Adding a dog to the family is one of the most surefire ways to add joy to your life! If you’re looking to become a first time dog owner, you may be wondering which type of dog would best suit your lifestyle. Although bringing home any dog for the first time is a change of pace, it can be a big step, especially with bigger breeds.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking about bringing a boxer home as a first time owner. Boxers are adored by dog lovers everywhere for their spunky, alert, and loyal natures. With their sweet faces and larger than life personalities, it’s no wonder you may be thinking about getting one!
However, you may be wondering if a boxer is the right choice as a first time dog owner.
Boxers are a good choice for most first time dog owners. Their patience, tolerance, and devotion to their people make them great for families and multi-pet households. As with any larger dog breed, it’s important to understand the full scope of responsibility that comes with owning a dog, and the boxer is no exception.
Here’s everything you need to know about owning a boxer as a first time dog owner.
Reasons Why Boxers Are Good for First Time Owners
From their athletic capacity to their silly loving antics, boxers, as a whole, understand the true meaning of companionship. Devoted, loyal, and charismatic, it’s no wonder they’ve become so popular in recent years. Here are some of the reasons why boxers are a great choice for first time dog owners.
Boxers Are Adaptable and Alert
If you’re looking for a larger breed as a first time owner, many pale in comparison to the boxer when it comes to adaptability. Their patience and easygoing natures are some of the main reasons they’re so popular.
Throughout their history, boxers have filled many roles as working dogs, largely due to their adaptability and alertness. As long as they are exercised regularly, a boxer can thrive in almost any environment. Whether they live on a ranch or in an apartment, they’re just happy to be where you are.
First time owners can count on a boxer to adapt to any situation while also staying alert to potential danger. They are not a particularly vocal breed, but will bark if they feel something is wrong.
No matter what your lifestyle is, not many large breeds are as adaptable and alert as the boxer.
Boxers Are Great With Children and Other Pets
Boxers are one of the most social, tolerant, and affectionate dog breeds when it comes to living alongside children and other pets.
They have a tendency to form very formidable bonds with children. With their energetic and goofy personalities, it’s easy to say that boxers and children are alike in many ways. Since they’re very even-tempered, patient, and exuberant, boxers make wonderful choices as family dogs. Although they may look intimidating, they’re gentle giants at heart.
As with any dog, you should never leave them unsupervised with kids. However, they tend to love and care for children as their own.
Thanks to their social natures, they usually fit in well in multi-pet households. They’re known to get along with other large breeds, smaller dogs, and even cats! While no two boxers are the same and there is always a chance a dog prefers to be the only animal in the household, boxers as a whole generally find the company of people and other pets preferable to being alone.
Boxers Are Silly and Playful
Natural comedians, boxers are known for their hilarious antics and playful natures! At heart, they are fun-loving and energetic. They aren’t as brooding or serious as they may appear. If you’re looking for a dog that’s all about a good time as a first time owner, then a boxer may be right for you.
Leave it to the boxer to create their own fun. Whether you’re at the dog park or lounging around at home, a boxer will often find themselves in peculiar and hilarious situations. Most boxer owners end up grinning ear to ear just by watching their boxers do their thing and play with their favorite toys.
Since they love to play, this can make exercise relatively easy. Fetch, long walks, and agility courses are all great ways to play with your boxer to make sure they’re properly expending their energy. If you’re a first time owner looking to get a boxer, rest assured that there’s never a dull moment with one by your side!
Boxers Make Good Workout Buddies
Much like their name suggests, boxers are natural athletes. They’re quick, energetic, and easily trainable. As a first time owner, you may be wondering if the boxer will hold you accountable for your workouts. The answer is a resounding yes.
Having been used as working dogs throughout their history, boxers need to expend a considerable amount of energy to stay happy and healthy. While they may not be the best running dogs, they’re always happy to get active! Long walks, frolicking around outside, and hiking are all great options to keep you and your boxer in shape.
Boxers Can Fill Many Roles
Protector, cuddle-bug, and best friend are some of many ways you can describe boxers. Their love for their owners propels them in all they do. If you’re looking for a dog that will go to the ends of the earth for you as a first-time owner, look no further than the boxer.
With their long history as working dogs, they can be trained to fill virtually any role. Whether it’s protecting livestock on a ranch or providing emotional support on a bad day, a boxer is there to help in any way they can. Their ability to wear many hats is what gives them such widespread appeal.
Above all else, a boxer’s favorite thing is to make their owners smile. If you’re looking for a dog that shines with love in everything they do as a first time owner, then a boxer may be the perfect fit for you!
Reasons Why Boxers May Not Be Good for First Time Owners
As with any dog breed, there are pros and cons to owning certain types of dogs. Boxers are no exception. While there’s several amazing reasons that makes them great for first time owners, there are other things to consider. Although boxers can be wonderful dogs for first time owners, they are also prone to health problems, they can be stubborn, and require a lot of physical exercise.
