Meeting a Boxer while out during the day is probably one of my favorite things. I am a huge fan of the breed. They are fun-loving, energetic goofballs that are also extremely loyal to their owners. I have never met a Boxer that I didn’t become instant friends with. For a breed of dog that seems to have no chill, some wonder what they are like indoors.
Are Boxers cuddlers? As a general rule adult Boxers are cuddlers. The Boxer is a highly affectionate breed of dog that enjoys spending time by their owners side whenever they can. Boxer puppies can be cuddlers too, but are often either bursting with energy or napping, so cuddles can be short lived.
If you are considering bringing a Boxer dog into your family and want to know about these big cuddlers you have come to the right spot. Here I will go over everything you need to know about Boxer affection, cuddles, behaviors, and more. Let’s dig in!
How Do Boxers Show Affection?
There are several ways that Boxers commonly show affection. Leaning up on you, licking you, nosing you, and jumping are just a few. These displays of affection can be endearing as well as unwanted behaviors that shouldn’t be encouraged. Showing your dog how to show the right kind of affection is important.
Take jumping for example. Yes your Boxer is excited to be with their favorite person, but jumping is not a type of affection that should be encouraged. For obvious reasons this type of behavior can lead to injury and accidents.
Ignore behaviors like jumping to teach your Boxer that this show of affection won’t be reciprocated. Encourage other displays of affection by engaging with your dog. By promoting the good and ignoring the bad you will show your Boxer the right kind of affection.
Additional ways that Boxers may also show affection are showing you their belly to get some belly rubs, stretching out beside you, letting out a great big sigh, and making direct eye contact with you. These common behaviors are all ways your Boxer is telling you they love you.
Are Boxers Clingy?
On average Boxers can be clingy to varying degrees. Boxers are very people oriented dogs that bond strongly to the members of the family. As a result many Boxers can suffer from separation anxiety and become clingy. This behavior can range from mildly annoying, to extremely neurotic and anxious behavior.
Boxers do not do well when left alone for extended periods of time, or segregated from the family outdoors or in separate rooms. There will come times however when you need some space and need to leave the home to run errands or be at work. Working on your Boxers independence will be important.
Training your Boxer to be able to be left alone for short periods of time and be a little more independent are a crucial part of their upbringing. Things like crate training, desensitization training, and exercise will all be a big part of how you avoid your Boxer developing clingy and anxious behaviors.
How Do You Know If A Boxer Likes You?
As a whole you know if a Boxer likes you when they:
- Make direct eye contact with you
- Come when called
- Checks in while out walking
- Seek out affection (leaning, licking, etc..)
- Get excited when you are around
- Bring you toys, or carry around items that smell like you
- Show a calm and relaxed demeanor around you
Things like making direct eye contact and coming when called are a couple examples of love and respect. A Boxer that is looking to you for guidance, checking in with you while out exploring, and returning to your side with obedience are all indications of them being quite fond of you.
Showing you some of their prized possessions such as toys, or sniffing and chewing your shoes are also signs they like you. Though chewing your shoes is not a wanted behavior, and can sometimes be more of a destructive behavior than a sign of love. Boxers that like someone will want to be around their scent. Shoes are a perfect smelly example.
Calm and relaxed Boxers show that they have a trust and love of you that makes them feel safe and secure. When a Boxer wants to be near your side and stretches out for a relaxed sigh and snooze, you know they think pretty highly of you.
Where Do Boxers Like To Be Petted?
There are several go to spots that Boxers like to be petted. Under the chin, on their chests, their back towards their butt, behind the ears, and along their belly. Each dog is different and before petting a stranger’s dog be sure the dog is comfortable with you giving them affection.
I have known several Boxers over the years. Some were clients, others were friends, a few were perfect strangers at the park. I have to say the one spot I found Boxers like to be petted the most of all others is on their chest. Those big broad chests need a good scratch and rub, and a Boxer will welcome that gesture.
As mentioned though, be sure any dog is comfortable with you before making any sort of physical contact. Boxers can be wary of strangers at times and rushing up for a pet can feel threatening and cause fear, anxiety, or general uneasiness. Always ask the owner, let the dog sniff you, and proceed if the Boxer is willing to accept the interaction.
Do Boxers Like To Be Hugged?
As a general rule Boxers do not like to be hugged. In fact, despite what many people may think, most dogs do not like to be hugged. Many dogs will tolerate being hugged but canine behaviorists agree that hugging a dog is making them uncomfortable and is generally unwanted.
This may come as an unpopular opinion, but it is true. Boxers and dogs in general don’t like being hugged. Humans are wired to show affection through this form of interaction. This can be traced back to animals such as chimps as well. Dogs however are much different.
For one, dogs do not understand what is happening. The limbs of a dog do not wrap like a humans so this sort of affection is confusing to them as they do not do this with other dogs. In fact placing a limb over a dog is a sign of competitiveness and sometimes dominance from other dogs.
Another reason is hugging a dog will create a sense of confinement. Which dogs, and most animals, do not like. The instinct to be able to flee or fight at any moment is interrupted when hugging a dog, which can cause them to become fearful or mildly uncomfortable.
There are plenty of other ways to show Boxer affection. Hugging just is not one of them. Pets on the chest, belly, ears and butt are far better gestures of love. Pay attention to your dog’s body language. Just because you think they should like something doesn’t mean they do.
Do Boxers Have A Favorite Person?
On average Boxers do not have a single favorite person. Boxers will bond strongly with all members of their family. Certain affinities will develop however with members of the family that hold the primary leadership and caregiving role. Boxers respect a strong leader and anyone that provides them food.
Having a family dog is a family effort and by everyone in the family accepting the roles of leader and caregiver your Boxer will not play favorites. Whether you have a partner in the home or several children, everyone can earn the respect and obedience of a Boxer.
Establish routines for each family member to play a role in the life of your Boxer. Not just the fun stuff, though most everything with a Boxer can be fun. Training, feeding, grooming, exercise, and cuddle time should all be a part of everyone’s day.
Boxers are one of the most affectionate dog breeds around. The love of cuddles, play, and general interaction with their family makes them an all around amazing family dog. Boxers have been described as “the whole doggy package” and being one of the most popular dogs in America would back this statement up.
Bringing a Boxer into your home can be a great decision. Never again will you be left alone on the couch or reading in bed with a Boxer in the home. These big cuddle monsters are just the kind of affectionate anyone would appreciate after a long day or on a relaxing weekend.
If you would like to learn more about the Boxer and how they are a great family dog beyond just cuddles and affection check out my recent post.