Nose broad, black, slightly turned up, wide nostrils with well-defined line between. Tip of nose set slightly higher than root of muzzle.
The nose should be broad and black, very slightly turned up. The nostrils should be broad with the naso-labial line between them. The tip of the nose should lie slightly higher than the root of the muzzle.
The nose is broad and black, very slightly turned up; the nostrils broad with the naso-labial line running between them down through the upper lip which, however, must not be split. The tip of the nose should lie somewhat higher than the foot of the muzzle.
Concurrence. The nose is broad and black; the tip of the nose is higher than the root of the muzzle. The US standard does not mention the naso-labial line.


Jaw
The upper jaw is broad where attached to the skull and maintains this breadth, except for a very slight tapering to the front.
The upper jaw is broad where it joins the cranial region, tapering only slightly towards the front.
Upper jaw broad where attached to skull, tapering very slightly to front.
Both jaws should be very wide in front; bite powerful and sound, the teeth set in the most normal possible arrangement. The upper jaw should be broad where attached to the skull, and maintain this breadth except for a very slight tapering to the front.
The upper jaw is broad where attached to the skull and maintains this breadth except for a very slight tapering to the front.
Concurrence. Upper jaw broad where attached to the skull, with a slight tapering to the front.


Lips
The lips, which complete the formation of the muzzle, should meet evenly in front. The upper lip is thick and padded, filling out the frontal space created by the projection of the lower jaw, and laterally is supported by the canines of the lower jaw. Any suggestion of an overlip obscuring the chin should be penalized.
The lips complete the shape of the muzzle. The upper lip is thick and padded and fills the space formed by the undershot lower jaw; it is supported by the lower canines.
Muzzle shape completed by upper lips, thick and well padded, supported by well-separated canine teeth of lower jaw.
The lips complete the formation of the muzzle. The upper lip should be thick and padded and fill out the hollow space in front formed by the projection of the lower jaw and be supported by the fangs of the jaw.
The lips complete the formation of the muzzle, should meet evenly. The upper lip is thick and padded, filling out the frontal space formed by the projection of the lower jaw. It rests on the edge of the lower lip and, laterally, is supported by the fangs (canines) of the lower jaw.
Concurrence. Upper lip is thick and padded and supported by lower canines.

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Canines
Therefore, these canines must stand far apart and be of good length so that the front surface of the muzzle is broad and squarish and, when viewed from the side, shows moderate layback.
The canines must be placed as far apart as possible and must be of good length, making the front of the muzzle broad, almost square and forming a blunt angle with bridge of nose.
Canines set wide apart.
These fangs must stand as far apart as possible and be of good length so that the front surface of the muzzle becomes broad and almost square; to form an obtuse (rounded) angle with the top line of the muzzle.
Therefore, these fangs must stand far apart and be of good length so that the front surface of the muzzle shall become broad and squarish and, when viewed from the side, form an obtuse angle with the topline of the muzzle.
Concurrence. Canines must be far apart. The UK standard does not discuss canines specifically otherwise. The other four standards specifiy an obtuse angle (moderate layback) with the topline of the muzzle.


Chin
The chin should be perceptible from the side as well as from the front. Any suggestion of an overlip obscuring the chin should be penalized.
In front, the edge of the upper lip rests on the edge of the lower lip. The part of the lower jaw with lower lip curved upwards, called the chin, must not markedly protrude over upper lip, seen from front. Nor should it be hidden by the lip but should be well defined from front and side.
Lower edge of upper lip rests on edge of lower lip, so that chin is clearly perceptible when viewed from front or side. Lower jaw never to obscure front of upper lip.
The lower edge of the upper lip should rest on the edge of the lower lip. The rependous (bent upward) part of the under-jaw with the lower lip (sometimes called the chin) must not rise above the front of the upper lip. On the other hand, it should not disappear under it. It must, however, be plainly perceptible when viewed from the front as well as the side, without protruding and bending upward as in the English Bulldog.
Over-protrusion of the overlip or underlip is undesirable. The chin should be perceptible when viewed from the side as well as from the front without being over-rependous (rising above the bite line) as in the Bulldog.
Concurrence. The chin should be perceptible from the side as well as the front.


