Dog Ownership: A Family Affair
Before you even think about getting a boxer, the decision should be discussed with all members of the family, as everyone will need to be involved in the dog's care. All members of a household should attend the first puppy socialization classes and later basic obedience classes so everyone in the family learns how to deal with the boxer. That said, the adults in the family are really the ones who are ultimately responsible for the boxer.
Puppies grow exponentially. When they are little, it is hard to imagine that a tiny male puppy will grow from eight to ten inches tall at eight weeks old to twenty-five to twenty-six inches tall by eleven months old and will ultimately weigh sixty pounds or more. A female boxer puppy will grow from eight to ten inches at eight weeks old to twenty-one to twenty-three and a half inches tall at eleven months and will weigh in at fifty pounds or more.
At eleven months of age, your boxer is still very much a puppy, but in a large, rambunctious body. The puppy should be trained so that anyone in the family can handle or direct him should the need arise. Each member of the family should be able to walk the family boxer down the street (on leash) safely, and each should be able to give commands the boxer should obey.
“Come,” “Sit,” “Stay,” “Down,” “Off,” and “Leave it” are the essential commands that every good boxer needs to know and begin to learn in puppyhood. Under no circumstances should the family get a boxer because only one member of the family wants a puppy. And you shouldn't get a boxer puppy if mom and dad had one when they were young, but the rest of the family wants something else like a cat or an iguana or even a different breed of dog. No boxer should just belong to just one member of the family. Instead, it should be a family dog that everyone loves and cares for.
Boxers “kidney bean” when they are happy. This means your boxer is wagging his tail so hard that his shoulder is about to touch his hip, and his back looks like the shape of a kidney bean. This is a strong characteristic of a happy boxer and one of the fun, joyful characteristics of the breed.