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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I keep hearing that Boxers are somewhat limited in their abilities in Schutzhund (and protection work generally).

Here are a few of the assertions I've heard in that regard:

1. The Boxer mouth. The Boxer muzzle, only one third of overall head length (or even one quarter in some European-bred Boxers), is not quite as good at grabbing that sleeve as a GSD or Mal, with their long snouts. Also, Boxers have pendulous flews that get in the way of the bite, unlike Rotts.

2. Focus. The Boxer is too much of a goofball compared to other protection breeds.

3. Exhaustion. With its shorter muzzle, the Boxer gets tired faster.

4. The short coat. Lacks the hardness and weatherproofing of the coat of GSDs, Mals, Rotts, etc.

I've also read, however, that in Germany more Boxers are doing Schutzhund than all other breeds put together (Rotts, Dobes, Mals) other than the GSD.

But I've also heard that American-bred Boxers are not really Schutzhund-oriented. That is, they can do Schutzhund, but they do not excel at it the way European-bred Boxers tend to.
 

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I have a full Euro who's ancestors practice Schutzhund. When I called around to my local clubs I was completely snubbed as soon as I said that I have a boxer. :evil:
I have heard the same things about the limitations, but in owning a Euro I disagree 100%. His breeder has been working on her lines to improve the muzzle, and his is amazing. He has the strongest bite and will NOT let go. His focus is can not be swayed, whether he is doing bite work or playing with a ball.
 

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I was reading an article about that training and the person writing it did not have a german shepherd, I can't remember what she had, but it was her experience that the groups she got in touch with were quite shepherd orientated and looked down their noses at any other breed. I have to disagree with some of the points that KingAlano listed as given to him. My girl is just a goofy dog, not trained to do much of anything but if she has her frisbee and you try to just grab it, she will allow herself to be picked up off the ground rather than give it up - so much for bite. Focus - if she is focused on a squirrel or bird, she will chase it watching it all the time to the point of running into something else. I think that is pretty focused. As for the tiring out part - these people have never had a boxer, when she was young you could hardly tire her out - she would drive us crazy. We did have two german shepherds and they didn't have any more energy than she does. I will grant that she does not like cold or wet, but there are plenty of people on BF whose dogs like the cold also. I think some of the people running these clubs are pretty full of themselves and not as knowledgeable as they could be.
 

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Having Rottweilers we hear the same thing regarding them vs the GSD's and Malinios

All dogs intended for SchH must have enough Drive, they must be hard, and they must be very smart.

Not all dogs of any breed can be said to be better than another, all the working dogs used in SchH have the ability.

People in America tend to breed dogs away from harder temperaments and drives, as people own dogs in America for other reasons than to be a SchH dog...
 

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The breed was created to be a multi purpose guard dog and family protector.

Germans tend to work their dogs more and breed much more for drive than here. Can an american lined with the proper training excell in Sch. Sure why not, if bred with the correct wide bite and temperment. However more they are bred elegant and less drivey. However many parts of Sch are based on plain obedience. - Tracking, Obedience, then protection.

http://www.workingboxers.com/workingboxers/home.asp

http://www.usabox.org/
 

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Ive got a girl we imported from New Zealand and we are currently working on the obedience portion of Schutzhund training and will be moving into a schutzhund group from private training next week. So far so good, she has good focus and seems to enjoy the obedience work, we shall see how it goes moving into protection and tracking.
Euroboxer: do you notice any limitations in tracking due to the short muzzle? I have read that the ability to detect scent is correlated with muzzle length, that is, short muzzle= limited ability to smell. I know my girl tries to tracks pigs and game when we are on hiking trails,she can obviously pick up the smells but I have no idea how accurate she is. I guess we will find out....
 

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From my understanding, it's all about breeding the proper temperament and drive. You can't just get a boxer and hope it will excel at schutzhund, because its very unlikely. You have to get a dog from the proper lines that were bred for these purposes. Most dogs off the street just don't meet the proper standards. Of course the physical traits are also a part of it as well (bite, size, etc) and also need to be in mind for breeding. But there does seem to be a prejudice against boxers (and bully breeds in general) because I visited some local schutzhund clubs and they are very skeptical of any breeds that aren't GSD's or Belgian Malinois. Really can't blame them though, how many people are breeding boxers for actual real work in this country? Another reason you don't see them involved in police and military work much in this country. I think boxers in general are quite skiddish and nervous and that is not suitable for work that requires absolute confidence and fearlessness. I've learned if you really want to get really involved in schutzhund, go for one of the top breeds (GSD, malinois, etC) because otherwise you are only lowering your chances. But the properly bred boxer can surely be up to the task but you better do your research through and through and even then they may not be up to snuff. You could train a dog for years and spend thousands before you realize the dog just isn't cut out for this work and then start all over with a new dog. People who are really into this work are switching dogs constantly.
 

