Perhaps you are just researching different breeds before bringing home a puppy. Thank you! That is very responsible of you! All too often, people bring home puppies because they are “cute”, yet have no background information on the breed itself. Is the boxer breed right for you? Below are some pros and cons I have compiled from my own personal experience:
* An ever loyal companion. Boxers absolutely ADORE their human families.
* A strong, muscular breed whose appearance deters unwanted intruders (little do they know behind that intimidating appearance lies the biggest cuddle-bug ever!)
* If well bred and well trained, they are highly intelligent, focused workers with an obedient, need-to-please personality. Boxers excel in obedience competitions!
* Excellent family dogs. Boxers LOVE children, and despite their large size, they intuitively know how gentle to be with your youngsters. Check out this video of a boxer playing with his family’s new infant: Linus the Boxer Loves His Baby!
* As with children, boxers also can sense how gentle to be when playing with smaller dogs. All of my parents dogs are under 25 pounds and every boxer who has been around them has been great!
* Boxers require minimal grooming! All they need is a weekly brush down, a nail trim every now and then and they are good to go!
* Happy go-lucky kind of dog. If well socialized (as with any breed) they get along with just about everyone, people and dogs alike!
* Average shedders. However, their hair is very short, so the shedding isn’t as noticeable as with other average-shedding breeds.
* If not properly trained (or from an ill-bred bloodline), can be extremely hyper and boisterous as puppies (and boxers have a VERY long puppyhood! Their growth plates do not close until they are 18 months old, and after that they fill out for another year or so!).
* Head-strong or stubborn. It’s a classic Boxer trait, both endearing and enraging. While all boxers are a little stubborn, a “grab-the-bull-by-the-horns” owner can channel this strong-willed personality into determination.
* Noisy. NOT yappy, noisy. This means they snore, wheeze, snort and pass gas that could evacuate an entire building! Some (like myself) find it endearing, others not so much.
* Boxers, especially those with rather large jowls, may drool and slobber. Many boxers will only do this when drinking water or playing hard, while some are complete slobber-buckets! Again, some (like myself) find this endearing! I, for one, would much prefer a slobbering dog than a dog with massive amounts of shedding!
* If not properly socialized, can show aggression towards other dogs. This applies to most dog breeds, but is especially important in larger breeds. This is easily avoidable by letting your puppy meet tons of other dogs while he is between the ages of 8-12 weeks. Socializing after this age is important too, but between 2-3 months is a crucial time for socialization in your puppy’s development! NOTE: DO NOT allow your puppy in dog parks or around other puppies or dogs who are not up-to-date on their shots. Parvo is extremely contagious, life threatening and very costly to treat!
* Boxers are at risk for very serious illnesses such as: cancer, heart disease, hip dysplasia, etc. While there is no guarantee your boxer won’t develop these diseases, there are very practical ways to prevent this happening to your pet: 1) Buy from a good breeder with health-tested parents. 2) Feed your dog high quality food and restrict processed food and treats from their diets. 3) Feed your dog food that was made specifically for large-breed puppies. Most formulas such as these help slow down the bone growth of your puppy to ensure healthy, strong bones 4) Do not over exercise your puppy. Puppies under the age of 18 months should not participate in strenuous exercise so that the growth plates in their hips can close properly without added pressure.