If you want a dog that is a marshmallow with
your children, but a strong deterrent to criminals, you
may want to take a look at the Boxer. The Boxer gets its
name from its habit of using its front legs to box when it
is fighting. These powerful dogs were originally used as
hunting dogs, although they quickly became popular as
police and military dogs in Europe. As people began to
discover how devoted and loving the Boxer was to its
family, this dog breed turned into a companion dog, as
well. Interestingly enough, the versatile Boxer didn't
become popular in the United States until men returning
from fighting in World War II brought some of these dogs
home with them.
Although Boxers are considered to be medium sized dogs, they
have the strength of a big dog. A young, healthy Boxer is all
muscle and energy and weighs in at fifty to eighty pounds.
These dogs have a broad chest, a wide skull and a face similar
to that of a Bulldog. Their big brown eyes are very expressive
and these dogs are not above using a pitiful 'poor me' look to
get their own way.
Boxers should be fawn or brindle with
black mask like markings on their face. A dog with white
markings is considered to be flashy. However, if a Boxer has
more than one third of its body covered in white or is
completely white, it will be unable to compete in the show
ring. Also, white Boxers are prone to deafness, as well as
other health problems.
If you live in an apartment, a Boxer may not be the right
breed for you. These dogs are high energy animals and really
need to be able to exercise frequently. A home with a securely
fenced yard is ideal for a Boxer. You will need to be sure the
fence is high enough and secure enough to prevent your dog from
escaping, since a Boxer can easily jump over lower fences.
Although most Boxers get along well with other dogs, you may
not want to buy a Boxer if you have a small dog or cat. If you
do have other dogs, consider neutering your Boxer at six months
to keep aggression toward other dogs in check. Small children
and Boxers get along quite nicely, although your Boxer may be
too energetic to play with toddlers until he matures. After
all, a young, exuberant Boxer can easily knock an adult flat
with an overly enthusiastic greeting.
Since Boxers are so high energy and so powerful, these dogs
need to be enrolled in obedience training while they are still
easy to control. Puppy classes can also help you socialize your
Boxer and will teach him to play nicely with other dogs. These
dogs are eager to please and should pick up basic obedience
commands quickly. You may want to consider advanced obedience
and agility training for your Boxer, as well.
Boxers require very little grooming. Simply brush through
your dog's sleek coat once a week to remove loose hair so you
don't have to vacuum it off of your floor. You should also
clean your dog's teeth and check his nails to see if they need
to be trimmed.
Boxers are hearty eaters. You should consider feeding your
dog a food formulated for large dogs, since Boxers are prone to
hip dysplasia. These dogs have relatively few other serious
health problems. You may want to check for a history of heart
or thyroid disease before buying a puppy.
So, if you want a dog who will be a devoted friend and
companion, then a Boxer may be the perfect choice for you.