A nylon leash is probably the best option, as it is the most resistant to puppy teeth should your pup take a liking to chewing on his leash. Of course, this is a habit that should be nipped in the bud, but if your pup likes to chew on his leash he has a very slim chance of being able to chew through the strong nylon. Nylon leashes are also lightweight, which is good for a young Boxer who is just getting used to the idea of walking on a leash. For everyday walking and safety purposes, the nylon leash is a good choice. As your pup grows up and gets used to walking on the leash, and can do it politely, you may want to purchase a flexible leash, which allows you either to extend the length to give the dog a broader area to explore or to pull in the leash when you want to keep him close. Of course there are special leashes for training purposes, and specially made leather harnesses for the working Boxer, but these are not necessary for routine walks. For the adult Boxer who tends to pull on the leash, you may want to purchase something stronger, like a thicker leather leash.
Your pup should get used to wearing a collar all the time since you will want to attach his ID tags to his collar. Also, the lead and collar go hand in hand—you have to attach the leash to something! A lightweight nylon collar will be a good choice; make sure that it fits snugly enough so that the pup cannot wriggle out of it, but is loose enough so that it will not be uncomfortably tight. You should be able to fit a finger in between the pup’s neck and the collar. It may take some time for your pup to get used to wearing the collar, but soon he will not even notice that it is there. Choke collars are made for training, but should only be used by an owner who knows exactly how to use it. If you use a stronger leather leash or a chain leash to walk your Boxer, you will need a stronger collar as well.
FOOD AND WATER BOWLS
Your pup will need two bowls, one for food and one for water. You may want two sets of bowls, one for inside and one for outside, depending on where the dog will be fed and where he will be spending time. Stainless steel or sturdy plastic bowls are popular choices. Although plastic bowls are more chewable, dogs tend not to chew on the steel variety, which can be sterilized. Boxer owners should put their dogs’ food and water bowls on specially made elevated stands; this brings the food closer to the dog’s level so he does not have to bend down as far, thus aiding his digestion and helping to guard against bloat or gastric torsion in deep-chested dogs. The most important thing is to buy sturdy bowls since, again, anything is in danger of being chewed by puppy teeth and you do not want your dog to be constantly chewing apart his bowl (for his safety and for your wallet).
Cleaning up messes will be a way of life until your Boxer pup is housebroken. Accidents will occur, which is okay for now because the puppy does not know any better. All you can do is clean up any accidents—old rags, paper towels, newspapers and a safe disinfectant are good to have on hand.
BEYOND THE BASICS
The items previously discussed are the bare necessities. You will find out what else you need as you go along—grooming supplies, flea/tick protection, baby gates to partition a room, etc.—these things will vary depending on your situation. It is just important that right away you have everything you need to feed and make your Boxer comfortable in his first few days at home.
More on Boxer Dog Breeds
Owner Considerations for a Boxer Dog Breed
Acquiring a Boxer Puppy
Commitment to Owning a Boxer
Essential Boxer Puppy Supplies
Puppy-Proofing Your Home for Your Boxer
Preventing Boxer Puppy Problems
Excerpt from Comprehensive Owner’s Guide: Boxer