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So You Want A Boxer?

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So you want a Boxer? And who wouldn’t? They’re such fun looking, dignified pups with a tendency to use their front paws to throw punches!

But are you aware of the good, the bad & the ugly of this muscular, square dog? 

I personally have a soft spot for Boxers thanks to fond childhood memories. 

Particularly Quinta, my aunt’s Boxer who constantly jumped her picket fence and explored the neighborhood on her own. 

But also Satty, a family friend’s Boxer who was the best slobbering alarm clock whenever my sister & I spent the night. Both were fawn colored and great with kids. 

Sisters With Boxer
My sister (right) & I (left) with Boxer Satty in the 80s

Fast forward 25-ish years, and my very own first two dogs were Boxer mixes from the same litter of nine puppies, Missy & Buzz. 

Boxer Puppies - Two Boxer puppies in a crate
Puppies Missy & Buzz

They were black brindle colored along with 2 other pups in their litter, while the remaining 5 puppies were faun, just like their Boxer mom Jolene. 

Litter of Boxer Pups! - sitting down with the litter.
Visiting Missy & Buzz before we were able to bring them home with us.

One of my pet sitting clients was also a black brindle colored Boxer who loved to play catch me if you can in his yard.

His name was Bogart and he was the most beautiful Boxer I have ever seen, and I swear he was aware of his good looks!

Boxer standing staring at shadow
My former black Boxer client Bogart

Now without further ado, let’s look at 11 Boxer facts you don’t want to miss!

11 Facts Good & Bad About Boxers

1. Boxers Are Known As A “Head Breed”

Traditionally, they have large heads with cropped ears, an undershot bite and a short but powerful muzzle with folds in the skin.

Known as brachycephalic dogs, their nasal passages are much shorter than those of dogs with long snouts.

That makes them more prone to overheating on hot summer days than dogs with regularly sized nasal passages.

These unique features make their head one of the most important Boxer standards that’s judged in dog show rings.

2. Ear Cropping & Tail Docking In Boxers Is Banned In Several Countries

While it’s still legal in the US, many countries including their home country Germany and the UK have banned ear cropping in Boxers (and other breeds) as it’s considered cruel and unnecessary.

The same applies to tail docking. 

Besides a more natural look, undocked Boxers with a full tail are also better swimmers and can communicate more effectively with other dogs and humans too.

3. Boxers Are Clown Dogs Who Like To Box

Boxers are silly clowns at heart who love to play, play, play!

Sometimes, that includes standing on their hind legs and “boxing” with their front paws at other dogs.

It’s super fun to watch, but make sure you don’t get knocked out while they’re at it!

Here’s a video from my YouTube channel that shows Missy & Buzz playing, racing & boxing in the yard.

4. They Can Be Stubborn

While Boxers are intelligent and learn quickly, they’re also known to be stubborn at times.

That’s why it’s important that you’re consistent and firm in your training approach.

Note that being firm doesn’t imply harsh punishments. It simply means teaching your Boxer to follow rules that are important to you. 

For example, no pulling on walks, not being allowed on furniture, no jumping on guests, waiting for your OK to eat, not racing through an open door, etc. 

5. They’re Easy To Groom

Boxers have very short fur without an undercoat that doesn’t blow out twice a year. 

While they still shed, they’re much easier to groom than dogs with long hair and undercoats. 

Unless you’re planning on showing your Boxer at dog shows, you can easily take care of their grooming needs yourself. 

6. Boxers Are Medium-Large Family Lap Dogs

So is Colby’s black Lab Elsa 🙂

Boxers are cuddly pups who LOVE their families. They enjoy being close to their humans, including adults and children. 

Since Boxers can weigh up to 80 lb, be prepared for a heavy snuggle pup to curl up on your lap…

…alternatively, make sure to teach them that your lap is off limits while they’re still young! 

You can do that by teaching them to go to their “place” when you get comfy on the couch. 

Their “place” can be an indoor pet cot, kennel or dog bed

For instructions, check out our blog post 21 Dog Training Commands.

7. Boxers Are Classified As Working Dogs 

Did you know that thanks to their courage, strength and stamina, Boxers were originally used to hunt wild boar and bears?

