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All about your Boxer

Playful and young at heart, with plenty of get-up-and-go.

Boxers are bright and bursting with energy and enthusiasm, making them great companions - if you can keep up with them. Discover this intelligent and alert breed, and get tips on a range of topics from exercise, grooming and behaviour, to what you can do to keep your dog healthy and happy.

Tentative Boxer Dog Looks Over Its Shoulder

Breed information & advice

The Boxer is part of the working dog group, and a fiercely loyal friend of the whole family. He should ideally live in a house with a large garden, but providing he gets regular outdoor exercise he can adapt to smaller spaces.

  • This breed will love nothing more than showing off for his family.
  • Thanks to his short, smooth coat he will only need brushing once a week, but is likely to shed often.
  • On average this dog weighs between 27kg and 32kg, when fully grown.
  • A healthy Boxer will usually live between 10 and 12 years.

Typical size of a Boxer

Medium: 53cm-63.5cm

Boxers are one of the most active dog breeds, and need more than two hours of exercise every day. Your dog will love to play so make sure you give him enough attention, throwing a stick or a ball when you are outside together. On hot days be careful not to overdo it as a Boxer is unable to deal with heat, due to the shape of his head.

Because the breed is so energetic, you need to ensure your dog gets plenty of high-quality food. The amount you feed him will depend on his age, size and activity levels, and always remember to read the packet.

More than two hours of exercise each day

You and your Boxer should enjoy more than two hours of exercise each day.

Excitable Boxer Dog Galloping Through Sand On The Beach
Fawn Coloured Boxer Dog Looking Away

Common health problems & illnesses

There’s no reason why your Boxer shouldn’t live a long and happy life. However, being aware of the ailments your dog will be more prone to, along with the associated symptoms, can help you to deal with any health issues that crop up.

1. Eye ulcers

If one of your dog’s eyes becomes watery, develops a discharge or seems to be overly sensitive to light, he could have a corneal ulcer. These can develop as a result of a scratch or damage to the eye’s surface, and in most cases can be easily treated by your vet.

7% of claims received by Tesco Pet Insurance for Boxers in 2015 were for corneal ulcers.

2. Mast cell tumours

Mast cells are an important part of a dog’s body as they help fight infection, but occasionally, they can copy themselves incorrectly and become diseased. Always have any unusual lumps, bumps or inflammation you find on your dog investigated as this could help you catch a simple irritation or even a serious condition, such as mast cell skin cancer, early on.  Prognosis is excellent when these tumours are fully removed, however your vet may want to send off a skin sample for testing before performing surgery.

3. Hypothyroidism

Over-tiredness, hair loss on your dog’s neck, thighs and tail, as well as sudden weight gain could signal that he has hypothyroidism, where he does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Your vet will be able to prescribe a course of supplements that could give your dog a second lease of life.

4. Cruciate ligament injury

Due to his size and active nature, your Boxer will be more prone to hurting himself and he could rupture one of his cruciate knee ligaments. If he occasionally shows signs of lameness there could be some wear and tear, but if he suddenly won’t use a hind leg, he has more than likely torn something. Your vet will be able to confirm the injury, and offer you the best course of action.

5. Heart conditions

This breed can develop heart conditions. Two of the most common are aortic stenosis and right ventricular cardiomyopathy. Aortic stenosis occurs when there is a narrowing of the aortic valve and obstruction to the normal flow of blood in a Boxer’s heart. Because of this, the dog's heart must work harder and faster than normal. A heart murmur can often be picked up during a routine check. If diagnosed, aortic stenosis can be treated well with medication. Cardiomyopathy is an inherited condition that causes the heart of a Boxer to beat erratically. This is more commonly known as an arrhythmia, and will usually be found during a routine vet visit. Treatments are available.

As symptoms for both conditions are not always obvious, and because these conditions can be fatal, it is worth taking your dog for regular visits to the vet, even if your Boxer seems very healthy.

Dog name popularity

If you’re struggling to think of a name for your new Boxer, take a look at the most popular ones at Tesco Pet Insurance for inspiration.

Dog name popularity

Average treatment costs

Wondering whether pet insurance for your Boxer is worth it? We’ve put together the top five conditions claimed for by Tesco Pet Insurance customers in 2015, and the average cost of treatment.

ConditionAverage treatment cost
Corneal ulcer£357.35
Arthritis and degenerative joint disease£269.86
Mast cell tumour£640.97

Tesco Pet Insurance claims data from paid treatments including excesses from 01/01/15 to 31/12/15.

Considering Boxer insurance?

We know your dog is an important member of the family, so give them the protection they deserve with Tesco Pet Insurance.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc.

What owners say

“Molly is the biggest diva I've ever met. She refuses to lie on the floor, chooses the couch instead and won't drink water from her bowl if it's been sitting out. She has to see you pour it fresh from the tap! Boxers are amazing breeds – so affectionate and fun!”

Grooming advice

Keeping your Boxer’s coat glossy and healthy is fairly easy to do and he can go months without the need for a bath. Just make sure to brush and wipe down his coat every week or so, to keep it looking sleek and shiny.

Once a week, you should clean your dog’s ears and brush his teeth. Using an approved ear cleaner will help keep them clear and free of infections, while you can buy a special toothbrush and toothpaste to clean away tartar and eradicate his bad breath.

If your Boxer’s nails are clicking on your kitchen floor when he walks, it’s time to clip them. He probably won’t mind you doing this, but as with any grooming routine it helps if you do this from when he is a puppy so he gets used to the sensation. Be careful not to cut his nails too short, or it could cause bleeding.

Fun & interesting facts

  • Famous owners of Boxers include singer Justin Timberlake and actors Cameron Diaz and Hugh Jackman.
  • Brandy the Boxer set a Guinness World Record in 2002 with her 43cm long tongue.
  • When your dog is excited he might make a “woo woo” noise rather than a bark – a special sound only the Boxer makes.
  • Your dog will be noticeably sillier than many other dogs in the park, as this breed takes much longer than most to reach maturity.
  • This breed was first bred in Germany in the late 19th Century.

Important information


The content on this page aims to offer an informative introduction to pet breeds, but does not constitute expert veterinary advice. If your dog or cat falls ill or has an injury, contact your vet immediately. Tesco Bank Pet Insurance has a partnership with vetfone™ which means that as a customer, you can benefit from their advice as part of your policy.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by Vetsdirect Ltd.

All facts and figures were correct at date of publication and were compiled using a range of sources.


Vetfone™ is a 24/7 helpline that provides expert advice from nurses qualified with the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). If your pet has a medical emergency, or you need reassurance on grooming, feeding or general advice, vetfone™ is there to help.

As a Tesco Pet Insurance customer, you can access expert veterinary advice provided by RCVS registered vet nurses as a standard benefit with your policy, and the service is provided at no additional cost. A quick call could answer any questions you have about your pet, give you peace of mind and could even save you an expensive trip to the vet.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by Vetsdirect Ltd.

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