Deciding to get a Boxer is a big decision, and one that should not be taken lightly. When you decide to get a any dog, you need to commit to caring for your dog’s needs. All too often, people change their minds about their dog, and just end up leaving the dog at an already overcrowded shelter. Irresponsible pet ownership and breeding have exacerbated the problem of the pet population. When looking into different dog breeds, it is important to take into account various factors to determine if it will be a good fit for you and your family. When trying to determine if a Boxer is a good fit for you, you should take the following into account:
Energy – The Boxer was developed as a working breed. Originally bred for shepherding, the Boxer now works in many lines of duty, and is often used as an all-purpose working dog. As such, these dogs have been bred for strength, stamina, and agility. The amount of exercise an individual dog may need can vary, but at least an hour of vigorous exercise a day is needed. There are some days my own Boxer will be taken out for 5 hours of play, biking, walking, and swimming. Even after all of this, she is still ready for more. You need to be sure that between you, or other family members, that your dog will receive an adequate amount of exercise every day. If not, then a Boxer can quickly become a nuisance as their pent up energy builds up. Keep in mind, letting the Boxer out into a big backyard does not mean they will burn off their energy.
Intelligence – Boxers are known for their intelligence, and are often referred to as one of the most intelligent of dog breeds. As such, it is important to keep your Boxer stimulated. A bored Boxer can quickly turn into a destructive Boxer. Training should start early, and it should remain consistent. Even when basic commands are learned (sit, stay, come, down, heel), it can be a good idea to learn new tricks/commands to keep them occupied. Before deciding on a Boxer, you need to commit to making sure you train your Boxer, and to keep them stimulated. On the plus side, since Boxers a fairly intelligent, they will often learn new commands quickly.
Temperament- Boxers often get a bad reputation about their temperament. This is unfortunate since many Boxers do not live up to the vicious and aggressive stereotype. A Boxer that has been responsibly bred and socialized will be among the friendliest dogs you can encounter. However, poor breeding and socialization results in dogs with poor temperament. Also, if you rescue a dog from a shelter (kudos to you!), it is possible that a Boxer may have been mistreated or encouraged to be aggressive (for guard dogs). However, it is important to realize that any breed of dog can end up being poorly socialized and aggressive. This is often a result of the mishandling by humans, and is not the dog’s nature. A properly socialized Boxer is quite often a terrific family pet, and very loyal. My very first Boxer I first had when I was only two years old. Without going into detail, I would be able to do just about anything with my Boxer, and my parents never feared that she would become aggressive or bite.
Grooming- The Boxer can be a beautiful dog, with a beautiful coat. However, this comes at a price. The Boxer is constantly shedding, and heavy shedding occurs twice a year in preparation for winter and summer. If you are a neat freak, then you may have to vacuum every day, or consider a different breed. There will be hair. Everywhere. Regular brushing will help, but hair will still end up everywhere. Other than that, a Boxer only needs a bath every so often and their nail trimmed, and they are good to go. They do not need special grooming by a professional as some dogs do.
Health- Again, this is another area where Boxers have a bad reputation in. Boxers are notorious for having hip and elbow displaysia, among other problems. However, it is worth noting, that a reputable breeder will breed only those dogs that have a clean bill of health in this area. Among the German breeding standards, there are different ratings for hips and elbows. The dogs that are bred will have only the highest standard for their hips and elbows. Careful breeding like this will prevent puppies from developing hip and elbow displaysia. While you may not know about the background of a shelter dog, if you decide to go through a breeder, it is important to know that they are reputable, and not breeding dogs that have sub-standard hip/elbows. In addition, as with any dog, you need to prepare for veterinary bills. From routine shots, yearly heartworm medication, and any other illnesses or injuries, you need to be prepared to take care of your dog’s medical expenses. Also, if you’re feeding them quality dog food, then they’re going to be much healthier. We always recommend getting them the best dog food for boxers, as recommended by DogProductPicker.com. This will ensure that they live happily, and healthily, ever-after.
A Boxer is a great, loyal, and energetic dog. They often make fantastic family dogs, and can provide a wealth of companionship. However, before deciding if a Boxer is right for you, you need to decide if you can provide for all of their needs. In addition, if you decide to buy your Boxer from a breeder, you need to know that they are a reputable breeder. A reputable breeder will allow you to see the grounds, the mother of the litter, tell you how the puppies have been handled to ensure proper socialization, and be able to provide evidence of healthy hips and elbows. A backyard breeder, while not a puppy mill, may not be as knowledgeable, and may unknowingly breed dogs with displaysia, and may not be able to tell you how they handle their puppies to ensure proper socialization. On the other end, you have a puppy mills. They often have overcrowded and deplorable conditions for the dogs. They do not give consideration for the health of the mother or puppies, and are only looking for a profit. Health conditions and expenses are often a result. I would recommend to get your Boxer from a shelter, or a reputable breeder.