Despite sporting the face of a junkyard dog, that sweet potato parked beside you on the couch is your beloved boxer. Lest you feel guilty that you're depriving him of life on a ranch with acres of freedom, take heart in knowing Fido does just fine in a flat.
Ask reputable boxer breeders or longtime enthusiasts and they'll tell you that, while a boxer may enjoy a good run or walk in the great outdoors, an outdoors animal he's not. Boxers are supremely sensitive to hot and cold environments, as their short, tight coats offer little protection. The boxer's shortened muzzle makes cooling down in hot weather difficult. A boxer does surprisingly well in an apartment, according to boxer expert and American Kennel Club breed judge Stephanie Abraham. Chillaxin' in a climate-controlled apartment rocks your boxer's socks off way more than living as a backyard pet.
You may have heard that a boxer need lots of exercise. He does need exercise, but not as much as you may think. The fact that you live in an apartment or condo should not deter you from sharing your life and home with this breed. Boxers young and old alike do well without a yard, but they prefer to be with someone who can walk them several times a day and take them to the park for a romp. This sensitive soul can't be thrown out in the backyard and forgotten -- he won't let you. He'll mourn for you and resort to rude and rowdy behavior. Boxers are happiest inside, snuggled next to you. Just like a child, a boxer is in hog heaven with a slew of his favorite toys strewn all over your flat.
Quiet and Clean
Boxers in general are not notorious yappers, which is important if you share common walls with a dog hater next door. Alert and protective, he usually barks only if he or his abode is threatened. Boxers are also extremely clean dogs with wash-and-wear coats that require minimal grooming; they'll clean themselves like a cat at the slightest need. These couch potatoes hate to be dirty.
While a boxer adores a penthouse view as much as a frou-frou Shih Tzu, if you're not willing to share your digs with him, or if you're out-and-about for 12 or 15 hours a day, this breed is probably not for you. A boxer is an in-your-face clown, a true-blue bed hog and the ultimate lap dog. Just expect your lap to be bruised when you stand up.
- "Boxers"; Chris Thiel
- "The Boxer"; Stephanie Abraham
- "Planet Dog: A Doglopedia"; Sandra Choron et al.
- Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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