Boxer dogs can be found in a variety of colors. Although the breed standard only allows for the colors fawn and brindle, they can also be found in white and black. Boxers may also have a combination of colors, such as brindle or fawn with white markings, or mostly white with a few fawn patches. Below is some more interesting information on Boxer dog colors.
All Boxer dogs have a basecoat of fawn. Fawn is a term used to describe a dog coat that is yellow-brown in color. It is similar to the color of a golden retriever, but in order to be considered fawn a dog must also have a black snout, or “mask.”
Brindle is not actually a coat color, even though it is commonly referred to as such, but a pattern. Boxers that are brindled have a pattern of thin black stripes on top of the base coat of fawn. Some are more heavily brindled than others, which can make the base coat appear to be black with fawn stripes, but fawn is always genetically the base color.
The only Boxer dog colors that the breed standard accepts are fawn and brindle, with or without white markings. When these white markings cover a third or more of the dog’s body, however, the Boxer is referred to as a “white Boxer.” Dishonest breeders sometimes try to pass off white Boxers as being rare, but they actually account for up to one forth of the Boxer population.
White Boxers are automatically disqualified by breed standards, even if they have been bred from registered Boxer parents. This is mainly because white Boxers have an increased risk of health problems. The extreme piebald gene that accounts for their white coloring seems to be in some way connected to the gene that causes deafness, and so about 18% of white Boxers are deaf in one or both ears. They are also more at risk for skin cancer, just as fair skinned humans are.
The American Boxer Club Code of Ethics only allows for limited registration of white Boxers and prohibits them from breeding. The extreme piebald gene is recessive, however, and can be carried by a parent that is of one of the accepted Boxer dog colors. In other words, dogs that meet breed standards can still have white puppies in their litter.
White Boxer dogs still make excellent pets, but you should take their health risks into consideration and also be aware that if they are partially or completely deaf, they may be harder to train. As previously stated, white is not a rare Boxer dog color, and so they should never cost more than a tan or brindle puppy. Honest breeders will actually charge less for white puppies since they cannot be fully registered.
There has been a recent surge of advertisements for rare black Boxer dogs. Some of these dogs are not actually black, but reverse brindle, but recently Boxer dogs with pure black coats have begun to emerge.
In order for a dog to meet breed standards, they must have some at least some fawn coloring showing among the black in their coat. This is because Boxers do not carry a gene for black coloring, and so a solid black Boxer must be the result of breeding with another dog.
Breeders of black Boxers often imply that their dogs are purebred, but this is simply impossible. Only a gene mutation could cause a purebred Boxer to be black, and the chances of that happening in even one dog are very slim, let alone several different dogs in different breeding populations.
Do not be fooled into paying exorbitant prices for a solid black Boxer dog, because it is almost assuredly not purebred. Crossbreeds can sometimes make good dogs, but it is better to get a dog that you know meets breed standards and will be a good, strong, healthy, and loving companion for you and your family.
The only official Boxer dog colors are fawn and brindle with white markings, so be wary of any breeder that is trying to sell you anything else. Boxers that are mostly white are the same as fawn and brindle dogs in temperament and ability even though they may have increased health problems, but solid black Boxers are a crossbreed and should be avoided.