The boxer breed is a result of mixing the bullenbeisser and the bulldog. Its history stretches back to the end of the 19th century.
Part German, Part British
The bullenbeisser was a german breed that was of Mastiff descent. They were traditionally used as hunting dogs, known to hunt preys such as bears, deer and wild boars. The hunting technique was based on the bullenbeisser biting onto the prey, and holding it down until the hunter arrived. The bullenbeisser was extinct in the 20th century, but the legacy still lives on in present time boxers.
On the other side of the family tree is the English bulldog. The Bulldogs were originally bred to help drive cattle to the marketplaces. They were also commonly used in a brutal sport called bullbaiting. The aim of that sport was to bet on what dog could bite onto a bull and get it to the ground. The first Bulldog to success was the victor. Many dogs would usually be killed during such events, and it is no longer practiced.
The Boxer Breed Gets Established
The first known boxer exhibition was hosted in 1896, and is considered the official establishment as the boxer as its own breed. Three years later the first Boxer club was established. In 1904 the detailed document defining the boxer breed was written. The document has seen very few changes until today.
From Military Use to Family Pet
The boxers inherited a lot of the traits of their ancestors. That made them physically strong, energetic and very loyal. These traits caught the interest of the military. In World War I the army found the boxers to be useful both as messengers, attack dogs, guard dogs and pack-carriers. As the war ended, soldiers brought the dogs with them back home, and introduced it to a wider audience. It soon became a favourite pet among families all over the world.