They say that dog owners often look and behave like their pets, so what kind of owner might you be if you had a Boxador Mix breed? Oh, you haven’t heard of a Boxador before? It’s the combination of a Boxer and a Labrador Retriever – both large dogs – if you haven’t already figured that out of course.
The hybrid doggo is bred to have the kindness of a Labrador, and the protectiveness of the Boxer dog – although as a mixed breed it is impossible to guarantee these characteristics in a puppy. Does this mix of traits appeal to you, or sound like your perfect companion based on your own approach to life? If you’re intrigued to discover more about this mixed breed dog, you’ll want to sniff out all the details in this guide…
What is a Boxador?
A Boxador is a hybrid breed from two purebred parents. It is a popular choice of dog for active families, as a Boxador is active and full of life. If you were to host a doggy party, the Boxador would be the life and soul of the room. They’re loyal and friendly; what more could you ask for in a pet? They do have another desirable attribute on top of all of this great stuff; they also make a decent guard dog due to the protective nature that comes from the Boxer parentage.
The History of the Boxador
But let’s go back in time a little bit, and look at the history associated with the Boxer Lab mix breed. How did they end up becoming a household favourite? This section will seek to answer that question, which will also give you a pretty good idea of the purebred parents of this dog breed.
The origin of the Boxer Lab mix
The Boxer Labrador mixed breed is not recognised by the American Kennel Club or the Kennel Club in the UK, simply because it is a hybrid dog. However, it is recognised by the American Canine Hybrid Club, Designers Dogs Kennel Club, Dog Registry of America, and the International Designer Canine Registry.
You might notice one of the words in the name of these clubs: “designer”. Why is that? This is just a name to describe a breed that has originated from two purebred parent dogs; in this case, the Labrador Retriever and the Boxer.
Strangely, the exact origins of this large designer breed aren’t known! It’s still a relatively new breed in the grand scheme of things. Despite that, we can delve into the origins of the parent dogs a little more. Let’s start with the Labrador.
A Favorite Breed
The Lab is a firm family favourite in the UK and USA, and originally hailed from Newfoundland (Canada) where they were bred as gundogs. Yes, you read that right; this adorable and lovable puppy pal was reared for a life as a working dog. But if you think about it, there are still plenty of Labradors who continue working even in these modern times. They are the top choice to be a service dog for those in need, such as to be a guide dog. This is because they have an insatiable desire to learn, as well as acting with loyalty and compassion.
What about the Boxer? Well their history began in Germany, through their ancestor dog which was a Bullenbiesser. These dogs were bred to assist with hunting; their job was to hold on to prey until a hunter could take over. Boxers were small and fast and could do the job efficiently! But they also turned out to be pretty good family dogs, who get along well with children and love to play.
So how does this combine in the form of the Boxador mixed breed? The next section will seek to answer this question, and will focus on the characteristics of the Boxer Lab mix.
Now you know a little bit more about these designer crossbreed dogs, we can look a bit deeper into the characteristics of the Boxador. What physical features did they get from their Labrador and Boxer parents, such as their colouring and build? Do they have any common health issues as a breed?
You will find all of the answers to questions like these in the section below.
Boxador physical features
When it comes to this Boxer Lab mix, male dogs tend to be larger than their female counterparts, but on average this breed will range between 21.5 to 25 inches in height. The same applies to their average weights, with males measuring between 55 and 80lb, and females weighing between 50 to 70lbs.
It’s interesting to note that you can never quite guarantee the temperament or the physical characteristics of a crossbreed dog, so there will always be variations across the Boxador breed. However, there are some attributes that usually (but not always) come from one parent breed.
For example, the Boxer parents often are more visible than the Labrador when it comes to the Boxador’s coat. These coats are usually unlikely to shed much hair due to being smooth and shiny, with straight fur that isn’t wavy or rough. Don’t take this as a guarantee though, because whilst rare, it is still possible to end up with a Labrador style coat which will shed seasonally, and will require additional grooming through brushing and baths!
What is consistent is that this breed is considered to be a large breed, as both of the parent dogs can be thought of as such. And whilst they’re known to be friendly, their size and bouncy mixed breed nature also means you need to be a bit mindful of this when small children are around your pet.
The lifespan of a designer Boxador
Just like you can’t guarantee the physical and behavioural characteristics of a dog (particularly a crossbreed like a Boxador), you also can’t know exactly how long your dog will live for. Whilst it can be a sensitive subject to discuss, it can be helpful to know the average lifespan of your dog breed for planning into the long term of your own life.
Some Boxador owners have reported their pups living to the grand old age of 15 years old, but the general consensus is that this breed will likely live around 12 years, perhaps up to 15 years at the higher end of the estimate.
Boxador dog colouring
There are lots of potential coat colours for the Boxador, which you may have guessed by now due to the unique combination of genes that comes from the parent dogs. That’s why you will be amazed by all of the coat colourings you see for this breed. They may be a beautiful gold colour, or a sleek brown, a rich chocolate, a striking brindle, or a glorious combination of two or more of these tones! On top of this, some Boxador individuals may also have white markings on their coats.
Known health issues
Whether you are looking to get a Boxador puppy, or you are rescuing an older dog of this breed, you will want to assess the health of your dog before you take it home, as well as being aware of potential health issues later on in your pup’s life. The good news is that a Boxador is thought of as a relatively healthy breed, but that doesn’t mean they are completely immune from health problems.
