Because of their initial use as hunting dogs and their later uses as guard and herd dogs, Boxers are very strong, active dogs with a powerful bite. They can be very loving and loyal to their families but somewhat wary of strangers, both human and canine. Boxers, therefore, require careful initial socialisation to both humans and other animals. Once this has been achieved they become faithful and loving companions to the whole family.
Boxers are principally used as guard dogs and are classified as “hearing guard dogs”. They will react to strange stimuli and will make their reaction known through barking, but they are not yappers. They are not overly aggressive, merely protective of their family. Some boxers have been known to react aggressively to other dogs of the same sex.
Boxers are intelligent, playful dogs, and require a great deal of exercise and mental stimulation. If they don’t get this, they may become bored and destructive. They have a great sense of humour, but do not respond well to overly harsh treatment. Harsh treatment will only make them more and more stubborn.
How to Feed your Boxer
What you feed your boxer will depend very much on what age they are and how active they are.
Puppies need richer nutrition than adult dogs, and smaller amounts of food should be given more frequently. Boxers are known to mature slowly than other dogs, and will sometimes only reach full adulthood after 2 years. It is normal to feed the adult dog twice a day, but because of the puppy’s growth requirements and high energy expenditure, you should feed it three times a day. One to two cups of a protein-rich dog food for Boxers a day would be sufficient.
During the first 4 weeks, the puppy will get all he requires from the mother’s milk. From 4 to 8 weeks you can slowly start providing solid food three times a day. From 12 weeks to a year, you can gradually reduce this to twice a day. The dog food should be high in protein and should be based on the food you feed the mother. The dog will mature fully between 1 to 2 years. During this time you will slowly change to what you would feed an adult dog.
Adult and older dogs
From two years old, your dog is now fully mature. A lot of owners only give one meal a day, but boxers are prone to bloat, so giving one big meal a day is not recommended. The same applies to free feeding. This is when you leave the food out for the dog to eat when desired.
Growth spurts are over, so extra calories are not essential. Protein, however, is still essential. Because of their activity level, the protein should comprise 30 to 35% of the dog food for Boxers you choose. If your dog is not as active as a typical boxer, slightly less food can be given.
As the dog ages, the activity level will decrease and the diet can be adjusted accordingly. The dog might develop a range of ailments as it ages, so the best dog food at this stage would have additives that cater to these ailments like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for optimum joint health.