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Boxer Pros and Cons: 15 Things To Consider Before Buying

Last Updated: December 10, 2023

Boxers are one of the most popular and well-known dog breeds today. However, every breed has its foibles, and choosing the right dog for you and your family can be tricky. So, if you’re interested in this unique and beloved breed, here are some Boxer pros and cons to consider. 

The pros of having a Boxer include playfulness, sociability, intelligence, active and energetic constitution, suitability as a family dog, and protective instincts. The cons of having a Boxer include drooling, genetic medical problems, potential aggression issues, and more. 

This article will explore the pros and cons of Boxers in depth. I will include details about their traits, behaviors, care needs, health issues, and more. Stick around if you’re considering adopting a Boxer!

Boxer Pros and Cons
Boxer Pros and Cons

What are The Pros and Cons of Boxers?

When you’re thinking of bringing home a Boxer, it’s common to be influenced by various misconceptions. However, it’s essential to differentiate between myths and reality.

Here’s a tabulated version of the pros and cons of Boxers:

Boxer ProsBoxer Cons
Boxers have great personalitiesBoxers are very excitable
Boxers are highly intelligentBoxers can have aggression issues
Boxers are wonderful family dogsBoxers need a lot of social time
Boxers are very activeBoxers need a lot of physical and mental stimulation
Boxers are very socialBoxers are prone to separation anxiety
Boxers are wonderful guard dogsBoxers are indoor dogs
Boxers rarely barkBoxers are messy
Boxers are prone to health issues
Boxer Pros and Cons

Would you like to get an in-depth understanding? Then, read further to get complete knowledge about this breed.

Boxer Pros

There are a lot of very attractive pros to keeping Boxers as pets. Boxers are especially good for: 

  • Physically active people
  • Big families
  • Children
  • Those who like to take their dogs with them everywhere
  • Those who work from home and rarely travel
  • Single women 
  • Those who live alone

Boxers Have Great Personalities

Their lovable personalities are possibly the number one reason people keep Boxers as pets, as they’re notorious for making their owners laugh and being deeply loving companions. 

Boxer traits include:

  • Very Loving
  • Highly social
  • Comical and silly
  • Animated
  • Playful
  • Loyal
  • Confident
  • Courageous
  • Protective
Two Boxers sitting next to each other
Two Boxers sitting next to each other

Boxers Are Highly Intelligent

Boxers are bred as working dogs, which means they have all the brains necessary for complex training and cooperation with human endeavors.

In the past, they have been used as:

  • Bull baiting dogs
  • Butcher’s helpers
  • Cattle control dogs
  • Police dogs
  • Seeing-eye dogs

Today, they’re bred primarily as guard dogs and family dogs. However, they are still capable of learning complex tricks and commands. They can be challenging to train, as they’re a stubborn and excitable breed, but the rewards for perseverance are great. 

Wonderful Family Dogs

Boxers are great with kids, as they’re known to be gentle and patient, and their playful nature keeps kids entertained. Likewise, active and energetic children help to give Boxers the stimulation they need to be happy, balanced dogs.

One of the excellent pros of Boxers is that they’re known for their protective qualities and can be trusted to guard kids and other family members against any threat. They also love to be with people and do well in households with many family members. 

They flourish in busy, active households where someone is always home. 

Boxers Are Very Active

Their extremely high energy level and enthusiasm for exercise make Boxers the perfect dogs for athletes and those who are very active. Boxers enjoy hiking, walking, jogging, sunning, and outdoor activities. 

In fact, these dogs need at least 90-120 minutes of exercise daily to be happy and healthy. 

Here’s a video of playtime involving two Boxers:

Boxers Are Very Social

If you’re looking for a 70 lb (32 kg) lap dog who will never leave your side, look no further! 

Boxers love to be with their people 24/7, and if they have the choice, they will be velcroed to you at all times, following you from room to room and wanting constant pets, cuddles, and belly rubs. When socialized correctly from an early age, many Boxers enjoy meeting new people and dogs. 

