WANT A BOXER?
If you are considering choosing a boxer to share your life with, read on!
Choosing a Dog
The prospective owner of any dog should always research the breed whether it be talking to breeders, owners of that breed, visit the web and conduct a search or alternatively buy a book all about their chosen dog breed. However before deciding on a breed ask yourselves a few simple questions first.
1. Do you have the time to spare to exercise and properly train a dog?
2. Do you have adequate space both inside and preferably outside your home?
3. Would your pet be left home alone for extended periods of time on a regular basis (more than 3 - 4 hours per day).
4. Can you afford food, pet insurance to cover an unforeseen accident or illness and on-going costs for training, kennels, beds?
The above are only basics and all dogs have varied needs and associated hereditary conditions, which may influence your choice of pet. Questions 1 & 2 – if you answered NO then it is more likely than not that you will ultimately have an unhappy, destructive dog in your home. Most dog breeds require exercise twice a day of at least 30 minutes. Like human’s dogs need their own space and you may find that a dog in a three bedroom flat is far from ideal!
Question 3 may seem a little strange to some but a dog left at home for extended periods can cause noise nuisance to your neighbours, also a very bored lonely dog can cause havoc in many different ways whether it be destroying your kitchen or destroying doors in your house. Ask yourself how you would feel left alone without any source of entertainment.
Question 4 is self explanatory – would you buy a car without considering on-going running costs? Hopefully not, a dog is the same - a trip to the vets because your dog has swallowed an object blocking it’s intestine could result in a vets bill in excess of £1,000!! Food and pet insurance can cost from £40 per month to £120 per month or even more so please be sure to budget for the essentials that your beloved pet will require or rely upon should the worst happen.
Basics out of the way on to the boxer breed in general
If you are reading on I can only presume you read the above and have answered the questions above honestly and truthfully for your own and your prospective dog's sake. For those of you unfamiliar with the boxer breed you may find some of my experiences and thoughts a little blunt and to the point but I would rather tell it “as it is” so to speak than dress it up.
My wife and I are owned by 2 boxers – a 5yr old brindle bitch and an all white 4yr old bitch that is completely deaf, oh and we have three children as well so with the dogs that five kids really!
If you are seriously considering boxer ownership then you should know the following first:-
As a breed the boxer is very loyal to its human family and will be wary of strangers visiting your home. Make sure that your dog does not overwhelm any guests or visitors and that your dog does not jump up at them. The boxer is quite capable of jumping from rest to a height of over 6 feet and if their head makes contact with your guests I can assure you that the boxer will not be the one with a sore head! On a more positive note the boxer is an excellent deterrent to any unwanted guests, they have an outwardly muscular form and a low deep bark with a short muzzle that will act as a deterrent to all but the most determined door to door sales people.
The boxer looks tough and physically is a hardy dog with high levels of stamina and strength; if pushed they can and will defend both you and themselves. On the whole a well-trained boxer will be fairly obedient and respectful towards other dogs, however if attacked they can and will defend themselves, the ferocity of their retort can easily overwhelm many dogs of greater size. Remember the boxer breed has bloodlines from bull breeds originally used for bear bating in Germany. If you find your dog is aggressive towards other animals always ensure you put them on a strong lead and exercise them in an area you know well and where you have clear site of any approaching members of the public who may be exercising their pet. The last thing you want is for your boxer to be in a fight with another dog and either of them to sustain any damage. Not only can it lead to the destruction of either dog but also lead to unwanted visits to your vet, ultimately if your dog is aggressive invest in preventative training it will make yours and your dog's walks far more enjoyable.
As a breed the boxer requires a minimum of two walks one of which should be in excess of an hour (once your boxer is mature) and preferably off lead in a secure area away from cars and livestock. Whilst your boxer is a young puppy the “5 minute” rule should be applied i.e. multiply each month of your puppies life by 5 minutes and that is the maximum length your boxer should be walked during any one day. Over exercise can lead to long term damage to your dog’s hips and elbows and lead to over development of the chest causing a barrel chested dog.
They may look tough but the boxer is generally a big softie with a big heart, if you lavish your boxer with love and devotion it will repay you tenfold. The boxer is a sensitive breed and will not cope well with being left home alone for extended periods or take well to being physically punished for “bad” behaviour. If your boxer does misbehave ask yourself how you would like to be treated; would you like a size 12 up the backside or would you prefer a less physical means of punishment (training)? There are many ways of discouraging undesirable behaviour ranging from distraction techniques through to isolation for short periods (5 minutes).
A well-fed and exercised boxer will generally be physically and mentally active, much more so than many other breeds. It is important that you know when to get them to take a break from play or exercise as they will quite literally keep playing or running around resulting in injury to themselves.
Being a powerful dog beware of your boxer being over enthusiastic – they can easily pull or knock you over whilst on or off their lead. Never allow a child to walk any dog especially a boxer because if they choose to start running your child will have a severe case of “gravel rash”.
Training is the key to controlling your boxer – he or she will have far more respect for you if they know that boundaries exist within the pecking order and will thrive on varied and challenging training sessions. A happy boxer is one that is both mentally and physically stimulated through out the day!
Never leave young children unsupervised with any dog. Whilst you may think that your beloved pet would never harm a child, remember that your dog has many ways of warning others that it does not appreciate their attention ranging from growling to warning nips. Children do not always appreciate that, like humans, dogs like / require peace and quiet, teach your children from a young age to respect your boxer and that whilst on their doggy bed they must leave them well alone.
After walks in the rain always dry your boxer off thoroughly, as a short haired breed they do not like being cold and wet! After or whilst drying them off give them a quick once over checking for cuts, grazes, thorns / glass etc in pads, lumps and growths on the body. Doing this after each and every walk (wet or dry) will ensure that you are aware of anything that may need attention by a qualified vet – often meaning that your dog does not suffer in silence.
Sun = fun! Not necessarily. Make sure that on sunny days you never leave a dog unattended in a car even if you are only going to nip in the shops for 5 minutes, if that’s how long you’re going to be – leave them at home. When out and about with your dog always take plenty of water with you and a suitable dish or container. White boxers will also require sun block on their sensitive areas (ears, backs of legs, nose etc). They will burn if shade is not available and a dog with sunstroke is not a nice thing to see. Using sun block and providing shade will decrease your boxer's chances of developing tumours.
Fun in the garden. Boxers love being out in the garden, however always ensure that your garden is secure and safe. Boxers like digging and may decide to do a spot of gardening on your behalf!! Don’t worry it’s nothing personal just part of their mischievous clown like personality, they also love water so feel free to add some fun during the summer with a cooling hose pipe – they’ll either love it and play along, or hate it and run a mile.
Lakes, rivers, streams and the sea – your boxer will either love or hate water but generally they tend to like water (my brindle loves it so much I once had to wade into the local lake in January to retrieve her because she would not come out!!). Again whilst they may love being in the water they will not appreciate being freezing cold in the back of a cold car so please ensure you take along some towels to dry them off. Once again check their pads / paws for cuts and damage. Remember when by the sea to check that you are on a doggy friendly beach, also ask locally whether or not that area ever have jellyfish frequenting the shoreline. The last thing you need is a boxer with a mouthful of jellyfish – trust me they do have moments of immense stupidity!
Still reading? You must be keen, waiting for more specific information relating to white boxers? If so read on………………….
The White Boxer Story
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DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this page is based on personal experience/opinion only and is not intended to act as professional advice, nor replace the information given by any professional body.