Newest Review: ... have had no problems with chewing or being destructive otherwise. He loves to eat the mail! Boxers love to be "lap dogs". He wil... more
Licked to death by a muscleman
Member Name: isvikthere
Date: 22/03/04, updated on 22/03/04 (1953 review reads)
Advantages: Love children, Always ready to play
Disadvantages: Endless appetite, Very energetic, need lots of exercise
If ever there is a breed of dogs to which the saying "looks can be deceiving" applies then it is the Boxer. Anyone who is a bit familiar with the breed knows that they are a slimmed down and very domesticated version of the bullfighters of bygone times and that boxers have their origin in Germany. To some people they may look frightening and intimidating, but know that behind that exterior hides one of most gentle characters in Canineland.
Now having entered their third century of existence Boxers still are enormously popular amongst the fans. I wouldn't claim myself to be the number one expert at all but as I am now on my second friend on four legs (her picture is the one in my profile, I do feel like I've got something useful to say).
Either you like the looks of a boxer or you don't, but none of the boxers I met , and I have encountered many, had any tendency to aggression, in fact about 98% of them were overfriendly even to strangers. And that is exactly their biggest plus, it's a type of dog you can take anywhere without having to fear that vicious attacks to the litle child's hand trying to caress it will occur.
Obviously I have been reading articles and books on them and most of them seem to cover the breed quite well, as they do have common characteristics. But from my tales hereafter you'll see that they aren't all that alike.
Some people consider it to be a big dog but that's only when you're used to being around lapdogs, the likes of Pekinese or Cavalier King Charles, in reality the Boxer is just average size weighing in around 30-35 kgs, which is a lot less than a Labrador or a Rottweiler. Male boxers stand a bit taller than the females and therefore can weigh a bit more.
The Boxer must be the number one family dog, in fact they may be harassed by children to an extent we
ourselves wouldn't tolerate but never is there a hint of aggression in their behaviour, they would rather try and hide themselves out of reach of the litle tirants than to ever show their teeth or growl. Even my first dog Watson who was a male and much more assertive than my current female Boxer Xelery never lifted a paw against children teasing and chasing him. But when he was challenged by other dogs, and here the bigger the better, he was almost impossible to hold back.
Unfortunately my brother raised Watson to chase cats and that's what he did until his very last day. Xelery however was raised in a family with cats and tolerates them extraordinarily well, her interest is more in litle dogs whilst Watson, as said was furious against anything bigger than him, and considered litle dogs to be nothing more than air.
+++Pedigree and illnesses+++
Besides their sex the main difference between Watson and Xelery was that the latter has a pedigree whilst Watson was basically a farmdog. Here the difference in health was and is enormous, Watson ate just about anything whilst for Xelery we found out that we need to buy special 'Royal Canin' diet food as her stomach is too sensitive for anything else. Watson thus had no genetic defects whatsoever and only in the last years of his life suffered from various afflictions:
First and for all his ears collapsed meaning that both sides of this earshells got detached and filled up with blood. This happened because whilst staying at an acquaintance Watson got an ear infection that didn't get seen to, causing him to flap his ears so wildly that the walls of his ears sheared apart. As soon as Watson got back in my care I urged him to a vet which cured this by simply letting the blood out of them and then sowing the two earhalves back together, this healed very well and when the stitches were removed it was very hard to tell what had happened. Maybe that is why at a certain mo
ment in time many boxers got their ears trimmed and put upright as is also often seen on Dobermanns. In the same spirit of things it is also said that boxers get their tails cut off to avoid them having wurms that seem to have a tendency to nest under the tail and can sometimes cause fatal infections.
Others say that since Boxers go through life wagging their tails almost endlessly, to avoid them wiping clean your coffeetable at every pass it is better to have it removed. Anyway it is my view that with their tails left on, Boxers should be even better at jumping than the champions they already are. I haven't had a Boxer yet that kept its tail.
After the ears incident, and then Watson was already going on his twelfth year (some books attribute Boxers only 8-10 years maximum), he started having problems with his prostate, which caused him to secrete blood with his urine. This problem stayed, with some periods worse than others, until he finally died of cancer. This cancer came up all of a sudden in September, the vet did try and remove the tumor but it came back in less than three months and then bigger and meaner than ever before. In fact in his last January days the tumor was almost as big as the basketball Watson did insist on playing with until only two days before he died.
That's right, Boxers remain playful until their very last breath. Even his appetite was good until the last moment but all his energy went to feeding the evil growth inside him because besides the killer lump in his side he was as skinny as never before in his life. The tumor itself was glowing to the touch and wore him out until his heart finally gave up.
Now Xelery not only has stomach problems, she also has tearcanals that are not fully developed, causing her eyes to water and to be red all the time. In my view those two problems should keep the breeders from continuing to breed with the line she came from and we therefore had her sterilised as s
he most certainly would pass these genetic defects on to her offspring. Through eyesurgery the vet did manage to get the eyeproblem under control.
Female boxers are also known to be very sensitive to cancers of the woomb and therefore it is advised not to keep them on contraceptives for too long if you don't intend to use them for breeding.
Being the ever hungry scroungers they are they also can die through their stomach overturning should ever they be too violent shortly after a copious meal. So always make sure they take their time to rest and digest before taking them out for the energetic games they so love. But let them eat to their heart's content and they will grow into fat slobs, give them just enough and plenty of training and they will easily show Schwarzy what real muscles are like !
So both are very childfriendly, but in my view the females are the better watchdogs as Watson didn't even lift a paw when at one moment in time my house was broken into, I'm quite sure - although I wasn't there when it happened - he did try to lick the thieves to death. That's right, all boxers love to lick and if ever they can't get to your face - which they love to reach by simply jumping up to you as high as they can and preferably when you least expect it - no matter your size, age or sex, and if they can't get to your face they will just stand there licking the air. But Xelery does however bark and growls when strangers prawl around the house something for which Watson never bothered, in fact he even had the peculiar habit of pretending not to see me (his master!) if ever I was standing outside the window. He did dislike hot air balloons and firecrackers, those two and only those were the only occurences that could make him bark.
Although they don't look it they are very clever dogs and they can very well distinguish right from wrong but they just can't help thieving thi
ngs be it food or objects to tear apart. Here Watson was the worst of the two as he alone must have devoured a whole library with the contents of Al Bundy's shoeshop thrown in. But this is mostly to blame on boredom, as one other reviewer clearly points out Boxers are very physical and the best thing to do is to wear them out to the bone by making them run endless laps and performing ever higher jumps, which is the best way to make sure that they will be to exhausted to even think of touching your stuff. But unfortunatley we in our hectic lives do not always have the time or the means for extended walks morning noon and night.
Can't say anything useful here as we got Watson for cheap (no pedigree), with just having paid the breeding expenses and a litle bit extra. Xelery we got for nought as she was already two years old and becoming too much of a handful once she grew up to be as big (and now even bigger!) than her mother. That's right they had kept her on thinking she and her mother in one household would still be manageable. Boy were they wrong :)
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