Boxer vs Pitbull: How Are They Related And Different?

Boxer and Pitbull

Today, we will talk about American Pit Bull Terrier or Pitbull, and Boxer. These two dogs have almost the same temperament, but have different appearance. Both the Boxer and Pit bull were initially raised as fighting dogs. They were originally bred as hunting dogs too. So, are they related with each other? What is the difference between these two breeds?

Let us understand more about these two dog breeds and learn which one is perfect for your family and lifestyle. If trained properly, boxers and pit bulls can make great family dogs and guard dogs. They are good with children.

Boxer vs Pitbull



Boxer is also known as German Boxer and Deutscher Boxer.

Boxer is a large breed of dog that came from Germany. Boxer was bred from the Bullenbeisser (an extinct breed of dog) and Old English Bulldog.

Boxers are part of the Working Dogs breed group. This dog breed is a member of both the American Kennel Club and The Kennel Club.

History Of Boxer

In the late 19th century, boxer was developed in Germany from Bullenbeisser, and Bulldogs from Great Britain. Bullenbeisser, also known as German Bulldog is already an extinct dog breed. Bullenbeisser was a hunting dog and used for catching deer, wild boar, even bears and other animals. Its role was to capture the prey and hold it until the hunters came to the scene.

Faster dogs were favored in later years. In Brabant, Belgium, a smaller Bullenbeisser was bred. Generally, Brabanter Bullenbeisser is accepted as the ancestor of Boxer.

By the year 1894, three Germans, Elard Konig, R. Hopner, and Friedrich Robert made the decision to maintain the breed and put in on exhibition at a dog show. Thus, Deutscher Boxer Club, the first Boxer Club was founded.

In the 20th century, Boxer was introduced in the United States. Boxer was registered by The American Kennel Club in 1904.

Boxers were co-opted for military work during the World War I. They were were messenger dogs, attack dogs, pack carriers, and good guard dogs.

Boxers became famous worldwide after World War II. They were brought home by soldiers, and were introduced to a larger crowd. They became a favorite as great guard dogs, companions, and show dogs.

It is believed that the name Boxer came from the dog’s manner to play by standing on its hind legs and boxing using its front paws.

Boxer Appearance


  • Male boxer: 22–25 in
  • Female boxer: 21–24 in
  • Male boxer: 65–75 lb
  • Female boxer: 55–70 lb
  • shiny coat, smooth, short, close-lying
Life span
  • 9 to 15 years.
Color and coat

Boxers are short-haired dog breeds, with smooth and shiny coats. The coats are normally fawn or brindle with white markings, called “flash”, sometimes extend onto the neck or face.

Fawn signifies various colors, the tones can be presented as light tan or yellow, reddish tan, mahogany, or stag/deer red, and dark honey-blonde. Fawn boxers are usually rich in color and sometimes called “red” in the UK and Europe.

Brindle denotes to a boxer with with black stripes on a fawn background.

In white boxers, the white markings cover 1/3 of their coat. About 20-25% of all boxer dog breeds are born white. They have extreme white markings overlying the base coat color. White boxers is prone to sunburn and skin cancer than the darker boxer. The gene that is responsible for white in boxers is also associated to congenital sensorineural deafness in dogs. 18% of white boxers are deaf in one or both ears.

Physical Traits

The most remarkable feature of the Boxer is its head. The breed standard states that the head must be in perfect proportion to the body. It must never be too light.

Boxers have broad, short skulls (brachycephalic canine), a blunt muzzle, and mandibular prognathism (underbite), this means that the lower jaw is longer than the upper. They also have powerful jaws and a forceful bite. Generally speaking they are powerful dogs.

The muzzle length of a boxer should be a ratio of 1:3. Folds are always from the root of the nose running down on the two sides of the muzzle. They also have a black mask with white markings appearing between the eyes.

Boxers have ears that move up and down, but they usually have their ears cropped, so they are pointed. In some regions, it is still practiced. Originally, boxer breeds were docked and cropped. However, veterinary associations, animal rights groups, and the general public protest to these practices. Both cropping of the ears and docking of the tail have been banned in many countries around the world. A lot of dog owners are choosing not to do this. Although, the AKC still allows cropped ears. Cropped ears are still common in dog shows in the United States and Canada as of 2012. However, the practice of aesthetic cropping is opposed by American Veterinary Medical Association. The AKC breed standard was revised and included a characteristic of the uncropped ear in March 2005.

This dog breed has naturally short tail (bobtail). A boxer’s tail is usually docked before the cartilage is fully formed, within 3 to 5 years old.

Boxer Temperament


Boxers tend to be very good with children and people of all kinds. The personality traits of boxers are energetic, clever, and playful. Boxers are very patient, spirited with children, loving and protective to family. They make a great family pets. They can become very attached to its family.

Boxers need sufficient exercise since they are active, strong and happy dogs. This can prevent boredom-associated behaviors such as digging, chewing, or licking.

This dog breed makes the better guard dog because, generally, boxers are cautious to strangers. But by nature, they are not an aggressive and violent breed. If they realized that the stranger is good-natured, they’ll warm up to them. Like every dog, boxers need early socialization.

Typically, boxers are patient with puppies and smaller dogs, but difficult with adult large dogs.

