The Boxer is one of the favorite breeds in the U.S., consistently ranking in the top ten since their introduction.
With their intelligence, playful disposition, and general good health, it’s no wonder!
Some people worry about their possible health issues, how to care for them, and if they would fit well into their lives.
I love Boxers, and after reading this I think you will too.
I will give you all the Boxer Dog Breed info that you need to see if this lovable four legged friend would be a good addition to your family.
Boxer Dog Breed Overview
- Is a mix of the Danziger and Brabenter Bullenbeisers
- Created sometime in the 19th Century.
- Used as a military dog in Germany, and in peace times used as a utility dog, then a show dog, and finally a pet in the 1900s.
- Recognized by the AKC in 1904
- Sports a square, medium build with a chiseled head and broad, blunt snout.
- Excellent Guardians and watchdogs, but they don’t mature until around three years of age.
- Is intelligent, affectionate, and loyal.
- Needs active and daily exercise
- Needs an occasional bath and brush.
- Do not do well in temperature extremes.
- Is independent, and may not do well with too many commands.
- Is prone to some health issues, so buying from a reputable breeder is preferred.
- Has a life span of 10-12 years.
- May have a tendency to snore or drool
- Fun Fact! The Boxer has the longest tongue of any breed!
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The Boxer is a mix of the Danziger Bullenbeiser and the Brabenter Bullenbeisers. Bullenbeiser means “bull biter”, a sport than was in favor at the time.
They were created sometime in the 1800’s.
They are intelligent, loyal, and make great guard dogs, which allowed them to fulfill a role in the German Military, and later as utility and show dogs.
They are intelligent, loyal, and make great guard dogs, which allowed them to fulfill a role in the German Military.
The German word Boxl used in slaughterhouses may have been the origin of the Boxers breed name, as they had a role in controlling cattle in slaughterhouses.
Some believe their name has come from the way that they stand on their hindlegs and “box” with their front paws, as if sparring.
Either way, their name is one you’re sure not to forger.
- German Boxer
- Deutscher Boxer
History & Area Of Origin
As stated before, they originated in Germany in the 1800’s.
Old English Bulldogs and Bullenbeisers were used to create the breed we see today.
It is believed that British Terrier may also be in the mix.
Ancestors of the Bullenbeisers were Molossers, a mastiff group, that goes back several thousand years.
They were originally bred for fighting, but as that practice became illegal they found other work.
They become the first dogs used in police work in Germany, and during WWI they were used in the military for guarding, attacking, carrying packs and ferrying messages.
While accepted into the AKC in 1904, they did not become popular in the U.S. until the 1940’s.
Today they are ranked as the seventh most popular breed.
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The Boxer is a medium sized dog.
This classification means that all members of this group can range between 35 to 65 pounds (15.8 to 29.4 kg), and the Boxer generally fits into the higher end of this classification, sometimes even going a bit over the higher end of the range.
Over all the breed range is anywhere between 55-70 lbs (25-32 kg) when fully grown.
The growth period for height and weight lasts for 18 to 24 months, and may fall anywhere in between.
Male: 22-25 inches (56-63 cm)
A fully grown male boxer will reach a height of twenty two to twenty five inches from the shoulder to the floor, and will almost always be taller and heavier than their female counterparts.
Female: 21-24 inches (53-61 cm)
A fully grown female boxer will reach a height of twenty one to twenty four inches from the shoulder to the floor, their height and build being general finer than the males of the breed.
There is no given information on the height of puppies when born, and the beginning size of the pup is dependent on the size of the litter.
A larger litter will havesmaller pups, and a smaller litter will have larger pups.
Male: 60-70 pounds (27-32 kg)
A male Boxer will top out between sixty and seventy pounds, and they may be tall and lean and short and stocky.
The height and weight ratio differs from male to male, and male to female.
Female: 55-65 pounds (25-29 kg)
A female Boxer will run around fifty five to sixty five pounds, and like the male, may also be tall and lean or short and stocky.
The female will average around fifteen pounds less than the male when fully grown.
Puppies : around one pound (~0.42 kg)
Boxer puppies have a weight variance when born, but they in the ballpark of around one pound.
Born blind and helpless, they quickly begin to the business of growing.
They should double in weight within the first three weeks of life.
