Author Topic: Temperament  (Read 2711 times)

SaharaNight Boxers

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Temperament
« on: June 18, 2012, 12:18:16 AM »
I've been thinking about this lately and was wondering what you guys think.

Boxer were bred to be guardians, hunters, police dogs, trackers, etc. In my mind they were bred to be the perfect all around German dog, not too big, not too small. Along with that they had to have the temperament for those jobs. Independence, drive, endurance, etc. again. I understand that the Boxer ha changed a lot and is now a more family dog, but my problem is that a perfect family dog wouldn't also be the original Boxer to me. I mean a Boxer should have that "off and on switch" to me, but how would that be an equally drivey, ready to go, guarding dog too.

Boxers seem to be portrayed as absolute goofballs now and while I agree with that to a degree I dont feel that the Boxers that have no serious side to them, can't focus, will watch stranger go past a house without becoming alert, won't even give an animal outside a second thought, aren't true to the Bozer temperament. I have to admit I admire working breeders that have kept a dog who will risk its life to protect or just to do what it wants which is to protect and work. I would honestly love to have a dog like that! I think that is much truer to how the Boxer would've had to be.

To me a working breed shouldn't be a crazy, super friendly dog. They were meant to guard and be wary of strangers. In my mind that doesn't mean they should be a perfect family pet for everyone either.

I was kinda just wondering how everyone feels about this. I'm definitely trying to learn more all the time.  Thanks!

fairview Boxers

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Re: Temperament
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2012, 09:10:57 AM »
I think what is important to remember with the original boxer temperament is that while they were working dogs as you stated, they still remained family companions as well.  They were bred specifically for that very temperament originally too.  Have you read "My life with Boxers" yet?  I think she describes the originals like this, that was my take on them anyhow! 
I think it is important to maintain that!  I know my Corky was all bark when it came to strangers, but super smart as in she learned frequent flyers cars (even their sounds), and wouldn't bark at them.  If she knew you she was quiet, if she did she wasn't.  Aggie is just like that (the only similarity the two had):).... She is super friendly, but wary at first.  SO playful, but she has good instinct.  There are people that have come and gone in my life that I knew I couldn't trust, if my Boxers don't trust them, I don't trust them!  They have good instinct in that respect!!!!  I trust their instinct too, it has always lead me right thusfar!
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RocketBoxer

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Re: Temperament
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2012, 10:10:18 AM »
Boxers seem to be portrayed as absolute goofballs now and while I agree with that to a degree I dont feel that the Boxers that have no serious side to them, can't focus, will watch stranger go past a house without becoming alert, won't even give an animal outside a second thought, aren't true to the Bozer temperament. I have to admit I admire working breeders that have kept a dog who will risk its life to protect or just to do what it wants which is to protect and work. I would honestly love to have a dog like that! I think that is much truer to how the Boxer would've had to be.

To me a working breed shouldn't be a crazy, super friendly dog. They were meant to guard and be wary of strangers. In my mind that doesn't mean they should be a perfect family pet for everyone either.

Well, to be honest - what I see in my dogs (taking Trigger as an example) - is what I think is perfect boxer temperament - he IS an absolute goodball, and the craziest/super friendly dog you have ever met, but at the same time he CAN and WANTS to work for/with me, and I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that he would protect me if the opportunity arose. I think that they are smarter than you give them credit for (well I know Trigger is) - and can differentiate between a threatening situation, and not. So, for example, there have been a few scenarios where we have encountered suspicious people - and believe you me, he notices - and his hair has stood up and he has growled. But the rest of the time he is just super friendly and wanting to meet and love on people.
Even Star, who was the friendliest boxer EVER, and never, ever growled at anyone - did when we met a strange man in the stairwell of a hotel oneday - I was shocked.

Ummmmm, and just come by my house and walk down the road and you will see my dogs go nuts - or join the fedex man as he makes a delivery - for sure my dogs notice him. Or the deer that wander down the road, or the squirrels in the trees.

So I am not sure I know any boxers as you describe.