Mouth Closed
Neither the teeth nor the tongue should ever show when the mouth is closed.
The canines and incisors of the lower jaw must not be visible when mouth is closed, neither should the tongue show. Median groove in the upper lip (philtrum) is clearly visible.
Neither should teeth nor tongue be visible when mouth closed.
The teeth of the under-jaw should not be seen when the mouth is closed, neither should the tongue show when the mouth is closed.
The boxer must not show his teeth or his tongue when his mouth is closed. Excessive flews are not desirable.
Concurrence.


Bite
The Boxer bite is undershot, the lower jaw protruding beyond the upper and curving slightly upward. The incisor teeth of the lower jaw are in a straight line, with the canines preferably up front in the same line to give the jaw the greatest possible width. The upper line of the incisors is slightly convex with the corner upper incisors fitting snugly in back of the lower canine teeth on each side.
The lower jaw exceeds the upper jaw and is slightly curved upwards. The Boxer is undershot. The upper jaw is broad where it joins the cranial region, tapering only slightly towards the front. The teeth are strong and healthy. The incisors are as even as possible, set in a straight line. Canines wide apart and of good size.
Lower jaw undershot, curving slightly upward. Undershot jaw, canines set wide apart with incisors (6) in straight line in lower jaw. In upper jaw set in line curving slightly forward. Bite powerful and sound, with teeth set in normal arrangement.
The canine teeth should be as widely separated as possible. The incisors (6) should all be in one row, with no projection of the middle teeth. In the upper jaw they should be slightly concave. In the lower they should be in a straight line. The two jawbones should not terminate in a normal perpendicular level in the front but the lower jaw should protrude beyond the upper jaw and bend slightly upwards. The Boxer is normally undershot.
The incisor teeth of the lower jaw are in a straight line, the canines preferably up front in the same line to give the jaw the greatest possible width. The line of the incisors in the upper jaw is slightly convex toward the front. The upper corner incisors should fit snugly back of the lower canine teeth on each side reflecting the symmetry essential to the creation of a sound non-slip bite. The Boxer is normally undershot. Therefore, the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper and curves slightly upward.
Concurrence. The Boxer is undershot with the lower jaw curving slightly upward. The teeth of the lower jaw are in a straight line; they are slightly curved in the upper jaw (not mentioned in the FCI standard.)

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Neck
Round, of ample length, muscular and clean without excessive hanging skin (dewlap). The neck should have a distinctly arched and elegant nape blending smoothly into the withers.
: Topline runs in an elegant arch from the clearly marked nape to the withers. It should be of ample length, round, strong and muscular.
Round, of ample length, strong, muscular, clean cut, no dewlap. Distinctly marked nape and elegant arch down to withers.
The neck should be not too thick and short but of ample length, yet strong, round, muscular and clean-cut throughout. There should be a distinctly marked nape and an elegant arch down to the back.
Round, of ample length, not too short; strong and muscular and clean throughout, without dewlap, with a distinctly marked nape and an elegant arch running down to the back.
Concurrence. Neck round, muscular, clean, marked nape, elegant arch.


Body
Sturdy, with balanced musculature. Males larger boned than females.
Square body resting on sturdy straight legs
The torso rests on trunk-like legs with strong bones.
The UK and Canadian standards do not mention sturdiness or strength of legs; however this is addressed in the Forelegs section following.


Width of Chest
The chest is of fair width, and the forechest well-defined and visible from the side.
Well formed forechest.
Chest of fair width and forechest well defined, being easily visible from the side.
Concurrence between the three standards that mention forechest, in that it is well developed (defined).


Depth of Chest
The brisket is deep, reaching down to the elbows;
Deep, reaching to elbows.
Chest deep, reaching to elbows.
The chest should be deep and reach down to the elbows.
The brisket is deep, reaching down to the elbows;
Concurrence.


