The Boxer Handbook


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Boxers are lively dogs that never seem to grow up. They learn well, if trained with patience and consistency, and despite looking like well muscled 'toughies' to some people, they are sensitive and affectionate, so can switch off if they are shouted at in training. They need careful training and socialization as pups, because of their tendency to be a bit rough with other dogs and people. Humans can be knocked over by an unexpected friendly greeting from a Boxer, so they need to be taught not to jump up, and should only get cuddles as pups when all four paws are on the ground.

Not all dogs like their style of playing. Boxers will sometimes box with other dogs, and there are dogs who enjoy rough games with Boxers, especially individuals from other medium-sized breeds who, like Boxers, continue to be playful all their lives. It is, however, wise to socialize Boxer pups with dogs that have gentler styles of playing, so that the Boxers learn how to play gently as well as roughly, and so that they learn to differentiate between dogs that like rough play, and those that don't.

Boxers aren't especially barky, but they are good guard dogs, simply because they can look serious and imposing, though well-socialized Boxers usually like visitors who give them a friendly greeting, since they are generally outgoing dogs.

Are Boxers good with children? They can be excellent companions for children, so long as they have been well-trained as pups. They are a little strong and lively for many children to handle on walks, and can even be too strong for many adults, since they can pull hard if they see a canine or human friend or other attraction.

The biggest drawback with this breed is that they are susceptible to a range of health problems, especially cancer, which can cut short their lives, so anyone buying a puppy should ask about longevity in the parents' lines. Other conditions that can affect Boxers include hip dysplasia, heart trouble, epilepsy, spay-related incontinence, and allergies. They may also have breathing trouble due to their short muzzles, and may snore and drool. White Boxers are especially prone to health problems, including deafness. Boxers can feel the cold easily, because of their short coats, but don't need much grooming.

The Boxer Handbook is a very good introduction to the breed, dealing with general care as well as health issues. It is suitable for novice owners with their first Boxer.