Within seconds of meeting a Boxer it is quite apparent that these are strong, playful, and loving dogs. That said, are Boxers loyal? Would my dog sell me out for a sandwich?
While your dog might well eat that sandwich, you can rest assured that their loyalty is as strong as steel. Boxers don’t give their love lightly, but when you have it, you’ve got a lifetime of loyalty and unconditional love in a gruff, robust, and furry package. Simply put, your Boxer will always have your back!
It’s actually hard-wired into your Boxer to do this, so in order to help you understand this a little better, today we’ll talk about Boxer love, loyalty, and the ‘pack mentality’ foundation behind it. These dogs are about as loyal as they come, so read on and we’ll tell you all about the ‘why’ of it!
Are Boxers Loyal?
All that loyalty is built on a solid foundation of pack mentality and good, old-fashioned love. Boxers, for all their bluff and bluster, are really teddy bears when it comes to their owners and this is not a light affection.
According to experts, while your dog has a lousy short-term memory (possibly as little as 70 seconds), if you were missing for years and came home, they would very likely still remember you. Studies have shown that this occurs even when a dog changes owners. Once given, their love and loyalty is rock-solid.
You’ll see their affection in their body language. Your Boxer will lean on you to feel closer and of course they’ll ‘box’ with you playfully, slapping you with their paws when they want to play or when you are feeling down and they want to ‘box’ you back into a good mood.
Needless to say, Boxers do indeed love their owners, and the kind of unconditional love that it is, well, let’s just say that it is a rarity indeed.
Will Boxers protect their owners?
Boxers are highly protective of their owners and their family, viewing them as their ‘pack’. This can be an excellent thing, since these strong dogs can certainly make a difference when there is danger afoot. The caveat, however, is that you will need to socialize your Boxer early to avoid any potential ‘misunderstandings’.
If a Boxer sees you or one of the kids play-wrestling with a friend, for instance, and they don’t know that friend or in fact, many other humans at all, then there is a very real possibility that your dog might ‘step in’ to protect you or your child. Unfortunately, someone might get bitten!
Socialization can prevent this by introducing your dog to new animals and humans so that your dog learns that some people are okay and that other dogs can be friends. You can accomplish this easily with trips to the dog park, as well as introducing your friends one-by-one to your Boxer, preferably with treats in hand.
Don’t worry that this will make your dog ‘soft’. Boxers are protective by nature, so socialization is only going to make them more well-behaved and more discerning. Simply put, your dog will have a better idea of when their family members are simply playing together and when there’s dangers and it’s time to step-in!
Do Boxers have a favorite person?
While they will love everyone in their family ‘pack’, Boxers tend to recognize a male and a female alpha and give them the most attention, rather than sticking to one person. That doesn’t mean that you won’t have cases where the dog seems most attached to one child, however, it’s just more commonly how it goes.
In fact, a Boxer bonding the most with a child in the family is not uncommon, and if you look at how we treat our kids then you can get an understanding of why they might appear to be the alpha to your dog. For one thing, we serve the kids food first, and the alpha dog always gets the first shot at food.
If you let your child go through doors first, then that also tells your dog that they are more important than you when it comes to ‘pack rank’. If, on the flip side, your dog listens to the adults and tends to jump on the kids, then this is also pack behavior and you can definitely do something about it.
Take turns feeding your Boxer and while you hold them, let your child put down the food bowl and make your dog wait for a few seconds before eating. Repeat this for a week or two and you’ll see a change in your they treat your family members, as making them ‘eat last’ shows them their ‘place’ in the pack.
Why does my Boxer follow my girlfriend?
If you have a significant other who lives with you, then you might be a bit annoyed at the amount of attention that they are getting from your dog. This can manifest in your Boxer following them around all of the time or listening to them and not to you, and it can be a bit frustrating to say the least.
Don’t worry about, though, as you can certainly do something about this. Remember that your dog sees the family as a ‘big pack’ and a pack has an ‘alpha couple’. If one member of that couple is home more than the other, then your dog will quickly learn their routine, but you can make changes to that routine too.
As you are also an Alpha, if you take the time to schedule a play session and a treat as soon as you get home and stick to the schedule, your dog will start looking forward to this and switch their attention to you.
It might take 2 to 3 weeks for them to see that your serious, but if you put in the time your dog WILL respond. So, don’t take it as a matter of personal snubbing if your dog doesn’t immediately come running when you get home. They are just ‘following orders’ and you’ll need to tell them what you want.
Are Boxers possessive?
Boxers are protective, and it might look like they are being possessive or ‘jealous’ of you, but unless they are codependent then this is really not the case. Boxers an instinctual drive to protect their household and their family members, so if your dog is being possessive of you then likely they don’t know what else to do.
When Boxers get worried, they don’t ‘turn-tail and run’ like most other dogs. Instead, they tend to puff up and show that they are ‘tough’, in an effort to drum up their courage or at least to convince that other animal or person that they are NOT afraid at all. This can come across as clinginess, but it really isn’t.
Try scheduling some socialization outings where your dog can spend a little more time around other animals and people. Parks are great for this, especially dog parks, where your Boxer can make some play-friends and broaden their social horizons a little bit.
When your dog gets used to other people and animals, you will definitely see a change. So, if your Boxer seems to be a bit on the possessive side, then give socialization a try. It might just be that your dog is afraid – something that you will want to address now before it can become a bigger problem.
How do I keep my Boxer from becoming codependent?
If you live alone with your Boxer and don’t socialize much, then there is a slight chance that they could become codependent and in turn, suffer from separation anxiety.
This is a condition where a dog becomes upset and anxious whenever you leave, and continues howling, whining, and likely even acting up while you are gone. If you see this kind of behavior with your dog, then get the vet involved. There are medications that can help to calm your dog a little and some training will be required.
It can take a while, but the training is just a matter of socializing your dog so that they get more used to other people and animals. Also, if you are leaving your dog along for 6 to 8 hours at a time every day for work, you will also want to hire a dogsitter to check on them from time to time.
Dogs are very social creatures and if left alone for too long, they can become very codependent on you and respond with anxiety when you leave. By broadening their social horizons, your dog will feel less alone and less reliant on you for all their attention. Just be patient – it takes time – but your dog will get better.
Some closing comments
Boxers are loyal to a fault and even though they look tough, that’s just a show for everyone outside of the pack. Your dog will show their tender side by leaning on you, ‘boxing’ with you to get your attention, and in dozens of other different ways.
Just be sure that you get them to meet other people and animals, however, so that they may discern the difference between friendly interactions and potentially dangerous ones. When your Boxer doesn’t know, they’ll be frightened, and Boxers tend to always stand their ground.
With proper socialization, they’ll have a better idea of when this kind of behavior is appropriate, and they won’t become codependent on you for all of their attention. Your Boxer is a loving dog and one of the most loyal breeds out there – they just need a little guidance from you!