Are you a family-friendly person who’s looking to nurture a high-energetic pooch? If you are, then a Boxer dog may be the perfect companion for you. With its powerful jaws and unyielding postures, a Boxer dog is a definite looker. Don’t be hoodwinked by its tough exterior. A Boxer dog will charm you with its love for cuddles and sense of humor.
If you want to know more about these good-looking wonders, you’re in luck! In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you want to know about the Boxer dog breed.
Introducing The Boxer Breed
The Boxer is one of the more popular dog breeds nowadays. There’s just something about their loyalty, jolly nature, and active spirit that make them attract people. So, what’s their background anyway? And how are Boxer dogs as family companions? Read more to find out!
The Breed’s History
The Boxer was originally bred and developed in Germany. The breed was a mix of the Old English Bulldog and the Bullenbeisser — with the latter being extinct.
Back in World War I, the Boxer was utilized by the military to act as messenger dogs. They also helped carry packs and acted as attack and guard dogs. However, the breed didn’t become popular with the public until after World War II when the soldiers returned with them.
The first Boxer champion, Sieger Dampf vom Dom, was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1915 — 11 years after they registered the first Boxer in 1904.
There’s no definite answer as to how the breed name “Boxer” came to be. However, there’s one theory that the name came from the dogs’ tendency to stand on its hind legs. But one author who wrote a book about Boxers said that the theory is highly unlikely.
We guess we’ll never really find out, but it is adorable to think about Boxers seemingly trying to punch or box when playing.
A Boxer has a noticeably muscular body and a strong, square jaw. Their coat is short, and the color varies — the fawn Boxer, white Boxer, or the brindle. However, the breed lacks the needed gene for a pure black coat. That’s why it’s impossible for a Boxer to have a solid black coat color.
Some have white markings, while others have a black mask. The latter pertains to a patch of color usually found around the Boxer’s eye and mouth areas.
A Boxer also has a wide and short skull, coupled with an underbite. And their muzzles are blocky and square because they’re brachycephalic. In addition, they have long jowls.
The typical male Boxer can grow up to 23-25 inches up to their shoulders. Their female counterpart falls just a couple inches shy of that height. The usual weight of a male Boxer is ranges from 65-80 pounds, which is around 15 pounds less than that of a female Boxer.
As for life expectancy, a Boxer is expected to live around a decade. Sometimes, their lifespan may stretch a couple of years over than a decade.
A Boxer is, without a doubt, a high-energy dog. They love to play, but they also need attention. Boxer dogs are incredibly social and affectionate, so you need to shower them with love. They’re also an athletic breed, which means they require daily walks and physical stimulation. Also, they excel in many dog sports.
Despite their strong and powerful appearance, they’re known to be friendly, playful, and even patient with their families. They also have a positive disposition toward children. So if you have kids around the house, expect the Boxer to be fast besties with them. They’re protective companions too! And, of course, they’re incredibly loyal.
On the other hand, a Boxer can be wary of strangers, especially when they sense danger aimed toward their loved ones. They respond with fearlessness and courage when threatened, which makes them great guardians. However, some dogs can be too friendly with strangers if they were not trained to be guard dogs.
Essentially, a Boxer isn’t usually as aggressive toward other animals or dogs breeds. Despite them being territorial, not all Boxer dogs are averse to socializing with others. But keep in mind that they can be a bit wary of larger dogs, especially of the same sex. So it’s best to be careful and prepare yourself when you spot one nearby.
American Kennel Club Breed Designation
The American Kennel Club designates the Boxer under working dogs. With its vigilant nature, the breed can serve as guard dogs, attack dogs, and even police dogs. Because of its build and natural instincts, a Boxer requires the right training and physical activity. They also need positive human and animal interactions to help them grow well.
Aside from their physical prowess, a Boxer is also known to be in tune with the emotions of others. They show compassion and patience especially to those who need it, making them good therapy dogs.
Taking Care Of Boxer Dogs
Much like other dog breeds, a Boxer is prone to its own set of health problems. That means you should be ready to take care of them at all costs. They also require a host of physical and mental activities to help them grow well. A daily walk in the park and playing game with them can already make a big difference.
Where To Get A Boxer Puppy?
To start, we strongly suggest you get a Boxer from responsible breeders. Try to avoid puppy mills as they mass-produce dogs in abusive conditions. Boxer puppies from mills also often turn out unhealthy due to the substandard breeding and inbreeding environment. Many female Boxers handled by cruel breeders are usually weak and riddled with diseases because they consistently whelped puppies. No living creature, much less sweet dogs, deserves that kind of life.
Instead, we recommend going to a reputable breeder. That way, you can be sure that they treat their dogs well, and they don’t force female Boxers to get pregnant round the clock. Reputable breeders are also knowledgeable about Boxer diseases and congenital health conditions. Surely, they will give you healthy Boxer puppies for you to adopt and care for.
You can call a national breed club, like the American Kennel Club or American Boxer Club. These are helpful dog clubs that can provide you with the necessary information on where to get a Boxer puppy. You can also refer to your local breed clubs for help, such as learning how to care and train for your Boxer.