Boxer Dog Breed Purity: PureBred or Mixed?
An ideal Boxer will have strong limbs and a short tight fitting coat, and a medium sized, square built body.
They have well-developed muscles that appear smooth under the skin.
They have an alert expression and steadfast and tractable temperament.
The chizeled head is unique, and the broad, blunt muzzle is distinct.
They carry themselves with an elastic, yet firm, gait and carry themselves proudly.
A mixed breed is a combination of three or more breeds, while a crossbreed is a mix of two.
A purebred will only have the bloodlines of the breed itself.
A purebred is desired, because you have a better understanding of what health issues and temperament to expect, that is, if you go with a reputable breeder that does the proper testing of their breeding pair and follow the AKC guidelines of care and breeding.
Behavior And Temperament
The Boxer is playful, energetic, curious, and high spirited.
They are eager to learn, and highly intelligent.
They are loyal, and form close bonds with their family if they are socialized early and often, and given to proper obedience training.
They will guard you, your home, your family eagerly.
If you choose to get a Boxer, know that this is a very alert dog.
This part of their personality is the reason they are members of the working group, and have been used as watch dogs and guard dogs.
They have even been used as alert dogs for people with epilepsy, letting them know when a seizure is imminent.
The Boxer is an all around friendly dog, greeting strangers and kids without aggression.
Even though they are people friendly, this doesn’t mean they will be as friendly with animals.
Properly trained, and given the time with their littermates to learn good animal social skills will make sure they are friendly to household pets as well.
Boxers were historically used for fighting, but despite this they are a gentle breed.
While exuberant as puppies, they mature and are gentle when given good training and proper socialization, both with their litter and with other pets.
They are great companions if they are given enough mental stimulation and physical exercise.
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As members of the working breed, Boxers have a high intelligence level.
They require training and mental stimulation to keep them from engaging in behaviors that are destructive.
Lots of time to play, and keeping them busy with obedience training will help keep everyone happy.
Greeting strangers and family alike, the Boxer Breed is pretty outgoing, and loves attention and to play.
To ensure the safety of others, humans and pets alike, make sure they receive proper socialization and training to keep their traits from morphing into unwanted behaviors.
If you are looking for an addition to the family that is playful, energetic, and loves everyone, this may be the dog for you.
They enjoy a calmer household, but they are pretty forgiving and a decent dog for novice owners.
They can do well in an apartment if they are exercised enough.
The AKC states that the breed accepted coat is one of two colors, and there are three types of markings.
They have a tight, short fitting coat without any wave.
They should not have an undercoat, nor should they have any different lengths of coat on various parts of the body.
The coat can come in three colors, being white, fawn, or brindle.
White is not recognized as an acceptable color for the breed.
The standard also says that Boxers can have three types of markings.
They can have a black mask, a black mask with white markings, or white markings.
They can also have fawn or brindle markings, but they are not accepted breed standard.
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The eyes should be dark brown, with an intelligent and alert expression.
They eyes should be placed towards the front of the head, not too big and not too large, and not being too deep set in the head.
No other eye color is mentioned as a standard of the breed.
The top of the nose should rise slightly above the root of the muzzle, which should not slope down or give a “dish faced” look by being concave.
The muzzle should be proportionate in its length, width, and depth, and the nose itself should be broad and black.
According to the AKC, the tail should be set high, docked, and carried upward. An undocked tail should be penalized.
The tail was originally docked because it was believed that it allowed them to run faster and helped prevent rabies, or to help prevent damage to the tail.
Whatever the reason, it is a hot button for many, being legal in some countries and illegal in others.
The AKC requires it of a show dog, but that doesn’t mean you can’t choose to have a Boxer with the tail that nature gave them.
Litter Size : 2-10 Puppies
The range of pups in a litter can range anywhere from two to ten! There are even some record breaking litter sizes that have surpassed this, though it isn’t common.
The ideal litter size for the Boxer Breed is six, being a good middle ground that allows everyone to nurse and be cared for properly.
Life Span: 11-14 Years
A Boxer is a medium sized breed, and that means their life span is longer than a large breed, and shorter than a small breed, generally falling somewhere between 11-14 years, If given a proper diet, exercise, and if the sire and dam were researched and tested, expect your furry friend to live a good long life.
