Life With a Boxer Dog
The Boxer is a fun-loving and rambunctious companion. Loyal and athletic, they are known as 'Clown Dogs' for their never ending sense of playfulness. As the owner of a fairly typical Boxer, I can say with certainty that they are not for everyone. Those who take the time to meet their needs, however, will never want for affection.
A little over a year ago, I adopted Lucy from a local shelter. I had been traipsing around every pound in Eastern Pennsylvania, looking for a dog with no luck. This place was my last hope. Almost immediately, the woman minding the kennels recommended I take a 'little Boxer girl' out for a walk. Boxers had been my dream breed since I was a kid, so of course I said yes.
I was surprised by how small she was- Lucy only weighs about 45 pounds on a fat day. The second thing I noticed was her excellent leash manners. Unlike every other dog I had walked, she didn't pull at the leash and went sedately along with me. Even more importantly, when I knelt down to take a closer look at her, she made eye contact with me. Right then, she had me. Where every other dog refused to even acknowledge me, Lucy gave me a big slurpy kiss in greeting.
Unfortunately, I was so smitten that my little red flags never popped up when the woman, looking very relieved, asked me if I wanted to take her home that very day.
"Sure!" I said.
Lucy settled in nicely and fell asleep on my lap that very night. It was only until the next day, when she had to be left alone for a few hours, that things went sour.
My boyfriend received a call from our security company saying that something had slammed into a window and set off the alarm. We looked at each other in alarm and sped home. What we saw was, well, a disaster. Lucy had managed to destroy anything and everything within her reach, leaving the house a debris-strewn war zone. That was when I first learned about separation anxiety.
Nowadays, after much training and the addition of a puppy to keep her company, Lucy is a much more stable dog. She's happy, eager to please, and a veritable rocket ship. Her emotional intuition is superb, and that expressive Boxer face makes communication a breeze. She also loves giving hugs and kisses- she'd lick a face forever, if she could. She truly is the best dog I've ever owned.
If you can teach them to keep all four paws on the ground, Boxers make great family dogs. Lucy adores my boyfriend's little niece and nephew and is very gentle with them. Their great loyalty for anything they consider 'family' means they also get along well with smaller animals they've been properly introduced to. Lucy has a very high prey drive, but she has learned that the chickens and the cat are there for her to protect, not to eat.
They are very energetic dogs. They lack the focused drive of, say, a Border Collie, so lots and lots of pure unadulterated exercise is needed to keep them in good shape. There are too many fat Boxers out there!
If you are considering buying or adopting a Boxer, please be aware of their health concerns and seek out a reputable breeder. You will save yourself a lot of money and heartbreak in the future by doing so. They can be the greatest friend you'll ever have, so it's important for you to be able to say the same.
Below are a few more pictures of Lu being Lu. One thing about Boxers- they're highly photogenic!