Q. We are a retired couple thinking about getting a dog. I would like a Boxer because I am looking for a dog that will let us know if someone is coming to the door. We have a large backyard, and I do a lot of walking every day. Do you think a Boxer would be a good dog for us? And how can I tell about his temperament before I get him?
A. Any dog, from the smallest Chihuahua to the largest Mastiff, will alert you that someone is coming to your door. Boxers are strong, high-energy, exuberant dogs that may be too much of a handful for many retirees. However, the fact that you do several miles of walking a day suggests that you keep active, and so a Boxer might prove to be a perfect exercise companion for you. You also have a large backyard, which means that you can toss a Frisbee or tennis ball for him daily.
Boxer breeders are often willing to place a well-trained adult dog – sometimes even a finished champion – in a retirement home once his or her showing and breeding days are over, to keep their numbers down. Boxer breed rescue groups may also have adult dogs that, because of an owner’s divorce, job loss, or illness, are suddenly in need of a home.
Go on the American Boxer Club’s website to locate rescue groups and member-breeders in your area; make appointments to visit and see how you interact with the dogs available for placement. Responsible breeders and rescue volunteers ask lots of questions to find the best match between dog and new owner.