As a breed, boxers did not show up until the late 1800’s, originally bred to be hunting dogs for use in hunting wild boars, deer and bears, boxers are a young breed of dog. Being such a young breed, boxers are known for exceptional breeding and the beautiful various shades that occur in their coats. There is an exact science that goes into breeding various bloodlines of boxers in order to achieve the unique coloring and markings that are most familiar to lovers of the boxer breed.
Though boxers might show a variety of different markings, there are actually only two colors that are recognized coat colors of the breed. The first color is known as fawn, which can range in shades from light tan to a darker red , almost mahogany coloring. The second coat coloring is known as brindle, brindle coats feature a striped pattern with black stripes that cover over the base of the fawn color. The striping on a brindle coated boxer may be so thick that the fawn coloring is nearly invisible. Because of this, the color is often called a “reverse” or “black” brindle; even though the dog may almost appear entirely black, it is still considered a brindle, however, a pure boxer lacks the gene necessary for a truly all-black coat.
Boxer breeders use great care when selecting which boxers to breed together. Because the fawn and brindle colorings of their coats are passed on through genetics and careful tracing of bloodlines, it is possible to predict what the coat of the puppies is going to look like. Brindle coats occur as a result of a dominant gene, if this is present at all then the dog will have a brindle pattern. This does not mean that every boxer with a brindle coat will produce only brindle puppies, however, if the dog has a dominant brindle gene and a recessive fawn gene, and mates with another dog that has the same dominant and recessive genes, the puppies have a 25% chance of being fawn and a 75% chance of being brindle. A fawn coated dog mated with another fawn colored boxer will produce only fawn colored pups, and a dog with two brindle genes (double brindle) will make brindle puppies regardless of whether it is mated with a brindle or fawn.
There are some instances where other colors of coats appear, most notably in the case of a white boxer who features neither a fawn or brindle coat coloring. White boxers occur when the genes are passed on from each parent which results in the puppies lacking the pigment needed for a fawn or brindle colored coat. The unfortunate thing about white boxers is that they have a much higher chance of being deaf or suffering from other health related genetic problems. It is because of this reason, most boxer organizations and a large number of breeders will not breed white boxers and only recommend white boxers as a pet. Most responsible breeders do whatever they can to make sure all white Boxers are not bred.