Boxers may look tough as nails (and they are certainly tough) but under the surface they are lovable, playful, sometimes goofy pals. They get along with the whole family, including children and other pets. Some have even been know to get chummy with cats.
- 55 - 70 pounds
- 21 - 25 inches
Ideal Human Companions
- Active, outdoorsy types
- A-type personalities
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- Stocky, muscular frame
- Strong and nimble
- Lovably excitable
- Clever and (sometimes) sneaky
- Friendly and accepting
What They Are Like to Live With
Though it’s a myth that Boxers got their name from their tendency to stand up and “box” with their paws, they do use their paws frequently, whether to bat playfully at their water bowls, toys and friends. They sometimes do it for fun, but mostly it’s to send you a message like “feed me” or “play with me!” Boxers also love to carry things around the house. This could be a toy, a shirt, or just about anything.
Loyal and affectionate, Boxers need lots of attention. Playtime, walks and obedience games are always appreciated. They are extremely protective of their surroundings, serving as very dependable guard dogs. However, they are generally friendly—and sometimes giddy—when meeting new people. An excellent companion to kids, they might be too rambunctious with the very young—but they never lose their patience or good nature.
Things You Should Know
Boxers sometimes try to dominate their owners. The best way to handle this is to maintain a firm but friendly hand. If acquired as a puppy, make sure your Boxer gets adequate training and socialization to manage the extreme aspects of his energetic personality. An untrained Boxer—using its speed, energy and jumping skills at will—can be a handful.
Boxers are sensitive to heat and cold. Their short snouts make it hard for them to cool themselves down in humid weather, and their coats are not thick enough for the cold. If you live in an extreme temperature area, either consider another breed or closely monitor your Boxer when playing outside.
A healthy Boxer can live as long as 14 years. Common health problems include tumors (especially in older Boxers), skin allergies, hip dysplasia and heart problems. They also tend to drool and snore. Like most energetic canines, they need loads of exercise, activity and human contact to maintain good health and happiness.
Developed in 19th century Germany from German Mastiffs and English Bulldogs, the Boxer was used as a hunting, fighting and working dog, prized for its tenacity, strength and obedience. Later used as cattle dogs, they also made a name for themselves as circus performers. In the early 1900s, the Deutscher Boxer Club established a breed standard for Boxers, and the AKC approved them in 1904. Decades later, American soldiers brought them home after World War II, and they quickly became popular in the U.S.
The Look of a Boxer
Boxers have a compact, square-built frame that looks equally elegant and powerful. Their lean, well-developed muscles are usually visible under the tight, unwrinkled skin, and they carry themselves in a proud and balanced manner. They have chiseled heads—in proportion to their bodies—with open nostrils and wide, blunt muzzles. They have strong necks, short backs, docked tails and straight front legs. Their taut, close-fitting coats can come in a variety of colors: beige, tawny brown, and shades of red with white markings.
Talk About Boxers
A wonderful, comical breed
My dog is a white Boxer. He is absolutely the best dog I've ever had and I highly recommend this breed! He is so comical with his facial expressions and "person-like" personality. He insists on a walk everyday, is extremely protective of our home, and he's loyal. He can be a little stinky with gas and he does slobber and "bubble" up at the mouth when he begs (which is often!).
Separation anxiety can be a problem if you're away too much and keep the soap bars and hair gel hidden as they do like these as a snack - even once they are grown! My dog in particular is better with older children (he was never around young children when he was a puppy). He tolerates my 2-year-old grandson but gets a little nervous when a toy is thrown or he's poked and prodded on too much (never has he bitten or shown his teeth though). These dogs will keep you laughing and smiling! Great Breed! You will love them!
~Elaine, owner of a Boxer
Boxers are the best - they clown around like goofballs. They're fast and muscular and run all over the place, then, after running, relax with you on the couch to watch football all Sunday afternoon. Great with children and very smart. Will protect their property and loved ones with a fearless attitude. I love my boxer, Meatball.