Caring for your Boxer
Your Boxer should do well on a high quality dog food, the choice between a commercial or a raw diet is up to you.
Their coat requires little care, a quick brush one a week or so and an occasional bath is all they need.
Be sure to keep their nails trimmed and their ears clean.
You will want to brush their teeth every day, and make sure they get plenty of exercise because they are a high energy dog.
They require early socialization with people and animals, and obedience training as soon as possible.
This breed has a very short single coat, so you don’t need to brush them daily.
You can probably get away with brushing their coat once a week, and they only need a bath when they get dirty or if they begin to smell, they only need an occasional bath.
Watch their toenails to see when they need trimmed, which you can do yourself or go to the vet.
Brush their teeth daily and make sure their ears are clean.
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The exercise needs of a Boxer change over the course of their lives.
Exercise your puppy as soon as they want to, but they should have their 3rd set of shots before they go around other dogs.
Start exercising them slow, and increase it as their age increases.
A twenty minute walk for a puppy should become about a forty five minute walk for an adult.
Breaking this into two walks a day is best for them if they live in an apartment.
You should also be sure to not keep your dog out in extreme weather as they do not handle it well.
- Educate yourself on all possible related health issues and symptoms, and make sure you go to regular vet checks.
- Boxer Cardiomyopathy (BCM): genetic condition that causes an entropic heart beat. Can begin to show symptoms at two years of age, and untreated can lead to heart failure.
- Hip Dysplasia: genetic condition that causes pain, lameness, and arthritis is severe cases. Diagnosed with several tests including x-rays and blood chemical profile.
- Hypothyroidism: a condition that occurs when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormone, causing lethargy, weakness, inactivity, and weight loss . It is diagnosed with a blood count, blood chemistry profile, and a urinalysis. Can be corrected by taking a synthetic hormone medication.
- Arthritis: caused by a deterioration of the joints, leading to a reduced want to play, inactivity, and lameness. There is no cure, but pain management and a weight plan to reduce stress on the joints can reduce your dogs pain.
- Bloat (GDV) (Gastric Dilation-Volvulus): a life threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas, fluid, or air gets and puts pressure on nearby organs, that can cause a tear in the stomach lining to a lack of blood flow to the heart or stomach. Signs include restlessness, retching without vomiting, drooling, anxious behavior, shortness of breath, or lethargy. If your dog experiences this after a big meal or vigorous workout, take him to the vet immediately.
- Ear Infections: can cause abnormal discharge or odor from the ear, tilting of the head, shaking, unusual scabs around the ears or unusual eye movements. Treatment is decided after a vet examination, and information and instructions on how to prevent them in the first place will be given.
- Seizures: If your dog is experiencing seizures, the best thing is to not interfere in any way. Take note of symptoms and duration, and the vet will work out a treatment plan that may help reduce or remove triggers.
Health Care requirements for Boxer Dogs
Boxers require some health care, and you start with making sure they receive a good quality diet and proper amounts of exercise.
At least thirty minutes of exercise is crucial, and twice daily walks are needed if living in an apartment.
You also need to make sure your dog sees his vet during his annual checkup.
The best thing you can do as an owner is to be informed of potential issues and taking action as soon as possible if one arises.
- Begin as soon as possible, starting at three months old.
- Be aware of Boxer Personality traits
- Socialization is Vital, they do not like being loners.
- Providing enough exercise is essential to maintain their energy levels indoors.
- Take your place as the Alpha of the pack as soon as possible.
- Use positive reinforcement and a reward system.
- Teach basic tricks to increase their mental development and trust.
- Visit your vet if needed, they can help with things like proper crate training.
Boxers are loyal, loving dogs if they are trained early, socialized, and treated as a valued member of the family.
Work play into the training, as they don’t like being given too many commands.
Make sure you spend lots of time with them outside of training times, because they need the interaction, and to further secure the bond between you and mans best friend.
You should begin training them no earlier than three months, but not much later either.
Finally, remember to praise good behavior and correct the bad.
Never hit or smack your dog, as it can lead to aggression.
Boxers Physical Characteristics
A Boxer is a beautiful dog, standing around twenty five inches at the shoulder with females running a bit smaller on average.
They have a short, tight fitting oat that shows their muscles frame as they show off their agility when running.
