Tall and tough, but with an almost ‘teddy bear’ temperament, Boxers are definitely a popular breed. If you are thinking of taking one home, however, then you are probably wondering something right about now. Are Boxers high energy?
Yes, Boxers are indeed high-energy dogs, but that’s not a bad thing. Originally bred for tasks such as herding and pulling carts, these dogs have a naturally high energy level. You just need to make sure that they get plenty of play, exercise, and training so that they have somewhere to put all of it!
In this article we’re going to tell you a little more about the energy levels of Boxer dogs, as well as what you can do if that energy turns towards aggression, the effects of spaying or neutering, and more! Let’s take a look at what you need to know about Boxers and their seemingly-endless energy reserves!
What is the energy level of a Boxer?
Boxers have a fairly robust amount of energy and you’d do well to start their training early before your Boxer gets bigger! Even the greeting that earns them the name ‘Boxer’ consists of standing on their hind legs and pawing at you, so take this singular display to heart – your Boxer has definitely got a LOT of energy.
They need somewhere to put it, too, so you want to make sure that your Boxer is getting at least the minimum amount of 90 minutes of exercise every day. If you don’t, Boxers can get a little antsy and tend to wander about and get into trouble – so make sure they are getting a little workout every day.
That said, if it’s warm outside, you want to keep their exercise down to small, 15 or 20 minute sessions at a time. Despite their energy levels, Boxers are a high risk for overheating, so it won’t hurt to bring along a towel that you can dip in the ice chest water to help your Boxer to cool down.
Games like fetch can also help them to get some exercise, and you can even tire an overly-bouncy Boxer a bit by tossing an item to be fetched up the stairs if you have an indoor staircase that is safe. Don’t worry – they’ll calm down, but it’s a good idea to strategize some ways to keep your dog busy!
Why do Boxers have so much energy?
Boxers were originally bred for things like livestock herding, hunting, and pulling carts, but they were also bred for the unfortunate purposes of dog fighting and bull baiting (which involved pitting dogs against bulls that were tied to one place!).
The breed is a cross between Bulldogs and a Bulllenbeiser, which is a mastiff-like dog that is now extinct, and while we don’t expect them to pull any carts or herd our livestock much these days, the breed still has a lot of natural energy from their ancestral stock.
The good part about that is that they also happen to be incredibly sweet dogs, so you can expect an enthusiastic greeting whenever you come home, but you will also need to ensure that they are getting plenty of exercise so that they don’t get restless or become overweight.
Boxers were bred for hard work and sport, so having a bouncy Boxer is a part and parcel of owning a dog from this breed. As long as that energy is put to good use, then it should be fine, so be sure that plenty of walks, games together, and trips to the dog park are a regular part of your outings with your Boxer!
From energy to aggression
Energy has to go somewhere and on occasion, it’s not going to be in a place that you like. Boxers that are frightened can easily divert that energy flow into aggression, so this is something that you need to be careful of. Start off with a ‘positive reinforcement ONLY’ rule and this is going to help immensely.
Punishing your dog isn’t going to work. Your dog simply will not understand why you are angry and it could cost you to lose a little of their trust and if they start to fear you, then they might well become aggressive. The problem with this is that Boxers rarely back down.
These dogs, when frightened, tend to stand their ground and try to scare you off with their own aggression. This is something that you will want to deal with FAST before it can become a habit. Teaching your Boxer commands is one of the best strategies, as it gives them focus and helps to build your bond.
When your dog starts showing signs that they might be aggressive towards someone, tell your dog to sit and give them a treat when they do. After the first time, extend the time a little before giving the treat, to teach your dog to wait patiently. In time, your dog will learn to wait for your command before advancing.
How do I mellow my Boxer a bit?
Getting your Boxer to ‘mellow out’ a little is going to start with obedience training and exercise. Sometimes your Boxer can get overly anxious if they don’t know what you want them to do, so every command that you teach them helps to build your bond and to teach your Boxer to wait for your instructions.
Exercise can help to mellow them as well and if you aren’t giving them 90 minutes a day of it already, then this might actually be the problem. Start taking them out for 90 minutes a day, divided up into smaller sessions, and slowly increase the time if your dog is still a bit too bouncy for your tastes.
Socializing your dog will also mellow them out in your presence. Boxers, as a breed, can be a bit on the clingy side, and their growing dependence on you for all their playtime and socializing can make them overly-active whenever they are around you.
Taking your dog to the dog park, so that they can make some friends, will help to calm them and you can also introduce them to your friends, so that they will get used to other humans at the same time as other dogs. This will make your Boxer more well-rounded and much calmer in time.
Will my Boxer always be so hyper?
When your Boxer is young, it’s almost like someone has been feeding them coffee. These little balls of energy do calm down, however, so even if your own Boxer is a veritable ‘portrait of hyperactivity’, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It only takes about 2 years.
By 2 to 3 years of age, your Boxer is no longer a pup or a ‘teen’, but they are considered to be a mature adult, and this actually goes a long way towards mellowing those perky personalities. You can help things along with regular exercise and also by giving them stimulating toys.
Puzzle-type dog toys are good and also be sure to switch them out from time to time, so that your Boxer doesn’t get bored of them. As long as your dog is getting enough exercise, socialization with you, and mental stimulation from their toys, then they will definitely calm down.
Just be patient with the process and remember that these dogs were build for sports and for hard work, so they’ve got a lot of energy to channel – especially when they are young! Keep them busy and entertained and before you know it, they’ll mature and get into a lot less trouble. Just you wait and see!
Can’t I just neuter my Boxer to calm them?
Spaying and neutering are a good idea for dogs anyways. It does calm them down a bit, as males will be less territorial and spayed females are going to stop their heat cycle, and both will have less chance of developing certain cancers.
Just go into it with realistic expectations.
Yes, it will calm them a bit, but it’s not going to change their personality and young dogs still have a lot of energy that you will need to put somewhere. That’s going to mean that you’ll still need to give them plenty of fresh air and exercise, but they should definitely be a little more well-behaved.
Today we’ve answered the question ‘are Boxers high energy?’ and the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Bred for hard work, a high-energy body is just part of their DNA, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
90 minutes of exercise a day will help to burn off most of it and to keep your dog healthy, so this is a good start. If your dog is acting aggressive, then don’t punish them, but instead try to find out what is frightening them – most of the time aggression is just a fear response for these dogs.
Know that by 2 to 3 years of age your dog will be mature, so those energy levels won’t last forever, and finally you should consider spaying or neutering your dog. It not only calms them a bit, but it’s actually good for their health. Boxers are bouncy and energetic but remember… that means they’ll always have time for you!