I know just how social these dogs can be! Check out the below photo of my dog playing with her two Boxer friends!

German Shepherd and 2 Boxer Dogs Chewing a Stick
My GSD socializing with her two Boxer friends

Excellent Guard Dogs

If you’re a single woman or you live alone, the Boxer might be the dog you need to feel safe and secure in the following scenarios:

  • In your home
  • Walking alone
  • Hiking in secluded areas
  • Traveling

Boxers are incredibly courageous and unhesitating protectors who will alert you to any threat and defend you ferociously. 

Boxers Rarely Bark

Boxers can be quite vocal in other ways, but they rarely bark. This makes them good suburban and even city dogs, provided they get enough time outdoors and plenty of daily exercise. 

They will bark to alert you to dangers (i.e., intruders) but typically won’t bark long or consistently enough to disturb the neighbors like some other breeds, such as the Yorkie

Boxer Cons

Boxers are adorable, humorous, and delightfully social dogs, but they aren’t for everyone. 

Their high energy and intelligence mean they need more of your time and attention than other breeds, and they can be destructive when their needs are unmet. Unfortunately, they are subject to numerous health problems as well. 

Boxers Are Very Excitable

Boxers’ high energy and excitability make them a poor choice for those who don’t have the time or energy to train and exercise the dogs sufficiently. This results in Boxers jumping up on people, pulling the leash, becoming unglued around other animals, and ignoring or failing to register commands. 

Highly excited Boxer
Highly excited Boxer

In some situations, an overly excited Boxer can be dangerous, as they are powerful, muscular medium-large dogs. They can unintentionally knock down and/or injure people, cause dog fights, break things, and other problems. 

An uncontrolled Boxer can also be very frightening to those unfamiliar with or comfortable with dogs. 

Boxer Can Have Aggression Issues

Dominance issues and aggression can arise when Boxers aren’t trained and socialized early on. 

These can be exacerbated by lack of exercise and stimulation, resulting in Boxers attacking strangers and fighting with other dogs, and therefore cannot be safely taken out in public or allowed to be around anyone outside the family. 

Boxers Need a Lot of Social Time

I know I listed this as a pro above, but for some people, it can definitely be a con. Boxers are not independent dogs and won’t go off alone to entertain themselves unless there’s another person or dog to stimulate them. 

In fact, they will insist on being physically close to you at all times by:

  • Following you from room to room.
  • Demanding pets and cuddles often.
  • They will want to sleep in your bed.
  • They will lay next to you on the couch.
  • They like to put their head on your lap.
  • They like to lay on top of you.

If that’s not something you enjoy, a Boxer is not the dog for you!

They Need a Lot of Mental and Physical Stimulation

Boxers can become destructive when they don’t get the necessary activity and mental stimulation. This is one of the biggest cons of Boxers, in my opinion. You can’t leave a Boxer alone for 8 hours while you go to work unless you want to come home to find your couch cushions have been gutted and your carpets are torn up. 

There are ways to avoid this, but it requires significant effort and planning. You can do things such as:

  • Get another dog for company.
  • Allow free access to a large yard while you’re gone.
  • Provide lots of time-consuming, mentally stimulating toys.
  • Give your Boxer a heavy-duty morning workout before you leave.

However, leaving a Boxer alone for long hours is not ideal (four hours maximum), as it can cause them stress and anxiety, which they will take out on your belongings. 

Separation Anxiety 

Because of their high energy and intense social needs, Boxers are very prone to separation anxiety. This is one of the rare times that Boxers engage in excessive barking, and it’s another cause for the destructive behaviors described above. 

Even if you give your Boxer all the exercise and stimulation they need, separation anxiety can cause them to chew, dig, and tear up the house when you’re away. Symptoms of separation anxiety can begin when they are puppies, so it’s important to watch them early on and start training them young

Boxers Are Indoor Dogs

Boxers aren’t a good choice for those who keep their dogs outdoors. They are very sensitive to heat and cold. Even with a dog house, they will not do well, especially if you live somewhere with extreme temperatures. 