Their curious and alert look is because of their dark brown eyes and wrinkled forehead. The coat can be brindle or fawn with white markings.
The Boxer is a socially adaptable dog, but not much of a physically adaptable dog.
They do not do well with extremes in temperatures, so be careful in extreme climates or during hot or cold spells.
They can do well with novice owners, but do not do well with being left alone. If you have the time and energy to give this breed, they could fit well within your family.
Other Dog Friendly
This breed may do well with other dogs, providing certain things happen.
Dogs that live with their littermates until six to eight weeks of age have better canine socialization skills then other dogs.
They also need to be socialized throughout their lives.
Good obedience training can also help with this, as they will learn to listen to commands even when they want to do something else.
The boxer is a short haired dog, so while they do shed, especially during the seasonal changes, it’s not the same as if you have a dual coat dog with long hair.
That being said, brushing them once a week will help in controlling the amount of fur you see around your clothes and home.
When looking for an affectionate breed that will love your home and family, the Boxer should come to mind.
They don’t like being alone and they want to spend every moment they can with you.
They don’t do well being left outside in a yard, and should be treated as a house dog.
An energetic dog, this breed needs at least thirty minutes of exercise every day, possibly more if you live in an apartment or have a very high energy example of the breed.
Your Boxer may do better with a walk in the morning and one in the evening, especially during the hot summer months when they cannot tolerate the high heat.
The social needs of a Boxer tie directly into their affection levels.
They have so much love to give that they don’t do well being alone or tied up or left in a backyard.
They need socialization with other people and animals to keep them happy, and to keep them from growing wary or aggressive to others.
Boxers need a lot of room to run!
They can do well in apartments, provided that you take them out twice a day for exercise, whether it’s walking or visiting a dog park.
Either way, they need to run off their extra energy so they will be calmer at home.
If you can do this, then your furry friend can live in your apartment.
To make grooming time a happy time, start this routine early.
Begin brushing their teeth with a finger, then a toothbrush.
Using a chicken flavored toothpaste can make them like this a little better.
Baths and brushing can be fun if you treat it like extra time you get to spend with them.
Boxers can be wary of strangers, and training and socialization can help them react appropriately to those they don’t know.
They are a loving and loyal dog, and protective of their family.
When they get used to a new person they are accepted, but until then ensure that your dog listens well.
This dog isn’t quiet, but they are also not incessant barkers.
Be aware that they do bark at times, and to take that into consideration if you choose to buy this breed.
Give them enough exercise and play and their energy can be well contained when you need to be respectful of neighbors.
There are a few well known health problems experienced by this breed. They are prone to hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, arthritis, seizures, and others.
Buying from a reputable breeder whose dogs are tested proper to breeding can help you be aware of what to expect from your dog.
Boxers are generally fun loving and friendly dogs, and they aren’t generally territorial.
Sometimes it does happen.
When it does you’ll see females becoming aggressive with other female dogs, and males that aren’t fixed may pick fights with other males.
Again, giving them good socialization and obedience training can help with this.
If taught early and well, Boxers can get along with anyone.
They are a breed with a strong prey drive, so they should never be left unsupervised around cats or other smaller animals that may run, and you should take care of the same if they are still in the middle of obedience training.
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This is a bright breed, as evidenced by their membership in the working group of the AKC.
They were used to control cattle in slaughterhouses, and were one of the first breeds used by the military for a variety of purposes.
They love to work and have the intelligence to do so, and do it well.
This is a bright breed, as evidenced by their membership in the working group of the AKC.
They are highly trainable, and love to work.
They need to be kept busy or they may turn to chewing and destructive behaviors.
With positive reinforcements and rewards, their natural intelligence, and affection for their owners, they can be raised to be wonderful pets for your family.
If there are children in your family, or if you and your dog will be around children, the Boxer could be a good fit for you.
They are smart, loyal, and love children.
Obedience training is needed in case they get too exuberant, or when meeting new children though they are generally gentle with children.
They can be wary of strangers at first, but welcome them eagerly once they get to know them.
These are very playful dogs!
Some of their energy needs to be worked off in training, and the rest in play.
Using this aspect of their personality, you can forge a closer bond with your four legged friend.
