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Do Boxers Play Fetch?

Do Boxers Play Fetch?

All dogs need to stay fit and exercise every day, and Boxers often have a lot of energy that they need to burn off. If you’re looking for ways to play and have fun with your pet you might be asking, do Boxers play fetch?

Most Boxers will love to play fetch and it is a great way to give your dog some vigorous exercise without having to tire yourself out as well. Some dogs take to fetch quicker than others, but most will enjoy catching and retrieving once they have learned the basics. Boxers can be a bit stubborn, but they are intelligent and eager to get stuck in and have fun. 

For most dogs, a game of fetch is one of the simplest forms of play, but some need a bit more training than others to start bringing something back regularly. This article will go into detail about how Boxers take to the game of fetch, including how you can train your Boxer to play with you if they don’t know-how.

Do Boxers Play Fetch?

Every individual dog has their own personality and their own interests. You might find that your Boxer loves to chase and catch a ball and will play fetch with barely any encouragement. You might also find that your dog doesn’t seem particularly interested in catching games, but almost all Boxers are likely to enjoy them once they know how to play.

Boxers are enthusiastic, playful dogs that love the attention and excitement of a good game with their owners. They are also strong, muscular dogs that need vigorous exercise every day to stay fit and healthy. These two things come together perfectly in a game of fetch, where your dog gets to run fast, think quickly, and play with their favorite person – all at the same time.

Don’t be discouraged if your Boxer doesn’t immediately chase after a stick or a ball the first time that you throw one, they may need a bit of time and coaxing from you to understand that it can be a game. It doesn’t usually take long for a Boxer to fall in love with fetch, and it can quickly become part of your daily routine.

Do Boxers Play Fetch Instinctively?

Some dog breeds have a genetic history that makes them more predisposed to chasing things, catching them, and bringing them back to their owners. Breeds like Spaniels and Retrievers, for example, have a genetic history of “retrieving” animals during a hunt, so they are often instinctually enthusiastic about games like fetch.

Boxers were originally bred to work with cattle, so they are not necessarily born to chase, but they are still dogs at the end of the day. All dogs have some hunting instinct inside them that they would have needed to survive in the wild. Because they no longer need this to obtain food, it can now be a way to exercise, have fun, and bond with others.

Are Boxers Easy to Train?

Even though most Boxers will enjoy a game of fetch, they do need to understand it and “play the game” properly to be able to have fun. This can take a little bit of training, or you may end up with your Boxer chasing after a ball and then simply running off with it.

Boxers can have a stubborn streak in them which can make them seem difficult to train, but they are very intelligent and understanding if you give them the time and energy. All good training, no matter what breed you are working with, is made up of a few key components: positivity, patience, and consistency.


Positive reinforcement has been shown, time and time again, to be the most effective teaching tool for any breed of dog. Your Boxer will understand what you want from them when you give them praise and rewards for doing the right thing, and they will want to repeat that behavior because it makes them happy, and they can see that it makes you happy as well.


Nobody learns anything overnight, and it will always take a bit of time for any dog to pick up something new. With Boxers, it is especially important that you remain calm and patient with your training so that your message is clear, and they are able to understand you.

Harsh words, raised voices, and – even worse – physical punishment, will distress your dog and cause fear and anxiety. This kind of response from you is much more likely to result in bad behavior and aggression than obedience and understanding.


Despite how brilliant and intelligent dogs are, we don’t actually speak the same language. They learn from what you show them, not just what you say, and they are learning all of the time. Boxers can be quite independent-minded, so you need to be particularly consistent in what you are encouraging and what you are rewarding, or they will not understand what you are trying to teach. 

Why Should I Teach My Boxer to Play Fetch?

Teaching a Boxer to play fetch can be very beneficial for your dog, not just because it gives you a new game to enjoy together. A game like fetch is a great way to build up the bond that you have with your dog, improve your communication, and develop their ability and desire to follow your commands.

It is often easier to teach commands to your dog in the context of a game because they are more likely to be engaged and enthusiastic, and the overall experience is fun for both of you. It is also a good way for you to understand how your dog learns and therefore how you should be teaching.

How Do I Teach My Boxer to Fetch?

The main problems that owners face with a game of fetch are when a dog doesn’t grasp the main elements of the “game”. Your Boxer might not seem interested in chasing the object in the first place, or they might not want to bring it back once they’ve got it. 

To teach your Boxer to play fetch effectively, you need to show them the steps of the game, get them excited about playing, and reward them for getting it right. 

Steps for Teaching Fetch

1.  Picking up the object. 

First, you want to get your dog to be excited about whatever you are going to play with so that they want to chase it and pick it up. You can start with a favorite toy, or simply encourage them through your own enthusiasm about whatever you want them to pick up. 

It is best to start indoors, with your dog sitting in front of you. This way you have more control over the next steps of the game and can give them lots of love and praise.

2.  Giving the object to you.

This may seem like the last step of the game, but you want your Boxer to understand this part before they start chasing or they are unlikely to want to give up their toy! Be patient, use a simple command like “Give”, and reward them with lots of praise when your dog drops the object into your hand.

This step often takes some patience for your dog to do the right thing because they are unlikely to instinctively want to give up what they’re holding. Don’t get into a tug-of-war with your dog as this will just become a different game. You can also use treats or an alternative toy to get your Boxer to drop what they are holding.

This is a really useful and very important skill for your dog to learn. If they will give you something that is in their mouth on command, it will make your life a lot easier.

3.  Returning.

Start with very short distances first, perhaps indoors or on a leash. Once your Boxer will drop something straight into your hand, you can start by throwing it just a foot away and slowly increasing the distance. You need them to understand that bringing the object back to you is how they get praise, and how the game continues.

This part is all about consistency and remembering how dogs learn. If you chase after your dog and give them lots of attention for running off with their object, that will be the game they will want to play. If you remain still and call them back, giving them lots of rewards and praise when they do so, they will understand that this is how it’s played.

4.  Chasing.

This part of the game usually comes naturally to a dog. If your Boxer doesn’t immediately want to chase after something that you’re throwing, you might need to build up their excitement. The more excited you are about what you’re holding, the more excited your dog is going to be as well.

You can also switch up the object that you are using for the game to something that your Boxer is more interested in. Once they play fetch with one object, they are likely to start playing with other things too.

The Verdict: Do Boxers Play Fetch?

So, do Boxers play fetch? The answer is yes, almost all Boxers will enjoy a game of fetch – the trick is getting them to understand the game and play by the rules.

Though Boxers can be a bit stubborn, and not all of them will be naturally interested in chasing and retrieving, they can learn how to fetch with a bit of patience and some consistent teaching. Once they do understand the game, the fun and joy that they experience will keep them coming back for more.

Fetch is one of the most iconic games to play with your dog – and for good reason. This is one of the best ways to have fun and bond with your Boxer, and it can give them a great workout at the same time.