Bold, playful, and sweeter than a bowl full of honey, chocolate, and skittles, it’s only natural to quickly grow attached to your Boxer on the very first day that you get them home. This, of course, can lead to your first worry. Do Boxers run away?
You should be able to relax on this point because no, Boxers usually do NOT run away. At least not unless they are playing a lively game of ‘chase’ with you. Even when frightened, most Boxers will ‘double-down’ and try to scare off whatever is scaring them, so it’s rare that a Boxer is going to run.
That said, every dog is an individual, so today we’ll take a closer look at Boxers and what you can do if they tend to fall on the ‘flight’ side of their ‘fight or flight’ instincts. We’ll talk about Boxer wandering, keeping them from running away, and when running can be a red-flag that you need to address!
Do Boxers Run Away?
First off… relax. Boxers aren’t really the running type. It’s rare that they are going to try to run away or even dart away in fear, but they do like to ‘hunt and wander’. Boxers have an inherent bit of bravado in them, but they do get curious, and so it’s not uncommon for them to ‘survey’ the immediate area.
Generally, this won’t be a problem, they’re just kind of ‘looking around’, though if they start chasing something then it might be prudent to keep up in case they get lost. More often than not, however, it’s just your dog checking out that the area is safe and sound or passing a little time with some mild exercise.
That’s not to say that they won’t play a game of ‘chase’ with you, running away playfully and then returning the favor when you turn tail and dart away, but as far as trying to get away from you? It’s fairly rare.
If your dog is an exception to the rule (and that can happen, as they are individuals, of course) then obedience training can help. Teach your dog the sit command and you can take it further by saying ‘come here’ after they sit and giving them a treat. This gives you a way to quickly redirect your dog!
Do Boxers run when they are scared?
Not often. It certainly CAN occur, but in most cases, Boxers tend to get aggressive when they are frightened, in hopes of driving away whatever it is that they are afraid of. While this means that you won’t have to chase them as much as you might another breed, it can take some getting used to.
This is another area where simple commands such as ‘sit’ can help. If your dog is fairly new to the home and still doesn’t know what is expected of them (especially with rescues), then they may become frightened when they don’t know what you expect them to do.
Telling your dog to sit can help to derail that train of thought and the treat that follows will help to reassure them that everything is okay. You can also help them by taking their travel crate and making it into a makeshift ‘indoor dog house’ by putting a little soft bedding inside and a toy or two.
Keep the door ALWAYS open and if they still avoid it then toss in a treat or two every now and again and stay at a distance or ignore the crate completely. Once your dog starts using it, they’ll have a solitary spot to go to and this can also greatly reduce their stress and help them to adjust appropriately.
What can I do if my Boxer keeps running away?
If your Boxer is a bit on the skittish side, the first thing that you should do is limit the places where they can go to. Installing plastic ‘baby barriers’ in doorways if you don’t want to simply close those doors is a good start and setting up their crate as an ‘indoor doghouse’ will also help.
If your dog tries to run outside when you go to work, then you’ll need to start distracting them by tossing a treat at a distance to give you time to leave and after that, try to make trips outside more low-key by leaving quietly without goodbyes.
This can help to reduce the chances of them bolting outside, especially if they are stressing about you leaving. Boxers need a lot of socialization, so sometimes they are bolting for the door to go outside WITH you.
If you think this is the case, try giving them a treat when you go and when you get back and this will help. Once your dog learns that you always come back home, then if the running is a response to insecurities, then you should see a definite change. Sometimes running is simply done to get your attention.
Do Boxers like running?
Boxers LOVE to run, and you can let them run with you, but you need to know about a few caveats first. If you want your Boxer to go out on fitness runs with you, then it is recommended that you wait until they are 2 to 3 years of age and thus basically done growing.
Taking a Boxer when they are young and still developing may result in joint damage, which will later present as arthritis when they are older, but might even result right away with limping or an overall oddness of gait. So, wait until they are older and have developed before any ‘endurance’ running is done.
‘Quick’ and play runs are fine, such as 15 or 20 minute games of fetch, but ANY running should be scheduled so that it doesn’t occur before a meal. Boxers can easily get overheated and then they’ll drink their water like there is no tomorrow and end up bloated for their troubles!
Keep this in mind when scheduling runs and you should be okay. Finally, we mentioned that Boxers can get overheated, so when you go to the park together always pick a shady ‘base’ and have a towel and cool water handy. Provided you keep an eye on them and the run times short, everyone will have a much better time!
Electronic backup – just in case
While it is rare, if you’ve ended up with a Boxer who simply loves to run off chasing things who is responding slowly to their obedience training, you can always have an ‘ace up your sleeve’ in the form of a GPS collar.
Hopefully you will never need this, but should your dog run out of view then you should be able to quickly pinpoint where they are through an app on your phone so that you can find them quickly before they can put themselves at risk of harm.
That said, keep up with obedience training – MOST Boxers will calm and learn to always stay close to you and sometimes those quick runs are just a response to a new environment, such as the overstimulation from the first visits to a park.
While it might not seem like it right now, your dog will calm down, and soon they will learn to stay close to you. In the meantime, make sure that you are using a harness while walking them, so that when they bolt it doesn’t pull sharply on their neck. Aside from this, it’s just going to take a lot of love and patience!
Why is my Boxer running oddly?
One thing that you need to know about when it comes to Boxers is that they are prone to hip dysplasia. This can occur when they are pups, but more often it can happen at 1 to 2 years of age.
Now, while this is a little scary, the good news is that it is very treatable and your dog still have a good chance at a normal, happy life. The best defense is going to be regular vet checkups and keeping an eye on your dog so that if they do get hip dysplasia, then you can start treating it right away.
Now, that said, walking or running funny doesn’t always mean hip dysplasia and in some cases your Boxer might just have a sore hip from a bit of energetic play – hey, it happens! So, if you see your Boxer walking a bit oddly, take them in and your Vet will be able to give you a definitive answer.
Hip dysplasia is certainly not guaranteed, but as Boxers are prone to this, we would be amiss if we didn’t mention it. Just keep a sharp eye on your dog and with regular vet checkups, if it DOES occur then you’ll have an excellent chance of treating it effectively.
Some final words
Boxers don’t run much, preferring to puff-up and scare off whatever has gotten them spooked, but if your dog seems to be dashing away too much for your tastes then we hope this article will help. Start off by limiting where they can go and giving them a little personal space.
Obedience training will also help – some Boxers just don’t know what you want them to do, so firmness in this regard can be useful. If you happen to notice an odd gait in their running, you should also get them into the vet right away as they are prone to hip dysplasia.
Finally, during training, you can have some extra insurance with a GPS collar. Don’t worry – your Boxer will calm down and stop trying to run off. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of patience and a whole lot of love!