However, I do think that some of the boxers here in the States could do with more working drive.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 10:36:25 AM by RocketBoxer »
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Rubidawg

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Re: Temperament
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2012, 10:52:46 AM »
I comletely agree with all of the above. Grady had a very balanced temperment. Come up to the front door, you'd be deathly afraid to walk up any further. (ask our neighbor who nearly sh!t his pants coming up to pay Shawn for cutting his lawn, lol) But, he never met a stranger he didn't like. Some he was weary with and if he was unsure, he gave them a "woof." But, he was definitely a good protector and the best family pet you could have ever asked for. Even people at the training club are still commenting on his wonderful temperment. He was the first boxer they had seen in the ring for a long time and weren't sure how he would work out. But, he was extremely focussed, ready to work and please, and went up to everyone and offered a nub wag and a hug. It's really about balance. The ideal boxer is going to be weary with strangers, will guard his family if the need ever came up, but also have that on/off switch when it comes to reading the people they come across. Dogs are much better at reading people than we are ourselves. They read your body language very well and even pick up on things we would not recognize. So, it is very easy to have both....it's what they were bred for.

ETA: There are some boxers out there that do NOT fit the standard for temperment in the breed. This is another reason why being selective in your breeding program and knowing what you are doing is so important as well. You breed 2 dogs together that do not meet that standard, and you end up with boxers that are truly "giving the breed the wrong reputation." I've met several that you can't get anywhere close too without the possibility of a bite. Or some that are so fearful, that their only protection against themselves is to bite. It's quite sad actually. So, when looking at breeding, you have to understand your dog's temperment, making sure they meet the standard, and make sure you breed to another boxer with excellent temperment as well. Rubi was a BYB. Her mom and dad sat outside in outdoor kennels all day long. Very little interaction with people and the outside world. What I have now is Rubi, who is extremely friendly to everyone, but barks at the doorbell, but is also VERY shy and has fear issues - which I've spent her entire life trying to "correct" and she's 7 years old.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 11:12:41 AM by Rubidawg »
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SaharaNight Boxers

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Re: Temperament
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2012, 01:03:12 PM »
Definitely thanks guys! I love having everyone's ideas and opinions on it. I definitely agree with the on/off switch and that they are absolute goofs and I love them for that! Shy or fearful is definitely something I would never want in a Boxer.

Newcastle

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Re: Temperament
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2012, 03:51:58 PM »
I agree with what's been said, especially Kerry's thoughts. I don't know of any well-bred Boxers that won't alert to people walking by or animals outside -- unless they've been trained that way. Though it is quite possible, as Missi noted, that if careless breeders aren't considering proper temperament, that 'alert' instinct might disappear.

And, I can't tell you how many times I've heard people relate in amazement how their "big goofball" Boxer stood up on his toes and growled and gruffed when something shady was going on -- someone knocking on the door in the middle of the night, a stranger coming too close on an evening walk, or just someone they didn't think was trustworthy. Boxers are exceptionally good at discerning a threat, far better, most times, than their owners. As far as risking their lives -- well, I know a Boxer who pushed a young kid out of the way and got hit by a car himself; I know a Boxer who jumped into a pond to save 'his girl'; I know a Boxer who jumped the 6-foot wood privacy fence to go after the burglars at of the neighbor's house (and, sadly, was hit by a car as she was chasing them away). All "show lines", all "NA lines" -- all Boxers.

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BoxerWB

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Re: Temperament
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012, 03:57:59 PM »
And, I can't tell you how many times I've heard people relate in amazement how their "big goofball" Boxer stood up on his toes and growled and gruffed when something shady was going on -- someone knocking on the door in the middle of the night, a stranger coming too close on an evening walk, or just someone they didn't think was trustworthy. Boxers are exceptionally good at discerning a threat, far better, most times, than their owners.

Too true! I'll never forget the night that my "scaredy cat" Xena growled at a stranger on our evening walk and pulled me along to get me away from him.  And when we were told by our landlord that the repair man didn't go into our apartment because Xena stood at the threshold, lifted her lips and growled at him! She was poorly bred, but still had the appropriate instinct.  She was a "watch dog" most times and a "guard dog" the few times she felt it was warranted.
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Christina

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Re: Temperament
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2012, 08:34:52 PM »
Lucky is the boy I adopted from the shelter 5 years ago, he's a happy go lucky, love bug, wiggle all over boy. I used to take him on my early morning paper route. I had stopped at a gas station to put papers in the outside box, I was gathering the papers and not paying attention to outside.  Lucky  stood up and started growling, hackles raised. I looked up and there was a man approaching my car. 4 am, miles from homes, gas station closed, he backed away when he saw Lucky stand up.

Daisy is what I call the "perfect boxer" she will alert you to someone being there, let them know she's there, but as long as you let them in the house, they're ok. She is protective of me, but she will let someone approach without taking their head off.

I had a chow mix, Little Ann. I called her my little protector. If you wanted to come to me, you went through her. She growled first, asked questions later. Ideally I think you'd rather have a dog that will allow people the opportunity to approach without fear.
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