The majority of problems between children and dogs involve children under the age of 6 years and large, high energy or guard dog breeds, according to veterinarians Race Foster and Marty Smith. While the boxer is known, in some circles, for the way it gets along so well with children, it is a high energy guard dog breed, so the potential for problems does exist.
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Boxers range in size from 53 to 70 pounds. They are boisterous and love to jump and dance on their back feet, so they could easily knock over a small child. Young boxers are more rambunctious than older dogs, so a young boxer may not be the best match for very young children. As children get older, they come to understand dogs have unique thoughts and feelings and are better able to interact with them safely. Plus, the boxer's high level of intelligence lends itself to learning how to interact with children.
Children Caring for the Boxer
The care of a dog should never be left to a child. While children 7 or older are capable of learning responsibility and developing a relationship with a dog, they are not capable of caring for the dog. Boxers need strong human leadership, particularly to continually reinforce that they should not jump on others. Children are not capable of providing this strength of leadership; the parent must bear this responsibility.
Boxers are not a match with children who do not like to get dirty, who are squeamish about strange sounds or smells or who have an aversion to dog slobber. Boxers are known for their drooling, slobbering, snorting, wheezing and flatulence.
Boxers are prone to serious health problems such as cancer, epilepsy and hip dysplasia. In succumbing to these problems, boxers may have shorter lifespans than other breeds. The ability of children to accept debilitating illness and death, therefore, should be a deciding factor in choosing the boxer breed.
By Carol Strider
Dog Breed Info Center: Boxer
Your Purebred Puppy; Boxer Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics; Michele Welton; 2011
ASPCA - Virtual Pet Behaviorist: Children and Pets Living Together
PetEducation.com; Interactions between Children and Dogs;Race Foster, et.al
About the Author
Carol Strider is a writer and a post-secondary educator in law and criminal justice, teaching in person and online since 2002. Prior to teaching, Strider was a lawyer at a community law office. Strider holds a Juris Doctor, a Bachelor of Arts, a diploma in adult education and a diploma in animal sciences.