Proportion of Chest
The depth of the body at the lowest point of the brisket equals half the height of the dog at the withers.
Depth of chest is half the height at withers.
Depth of chest half height at withers.
The depth of the chest should be half the height of the dog at the withers.
The depth of the body at the lowest point of the brisket equals half the height of the dog at the withers.
Concurrence. Another important proportional measurment; depth of chest is equal to half the height at the withers.

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Ribs
The ribs, extending far to the rear, are well-arched but not barrel-shaped.
Ribs well arched, not barrel shaped, extending well to rear.
The ribs should be well arched but not barrel-shaped. They should extend far to the rear.
The ribs - extending far to the rear, are well arched but not barrel-shaped.
Concurrence.


Back
The back is short, straight, muscular, firm, and smooth. The topline is slightly sloping when the Boxer is at attention, leveling out when in motion.
Withers should be marked. Back including loin should be short, firm, straight, broad and muscular.
Withers clearly defined. Back short, straight, slightly sloping, broad and strongly muscled. Loin short, well tucked up and taut. Lower abdominal line blends into curve to rear.
The withers should be clearly defined. The whole back should be short, straight, broad and very muscular.
The withers should be clearly defined as the highest point of the back; the whole back short, straight and muscular with a firm topline.
Basic concurrence. The back is short, straight, and muscular. The North American standards do not specify the back to be broad. The US standard does not specify marked withers. The US and UK standards are the only ones that mention a slightly sloping topline.


Loins
The loins are short and muscular.
Loin should be short, firm, straight, broad and muscular.
Loin short, well tucked up and taut.
The loins should be short, close and taut and slightly tucked up.
The loins are short and muscular.
Concurrence. Loins short and muscular. The FCI standard mentions straight and broad. (There may be a terminology issue here as well.)


Underline
The lower stomach line is slightly tucked up, blending into a graceful curve to the rear.
Running towards rear in elegant line. Short taut flanks slightly tucked up.
Lower abdominal line blends into curve to rear.
The lower stomach line should blend into an elegant curve to the rear.
The lower stomach line, lightly tucked up, blends into a graceful curve to the rear.
Concurrence.

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Forequarters
Shoulders
The shoulders are long and sloping, close-lying, and not excessively covered with muscle (loaded).
Long and sloping, connected firmly to body. Should not be too loaded.
Shoulders long and sloping, close lying, not excessively covered with muscle.
The shoulders should be long and sloping, close lying but not excessively covered with muscle.
The shoulders are long and sloping, close-lying, and not excessively covered with muscle.
Concurrence.


Upper Arm
The upper arm is long, approaching a right angle to the shoulder blade.
Long, making a right angle to shoulder blade.
Upper arm long, making right angle to shoulder blade.
The upper arm should be long and form a right-angle to the shoulder blade.
The upper arm is long, closely approaching a right angle to the shoulder blade.
Concurrence. North American standards do not specify an exact right angle, only close to one, perhaps due to research that shows an actual 45-degree layback of shoulder is not possible in the dog.


Forearm
Vertical, long, clean muscles.
Forearms perpendicular, long and firmly muscled.
The underarm (forearm) should be perpendicular, long and firmly muscled.
The forearm is straight, long, and firmly muscled. The pastern joint is clearly defined but not distended.
Concurrence among four standards. The US standard does not mention the forearm specifically.


Elbows
The elbows should not press too closely to the chest wall nor stand off visibly from it.
Neither too close to side of chest nor turned out.
Elbows not too close or standing too far from chest wall.
The elbows should not press too closely to the chest-wall nor stand off too far from it.
The elbows should not press too closely to the chest wall or stand off visibly from it.
Concurrence.


Forelegs
The forelegs are long, straight and firmly muscled and, when viewed from the front, stand parallel to each other.
Front legs seen from front must stand parallel and have strong bone.
Forelegs seen from front, straight, parallel, with strong bone.
The forelegs when seen from the front should be straight, parallel to each other and have strong, firmly articulated (joined) bones.
The forelegs, viewed from the front, are straight, stand parallel to each other, and have strong, firmly-joined bones.
One perhaps important difference is that the US standard does not mention strong bone here, and specifies long forelegs. Strength and bone are mentioned in the areas of Substance and Pasterns. Concurrence in all other areas.


