After considering all of these factors, you have most likely already made some very important decisions about selecting your puppy. You have chosen the Boxer, which means that you have decided which characteristics you want in a dog and what type of dog will best fit into your family and lifestyle. If you have selected a breeder, you have gone a step further—you have done your research and found a responsible, conscientious person who breeds quality Boxers and who should be a reliable source of help as you and your puppy adjust to life together. If you have observed a litter in action, you have obtained a firsthand look at the dynamics of a puppy “pack” and, thus, you have gotten to learn about each pup’s individual personality— perhaps you have even found one that particularly appeals to you.
However, even if you have not yet found the Boxer puppy of your dreams, observing pups will help you learn to recognize certain behavior and to determine what a pup’s behavior indicates about his temperament. You will be able to pick out which pups are the leaders, which ones are less outgoing, which ones are confident, which ones are shy, playful, friendly, aggressive, etc. Equally as important, you will learn to recognize what a healthy pup should look and act like. All of these things will help you in your search, and when you find the Boxer that was meant for you, you will know it!
Researching your breed, selecting a responsible breeder and observing as many pups as possible are all important steps on the way to dog ownership. It may seem like a lot of effort…and you have not even brought the pup home yet! Remember, though, you cannot be too careful when it comes to deciding on the type of dog you want and finding out about your prospective pup’s background. Buying a puppy is not—or should not be—just another whimsical purchase. In fact, this is one instance in which you actually do get to choose your own family! But, you may be thinking, buying a puppy should be fun—it should not be so serious and so much work. If you keep in mind the thought that your puppy is not a cuddly stuffed toy or decorative lawn ornament, but instead will become a real member of your family, you will realize that, while buying a puppy is a pleasurable and exciting endeavor, it is not something to be taken lightly. Relax…the fun will start when the pup comes home!
Always keep in mind that a puppy is nothing more than a baby in a furry disguise…a baby who is virtually helpless in a human world and who trusts his owner for fulfillment of his basic needs for survival. That goes beyond food, water and shelter; your pup needs care, protection, guidance and love. If you are not prepared to commit to this, then you are not prepared to own a dog.
“Wait a minute,” you say. “How hard could this be? All of my neighbors own dogs and they seem to be doing just fine. Why should I have to worry about all of this?” Well, you should not worry about it; in fact, you will probably find that once your Boxer pup gets used to his new home, he will fall into his place in the family quite naturally. But it never hurts to emphasize the commitment of dog ownership. With some time and patience, it is really not too difficult to raise a curious and exuberant Boxer pup to be a well-adjusted and wellmannered adult dog—a dog that could be your most loyal friend.
Preparing Puppy’s Place in Your Home
Researching your breed and finding a breeder are only two aspects of the “homework” you will have to do before bringing your Boxer puppy home. You will also have to prepare your home and family for the new addition. Much like you would prepare a nursery for a newborn baby, you will need to designate a place in your home that will be the puppy’s own. How you prepare your home will depend on how much freedom the dog will be allowed: will he be confined to one room or a specific area in the house, or will he be allowed to roam as he pleases? Will he spend most of his time in the house? Will he have an outdoor house too? Whatever you decide, you must ensure that he has a place that he can “call his own” in your home.
When you bring your new puppy into your home, you are bringing him into what will become his home as well. Obviously, you did not buy a puppy so that he could take over your house, but in order for a puppy to grow into a stable, well-adjusted dog, he has to feel comfortable in his surroundings. Remember, he is leaving the warmth and security of his mother and littermates, plus the familiarity of the only place he has ever known, so it is important to make his transition as easy as possible. By preparing a place in your home for the puppy, you are making him feel as welcome as possible in a strange new place. It should not take him long to get used to it, but the sudden shock of being transplanted is somewhat traumatic for a young pup. Imagine how a small child would feel in the same situation—that is how your puppy must be feeling. It is up to you to reassure him and to let him know, “Little guy, you are going to like it here!”
More on Boxer Dog Breeds
Owner Considerations for a Boxer Dog Breed
Acquiring a Boxer Puppy
Essential Boxer Puppy Supplies
More Essential Boxer Puppy Supplies
Puppy-Proofing Your Home for Your Boxer
Preventing Boxer Puppy Problems
Excerpt from Comprehensive Owner’s Guide: Boxer