For example, both Boxer dogs and Labradors can often suffer with hip dysplasia and obesity due to their larger size. But sometimes the makeup of a cross breed dog can actually help, due to more genes entering the pool. This is seen in the correction of a Boxer’s flatter face which can cause breathing and temperature regulation problems (Boxers are brachycephalic dogs); the Labrador influence is a different shape of face which can counteract this flatter face and associated health issues.
The other common health concern to be aware of in your Boxador is cancer. Sadly, a study by the University of Georgia has found that cancer is the leading killer of the Boxer dog breed. At a rate of 4 in 10 mature Boxers falling ill to the disease, it is an important condition to be aware of, and its potential to affect your Boxador.
If you’re wondering what you might need to look out for, some of the common symptoms are laziness (lethargy), your dog not eating its meals (loss of appetite) and weightloss, a limp, digestive issues, and difficulty breathing. The other symptom or sign you may observe by touch is an unusual lump under your dog’s skin. If you experience these symptoms or find a lump, you will want to speak to your vet about tests and procedures to find the cause.
Of course, you won’t want to wait for a health issue to appear if there is something you could have done when your pup was new to the world. Whilst you can’t stop cancer from taking hold in an otherwise healthy dog, you can at least ensure that your puppy is in good health as much as possible. That means asking for a health test when you adopt or purchase a puppy; you will want to see how the Boxer parent scores for a heart check, hip mobility, eye test, and should be free of cancers. Whereas the Labrador parent should also have been checked for elbow and hip scores, as well as having a recent eye test.
Remember that dogs with flatter faces can have breathing issues. You can check this in your own puppy to listen for a wheeze when they breathe. This should be less of a concern due the crossbreed make up of the Boxador.
Boxadors and their temperament
If you’re looking for the TL;DR version, a Boxador’s temperament is said to be a combination of loving, loyal, obedient, and playful with active energy. Of course, we’d encourage you to keep reading this section to discover more of what you would be in for with a Boxador puppy or mature dog.
Remember that you can never perfectly predict what a crossbreed Boxador puppy will have in terms of their temperament, such is the way of dogs that are “designed” from two purebred parents. The ideal combination will be the protective nature of the Boxer (along with their playfulness) and the unrelenting kindness and adorable pup cuddles from the Labrador.
Other things to note: they will have bundles of energy so will get bored if they’re left alone for too long. They will thrive in an active family where they have lots of space to play. Keeping your dog company will also help them to avoid separation anxiety.
With the parent dogs boasting a working past (and present, if you consider the service dog element), it perhaps isn’t surprising to learn that a Boxer Lab mix is an intelligent dog that is highly trainable. This will be the positive news you wanted to hear, but it still requires putting in the time and effort with your dog.
Training your Boxer Lab mix
It has been suggested that one of the best ways to train your Boxador is through positive reinforcement of the traits and characteristics that you want your dog to develop and display as they progress from the puppy years.
There may be an element of barking that comes from fear (due to the Boxer parent), however, you can teach your dog that they don’t need to fear everyday situations through positive reinforcement.
Want to know what daily life might be like with a Boxador? Cast your eyes through the next section to understand a little more of what goes on when a Boxer Lab mix dog is in the family home…
Boxador meal time
Obesity and bloat can be an issue in larger breeds who like to eat, and it is certainly true of the Boxador who gets this from their Labrador parent. They’ll keep eating and eating if you let them, so it’s important to watch their diet to ensure they’re not piling on too many pounds.
You’ll be looking at around four or five cups of dry kibble dog food which are split over two servings a day – preferably morning and evening to avoid bloating. You may also use popular dog snacks if needed.
It’s worth noting that some Labradors are allergic to grains, so this is something to be mindful of when you’re selecting food for your Boxador; high quality grain-free food might be the best bet. Not only that, but choosing food with a higher percentage of protein can be helpful anyway, as it can help to keep your Boxer Lab mix’s coat all lovely and shiny, as well as being beneficial for great dog muscles.
Your Boxador and exercise
Boxadors are highly active designer dogs, and will need upwards of 60 minutes of good high energy exercise each day. Not only will this keep them in good shape, but it will also help to keep them happy; they get bored if they sit still for long periods! They definitely aren’t lap dogs.
That’s why they’ll need more than a quick stretch of the legs in the garden, and require proper long walks. Garden time can be a supplement depending on your dog’s energy level; play time in the yard can include games like hide and seek, tug of war, and catch. This will let you socialize with your pet and build your relationship too, so you’ll think you have the best dog ever!
Does a Boxador require a lot of grooming? Only if your Boxador takes after the Labrador parent, but it is rare. Most have a coat like the Boxer parent. If a Boxador has a coat like a Labrador, you will need to be aware of shedding season.
Where does a Boxador get its name? Think of it as a Lab Boxer mix. It is a combination of the two parent breeds, a Boxer and a Labrador Retriever.
Are Boxadors good with kids? A Boxador can make a family pet but will require training and socialisation. Take care around young children as they can be bouncy with activity.
Is a Boxador shaped like a box? No! Don’t let their name confuse you. This part of the word ‘Boxador’ simply comes from the Boxer parent which stands on their hind legs and ‘box’ with their front legs.