Boxers have very thin coats with no insulation and must be indoor dogs. In addition, they are especially sensitive to overheating due to their short snouts and deep chests. 

Boxer staying indoors

Boxers Are Messy

Despite having an extremely short coat, Boxers shed a lot. In fact, they shed more than other breeds of short-haired dogs, meaning your furniture, clothes, floors, and blankets will be covered in Boxer fur, especially during the warm season. 

Boxers can also be droolers. Not all Boxers drool, but the breed has short, square snouts and large jowls, which makes them more likely to drool. 

Boxers with undocked tails wag so enthusiastically that they knock things over. This is especially true of low furniture like coffee tables and end tables, and as a result, having an undocked Boxer can mean lots of spills and broken cups. 

They may also hit their tails on furniture and other things so hard that they harm themselves and bleed everywhere. 

Prone to Medical Problems

Unfortunately, Boxers are often bred poorly and have genetic medical issues ranging from annoying to life-threatening. The less troubling issues from which Boxers suffer include allergies and bloating. And if you don’t want large vet bills, you might want to look at a different breed to adopt.


Boxers are notorious for bloating and flatulence. For this reason, it’s important to choose high-quality foods and treats for your Boxer and avoid giving them too much human food. 

In addition, Boxers may bloat due to eating too fast or too-large meals. You can avoid bloating by feeding your Boxer small meals throughout the day and/or using a slow-feeder dog bowl. 


They may also have recurring skin issues that aren’t threatening to their overall health and can be treated relatively easily. Usually, skin allergies present as the following:

  • Inflamed areas
  • Flaky skin
  • Oily patches 
  • Hot spots

These can cause the dog a lot of itching and discomfort, and if left untreated, the dog may end up with secondary infections from scratching and chewing. These include yeast infections and bacterial infections

Note that some issues can be addressed with a change in food pattern, and this can control shedding as well as improve the health of the skin.

However, allergic skin symptoms can also signify something more serious.

Boxer needing attention
Boxer needing attention


Hypothyroidism is a thyroid gland disorder that regulates metabolism and hormone production. The condition causes the thyroid to underproduce important hormones, resulting in a host of symptoms including, but not limited to:

  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Lethargy/fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Skin rashes that can mimic allergies
  • Skin infections
  • Digestive issues
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Muscle and joint stiffness 

Hypothyroidism must be treated, or it will result in:

  • Nerve and muscle damage
  • High cholesterol
  • Lowered immune system
  • Lowered heart rate

Ultimately, untreated hypothyroidism will shorten your dog’s lifespan and quality of life. 

Congenital Heart Diseases

Poorly bred Boxers may suffer from several congenital heart problems. Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), a.k.a. Dilated cardiomyopathy, causes irregular heartbeat and sometimes more severe symptoms like fainting episodes, collapse, and congestive heart failure.

Aortic stenosis causes heart murmurs and, in more severe cases, results in the following:

  • Fainting
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Poor respiration
  • Coughing
  • Chest pain can be triggered or worsened by exercise 

Musculoskeletal Issues 

Two common musculoskeletal issues occur in Boxers. Usually, these appear in adulthood or as the Boxer moves into his elder years. Degenerative myelopathy is a spinal cord disease that sometimes occurs in elderly Boxers. 

It causes deterioration of the spinal cord resulting in:

  • Chronic pain
  • Poor mobility
  • Possible paralysis 

Hip dysplasia is a fairly common malformation of hip joints in Boxers. It causes degeneration, pain, looseness of the joint, limping, poor mobility, and potentially immobility of the hind legs.

Final Thoughts

Boxers are delightful, energetic dogs with loveable personalities. They’re excellent family and guard dogs and are ideal for active individuals. They love to be with people and will never leave your side. 

However, they can exhibit considerable behavior problems when not socialized and trained from an early age. They can also behave destructively when they are not given sufficient exercise and stimulation. They don’t do well when left alone for long periods and must be indoor dogs. 

They also suffer from many severe congenital conditions that can be heartbreaking and expensive. 

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Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.

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