The next breed we want to introduce to you is the classic Boxer. Originating from Germany, they are a short haired, medium sized dog with that classic boxy face shape and are very expressive!
We talked to our wonderful Bone Ball Bark friend, Anna, who owns two Boxers, named Hercules and Denver. Anna and her family also foster a lot of dogs while they are waiting for adoption...they are saints.
Why did you get a Boxer?
Once you get a Boxer, you are part of a cult. You don't realize it until you talk to other cult members. They are my spirit animals. Incredibly hard workers with a goofy side!
Is this the first time owning the breed?
Nope, we were given a Boxer puppy to train as a service dog and the rest is history! I have had Boxers in my life for 8 years now.
What were the first 12 months like? Easy to train?
It depends on the puppy. All three we got as puppies were incredibly quick to pick up on any training. Be aware, they are pranksters which can easily be confused with their level of intelligence. So, what may seem like not listening is them playing to see how far they can go with you. My Boxers both know the command go to bed. First, they will stare at me for a bit until they realize we are serious. If someone who didn't know them asked this command, that person would think they didn't know. Another example, they are sometimes not allowed on the bed. Denver will start in his bed. After we are asleep, he will put one paw on the bed. Escalates to two paws on the bed. Once he has confirmed we are asleep, he jumps up to curl up and sleep.
We also have a boxer that we got when he was 4 years old and he is quite possibly the smartest dog. They have picked up on our cues without us doing the whole training route.
The best thing about having a Boxer?
They are the ideal companion. They are very in tune to your every emotion and know exactly when you are down. They are the first to come comfort you. Then, they quickly do something to make you laugh. They always want to help you and this sometimes means you tripping over them because they have to be in your business. They are like that coworker you know will get the job done and always be down to go let lose in time for Happy Hour at the Karaoke bar!
The hardest thing about having a Boxer?
They don't live long enough. They need their mind occupied. They are a working breed and some need that work in their life or they will go mad. It doesn't always have to be physical work, but it does need to be mental. If not, it could come out as reactivity or separation anxiety. Sophia (my mom's boxer) knows how to open just about anything. I have a video of her opening up her food container.
Does your Boxer have any funny quirks?
They have to be on top of me at ALL times. If I am in the bathroom and closed the door behind me, they will paw at the door until I let them in. They will then just roll up n the mat and sleep. They try to jump in my lap if they are feeling extra needy. They got that good ole separation anxiety.
Tell us a funny story about your Boxer.
Both Boxers are so weird. Denver really enjoys watching the toilet flush. He also knows how to open all doors. If you have a pantry you don't want him in, you have to lock the door when you aren't watching him. That story above with the bathroom, you have to lock the door if you really don't want him there. He also talks like chewbaca when he is excited!
What piece of advice would you tell someone thinking of getting a Boxer? They are literally the absolute best companion. Know that you are going to have to commit to training and socialization early on in order to have an amazing foundation. Once you have that foundation, you will have an easier time with the upkeep. Boxer dogs are not the healthiest of breeds. They are also prone to just about every sickness a pup can develop. Their life with you may be short, but it will be full!
We highly recommend you follow their adventures (and life with foster dogs) on instagram @big_hearted_boxers :)