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Is a Boxer the Right Breed for You?
Are You a Boxer Person?
Being a passionate lover of Boxers myself, I surely want to see as many of my fine, furry friends find happy "forever" homes as possible. One way to ensure that is to make sure before you bring this charming entity into your hearth and home is to fully understand the breed and make an informed decision as to whether or not your home is suitable to the Boxer you are considering buying or adopting.
A little background on where this wonderful breed came from will help to begin to familiarize yourself with the Boxer.
Boxers were developed in Germany during the late 1800's. They were bred from the English Bulldog and the Bullenbeisser, a breed which is now extinct, but was related to the Mastiff. The Boxer was bred to be a working dog, used to hunt large prey, they would hold the prey with their powerful jaws until the hunter could reach the prey and attend to it.
Boxers were recognized by the AKC in 1904 and the standards were set for the breed. The standard for the adult male Boxer is set at a weight range of sixty-five to seventy-five pounds and fifty to sixty pounds for an adult female. The height of a Boxer ranges from 21.5" to 25" high at the shoulder. Many Boxers do exceed this standard. Yes, they are big dogs! Consider this when you are considering adding a Boxer to your household.
They are in the classification of "working" dogs as they have historically been used as hunters, messenger dogs, guard dogs and pack carriers. All working dogs tend to need activities to alleviate boredom, Boxers are no exception. Obedience and agility training for your Boxer are activities you may want to consider in order to keep your Boxer happily occupied and out of trouble.
The temperament of the average Boxer is what makes them so appealing. They are a breed that desires human attention and affection to a high degree. Boxer's are not happy unless they are actively involved with their human counterparts for a good portion of their day. If you do not have a lot of time to spend with your Boxer, they will become bored and mischievous and will be likely to develop bad habits like chewing up your shoes or your couch! Before you add a Boxer to your household, take a realistic view of your schedule and how much time you will have to spend with your new dog. Boxers are not outside dogs. As they have a very short coat they do not do well in extreme weather conditions, either hot or cold. Their short muzzle can make it difficult for them to breathe in extremes of hot or cold as well. Boxers are inside dogs based on their genetics. If you were thinking that your Boxer could be kept in a pen outside while you are busy at work and so forth, the Boxer is not a good choice for you.
Boxers are one of the most loyal and affectionate breeds of dogs on earth. They love children and adults alike. They have an affectionate playful nature, they are perceived by many to be "clownish" and they are a lot of fun to have around. Boxers are known to try to communicate with their human counterparts in very intense ways, even trying to verbalize their concerns with you at times.
Although truly affectionate, they are protective of those that they love and they are distrustful of strangers. In my experience, Boxers appear to be a good judge of human character, aiding them in determining "friend or foe" when encountering people.
Trademarks of the Boxer personality include an almost cat-like use of their paws, a love of playing tug-of-war, greeting those they love with tons of wiggles and what we Boxer people call "Kidney Beans". A Boxer kidney bean is really quite an event. They present both their snoot and their hindquarters to you at the same time, while their tail is wagging at a hundred miles an hour and they bend to the right and then to the left, just to show you with their entire body how happy they are to see you!
Boxer lovers are also quite familiar with the "Boxer Burn". The Boxer burn occurs when, for no apparent reason, your Boxer dog begins running in circles or laps, up and over and through and around any obstacles that may be present. They run just to run. Boxers have an extremely high energy level and will find a way to burn that energy off with you or without you. When considering a Boxer you must take into account this energy level. Will you have time to walk your Boxer on a regular basis? Do you have a fenced in garden for the Boxer to play in? If you live in an apartment you will need to be sure you can get your Boxer out for frequent walks, or again, you will find that your Boxer will get into mischief.
Boxer puppies may well be the cutest puppies on earth, but please remember that they are going to grow into a large dog, and that of all the breeds, Boxers maintain their youthful exuberance well into adulthood. Perhaps it would be wiser of me to tell you that Boxer puppies grow into large PUPPIES!
The appearance of the Boxer varies. In the U.S. tails are still docked as a usual and customary procedure, however, the cropping of ears is being done less and less frequently. In Europe they neither dock the tails nor crop the ears.
The Boxers coat can be brindle, fawn, reverse brindle, flashy fawn (a lot of white), or white. White Boxers are prohibited from competing in shows by the AKC and have a deafness rate of approximately 20%. Breeding of white Boxers is discouraged due to the issue of deafness. Many Boxers have a black mask which gives them a very expressive face.
Boxers, as a breed, have a very high rate of cancer. Over 20% of non-neutered or non-spayed Boxers contract cancer. Spaying your female Boxer prior to her first heat will reduce her risk of cancer to .02%, allowing the first heat to occur prior to spaying reduces the risk to 2%. Neutering your male Boxer at around the age of six months will reduce his cancer risk to approximately 2% as well, so it is highly recommended that you spay or neuter your Boxer not only to prevent overpopulation, but for the health of your beloved pet.
Boxers are easy to groom, they do keep themselves very clean and with their short coats they only need minimal brushing and bathing.
So, if you like an energetic and playful dog, one who wants to spend all of their time interacting with you, snuggling with you and aiming to please you, the Boxer dog may be the right choice for you. As long as you have a sufficient amount of time to spend with your Boxer, your Boxer will be happy. Boxers are one of the most social breeds of dogs I have ever encountered.
Keeping a Boxer well exercised and partaking in basic obedience training will provide you with a loving, loyal and fun companion, one that you and your entire family can appreciate.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.