Going for walks, playing fetch, and providing rugged toys are all ways you can spend time with your Boxer and feed his mind while playing.
If you are looking for a natural watchdog, then look no further.
They are eager to learn, alert, intelligent, and love to work-all qualities that help make a good watchdog.
Training can help you realize their potential if you want someone to watch over you, your home, and your family.
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As with any breed, the Boxer needs good canine socialization skills, human socialization skills, and training to act appropriately around other pets.
They generally do well, but they have a strong prey drive.
Small animals should be supervised around Boxers, especially if they are those that run quickly, such as cats and rabbits.
Feeding Your Boxer
All Boxers need a food that is formulated for large breeds.
Generally puppies require about fifty-five calories per pound of body weight, while adults require around forty calories per pound.
Be sure they are given multiple feeding times to keep them from gulping their food down, causing life threatening issues such as bloat.
Using a large flat dish for feeding can help in keeping them from eating to quickly.
Boxer puppies will need a quality food formulated for large dog breeds.
They grow incredibly quick, and will eat twice as much as they will as an adult.
That means until they are six months old, they can eat up to four cups of food a day.
Portion their food into multiple feeding times, being sure not to overfeed them during mealtimes because they are prone to bloat.
Monitor their weight.
Increase food intake if you can see his ribs, up his food intake.
If you can’t feel them when you hold him, decrease it. And remember to take them to the vet regularly.
Boxer Dog Adults
Adult Boxers feeding requirements vary based on final weight and activity level.
Generally, they will eat somewhere between three to five cups a day, and their meals should be broken into at least two a day.
Never let your dog go hungry because eating too quickly can cause bloat, a dangerous condition.
Keep an eye on snacks, and making sure they get enough exercise to keep your Boxer at a healthy weight.
Boxers In The Headlines
#1 C.H. Bang Away of Sirrah Crest
A notable boxer who sired the most champions, won the most awards, and changed the look of the breed.
He was declared the Best Boxer in America Today by Frau Stockman after he won BIM.
He went on to win BIB in group 2, and in 1951 he won Best In Show at Westminster, the third boxer in seven years to win the title.
He eventually retired from his Show Dog career with 121 BIS wins.
He was truly an exceptional specimen of this breed.
Pet of Cole Lewis. Nala saved the life of his ten year old owner when she jumped in between and a rattlesnake in October of 2017.
While walking in their Lancaster, California neighborhood, a rattlesnake crossed their path and Nala jumped in front of her humans, taking a bite to the nose before the snake left.
Quick actions from her family allowed her to get the life saving care she needed.
belonging to the Shaw family, this heroic Boxer saved the two year old girl from a four foot long tiger snack that was near the trampoline the girl was playing on.
Bitten, he was found frothing at the mouth and paralyzed before being rushed to the vet.
After being given three doses of anti-venom and suffering kidney damage, Mack improved and was able to come soon after his hospital stay.
Belonging to Christopher Carter, sixty nine years of age.
Christopher is diabetic, and when he collapsed into a diabetic coma on his kitchen floor, Feorge began barking.
Neighbors heard his barking and whining, noting that it was different than what was normal.
Peering through the window, one of the neighbors saw Mr. Carter collapsed on the floor. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he was released the next day.
Without George, Mr. Carter may not have been found in time.
Belonging to the Ledfor family in Ohio, he attempted to save his owner, Ben Ledford, from a house fire.
He was found by firefighters lying on his owners face trying to shield him from the heat, flame, and smoke.
Ben was taken to the hospital where he later passed away from his injuries.
Carmen spent two weeks at a critical care veterinary hospital for smoke damage and severe lung damage.
She has recovered, and went home with Ben’s brother Phil and his wife.
a member of the Smith family for 10 years, she helped save the life of Ryle one winter night when he wandered into the woods and got lost in the woods behind their house in Seneca, Mo.
While playing the boy wandered too far away, and while waiting for rescuers, Baxter and Bella ( a mixed lab and recent addition to the family) laid on the boy shielding him from the cold front moving in.
Baxter and Bella saved Ryle from freezing to death.
#7 Foster and Gracie
Two boxers owned by Nascar driver Greg Biffle. Foster, almost ten, was once the face on the Milkbone box in 2010.
