Boxer Dog Temperament: Clownish attributes and a child at heart
Boxers are known for their unique temperament, intelligence and high energy. They are very social dogs that require plenty of attention and exercise to be well-behaved and well-rounded canines. As a result, they often rank as the best family dogs.
Suppose you're considering adopting or buying a boxer pup. In that case, this article will give you an overview of the Boxer's temperament, what you can expect when living with one, and whether the dog would be a good fit for your lifestyle.
Boxer Dog History
Boxers are believed to be bred from the English Bulldog, Old German Mastiff and potentially some Great Dane. Their first ancestors can be traced back to 2300 BC. Back then, they were used as war dogs. Considering this quite ferocious history, the Boxers today are surprisingly soft.
The breed took shape initially in Germany. They were known as "Bullenbeisser" and had significant Mastiff influence. For this reason, they were perfectly built to bait bulls and control cattle. Hunting wild boars and bears were no problem for the Boxer.
Soon after, the Boxer became very popular with the nobility. They were crossed with smaller breeds to make them more elegant and smaller for that purpose. Many houses used them as guards and watchdogs or to drive cattle. Boxers became the working dog increasingly that we know today.
During the 1st World War, Boxers were used as messenger dogs and to carry injured soldiers to safety. In 1935, Boxers were also approved as police dogs. Their history is so versatile that there is almost no job that the Boxer hasn't done at some point.
The name "Boxer" came from their affinity for standing on two legs and using their front paws to play or bring a bull down. They resembled a Boxer in the ring. To this day, Boxers use their front paws more often than other canines.
In 1904 the first breed standard was introduced in a Boxer stud book. Before that, the first Boxer Club was established in Munich. Every Boxer lineage can be traced back to the first Munich Boxers who have been crossed with the imported English Bulldog. It is believed that the Bulldogs introduced the white colour into their genes.
They have a square build, a short muzzle, and a wrinkled forehead. Boxers are also a few breeds that come in both fawn and brindle coats. Their mask is usually black, but they often show white markings. Sometimes on paws, chest and neck.
Boxers usually weigh between 55 and 70 pounds, with females being on the smaller side and males tending to be a bit larger. Therefore, they would be classified as medium to large dogs. Boxers need to be groomed about once a week to keep their coat looking good and free from mats. All in all, the grooming is less demanding. If you want to reduce shedding, brush them 2-3 times a week.
According to the AKC, in 2021, the Boxer ranked as the 14th most popular dog in America.
Boxers are popular family pets because of their good-natured personalities and intelligence.
Boxers are a very popular breed in the UK. In Q2 2022, 780 Boxers have been registered with the UK Kennel Club. Last year, in 2021, the numbers of registrations were immense which can be linked to Covid.
Source: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/2408/quarterly-breed-stats-working.pdf October 2022
What is it like to live with a Boxer dog?
If you're looking for a high energy and playful dog, you've come to the right place!
Boxers like being the centre of attention in any family activity. They bond very deeply with their hoomans and don't like being excluded. Boxers have a loyal temperament and will rarely leave your side. Next to you is their favourite place to be.
Boxers require plenty of exercise - around 2 hours a day is recommended to tire a Boxer out. Their energy level will not plateau until they're about 4 years old. For this reason, they can be amiable and goofy dogs, often described as clownish until old age. Some Boxers can go for two-hour hikes and still bounce off the walls afterwards.
They were initially used as working dogs. Working dogs need a certain amount of training to keep them sane and calm around the house. They can quickly become bored or frustrated.
Boxers are also known for their stubbornness, so it's essential to start training them early on (and be consistent!) if you want to avoid unwanted behaviour. Firm and constant, fair, and positive are the training methods you should apply to your Boxer.
Due to their intelligence, they will readily detect inconsistencies in your leadership and will try to exploit this for their benefit. If you enjoy working with your dog on training, then the Boxer will be great for you as they're biddable and like to please. They have an easier trainability than people give them credit for.
They love to play and get along well with children but should always be supervised when around small ones as they can be pretty rambunctious. Don't forget that Boxers are themselves a child at heart. Boxers will accept children as part of their family and tend to protect them.
