Described by the American Kennel Club as bright, fun-loving, and active, the Boxer might sound like the perfect pup to add to your family. Learn more about this wonderful breed and everything you might want to know before adding one to your family.
About the Boxer
The Boxer is a breed that is much loved as a pet. In fact, they have been on the AKC’s most popular breed list for a very long time. In 2020 Boxers came in at number 14 out of 195 breeds and for good reason. The Boxer is the complete package of athletic, energetic, loving, and intelligent.
Standing around 21-25 inches tall and weighing anywhere from 65 to 80 pounds this is a solid medium to large breed. Like most breeds, females tend to be on the smaller side of the range whereas males are on the upper end.
Historically bred as working dogs, the Boxer originated in Germany in the 19th century. First used as bull-baiting dogs, the Boxer’s work evolved to include helping butchers herd cows in slaughterhouses. Later, they would be used as police and guide dogs but today they are beloved pets by many around the world. The breed didn’t make its way to the United States until after the first world war, once they got here they wasted no time becoming one of the most beloved breeds.
4 Pros of Boxers
1. Intelligent and learn quickly
Because of their history as working dogs, the Boxer is a naturally intelligent breed and can learn things very quickly. While having a smart dog who loves to learn is a wonderful thing, it’s important to remember to teach these pups to use their brains for good things. If not properly trained, boxers can pick up on all sorts of habits you’d prefer they didn’t. So you’ll want to start training your Boxer as soon as you welcome them into your home. Consider more advanced obedience classes, teaching tricks, or participating in a dog sport like agility or rally. It will be a great bonding experience for both of you and your dog will learn all kinds of wonderful things.
2. Natural athletic abilities
If you enjoy being active, the Boxer is the perfect companion. Due to their natural athletic abilities, they will be delighted to join you for long walks, runs, and even hiking. If you want to participate in dog sports with your pup, a boxer will be an excellent partner. These dogs have great track records as canine athletes.
3. Full of personality
If you welcome a Boxer into your home you will never be bored. These dogs are incredibly social and live to be the center of attention and the life of the party. They’re extremely playful and love to be with their people (both large and small). Your boxer will have you laughing all the time.
4. Come with signature moves
Some people say boxers got their name from their signature move, boxing. While this might not entirely be true, if you have ever seen boxers at play they do tend to use their front paws to well… box! In addition to their adorable jabs, they also jump around a lot. Boxer owners will often talk about their pups doing the kidney bean dance. This is where they bend themselves in half and wiggle about from excitement. Another reason there is never a dull moment when you have (or hang out with) a boxer.
4 Cons of Boxers
1. Don’t tolerate extreme weather
Boxers can be fair weather dogs and don’t do well in extreme heat or extreme cold. They fall into the category of brachycephalic dogs which means their noses are pushed in. This makes it harder for them to breathe in extreme weather. If you own a boxer it’s important to recognize the signs of respiratory distress and overheating. It's also important to note that some airlines will not transport brachycephalic breeds.
2. Prone to skin issues and allergies
Boxers can be prone to allergies and skin issues. This may mean they need frequent bathing with anti-itch shampoo, medication, or even a special diet. If your pup has allergies, it’s important to work with your vet or a specialist to ensure you are providing appropriate treatment and to get your pup relief from their symptoms.
3. Need proper training and socialization
While all dogs will need proper training and socialization, because of their above-average intelligence this is especially true of the Boxer. Without proper training and socialization, this is a breed that can become both destructive and aggressive. Since these pups can be eager to learn, with some consistent and positive training and plenty of exercise it’s not something you should worry too much about.
4. Require a lot of exercise
Since these dogs are so athletic they will require more than a few leash walks or a romp in the backyard. If you are more sedentary in nature, this might not be the right breed for you. When bringing a boxer into your home, it’s important to understand and have a plan to satisfy their need for exercise . Remember that puppies need a lot of sleep so you don’t want to overdo it with your young pup. As they get older their needs will increase and may not decrease as much as you think when they get older. Boxers are a breed that keeps their puppy energy up for most of their lives.
Is the Boxer a Good Family Dog?
In most cases, this is an enthusiastic yes! Like any other breed, it is important to properly train and socialize your boxer and remember to never leave kids and dogs unsupervised. But Boxers are fantastic family pets and this is probably a good part of the reason why they are so popular.
Their personalities and size make them the ideal companion dog for a family - no matter what your family looks like. Similar to the American Pit Bull terrier, these dogs can be very protective of “their” children and enjoy running and playing (and even sharing snacks).
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