Handsome Young Boxer Dog
Credit: Jeannine Thompson

A Devoted Insiders Guide to Life with a Boxer

The Boxer is consistently in the top 10 most popular dog breeds in America according to AKC (American Kennel Club) Registration statistics.  It is a medium-sized, powerful, and intelligent dog that falls crazy in love with his family and pretty much everyone else he encounters.

We are blessed to share our world with many diverse and outstanding breeds and breed mixes. How do you know if a Boxer is the right choice for your family?

10 Outstanding Boxer Traits

I was enjoying the sweet simplicity of the one dog lifestyle with Betty the Bratwurst, a neighborhood stray that my daughter rescued. I sometimes fantasized about stumbling over a deserving Airedale terrier because I missed my mischievous, devious, and delightful Gus so much. Honestly, I never dreamed that any breed could capture my heart, mind, and spirit as completely as that crazy Airedale that shared my life for nearly 11 years.

Then my daughter, with her gift for discovering great dogs, found Brutus the Boxer. Brutus has many characteristics that are representative of the Boxer breed. Here are my top 10 insider reasons why a Boxer makes a great family companion. Maybe these will help you decide if a Boxer might be the right choice for you.

  1. Boxers flat-out love people of all ages and are especially sweet on children. They are a four-legged love fest.  The AKC describes them as "patient and spirited with children, but also protective, making them a popular choice for families." I know that I can take Brutus anywhere and his temperament will be consistently friendly and reliable.
  2. Boxers are both naturally friendly and naturally protective. That's a very versatile and practical combination. Brutus has built-in protective, alert, and watchful characteristics. When he hears a strange noise, he stops to intently assess the threat. He barks, and because the Boxer has a deep chest, that bark has a satisfying amount of doggie gravitas. He's the dog on duty and I never had to train him to do that.
  3. Boxers are generally quiet. Although Brutus will bark and growl at unfamiliar sounds, he never does so excessively. A Boxer is not a pointlessly yappy dog and speaks only when he has something important to say.
  4. Boxers are like interactive heating pads with special healing powers. When Brutus was a teeny puppy I used to stretch out in my favorite oversized easy chair, hold Brutus to my chest like a stuffed toy and nap. He emanated sweet puppy body heat and perfect relaxation that was like a spa treatment. I actually considered opening a healing center where people could come nap with warm Boxer puppies for an uninterrupted hour or two. The adult Boxer is equally soothing even though he's too large to use an ordinary sized human as a lounge chair. Trust me, he will try.
  5. Boxers are great running partners. The Boxer needs daily physical exercise. This works out great because I also need daily physical exercise and well, so do you. Brutus gets me out of bed and moving on those days when I would rather wallow in sheets and hit the snooze button. He keeps me safe in the dark, provides good natured company, and his brief "doing his business" breaks give me a reason to take a short rest. You can run with your Boxer, or walk him, or play in the yard. A tired Boxer is a happy Boxer.
  6. Boxers are the easiest dog on earth to groom. They have super-short hair that does not need brushing, clipping, or grooming of any kind. If you get your Boxer running or walking regularly then nail trimming will even take care of itself.  Those ultra-short Boxer dog hairs do shed so you can expect to do some floor sweeping around your dog's sleeping area but it will be minimum. 
  7. Boxers are intelligent and easy to train. The Boxer responds well to positive reinforcement training but can be a little bit hard-headed. Use patience, persistence, and rewards and your training sessions will be productive. Brutus was remarkable easy to house train and learned how to walk on lead with ease. However, his enthusiasm for meeting people can cause my Boxer to throw all his manners to the curb. I've had some people defeat my desire to for meet and greet manners by hugging Brutus while he stood on his hind legs and French kissed with them.  Guys used to French kiss my Airedale too so maybe it is really the people that need training. 
  8. Boxers make friends for themselves and you wherever they go. Every time I take Brutus out in public someone vigorously calls out "I LOVE BOXERS". Brutus wiggles with delight in reply and Bazinga, a new friend is made. We have been out running on many occasions when someone will pull up beside us in a car or truck and say "what a beautiful Boxer". I look over and see that they are driving around with a big ol' handsome Boxer of their own. It really is the coolest thing and every time it happens my heart grows another 1o sizes. 
  9. Boxers are entertaining sleepers. They have varying degrees of jowliness and underbites. Jowls and underbites lead to snoring that can be incredibly amusing. Brutus also has a "zombie mode" in which his eyes are open but rolled back in his head while he snores and total body twitches. 
  10. Boxers are soul mate, spirit animal material. When those infinitely brown sparkly eyes gaze into mine, I feel that there's much more than "just" a dog behind them. When Brutus curls up next to me on the bed, I fall asleep dreaming I am a goddess of the hunt, sleeping in a bed of warm leaves on the forest floor with the finest, truest companion at my side. We have an unbreakable bond and I love him completely with every cell in my body.

Boxers are simply incredible and shine when they completely incorporated into family life and kept active. They add a special sparkle and unfettered joy to life. Consider adopting a Boxer if you are looking for an athletic, intelligent, and perpetually affectionate dog who loves exercise and close contact with his people. You must make a lifelong commitment to care for him properly and to stand by him with the same total loyalty and unconditional love that he freely offers to you. Your life will never be the same; it will be enhanced in more ways than you can count.