Later, they were employed as war time messengers, guard dogs, police dogs and to pull farmers’ carts.  

That gives you an idea of how active Boxers are, which is something to bear in mind if you’re thinking about bringing a Boxer pup home with you.

8. Activities Boxers Excel At

While you probably won’t be hunting wild, dangerous game with your Boxer, here are some activities that give your Boxer an outlet for their seemingly endless energy supply:

  • Schutzhund training & trials
  • Backpack walks and hikes
  • Show ring conformation 
  • Search and Rescue
  • Weight Pulling
  • Dog Dancing
  • Obedience
  • Retrieving
  • Swimming
  • Canicross
  • Skijoring
  • Tracking
  • Flyball
  • Rally-O
  • Biking
  • Agility 

Just a heads up: If you’re not an active person with a love for the outdoors, you probably shouldn’t be bringing a Boxer into your life. 

If you do, prepare for an unruly dog who’s going to eat your furniture and shoes, dig up your yard and bark non stop!

You can also enroll them in Animal Assisted Therapy. However, one of the prerequisites is that your Boxer pup passes the CGC test (Canine Good Citizen)

That’s a 10-skill test created by the AKC which evaluates dogs for how they greet strangers and their ability to walk through crowds, their reaction to other dogs, coming when called and a few other tasks. 

9. They’re Prone To Certain Health Issues

Unfortunately, like many other breeds, Boxers can often be diagnosed with cancer. Missy’s & Buzz’s Boxer mom Jolene died from cancer, and so did Missy. 

Additionally, they may suffer from certain health issues such as:

  • BCM (Boxer Cardiomyopathy, a heart condition)
  • AS (Aortic Stenosis, a heart defect)
  • GDV (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus aka bloat)
  • CHD (Canine Hip Dysplasia)
  • Glioma (a type of brain tumor)
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)

The American Boxer Club recommends several health screenings for Boxers in breeding programs.

This decreases the risk of health issues in their offspring, but of course backyard breeders won’t care. 

That said, it pays off to invest in a healthier Boxer with good genes from a reputable breeder who knows what they’re doing. 

You can find Boxer puppies from responsible breeders on the AKC website. You can also attend dog shows and ask handlers for breeder referrals.

10. Deafness In White Boxers

Many all-white Boxers are either bilaterally deaf (on both ears) or unilaterally deaf (on one ear). 

They can still make great pets, and Deaf Dogs Rock is a wonderful non-profit organization that provides lots of resources for life with and training deaf dogs.

Fun fact: It all started with a white deaf Boxer, Nitro!

11. They Can Be Gross

While Boxers are courageous and strong, they may not have the best house manners.

Here’s the thing:

Some Boxers drool quite a bit after drinking water and exercise or playtime. 

My boy Buzz was ball crazy and I remember the slimy chuck-it-balls he would proudly drop at my feet or into my hands, ready for more fetch! 

Sometimes I wore gardening gloves, but other times I just accepted the fact that drool and slime was part of my life as a Boxer mix mom and put up with gross hands while we played fetch.

Inside though, tile or wood floors that are easy to clean work best for Boxers – along with leather or similar material furniture that can be wiped off. 

They’re also known to snore and fart quite loudly, so you may want to rethink letting them sleep in your bedroom!

Remember Colby’s black Lab, Elsa? She is gassy and farts all the time. Maybe she’s got a little Boxer in her 🙂

Bottom Line

So, do you still want a Boxer?

Besides their drooling, snoring and farting, remember that they’re high energy dogs who thrive with a job. 

As long as they get a daily outlet for all of their energy, they’ll make wonderful family pets who are known to be good with children. 

Personally, I can’t wait to add another Boxer puppy to our little family. 

While Missy & Buzz were mixed breed puppies from a pregnant Boxer mom that a friend rescued, I’d like to get my next Boxer puppy from a responsible breeder. 

They’ll keep my current rescue pup Wally company and who knows, they may just box together!

What about you?

Are you the proud owner of a Boxer or looking to bring one home with you? 

Let us know in the comment section below!

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So You Want A Boxer - 11 Facts Good And Bad - Boxer puppies in a crate

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