The Boxer is described as a “hearing” guard dog, meaning they’re alert and watchful. When they’re not clowning for you, they’re dignified and self-assured. With children, they’re playful and patient. Strangers are greeted with a wary attitude, but they respond politely to friendly people. They’re aggressive only in defense of their family and home.
Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them.
Meeting the parent dogs, siblings, or other blood relatives can helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when they grow up, but it’s no guarantee.
Like every dog, Boxers need early socialization–exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences–when they’re young. Socialization helps ensure that your Boxer puppy grows up to be a well-rounded, outgoing, friendly dog and stays that way.
Enrolling them in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking them to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help them polish their social skills.
Boxers love kids and are great playmates for active older children. They can be too rambunctious for toddlers, however, and can accidentally knock them down in play.
Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while they’re eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog’s food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
Boxers can get along well with other dogs and cats, especially if they’re raised with them.