we all love our pets and our pets love us. but the love between a dog and his human is not the same as the relationship between two dogs.
It could be very beneficial to get your Boxer a companion dog to ensure that all of his social and emotional needs are met.
Reading: Dogs that get along with boxers
So what kind of dog breed should you consider as a companion dog for your Boxer?
The best companion dogs for Boxers are breeds that can match their high intelligence and energetic play style. more obedient dogs are a good choice, as they can help offset a Boxer’s natural stubbornness. recovery breeds are usually a great fit, but so are German Shepherds, Border Collies, and Springer Spaniels.
With patience, training, and plenty of socialization, almost any breed can pair well with a Boxer, so if you don’t see your favorite dog on this list, don’t worry. That doesn’t mean they can’t be a good partner for their boxer, but it does mean it might take a little extra work to make the match successful.
what do we look for in a companion dog for boxers?
Before we review our favorite breeds, let’s take a closer look at the criteria that were used. Not only will this list help us better understand Boxers, but it will also help us narrow down the breeds that will match our Boxer or at least complement it in some way.
size and strength
Boxers aren’t huge, but at a typical weight of around 60 pounds, they aren’t small either. Boxers also love to play and, like most dogs, can get a little rough at times. that means dogs of similar size and strength are better matched. While your Boxer might make friends with a Chihuahua or smaller breeds, small dogs can quickly become overwhelmed by an overbearing Boxer.
boxers have a well deserved reputation for being stubborn and although this does not apply to all individual boxers, many are famous for their selective audition. This can usually be fairly easy to handle with one dog, but adding a second stubborn pup can make things more difficult than they need to be.
On the other hand, obedient dogs who are more likely to follow commands the first time can be a good pairing, as they will add a bit more pressure on your Boxer to follow your commands.
that means it’s probably best to avoid northern breeds like huskies and malamutes. Northern breeds like these are big enough and smart enough to keep up with the Boxers, but they’re also more than willing to ignore you and do their own thing from time to time.
energetic and intelligent
With a long history as a hunting breed and all-purpose working dog, Boxers are highly intelligent and have tons of energy. But not only do they need physical stimulation, boxers also need a lot of mental stimulation.
That means the best companion dogs are smart enough to keep up with boxers, both mentally and physically. however, the most important part of the equation is the physical aspect and that means there are no couch potatoes here.
While a breed like a bulldog may have the robustness for rough play, these little bowling ball-shaped pups just can’t keep up with the energy level of a boxer.
That’s also why high-energy breeds like retrievers, herding breeds, and many working dogs are a great match for a Boxer.
knows how to share the spotlight
This is one of the factors that will vary the most by the individual dog and not just the breed, but the outgoing Boxer will be eager to keep the spotlight to themselves. While this love of human attention is part of what makes Boxers loyal, loving, and protective dogs, it can also cause problems when it comes to sharing.
Make sure you fully understand how your Boxer handles sharing the spotlight, whether it’s with other people or other pets, and find a companion that complements your Boxer’s style.
similar climate tolerance
We already mentioned that we don’t want to pair a couch potato with our high-energy boxer, but similarly we may have trouble pairing an arctic breed or very heat-averse pup with our boxer.
As brachycephalic dogs, Boxers have a shorter face that can make it difficult for them to swim or withstand the heat for long periods of time. they also have a short single coat which doesn’t make them great in cold weather.
While neither of these are much of a problem on their own, if you have a large husky that wants nothing more than to romp around in the snow, then you could end up with split exercise regiments. The same could happen if you tried to combine a more docile breed like a Basset Hound with your energetic Boxer.
This isn’t something that can’t be managed, but it’s still worth considering just to make your life a little easier.
what are the best companion dogs for a boxer?
Now that we know what we’re looking for, let’s take a closer look at our favorite companion breeds for a Boxer!
1. labrador retrievers
Labs get along with just about any other breed of dog, and Boxers are no exception! they have the same playful nature as a boxer and have similar energy needs. Although Labs may be slightly larger than Boxers, most Boxers will have no problem keeping up, so despite the size difference, they should be paired up at night during game time.
Dog psychologist Stanley Coren also ranks Labrador Retrievers as the seventh smartest breed, noting that they will typically follow the first command 95% of the time or more. That means Labs can be a great way to balance out a Boxer’s natural stubbornness and many Boxers will find it hard to resist both your requests and pressure from their canine companions.
Labrador retrievers are also the quintessential goofy dog and a perfect match for a boxer’s goofy personality.
2. golden retrievers
Golden Retrievers rank fourth on the list of America’s Favorite Dog Breeds, and for good reason. Golden Retrievers share the Boxer’s affectionate and people-focused nature, they are also extremely intelligent and obedient.
