The people-oriented Boxer possesses a delightful but challenging overabundance of personality that demands management.

By Eve Adamson |

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6. Jumping for Joy
Boxers may be independent, but when it comes to company, their curiosity and love of people get the best of them. Sue Anne Thompson, a Boxer breeder in North Liberty, Iowa, notes that one of her Boxers, Echo, will sit nicely by Thompson when visitors drop bythat is, until Thompson becomes distracted. Then, Echo will slyly inch toward the new person until she is standing on the visitors lap, face-to-face with this interesting new human. A few kisses are usually in order, too. She's so well behaved until someone new comes over. Its the one thing I can't seem to train out of her, that need to get right up on people, says Thompson.

If only everyone could see the sweet, calm, well-behaved dog we see every day around the house, sighs LaGasse when considering Sables boisterous energy. But no, when company comes over, all she wants to do is jump. She just can't help getting in your face.

7. Love the One You're With
Because Boxers are friendly and people-oriented and adjust readily to new situations, they are also easy to place into new homes. A well-screened rescue Boxer is a great choice for people who don't want to deal with puppyhood. Boxers bond quickly to any new owner who treats them well. Some breeds bond to one person only, but these guys are great for families because they love everybody, says Thompson. (Of course, he who controls the kibble bag might have a slight edge over the competition.)

Because Boxers adjust to new situations so readily, they make excellent adoptees. Consider a well-screened adult Boxer from a breeder or responsible rescue group.

The Boxers adaptability not only helps a rescued dog settle comfortably into your home, but helps it weather the changes of a human householda move to a new home, a new baby, a marriage or divorce, or just the two weeks with the petsitter when you go on vacationwith less stress than some breeds. As long as it is treated kindly by the humans around it, this adaptable breed is happy to love the one its with.

8. Any Friend of Yours
Boxers look intimidating, no doubt about it. Their size and natural tendency to bark an alert should scare away would-be intruders, but what if someone actually breaks into your house? Less territorial than some breeds, your Boxer isn't guaranteed to do anything more than bark.

I like to refer to the Boxer as a sensible guard dog, says Zurflieh. A typical Boxer can differentiate between the guy who approaches your house with a lock pick and a screwdriver, and the neighborhood kid who wanders into your yard through the open gate. You don't have to worry so much about a typical Boxer nailing your friends or neighbors if they approach your territory because the breed is so level-headed, Zurflieh adds.

Some Boxers are likely to be friendly to everyone, intruder or not. Sable may look pugnacious, but she loves everybody she meets, says LaGasse. I don't know if any of my Boxers would ever protect me if it came to that, says Dr. Wallner, who has seen rescued Boxers that had been trained to be aggressive. It really messes them up. They aren't attack dogs, says Dr. Wallner.

Any Boxer that does behave viciously or bites a human is not exhibiting a Boxers temperament. That's not a Boxer. Viciousness is not a trait that you train out of Boxers; it should not be there to begin with. Being dog-aggressive is one thing, but Boxers know the difference between dogs and humans, says Zurflieh.

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