Are you considering adding a boxer into your family? If so, we bet that you have many questions. Should we get a puppy? Younger dog? Older dog? Rescue dog? How will the dog handle my children? How will my children handle a dog?
All of these are great questions, and ones that every dog owner has contemplated. No one can tell you what is best for your family, but we may be able to give you a little information that will help make your decision easier.
One important thing to remember when going through your options is that nothing is a guarantee. A dog’s temperament, or the manner in which the dog thinks and reacts, is part of who that specific dog is. It’s a combination of genetics and environment, regardless of whether the dog is a puppy or a senior. Certainly, a happy, safe environment (one in which you can control and provide) with proper training and consistency will allow all dogs to function at their best. However, a loving home alone cannot “raise a puppy right” enough to negate his natural instincts and hardwiring. Every dog is different. Every dog’s personality is different. Every dog’s temperament is different. Every home is different.
PUPPIES: We all know and love puppies, especially boxer puppies. Puppies come with loads of love and lots of work. The biggest benefit to adding a puppy into a family with small children is the puppy’s small size. There are many challenges including jumping, chewing, potty training, play biting, and mouthing. When you bring a puppy into your home, you are not only raising a puppy to be respectful of your children, you are raising your children to be respectful of your puppy. In other words, none of them know what they are doing.
RESCUE DOGS: Rescues are full of dogs needing forever homes. One of the scariest things about taking in a rescue dog is often that their background is unknown. Parents of young children often disregard rescue dogs for his reason. Many times, however, dogs find themselves surrendered through no fault of their own. They all need patience and time to adjust to their new family and surroundings, but we often learn about their natural temperament and response to stress while doing so. Not only is this a benefit to a potential new family, many also come with knowledge of basic commands, potty training, crating training, etc. When introducing to young children, care and patience will still need to be taken, but you are not starting out with an empty slate.
In addition, anyone that has owned a puppy and a rescue dog will tell you that there is a definite difference between the two, regardless of the dog’s personality and temperament. Have you heard the saying, “The best kind of dog is a rescued dog?” We believe it. Dogs that have been welcomed into homes as puppies have no idea how bad life can get. They have not had to adjust to losing their human pack, spending time in a shelter, or possibly as a stray. A rescue dog has lived that, at least to some extent, and they are GRATEFUL for you. They will show you every day, several times a day. Don’t believe us? Ask someone who has rescued a dog.
Regardless of whether you chose to adopt a puppy or a rescue boxer, be ready to be patient and put in the time needed to have a well-adjusted dog. The pay-off will be great for you, your new boxer, and for your family.