Puppy or Adult?
It can be difficult to decide between a boxer puppy and an adult boxer. People are often sucked in by a boxer puppy's big eyes, the cute little pup will quickly grow into a hyper, rowdy canine in six to ten months, ultimately weighing somewhere between fifty and eighty pounds. With that in mind, others prefer to start out with an adult dog so they know what they're getting from the start. Clearly, this decision takes careful consideration.
Getting a Puppy
If you choose to get a puppy, you will need to start training the moment the pup walks in the door. This does not only mean housetraining, which the puppy will most certainly need, but also basic manners and skills, such as how to walk on a leash, how to come when called, how to get off or leave it, and how to stay.
How old should a puppy be when you take it home?
No reputable breeder sells a puppy before it is eight to ten weeks old. Many backyard breeders will sell their puppies at six weeks because that is usually when the mother will stop feeding the pups, and the backyard breeder does not want the added expense and bother of feeding a litter of puppies for a few weeks. However, this is very irresponsible.
It is best for the pup to remain with its littermates and mother until at least eight weeks of age because there are many crucial lessons that a mom imparts to her pups about how to be a good dog between the age of six to nine weeks. A puppy also learns a lot about getting along with other canines in his own family pack during that time. To deprive the pup of those lessons is to risk ending up with an antisocial dog that is not able to get along well with other dogs, or with people, in the real world.
If you have the time, energy, and willpower to raise your puppy well, then a puppy is a great idea and will be tons of fun. Also, if you want an obedience-competition dog, you may want to get it at an early age to begin its competition training. But if you want a show-prospect puppy, you might want to wait until a bit later when more mature physical promise for the show ring is evident.
Getting an Adult
Some people decide to get an adult boxer as opposed to a puppy because they want a more mature, calm dog. However, boxers mature mentally and emotionally more slowly than some breeds. Essentially, what this means is that they are puppies longer, and they often keep their puppy-like traits until the day they die. This is just the reality of the breed, and you have to be able to handle this responsibility whether you get a puppy or an adult.
You can teach an old dog new tricks! It is a myth, and not a very intelligent one, that old dogs can't learn new things. Actually, many trainers find it much more rewarding to work with an older, sensible dog that isn't going through growth stages of puppyhood or canine adolescence. Older dogs tend to have more focus and memory retention.
If you are leaning toward getting an adult boxer, go for it! This is a great thing to do. Puppies are quickly given homes because they're so cute, while perfectly sweet adult dogs are often ignored or forgotten. There are many boxer rescue organizations around the country where you could go to find a wonderful adult boxer. All that most of the rescued boxers need is a little love and some basic manners, or information on how to be a good, pleasing boxer, to make them into perfectly wonderful dogs. You might even find a show breeder who has an older puppy or an adult that may not be doing well in the show ring, or that might have actually finished its championship, but will not be used in a breeding program. These are also great candidates for pets.
Young Puppies Versus Older Puppies or Adults
Of course, very young boxer puppies are downright adorable. They are playful and will bond readily. However, older boxers are usually already housetrained or generally more easily house-trained than a puppy. Older boxers are also playful, and are relatively easy to train in general. The majority of older boxers will bond and respond to kind, firm treatment.
Playful and enthusiastic, boxers are often called “puppies for life.”
The downside of little puppies is that they need housetraining and socialization. They will need to work through teething, chewing, fear periods, and adolescence. The cons of older boxers are that they are not cute little pups, and they may have learned bad habits with previous owners. Even so, both puppies and adult boxers need training.