Boxers and Buddies

About Boxers

Loyal, quirky, slobbery, energetic, loveable

Boxers are medium to large-sized dogs, and their short coats make grooming a breeze. They are known to be incredibly steadfast and loyal to their owners. While they may look intimidating, they are actually quite friendly. This, along with their humorous and playful nature, makes them an excellent family dog.

What is a boxer?

What are the boxer's origins?

The boxer was developed in the 19th century in Germany, from two breeds of mastiffs, and later with the bulldog. They were originally used for cart pulling and dog fighting, but also put to use as farm dogs, rounding up cattle and bull baiting. Boxers were also hunting dogs, masters at tracking wild boars and bison. They were later used as circus dogs. The first studbook for boxers began in 1904. Until that point, boxers varied wildly in their looks and size. Boxers come in both the American and German variety. German boxers have larger heads and are more muscular than their American counterparts.

Why are they called boxers?

This is because of the way a boxer fights. Boxers are known for standing on their hind legs and kicking with their front legs, resembling a professional boxer. Boxers make good watchdogs and guard dogs. They are used for police work and for search and rescue. Boxers are good with obedience training and performing tricks.

What does a boxer look like?

Boxers have very compact bodies. Their heads are proportionate with their bodies, and feature short, distinct noses that are black with large nostrils. A boxer's jaw will have an underbite. They have brown eyes. Their high-set ears may be cropped or left naturally floppy. If cropped, a boxer's ears will stand up straight on the head, tapering to a point. Naturally, their thin ears flap and fall close to the head. They have strong, round, muscular necks. Their legs are also quite muscular, and their front legs are parallel when viewed from the front. Their high-set tails may be docked, but this practice is more common in America than in Europe. Dewclaws are usually removed. Their coats are short and close-fitting, and boxers come in a variety of colors, including white, black, brindle, tan, mahogany, and fawn. White boxers may not be registered with certain clubs.

Information from Dog Breed Info Center and American Kennel Club

Why they're loveable

What is a boxer’s temperament?

Boxers are high-spirited, playful, energetic, happy, and very curious about just about everything. They are highly intelligent and fast learners, which makes them good candidates for obedience competitions. They are affectionate and loving dogs, and form close bonds with their families. These dogs are remarkably good with children because of these qualities. Boxers who have been properly trained and socialized will also get along well with other furry family members, such as cats and other dogs. Ducks and chickens may be quite tempting to your new friend, but this can be curbed with the right training. Boxers are very protective of their families, and make excellent guard dogs because of this. Known visitors will be welcomed, but they may be wary of strangers. Introduce new people slowly, and allow your furry friend to get used to them.

How does a boxer play?

When fighting, boxers will stand on their hind legs and use their front legs to bat and swat, resembling a professional boxer. They utilize this same technique in their play, using their front paws to fiddle with objects in a cat-like fashion. Boxers will actually use their front paws for just about everything, and they can be rather clownish. They are always up for fun and games.

How much exercise do boxers need?

Due to their intelligence and energy level, daily mental and physical stimulation is a must for your boxer. Without it, they risk becoming nervous and high-strung. They are boisterous, and are known to be athletes in the canine kingdom, even into old age. Take your boxer on daily walks, and allow him or her to discover the world around them. They love to play fetch.

What is the best way to train a boxer?

Boxers like to be dominant, and want to lead their pack. In this case, the pack is their family. New owners must be willing to be firm and consistent in training, and make it clear that you are the one in charge. Owners must be vigilant and curb any signs of dominance. Boxers like to follow their leaders, and are extremely loyal once trust and love have been established.

What’s the best living arrangement for a boxer?

Do not let apartment life stop you from owning a boxer. With proper exercise, your boxer will be fine. They are active both indoors and out, and will enjoy a medium-sized yard or play area. Keep in mind that boxers are temperature-sensitive, and can become overheated and chilling too quickly. Allow for rest time during play, and use good judgment concerning the weather conditions.

How much grooming does a boxer need?

Boxers have short coats, which makes grooming a breeze. Use a firm bristle brush, and only bath when necessary; oils will be stripped from their skin. If your boxer enjoys rolling in the great outdoors, you may need to bathe him or her afterwards. Some boxers will try and groom themselves, like a cat would. Unfortunately, boxers do shed, so keep those lint brushes handy.

Why they're misunderstood

What can cause problems

Boxers cannot be simply an "outside dog," and will require your time and attention. Because they are so boisterous, they can accidentally frighten and knock down smaller children. They require constant socialization and companionship from a young age, and an owner willing to step up and take charge. They have a tendency to shed, even with their shorter coats. Due to their shorter snouts, they can produce an array of noises, such as snorting and snoring. They can drool a lot, due to their loose lips. Boxers are one of the more gaseous of the dog breeds.

Boxers do need plenty of regular exercise, due to their high amounts of energy. Take your boxer on new adventures to keep his or her brain stimulated and happy, lest they turn your house into their playground. They love to romp and play, and to throw things into the air.

Provide your boxer with socialization, and introduce them to as many people as you can. This will help your boxer learn to tell the difference between a friend and someone to be wary of. This, in turn, will help prevent aggressive behaviors, such as biting.

Boxers do not like to be left alone for more than a few hours, so great companionship is a must. If you must leave your boxer for an extended period of time, be sure to have someone checking in on your furry friend. Your boxer will thank you.

How they can behave

Boxers are incredibly stubborn, with minds of their own. They are capable of learning a great deal, but will push your buttons in the process. They tend to want to be the one in charge, so the owner must be prepared to show a little tough love. Be absolute and consistent during training.

Unfortunately, an untrained or undertrained boxer is capable of showing aggression. Boxers were bred for hunting and tracking, and can sometimes act on those tendencies. Problems with breeding and training can worsen these aspects, and so boxer owners must always be vigilant when around smaller animals. Boxers can be aggressive and dominant toward other boxers of the same gender.

When bringing a boxer into your home, be prepared to stock up on the lint removal brushes. Despite their short coats, boxers are shedding machines. Make sure to regularly groom your new friend. Along with the shedding, boxers are capable of drooling quite a bit, due to their floppy lips. Their short snouts can produce any number of noises, which may either be endearing or grating to their owners. Boxer flatulence can be overwhelming.

After you adopt a boxer, be on the lookout for health problems. Cancer can strike, along with heart disease, allergies, skin conditions, and heart and eye problems. Make sure to take your boxer to regularly-scheduled vet appointments to maintain his or her optimum health.

There are currently 8 Adoptable Dogs with Boxers and Buddies.