The ‘Gifted’ Boxer Dog Breed — Facts About Grooming, Raising and Caring for Boxers

boxer dog breed in tan brown and multi color

The boxer dog breed — cute, affectionate, energetic, protective and incredibly intelligent — it is one of the most popular types of dog in the United States. Some might even say the boxer is “gifted” because of the breed’s many talents.  Originally bred as a bull-baiting dog, the boxer breed is a distant relative of bulldog breeds. 

Do Boxers Bark a Lot?

For the most part, boxers don’t bark more than your average dog. When they do, however, it’s for a good reason. That being said, you may find yourself with the exception to the rule if your pet is well known around your house and neighborhood as the boxer that barks A LOT! This breed has a strong need for companionship and exercise. It is also common for a boxer to be destructive when left home alone.

Like most dogs, boxers vocalize as a way to communicate with their humans and other dogs. It’s when they bark while home alone, for attention or no apparent reason — AKA nuisance barking — you have a problem. Here are a few things you can do to address this behavior and reduce the likelihood your dog will start a barking frenzy, regardless of whether the barking is due to separation anxiety or lack of attention. 

How to make a boxer stop barking

Make sure your boxer gets plenty of exercise every day. This breed is very energetic, so no short stroll will suffice. If your boxer is a puppy, a brisk 20-minute walk will do, while an adult boxer is better with a 30 to 45-minute walk. 

Mental stimulation is also a must. Try a chew toy or puzzle game that requires your dog to find a treat or food hidden within. Remember, a tired boxer is a quiet boxer. This is especially true if you are about to leave your boxer home alone. If he’s tired enough, he will simply rest while you’re away.

Turn on the TV or radio to a station that you commonly listen to when leaving your pet at home.

Offer your dog a treat or special toy that can keep him occupied for some time while you’re gone. (May we suggest our BarxBuddy peanut-butter flavored dog training treats? They won’t spoil your dog’s appetite, and they’re nutritious.) 

Ignore the barking if your boxer is trying to get your attention. Praise and reward him whenever he’s quiet, even after a barking episode.

How to train a boxer to stop barking

Training any dog to stop barking requires patience, time, and consistency.

If you have established the reason behind your dog’s barking is attention-seeking or nuisance barking, and you’ve tried the tips above, it’s time to use the training techniques laid out in our barking guide. We recommend an ultrasonic training tool, along with firm voice commands and positive reinforcement.

Last but not least, everyone in your household must be on the same page about correcting your pet’s behavior. Without a joint effort, you may find your boxer behaves around you and continues to bark around others outside of your presence.

Facts About the Boxer Dog Breed

Ranked #11 on the AKC breed popularity list, boxers are patient and have a protective nature making them loyal family pets that get along well with humans of all ages. Typically upbeat and playful, boxers don’t do well left alone for long periods. Regular exercise is a must for this muscular, athletic breed. Boxers excel in canine sports such as obedience, agility, and herding, perform well as service and therapy dogs and are often used for drug detection and search-and-rescue. 

  • Size: Boxers are large dogs that range 21.5 to 25 inches in height and 50 to 80 pounds in weight.
  • Life expectancy: Boxers tend to live 10 to 12 years.
  • Coat: Boxers have a short, shiny coat that is fawn or brindle and can have white flashing and black mask.
  • AKC group: Boxers belong to the AKC working group.

Boxer Breed Ears: To Crop or Not?

According to our research, ear cropping is more of a cosmetic preference than a medically necessary procedure. The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests some dog breeds are more prone to ear infections because of the internal structure of their ears. In other words, there is not a lot of evidence that supports the theory that cropped ears are healthier for dogs, including the boxer dog breed.

boxer dog breed with cropped ears
Boxers are born with floppy curved ears. Some owners prefer the look of cropped, point ears, although this practice is becoming less popular.

Talk to your veterinarian about the pros and cons of ear cropping your boxer. It is a cosmetic, elective procedure that many boxer owners choose because they prefer upright, pointed ears over floppy ears. However, our research suggests that the practice of ear cropping is becoming less popular as more dog owners realize that the procedure has no medical benefit to their dogs.

Are Boxers Easy to Train?

Like other breeds, early socialization and puppy training ensure a well-adjusted adult boxer dog. Lively, energetic, and highly intelligent, boxers can quickly become bored with repetition and often have issues with other dogs of the same sex. Menacing appearance aside, the alertness and strength of boxers make them the ideal guard dogs. 

During training, owners must clearly assume the role of a leader and use a firm tone. Leash training is a must with a boxer, as is positive reinforcement. Boxers don’t like being alone, so spending plenty of time beyond your training sessions is necessary to reassure your pet he’s your friend and family member.

Do Boxers Need Grooming?

The short, shiny coat of the boxer requires little grooming. A quick brushing with a hound glove or rubber curry brush once or twice a week will suffice and keep him looking his best. The boxer only requires bathing occasionally. Unless your boxer walks on hard surfaces like concrete that naturally files down his nails, you will need to trim a boxer’s nails once a month to prevent them from growing too long and causing him pain when he walks or runs. Brush your boxer’s teeth often, daily, if possible, to prevent tartar buildup.

What If My Breed Is a Boxer Mix?

The good-looking, intelligent boxer can make for some interesting mixes. Bred with a long-snout breed may help eliminate the brachycephalic breathing issues. Although you can never be certain of what characteristics your boxer breed will have, you should research the parents’ strengths and weaknesses to understand what traits your mix may possess. A boxer breed most certainly will make for a wonderful companion.

Here are some popular Boxers breed mixes: 

  • Boweimar – boxer + Weimaraner
  • Boxador — boxer + Labrador
  • Boxane – boxer + Great Dane
  • Boxapoint – boxer + German shorthaired pointer
  • Boxel – boxer + beagle
  • Boxita – boxer + Akita
  • Boxweiler – boxer + Rottweiler
  • Bulloxer – boxer + English bulldog
  • German Shepherd Boxer – boxer + German shepherd
  • Golden Boxer – boxer + golden retriever
  • Miniature Boxer – boxer + Boston terrier
  • Saint Bexer – boxer + Saint Bernard