~Jason, owner of a Boxer
A breed for families
We love Boxers! They are the most loving and family-oriented breed in the world! We foster and then of course adopt the seniors and enjoy every single minute we get to spend with them. Our Gracie is the happiest when we're all together, but she also is a daddy's girl! At 10 years old, she is still full of energy, so two long walks a day are a must. She loves to play ball and loves little children.
~Bay, owner of a Boxer
A great dog to grow up with
I owned a Boxer up until this last year. Her name was Bailey, and she was an amazing dog. I was seven when my family got her - she was only a puppy, and she was always there for me whenever i needed her. Boxers are great with children generally, but remember to be cautious before ever approaching any dog! Bailey would allow children to do anything to her, and when she was done playing she would walk away and we would tell the children to take a break. If you are thinking of getting a Boxer, know that they are amazing dogs, and if you do the right research and understand what the breed demands, they can be a great fit for your family.
~Rebecka, owner of a Boxer
Madison, our 7-year-old Boxer, grew up with our Black Lab/Shepherd mix of the same age. She is a wonderful companion to him as well as my husband, my elderly father, and me.
Boxers are a very gentle, smart, obedient, well-tempered, protective breed. They are GREAT with children. Our Boxer loves to play with husband's niece and nephew (non-stop if she could). Since Boxers can get excited quickly, they may unintentionally knock down a toddler, so keep an eye on them while around very young kids. You can train them to be more gentle while around youngsters.
They have such an exuberance for life, with a humorous side to their antics, it's almost contagious. Boxers want nothing more than to give unending love and attention to their family.
~Amy N., owner of a Boxer
A really large lapdog
I adopted my brother's Boxer when he died. My brother was not a disciplinarian, and Daisy was quite out of control back then. I never thought I would get to love her the way I do. She was completely out of control, but when we adopted her she was like a different dog. We've had her for two years now and she is quite funny.
We also have a Siamese cat who annoys Daisy sometimes with her meowing, but she gets along well with her considering she's never lived with cats before. Daisy absolutely loves my teen grandson and my pre-teen granddaughter. She also wishes she could be a lapdog, which she is quite too big to be. She does try to get up on your lap and loves having her neck and chin lightly scratched. She also loves running through the forest when she can. She is really a great dog: intelligent, affectionate and loving.
~Janet J., owner of a Boxer
Big, boisterous and wonderful!
Our boxer, "Hooch," had been in five homes before ours. Make sure you do your research! They are big, boisterous, active, fun and wonderful dogs! But they are also too smart and too sneaky. Boxers are known to be trainable and will work for food.
Our Hooch is five years old and recently had his third surgery for tumors. This time several were removed, all benign (thank god!). We fell in love with this dog as much as anyone could. He has a comedic personality, loves people and is gentle. He gets along well with our Chihuahuas.
~Roxanne J., owner of a Boxer
Loving and attentive but demanding
I have two Boxers now, after recently adopting a rescue. Layla is my first Boxer she is 3 and a half years old. We just got Lexi and she is a year younger. Both are amazing dogs. I have had dogs all my life and this breed is wonderful. They are quite a handful, but generally get along great. When they get a little rough, a clicker sound will stop and redirect them. They are loving, attentive but demanding. Layla and Lexi are well trained as both of them outweigh me and I have to have control. I would not recommend this breed for anyone who does not have the time or strength to handle a Boxer. They are fast learners and crave instruction and praise.
~Susan P., owner of two Boxers
The perfect breed for me
I grew up with a Boxer and bought one of my own when I purchased a house two years ago. They are great dogs with children, rarely bark, easy to keep clean with their short coats, make great watchdogs and love to be around their owners. I can't really say anything negative about them. I have noticed two eccentricities about them, one of which is that they hate rain and the second is that they tend to steal your seat when you get off the couch.
~Patrick F., owner of a Boxer
Perfect breed, period.
Our boxer, Shakespeare, was the best dog I've ever had. He was wonderful with my two young daughters. They did everything to that poor thing, even dressed him up and put his ears in ponytails. He loved anything they did to him!
