The ideal Boxer is a medium-sized, square-built dog of good substance with short back, strong limbs, and short tight-fitting coat. His well developed muscles are clean, hard, and appear smooth under taut skin.

 His movement denotes energy. The gait is firm yet elastic, the stride free and ground covering, the carriage proud. Developed to serve as guard, working and companion dog, he combines strength and agility with elegance and style. His expression is alert and his temperament steadfast and tractable.
The chiseled head imparts to the boxer a unique individual stamp.  It must be correct proportion to the body.  The broad, blunt muzzle, a distinctive feature of the boxer should be of proper form and balance with the skull.

For a more detailed description of the Boxer Standard see the american Kennel Club web-site mailto:www.americanboxerclub.org
 

Acepromazine is a drug commonly used by veterinary surgeons in anesthetic protocols that should not be used in the Boxer. In the Boxer, it tends to cause a problem called first degree heart block, a potentially serious arrhythmia of the heart. It can also cause profound hypertension (severe lowering of the blood pressure) in many Boxers that receive the drug.

The Veterinary Information Network, a computer network for practicing veterinarians, placed an announcement in the cardiology section entitled "Acepromazine and Boxers".  This described several adverse reactions to the drug in a very short time span at a veterinary teaching hospital.  All the adverse reactions were in Boxers.  The reactions included collapse, respiratory arrest and profound bradycardia (slow heart rate).  The announcement suggested that Acepromazine should not be used in boxers because of a breed related sensitivity to the drug.

Other than its use as a preanesthetic agent, this drug is also the most commonly prescribed tranquilizer in veterinary medicine for use by the dog owner.  It is generally prescribed for oral use by dog owners who want to calm their dogs for auto or air travel or for fearful dogs in frightening situations such as thunderstorms. I would strongly recommend that Boxer owners avoid the use of this drug especially when the dog will be unattended or without access to emergency medical care.

Informational source: Wendy Wallner, DVM, July, 1997