A Look at the Boxer Lab Mix (A Playful, Loyal Pooch)
It's easy to see why the Boxer Lab mix has become such a popular pooch in the world of "designer dogs." Its strong, playful streak and deep allegiance to family can effortlessly bring smiles to dog lovers. However, there are some things you should know before you bring the hybrid home.
The Boxador in Brief
It’s thought that the Boxador has hit the scene over the last ten to fifteen years, which makes the hybrid a little newer than some of the "designer dogs." It has gained a pretty impressive following in a short period of time, particularly considering it falls into the large to giant-size range. But considering its parental pedigree, it's easy to see why.
In many ways, a Boxador can resemble a massive Boxer. It typically wears a Boxer’s sleek, shiny coat, which can be two-toned such as black and tan or black and white. The hybrid also usually features the droopy jowls of a Boxer.
The Boxador’s face and head help to give it a unique look. The jowls are accompanied by a face highlighted by immensely expressive eyes reminiscent of a Labrador. Additionally, the head itself tends to be a little bit bigger than a Lab’s head.
It’s fitting that the Boxador rocks a big melon – this dog can be quite huge. The hybrid has an average weight range stretching from 50 to 110 pounds, and the pooch stands between 23 and 25 inches tall on average. If you’re looking for a little buddy, look elsewhere.
What’s the Personality of a Boxador Like?
In order to get a bead on how a Boxador operates, it’s important to take a look at the two breeds that formed the hybrid. In the case of this particular pooch, the bloodline comes from two sturdy working breeds. However, the parental breeds have distinctly different approaches to getting things done, and these manifest within the hybrid.
The Labrador Retriever was originally bred in Canada to be a worker and hunter by day, and a sweet-natured companion by night. Its capacity to easily carry out tasks such as retrieving fish and game speaks of a remarkable intelligence. At the same time, its eagerness to please and loyalty to family members of all ages showcases a decided gentle side.
The Boxer was also bred for working and hunting, but it also carried a fiercely protective streak that made him a prized guard and attack dog. The breed is still known as a terrific watchdog and defender of family, but it's balanced by their reputation for being playful, bouncy goofballs when their guard is down.
One of the big appeals of a Boxador is that the edge associated with a protective Boxer is completely softened. This is a calm dog whose Lab-driven, people-pleasing instincts are at the forefront of their personality. The eagerness to please makes the dog one of the most loyal, loving pooches you can find.
Since the guarding instinct is significantly lowered, the Boxer's penchant for goofiness shines through very brightly in a Boxador. This is a hybrid that thrives on mischief, partially because they’re smart, clever dogs that like to do things they think will put a smile on your face. Of course, this may foray into unwanted shenanigans if you’re not careful.
The Boxador’s combination of sweetness and high-octane playfulness makes them an ideal dog or families with children. This makes perfect sense when you realize how highly both of the hybrid's parental breeds rank regarding child-friendliness. The pooch also doesn't bark a whole lot – an appealing trait for those who want a quiet pooch.
The Boxador in Action
The bouncy, energetic nature of a Boxador can be very endearing to observe up close. This video is a prime example of how the hybrid’s sheer exuberance can easily win your heart. It may also show you what your little buddy may be capable of doing if left to his own devices, especially at the puppy stage.
The Temperament and Exercise Needs of a Boxador
At times, you may feel like the Boxador only has one thought in mind: “Let’s play!” This hybrid is a ball of energy that needs to get out and about to be happy. If you don’t satiate this need, the dog’s mischievous side may emerge and wreak havoc on your lawn, furniture, and more.
Because a Boxador is so huge, its need to burn off energy makes the hybrid completely unsuitable for apartment living or homes with small back yards. The dog is also unsuitable if you live a relatively sedentary lifestyle. It's recommended that they walk 30 minutes to an hour each day and that you provide them with playtime in addition to these strolls.
If you’re an active type that doesn’t mind a four-legged companion, a Boxador can be a boon to your lifestyle. The hybrid’s loyalty virtually compels them to accompany you on hikes, jogs through the park, and other physical activities you may already do.
Boxadors are also highly intelligent dogs that need their brainpower stimulated. Simply tossing a tennis ball or a Frisbee around in your backyard will go a long way into stoking the mental fires of your hybrid. If you slack on this, the dog may come up with some rather unique, expensive ways to let you know.
Consistent exercise and playtime is an important step in Boxador ownership for another reason: this is a dog that is capable of gaining weight rapidly. In fact, carefully monitoring food intake is every bit as important as getting the dog exercise. It’s recommended that you feed your Boxador 4 to 5 cups of high-quality dry food daily, split over two meals.
Training a Boxador
Because a Boxador is a highly intelligent hybrid, training can be easier in comparison to other dogs. Boxadors tend to be exceptional listeners that can pick up on various commands easily and without much repetition. The fact that the dog is eager to please also helps this immensely.
With that being said, training is not a total walk in the park. It’s essential that you develop a training plan built around being firm yet positive and praise-filled. And like any other breed, training a Boxador requires a bit of socialization, so that the hybrid’s positive personality traits are developed.
The Grooming Needs of a Boxador
Because a Boxador’s coat is sleek and short, you may be lulled into thinking that you get a free pass from grooming. However, don’t be fooled; although Boxador’s won’t completely cover your house with hair, they are seasonal shedders that can leave a little bit of hair around the home.
The best way to mitigate this is to give your Boxador a weekly brushing session. This will remove loose hairs and keep your buddy’s coat looking shiny and beautiful. Bathing your Boxador on an as-needed basis will also help keep the proliferation of loose hairs to a minimum.
You’ll also need to be mindful of some of the other basic grooming steps, such as ear cleaning and tooth brushing. You’ll also need to monitor the growth of your Boxador’s nails. While you may need to clip them, they may stay naturally trim if the dog does a lot of playtime on hard surfaces like concrete.
Are There Any Health Issues Associated with the Boxador?
A Boxador’s lifespan ranges from 12 to 15 years. As is the case with other hybrid breeds, the dog hasn’t been around long enough to have specific conditions associated with them. However, you can look at the histories of the hybrid’s parental breeds to ascertain clues as to what you may expect to see in the future.
For instance, a Boxador may be susceptible to the development of bloat, which is an issue that tends to strike large and giant breeds as a whole. Another condition that tends to affect Lab-sized dogs is joint dysplasia. Eye issues and allergies may also be items that could develop based on parental breed predispositions.
How Much do These Magnificent Beasts Cost?
The average price of a Boxador puppy can range between $500 and $800. This price tag doesn't include the other costs that are typically associated with raising the dog once they become part of your family. These costs can include trips to the vet, licensing, toys, and other home-based accouterments needed to make the dog comfortable.
You should also be aware that it may cost a pretty penny to feed this beast. Remember, it’s recommended that you feed a Boxador 4 to 5 cups of high-quality dog food. This recommended dietary regiment isn’t cheap, and you may get sticker shock if you’re not careful.
A Big Bundle of Love
If you have sufficient space and a willingness to be active, the Boxador could be an ideal fit for you and your lifestyle. This loyal, loveable hybrid is easy to train, easy on the eyes, and easy to get along with. While it may end up being the largest dog you’ll ever own, it may be the sweetest dog, too.