Pastern
The pastern is strong and distinct, slightly slanting, but standing almost perpendicular to the ground. The dewclaws may be removed.
Short, almost perpendicular to ground. Carpus (wrist): Strong, well defined, but not exaggerated.
Pasterns short, clearly defined, but not distended, slightly slanted.
The pastern joint of the foreleg should be clearly defined, but not distended. The pastern should be short, slightly slanting and almost perpendicular to the ground.
The pastern is strong and distinct; slightly slating, but standing almost perpendicular to the ground. The dew claws may be removed as a safety precaution.
Concurrence. The US standard does mention strength here, in the pasterns. The North American standards mention dewclaws; the other do not, but the FCI standard lists them as a fault.


Feet
Feet should be compact, turning neither in nor out, with well arched toes.
Front feet: Small, round, tight, well cushioned and hard pads. Hind feet: Slightly longer than front feet, tight; well cushioned and hard pads.
Front feet small and catlike, with well arched toes, and hard pads; Hind feet slightly longer.
The feet should be small with tightly-arched toes (cat-feet) and hard soles. The rear toes should be just a little longer than the front toes, but similar in all other respects.
Feet should be compact, turning neither in nor out, with tightly arched toes (cat feet) and tough pads. The rear toes just a little longer than the front toes, but similar in all other respects.
Concurrence. The US standard does not differentiate between front and hind feet.

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Hindquarters
The hindquarters are strongly muscled, with angulation in balance with that of the forequarters.
Very muscular, the muscles brick hard and visible under the skin.
Very strong with muscles hard and standing out noticeably under skin.
The hindquarters should be strongly muscled. The musculation should be hard and stand out plastically through the skin.
Strongly muscled with angulation in balance with that of forequarters.
Concurrence. The North American standards are the only to mention balance with the forequarters.


View from Behind
Viewed from behind, the hind legs should be straight, with hock joints leaning neither in nor out.
Hind legs: Seen from rear straight.
Seen from behind, legs straight, hock joints clean, with powerful rear pads.
Seen from behind the hind legs should be straight. The hocks should be clean and not distended, supported by powerful rear pads.
Viewed from behind, the hind legs should be straight with the hock joints leaning neither in nor out.
Concurrence.


Thighs
The thighs are broad and curved, the breech musculature hard and strongly developed. Upper and lower thigh long.
Upper thigh: Long and broad. Lower thigh: Very muscular.
Thighs broad and curved. Upper and lower thigh long.
The thighs should not be narrow and flat but broad and curved. The breech musculation should also be strongly developed. The upper and lower thighs should be long.
The thighs broad and curved, the breech musculature hard and strongly developed. Upper and lower thigh long.
Concurrence. The UK standard does not mention musculation.


Stifle
The legs are well-angulated at the stifle, neither too steep nor over-angulated, with clearly defined, well "let down" hock joints.
Angles of hip and knee are open but as little as possible. When dog is standing, should reach so far forward that it would touch a vertical line from point of hip to ground.
Good hind angulation, when standing, the stifle is directly under the hip protuberance.
The hip and knee (stifle) should have as much angle as possible. In a standing position the knee (stifle) should reach so far forward that it would meet a vertical line drawn from the hip protuberance to the floor.
The Canadian standard does not mention the stifle at all. Concurrence among the other four, although the US standard does not mention the placement of the stifle under the hip bone.


Hock
Clearly defined, well "let down" hock joint.
Strong and well defined but not exaggerated. Angle approximately 140 degrees.
The hock angle should be about 140 degrees.
Leg well angulated with a clearly defined, well let-down hock joint.
The UK standard does not mention the hock angle. Basic concurrence among the other four; the FCI and Australian standards are very specific on angle here.