My youngest daughter used to take her naps lying on him. Losing him was like losing one of the family. We want another one and would recommend this breed to anyone!
~Lisa B., owner of a Boxer
Laila the Wonder-Boxer!
Okay, Wonder Boxer may be a bit much but I absolutely love this breed and this dog. She is a 2-year-old with a great personality and is super with my grandkids. Her main issue is to go and "kiss" all the kids on the face. After about 10 kisses or so, I have to rescue the kids from her. She is smart, loyal, and a lot of fun.
One thing: Get them young and train, train, train! Play with their paws and teeth, and make sure you get them to realize that you own their food. I always make Laila sit, stay, then she gets to eat only after I give her the OK. That way she realizes her food belongs to the human rather than to her. Early on I would pet her while she ate and on occasion pick up her food bowl so she could understand the food was really mine. All this to evade any food aggression, and it has worked to perfection. With little grandkids, the training was a protective measure for all concerned.
Boxers are easy to train and eager to please, but they do need daily walks and a lot of chase games. If you intend to stake a Boxer in the yard and leave them to their own devices, you will grow a nutcase.
Laila is very bonded to us, and even mourns when we leave her for too long. The good news is she recovers as soon as we get back home.
~Greg D., owner of a Boxer
Boxers are fantastic!
After owning many dogs throughout my life. I always was impressed with the look of the Boxer. I researched them online to see how well they would be around children, as I have three grandchildren. I was pleasantly surprised to read that they are excellent family dogs. As my Boxer, Cooper, grew up, I found that his patience for kids hanging onto him always turned into a playful time for all. He would knock them down when they were smaller, only to find that they loved it! Cooper is a lover of all. He is social with everyone. He meets no strangers; everyone is just a friend in waiting. He's a great character, very affectionate, and I would never want any another breed of dog. You may think YOU got a Boxer, reality is -- HE's got you!!
~Mary V., owner of Cooper the Boxer!
A very energetic handful
My son had to get a dog after getting out of the service, so he started the search and ended up with my "granddog" (and she is a grand dog!), Freida, a beautiful brindle Boxer.
She's now 3 years old and full of energy. She's quite a handful, but a fun handful. She is loving and affectionate and extremely intelligent.
Boxers do need a lot of exercise and attention, so if you aren't prepared to give both, look for another breed. But if you do get a Boxer, you have a loyal, intelligent, loving friend for life.
~Renee P, owner of a Boxer
My children are grown and I am now by myself, so I decided to look for a companion. I had experience with a boxer before and knew I liked the breed. I searched and searched the internet as I wanted to adopt, I was passed by on several then I found my Mojo, a white boxer. She is very smart and friendly and is easy to train. She is protective and staked claim on me the first couple days when meeting my son's black Lab, Daisy.
Mojo is a joy. She loves to play with Daisy. She was so happy when she found she could jump on the couch by herself! When I get in her way she just lies on me. At bedtime she sleeps like a person, her head on a pillow. She is great fun, company, and love. When I say she is God's blessing, yes, that is what she is.
If you get a boxer, please adopt. You do need to be patient and kind, like to get kisses -- a lot of kisses -- and share your supper. Give your Boxer your love and time, because that is exactly what you will get in return.
Do research on all aspects and be prepared. You'll need lots of toys to keep your furniture safe. Mojo is only caged while I am gone, and any other time she has never touched anything but her toys.
~Donna P., owner of a Boxer
My service dog is loving and smart
Donovan is my service dog, and there isn't one thing I love most there are several things. One is his intelligence, another is his loving nature, yet another is his strength and beauty. He constantly entertains me with his antics. He also has me trained to many of his signals, for treats especially.
If you get a Boxer you will be getting quite a package of energy, strength, and intelligence. You must be ready to think constantly, as your Boxer will be thinking too. They need lots of exercise and will let you know if you don't provide it by having a dog fit of excess energy where he runs around your home like a madman.
Your Boxer will also win your heart by his cuddliness. You will ihave a hard time keeping him off you! Most Boxers think they are lapdogs and act accordingly.
~D. Irene R., owner of a Boxer