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SuzyQsmom said:
I was reading an article about that training and the person writing it did not have a german shepherd, I can't remember what she had, but it was her experience that the groups she got in touch with were quite shepherd orientated and looked down their noses at any other breed. I have to disagree with some of the points that KingAlano listed as given to him. My girl is just a goofy dog, not trained to do much of anything but if she has her frisbee and you try to just grab it, she will allow herself to be picked up off the ground rather than give it up - so much for bite. Focus - if she is focused on a squirrel or bird, she will chase it watching it all the time to the point of running into something else. I think that is pretty focused. As for the tiring out part - these people have never had a boxer, when she was young you could hardly tire her out - she would drive us crazy. We did have two german shepherds and they didn't have any more energy than she does. I will grant that she does not like cold or wet, but there are plenty of people on BF whose dogs like the cold also. I think some of the people running these clubs are pretty full of themselves and not as knowledgeable as they could be.
I agree! My boy will not let go of his toy. You can lift him off the ground, but he will not let go, and as for the climate...I live in Michigan, and my Euro is handling the extreme temps better than my two Americans. He has fur that is twice as thick as my American pups??
Here he is at only 4 months. Does not care if other dogs are around, as long as you will play tug or fetch with him.
[attachment=0:wl067l5i]7-19-09 1.JPG[/attachment:wl067l5i]
 

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Hey Sully, heres a fun aside.. The schutzhund group Im working with is 90% GSD and one AmBully (and soon to be one boxer)...guess who won the Hawaii State trials.......Thats right, the AmBully.

I agree about the drive. The reason I started down this road is b/c Abbey has a really high prey drive. SO far so good but Im honestly really curious about how she will handle the protection work. Ill keep you posted.
 

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EdithandAbbey said:
Hey Sully, heres a fun aside.. The schutzhund group Im working with is 90% GSD and one AmBully (and soon to be one boxer)...guess who won the Hawaii State trials.......Thats right, the AmBully.

I agree about the drive. The reason I started down this road is b/c Abbey has a really high prey drive. SO far so good but Im honestly really curious about how she will handle the protection work. Ill keep you posted.
Thats awesome! What a coincidence too, because the club nearest me is all GSD's and BM's except 1 american bulldog. And that dog is amazing. I think bully breeds have to be that much more amazing to get invited unfortunately, so you're probably going to see only the best of the best stick around.

And you almost never see APBT's, although I know one guy who does work his (that dog is a genetic freak). So much for them being so vicious! They generally make poor protection dogs. Again because the breeding is just so poor these days. Physically they are capable of almost anything.
 

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The club near me seems to prefer GSDs but they do say 'all breeds welcome.' I can't believe you were snubbed, Eurobox!
 

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Montys_Mom said:
The club near me seems to prefer GSDs but they do say 'all breeds welcome.' I can't believe you were snubbed, Eurobox!
As soon as I said I had a boxer it was complete silence. The woman said boxers are not vicious dogs. Sounds like she really knew what she was talking about!! :ROTFLMAO: Schutzhund is not training a dog to be vicious... :lol:
Michigan seems to be limited when it comes to canine sports...or I'm not looking in the right place?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
SuzyQsmom said:
My girl is just a goofy dog, not trained to do much of anything but if she has her frisbee and you try to just grab it, she will allow herself to be picked up off the ground rather than give it up - so much for bite.
With its origins as a catch dog, do Boxers, like so many Bully breeds, tend to not let go? This was one criticism of the AmBully as a SchH dog, that it's specialty is not letting go, when what is wanted is a cool-headed dog that will bite, let go, and wait for the next command. In fact, Belgian Mals criticized as repeatedly biting with a little too much enthusiasm and not enough focus on the handler's commands. The GSD is supposedly ideal in this respect.
 

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KingAlano said:
1. The Boxer mouth. The Boxer muzzle, only one third of overall head length (or even one quarter in some European-bred Boxers), is not quite as good at grabbing that sleeve as a GSD or Mal, with their long snouts. Also, Boxers have pendulous flews that get in the way of the bite, unlike Rotts.
This is absolutely untrue--the reverse is true.

Think about it.

Grab an orange with a pair of needle nosed pliers (the GSD bite) and pull. . . What happens? That's right, the pliers cut right into it.

Now grab the same orange with a pair of regular pliers (the much shorter, wider boxer bite) and pull. . . Is the orange less damaged? Of course it is.

In police work, and in today's litigious society, it is the officer's primary intention to apprehend the perpetrator as quickly and safely as possible with as little damage to all parties involved so there is no opportunity to sue for use of excessive force. In this case, I'd argue that the boxer mouth is much more suited to the job than the GSD's is.

As for flews, boxers *should not* have excessive flew, and, yes, many European and UK breeders are breeding for way too much flew right now. That said, many European and UK breeders also have a correct amount of flew. Moderation is key. In speaking from personal experience, I've never had one of my American boxers flews get in the way when they bite and hold.

An interesting aside. . . I currently train at a club that trains the K9 units for the area. When I first moved to the area, I called the instructor and spoke with him over the phone. I told him that I had boxers. He asked if I had "good" boxers. I asked him what that meant, after which he started going on and on about the boxers he used to have from Germany.

Then I started class. . .

Now he tells me what a great bitch I have, what a great temperament she has, and has now been encouraging me to go for her BH. (Unfortunately, I currently have a 65 hour per week job and a 2 year old, so unfortunately, life has had other plans.) But the bottom line is that he changed his tune.

The problem is that this is the "grass is greener" syndrome. Crappy temperaments exist on all sides. I've seen American boxers with crappy temperaments, UK boxers with crappy temperaments and European boxers with crappy temperaments. I've see GSD's with crappy temperaments--and GSD's from *working lines* with crappy temperaments.

The quality of the dog is only as good as the quality of the breeder. If you find a breeder that concentrates on proper temperament, you'll get a proper temperament.

Finally, we need to keep in mind that proper temperament for a boxer does NOT stop at protection work--the PROPER boxer is an ALL AROUND DOG.
 
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