Rear Pasterns (Metatarsus)
From the side, the leg below the hock (metatarsus) should be almost perpendicular to the ground , with a slight slope to the rear permissible. The metatarsus should be short, clean and strong. The Boxer has no rear dewclaws.
Short with slight inclination, 95-100 degrees to the ground.
Seen from side, leg from hock joint to foot not quite vertical.
The lower part of the foot at a slight slope of about 95 to 100 degrees from the hock joint to the floor; that is, not completely vertical.
In standing position, the leg below the hock joint (metatarsus) should be practically perpendicular to the ground with a slight rearward slope permissible. The metatarsus should be short, clear and strong supported by powerful rear pads. Dew claws, if any, may be removed.
Concurrence. Again, the FCI and Australian standards are specific on angle, and again the North American standards are the only ones that mention dewclaws. (The Australian standard mentions hind dewclaws as a fault.)

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Croup
The croup is slightly sloped, flat and broad.
Slightly sloping, broad and only slightly arched.
Broad croup slightly sloped, with flat, broad arch.
The croup should be slightly sloped, flat arched and broad.
Croup slightly sloped, flat and broad.
Concurrence.


Pelvis
The pelvis is long, and in females especially broad.
Pelvis should be long and broad, especially in bitches.
Pelvis long and broad.
The pelvis should be long and, in females especially, broad.
Pelvis long and, in females especially, broad.
Concurrence. The UK standard does not make a gender distinction.


Tail
The tail is set high, docked, and carried upward. An undocked tail should be severely penalized.
Set on high rather than low. Tail is left natural.
Set on high, customarily docked and carried upwards.
The tail attachment should be high. The tail should be preferably docked and carried upwards and should, preferably, be no more than 5cm (2ins) long.
Tail attachment high, rather than low. Tail clipped, carried upward.
Concurrence. The Australian standard mentions specific length of tail. The FCI standard only allows an undocked tail, while the US standard severely penalizes one.


Coat
Short, shiny, lying smooth and tight to the body.
Short, hard, glossy and close fitting.
Short, glossy, smooth & tight to body.
The coat should be short and shiny, lying smooth and tight to the body.
Short, shiny, lying smooth and tight to the body.
Concurrence. The US standard does not mention shiny or glossy.

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Color
The colors are fawn and brindle. Fawn shades vary from light tan to mahogany. The brindle ranges from sparse but clearly defined black stripes on a fawn background to such a heavy concentration of black striping that the essential fawn background color barely, although clearly, shows through (which may create the appearance of reverse brindling).
Fawn or brindle : Fawn comes in various shades from light fawn to dark deer red but the most attractive shades are in the middle range (red fawn). Black mask. The brindle variety : fawn background of varying shades has dark or black stripes running parallel to ribs. Stripes must contrast distinctly to ground colour.
Fawn - Various shades from dark red to light fawn. Brindle Black stripes on previously described fawn shades, running parallel to ribs all over body. Stripes contrast distinctly to ground colour, neither too close nor too thinly dispersed. Ground colour clear not intermingling with stripes.
The permissible colours are fawn, brindle and fawn shades from light yellow to dark deer red. The brindle variety should have black stripes on a golden-yellow or red-brown background. The stripes should be clearly defined and above all should not be grey or dirty. Stripes that do not cover the whole top of the body are not desirable.
Colour - the colours are fawn and brindle. Fawn in various shades from light tan to stag red or mahogany, the deeper colours preferred. The brindle coat in the Boxer is of two opposite types. The first of these includes those dogs having clearly defined dark stripes on a fawn background. The second type has what is best termed reverse brindling. Here the effect is of a very dark background with lighter coloured fawn stripes or streaks showing through.
Some differences here. Only the North American standards allow a heavy concentration of stripes in brindle dogs ("reverse brindling"). Concurrence in that the colors are fawn and brindle, and the fawn ranges from light tan to dark deer red (mahogany).


