Boxer Dog Temperament - Can You Handle This Dog?

Boxer Dog Temperament - Can You Handle This Dog?

Author WDF Staff


The Boxer or the German Boxer, as it is often called, is a medium-sized dog breed that is one of the most popular family pets out there. They are descendants of the old Bullenbeisser, a working hunting breed that was incredibly fast and powerful. These dogs’ main job was to catch and immobilize prey until hunters arrived.

The modern-day Boxers were developed in the 19th century by a German man called Georg Alt. He was an original Boxer breeder and owner that bred his original Boxer female dog with a local dog that wasn’t pureblooded. Mr. Alt wasn’t the most responsible breeder and bred one of his Boxers to his mother and produced the second Boxer litter where a female dog by the name of Flora II and a male dog ba the name of  Alt's Schecken. This male dog was the father of the first Boxers ever registered in the official Boxer studbook.

It has a short and interesting history but what exactly makes these dogs so popular? Are they good pets or is it their look that makes them so appealing? Let’s see some of the most important details about the famous Boxer.

To be a great pet, the physical appearance of a dog is less important than its temperament. Boxer’s temperament is one of their big advantages, or at least that is what Boxer owners say.

Are Boxers aggressive?

This is the first thing we need to look at if we want to consider them great house and family pets. There is a theory that says that no dog breed is aggressive, aggression is only the reflection of their owner. That might as well be true, but some breeds are less tolerant of both people and dogs.

Boxers are not one of them. These dogs are generally very friendly and rarely show any kind of aggression. They are protective, and if that part of the Boxer’s temperament is left unchecked, they can become problematic. These dogs are not likely to be aggressive towards strangers in neutral areas or become aggressive if someone they don’t know touches them.

boxer puppy

Are they friendly?

In short - yes. Boxer’s temperament makes these dogs very friendly. Their friendliness is one of the best things about them and their philosophy is that all strangers are playmates they haven’t met yet. They are very enthusiastic about everything they do and everyone they meet. They also have a protective side in them and if they are entrusted with guarding, they will become a great watchdog that will let you know if anything suspicious is going on in their proximity.

Boxers are usually very friendly with children, even if they are not from their own family. If you take your Boxer to a busy dog park, they are likely to make a lot of friends, and children are usually the ones that like to participate in all Boxer antics and games. They can seem frightening at first because their looks can be intimidating to those that are not familiar with the breed. Take a second and pretty soon you will realize how playful and fun these dogs are.

Boxers can have some problems socializing with other dogs and especially other pets. They can be less tolerant of other same-sex dogs and might want to pick a fight with them. They also have a strong prey drive so they might not be naturally suited to be around other small animals and pets like cats, ferrets, gerbils, or guinea pigs. They can become tolerant of them and if they are well socialized, they can even be friends with them.

Early Boxer socialization can greatly influence their temperament. It is a good idea to expose your dog to many different things while they are still young. If you are planning on having multiple pets, it would be highly recommendable to expose your Boxer puppy to many small animals so that they can learn to behave around them. That will also prevent your Boxer to view other small animals as prey. Proper socialization will make sure your Boxer puppy develops in a well-behaved and friendly dog.

playful boxers

Training a Boxer

After your Boxer’s socialization, the most important thing to do to get a great pet is to train them properly.

Boxers are considered to be fairly intelligent and they need to have their minds engaged, as well as their bodies. They are active and energetic, and to prevent bad behavior they need to spend their excess energy on something productive. Because these dogs are intelligent, you will need to keep training sessions short and interesting. They will always try to outsmart you and think of new ways to get around doing something.

There is also a plus side to their intelligence and that is that Boxers are quick learners. They can learn new commands and orders fairly quickly and can become bored with things that are too repetitive. They are also willing to please their owner to some degree and will react great to the food-reward training system. Reward their positive behavior instead of punishing their bad behavior. Training a Boxer is not a short process and you shouldn’t expect to see results overnight.

Boxers can be motivated by food. Training will be significantly easier if you use delicious treats these dogs will love, so we would recommend getting bacon-flavored treats like Milk-Bone Mini's Flavor Snacks.

boxer dog playful

Boxer leash training 

When training your Boxer, one of the most important aspects of that is their leash training. They are fairly big dogs and their friendly nature makes them like jumping on people when greeting them and playing. It is a behavior that should not be endorsed and injuries can happen when such a large dog jumps on a child.

No-pull leashes can be a great way to train your Boxer to behave properly. Make sure to give them a nice doggy treat after they perform the way you want them to. Training your dog not to pull the leash can take some time, so why not get them the safest tools for training - OneTigris Tactical Dog Harness and the OneTigris Training Dog Leash. Plus, they pair really well.

If you are thinking about getting a Boxer, it is a great idea to read as much as you can about the breed and talk to a breeder or a Boxer owner. These dogs can be a treat to have around and they are most commonly described as fun, affectionate, loyal, devoted, and charming.

For a Boxer’s good temperament to shine through, these dogs need to have their physical needs fulfilled and that means that you will have to make time to have fun, train them, socialize them, and actively work with them. Dogs that have too much unspent energy will most likely become destructive and they can become a nightmare to have around. So before you get one, make sure you did your research and you can provide them with the lifestyle they need so both you and your dog can enjoy each other’s company to the fullest. If you make sure of all these things, you will get the best possible pet that will be a devoted family pet and a great watchdog.

World Dog Finder team