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The Skull of the Boxer

:: Rise ::   :: Head Planes ::   :: The Stop ::   :: Eyebrow Ridges ::    :: Arching of Skull ::    :: Depth of Head ::



There has been much discussion recently regarding the term "Rise of Skull". This term developed over the years and has been incorrectly interpreted as part of the standard.

Most standards say .... "The top of the skull is slightly arched, not rounded, flat, nor noticeably broad,.... " or very similar words.   No mention is made of "Rise of Skull"

An explanation of "Rise of Skull" is the difference between the planes of the head in the relationship of Muzzle compared to the Skull.  

(Many standards of other breeds sometimes refer to the RISE as the difference between these planes, and some call for almost level planes, but in most cases a "stop" is still visible in profile due to the arches over the eyes.) The Boxer head has a definite stop!



Typical Heads
The 3 heads below are all shown as cropped for ease of comparison
English Style Head
American Style Head
European Style Head


Amount of "Rise"
English Style Head
American Style Head
European Style Head

The term "Rise of Skull" and has often been thought to be the way the skull rises from the eyebrows to the the top of the skull.   But as you can see in these illustrations that the "rise of skull" is almost identical in all cases. Therefore if the stop is correct ....

  • A flatter top skull doesn't make a noticeable difference in the rise of skull from stop to occiput.
  • the amount of curvature above the eyebrows doesn't make a noticeable difference in the rise of skull from stop to occiput.
  • a shorter deeper skull doesn't make a noticeable difference in rise of skull from stop to occiput
Differences in head Planes

Dobermann Head

The Dobermann has Parallel Planes
Boxer Head

The Boxer does NOT have Parallel Planes

If you would compare this with "RISE of Skull" between the two breeds.  

Dobermann Head

The Dobermann has very little rise
between muzzle and top of skull
Boxer Head

The Boxer has much more rise
between muzzle and top of skull


The Stop

Correct Stop

Lacking Stop

The stop is the break or step up between the planes of the head. In many breeds including the Boxer it is accentuated because of the arches over the eyes. (see below)

It is also includes the indentation separating the eyes. If the eyes are correct (frontal placed ... ie looking straight forward) the indentation between the eyes should be the almost the depth of an averaged sized thumb placed between the eyes!   ie, place your hand over the skull and put your thumb facing down into the groove between the eyes. The depth should be approximately the depth and width of your thumb.

  • If the recess between the eyes isn't that deep it is what is termed "Too Shallow"
  • if much broader than your thumb, the eyes are too far apart
  • if it is hard to get your thumb nestled cleanly into the recess it may be what is termed "Pinched"



Eyebrow Ridges

Profile


Looking from above


Showing eyebrow definition

The Boxer's eyes are frontally placed and sunk into what is termed the superciliary arch / orbital bone (eye socket) forming the stop, and in the Boxer and many Mastiff type breeds they should be fairly strongly pronounced.

The Boxer's stop/rise seen in profile should look to rise at an almost 90 degree angle from the muzzle to the skull.   This is accentuated by the Boxer having definite eyebrow definition which is more pronounced above the inside corner of the eye, tapering off towards the outside of the cheek bones.  Boxers with poor definition of these eyebrow ridges have what is termed a "plain head"

When looking down on the head from above, the eyes are completely hidden by these distinct brows.

The height of the stop is governed by correctly shaped and positioned eyes! Boxers that have incorrectly shaped eyes or eyes that are not placed looking directly forward cannot have the correct stop.



Arching of Skull

Slightly arched

Too Flat

Too Domed

All standards state the top of the skull should be"slightly arched".   This refers to the skull in profile, but seen squarely from the front the top of the skull also has a very slight arch!



Measurement - Depth of Head and Muzzle

Depth of Head

This is the measurement
from the top of the skull to the
bottom of the lower jaw!

Depth of Muzzle

This is the measurement
from the top of the muzzle to the
bottom of the lower jaw!
This is a measurement of BONING only, not including depth of flews/jowls.


See also Measuring the Boxer Head > >


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| Home | Judging Type | History & Purpose | Temperament | Colour | The Side View | From the Front | The Head |
| More Heads | The Body | From the Rear | Movement | Standards | Anatomy | Famous Sires | Photo Gallery | Links |
| Differences Around the World | Body Style Comparisions | Beautiful Heads | Eye Shape | The Skull Shape | Optical Illusions |
| How Structure affects Movement | Choosing a Puppy | Boxer Books | Contact Me |


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