American Boxer Club Visual Standard | Whether new to purebred dogs or a longtime aficionado, the Boxer breed has always been admired for its expressive and beautiful head. Not to undermine the beauty and grace in the Boxer’s sound structure and athletic movement, the unique head defines the essence of the breed.
The official written AKC Boxer Breed Standard defines the breed and has been adapted over time to be more definitive of subtle changes in the breed. The American Boxer Club recognized that a picture is worth a thousand words.
With that in mind, Eleanor Linderholm-Wood, longtime Boxer breeder, handler, ABC Lifetime Achievement Recipient, and Lifetime Member of the American Boxer Club, created BOXER BASICS, A Visual Study of the AKC Standard, 2001.
Due to slight changes and updates to the written standard and the increased exhibition of the natural ear Boxer, A New Visual Study of the AKC Boxer Standard was created in 2018. Jessica Kozel-Lemist illustrated this definitive work, based on many of Eleanor Linderholm-Woods’ original illustrations, with input from several breeders. Ann Linderholm-Keil edited the work.
The work is introduced with “A Perspective on the Boxer Standard,” which is a brief history of the breed, and describes the many uses of the breed and cites the structural development of the dog which allowed them to perform certain tasks… as the Boxer evolved from a hunting dog to a utility dog, a performer, a protector, and a companion.
This booklet features 27 pages of illustrations and detailed explanations of the breed, devoted to the dominant/major features that identify the breed.
Intense concentration is directed to the Boxer head. The unique shape and the intricate aspects are derived from the early utilitarian purpose of the breed.
The body illustrations detail the size, proportion, and substance of the ideal Boxer.
Starting with an illustration depicting of General Appearance: “A medium sized, square-built dog of good substance,” discussion and illustrations follow.
The Boxer head description follows as it is the most definitive feature of the breed. The verbiage of the AKC Standard is defined with illustrations, measurements, and specifics of every component of the ideal Boxer head. The ideal balance and proportion are well illustrated. The wording in the head description was modified in the last ABC Standard update in 2005 to be more conceptual of the emphasis of the Boxer expression—an integral aspect of the Boxer head. Rather than describing eye shape, the standard now brings attention to the eyes as reflecting “mood-mirroring character… [giving] the Boxer head its unique quality of expressiveness.”
The Muzzle Balance—Proportions are illustrated between skull to stop, equaling 2/3, and the depth of stop to nose, 1/3.
The jaw and muzzle structure are also of paramount essence for the breed. The “Moderate Layback and Perceptible Chin” illustration beautifully allows a visual definition.
The Guide continues with descriptions and illustrations of the correct structure, neck, and topline. Forequarters and hindquarters are defined beautifully through many full body illustrations as well as a depiction of the Boxer in motion.
The descriptive illustrations combined with the written verbiage of the Standard provide an ideal vision to understand the ideal Boxer.
This in-depth Illustrated Standard of the Boxer is a must-have for breeders, judges, and any prospective Boxer enthusiast.
The American Boxer Club—A New Visual Study of the AKC Boxer Standard is available through the American Boxer Club Judges Education Committee Chairman, Sandy Orr, and can be ordered on the American Boxer Club Website.