Choosing a dog for your household is not a decision that should be taken lightly – after all, you’re adding a new member to your family, one that’ll require your care and attention for years to come.
Since you’re here, chances are Boxers have already made your shortlist of possible breeds to get, and if that’s the case, you’ll want to be as informed as possible before making such a long-term commitment. So, are Boxers bad dogs, and if so, why?
Boxers aren’t bad dogs. However, they’re not suitable for everyone. There are several reasons someone wouldn’t want to get a Boxer. For example, they’re stubborn, prone to health issues, overly energetic, too strong for families with children, and require constant socialization.
The internet is filled with articles and forums about how energetic and affectionate Boxers are. While that’s all true, adopting one of these dogs has several downsides that must be discussed.
So, below, I’ll explore some of the main reasons not to get a Boxer – that way, you can go into the adoption or purchase process with your eyes wide open. Let’s get started!
Are Boxers Bad?
Here are some of the main reasons you might want to reconsider choosing a Boxer dog as your next pet.
1. Boxers Are Stubborn
Boxers are one of the most stubborn dog breeds out there, so if you’re thinking about getting one, it’s important to ensure you have the right level of patience and dedication for the job. Remember that not all Boxers are the same; some might be more agreeable and less stubborn than others. However, generally speaking, these are few and far between.
These dogs have independent and outgoing personalities, which, though lovable, can lead to many issues regarding the training process. So, if you’d like an obedient and well-behaved dog, this is not the breed for you.
With Boxers, you have to earn your position as the leader, so determination and consistency are needed to get them to behave. They can be a lot of work, so remember this before signing those papers.
2. Boxers Are Prone to Several Health Issues
As purebred dogs, Boxers are prone to several health-related issues that their mixed counterparts aren’t. Remember that this doesn’t mean that all Boxers will get sick at one point, as many go on to live healthy and happy lives.
However, they’re still more prone to certain conditions (which I’ve outlined below) and, thus, require regular screenings. Therefore, you must ensure you have enough time, money, and mental space to allocate to these potential issues before adopting a Boxer.
Below are some of the health issues Boxers are most prone to:
Unfortunately, Boxers are prone to developing several types of cancer. The most common ones include the following:
- Lymphatic system
- Mammary glands
Although it’s vital to take any dog for regular screenings and annual vet exams, with Boxers, it’s even more crucial.
If your vet notices a tumor, it could be benign or malignant (cancerous). Benign tumors can usually be surgically removed. However, if malignant, it’ll call for specialized medical intervention.
Boxers are unfortunately at increased risk of experiencing heart-related issues such as aortic stenosis and cardiomyopathy. The former is when the aortic valve narrows, forcing the heart to work harder to force the blood through it. As a result, the muscle becomes weaker, sometimes giving out unexpectedly.
The only way to spot this condition is to screen your dog regularly.
Boxers are considered a high-risk breed when it comes to bloat development due to their deep chests. Remember that, in this case, “bloat” doesn’t refer to the mildly uncomfortable feeling you may associate with the word. It’s a severe condition that causes the stomach to fill with gas and twist on itself, which can be life-threatening.
Diabetes is when a dog’s (or human’s) pancreas fails to produce enough insulin.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for diabetes and only ways to keep it in check. Since Boxers are prone to this disease, you’ll likely have to administer insulin shots for life if your pet develops this condition.
Hypothyroidism is a hormonal dysfunction that occurs when the thyroid gland malfunctions and doesn’t produce as many hormones as it should. However, unlike most conditions on this list, this one manifests through some physical symptoms you can spot.
These include the following:
- Increased appetite
- Rapid weight gain
- Hypersensitivity to cold
- Dull fur
- Ear inflammation
Also known as chronic kidney disease (CKD), this is a condition that can be fatal for dogs. Unfortunately, Boxers have a natural predisposition to developing this disease. If your Boxer has this vulnerability, you’ll need to take it for regular veterinary screenings and check for any symptoms in your dog’s daily life.
Though many dogs become more prone to hip dysplasia as they age, Boxers can be especially prone to it, mainly because they tend to move around a lot and have high energy levels.
Unfortunately, this issue can lead to a painful, physically-restricted life, which can feel torturous to the lively Boxer. That’s why it’s essential to catch this problem immediately and get immediate veterinary attention.
This is a degenerative spinal condition that, similarly to hip dysplasia, mostly affects older dogs. However, in some cases, this issue can come about due to injury, which Boxers are especially prone to since they often run and jump around.
Moreover, since Boxers are known to display little to no signs, even when something is bothering them, you’ll have to check for this condition through regular veterinary screenings.
Allergies aren’t exclusive to Boxers. However, knowing they can be prone to specific allergies is essential.
Allergies can cause skin irritation, breathing difficulties, and other life-threatening symptoms. If your dog ends up with one, you’ll want to monitor potential reactions as closely as possible.
Treatment often includes giving your Boxer antihistamines.
