Not enough good can be said about the magnificent Boxer: He truly is the perfect pal. Loyal, playful, and intelligent, he has energy to spare and a loving personality. Boxers are also handsome, with their chiseled head, alert brown eyes, and elegant yet powerful physique. If you’re considering bringing this popular member of the working group into your home, here’s what you need to know.
1. A Boxer is a fabulous family dog.
Over the years, the Boxer has evolved from a big game hunter to be a sweet and loving part of the family. They often get along well with kids and have a natural inclination to protect their pack. This makes him a great watchdog that you’ll need to socialize with lots of humans (and other dogs) to avoid aggressive behavior. Boxers also love to play and are extremely loyal and affectionate. Be prepared for lots of wet and sloppy puppy kisses — this breed drools!
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2. Proper training and plenty of exercise are essential.
Because Boxers are so outgoing and energetic, they need proper training early and often. Originally bred to chase wild game, Boxers tend to jump and leap — a lot! Be sure to teach your young Boxer that he cannot jump up on company; learning the “Down” and “Stay” commands will be especially important. Boxers are very smart and want to please you, but they can get bored easily. Plan on short training sessions around 10 minutes each a few times a day to keep your pup’s attention.
An adult Boxer is also going to need a lot of exercise. He’s a powerful athlete, so give him plenty of room to run and play in a secured, fenced-in area or dog park. Two 30-minute walks per day should be included in his exercise routine.
3. Grooming’s a breeze.
The Boxer’s short coat needs only an occasional bath and brush out to be shiny and healthy. All the standard dog hygiene rules apply: Trim your pal’s nails and brush his teeth regularly to keep them in tip-top shape.
4. Extremes in weather can be a problem.
Boxers are a brachycephalic (flat-faced) breed, which impacts their ability to inhale and breathe easily. Warmer weather can make it even harder for them to breathe. If you live in a hot climate, make sure you keep exercise time toward the beginning or the end of the day, when temperatures are cooler. And since the Boxer’s short coat doesn’t offer much cold protection, get him a jacket for long winter walks.
5. Monitor his health (and visit the veterinarian).
The Boxer is prone to certain health problems, including hip dysplasia, aortic stenosis (a genetic heart condition), irregular heartbeat, and deafness. Since many of these are hereditary conditions, always do your research if you’re considering bringing your Boxer home from a breeder. Regular visits to the vet will also help you stay ahead of any issues and keep your Boxer healthy and happy!