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Boxers are impressive dogs, their lean but muscular body reveals their power and their posture their noble nature.
But don’t let this proud and tough exterior fool you!
The moment you lock eyes with these dogs you’ll understand that they are true goofballs.
If you’re thinking of adopting this fun-loving and energetic breed, you might wonder how do Boxers show affection?
Boxers are not afraid to show you how friendly and affectionate they are by following you around while wagging their tail. Their love language includes pawing at you while standing on their hind legs, leaning on you, jumping into your lap, and giving you sloppy kisses.
But of course, there’s more, so let’s explore all the ways Boxers show their love, what does it mean when they’re no longer affectionate, and how you can make your bond even stronger!
What Is Considered Affection?
Since we can’t bark or wag our tails it’s not always easy to understand our canine companions and it’s easy to have a moment of miscommunication.
Especially for new dog owners understanding when one behavior comes from a place of love instead of misbehavior can be tricky, especially since they can seem quite similar.
For example, most of us have experienced dogs that will run full speed, only to take you down with a full-on body slam and proceed to lick your face until you need a towel.
For some, this might look like love language, and while it can be to an extent Dr. Mary Burch a dog behaviorist, suggests that excessive licking might be a sign of anxiety, boredom, or pain.
Similarly, inappropriate mounting and a brief crotch sniffing are two different behaviors. The first is usually a response to stress or excitement, as well as attention-seeking behavior. While the act of sniffing your crotch comes from a place of curiosity that can be attributed to their strong noses.
So, what is considered acceptable affection?
You can expect that most breeds of dogs will show their love by wanting to be with you. Most of them usually enjoy making eye contact, rolling over for a belly rub, wagging their tail in excitement, and of course, those wet puppy kisses.
How Do Boxers Show Affection?
Each breed has their way of telling us that they love us, and Boxers are no different. But in order to appreciate their sweet gestures, we need to recognize them first!
1. Tail wagging and Bum Wiggling
Since dogs can’t speak our language, they will use their tails to show us how they feel. While tail wagging can mean more than one thing, there’s no mistaking a happy and exciting wag- even if your boxer doesn’t have much of a tail to wag!
With Boxers, this display of friendliness doesn’t stop at the tail. Perhaps the most common and endearing trait of the Boxer the “wiggle-bum” is produced when your Boxer is super-excited to see you.
You can see the wiggle-bum perfectly demonstrated by the adorable Rocky!
Not only is he moving his tail, but he’s also shaking his whole booty. Depending on the level of excitement these dogs can start jumping from side to side in the most playful and mischievous manner!
2. They Lean On You
Another classic Boxer affection move is the lean-in. This is when your Boxer puts its full weight on your body while standing and in some cases, they might do that while standing on your feet.
Although it may not seem like a grand gesture, or you might be thinking your doggy is trying to dominate you, Dr. Patty Khuly, VMD, explains that this is an affection-seeking behavior.
For some dog breeds like the Rottweiler and the Boxer leaning on someone means that they’re enjoying the physical contact with their owner.
This move also shows that they trust you and want to also show you that they support you. In some cases, you might notice your Boxer lean on you when there are strangers around to display their loyalty to you.
3. Following You Around
If you’re a dog owner then it’s not difficult to imagine your precious baby following you around. Whether you’re heading outside to do some yard work or just getting up to get a glass of water your Boxer will be beside you to make sure you’re ok.
There are multiple reasons that can explain why your Boxer has turned into your shadow and they all come from a place of love and loyalty.
For your Boxer, you’re a member of their pack, and so following you around is in their nature. If your dog was adopted as a puppy then they might feel like you’re their dog mother, or they’ve realized that being near you isn’t just comforting but it’s also fun.
For example, if you’re headed towards the kitchen, they might be hoping you’ll give them a treat. Nervousness or fear of strangers can also make your doggy seek your protection.
No matter which reason you pick, going where you’re going is another way your Boxer shows you how much they want to be in your presence!
4. Sitting On You
Leaning into you isn’t the only way your Boxer wants to show you that they love you, jumping up and sitting on you is one of them.
