The Boxer is the ‘Peter Pan’, ‘clown’ and ‘scholar’ of the dog world all wrapped up in one enthusiastic bundle! He may look imposing from afar, but up close and personal he is a playful and loving family companion.
Each Boxer is a unique individual, but the following may help you decide if this is the right breed for you:
A fun, family companion:
Boxers are great family dogs and despite their exuberance, are generally instinctively good with kids. They are happiest involved in everything the family does. They will vocalise with a typical “woo-woo” bark to attract attention, and they curl from side-to-side while dancing in greeting or excitement, a move known as “kidney-beaning”. They love to entertain and be entertained!
A total cuddle bug:
They will try to wriggle into the smallest space to get close to the ones they love. Because they feel such deep attachment to their people they can develop separation anxiety. Proper levels of physical and mental activity can prevent this becoming a problem.
Socialisation and training from puppyhood is a must. While most Boxers get along with other family pets if raised with them, they can be aggressive towards other dogs, especially those of the same sex. Training and socialisation will enable them to accept doggy and human visitors as friends.
Boxers are energetic dogs needing plenty of physical and mental stimulation. Ideally they should have a large garden, but can live in smaller homes as long as they are exercised daily. They behave like puppies as long as they are able to do so – a Boxer never grows up!
If you just want a ‘guard dog’ to live outside, DO NOT GET A BOXER.
They will be bored, miserable and destructive. Although they are alert and reliable when guarding their property and family, they are primarily INDOOR dogs, happiest in the middle of their family.
Apart from the normal care; annual vaccinations, regular de-worming and application of tick and fleapreventatives, Boxers should be protected from extremes of temperature. Their short muzzles can give breathing problems if they get too hot, and their short coats do not offer sufficient insulation when it is very cold. The breed suffers from several inherited health conditions, notably heart and hip problems. By avoiding ‘backyard breeders’ and getting your puppy from a registered breeder with health-tested breeding stock, you can reduce this risk to a minimum.
Even so, young Boxers do tend to leap before they look, so it is a good idea to take out a pet medical insurance for your Boxer – it could save you a fortune!
Although they can be stubborn and headstrong, Boxers are extremely intelligent and have been used as army, police and guide dogs. With firm, consistent, POSITIVE training, they can excel in advanced obedience. Positive reinforcements and treats are best for this breed – harsh tones and discipline should be avoided.
Their short shiny coats just need the occasional brush and wipe down, normally no need for frequent bathing – Boxers are naturally clean and a healthy dog has a pleasant ‘biscuity’ smell. Sure, Boxers can be a little on the “windy” side, and will drool and “blow bubbles” if there is food around, but they are not normally excessively slobbery dogs.
And there’s nothing like the sound of a Boxer’s gentle snoring...