What Is a Boxweiler Dog?
Energetic, intelligent, and faithful, the boxweiler mix breed is a cheerful combination of its purebred predecessors, the boxer and the rottweiler. While the media may have played up some aggressive tendencies in these two breeds, that’s not the whole story. Boxweiler dogs make great family dogs under the right conditions, which we will explore in this article.
How To Train Boxweilers
Boxweilers bring together the intelligence and eagerness to please, of two highly trainable breeds. Because both boxers and rottweilers were originally bred as muscular guard dogs, they are automatically good at alerting everyone to potential dangers.
Their natural territorialism can be an asset in some situations, such as in the event of a home invasion, but that protective nature should be exposed to lots of welcome home visitors throughout puppyhood so that they can learn to feel comfortable when non-family members come to the house.
Boxweiler Exposure to Stimuli
This kind of early puppyhood exposure to a variety of stimuli will greatly benefit boxweiler dog owners. One of the difficulties with this breed is a reluctance to accept strangers into the house, even when they are welcomed by the rest of the family. Exposing your boxweiler to people and dogs of all different sizes, shapes, and smells will teach them to be more relaxed around new things.
Boxweiler Dogs Are Excellent Learners
Boxweilers are excellent at learning tricks. Their eagerness to please motivates them to put in the effort to learn what you want them to do so they can not only get a treat but also receive praise from you. As is the case with most dogs, positive reinforcement (treats/praise for doing the right thing) goes a lot farther than negative punishment (spanking/yelling for doing the wrong thing).
Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out sounds like a dramatic title but is a great resource for more information on training boxweilers.
Boxweilers with Kids and Other Dogs
Boxweilers can be great with kids and other dogs, especially when introduced to kids and other dogs as a puppy.
However, care should be taken with older dogs adopted from shelters or who may not have been introduced to kids or dogs early in their lives. Any dog, no matter the breed, could become nervous or fearful around noisy and exuberant things like children and other dogs. Because boxweilers are a larger mixed breed, a bite or push from one of them could cause more harm than from a smaller dog, but this is due to the boxweiler’s size, and not its breed.
The best way to ensure that your boxweiler is well-adjusted to your environment is to either adopt a puppy and expose them to all kinds of situations right from the start, or to hire a trainer to help your older dog learn to be comfortable around noisy, touchy creatures.
Boxweiler Exercise and Space Requirements
Boxweiler dogs need regular exercise since they come from two breeds that were meant to be somewhat active. A daily walk or two will usually do the trick, as boxweilers also enjoy being lazy whenever they don’t have energy to burn off.
A fenced-in yard is ideal for exercise that doesn’t require your presence. And if you’re able to have two dogs rather than one, they can help each other use up that extra energy through play.
Boxweilers are not well-suited to apartment living, as apartments tend not to have a lot of room inside or a backyard to run around in. A big house in a neighborhood or out in the country would make a great home for a boxweiler.
The Best Food for Boxweilers
Because boxweiler dogs are large-breed dogs, they should be fed large-breed dog food. Feeding more of another kind of dog food isn’t the same thing.
Large-breed dog food, such as Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy, is formulated especially for large breed puppies, who grow a lot more in the same amount of time as other breeds. This type of food will help the puppy grow at the right rate with the ideal nutrients so that it stays healthy even though it grows so fast.
Large-breed puppies who aren’t fed large-breed food are more likely to have hip and joint problems later in life because they grew so fast in such a short amount of time.
Large-breed dog food for adults, such as Purina One Large Breed Formula, is specially made to help large breed adults with hip and joint health throughout their lives.
Boxweiler Grooming Requirements
Thanks to their short, shiny coats, boxweiler dogs don’t require much grooming. Hair trimming won’t be necessary, but brushing can help prevent excessive dog hair on your furniture and clothes. A good brush for a dog with this coat type is the Pet Neat Grooming Brush.
Baths will be necessary from time to time, as boxweilers may get stinky from exercise. Be sure that you wait at least ten days between regular baths as more frequent bathing can dry out your boxweiler’s skin. Oatmeal-based dog shampoos are a great choice for boxweilers. They won’t need any conditioner for their fur.
For a nice splash of scent after or in between baths, PawFume Grooming Spray is the answer for you.
The Best Climate for Boxweilers
Boxweilers prefer the mildly cool to the mildly hot but can struggle in extreme temperatures either way. Since they have short hair, they don’t have a lot of insulation against the cold. If you live in a climate that frequently sees snow and ice, consider purchasing booties and a jacket for your dog to help it stay warm in that environment.
On the other hand, boxweilers whose coat turns out black will be more susceptible to problems in extreme heat. No matter your boxweiler’s coat color, make sure it always has access to water. If you find that your dog frequently drinks all the water you provide before you can refill it, consider a self-refilling dish like this Replenish Pet Waterer.
Remember that dogs will pant to let off excessive heat, so never rebuke your dog for panting. And for water when you’re on the go, try this portable dog water bottle with a bowl attached.
