Are Boxers Good Guard Dogs? The Badass Side

Regardless of what their names might make you imagine, Boxer dogs are funny, clownish, and would always want to be the life of the party.

There’s a reason people call it the “Peter Pan of dog breeds.” You can count on this breed to make you laugh.

But that’s not all there is to this breed. It is as much a worker as it is a devoted companion.

Throughout history, it has been known to do some brunt work, including hunting and farming. Boxers love to work and play.

But what about protection? Are boxers good guard dogs?

Whoever goes for a Boxer dog breed would surely have security services in mind, and they do have the looks for it.

Can we then say that Boxers are good family guard dogs for protection? What about as a watchdog?

We’ll answer these questions, as well as provide some more information on how to train this breed.

Are Boxers Good Guard Dogs?

Boxer Dog Standing on Grass

In a nutshell, yes, Boxers can make good guard dogs. The guarding instinct is strong in this breed due to its ancestry, and it has also played this role some centuries back.

So, besides being a worker and playing the role of a companion, the Boxer would make a fine guard dog. 

This breed is a descendant of the German Bullenbeisser and the Bulldog. The Bullenbeisser started as a hunter and even participated in bullbaiting.

When the latter became illegal and the hunting services of the Bullenbeisser were no longer needed, these dogs were employed on farms to guard cattle. 

The Bullenbeisser is now extinct, but its legacy lives on in the hunter breed. The Bulldog also makes a good guard dog for protection, further adding to the Boxer’s instinct. 

It’s not surprising that the this breed played a major role in the 1st World War. In addition to being messenger dogs, Boxers also served as guard dogs for the army.

The years after the war saw Americans getting this breed as both a companion and a guard dog for protection.

Are Boxers Good Watchdogs?

Though people tend to confuse both terms, a guard dog and a watchdog are two different things.

While the guard dog is a defender of the property, which sometimes entails attacking the threat, a watchdog only notifies the owner of anything strange.

Many dogs can be good watchdogs but would make poor guard dogs. The Pomeranian, Great Dane, and Siberian Husky are some examples. 

The Boxer is fortunate to be able to carry out both responsibilities.

Many watchdogs (not all) are reserved towards strangers, making it easy for them to sight any unusual individual.

This breed is no exception. It won’t hesitate to warn you of any impending threat. Therefore, Boxers are also good watchdogs.

Our article is centered more on the guard dog duty, which would be our main focus, but you can keep in mind that the Boxer would also play the watchdog role excellently.

What’s more, most prefer alerting first. Only when they feel the need to attack do they do so.

Why are Boxers Good Guard Dogs?

Family of Boxer Dogs Outside The House

There are some qualities people look out for in guard dogs, and as we’ll soon see, the Boxer possesses them.

We’ve already established that guarding is in this breed’s instincts, but it doesn’t stop at that.

Here are some qualities that make the Boxer a good guard dog:

1. Loyalty

What’s the use of a guard dog if it isn’t loyal? This quality is what spurs it to protect you at all costs.

In general, dogs are more loyal than other pets like cats—cats would rather hide than offer any means of protection.

Guard dogs like the Boxer, however, have a higher level of loyalty. Like trusted knights of a queen, this breed can lay down its life for you. 

2. Affection and Love

Contrary to the overly aggressive dog people imagine, a well-trained guard dog should have a lot of affection and love for its family.

Boxer dogs enjoy giving and receiving affection, and they’re good with kids too. You certainly don’t want a guard dog you’d be scared of. Those often end up in rescue shelters.

3. Bravery 

There can be no guard dog without a good dose of bravery, otherwise, it would be your dog running from the intruder and not the other way around.

Boxer dogs do play a lot, but they are also dignified and very courageous. These are dogs that hunted down big boars and kept cattle in lines.

Who’s that intruder that would scare them?

You don’t even need to train this breed to be courageous. It is in its blood. That’s one major reason it fared well in the 1st World War. 

4. Protectiveness

Closely tied to loyalty is protectiveness, another indispensable quality of a guard dog. This breed see its family as, well, its family.

You don’t mess up with anyone a Boxer considers as family or you’d have to contend with a 70-pound pissed-off canine protector.

What’s more, the protectiveness is instinctive. The breed was developed for this job, making it easy to train them for guarding duties.

5. Physique

Guard dogs are always intimidating. It comes with the territory. Though the Boxer isn’t as muscular as, say, the Rottweiler, it has a strong body and can even frighten a visitor.

Not all intimidating dogs are good guard dogs, though. The American Pit Bull Terrier is an example of a scary-looking pooch that is a poor guard dog.

That said, you don’t want to have a guardian that looks too soft or fragile. 

6. Strength and Athleticism

In addition to their bold appearance, Boxers are strong dogs. Again, this made them successful in hunting boars.

Boars are strong animals and would need a lot of strength to hold them down. You can imagine how much the Boxer has.

It can also outrun an intruder, even though it wouldn’t be classified as a very fast dog.

Overall, it would take a lot for an intruder to overpower an attacking Boxer. 