Boxer Health

Boxer Health Problems

Typically, boxers have more health problems and usually don’t live as long as the Pit Bull. This is because boxer is a brachycephalic canine. As mentioned above, white boxers are prone to suffering from deafness and have higher cancer rates than other dogs. They are also prone to heart and thyroid problems. Some of the health issues are listed below.

  • Cancer– White boxers are prone to certain types of cancer than darker boxers. This is due to the piebald gene, responsible for white markings.
  • Hip dysplasia– a health condition affecting the skeletons. Hip dysplasia can lead to osteoarthritis and pain.
  • Elbow dysplasia– also a skeletal condition in which the components of elbow joint are not aligned properly. It can lead to osteoarthritis and pain as well.
  • Boxer arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy or Boxer cardiomyopathy- a genetic disease of the muscle of the heart primarily affecting boxer dogs. Characterized by an irregular heartbeat. This can result to sudden cardiac death.
  • Aortic stenosis– a heart disease in which the left ventricle of the heart is affected.
  • Hypothyroidism– a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient thyroid hormone. This can be controlled by medication.
  • Degenerative myelopathy– This is a progressive disease of the spinal cord. This is typically fatal.


The diet should be high in quality calories, since boxers require adequate exercise. The major source of the calories must be lean animal protein, such as turkey, fish, lamb, and chicken. Dog owners should limit the amount of giving treats to boxers as they tend to cause obesity. Remember that their diet is already high in calories. An ideal healthy snack includes vegetables and raw fruits.

Boxers are also susceptible to dental problems. They are prone to bad breath. It is recommended to provide large dry dog food. It can can remove plaque. Another option to remove plaque is crude fiber in kibble. It has a flexible shape that extends chewing time.



This dog breed is considered a heterogenous grouping, a part of a Terrier group. Pit bull types can be American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Pit bull is a type of dog breed from terriers and bull dogs. This dog breed originated in the United States.

Pit bull’s reputation as pets are controversial internationally and in the United States, because of their history in dog fighting, high number of attacks were recorded in the media, and their tendency to latching on while biting. Pit bulls are known to be aggressive dogs. However, it doesn’t mean that all pit bulls are the same. If raised correctly and properly trained, pit bulls can also be great family dogs.

History Of Pit bull

Pit bulls descended from British bull and Terrier. In 1870s, they were imported into North America. In the early 19th century, pit bull was bred for blood sports of dog fighting and rat baiting. Traditionally, the Old English Bulldog, an aggressive dog, was bred for bear and bull baiting. However, faster dogs were more capable and suited to dogfighting than the heavier Bulldog. Thus, Pitbull was developed. A crossbreed of Bulldog and Terriers.

In 1890s, breeders of American Pit Bull tried to have their dogs registered by the AKC, but because of the reputation of dogfighting, the club rejected the request.

By the year 1898, breeders of American Pit Bull Terriers founded United Kennel Club. This club regulated dogfights. By 1930s, the AKC was facing a dilemma, there was a strong feeling of wanting to recognize the American dog breed with a 30-year history. By 1935, the AKC recognized Pit Bull Terriers as Staffordshire Terriers. This was the only solution to recognize Pit Bull Terriers. They registered it under a different name and forbid these dogs from being used in fights.

Pitbull appearance


  • Male pitbull: 18 to 21 inches
  • Male pitbull: 35 to 65 lb
Life span
  • 12 to 14 years

This dog is the smaller of the two breeds.

Physical traits

Pit bulls have an angular face with a long muzzle. The ears are located high on its broad, flat head. They have a short tail, long body, and the most notable feature is their wide, powerful jaw.

Pitbull Temperament


Just like the Boxer, Pit bull is also recognized for its playful personality trait and good-natured.

Despite of being fearless and protective, pitbulls are not known to be very good guard dogs. This is due to their love for people and friendliness. But, if their family is endangered, pit bull will have no doubts to protect its family.

Pit bulls are also very patient and good with children. Such dogs know how to play well with children and not to be to rough.

Pitbull Health

Pitbull Health Problems

Pitbulls are generally a healthy breed. There are also some health conditions to be watchful for. Some of these are listed below.

  • Skin allergies– Due to its short coat. The most common are the Grass allergies. Allergies can be treated with medications, ointments, and high quality kibble.
  • kneecap dislocation– this is a common condition in which the kneecap moves sideways.
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Cerebellar Abiotrophy – this condition can decrease the dog’s mobility and cognitive function occasionally, which can cause the damage a specific part of the brain.
  • Thyroid defects


Sports formula dog foods are given for active breeds, such as Pit bulls. Pitbulls have high energy levels. Protein is needed to keep their energy levels up throughout the day. Look for dog food contains at least 25% protein.

Grooming Boxer and Pitbull

Both Boxers and Pitbulls have the same grooming needs. They are both low maintenance, and easy to care for. To keep their short and shiny coats healthy-looking, you need to brush their coats at least once a week. Neither of these two breeds are heavy shedders. There should only be few dog hairs in your house if they shed.

Training Boxer and Pitbull

Boxer and Pitbull require training. Dog owner should show these two dog breeds that he is a firm pack leader, the one in charge. They also need early socialization.

With that said, you should go to a reputable breeder if you are planning to purchase a puppy to be sure that the pup has a healthy background. Thank you for reading this post.

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