Sport: The Prize Brute

The boxer, a good-natured brute of a dog, was bred in central Europe in the 15th Century to whip its weight in wild boars. In the U.S., until recently, boxers were as rare as giraffes. Even 16 years ago, says one breeder, "you could lead all the boxers in the country into Times Square, say 'scat,' and they'd have been out of sight in the flick of your finger." Now, still good-natured but also smartly fashionable, some 75,000 boxers (costing up to $5,000 per pup) are on leash in the 48 states.

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