Of course, an adult Boxer doesn’t know that they can weigh from 60 to 70 pounds, but your lap will when your big snuggle-bum climbs upon you so they can watch that new Netflix show with you or be a part of an important Zoom meeting.
While we can all take a moment to appreciate our dog’s feelings, we can also teach them that they’re not a puppy anymore and you can’t hold them in your arms like you used to!
5. Licking You
Wet slobbery kisses are one of your Boxer’s main tools in its love arsenal.
In fact, “licking can be a sign of affection,” Dr. Butch states and she also adds that, “it might also give a dog a feeling of security and comfort, just as the dog had when licked by its mother in the litter.”
When a Boxer is grooming you they’re trying to reaffirm your social boding, and can also be a way of greeting you or communicating a need with you.
If you are not a fan of the dog kiss or you think it’s an excessive behavior you can redirect it, or use trick training to stop their licking. But if you’re happy to be on the receiving end of their kisses then grab a towel and get ready for the licking of your life!
6. They Want Hugs!
Since we love our dogs we have this natural need to hug them. Most dogs will tolerate it, others will become stiff or still to show you that they’re not into it.
Well, this is definitely not the case when it comes to Boxers. These dogs will actually put their paws around your neck and wait for you to snuggle them in.
Just look how cuddly this Boxer is, I had to share this!
7. Pawing Is Part Of Their Love Language
If you’re wondering where the Boxer breed got its name from, well the explanation is quite obvious. These dogs like to stand up on their hind legs and “box” with their owner using their front paws.
Other breeds usually use this technique to seek their owner’s attention, especially if they’re asking for food, however, for Boxers, this is a sign of affection and their way of engaging in harmless play!
8. Making Eye Contact
This one definitely doesn’t need much explaining, all you need to do is look into your Boxer’s eyes and see how much they love you. While not all breeds are comfortable looking you in the eye, boxers typically are.
Some dogs even start wagging their tail at a single glance from their owner and you can see how their whole face lights up, and their snub little muzzle makes it seem like they’re smiling.
And how can’t they, I mean they have such a wonderful owner to love!
9. They’re Listening To You
Having an obedient doggy has a lot to do with proper socialization, training, and personality, and so we often take it for granted when our dogs actually listen to our commands.
Sure, it’s part of their training, but it also shows that they want to please us. Even if they expect a treat, praise, or a hug, they know that they will make us happy.
But even when we’re simply talking with our pooches you can clearly see that the Boxer looks up at you and listens to your every word, which makes them great companions to have around.
10. The Belly Reveal
There’s nothing more reassuring than seeing your sweet Boxer rollover to reveal their belly for you to rub. If your doggy is in a complete state of comfort and ease, you might even catch them stretching, yawning, and grunt with pleasure.
While this gesture is part of the long list of their love language it also shows how much they trust you. A dog’s belly like in most animals is a sensitive area that they try to guard, so it’s a great honor to have easy access to it.
11. Hooray! You’re Home!
Last but not least being happy to see you back home is another sign of affection that also combines many of the signs above,
It’s clear that Boxers are cuddly and loving companions that enjoy spending their time with their humans. So, it only makes sense that they’ll be happy to see you return back home even if you were gone for mere minutes.
The moment they see you from the window or hear your footsteps as you come up, they’ll begin to show you how much they’ve missed you by prancing, running, doing the wiggle-bum, whining, and jumping around the room.
Let’s not forget that the moment you’ll sit down they’ll jump into your arms and give you the warmest of hugs!
Why Isn’t My Boxer Affectionate?
Boxers are one of the cuddliest and most lovable dogs on the planet, but under certain circumstances, you might find your dog less affectionate.
They Are A Puppy
If you’re a new puppy owner who just adopted their Boxer baby then you might be finding it difficult to understand their body language.
Puppies are usually more energetic and all they want to do is explore the world. You also need to give them more time so they can become more comfortable in your company.
As they grow older and receive your love and attention your mutual bond will grow and soon you’ll have a dog that won’t stop showing you how much they love you.
They Are A Rescue Dog
Then again, it’s also natural for each dog to express their love in different ways. Some dogs are quieter and use more subtle queues to show us that they like us. This might be especially true for rescue dogs that may be carrying traumatic experiences and need time to heal.