White Markings
White markings, if present, should be of such distribution as to enhance the dog's appearance, but may not exceed one-third of the entire coat. They are not desirable on the flanks or on the back of the torso proper. On the face, white may replace part of the otherwise essential black mask, and may extend in an upward path between the eyes, but it must not be excessive, so as to detract from true Boxer expression. The absence of white markings, the so-called "plain" fawn or brindle, is perfectly acceptable, and should not be penalized in any consideration of color.
White markings should not be discarded. They can be quite pleasant.
White markings are not undesirable, in fact, they are often very attractive in appearance. The black mask is essential but when white stretches over the muzzle, naturally that portion of the black mask disappears. It is not possible to get black toe-nails with white feet. It is desirable, however to have an even distribution of head markings.
White markings in fawn or brindle dogs are not to be rejected: in fact, they are often very attractive but must be limited to one-third of the ground colour and are not desirable on the back of the torso proper. On the face, white may replace a part or all of the otherwise essential black mask. However, these white markings should be of such distribution as to enhance and not detract from the true Boxer expression.
The UK standard does not mention white markings at all. Basic concurrence among the other four, although the North American standards include more detail on where markings may or may not be found.


Gait
Viewed from the side, proper front and rear angulation is manifested in a smoothly efficient, level-backed, ground covering stride with a powerful drive emanating from a freely operating rear. Although the front legs do not contribute impelling power, adequate reach should be evident to prevent interference, overlap, or sidewinding (crabbing). Viewed from the front, the shoulders should remain trim and the elbows not flare out. The legs are parallel until gaiting narrows the track in proportion to increasing speed, then the legs come in under the body but should never cross. The line from the shoulder down through the leg should remain straight although not necessarily perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, a Boxer's rump should not roll. The hind feet should dig in and track relatively true with the front. Again, as speed increases, the normally broad rear track will become narrower. The Boxer's gait should always appear smooth and powerful, never stilted or inefficient.
Lively, full of strength and nobility.
Strong, powerful with noble bearing, reaching well forward, and with driving action of hindquarters. In profile, stride free & ground covering.
Movement of the Boxer should be alive with energy. His gait, although firm, is elastic. The stride free and roomy; carriage proud and noble.
Viewed from the side, proper front and rear angulation is manifested in a smoothly-efficient, level-backed, ground-covering stride with powerful drive emanating from a freely operating rear. Although the front legs do not contribute impelling power, adequate "reach" should be evident to prevent interference, overlap or "side-winding" (crabbing). Viewed from the front, the shoulders should remain trim and the elbows not flate out. The legs are parallel until gaiting narrows the track in proportion to increasing speed, then the legs come in under the body but should remain straight, although not necessarily perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear a Boxer's breech should not roll. The hind feet should "dig-in" and track relatively true with the front. Again, as speed increases, the normally broad rear track will become narrower.
The North American standards go into much greater detail on gait, but do not mention proud or noble carriage here. There is concurrence that the gait should be powerful.


