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BRIEF HISTORY working roles suited to strangers/other animals The Boxer is a German breed whose ancestor was the ferocious Bullenbeisser dog. These massive dogs were used in big game hunts and bloodsports that thankfully weren't popular for very long. The Bullenbeissr is now extinct but some of their noble qualities live on in their smaller descendants, the Boxer. More mellow in temperament the Boxer we know today is still a fierce protector of its family and has been a capable police and military dog since 1904 when the breed was standardized. TEMPERAMENT OVERVIEW A large part of what makes the Boxer so adept in police and military work is its high energy and willingness to please. They've been very successful protection dogs and have proven to be capable multitaskers with the addition of scent work training. In general, the breed is protective of their home and family, high energy, extremely playful, and have soft personalities. These qualities give them a wonderful temperament as a family companion and a high-level working dog. The Boxer is incredibly intelligent and capable of being a very high-level canine athlete. They are willing to please and quick to act on your command so they frequently rise to top rankings in agility and protection work competitions. They are best for an experienced canine leader that is calm and consistent with their training but can keep it fun. You'll find the soft personality of the Boxer doesn't do well in environments where there are blurry boundaries and harsh corrections. This is a canine that could easily become fearful and reactive at worst or scared and miserable at best. Neither of these are outcomes is acceptable and its why I highly recommend that only very experienced canine leaders consider adding Boxers to their home. If you're that leader, then the soft personality of the Boxer will make them a true delight to train and play with. They'll easily keep up with you on long hikes or runs that make great training sessions since they need to work some energy off before they can really focus on complex commands. Their energy fuels their playful nature and you'll find the most Boxers are quite vocal and even use their front paws like hands to grab toys. When they're fired up they may bark and are likely to make a 'woo-woo' kind of howl/bark combo. They get their name Boxer from their tendency to use their front paws like a boxer in the fighting ring hooking and jabbing their opponent. In this case, that's you or the person they are playing with and Boxers absolutely love a bit of roughhousing followed by some cuddles. SOCIAL - CHILDREN/SMALL ANIMALS/STRANGERS They are super social with their family and develop very strong attachments to their people. You find yourself with a faithful shadow when you bring one of these affectionate canines into your home. They do quite well with children of all ages thanks to their deep devotion to all members of the home. You'll want to socialize them early and often to prevent their high energy and guarding nature against becoming a problem when your children have friends over. They can be similarly socialized to be accepting of small animals when they are raised with them, and it helps if the small animals are willing to stand their ground. Remember, Boxers descend from dogs used to hunt big ferocious game in the forests of Germany. Their prey drive is much lower now, but its a trait to seriously consider when thinking about adding a Boxer to your home. Each dog is an individual and while this may be a general trait of the breed, you might find yourself with a Boxer who loves all the small animals in your home as much as they love the people. WRAP UP The Boxer is an incredible breed for the experienced canine leader. Their playful antics, affectionate nature, and guarding instincts make them an absolute joy to have in the right home. Providing them with plenty of physical and mental exercise will ensure that their goofy antics are a quirk and not destructive behavior. The Boxer will thrive in a home with a calm, consistent canine leader who provides a lot of exercise and affection for this powerful breed.