Boxers : alluring looks ‘n’ persona
If you love to spend time with your pet, then Boxer is for you. For, here’s a breed who is fond of company at all times and loves to make you laugh. So, if you have a Boxer at home, you can expect a house full of giggles and fun for all family members, including other pets.
Boxers are all about dignity, pride and love. “Perhaps the most pleasing feature of Boxers is his style which defies definition but if one wants to vocalise it, you can say that he has got a high-headed style, a debonair jauntiness and a ‘look-at-me’ attitude. He walks the ground as if he owns it,” tells Shyam Mehta, a well-known breeder of Boxers in Gurgaon.
Journey down the lane
The Boxer breed is believed to have originated from the Brabanter Bullenbeisser, which can be traced back to Belgium. Strong and agile, these dogs were used for hunting wild boars. His ears were cropped to prevent any potential injuries and tears from encounters with the boars. Back at home, Boxers proved to be excellent family pets, always eager to please their owners. And over the years, they have filled many homes with love, laughter and devotion.
The majestic look
A look at Boxer brings out varied emotions – dignified, beautiful, well-muscled and square in proportion. “The coat is tight-fitting to body and gives an appearance of a ‘poured in look’ so that one can see the muscles of the dog rippling out of the skin, giving an exotic look,” tells Shyam. It is a treat for the eyes to see a Boxer walk – his muscular body moving proudly and his strides firm.
The most unique feature of the Boxer is its head and that is why it is called a ‘head breed.’ “The muzzle is two-third of the skull and has a pronounced stop at the nose bridge and the length of the muzzle is short, giving a square look,” tells Mehta. The eyes are placed far apart and give an intelligent expression (And yes, they are an intelligent breed!). The ears are placed on the highest point on the skull.
The Boxers can be fawn or brindle-coloured. The shades of fawn range from light honey colour to dark stag red while brindle-coloured have a brindling pattern on top of base colour which is well defined and profused. “The white markings on certain body parts (like muzzle, forehead, chest, neck and legs) give a flashy look. In all, white should not exceed one-third of the total body colour,” tells Shyam.
The average weight and height of male dogs is 32 kg and 25″ while that of females is 28 kg and 22-23″, respectively.
Those who are blessed with a Boxer, would agree that they are the most adaptable and versatile dogs. They are human dogs in their true sense – they love human company and always surround them, basking them in their love and attention. They are intelligent dogs and know how to behave with different family members – while they will love to wrestle with the young boys, they are delicate enough to play with kids and old people. They are fun-loving and cheerful. “A boxer will behave like a pup till the day he dies of old age,” tells Mehta. Moreover, they form good guard dogs and their looks are enough to keep potential intruders at bay.
Bringing home a Boxer puppy
Mehta advises to bring a Boxer puppy home only when his first inoculation and deworming are through. “It is also important to ensure that the pup’s parents have overall sound temperament and good health,” tells Shyam. Other important factors to be kept in mind while picking a puppy include the happy-go-lucky nature of the pup and his interest in life around him. Besides, the puppy should not have running eyes or nose. “Also, use the same food that the breeder has been feeding him post-weaning as abrupt change in diet can cause diarrhoea,” cautions Mehta. He further suggests that crate-training a Boxer puppy is helpful as it becomes the pup’s own cosy corner and you don’t need to puppy-proof the whole house, thus avoiding accidents.
Early socialisation is indispensable for Boxer for if they grow in seclusion, they can end up growing spooky dogs. “They will not be brave, thus they must be taken to all kinds of environments, sounds, smells and people. It also helps in their overall psychological development,” advises Mehta. However, the puppy should not be taken outdoors unless he is fully vaccinated.
Life with a Boxer
They are hardy dogs and are easy to maintain. Boxers are adaptable to extreme climates and cope up with all climatic conditions. They can live in an apartment, provided they are regularly taken out for romping in a fenced area. Just provide them the basic needs and you will be blessed with a dog who will spread joy and happiness in your life. They act like a clown and love to do things which you would watch and laugh. And whenever you will show willingness to play, Boxers are ready for the fun. However, Mehta says that it is vital to give obedience training to Boxers to make them easy to handle.
Keeping him fit and fine
A Boxer needs to be exercised regularly, which includes romping a couple of times a day. “Taking your Boxer out for romping three times a day for 10 minutes each, will keep him healthy,” tells Mehta. They also love to play with ball and would retrieve it for you. They simply love water and a good swim is what a Boxer likes on a hot afternoon.
Styling and hygiene
Boxers need minimal grooming and they are very clean dogs by nature. They do not soil indoors. Even though they shed, but since their coat is not long, it is not a big problem. “If you brush your Boxer 4-5 times a week, then shedding can be minimised,” advises Mehta. However, Mehta cautions that Boxers should not be brushed when they are unclean as it can aggravate the problem of shedding. “When the coat is dirty with grime, it becomes brittle after brushing. Thus, they should be first cleaned and then should be brushed,” he adds. Their nails should be grinded/clipped otherwise it will spoil their ‘cat feet’ and make them ‘splay feet.’ Besides, their ears should be cleaned regularly as the wax in their ears does not evaporate on its own. As for the dental care, Mehta advises that if you are feeding your dog on a commercially-available food, then you need not worry about his oral health but if he is fed on home-cooked food, then it is a good idea to get his teeth scaled at least annually to prevent bad breath and other oral infections.
Boxers are not fussy eaters and it is advisable to offer them two meals a day. “In some dogs, offering one meal a day can accelerate digestion process which can lead to ingested food being excreted,” adds Mehta.
They are healthy dogs and are not predisposed to any inherited diseases.
Tips for readers
On a concluding note, here are a few tips from Mehta:
- Pick up the Boxer of a known parentage.
- Follow the complete protocol laid down by the competent vet regarding deworming and inoculation.
- A crate is an indispensable tool as it can confine your pup in your absence and save him from accidents. It also helps the puppy to learn house-breaking early.
- Early socialisation is important.
- Feed him a well-balanced food.
(Shyam Mehta has been breeding Champion Boxers for 12 years. His kennel with the prefix Next Step is home to American and Canadian champions. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Boxers : desirable companions
The intelligence, loyalty and tractability to discipline make Boxers desirable companions. They promptly respond to friendly overtures honestly rendered. Any play is fun for them. They love to chase balls and are fond of jumping up to 3-4 ft in air for apparently no reason and yet this excites them a lot. But, due to their heavy weight and short muzzle, they tire relatively easily and can get overheated. So, keep their plays intensive but short.
– Sinclair and Patricia Lewis, Boxer Haven, Secunderabad