Character and Temperament
These are of paramount importance in the Boxer. Instinctively a hearing guard dog, his bearing is alert, dignified, and self-assured. In the show ring his behavior should exhibit constrained animation. With family and friends, his temperament is fundamentally playful, yet patient and stoical with children. Deliberate and wary with strangers, he will exhibit curiosity, but, most importantly, fearless courage if threatened. However, he responds promptly to friendly overtures honestly rendered. His intelligence, loyal affection, and tractability to discipline make him a highly desirable companion. Any evidence of shyness, or lack of dignity or alertness, should be severely penalized.
The Boxer should be fearless self-confident, calm and equable. Temperament is of the utmost importance and requires careful attention. Devotion and loyalty towards his master and his entire household, his watchfulness and self-assured courage as a defender are famous. He is harmless with his family but distrustful of strangers. Happy and friendly in play, yet fearless in a serious situation. Easy to train on account of his willingness to obey, his pluck and courage, natural keenness and scent capability. Undemanding and clean, he is just as agreeable and appreciated in the family circle as he is as a guard, companion and working dog. His character is trustworthy, with no guile or cunning, even in old age.
Lively, strong, loyal to owner and family, but distrustful of strangers. Obedient, friendly at play, but with guarding instinct. Temperament: Equable, biddable, fearless, self-assured.
The character of the Boxer is of the greatest importance and demands the most careful attention. He is renowned from olden times for his great love and faithfulness to his master and household, his alertness, and fearless courage as a defender and protector. The Boxer is docile but distrustful of strangers. He is bright and friendly in play but brave and determined when roused. His intelligence and willing tractability, his modesty, and cleanliness make him a highly desirable family dog and cheerful companion. He is the soul of honesty and loyalty. He is never false or treacherous even in his old age.
These are of paramount importance in the Boxer. Instinctively a "hearing" guard dog, his bearing is alert, dignified and self-assured even at rest. His behaviour should exhibit constrained animation. His temperament is fundamentally playful, yet patient and stoical with children. Deliberate and wary with strangers, he will exhibit curiosity but, most importantly, fearless courage and tenacity if threatened. However, he responds promptly to friendly overtures when honestly rendered. His intelligence, loyal affection and tractability to discipline make him a highly desirable companion.
Concurrence. Temperament is of paramount importance. The Boxer is self-assured, wary (distrustful) with strangers, fearless when threatened, but friendly in play, patient (stoic, docile, equable). He is also loyal and easily trained (biddable, tractable, obedient) - much to the disbelief of many obedience instructors, sadly!

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Faults
The foregoing description is that of the ideal Boxer. Any deviation from the above-described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault & the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
The faults are similar enough, when present, as to not require much commentary. The US standard effective March 30, 2005 removed specific mention of faults, in light of the statement that any deviation should be proportionately penalized. The UK standard does not specify faults, presumably for a similar reason.


Head Faults
Lack of nobility and typical expression.
Lack of nobility and expression.
Lack of nobility and expression. Lack of noble bearing.
Sombre face.
"Sombre" face.
Somber face.
Pinscher or Bulldog type head.
A head that is not typical. Pinscher or Bulldog head.
Head not typical, Pinscher or Bulldog head.
Muzzle too pointed or slight.
Too pointed or light a bite (snipy).
Muzzle too light for skull.
Too pointed or light a bite (snipy).
Too pointed a bite (snipy).
Dribbling, showing of teeth or tongue.
Showing the teeth or tongue.
Teeth or tongue showing with mouth closed, drivelling, split upper lip.
So called, "hawk eye", lack of pigment in haw.
Visible conjunctiva (haw). Light eyes.
Light ("bird of prey") eyes.
In uncropped ears : Flapping, half erect or erect ears, rose ears.
Flying ears; rose ears; semi-erect or erect ears.
Poor ear carriage.
Bridge of nose falling away.
A sloping top-line of the muzzle.
Sloping top line of muzzle.
Leather or weather nose, pale nose leather.
Wry jaw, slanting teeth, incorrect position of teeth, poorly developed teeth and unsound teeth due to illness.
Unserviceable bite whether due to disease or to faulty tooth placement.
Wry mouth, that is when the upper and lower jaws are not in parallel straight lines. Unserviceable bite.

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Body Faults
Short, thick and throaty.
Dewlap.
Dewlap.
Front too broad and low to the ground. French front.
Too broad and low in front, chest hanging between the shoulders.
Chest too broad, too shallow or too deep in front, chest hanging between shoulders.
Light bone. Lack of proportion. Bad physical condition. A plump, bulldoggy appearance.
Light bone. Lack of balance Bad condition. Plump bull-doggy appearance.
Sagging body. Pendulous belly.
Hanging stomach.


Forequarter Faults
Loose shoulders, loose elbows, weak pastern.
Loose shoulders.
Loose or over muscled shoulders.
Hare foot, flat, splayed feet.
Hare feet.
Hare feet.
Turned legs and toes.
Tied-in or bowed-out elbows, turned feet.