Gracie was set to be euthanized within twenty four hours when Biffle learned of her and immediately adopted her.
#8 Bearly and Bella
Boxers owned by Justin Timberlake.
Timberlake is a famous musician, not only for his solo work and noted songs including “Cry me a river”, but also for his work with N’Sync.
He is also an actor, songwriter, dancer, and record producer.
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What To Do Now That You’re Ready To Own A Boxer
- Buy from a reputable breeder to ensure that they have the testing and paperwork to ensure you get the puppy you expect.
- Puppies ready to be adopted out should be wormed, and if old enough they will also be vaccinated.
- You can get a rescued Boxer, but if you have your heart set on a puppy do not buy from a pet shot, as these are often from puppy mills.
- Parents should have papers proving a test for hip dysplasia, and be checked out for cardiovascular issues before they are bred. Heart disease is common in Boxers. Be sure you see these before committing to buying offspring.
- Boxers are prone to health problems, and getting a health insurance for your new puppy is not only recommended, it is considered essential for this breed.
How Much Does a Boxer Dog Cost?
- Expect to pay between 750 to 100 euros, or 840 to 1121 U.S. dollars. Show dogs or those bred from show dogs will be at the higher end of the spectrum
- Price ranges are between 840-1120 U.S. Dollars, or 750 to 100 euros.
- Show quality dogs or those that come with breeding rights will be more expensive, falling in the upper range of pricing.
- Non show quality dogs with proper breeding will be cheaper, but ensure that the breeder is reputable and not from a puppy mill or unethical breeder.
Members of the working group are intelligent, strong, watchful and alert.
This group has many breeds, which were used to assist man in guarding, pulling sleds, and even performing rescues.
The Boxer is a member of this group, proving its worth as a watchdog and member of the military.
The first Boxer was registered in the AKC in 1904.
Boxers are also members of the Guardian Group in the UKC.
The Guardian Group, consisting of two types.
Flock Guards and Mastiffs.
MAstiffs are characterized by their use as personal guard dogs and watch dogs.
Boxers are a member of this group, recognized in 1948.
National Breed Clubs
- American Boxer Club
- Allegheny Boxer Club
- Georgia Boxer Club
- East Tennessee Boxer Club
- Missouri Valley Boxer Club
- American Boxer Rescue Association
- Bay Area Boxer Rescue
- Boxer Angels Rescue
- Boxer Rebound, Inc.
- Second Chance Boxer Rescue
- Wiggle Buttz Boxer Rescue
Frequently Asked Questions About Boxer
# Are Boxers Good Family Dogs?
Boxers are said to make good family dogs because they are good with children.
Historically trained as guard dogs, they are still wary of strangers; however, with early and in depth socialization with children, adults, and other animals, as well as good training, they can be a great addition to your family.
# Are Boxer Dogs Dangerous?
All breeds used as guard dogs have the potential to be dangerous, and much of their behavior is shaped and moulded by their upbringing.
Early training and socialization is imperative to a well behaved dog.
It’s also important to buy from a breeder that can tell you the personality of both the parents to look for potential behavioral problems.
# What Health Problems Do Boxer Dogs Have?
Purebred dogs often come from a small gene pool which leads to a host of genetic illnesses that can be inherited, and the Boxer is no different.
They are prone to heart problems, hip dysplasia, digestive issues, Gastric Dilation Volvulus, Bloat, cancer, renal disease, epilepsy, inflammation, and more.
Knowing the history of the parents and the genetic testing done can help you find the healthiest puppy possible.
# Are Boxers Smart Dogs?
Boxers are extremely intelligent, and dislike anything they see as repetitive or tedious. They get bored very easily.
Keep a full schedule of activities including obedience training, walks, and plenty of games and toys to keep them busy.
This will also keep them from chewing on things they shouldn’t, and allow them to display the behaviors you want to see.
Which Part Of This Article Did You Find Most Helpful?
I love Boxers!
They are such loving and smart dogs, and a great partner to go on walks with.
What is your favorite thing you have learned about this breed?
Just remember to think about everything a Boxer needs before you buy one, so that you and your new family member are a good fit for each other.
Is there something that you would like to share with other readers?
A personal experience or knowledge that would benefit others?
I would love to hear from you! Be sure to share this with your friends so they can get in on the conversation too!