Boxers may look like imposing figures from afar, but up close and personal they are playful and loving family companions. Often dubbed the Peter Pan of dogs, Boxers are highly energetic, and as they grow into adulthood, they never lose the desire to romp and play like a puppy. Perpetual cuddle bugs, Boxers will try to wriggle into even the smallest spaces possible to get close to the ones they love. They love to be the center of attention and make a sound unique to their breed that some owners call a “Woo Woo.” When they want something they will make this “woo woo” sound to attract an audience.
Protective of their family, Boxers are alert and reliable watchdogs, sounding the alarm that strangers are approaching. Their menacing, muscular appearance will deter anyone whose intent is not above board. Boxers get along well with other pets, including cats and make a loving and loyal addition to any active family.
Boxers require a lot of vigorous exercise. Long daily walks and plenty of time to run are crucial to keeping a Boxer physically and mentally fit. They should not, however, be exercised too heavily in hot weather as they are prone to heatstroke. They can live in condos or apartments, as long as there is a daily commitment to exercise.
Like children, Boxers need to be constantly entertained. If not engaged in physical activity, they should have plenty of mental stimulation as well. Plenty of chew toys will keep them busy throughout the day.
Like the Peter Pan of children's stories, the Boxers are eternal kids and take direction about as well as any adolescent child. Training should be consistent, and leadership should be shown with confidence. Boxers will take advantage of anyone who gives them even the slightest bit of leeway. Positive reinforcement and treats are the best method for training this breed, and harsh tones and discipline should be avoided.
Once leadership roles have been established, Boxers can excel in advanced obedience and often benefit from agility training.
While Boxer generally tend to get along well with family pets, they can be aggressive toward other dogs, especially dogs of the same sex. They should be socialized from puppyhood on to accept doggie visitors as friends.
Because Boxers feel deep attachments to people, separation anxiety can develop. Proper levels of physical activity and mental activity can keep anxiety from being a problem.