Hindquarter Faults
Lean, long, narrow, sagging loin, loosely coupled body.
Long narrow loins, weak union with croup.
Arched loin, croup falling away. Narrow pelvis.
A falling off or too arched or narrow croup.
Too rounded, too narrow or falling off croup.
Higher in back than in front.
Higher in back than in front.
Roach or sway back.
Carp (roach) back; sway back; thin; lean back.
Roach back, sway back, thin lean back.
Hollow flanks.
Long narrow, sharp sunken in the loins.
Hollow flanks
Low set on, kink tail.
A low set tail
Low-set tail
Weak muscles.
Light thighs.
Light thighs.
Dewclaws. Weak pasterns.
Hind dew-claws.
Too much or too little angulation in hindquarters.
Steep, stiff or too little angulation of the hindquarters.
Steep, stiff or too slightly angulated hindquarters.
Down on hocks, barrel hocks, cow hocks, narrow hocks.
Cow-hocks; bow-legs; soft hocks; narrow heel.
Cow hocks, bowed and crooked legs, over-angulated hock joint (sickle hocks), long metatarsus (high hocks).
Hindquarters too far under or too far behind.
Hindquarters too far under or too far behind.

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Gait Faults
Waddling, insufficient reach, pacing, stilted gait.
Tottering; waddling gait.
Stilted or inefficient gait, pounding, padding or flailing out of front legs, rolling or waddling gait, tottering hock joints, crossing over or interference-front or rear, lack of smoothness.


Color Faults
Unattractive white markings such as a whole white head or white on one side of the head.
White markings are allowed but must not exceed one third (1/3) of the ground colour.
Mask extending beyond muzzle. Stripes (brindling) too close together or too sparse. Sooty ground colour. Mingled colours. Other colours and white markings exceeding one third of the ground colour.
Boxers with white or black ground colour, or entirely white or black or any other colour other than fawn or brindle.


Temperament Faults
Aggressive, vicious, cunning, untrustworthy, lack of spirit, overly shy.
Viciousness; Treachery; Unreliability; Lack of temperament; Cowardice.
Lack of dignity and alertness, shyness, cowardice, treachery and viciousness (belligerency toward other dogs should not be considered viciousness).


Note
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
The North American standards do not mention testicles. The American Kennel Club rules automatically disqualify a male that does not have two descended testicles; it is supposed that the Canadian Kennel Club has the same rule.


Disqualifications
Boxers that are any color other than fawn or brindle. Boxers with a total of white markings exceeding one-third of the entire coat.
Boxers with white ground colour or entirely white or any colour other than fawn or two types of brindle. White markings that exceed one-third of the ground colour.

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Conclusions

The main differences of the US standard, specifically compared to the FCI standard, are the following:
Cosmetic
  • Mask not specifically confined to muzzle
  • Pigmented haws preferred rather than required
  • Both cropped and uncropped ears allowed
  • Reverse brindling allowed
Structural
  • Slightly taller height specifications
  • No weight specifications
    These could be said to contribute to a taller, "weedier" dog, however observation of most adult Boxers in the US show population indicates that these dogs are probably slightly heavier than the FCI standard calls for.
  • Broadness of back not specified
  • Slightly sloping topline mentioned (FCI standard does not mention slope to topline at all, but mentions a straight back)
    Interestingly, dogs in Germany seem to have a much greater slope to the topline.
  • Marked withers not specified
    This is quite possibly due to the preference in the US for a smooth outline.
  • Strong bone not mentioned in forelegs (discussed in Substance and Pasterns)
  • Long forelegs mentioned
  • No mention of forearm
  • Specific degrees of angulation not noted
  • Mention of balance between hindquarters and forequarters (not found in FCI standard)
  • Much more detail on correct gait provided
Overall, it is quite evident that the standards are basically the same regardless of country. While one may be tempted to point at the few items of a structural nature as significant, when the standard is read as a whole they really are minor. So again, we maintain that while each country has a certain "look" or " style" that they prefer, the standards themselves are the same, and pushing for a separation into two different breeds or varieties is contrary to the overall welfare of the breed.



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