Abuse, trauma, or being torn away from the only family it has known can all affect the way your Boxer will show you affection. Be patient, kind, and understanding while your rescue baby acclimates to you and the new home.
Rescue dogs or shy dogs, in general, can be afraid of loud noises such as thunder, fireworks, gunshots, or even a vacuum cleaner.
If your dog shows signs of fear, be sure to avoid these situations when you can. If the fear becomes a problem, then perhaps you’ll need to talk to your vet or a dog behaviorist.
The way a dog will express themselves also depends on their socializing. According to American Kennel Club “The idea behind socialization is that you want to help your puppy become acclimated to all types of sights, sounds, and smells in a positive manner.”
Unfortunately, not all dog breeders are reputable. Backyard breeders and puppy mills, that are only interested in profit, do not socialize their puppies properly which may lead to your dog being less affectionate.
If your Boxer puppy hasn’t received the care needed during early socialization, then you’ll have to take over by training them from scratch. A stray dog that wasn’t socialized can also act through fear and might seem more often than not less affectionate.
Whether it’s a puppy or an adult dog, you can teach them how to express their positive emotions by creating a loving and safe space. That being said, you also need to accept their personality and take a closer look at the ways they do show their affection.
You can also talk to a dog behaviorist to see whether that’s part of their personality, previous mishandling, or improper training.
What If My Boxer Suddenly Stopped?
Getting a puppy or a dog that’s just getting to know you can explain why your doggy isn’t affectionate.
But what if they were always a ray of sunshine and suddenly, they’re giving you the cold shoulder?
Well if you notice a sudden change in your Boxer’s mood the first and best thing you can do is take them to the vet for a checkup. As with any animal, your Boxer may not feel like cuddling if it becomes ill. According to PetMD, common diseases of the Boxer are heart issues, gastric problems, hypothyroidism, eye issues, and certain cancers, so regular checkups are advised.
It’s also possible that your pooch may be avoiding your cuddles because of the hot weather. You see Boxers are prone to overheating due to being brachycephalic, meaning they have short muzzles.
That’s why try to keep your dog in a cool area during the hot months, make sure they are hydrated, and consider keeping them inside with an A/C. If your Boxer enjoys digging don’t let them out in the yard unless there’s enough shade and the temperature isn’t at its highest.
Another reason behind your Boxer’s sudden mood swing could be stress. Usually, this stress can be caused by changes in their environment like a new pet or a new family member. An anxious dog might start avoiding interactions with other dogs or people that they used to enjoy and even trying to hide.
To alleviate their stress you’ll need to identify and remove the stressor and give them some time to regroup. If their anxiety persists a visit to the vet is the next step.
How Can I Get My Boxer To Love Me More?
Whether we’re talking about human relationships or the friendship between a dog and their owner, I do think that love, at first sight, sets us up for unrealistic expectations.
True love doesn’t happen overnight, instead, it requires lots of work and trust-building, and it has to start with you and your pooch will follow.
But where do you start?
Invest In Their Training
We tend to think of training as a tool to discipline our little rascals, but it’s also a tool that can improve your relationship and create a fertile ground for love to flourish.
According to RSPCA training is important because “it provides mental stimulation which helps to keep your dog happy.”
Let’s not forget that the best way to establish a positive environment is to use reward-based training. RSPCA points out that this kind of training “enhances the relationship between the dog and handler.”
This back and forth interaction will help strengthen your bond and give more room for displays of affection.
Keep Up With Their Exercise
As much as your Boxer may love to cuddle in your arms all day they’re still a hyper breed that needs “a minimum of two hours exercise every day,” suggests PDSA.
By taking them for a few walks a day you’ll give your pooch enough time to explore the outside world with you beside them.
If you want to make your Boxer happy and as a result more affectionate you should put more effort into their exercise and make these moments extra special, more so for those of you who don’t have enough time outside of work.
Instead of walking them around the block, take them on a road trip, or to a large park in your area, or even on a hike. Of course, introducing some boxer-friendly toys to your exercise routine is also a great idea.