Not All Boxers Are Prone To Health Issues
Before moving on to the next section, I want to reiterate that not all Boxers will suffer from these health issues. However, several factors make them more prone to developing one of these diseases and more likely to go a long time with a condition without you having any idea.
Here are some of them:
- Being a purebred Boxer.
- Being overly energetic (more on this in a moment).
- Being extremely skillful in hiding any potential symptoms.
3. Boxers Are Overly Energetic
Though many potential dog owners strive to find a pet as lively and energetic as possible, that’s not the case for everyone. Boxers have a lot of energy to burn off and must be taken out for a walk at least twice daily to remain calm and happy.
They also need to live somewhere spacious, so they can still move around even when they cannot go outdoors.
As you can see, not everyone’s lifestyle can accommodate such high energy levels, which is probably why Boxers aren’t the best breed for people living in apartments or homes with small yards.
However, physical exercise isn’t the only factor contributing to a Boxer’s well-being. This breed also needs to be mentally stimulated, so if you’re out of the house a lot or don’t have the time to engage in lengthy play sessions, it’s best to opt for a lower-energy breed.
4. Boxers Can Get Too Big for Some Households
When excessive size and energy coincide in the same dog, you should consider what that entails before taking on such a commitment. Though Boxers aren’t the biggest dog breed out there, they still can be categorized as large, with many weighing up to 36 kg (80 pounds).
Combine that with the fact that they’re extremely strong and energetic, and you start to understand why they wouldn’t be the best choice for most families, especially those with younger children.
Don’t get me wrong, Boxers are pretty affectionate and don’t get overly aggressive when trained right. However, their sheer size and strength can cause damage even when they don’t want to.
So, if you don’t want to spend your walks struggling to constrain your dog’s excitement or simply don’t live in a big enough space to accommodate a Boxer’s size, it’s best to reconsider your decision to adopt one.
If you’d like to know about their growth stages, this video will be helpful:
5. Boxers Need Constant Socialization
While it’s true that all dogs have unique personalities that are hard to generalize (similar to humans), some breeds are inherently more social than others. Boxers, for example, love company, which tends to be a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, this quality allows them to warm up to humans or other animals pretty quickly, making walking in a crowded park or getting a second pet relatively easy. On the other hand, it also means that your Boxer will start feeling lonely and understimulated if they don’t get enough time (or opportunities) for socialization.
In extreme cases, they can start developing anxiety, which leads to destructive tendencies (i.e., gnawing on your furniture and clothing). So, if you’re looking for a dog that can be left alone for extended periods, Boxers aren’t the breed for you.
Don’t be fooled by their reputation as independent dogs; that word describes their way of thinking, not their neediness level.
6. They Can Get Aggressive
Any well-trained dog doesn’t pose an immediate threat to the people or animals around it. However, a Boxer’s energetic nature and strength might lead to unpleasant situations if the animal feels threatened or uncomfortable.
Dogs are wired to feel territorial, especially toward other dogs of the same sex. And while a smaller, more docile breed would likely be less confrontational, Boxers have impressive size and power to back them up, so they’re not afraid to show other animals (or even humans) that they’re not about to submit to them.
Boxers are affectionate; however, their temperament can be pretty tricky to predict, so only get one if you’ve accounted for the fact that it might get aggressive at one point or another.
7. Boxers Are Messy and Loud
All dogs are bound to make a mess here and there and fill your house with barks and snorts. However, Boxers can be especially loud, given that they’re not exactly the most elegant dog breed out there.
They’ll bark, snore, wheeze, snort, and slobber all over the place, so make sure you’re up for the challenge before you get one of these adorable dogs. After all, there are plenty of quieter, less destructive breeds to choose from.
8. Boxers Shed a Lot
For being such a short-haired breed, you’d expect Boxers to be pretty easy to maintain as far as shedding goes. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Boxers are a moderate-to-high shedding breed that’ll leave your entire house covered with fur.
So, those who tend to be allergic to dog fur or those looking for a low-maintenance pup should stay as far away as possible from Boxers.
If you’re still insistent on getting a Boxer, even after reading through all of these drawbacks, you’ll want to take a few steps to limit their intensity as much as possible.
Here’s what I advise:
- Choose an adult dog rather than a puppy. Though you can train a puppy to get the traits you want, if you’re unsure about your dog-training capabilities, getting an adult dog is the best choice. That way, you can get a glimpse of its personality before adopting it, and there’ll be no unpleasant surprises.
- Carefully vet breeders. If you still want to get a Boxer puppy, only do so from a reputable breeder. Moreover, review all the necessary documentation before initiating the adoption or purchasing process.
Boxers, just like all other dog breeds, aren’t inherently bad dogs. However, they require far more time, attention, space, and financial resources than many of their counterparts. So, if you’re thinking about getting one, read through each of this breed’s drawbacks mentioned above to make a well-informed decision.
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