Being a dog owner is a full-time job in many ways, but some breeds are definitely more high maintenance than others. If you’re thinking of bringing a Boxer into your family, you might be wondering, are Boxers easy to take care of?
Boxers can make for wonderful family dogs as they are full of life and have a lot of love to give. They do, however, need a lot of exercise and a firm hand in training, or they can exhibit boisterous and challenging behavior. They can also make a bit of low-level noise, are quite drooly because of their short snouts, and can face significant health problems too.
There are thousands of reasons why a Boxer is a fantastic choice for any family, but raising a dog is always going to be a responsibility as well as a joy. This article will go into detail about what you might expect when taking care of one of these incredible animals so that you can be prepared to give them everything that they need.
Are Boxers Easy to Take Care of Compared to Other Breeds?
There will always be challenges and responsibilities that come with raising any dog, the key is to find a breed whose needs you can happily fulfill. Boxers do require effort in some ways, but they are also low maintenance in others.
How Are Boxers Easy to Take Care of?
There are many things that might make a Boxer the ideal breed for you and your family. For example, Boxers are:
- Playful and enthusiastic about exercise and activities.
- Easy to groom due to their short, sleek coats.
- Reliable and consistent.
- Imposing enough to warn off threats, but friendly and not aggressive when properly socialised.
- Loving – forming strong attachments with their owners.
- Good around children, given the right training.
How Are Boxers Difficult to Take Care of?
Despite all of their positive qualities, there are some things that may make Boxers more challenging to take care of. These challenges are not problems or negatives, they are simply things that owners should be aware of so they can support their dogs to be as happy and healthy as possible. Boxers can be:
- Boisterous and energetic if they are not properly exercised and well trained.
- Overly protective if they have not been adequately socialised from a young age.
- Strong-willed, requiring a firm and confident owner – particularly during training.
- Noisy due to their short snouts, sometimes snoring, wheezing, and snorting.
- A bit slobbery, drooly and gassy.
- Susceptible to significant health problems.
It is important to remember that every individual dog will have a unique personality and temperament, even though some traits are more likely from some breeds. Being aware of what you might expect from your dog allows you to be ready for the type of personality that they may have so that you can look after them in a way that is best for them and your family.
Are Boxers Good for Beginners?
Most seasoned owners understand that any dog can exhibit challenging behavior or require additional support from you, no matter their breed. There are, however, some breeds that are likely to want a bit more daily focus in terms of exercise, training, and their health needs.
Boxers are larger dogs that can be stubborn and independently minded, and they tend to have a lot of energy that needs to be managed and burnt off throughout the day. They need a lot of time and energy, but that is something that you should be more than happy to give if you are thinking of bringing a dog into your life.
If you are concerned about the level of commitment required for raising a Boxer, perhaps this is not the breed for you. You should know, however, that bringing up any dog requires a big commitment and once you let them into your life, that commitment becomes a joy rather than a chore.
In some ways, a Boxer is a great first dog because you will need to stay hands-on and really get to understand what raising a dog is all about. Most Boxers are also much more relaxed and mellow once they reach adulthood, so adopting an older dog is always a great option.
Are Boxers Hard to Train?
When it comes down to it, many of the “challenges” that come with looking after a Boxer are just matters of good training and socialization.
Boxers are not known for their obedience, but they are a very intelligent breed that are willing to learn if you’re ready to teach them. All effective dog training should be centered around positivity, patience, and consistency. Boxers can be quite stubborn so they need to know that you are in charge, and they will understand this if you are clear and unwavering on the rules.
- Positivity. Positive reinforcement is the cornerstone of good training – showing your dog what to do and how to behave through rewards and praise. If you are aggressive or physical in your punishments, your dog will learn to be afraid of you and to show aggression or physicality to others when they are unhappy, which can be very dangerous for a Boxer.
- Patience. Nobody learns anything on the first try, and not giving up is how your dog will truly understand where you are coming from. Stay calm and wait for your Boxer to do the right thing so that you can show them some love every time that they do.
- Consistency. Boxers possibly need consistency more than anything else in their training. A firm trainer is not an aggressive or harsh one, it is a trainer who is always reminding their dog what the rules are. Your Boxer needs to understand that you mean what you say, and you’re not going to fight them for dominance – you simply make the decisions.
When you are raising a larger and more muscular dog, like a Boxer, you need to make sure that they are not going to act aggressively towards others. Good training is a big part of that, in making sure that they don’t view themselves as the boss or learn aggressive behavior from you, but the other piece of this puzzle is socialization.
Your Boxer needs to be exposed to as many different situations and environments as possible while they are still young, in a safe and controlled way, so they don’t feel threatened or anxious when they encounter these later on. You want your dog to have positive interactions with lots of other dogs and people at a young age, so they learn to be confident and calm around strangers.
Do Boxers Need Lots of Exercise and Attention?
A big part of the daily routine of doggy care is giving them the exercise and attention that they need. Boxers are athletic animals that need to be getting 1 to 2 hours of dedicated exercise every day. They have a lot of energy that needs to be used up, or you may find them to be rowdy and poorly behaved in the house.
This may consist of a walk every morning and afternoon, alongside dedicated playtime and training. Boxers need some relatively intense exercise to maintain their muscle mass, so they love a high-speed game of fetch. If your Boxer is properly exercised, they should be relatively calm and relaxed for most of the day, particularly once they reach adulthood.
One of the big positives of owning a Boxer is how loving and affectionate they are, but this can become a bit of a challenge if it is not properly managed. You should make sure that your dog has some space and time to themselves, so they don’t develop separation anxiety.
Boxers rarely do well with being left on their own for more than 4 or 5 hours at a time, but their level of independence can be improved if you don’t smother them too much while they are little.
Do Boxers Have Health Problems?
Most of the “challenges” that come with owning a Boxer are about the time, energy, and love that you can give them, but health problems are unfortunately less easy to control. Sadly, it is uncommon for Boxers to live long lives without any complications, which is partly due to irresponsible breeding practices through the years.
Boxers are at an increased risk of facing many different health problems, including:
- Heart Conditions.
- Hip Dysplasia.
- Degenerative Myelopathy.
- Eye Diseases.
- Digestive Diseases.
As an owner, you should arm yourself with as much information as possible about what difficulties your dog might face throughout their lifetime. Knowing what to look out for, and staying in close communication with your vet, can make sure you are ready to provide any care that your dog may need.
The Verdict: Are Boxers Easy to Take Care Of?
So, are Boxers easy to take care of? The answer is no, in the same way that being responsible for the health, wellbeing, and happiness of any animal is at least somewhat of a challenge.
Boxers can be stubborn, rowdy, and full of energy, so they need a lot of exercise and a patient and consistent training regime. These dogs can also be a bit noisy, slobbery, and gassy, which some people may find off-putting, and they can face significant health problems throughout their lives. On the other hand, they are also very loving and playful dogs with big hearts.
Boxers are animals that have an almost unlimited amount of love and joy to offer their owners, and the time and energy it takes to raise one is a small price to pay. Once you have one of these dogs in your life, taking care of them is a pleasure and a privilege.