I’d also suggest looking for a place where you can let them off the leash so they can have a good run. During their exercise consider being an active participant. Sure they need that good run to release their energy, but exercise can be more than that if games are involved.
Get a frisbee, or their favorite balls, and play catch. If you’re an active person try running along with your dog, so they can truly see that you care!
Spend Quality Time With Them
As I already mentioned exercise can become a great opportunity to play and engage with a Boxer. But there are other ways you can spend time with them where they are the center of your attention.
One such activity could be grooming. While their short fur doesn’t need much maintenance it still needs a weekly brush, which can be a great time to show them how much you care about them.
Instead of giving them a toy and leaving them alone, you can use simple moments like watching the TV, or enjoying a morning coffee on your porch or balcony in the company of your dog, as they graze and chew on their toy.
Show Them Affection
According to Dr. Nelson, DVM, “showing your dog affection is an important part of establishing your bond.”
But she also adds that affection and attention are two separate things.
Affection can be expressed by kissing, petting, hugging, and cuddling with your Boxer, while attention has more to do with playing, walking, training them, and even talking to them.
And while attention is very important and it can strengthen the bond between your doggy and you, affection is more about the need to create a feeling of love.
You can show your Boxer how much you love them by creating routines that show affection, like cuddling with them every morning or turning their weekly grooming into a quality time
Including your dog in your day-to-day activities can also help them feel that they’re part of the family. Mary R. Burch, Ph.D. “When the family is watching television together, invite your dog to be with the family.”
Of course, don’t forget the physical closeness. Boxers enjoy a good ear scratch or when their favorite human pets them. Basically, try to show them your affection as you would with a dear friend.
Make Sure Their Needs Are Met
A healthy dog is a happy dog and someone who’s comfortable and content will have more energy to show their affection.
That’s why you need to feed your Boxer a balanced diet, keep them hydrated and play with them.
Remember to keep them warm during the cold months, since their coat isn’t as full or dense, and protect them from overheating during the summer.
Veterinary visits are also going to ensure your dog is healthy, but aside from maintaining their physical prowess, you need to invest in their mental health. You can do that by enrolling in dog socializing classes or taking them to a dog park where they can interact with other dogs.
These may seem like small things to do, but they will mean the world to your Boxer.
Don’t Use Punishment
A great way to establish a safe space for your dog is to use positive reinforcement during your training. If you don’t like a certain behavior it’s always best to ignore your dog in order to show them that you don’t like how they’re acting out.
By punishing your dog or shouting at them you may reinforce this unwanted behavior since negative attention is still attention.
Teaching them how to behave through punishment can severely damage your Boxer’s trust in you and your mutual bond. So, if you want your dog to love you more you need to show loving behavior in return.
Do Boxer Puppies Show Affection?
Despite the simplicity of this question, the answer is a bit more complex.
These little bundles of energy are too busy exploring the world and are not too bothered with cuddles. Of course, this doesn’t mean they don’t want your attention, but they usually crave it in the form of play. So, you’ll see a lot of jumping around, and they’ll actively play with their toys.
Boxer puppies are affectionate but in their own way and you can expect lots of licking, and unfortunately, you may find them chewing on your stuff.
There are many reasons for chewing like teething, separation anxiety, and boredom among others. But Boxer puppies might end up chewing your house slippers because they smell like you and they want to be closer to you.
It’s important to remember that puppies no matter how “happy go lucky” they might be, still need time to get used to you. You need to give your fur baby some time so they can get to know you, their new home, and the routine you want to establish.
Before you even know it this puppy will become an important member of your family. You’ll begin to see the strong bond you’ve developed as they come looking for that quality snuggle time with their favorite human!
Are Male or Female Boxers More Affectionate?
The understanding we have of gender can’t be properly applied to the animal kingdom.
We label dogs as female or male based on their reproductive anatomy, but when it comes to their personality and character more often than not people see them through their own gender bias.
Breeders like Jessica Freni focus more on the dog’s training and they’re looking to find the right home for them based on the dog’s health, temperament, and ability to fit into the owner’s lifestyle.