Aside from buying from a reputable breeder, you can also adopt a Boxer from a shelter. Boxer rescues need loving homes that can provide them with affection and compassion. Some may have been rescued from dogfighting or puppy mills. You might need to undergo a slow and difficult process of gaining their trust, but if you relentlessly give them special attention and patience, they will eventually recover and become your faithful companion.
How Do They Adapt?
Even though the breed is classified under working dogs, the modern Boxer adapts well to indoor living. They won’t get antsy living in an apartment, so long as they get their daily dose of walking, running, and playing. They can be a good guard dog to your house too.
Yes, Boxers adapt well to changes; yet, they still require consistent companionship. As a Boxer parent, be aware of your dog’s need for attention. Refrain from leaving them alone for too long. Trust that you don’t want your Boxer to miss you too much. Thus, always be ready to shower them with time, attention, and affection.
Boxer rescues will require even more of your care. They’ve been through a lot, and your love and affection will help them immensely in their recovery.
How To Take Care Of Their Health?
The recognized breed is prone to some health problems, like Boxer cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia, skin cancer, hyperthyroidism, aortic stenosis, and epilepsy. You’ll need to check in with a veterinarian from time to time to ensure your dog is in top condition. They can monitor the health of your Boxer to manage or prevent the risks of the diseases.
Some Boxers tend to snore — which is expected because of the structure of their skull and jaw. However, you may want to check with a veterinarian if your Boxer suddenly snores when they didn’t do so before. If your dog’s snoring also comes with other symptoms like lethargy, fever, or tooth decay, consult with a vet immediately.
You must consider your Boxer dog’s nutrition and exercise needs too. Eating right and exercising daily can certainly help keep them healthy.
What Are Their Grooming Needs?
Boxer grooming is fairly easy because they have short and tight coats. If your dog isn’t dirty, you can just wipe them down after walks. Baths can also be sparse with just a few times each month. Some Boxers slobber if they’ve had problems teething when they were still puppies. So be prepared to wipe off excessive saliva, especially after car rides and playtimes.
You can use a rubber curry brush to smooth Boxer dog hair. They’ll definitely thank you for it. While your Boxer is enjoying the pampering session, you can take this time to bond with your pet companion.
Training And Exercising Boxer Dogs
Training a Boxer is fairly easy no matter whether you have an adult dog or a young dog. Given their innate intelligence, they’ll easily understand your instructions with the proper technique of teaching. Utilize rewards such as treats and affection as their driving force for obedience to your instructions.
As for exercise, Boxer dogs should be given ample time and space for daily walks. Since they’re keen on playing and moving, runs will do them good. You can get your Boxer puppies started on walks. That way, they’ll have the opportunity to move around and socialize. If you can’t take your Boxer out, you can hire dog walkers to do so.
Socialization and positive human and animal interactions are also good for Boxer dogs. That will help them become open to interacting with others and not be overly aggressive.
What’s The Ideal Human For Boxer Dogs?
Boxer owners should always be willing to shower their pet companion with love and time. The Boxer breed requires constant attention. So if you’re planning to get one, make sure you can provide their needs. Those needs include the physical, emotional, mental, nutritional, and health aspects.
Pet parents of a Boxer have to be dedicated people. Of course, all animals deserve to have human companions who love them. However, Boxer dogs are sensitive and usually have health concerns. That means attention, dedication, and affection are prerequisites and non-negotiable.
What’s The Ideal Environment For Boxer Dogs?
Boxer dogs are sensitive to extreme temperatures. For your dog’s comfort, ensure that your place is under fair and stable climates, as opposed to intense heat or cold. Boxers are prone to skin cancer — so keep that in mind if you live somewhere partial to sun exposure.
A Boxer dog also needs exercise time. They’ll enjoy places with open parks or running tracks. In addition, the dog is a big breed that needs adequate space in the house.
To Wrap Up
Having a pet companion isn’t just a privilege. It’s also a responsibility — and a huge one at that. After all, you’ll be responsible for the life of another. Taking care of a dog means taking care of them through thick and thin. They’re not just merely the holiday gifts that you can dispose of when you get bored; they’re a lifetime commitment.
With that out of the way, you can expect that taking care of a Boxer will be a delight. They’re fun, loyal, active, and loving dogs. Just be sure to reciprocate the same energy back to truly strengthen your bond with your dog. Although they carry some health concerns, you can stay on top of those by getting your Boxer them regularly. Be sure to get your dog from a regular breeder! Or better yet, adopt from your local animal shelters.
Grooming won’t be a problem. Training will be a breeze too if you use the right methods. Walk them daily, keep them well-fed and warm, give them your love, and you’re good to go!
Best of luck in finding your pet companion!
A fitness junkie and a cosmopolitan traveler, Kathy is the mom of peppy baby Malaya and mixed beagle Holly. She’s a capable businesswoman who balances work with living a wanderlust life with her hooman and fur babies.