Boxers

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

By Eve Adamson |

Page 4 of 4

9. Wanna Make Something of It?
When it comes to other dogs, howeverespecially dogs of the same sexBoxers are not so likely to get along without incident. Dog aggression seems most common among females, although unneutered males can also fight. Once two Boxers have had an argument, its never over. They hold a grudge, and they will be enemies forever and can't be trusted to be together, says Thompson. Anyone who gets in the middle of a Boxer spat risks injury, not because Boxers would attack humans, but because they are so focused on besting their canine enemies.

Sadie, one of Zurfliehs Boxers, was a wonderful housepetperfectly housetrained, trustworthy, loving and affectionatebut this show Champion had to go to a new family. I placed her in a home that wanted a pet because she absolutely would not get along with the other dogs. In a house full of humans, though, she was the most wonderful housepet you could ever imagine, says Zurflieh.

Many breeders have had to place loving, well-behaved Boxers in homes where they wouldn't live with other Boxers. Witchie gets along with Raider and Tassell, but she hated Beanie with a passion, to the point where it was dangerous living with the two dogs, and I had to place Beanie. I keep Witchie away from my two female puppies, Echo and Spice, because it could easily happen again, says Thompson.

Similarly, Zurfliehs Roy wouldn't tolerate her Champion male, necessitating his adoption. I would never have placed him if he could get along with Max, but Max was my old boy. Its something you have to consider, says Zurflieh.

I would never, ever place a female Boxer in a home with another female, says Dr. Wallner. That's no way for a pet to live. Sure, there are a few exceptions, but the problem may not surface for a few years, and what are you going to do when it does? Its not worth the great risk, she says.

Boxers also have a highly developed prey drive. Puppies can learn to get along with a family cat if raised together, but Boxers can't be trusted around unknown cats, let alone squirrels, rabbits, birds, waterfowl, even deer. Thompsons first Boxer, Pepper, once ate an entire goose, and Zurflieh had a friend who suspected her Boxers were slowly picking off the ducks in her decorative pond. Boxers aren't the kind of dogs you have to muzzle while walking to and from the show ring, but put a bunch of them together and you've got a dog pack, says Zurflieh.

Ducks, take note.

10. Don't Worry, Be Happy
Best of all, Boxer owners say, Boxers are just plain joyful dogs. Boxers are always happy, says Dr. Wallner. I think they get their easygoing, nothing-bugs-me temperament from the Bulldogs and Mastiffs originally used to create them, theorizes Zurflieh. Their good-natured spirits can help to soften anyones wrath upon discovering a chewed shoe or a dinner stolen from the counter.

Of course, that face helps, too, adding a certain charm not only to the Boxers conformation but to the general impression of a Boxers personality. LaGasse admits that not everyone finds Boxers attractive, but to her, they are the cutest dogs around. She's such a pretty little girl with her little turned-up nose, those big brown eyes, says LaGasse of Sable.

By now, you should have a pretty good idea whether a Boxers temperament will suit your own temperament and lifestyle. If a Boxer sounds like it would be a perfect match for your family, then enjoy the journey ahead. Its bound to be full of fun.

And if you've already brought home your Boxer puppy and found our information eye-opening, consider the benefits of a little extra work. LaGasse got more than she bargained for with Sable, but advises Boxer owners everywhere to work with their exuberant friends and accept them for what they are: Sable may be a little more active than we had hoped. She's a high-energy, exuberant dog, but she is also delightfulso expressive and so loving. We love her cute face, the way she prances on those little white feet, the way she loves everyone unconditionally. You work it out, and its worth every minute.

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