“Sex,” Jessica Freni says, “is pretty superficial.”
When it comes to affection, both male and female Boxers can display the same range of emotions. What truly matters is how your puppy is brought up, and some behaviors depend on whether they are spayed or neutered.
When we think that male Boxers may be more assertive and female Boxers mature faster has also to do with our own ideas of gender. If you tend to attribute certain characteristics of your dog to their gender then it’s not a completely honest outlook, and there might be other reasons that explain why your male or female Boxer has a certain personality.
Above everything, training plays the most important role in how your Boxer will show you how they love you.
Are Boxers Affectionate Towards Children?
If you’re looking for a family dog that can bond with your children then the Boxer is a great choice.
According to Petchoach, “boxers are renowned babysitters. While they may love children, they need to be monitored in case of overrunning small children with their size and enthusiasm.”
No matter how much your pooch is affectionate with your human babies you still need to keep an eye on them. Children don’t always know how to behave around dogs and could trigger unwanted behavior.
While you can be reassured that your Boxer will extend his protective nature over your children, there’s an exception to every rule.
Boxers that have gone through an abusive or neglectful owner, or have been abused by a particular member of a family like the men, women or children might not be affectionate towards someone who reminds them of their abusers.
Instead, they might be fearful around them and submissive. This doesn’t mean you can’t help them heal and be more comfortable and affectionate around your children.
Can Boxers Be Too Affectionate?
You might be thinking that there’s no such thing as too much affection, and if you’re that kind of a person then a Boxer might be the perfect dog for you.
Each breed has certain traits that match well with certain people. Boxers for example are high-energy and playful dogs that you need to keep busy, otherwise, they’ll get bored.
Boxers are also very loyal, and once your dogs have chosen you as their favorite human, you’ll notice that they crave lots of attention.
According to Hillspet “Boxers can be destructive if left alone in the house.” Being extremely attached to you means that they will most likely suffer from separation anxiety if it feels you have deserted them, even if you’re away for work or a vacation.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that there’s no other way of living with a Boxer. You’ll need to invest in their training and help minimize their separation anxiety as much as possible.
Aside from training, you can create a safe and comfy place for your Boxer in your house and yard if you have one. You can play soothing music or leave the television on to break the silence and to help your dog relax. You can also give them chewing toys or bones to help them pass the time.
We’ve actually created a list of toys that are perfect for Boxers that you can check by clicking here. But if you’re in a hurry and you just want to see our number one pick then the Elopaw dog toy for aggressive chewers on Amazon won’t disappoint!
This is the most versatile toy since it offers your dog a resilient chewing ball with a textured surface that’s designed to help clean teeth. It also releases treats and the suction cups can withstand a pulling force of up to 200lbs!
Other than that, any excessive display of affection like licking, pawing, or jumping on you is a matter of training. there is also a lot you can do to teach your Boxer to express their affection in a way that feels comfortable to the both of you.
Should I Discourage My Boxer’s Affections?
Boxers are naturally affectionate which is why plenty of people love this breed. Since they are also energetic dogs their love can seem on the more intense side of things.
If you find that their advances are too much, you may try to gently redirect them to a toy or initiate a play session.
Positive reinforcement through rewards can also change the way they show you their love, but this doesn’t mean that you can completely mold your Boxer into a dog that will accommodate your lifestyle, especially if it goes against your dog’s personality.
We can’t change our dogs completely and why would we?
If you have a sweet Boxer pooch then you should also appreciate their sloppy kisses and cuddles, at least to some extent!
The Boxer may appear to be a big burly brute that will chase you off of its property, but really what lies beneath that husky exterior is the beating heart of a big snuggle bum.
From wet kisses to over-the-moon exuberance upon your arrival, the Boxer is not a breed that should be taken lightly when it comes to affection.
If you don’t enjoy an affectionate pet, then you may want to steer clear of the Boxer and choose a more independent breed of dog, or a cat for that matter.
Boxer dogs rate high on the snuggle scale and they won’t apologize for it. All we can do as pet parents are enjoy the unconditional love and affection of this wonderful creature.
Now it’s your turn to tell us how your lovely Boxer shows their affection for you?