German Shepherd vs Boxer: Which breed is for you?

Both German Shepherd and Boxer are loved for their loyalty, strength, and attractive yet sturdy physique! Both breeds are popular family pets and reliable working dogs! Considering German Shepherd and boxers both come from Germany, they share many similarities like height and lifespan.

Boxers stand for short hair, strong jaws, and also for ultimate faithfulness for their owner. Their cleanliness and intelligence make them good house dogs. German Shepherd, on the other hand, is also intelligent, active, and loves to exercise! Initially, the breed was set to protect the herd from predators, making them an excellent watchdog.

To compare the two breeds, we will have to consider all the thin lines in similarities and dissimilarities in all criteria. Let’s start with the appearance!

German Shepherd vs Boxer : Comparison

1. Appearance

boxer appearance
Boxer

Boxer is a classic short-haired breed with a muscular appearance. They can weigh up to 65 to 80 pounds and grow up to 24 inches tall. This breed is elegant, compact, and athletic with droopy eyes. They have a smooth, shiny coat tight to the body, colored Brindle and fawn. They have white on their feet and below the belly. These white markings, also called flash, extend to the face and neck.

german shepherd appearance
German Shepherd

A German shepherd has the appearance of stamina, alertness, and muscular strength. They come in multiple colors depending on the type like black, sable, red, black and silver, and grey. This breed can weigh up to 50-90 pounds and stand tall to 22 to 26 inches. They have pointed and erected wolf-like ears, a square head, and a long muzzle. German Shepherds have bushy tails and slightly angled legs. They are muscular, strong, and agile in appearance with a thick coat of hair.

2. Temperament

Boxers are active, intelligent, and friendly dogs who love to exercise and play. Moreover, they are highly focused and courageous when given a specific duty. They have a protective nature for their family and would do anything to save them from danger! You can depend on them as a watchdog due to their high sense of alertness.

boxers temperamenet

These are extremely friendly with kids and family, and their nature varies depending on the society and they’re hereditary. However, overall, it is a friendly companion and appreciates all the family time.

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German Shepherd is a proud and popular working dog breed. You would have probably seen them working as bomb detection dogs, war or k9 police dogs, as they perform really well in the field. Beneath this tough exterior lies a lovely heart devoted to the love and appreciation of the family members. Just like any other furbaby, If given a choice between spending time at home or going out for a hike, they would choose a hike!

german shepherd temperament

They are reserved and don’t familiarise themselves quickly, but they are incredibly loyal once they do. They are approachable and easy-going with their family or familiar people. However, they can turn into protective, strong, and excellent watchdogs if threatened.

3. Adaptability to environment

However, they should always have some company as they don’t prefer staying alone for long. If we talk about climate, they can only be comfortable in moderate weather as too cold or hot is unsuitable for them. However, if you compare, they suffer more in hot weather rather than cold.

German Shepherd is good to go in any space as long as they are exercised. As they are a bit taller and undergo a lot of shedding, they are best suitable in a house with a yard. They can adapt to any living situation or lifestyle. Surprisingly you can also keep them in an apartment if you make sure to let them exercise daily! They can stay good in both cold and hot climates. However, they prefer cold because of their rich hair coat.

4. Learning ability

boxer

Boxers need the training to be mentally and physically refreshed. They are quick learners, and you can reward them every time they learn something new to motivate them. You can start with basic commands like making them sit, and eventually, they will learn to obey you. However, never teach boxers to jump over strangers or visitors as they are powerful and can do anything if you teach them right.

German Shepherd is also easy to train and eager to learn. It would usually take 8 to 12 weeks to teach some basic obedience commands. The fact that they are intelligent makes it easy to train them without much hassle. However, one should have consistency, stamina, and an easy-going attitude to train a German Shepherd. Remember, forcing them into training is not the way to do it; you can only do it with discipline and love.

