For our third installment on popular dog breeds, we showcase Boxers. Boxers are consistently listed among the top 10 most popular breeds in the country — and they’re a hit here at Good Dog too. We have about 200 registered as clients, and that doesn’t include our boxer mixes!
Boxers originated in Germany, where they were working dogs bred for hunting. (Their incredibly strong jaws could hold prey until the hunter/master was able to retrieve it.) Some believe the breed got its name from the way they play — by standing on their back lacks and batting their paws, which looks like doggie boxing. They usually weigh between 55 and 70 pounds — and we’ve seen them all, from our petite Gemma (pictured below) who weighs in at 45, to big man Kramer who tops the scales at 130!
Boxers often come in fawn or brindle coloring, with white markings called flash. (This is why many people refer to white boxers as “ultra flashy.”) Black boxers don’t exist — if you happen to see one, it is either a very dark brindle or a mixed breed. Their short smooth coat makes for easy grooming, so they just require the usual nail trim and bath. Some owners do take advantage of our shed-x treatment, which reduces the heavy shedding that occurs during season changes.
Boxers are one of many brachycephalic breeds, which means they have a short muzzle and flat face. This trait adds serious cuteness points, but it also has a downside. With hot temperatures, the short muzzle makes it difficult to pant, which is a dog’s main cooling mechanism. For this reason, boxers shouldn’t be “outside” dogs. If they’re outdoors on a warm day, they should be given plenty of water and shade breaks.
Boxers have a strong desire for companionship, which is always on display in daycare. Many of our boxers love to play until they konk out, then they find a staffer’s comfy lap for napping (see our adorable evidence below). The breed requires plenty of attention and thrives in an environment where they have lots of play time and exercise.
Training is a must for boxers. Some can be a bit stubborn, and their energy, speed and size can make them a handful. Our trainer Adam Moos recommends training early and consistently. It may take a lot of patience, but boxers respond to lots of practice, repetition and consistency. Ada,usually focuses on basic training commands, keeping things simple and easy, and breaking things down step-by-step. The results are impressive and can make life much easier for the dog and owner.