7. Strong Work Ethics

Boxers don’t enjoy being idle and can get antsy if left without a job to do.

This is what makes them versatile as they can easily learn and carry out any responsibility given to them.

Guarding is work, and one this breed would love to do. Train them in it and watch them thrive.

What Can Hinder a Boxer from being a Good Guard Dog?

Close up Boxer Dog Standing on Fence

For all the good qualities this breed has, some traits can slow down its development into an excellent guardian and protector.

Keep these in mind while purchasing and training the Boxer breed. By subverting and making provisions for its weaknesses, you can amplify its strengths.

1. Stubbornness

The Boxer is an intelligent dog breed, but not like the Rottweiler and some other guard dogs.

When measured by how fast a Boxer can learn a command, it falls in the average category.

They can also be stubborn and may not always be willing to do what you ask of him. 

In its guarding duty, this can be a problem if you want to recall it from attacking a perceived threat.

Boxer dogs don’t need much encouragement to guard, but they should be taught when to stop to avoid hurting someone.

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2. Weather Intolerance

Unlike dog breeds such as the Great Pyrenees, which have a double coat that protects them from harsh weather, Boxers have a single coat. This makes them intolerant to cold weather.

You’d think they could manage the heat, but their brachycephalic snout makes that a difficulty.

Outdoor guarding during extreme weather isn’t the best option for this breed. 

3. Low Vocalization

Boxers aren’t strong barkers, and they don’t howl at all. This is an advantage if you live in an urban area with neighbors around, but some dog owners prefer having a guard dog that barks a lot.

If you fall under this category, this breed may not be the right guard dog for you. 

Can Two Boxers be Guard Dogs?

Guard dogs sometimes work in pairs as that has a security advantage. If an intruder tries to maneuver his/her way out of one guard, that can’t be possible for two.

Having two Boxers as guard dogs is a good idea for increasing security. 

However, pet parenting more than one Boxer isn’t easy. These dogs may end up being a handful, and if they are of the same gender a fight might occur.

The only pet parent that can handle two of this breed is an experienced person. Besides that, it is safer and less frustrating to own one Boxer.  

Legal Restrictions: Are Boxers Dangerous Dogs?

Following dog bite statistics, some states place restrictions on certain dog breeds.

The main breeds these laws target are the American Pit Bull Terrier and the Rottweiler. The reason for this isn’t far-fetched.

Between 2005 and 2020, dogs have been responsible for the death of 568 Americans.

Pit Bulls were credited with 380 deaths while Rottweilers took down 51 people. Together, these two contributed to 76% of canine murders. 

Another dog breed also on the radar of the law are Wolfdog hybrids. These dogs are very difficult to domesticate and are considered very aggressive. 

Fortunately, the Boxer isn’t on the red list of notorious dog breeds.

With the possible exception of Michigan which considers the Boxer “potentially dangerous”, no other state bothers.

Insurance companies don’t have problems with this breed, but if you are training the Boxer to be a guard dog, the premium charges could be higher.

Also, if your guard Boxer bites someone, that spells trouble for you.

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How to Train your Boxer to be a Guard Dog

Though guarding is in the Boxer’s instincts, it still should be trained to be efficient.

If you don’t have experience in training a guard dog, do not attempt doing so with this breed.

You could end up putting yourself and your dog in danger if you attempt it alone without experience. This is all part of the first step in training a Boxer, which is setting expectations.

You should know how long it would take to shape your Boxer into a guard dog and figure out if you have the necessary skills to accomplish it. 

If you’re experienced, it should be easy. This breed already have the potential, you just need to bring it out.

Like all forms of training, it is best to start from puppyhood so your dog can learn faster. 

Also, have the necessary tools in place. These include a longer leash and a short one. Have some dog treats handy as motivation. Get the help of someone your dog doesn’t know too. 

Teach your dog where its boundaries are, how to bark on command, and even how to stop attacking on command.

It needs socialization as well, so its wariness doesn’t develop into uncontrolled aggression. 

FAQs

Are Boxers aggressive?

Boxers look intimidating and can scare people, but in reality, these dogs are far from being aggressive.

The well-trained Boxer is a sweet and comical breed with a love for both adults and kids.

It is by nature reserved towards strangers, but not prone to aggressiveness.

Even as a guard dog, the Boxer would first bark warnings before attacking, and it tends to attack with its body, not its teeth. 

Can you train a Boxer to be a guard dog?

A Boxer can easily be trained to be a guard dog because it is protective by instinct.

It descended from guard dogs and has been one itself, even during World War 1.

The only training challenge you might have is that this breed is stubborn. You need to be experienced before training it as a guard dog or you hire a professional trainer.

How strong is a Boxer’s bite force?

This breed has a strong bite force, and it is believed to be on the top list of the strongest dog breeds with bite power. Estimates put the Boxer’s bite force at 230 PSI.

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Final Thoughts

The Boxer is good at many jobs, one reason it is very popular. From hunting down boars to farming, this breed knows how to work and is serious about any given job.

When it comes to guarding, you only need a little training to shape a Boxer.

After that, you can trust this breed to protect your household with all it has.

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Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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