5. Health

With all the breeds at risk of some health issues, boxers are not off the list either. The primary health problems are heart problems like Aortic stenosis, intestinal issues, gastric dilation, and cancer. They can also suffer from neurological pain called degenerative myelopathy.

boxer

Another common issue among most boxers is skin problems and allergies. One cannot determine if a growing puppy is free from all the diseases. The best advice is to get the puppy from a reputed and healthy breeder.

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GSD, on the other hand, is at greater risk of catching orthopedic diseases like elbow or hip dysplasia. Other less common orthopedic problems include cruciate ligament rupture, osteochondritis, and Panosteitis. Skin issues like pyoderma and allergies are also common in this breed. They can also get digestive issues like colitis or chronic diarrhea.

6. Hair fall

Hair fall is not a big of an issue with boxers as they have short hair. Specific weather conditions or medical issues can make them shed more than usual. They can get allergic hair fall from rubbing/scratching over materials like wool, rubber, or nickel. Another reason for hair fall can be autoimmune disorders resulting from inhaling house dust or pollen. Other less common factors responsible for hair fall are hormonal problems or bacterial infection.

On the other hand, the German Shepherd is a continuous shedder. They have two layers of thick coats. It needs to be brushed daily to get rid of the dead fur and prevent further shedding. The two coats are of medium-length hair, where the outer coat is as dense as it can be! Along with continuous shedding throughout the year, they also lose their undercoat completely twice a year during fall and spring!

7. Feeding the puppy

A boxer puppy would need more food than an adult to fulfill the energy requirement. The correct interval and schedule should be followed every day in the same number. They need to be fed twice a day for at least six months. One must divide the meals into smaller portions since they can eat massive amounts in no time. You also need to check the weight of the puppy regularly and tally if it’s proper according to the food habits or not.

boxer puppy

The quality of food affects the overall lifespan health of the boxer puppy. Overfeeding can make them go overweight, inviting numerous obesity disorders.

For a German Shepherd puppy, you should only feed smaller quantities about three times a day. They also need protein-rich food containing 25 to 30% cal. And here also, puppies will eat more than adults.

german shepherd puppy

Adult German Shepherd needs protein-rich meals only. By nature, they are carnivorous. They really don’t go good with canned or artificial food hence; cooked meat would work like a charm for them. Too much protein can build up excess body fat, hence only give food having 5-8% fat content.

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8. Exercise Requirements

Boxers are a high-energy breed and need daily exercise! One should be able to devote time and energy to play with their pet! These are outdoor-loving dogs, however, they can play well in a fenced yard. They must walk twice a day for half-hour. You can play flyball with boxers to give them good exercise and also make them stress-free.

german shepherd playing

Physical exercises are essentially necessary for German Shepherds as they are power-packed and highly energetic. You can keep them entertained by making them run and play daily, so they don’t feel bored. You can take them out to explore the surroundings or climb in hilly areas. Other activities include finding missing objects, swimming, or playing hide and seek. These are just extra activities; what’s mandatory for them is a regular morning walk.

9. Strength and Bite force

Boxers have a considerable amount of bite strength of 230 psi, making them super strong with jaws! Their short muzzles let them clap teeth fiercely around the victim with the help of their strong jaws. Also, their wide nostrils help them breathe well while clamping onto a target.

German shepherds have better bite strength than boxers; 238 psi. This breed also comes with a powerful jaw and strong neck muscles, making them stronger than most breeds. With fast reflexes and superior fighting instincts, a GSD bite can also potentially harm human bones.

The Verdict

Both boxers and German Shepherd are good in their ways. They are both popular in the US and have great versatility and strength. However, just a few factors make them different. For instance, German Shepherds make a better watchdog, are a little taller, much stronger, and best protect the family.

And boxers would go great in apartment houses, even if they are not given much space to play daily. They are also quite sturdy with well muscular body, but not the best choice for a watchdog, especially in a vulnerable situation. German Shepherds tend to sit silently and observe however boxers are quite playful. As said, they both are great breeds. It’s just a matter of preference and adaptability.

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