If you love puppies, you’re lucky you chose to share your home with a boxer pup. Like children, dogs go through defined stages on their journey to adulthood.
Birth to 7 Weeks.
In this critical phase of life, he progressed from a closed-eye, closed-ear toothless creature to one who has learned to poke around, and learn some manners from interacting with his fellow puppies and human caretakers.
7 to 12 Weeks
He’s venturing out boldly into his surroundings and increasingly open to new encounters and experiences. This is the time to socialize him and provide him with as many positive interactions as possible.
17 to 52 weeks
Uh oh, he’s a teenager. He’s testing limits, breaking rules, asserting himself as a sexual being. You need to stand your ground and be consistent in his training.
This is defined as the point at which the dog has completed physical growth. Generally speaking, small dogs reach adulthood at one year, and larger dogs at two. But your boxer baby? Boxers have the longest puppyhood of all breeds, needing three years to reach full maturity.
What to Expect?
As he grows it’s helpful to consider just what his genes dictate. Originally bred for hunting, his job was to run down wild boar and bison until the hunter arrived. His name derives form his inclination to stand up to opponents, batting at them with his front legs like a boxer.
American Kennel Club statistics rank the breed seventh in popularity in both 2012 and 2013, and since you’ve been enjoying your pup’s company you know why. Intelligent, energetic, high-spirited, curious, and eager to learn, he gets along well with your children, probably thinking he’s one of them. Socialize him properly now and he’ll accept other dogs and even cats into his world.
Most likely, he’s let you know that he requires a lot of exercise. It’s best to comply if you want to avoid raising a high strung dog who can do a significant amount of damage when bored or lonely. Keep in mind that a mature male can grow to a height of 25 inches and a weight of 70 lbs and females to 24 inches and 65 lbs.
Has his independent streak arisen yet? It will, along with his dislike of being bossed. Boxers are not for the meek of heart when it comes to training. The best tack is to start training now. Take advantage of his fun-loving side. Make training enjoyable with lots of praise and rewards, but be firm and consistent.
Your boxer puppy will exhibit several endearing idiosyncrasies. Has he done the “kidney bean” yet? You’ll know he’s having a grand old time when he prances around so that his body is twisted into a semi-circle, suggesting a kidney bean. It’s usually accompanied by a joyful exclamation, more “woo woo” than “bow wow”.
As you enjoy this exuberant side of him be aware that he’s very temperature-sensitive. He gets easily chilled due to his short-haired coat, and overheated because the short nose that gives him his distinctive look falls short when it comes to cooling air. So in summer, give him lots of shade, and come winter dress him up in a coat. If you’re lucky when you put it on for the first time, he’ll question you with the irresistible quizzical boxer expression and cocked head that makes you glad you chose a boxer.