Boxers Can Be Prone to Various Health Problems
Just as with any breed, boxers are prone to specific health concerns. Some of the biggest ones to be aware of are cancer and hip dysplasia but there are several health issues you’ll want to make sure you’re familiar with.
You can learn more about these health problems here:
Boxers Are a Brachycephalic Breed
Brachy-what? If you’re a first time dog owner looking to add a boxer to the family, the term brachycephalic may be new to you. In simple terms, brachycephalic essentially means “short-muzzled” and is used to classify breeds like pugs, both English and French bulldogs, Boston terriers, and of course, boxers.
Brachycephalic breeds are the result of a genetic mutation that alters the way the bones in their skulls grow.
Their squishy faces and big eyes add so much character. However, brachycephalic breeds, as a whole, require special care. Since boxers are lumped into this category, they are prone to the following conditions.
- Brachycephalic syndrome. This refers to upper airway abnormalities that cause breathing obstructions. It can lead to noisy and labored breathing, choking, breathlessness, snoring, and other related breathing breathing difficulties.
- Overheating. Since brachycephalic breeds are prone to breathing difficulties, they can’t pant as efficiently as other breeds to regulate their body heat. As a result, they are more prone to overheating and heat exhaustion. In summer months, it’s critical to keep your pup in environments with air conditioning. If outside, make sure they have access to cold water and shade.
- Skin, sleep, and vision problems. Brachycephalic breeds, in general, are more prone to issues with their skin, sleeping patterns, and vision.
As a first time owner, owning a brachycephalic breed can be a lot. The fact that they’re more prone to health problems than other breeds can be overwhelming. However, don’t let this deter you from getting a boxer. With regular and diligent veterinary care, boxers can live happily and healthily by your side!
Boxers Require a Commitment to Training, Socialization, and Regular Exercise
As a first time owner, the boxer boasts many lovable personality traits. However, since they are a larger breed, training, socialization, and regular exercise must be implemented from an early age. Highly social and energetic, they need outlets to express their enthusiastic, outgoing, active energy daily.
If you’ve never owned a dog before, this may sound daunting. Luckily, in the day and age of the internet, training videos and plans are easier to access than ever. If you worry about properly training your boxer pup from an early age, consider contacting a dog trainer in your area to help.
As far as socialization and exercise goes, a boxer’s ideal workout would be a long walk around the neighborhood or a trip to the dog park. The boxer is a sucker for friendly faces, so making sure they have regular playtime with other dogs and people is essential for their behavioral health as well.
Without regular exercise, socialization, and diligent training, left to their own devices, boxers can become destructive. If your boxer begins showing signs of destructive or disobedient behavior despite your best efforts, check out our advice on how to properly discipline your boxer.
How to Care For a Boxer As a First Time Owner
Now that we’ve listed all the pros and cons to owning a boxer as a first time owner, it’s important to know what their regular care requires. Nutrition, exercise, and veterinary care the essential components of a healthy pup, outside of love and occasional treats!
A Boxer’s Physical Needs
Much like their name suggests, and as previously mentioned, these natural athletes need regular physical exercise to stay happy and healthy.
While they don’t tolerate the heat well, and may not be the best runners, they do require physical exercise. As a general rule of thumb, aim to exercise your boxer for one to two hours daily. This can be broken up incrementally if you don’t have one solid chunk of time.
Boxers are the type to entertain themselves in the backyard with other resident dogs, enjoy long walks, and thrive in the company of other dogs at the dog park. Avoid leaving your boxer unattended in fenced areas, since they can easily scale fences.
However you choose to exercise your boxer, be sure to invest in quality walking equipment. A harness is preferable for brachycephalic breeds, since collars and slip leads can exacerbate pre-existing breathing problems.
Boxers Require Regular, Routine Veterinary Visits
As with any dog, it’s critical that they go to the vet regularly to keep them happy and healthy.
It’s no secret that veterinary care is expensive. This can be a financial barrier to owning a boxer for many, since they usually require more care than other breeds. If you have your heart set on a boxer as a first time owner, be sure to set aside money for veterinary care and consider opting into pet insurance.
If you’re a first time owner wondering why dogs are so expensive and are interested in a comprehensive breakdown of what successfully owning a dog looks like financially, check out why here.
All in all, if you’re a first time owner, a boxer is a fabulous choice when you understand the scope of responsibility and care they require- but that’s true for any breed from Pitbulls to German Shepherds! They are loving, loyal, and charismatic. There’s a reason they’re one of the most popular dog breeds in America today! But if you just like the look, there are plenty of boxer-like dogs to pick from too!
While owning any breed of dog has its pros and cons, the boxer shines with love and light. If you’re looking for the friendship of a lifetime, look no further than a boxer.