According to canine psychologist Stanley Coren, these dogs rank #4 out of over 100 other breeds in terms of obedience and intelligence, so like the Lab, they’re a great way to balance the natural stubbornness of your dog. a box fighter.
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Golds are not only a good match mentally, they are also a good match physically with lots of energy and a stocky build that can keep up with an active boxer.
3. australian shepherds
While they are typically a bit smaller than Boxers, Australian Shepherds hide a fair amount of muscle under that fluff and typically weigh in at 10-15 pounds for a Boxer, making them a good match from a physical perspective. With a long herding history, Australian Shepherds have a seemingly endless amount of energy that is more than enough to keep up with an active Boxer.
In terms of affection, Austrian Shepherds are middle of the road, which can work well to balance out a lovey-dovey, affectionate Boxer.
Like many other herding breeds, Australian Shepherds are well known for their intelligence, but they can be a bit more stubborn and mischievous than some of their other herding cousins. Make sure both dogs are well-trained to set these pups up for success!
4. border collies
Border Collies are generally considered the most intelligent breed of dog on the planet, meaning they are more than a mental match for their Boxer. They are also some of the hardest working dogs on the planet and are always ready for the next job, which again is a good match for a high energy Boxer.
The only downside here is that border collies can be a bit small, weighing an average of around 40 pounds compared to about 60 pounds for a Boxer. That doesn’t mean border collies are too young to play with a boxer, but you should pay extra attention during play sessions.
5. german shepherds
When it comes to size, German Shepherds are just about the perfect match for a Boxer. Both dogs are a similar weight and height, although a German Shepherd’s thick coat often makes them appear slightly heavier than they are.
As with the other dogs on this list so far, German Shepherds are highly intelligent. they’re also quick to follow commands, which is one of the many reasons you see them so often in protection work. again, a high level of trainability and obedience will go a long way in balancing your Boxer’s natural stubbornness.
The biggest concern in this matchup is whether or not these dogs can share the spotlight with their favorite human. According to the AKC, German Shepherds are almost off the charts when it comes to affection or, as they say, “being lovey-dovey.”
German Shepherds can be even more affectionate than Boxers, which means you’ll need to make sure you balance your attention evenly and keep the dogs from feeling like they have to compete with each other for their time in the spotlight.
6. jumping spaniel
Spring Spaniels have more than enough energy to keep up with an active Boxer partner and, with a long history as hunting dogs, they are well known for obeying commands. that makes them a huge yin to a boxer’s stubborn yang.
As with the German Shepherd, Springer Spaniels have a reputation for being affectionate dogs, which means you’ll need to be prepared to give your needy puppies a lot of attention.
Springers are a bit smaller than boxers weighing in at around 50 pounds, but that’s unlikely to be enough of a difference to cause problems even during rough play.
7. boston terrier
maybe you want a smaller dog to accompany your big boxer?
While it’s best to avoid a combination of a large and small dog, a Boston Terrier can still be a great match for a Boxer. These little pups may only weigh about half as much as a Boxer, but are still robust enough to handle playtime with an enthusiastic Boxer. Unlike some small dogs, Boston Terriers don’t have particularly small limbs that can be easily broken.
These pooches aren’t couch potatoes either, and they’ll be more than happy to run around in your boxer. Since both breeds are brachycephalic, they will also be equal when it comes to heat and exercise tolerance. that can make exercise time a little easier to manage!
Besides the size difference, the only other concern is in the brains department. Both Bostons and Boxers can be a bit stubborn and can seem a bit slow compared to brainiacs like Border Collies. while that’s not a deal breaker, it will increase the importance of proper training!
Beagles are some of the best companions for almost any breed of dog. Unfortunately, the docile and friendly nature of beagles has made them a popular choice for underground research laboratories. Organizations like the beagle freedom project help rescue this type of beagle and might be a good place to start if you’re looking to bring a beagle into your home.
Beagles may be a bit smaller compared to boxers weighing only around 25 pounds, but they are stocky and strong enough to keep up. As I mentioned, beagles are legendary for their friendliness with people and other pets, which means they’re likely a perfect fit.
The only downside here is that these pups aren’t always the brightest of the pack, and again, training will be critical to ensure you don’t end up with two stubborn dogs.
If you’re still not sold on this matchup, check out this combo of a beagle and boxer having the time of their lives:
9. german shorthaired pointers
Pointers of any variety are another great match for Boxers, but the German Shorthaired Pointer is probably a better choice. these dogs are comparable in weight and energy levels, but score much higher in terms of intelligence and obedience. They may not be as trustworthy as a Border Collie, but according to canine psychologist Stanley Coren, the German Shorthaired Pointer will follow commands about 85% of the time.
That’s a big difference from the boxer’s 50% rating and can go a long way in keeping order at home.
