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  • Has Buster got you broody? Is the Boxer the breed for you?

    November 15th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Articles

    If you’re a dog lover, you probably will have seen the 2016 John Lewis Christmas advert – featuring Buster the bouncing Boxer – by now. It’s a charming spot, which has thus far managed to avoid the ‘canine Christmas advert curse’, but some commentators are worried that it could lead to a rise in demand for Boxer puppies for Christmas and into 2017.

    It’s a valid concern – the ‘Dulux dog’ effect is well documented, and most animal lovers acknowledge that trends in popularity are closely linked to film and TV appearances or celebrity association. The Kennel Club recently released a statement which confirmed that searches for Boxer puppies have risen since the advert aired. 

    Of course, we would urge everyone to do their research before adding a new family member of any breed, but a large, active breed like the Boxer requires that extra bit of consideration. So, before you rush to buy or rescue a Boxer, please ask yourself:

    Do I have the time and energy for a Boxer?

    14The Boxer is described as an energetic and fun breed, which retains an almost puppy-like attitude through much of its life. They love being at the center of whatever is going on. This rambunctiousness makes them excellent family pets in the right situation, but it also means that they don’t do well if left alone for long periods of time and are likely to become destructive if they are bored.

    This is a dog which likes to be active; they are from the Working group after all. Your Boxer will need regular long walks, regardless of the weather. They also like to be kept busy, so will need an activity to do, such as agility, and/or plenty of stimulating toys and play at home.

    Can I handle a large, excitable dog?

    Boxers can weigh up to 32kg, and they have a tendency to be headstrong. With their history as a hunting/guarding breed they can be very powerful, and even the most ardent Boxer lover will tell you that they need firm handling and effective early socialization in order to contain their over-excitable character traits.

    Also, Boxers are not quiet dogs. They’re not yappy, but they do vocalize with grumbles and grunts, and they snort, snuffle, and snore. The sounds are endearing to some people, bothersome to others.

    Do I mind a bit of mess?

    Boxers, like most breeds, drool, shed and even fart! Their long (undocked) tails can cause breakages, and they do have a bit of a reputation for being both clumsy and inquisitive (see above under ‘destructive if bored”). If you’re house-proud, this may not be the breed for you!

    Can I afford a Boxer over its lifetime?

    According to Kennel Club statistics, Boxers live for an average of 9 years, though they can live up to 15. You will need to budget for at least 10 years of vet bills, medicines, food, toys, treats, accessories, and insurance. Boxers, with their inquisitive and bouncy nature, can be prone to accidents, and their short noses may cause health problems. That’s not forgetting the initial outlay for a healthy puppy from a responsible breeder, or a rescue center’s adoption fee.

    Learn more about the Boxer at

    Would I be better off with one of these?

    If any of the above doesn’t appeal, you may be better off with this plush Buster the Boxer toy!

    15Don’t get us wrong, Boxers are wonderful dogs, and they’re already very popular, ranking in the top 20 most popular breeds in both the UK and the US. We don’t want to run them down, but we also don’t want to see an increase in the number of Boxers in rescue next year just because of a cute advert.  Don’t forget, a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.

    You can learn more about Biff, the canine actor who played Buster here.

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