Boxers like to keep busy and shouldn't be left alone for extended periods. Due to their people-orientated side, they thrive the most when their family is around them. Being alone depresses them and leads to separation anxiety and destructive behaviour. If you're working long hours and can't bring a Boxer to a doggy day care, please consider a different breed.
Boxers don't bark excessively; if they do, then there is usually a good reason. Instead, they communicate with growling sounds or sighs. Some Boxers can still be excellent guard dogs and like to patrol an area around the house. Our Boxer always sat on the balcony or window and watched the neighbourhood.
If you're particularly houseproud, you might want to think twice if the Boxer is for you. Although they don't shed as much as other dogs, they have a tendency to drool. So if you don't like drool on walls, ceilings and on the dog, then don't get a Boxer.
Let's have a look at some commonly asked Boxer Dog questions:
When is a Boxer full grown?
It is known that Boxers take longer to mature than some other dog breeds. A Boxer should be mentally developed when around 2-3 years old. But even 4 years is not unheard of. Expect your Boxer to physically stop growing when they are 18-24 months old. Boxers do keep their clownish side up until old age. They're known to be puppies at heart.
Will a Boxer protect me?
Boxers have been successfully bred as guard and protection dogs in the past. Typically, the Boxer will display a sense of territory in their home and patrol it. They can be pretty vocal and will very likely alert you if someone is near your home. Boxers are devoted to their family and form strong bonds. In an emergency, you can rely on your Boxer to react. Today they're not known for being aggressive or very dominant. But they would be able to tell the difference between friend and foe.
Boxer characteristics in a nutshell
Boxers are one of the best family dogs
Require plenty of exercises (at least two hours a day)
Love to play and get along well with children
Can be pretty stubborn, so need early and consistent training
Not suitable for a calm household
Potential diseases in the Boxer breed
As a new owner, you should be prepared to pay medical expenses associated with the breed. The bigger the dog, the more expensive the treatment. Thus, always opt for comprehensive insurance. Medicines are dosed based on body weight, so a Boxer can set you back.
While not all boxers will experience these conditions, it is essential to be aware of them if you consider adding a Boxer to your family. Some common health concerns in boxers include:
Eye conditions such as PRA and cataracts
Most diseases are inherited in a recessive manner. It means that the puppy must inherit the gene from both parents to become affected. If the mutation is only present in one parent, the puppy becomes a carrier. Hence, it is crucial to choose a reputable breeder who has done genetic testing on their litters.
Before bringing a dog into their home, all potential dog owners should research the breed they are interested in to ensure they are prepared for any potential health issues, especially the financial implications.
The more aware you are of these diseases, the higher the chances you can prolong your dog’s life if problems arise. Same as with your child, be aware of all required vaccinations, risks and even risks outside your home. This blog post, for example, outlines all toxic spring plants that can be harmful to your dog.
Many dog owners are unaware of the danger in some pet toys and accessories that can worsen health issues, when they innocently buy cheap products from the Far East. Avoid synthetic rubber play things like chew bones or tug o' war ropes from polyester; polyester collars could cause skin irritation while nylon leads absorb into your pup's skin over time! Swap out those harmful materials with our eco friendly pet products alternatives here at Hooman’s Friend.
Boxers in the heat require special attention because of being a Brachycephalic breed. That is, having a short muzzle. Dogs with shortened muzzles have difficulty panting and regulating their internal body temperature. So during hot summer months, Boxers should not be exercised too intensely or left outside in the heat for extended periods.
Overall, Boxers make one of the best family pets and are known for their loyal, friendly and outgoing temperament. If you're prepared to give them the exercise and attention they need, a Boxer will bring plenty of joy into your home. If you are a happy personality who enjoys training and taking care of your pet, then a Boxer is your breed. However, be prepared that the Boxer requires a lot of attention, so if you're looking for calm energy at home, this breed might not be suitable for you.
What owners say
Our boy has never stopped being a puppy 8 years old now and still acts 8 months. Would not change a thing, it's a Boxer thing
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