AKC Standards for the Boxer

The Standard for any breed is a convention created to protect the integrity of characteristics that make a breed be recognizable as a breed

For Boxers, the American Boxer Club is the responsible organization that review these guidelines.

AKC Standards for the Boxer

Size: medium-sized, Adult males 23 to 25 inches; females 21½ to 23½ inches at the withers.
Proportion: body in profile is square in that a horizontal line from the front of the forechest to the rear projection of the upper thigh should equal the length of a vertical line dropped from the top of the withers to the ground.
Substance: sturdy, with balanced musculature. Males larger boned than females.
Head: the blunt muzzle is 1/3 the length of the head from the occiput to the tip of the nose, and 2/3rds of the width of the skull. Wrinkles should not be deep, typically appear upon the forehead when ears are erect, and are always present from the lower edge of the stop running downward on both sides of the muzzle.
Expression: intelligent and alert.
Eyes: dark brown, frontally placed, not too small, not too protruding or too deepset. Pigmented rims on the third eyes.
Ears: customarily cropped, cut rather long and tapering, and raised when alert. If uncropped, the ears should be of moderate size, thin, lying flat and close to the cheeks in repose.
Skull: the top is slightly arched, not rounded, flat nor broad with the occiput not overly pronounced. The forehead has a slight indentation between the eyes and has a stop with the topline of the muzzle. Cheeks are flat and not bulge in a graceful curve.
Muzzle and Nose: the muzzle, proportionately developed in length, width, and depth, has a shape influenced first through the formation of both jawbones, second through the placement of the teeth, and third through the texture of the lips. The top of the muzzle should not slant down (downfaced), nor should it be concave (dishfaced); however, the tip of the nose should lie slightly higher than the root of the muzzle. The nose should be broad and black.
Bite and Jaw Structure: the bite is undershot, the lower jaw protruding beyond the upper and curving slightly upward. Neither the teeth nor the tongue should ever show when the mouth is closed.
Neck: it should arched and have an elegant nape with no hanging skin, muscular and round.
Back and Topline: the back is short, straight, muscular, firm, and smooth. The topline is slightly sloping when the Boxer is at attention, leveling out when in motion.
Body: muscular, loins are short and muscular, the lower stomach line is tucked up with a graceful curve to the rear, the tail should be set high and docked otherwise is penalized.
Forequarters: the shoulders are long and sloping, and not with an excess of muscle, the upper arm is long, the elbows should stand off from the chest, the forelegs are long, straight and firmly muscled and viewed from the front are parallel to each other. The dewclaws may be removed, feet should be straight  with well-arched toes.
Hindquarters: are strongly muscled, with angulation in balance with that of the forequarters. Strong thighs and the legs are well-angulated at the stuffle, viewed from behind the the hind legs should be straight, from the side, the leg below the hock should be almost perpendicular to the ground, the boxer has no rear dewclaws.
Coat: Short, shiny and tight to the body.
Color: Fawn  goes from light tan to mahogany. Brindle ranges from sparse but clearly defined black stripes on a fawn background to a heavy concentration of black striping that the essential fawn background color barely, although clearly shows through (reverse brindling). White markings if present it should not excessed 30% of the entire coat and not desirable on the flanks on or the back of the torso proper. On the face, white may replace part of the otherwise essential black mask, and may extend in an upward path between the eyes, but it must not be excessive, so as to detract from true Boxer expression. The absence of white markings, the so-called “plain” fawn or brindle, is perfectly acceptable, and should not be penalized in any consideration of color. Disqualifications Boxers that are any color other than fawn or brindle. Boxers with a total of white markings exceeding one-third of the entire coat.
Character and Temperament: Boxer is a hearing guard dog, These are of paramount importance in the Boxer. Instinctively a hearing guard dog, his bearing is alert, dignified, and self-assured. In the show ring his behavior should exhibit constrained animation. With family and friends, his temperament is fundamentally playful, yet patient and stoical with children. Deliberate and wary with strangers, he will exhibit curiosity, but, most importantly, fearless courage if threatened. However, he responds promptly to friendly overtures honestly rendered. His intelligence, loyal affection, and tractability to discipline make him a highly desirable companion. Any evidence of shyness, or lack of dignity or alertness, should be severely penalized.
Disqualifications
Boxers that are any color other than fawn or brindle. Boxers with a total of white markings exceeding one-third of the entire coat.

Source: www.akg.org – American Kennel Club
photo credit: 20.07.2012 – “Squirrel?!” via photopin (license)