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boxer, breed of medium-sized, muscular working dog perfected in Germany in the 19th cent. but whose origins may be traced back in Europe to the 16th cent. It stands from 21 to 25 in. (53.3–63.5 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 60 to 75 lb (27.2–34 kg). It has a short, smooth, shiny coat of fawn or brindle, often with white markings on the head, chest, and feet, and a black muzzle. The ears are cropped to stand erect, and the tail is docked. A relative of numerous breeds of the bulldog type, the boxer was originally used in dogfighting and bullbaiting. Today it is trained as a police dog and as a guide dog for the blind. The boxer is also kept as a pet. See dog.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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