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Are Boxers Outside Dogs?

Overview of 'Are Boxers Outside Dogs?'

When someone has a small breed dog, such as the Shih Tzu or Pomeranian it is automatically known that the dog cannot live outside.  However, many people wonder if a dog as big and strong looking as the Boxer dog can live outside.  Or, if the dog can be put outdoors for the day and perhaps taken in at night.  So, are Boxers outside dogs?  If you want to have a healthy and well behaved dog, the answer is no.  Let's discuss the reasons why.

Boxer dogPhysical Reasons

Unless you live in an area with absolute perfect weather, outdoor living is not for the Boxer dog.  Being exposed to the outside temperatures for an extended time is very unhealthy for this dog breed.  The structure of the Boxer dog does not allow for optimum body cooling.

Therefore, this breed is not able to handle hot weather for any longer than a 20 or 30 minute walk.  Whether sun or shade, the Boxer will not be able to keep its internal body temperature regulated properly if left outside in hot weather.  Heat stroke, trouble breathing and dehydration are just a few health concerns.

The cold will be just as hard on the dog's body.  The coat of a Boxer dog is short and this type of dog does not have an undercoat as some other breeds. Cold temperatures and harsh winds will be a tough opponent against a dog who does not naturally have the needed protection to deal with those conditions.  Could he or she survive...? Yes, probably while being very unhappy and uncomfortable.  Should he or she be made to endure any harsh elements?  No.

        

Behavioral Reasons

Dogs used to run in packs for thousands of years.  In fact it is estimated that the dog has existed for about 150,000 years as wild dogs and 15,000 years as domesticated pets.  150,000 years of running in packs and only being pets for 1/10th of that time = domesticated pets who still have a very strong instinct to be part of a pack.  Who is the Boxer dog's pack?  It is you and other humans who make up your family. 

What does a dog need to be well behaved?  Some of the most important elements are:

  • A daily schedule that the dog can depend on.  This included waking time, walks, play time, resting time with the family, grooming times, feeding times, sleep times, etc.  Left outside, a dog would not have these important parts of a needed structured day.  They would exist from moment to moment, without being able to have the self confidence that comes with a structured day filled with interaction and activity.  They would not feel safe....and always being on guard = a defensive temperament.
  • Interaction with family members.  If someone wants a dog, they should want that dog to be part of the family.  If so, the dog should be treated as such.  If you would not leave your uncle, cousin, brother or daughter outside all day then you should not leave your Boxer dog there either.  A dog needs to have the socialization and interaction with humans, each day, throughout the day, in order to understand what type of behavior is acceptable and what type of behavior is not acceptable.
Keeping a Boxer as an outside dog will end with having a canine "companion" who has no idea how to behave and interact with humans.  The dog will bark, suffer from loneliness and boredom, may try to escape and will have no concept of commands. without daily socialization, even seemingly normal things will cause disturbance when the dog is allowed inside... doorbells, visitors, the TV...it goes on and on.

Health Reasons

Spending some time outside is healthy and feels great.  The sun feels nice as it shines down and the fresh breezes can feel wonderful. 

However, leaving a dog outside all day can do so much damage to their bodies.  What are very real and possible scenarios that could happen if you allow your Boxer dog to live outside (or be outside all day long)?

  • Mosquitoes - These pesky bugs can bring disease and worms to your Boxer dog
  • Ticks - The longer your dog is left outside, the larger the chance that a tick is going to find him
  • Sunburn - Not only do sunburns increase the risk of a dog developing canine skin cancer, sunburns can be brutal on a dog.  The Boxer dog's face and tummy are most prone.  Dogs who are exercised in the sun should have their nose and tummy protected with sunscreen.  A dog who was left outside all day would be at risk for sunburn.
  • Heatstroke - the can be fatal to dogs

To Summarize

A dog, when well taken care of, is a part of the family.  To enjoy the wonderful companionship of a dog and take advantage of all the joy that having a dog can bring to you...the dog must be treated as a real part of the family.  Therefore, it is to no one's benefit to make your Boxer live outside.