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One Boxer holds the dubious honor of possessing the longest tongue of any breed—and if you've ever had your face slurped by a Boxer, this won't surprise you one bit. Funny and photogenic, this dog starred in some of Hollywood's earliest motion pictures. Boxers were also among the first breeds to do police and military work.
True to their name, the Boxer is a “handsy” breed that enters all situations front paws-first. Keep your hands up while you're playing with this joyful and enthusiastic dog, or you might get bopped in the nose!
Originally from Germany, this medium-sized and high-energy breed can grow to between 50-85 pounds and lives an average of 10-12 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Working group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Guardian
Breed Group: Working
Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
Energy level A marathoner
Exercise needs 30-45 minutes per day
Playfullness and Games All day, every day
Attachment to People Never leave my side
Behavior with Other Dogs Ok with early socialization and consistent training.
Behavior with Other Small Pets I may be ok, when socialized early and often
Behavior Toward Strangers I may be shy at first
Trainability It's fun, but I may lose focus
Watchdog ability I'm vigilant, but not very protective
Protection ability I can be somewhat protective
Grooming needs Easy maintenance, brushes and baths
Cold tolerance Warm climates or lots of jackets, please
Heat tolerance Above 70 degrees? Give me winter, please
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A BOXER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Boxers are bright, energetic, fun-loving, and playful. They are perpetually puppy-like in their enthusiasm. These canine comedians crave your attention and enjoy mental and physical challenges.
Boxers will love being part of your family but need supervision with small children to prevent this gleeful dog from accidentally romping right over them. They can be friendly toward strangers and other pets. Socialization is important to get them over their shyness toward strange dogs.
WHAT IS BOXER BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Boxers are strong and athletic and can make for devoted watchdogs. Your Boxer will require regular, rigorous exercise. These dogs are loyal and vigilant and can be protective. They're somewhat prone to barking.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A BOXER?
Boxers are trainable, but you'll need to be consistent and patient with them — they can be stubborn and sensitive. When motivated, they learn quickly and need regular physical exercise and mental stimulation. Boxers often excel in both agility training and obedience classes.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO BOXERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Boxers have smooth, short single coats that lie smoothly against their bodies. These short coats don't require much grooming, though you'll need to clean out their face wrinkles to prevent infections. Bathe your Boxer as needed. They're moderate shedders.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO BOXERS HAVE?
Though Boxers are generally healthy, this breed is one of the most prone to cancer. Some develop hypothyroidism or cardiomyopathy. Their shorter muzzles also make them prone to overheating in high temperatures. Nearly one in five white-coated boxers are also deaf.
Feeding your baby Boxer a growth food for large-breed puppies will slow their rate of growth but not diminish their adult stature which may help prevent or reduce the impact of adult-onset hip dysplasia.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE BOXERS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Boxers among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as large as a Boxer! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT'S A BOXER'S BEST DAY?
The park—let's go! Romping around with their dog friends and releasing their energy in a safe, playful way will tire your Boxer out and put him happily to bed.
SHOULD I ADOPT A BOXER?
If you love couch time more than activity and your perfect Friday night is “movies and chill,” this might not be the breed for you. Boxers are extremely active and need regular exercise to keep their minds and bodies healthy. Boxers are also sensitive to the cold and to heat, so this breed does best in moderate climates or with a good, warm sweater in winter.
If you can keep up with them, Boxers make for charming and hilarious companions. They're affectionate and playful and just want to spend time doing stuff with you. They're a wonderful breed who will do well with families who can commit to loving and challenging them—and keeping their chin up.
Have you decided that a Boxer is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.