You’ve decided that you want to add a canine companion to your life and you are wondering what type of dog would be the right fit for you and/or your family and where to find that pet once you’ve decide. You have so many questions about size, personality, children, activity, training, food, health issues and more. Maybe you’ve always had pets or maybe this is your first foray into the world of canine companionship. Either way, making an informed decision is important since you and your new friend will be spending a lot of time together and, let’s face it, who wants to spend time with a belching, farting, cover stealing companion? You do? Fantastic! Then the Boxer is the dog for you!
But seriously, Boxers are wonderful dogs and the point of this article is to show you what they are really all about, far beyond the traits described above. You can find the breed standard here http://www.akc.org/breeds/boxer/index.cfm on the American Kennel Club website. This tells you about the development and general characteristics of the breed and what the “perfect” Boxer should look like.
To the practical side of things Boxers can range in size from 40 lbs. up to 75+ for a larger German stock dog. Now this is not to say you have to have a massive house and yard to keep them as long as they get plenty of exercise and play time. They enjoy curling up on the couch and cuddling just as much as a teacup Chihuahua.
Boxers are part of the working class, however, and a bored dog can be a destructive dog so give them a job, whether it is chasing a ball or advanced obedience! Training is fairly easy so they are great at agility, fly ball and other competitive dog athletics which will be covered in a future article. They will easily pick up on basic training though so that’s important to know at this stage of the decision making.
A big question people have is if they are good with children due to their size. In fact, Boxers are one of the best dogs to have around children. They are gentle guardians but can be very loyal and protective of their families. Boxers generally get along with everyone and greet friends with wiggles and kisses but if they feel threatened they will protect their families, sometimes with their lives.
Many pure bred dogs suffer from various genetic disorders and the Boxer is no different. Their short muzzles (called brachiocephalic) can cause them to overheat quickly on hot days. This also can account for the extra air intake that leads to the aforementioned gassy issues! Boxers are also prone to certain cancers and heart conditions. One cancer of concern is Mast Cell Tumors (http://www.caninecancer.com/Mast.html). These are usually found as a lump on the body and if caught when small and removed quickly have a very high survival rate. If extra care is taken and your Boxer is fed a high quality diet he/she should live a long and healthy life!
In short Boxers are wonderful, loving family dogs with a lot of energy that can also be great cuddly companions. If properly cared for they can have long, healthy lives and bring joy to any person whose lives they touch. So now you’ve decided to bring a Boxer into your family…what next? See the links below for more info and check the next article in the series to find out.