Every breed of dog has families and situations that it is best suited for, and families and situations that would be challenging if not impossible for the dog to thrive in given the natural traits and behaviors of the breed. Choosing a dog simply because you like the breed is very often the biggest issue when it comes to ending up with a challenging situation for the owner and the dog rather than a positive match. The outstanding personality of the Boxer makes it a good match for a wide variety of living and family situations, however their intelligence, boundless energy and outgoing and somewhat dominant personality also make them a less like candidate for other types of families and home.
To determine if this larger sized dog is a good match for your home, consider the following questions and information before starting your search for a puppy from a reputable breeder or an adult Boxer from a rescue.
How confident am I with training a dominant and very intelligent dog breed?
If this is your first dog, a Boxer may not be the very best choice simply because they are very intelligent and can be rather stubborn and headstrong if they don't see the humans as the alpha leaders in the group. This is not to say that Boxers are willfully negative or disobedient, it is simply part of the combination of a self-confident dog that is smart and a natural leader him or herself. All Boxers, regardless of how well trained they are, will test their owners every now and then. If you aren't confident in being the leader or if the dog is not trained and worked with in a consistent yet positive tone and manner they will simply ignore the people around them and "do their own thing".
Boxers also need a substantial amount of routine exercise in addition to mental stimulation each and every day. A fairly brisk walk, a jog or run at least twice a day is highly recommended, as well as time outside in a large fenced yard when the temperature is conducive is ideal. They will self-exercise in a house and are active indoors, playing and following the family from room to room.
Do you want a large breed of dog that is affectionate and needs a lot of human contact to be happy and content?
Boxers are perhaps one of the, if not the, most outgoing and affectionate member of the working group. They have a very strong affinity with humans, particularly with children, and they love to be with people in close physical contact. Despite their moderately large size they also love to cuddle, and will definitely be a dog that will try to sleep on the bed or on the couch if they are not trained to stay down. They do love to be petted and groomed and bond very closely with family members, enjoying this type of contact.
Boxers also don't seem to realize that they are bigger than many other dogs and often their rather rambunctious nature, especially when young, combined with the need for lots of attention can be overwhelming to new Boxer owners. Dogs will have to learn that demanding attention is not acceptable or they will become very attention seeking.
What is your tolerance for dog hair in the house?
If you are looking for a non-shedding or low shedding dog the Boxer is not a good choice. Despite their very short, shiny, flat coat the Boxer is a moderate shedder year round. Although they are easy to groom and brushing does cut down on hair about the house, they are not going to be a good match for a dog hair phobic person.
Boxers are very clean dogs naturally and will spend time self-grooming, similar to the behavior that cats use to clean themselves. Boxers don't have the rather "doggy" smell of some of the shorter haired breeds and don't tend to have heavy oily coats, which is a great benefit over some breeds.
Do you want a dog with a true personality that is both playful and funny but also highly protective of yourself, your family and your property?
Boxers are a constant source of enjoyment for their owners. They are often the most clownish of all the dog breeds. Boxers will use a variety of facial expressions and their ability to be playing around one minute but also a highly alert watch dog is truly amazing.
For people that enjoy a lot of entertaining with new people constantly coming into the house and property a Boxer may not be the best match. These are not a breed that is welcoming to everyone, although they are not necessarily aggressive or highly territorial either. More typically the Boxer will bark to warn that strangers are present then he or she will just sit back and watch to make sure the new person is not a threat. This close scrutiny and rather aloof and somewhat intense attention by the Boxer can be unnerving to some people. Boxers, because of this tendency to be cold to strangers and people they don't know well, can be difficult to kennel or find someone to pet sit for.
Are you OK with a dog that may snore, drool and have occasional bouts of flatulence?
Boxers are notorious for having sensitive digestive systems which can result in rather embarrassing and definitely noticeable problems with flatulence. Often this issue of excessive gas can be controlled by feeding raw or natural food diets and keeping the diet consistent. However, some dogs are just prone to the condition and will be plagued by flatulence all through their life.
Snoring is caused by the short nasal passages of the Boxer combined with the deep chest and throat area of the breed. Snoring can range from a slight sound to a very noticeable snore. Most owners simply see this as one of the many traits of the breed and are very accepting of the sound, just as people get used to human snoring in the house.
Drooling is most often found with the Boxers that have the longer, looser and more pendant upper lips. Since this may be difficult to determine when the puppy is young, it is best to assume that the Boxer will drool and plan accordingly.