Common Health Problems for Boxweilers
Fortunately, mixed breeds tend to be the healthiest of dogs. When breeders selectively breed dogs for certain qualities like size or speed, sometimes they don’t realize the hidden features like liver problems or arthritis that also end up magnified in the next generation. When this happens over and over, such as in the breeding of “purebred” dogs, the invisible health problems are often at their worst.
But fortunately for boxweilers, the breed predispositions–or the sicknesses that a certain breed is likely to get–of their parent purebreds are reduced.
While boxweiler are likely to be healthier than other breeds, there are still some illnesses that they are more likely to get than some other breeds or mixed breeds.
Because of their large size, boxweilers are at risk of joint pain such as arthritis, especially as they get older. You should always have signs of illness examined by a vet to be thorough, but Dasuquin Chews are excellent for relieving joint pain in large dogs. It is available over the counter, which means you can purchase it without a prescription.
Whether this supplement is helpful or not for relieving your boxweiler’s joint pain, you should seek medical advice from a vet as soon as possible to prevent further injury if the problem is not what it seems.
Another common disease of large-breed dogs, hip dysplasia is an especially rough one. Caused by the improper growth or development of the ball and socket hip joint, hip dysplasia occurs when the ill-fitting ball of the upper leg bone and socket of the pelvis rub against each other during movement.
This can cause pain and further damage over time. Dogs with suspected hip problems should be seen by a vet as soon as possible. A vet will be able to relieve their pain quickly and then diagnose and discuss the problem with you.
Entropion is a disease that unfortunately both rottweilers and boxers are more susceptible to. This is when the eyelashes curl too far inward when the dog blinks, allowing the lashes to scratch the eyeball. This is very painful and irritating and causes redness and excessive tearing. It can usually only be fixed by surgery.
If you suspect that your boxweiler has Entropion, consult a vet before trying anything on your own.
Cataracts can affect any older dog, no matter the breed. As dogs age, some of the fibers in their eyes get thicker and can appear foggy. This is what causes the white, milky appearance of older dogs’ eyes. This condition is usually hereditary, meaning that it comes from the dog’s parents regardless of their breed. But it can also be caused by injury to the eye, diabetes, or other eye irritants over a prolonged period of time.
Cataracts usually show up later in life but can make an appearance when the dog is as young as six months of age. When selecting a dog, if you have the ability to meet the parents or view the parents’ health histories, check for instances of cataracts.
A dog can still live fairly comfortably with cataracts but will have reduced to eliminated vision. Because of this, if you choose not to pursue surgery to fix cataracts, you should take care to leave the layout of your house and furniture alone so that the dog can safely rely on its memory of where things are and not run into new items.
Also called “pink eye,” this disease occurs when your boxweiler has an eye infection. The sclera, or the white part of the eye, appears pink or red and the eye is painful. You may see your dog scratching at its eyes or rubbing its face against furniture or walls to relieve the discomfort.
Conjunctivitis is uncomfortable and usually doesn’t go away on its own, so you should take your boxweiler to the vet if you think it may have conjunctivitis.
The Shedding and Drooling Tendencies of Boxweilers
Boxweilers do shed, like any other dog with fur. Brushing daily will help reduce the amount of loose fur on your furniture and clothing. A pet hair vacuum such as the Bissel CleanView Swivel can also help clean up the hair that the brush doesn’t catch.
It’s also always a good idea to keep a lent roller in your closet or car to remove any remaining dog hair before going out and about.
Handle the Drool
Boxweilers do drool, but just how much an individual pup will drool depends on the dog itself and its surroundings. Typically, these dogs don’t drool nearly as much as Saint Bernards, who are famous for how much they drool.
Boxweiler dogs only tend to drool when anticipating food, such as while watching you cook, waiting for you to feed them, or watching you eat. Drool can be mostly mitigated in these situations by simply wiping the dog’s lips with a cloth every few minutes.
If you absolutely cannot handle drool, this dog may not be the one for you, as they could wipe some drool on you from time to time or sling drool strings onto the walls and furniture. But as long as you aren’t eating in front of them or about to feed them, you are unlikely to see too much drool.
The Ideal Boxweiler Owner
Boxweilers like to be a part of a big family, but will also be a happy companion to a single adult. Older boxweilers who have not been brought up around children or other dogs do best with only adults, but boxweilers who can get used to children and other dogs at a young age do very well with them.
Older children are always fine for boxweilers, and the bigger house and yard that are likely to come with a big family would benefit the dog as well. So a family setting can be a good home for a boxweiler.
Boxweilers don’t love spending a lot of time alone, so a single adult who spends a lot of time away for work or travel should consider acquiring two dogs who get along well so that they can keep each other company.
Summing Up the Boxweiler
While still potentially susceptible to large-breed dog illnesses, boxweilers tend to fall on the healthier side since they are a mixed breed. They are large and need large-breed food and plenty of exercise. When possible, a big house with a fenced-in yard and/or frequent walks are ideal.
They shed about as much as any dog, but don’t require much grooming since their coat is short. They can function well in hot or cold places as long as precautions are taken to keep them cool or warm as needed.
Do you have a Boxweiller dog in your life? If so, we’d love to hear about your experiences with your pup.