The only drawback is that pointers can run and outlast boxers, so when it comes to exercise, you’ll need to make sure your pointer gets the activity it needs even when your boxer is out of the game.
Weimaraners are another great match for Boxers thanks to their size, intelligence, and energy levels. Even better, according to the AKC, Weimaraners can’t get enough playing time, which is perfect for a goofy, outgoing boxer.
As with Pointers, you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure your Weimaraner gets all the exercise he needs, as you’ll likely have more left in the tank long after your Boxer has quit.
Because they are a bit rarer, I had to put these dogs further down the list, but if you can buy or adopt a Dalmatian, they could make a great companion pup for a Boxer.
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Dalmatians have a slightly larger size range than Boxers, but you should expect them to be about the same weight. According to the AKC, these dogs also have a similar energy level and playful nature to Boxers. On top of that, canine psychologist Stanley Coren rates these dogs above average in intelligence with a 70% chance of following commands the first time.
That means Dalmatians tick pretty much all the boxes we’re looking for when it comes to finding the perfect companion… the hard part is finding one!
other companion dogs
Please note that these are just a few options for boxer companion dogs!
With proper socialization and training, Boxers have the potential to get along with just about any other breed. however, any one of these 11 breeds will give you an advantage in finding the perfect match!
differences between male and female boxers
Although most characteristics are widely shared among boxers, you will see some differences between male and female boxers. Although the differences are subtle, you’ll want to pay attention to them before getting your Boxer a companion dog.
women tend to be smaller in stature; they are shorter and weigh less than the average male boxer. females are very loving and affectionate, and are generally easier to train than males because the “eager to please” trait really shines through in females.
males are also usually a bit more dominant or aggressive than females. Although male Boxers are more likely to guard and protect due to their dominant nature, they are also more confident and more likely to play with new dogs.
Keep all these factors in mind when choosing a companion dog. we recommend getting the opposite gender of your boxer. that way, you’ll be less likely to see the dogs competing for your attention or playing too roughly with each other.
what about getting another boxer?
This is absolutely an option and a great way to increase your chances of finding a suitable personality. Assuming it’s a good gender match, most race pairs can do just fine, as they will, of course, have a lot of similarities.
having two boxers can mean that everything good about your current puppy will be magnified, but it also means that everything that is not so good will be magnified too.
For most owners, that’s the stubbornness of the Boxer and that’s why most of the dogs on our list are very intelligent and obedient, especially when compared to the Boxer.
so it really depends on you. Do you want to duplicate everything boxer or try to find a complementary breed?
how can i help my boxer get along with other dogs?
so now you’re ready to get a second dog! Let’s talk about how to prepare your boxer for his new friend.
socialize, socialize, socialize
The number one key to a successful doggo relationship is making sure both dogs are well socialized. when it comes to socialization, the sooner the better.
Teach your Boxer how to respond well to new dogs, people and situations. they need to know what your expectations are when faced with something unknown (like a new dog in the house!)
make sure your boxer is well trained
As well as making sure your Boxer is well socialized, make sure you have him trained in all the basic commands like sit, stay, come and heel. your boxer should be able to follow your commands quickly the first time you give them, even in new situations.
Don’t let your boxer’s stubbornness get in the way of your training. they’re smart and most likely know what you’re asking, even if they don’t act like it. use plenty of positive reinforcement and make sure they know you are in charge.
These basic commands are a must before introducing your dog to a new friend.
get the dogs into neutral territory
After both dogs are well socialized and well trained, it’s time to introduce them! you’ll want to do this on neutral territory, so neither dog feels the need to become territorial. parks are a great option for this first meeting.
No matter what, keep both dogs on a leash. you’ll want to slowly walk separately and then together. pay attention to your boxer’s body language. If you show signs of anxiety, it might be time to take a break from the meeting.
After both dogs are comfortable with each other on neutral territory, it’s time to take your dogs home.
keep a close eye on the partner
During your first few weeks together, be sure to keep a close eye on them. If the dogs are going to fight over something, it will most likely be within the first few days as they are adjusting to each other. make sure both dogs have ample resources (such as food, water, or your attention) and don’t leave them unattended.
every dog is different
Even if the typical breed profile says a dog will be playful and outgoing, it doesn’t mean he will be!
After all, every dog is different and there can be a lot of variation even between breeds. Be sure not to make too many assumptions about how your Boxer, or future partner, will act, and always recognize that each dog is unique.
It’s hard not to want a partner for your boxer when you see how much he enjoys playing with a friend.
While throwing a ball is great, it just doesn’t compare to the joy a dog experiences when playing with a canine companion!
With enough training and patience, you can make any combination work, but the eleven dogs on this list will set you on the path to success as a canine companion!
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