How to Take Care of a Boxer

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So you’re about to bring your Boxer home, you’re probably a bundle of excitement, and just thinking about all the fun that you’re going to have.

Weekends spent hiking, evenings strolling around the dog park, and arriving home from work to be greeted by the smiliest of doggy faces!

Sounds magical, doesn’t it?!

It sure does.

But first things first, you’ve got to get yourself ready for the responsibility of dog ownership – and prep for taking care of your Boxer!

Dog-Proofing Your Home

Whether you’re bringing home a ten-week old puppy, or a ten-year-old rescue, you need to make sure that your house and belongings are safe from the teeth and claws that await!

Puppies explore their surroundings with their little paws and tiny mouths – but there are razor sharp attachments on both of those things, so put your slippers away!

Older rescue dogs may suffer from separation anxiety, and when your dog is suffering from anxiety – he tries to do something to keep himself occupied.

Commonly this means chewing something up.

Neither the puppy or older dog in either of these scenarios is trying to be “A bad boy” they’re just coping with their new surroundings as best they can.

As well as putting away your slipper, and making sure that remote controls and magazines are out of reach – you can create a “Safe Zone” that your dog can hang out in whenever you leave him alone, at least in the beginning.

What’s a Safe Zone?

A safe zone is your dog’s bedroom; it’s his place to go hang out without being bothered by humans.

When he needs a nice nap after a long walk or wants a quiet area to hide from scary, noisy toddlers – this is where he’ll want to go.

The best safe zone will either be an entire room or an area of a room that doesn’t have much foot traffic.

Within his safe zone, you’ll want to place his crate, with a bed inside.

Water and food bowls, and some toys to keep him occupied!

A laundry room is a great option, but if you don’t have an entire room to spare, or worry that he’ll find something to chew; you can buy a doggie playpen and set that up within a room!

Buying The Necessary Goods

Have you jotted down a shopping list of the necessary bits and bobs you’ll need to pick up before you become a bonafide Boxer Dog owner?

No?

Geez, leaving me to take care of everything – well, here you go!

Nutritional Needs

The Boxer is an energetic and muscular pooch, and as such – he needs a diet with a high percentage of protein.

You should also try to feed your boxer a heart-healthy mixture as he is susceptible to cardiac issues, omega natural fatty acids are one ingredient that you should look to include!

One of the main problems that owners have had in finding food that works for their Boxer is the fact that this breed is highly prone to dietary allergies, including wheat, soy, corn, and yeast.

Nowadays it’s easier to find grain free and allergen-free foods, but if you want to go above and beyond, a great option is to make homemade dog food with lean protein and vegetables!

Obedience Training

The Boxer is a highly trainable dog if you’re using the right techniques, he’s an intelligent fellow, and he considers you to be part of his family – so if you use intimidation and shouting in your attempt to train him – it’s not going to go well.

But, if you use positive reinforcement methods, maintaining a calm and patient demeanor throughout every short training session – you’ll end up with one incredible pooch!

Crate Training

As a breed that’s incredibly prone to separation anxiety, training him that being in his crate alone is nice for him is an absolute must.

Take your time when crate training your boxer, if you need to start with three-minute sessions for the first couple of weeks – stick it out, and don’t rush him.

A crate isn’t to be used as a punishment or as a cage to lock up your pooch, it’s somewhere for him to be kept safe, and be cozy!

Adequate Exercise

You won’t get through to your dog using any training method if he’s a ball of energy, for that reason; you need to make sure that he received adequate exercise on a daily basis.

Compare it to giving a toddler sugar, then asking them to calmly sit and color in the lines – not going to happen!

But if you take your tot for a walk through the park, and then sit them at the table, they’re in the right frame of mind to get those crayons out!

Mental Stimulation

Just walking around the block a thousand times per day isn’t enough, and can lead to boredom that causes destructive behavior.

Common signs of a bored dog are chewing things, digging, and running away – none of these are necessarily bad, it’s just your dog’s way of communicating to you that he’s bored and needs more to keep him entertained.

Socialization

An incredibly friendly breed when well socialized, the Boxer has a tendency toward dog aggression with large breed dogs if not introduced to them from a young age – so this is a key area to focus on.

Grooming

With such a short coat, the boxer doesn’t require much grooming, but it’s worth running a brush over his hair every day so that you can keep an eye out for unwanted parasites, skin irritations or injuries.

Insurance and Vet Care

As Boxers are genetically predisposed to some conditions, it’s a good idea to speak with your preferred insurance provider and confirm what will and will not be covered by your insurance policy BEFORE bringing your new dog home.

Veterinary care is expensive, and if you can’t afford to provide your dog with the best – you shouldn’t be welcoming him into your home in the first place, but letting him go to a family that has the means to keep him happy and healthy.

Final Thoughts

Taking care of a Boxer takes some time, effort, and thoughtfulness – but once you get into the swing of training, feeding, and exercising – you’ll have the time of your life with your big bouncing energy ball!

If you’re worried about the potential medical problems that sometimes come along with Boxer ownership, a great way to get some first-hand advice is to head to the dog park and ask some Boxer owners for their input!

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