Are you thinking about bringing a Boxer into your home? If you are looking for a high-energy, medium-sized, enthusiastic canine companion that doesn't require extensive grooming, a Boxer just might be the right choice for you. However, it's important to be aware that obedience training is essential with Boxers, as is true of any highly-energetic breed. Before you make a final decision, be sure that you are ready to commit the time and energy needed to properly train your new pet.
Origin of Boxer Dogs
Considered a German breed, the Boxer was originally developed from an old breed known as the Brabanter Bullenbeisser from Belgium, which was used to hunt wild boar. Around 1830, the Brabanter was crossed with an early version of the English Bulldog, and it was this stock that was refined into the modern Boxer.
The Boxer is a very square built, medium-sized breed that stands anywhere from 21 to 25 inches high and weighs roughly 60 pounds. According to American Kennel Club (AKC) Boxer breed standard, their jaws should be very square with an undershot bite. Boxers have soulful brown eyes, but they do not all have the same color hair. Acceptable colors are fawn or brindle, with some white markings permissible as long as they contribute less than one-third of the overall color. White Boxers are not recognized by the AKC.
Although the Boxer is born with large floppy ear flaps and a long thin tail, most breeders in the USA will have the ears trimmed and taped to stand erect, and have the tail docked short. This practice of altering these dogs began in Germany, and it's purpose was to give the wild boars less dog flesh to tear during the hunt.
Somewhere along the line, Boxers got a reputation for being guard dogs, perhaps because they do look as though they could be a little menacing if they had a mind to. However, aside from being a little stand-offish with strangers, these dogs are quite affectionate and love to clown around with their families. They also tend to believe that they were bred to be lap dogs, even well after they hit the 60 pound mark.
Boxers are also very energetic, so be prepared to give them plenty of exercise and play time. If you don't let them work off the extra steam in positive ways, Boxers will come up with their own entertainment, and chances are you will not be pleased! Unless you are ready for a whole lot of dog, think carefully before you choose a Boxer.
Boxers actually do quite well in a family setting, as they are surprisingly gentle with children. However, each dog is an individual, so be sure to provide proper training and supervision to make sure both your Boxer and your children understand the rules.
Training is a must with this breed. They are so energetic and robust that you simply have to teach them to obey commands to be able to control them. Obedience training should be commenced seriously at six months of age, the minimum age acceptable for training classes. Until then you can work on the dog used to walking on a leash. Boxers take well to training, as long as you are consistent and spend time practicing with them on a regular basis.
Boxers do not require extensive grooming. They are very clean pets and only shed moderately. A nice brush with a bristle brush should remove what little dirt you may find, and distribute the coat oils to give your pet a glossy sheen. Boxers rarely need bathing, but you can wash their feet if they've been prancing through the mud. Most Boxers tend to wear their nails down naturally with exercise, so just check them once in a while and give a little clip if needed.
Boxers that receive proper veterinary care and good nutrition can live long and healthy lives. However, there are a several health concerns for this breed. According to the American Boxer Club, this breed is subject to a number of health problems, including but not limited to:
Ready to Adopt a Boxer?
Does the idea of owning a Boxer seem like a good choice for you? If so, you'll need to look for a reputable breeder or rescue organization to help you locate your new pet. If you'd like to adopt a rescue dog, the American Boxer Rescue Association is a good place to start your search. The association's website contains contact information for member rescue groups located throughout the US. If you want to find a Boxer puppy, consider using the AKC online puppy classified ads to search for a good breeder.