Many people assume that because Boxers are large, energetic dogs, they can only flourish in a home with their own backyard. This isn’t true!
Boxers can adapt to apartment living. As long as they get exercise outdoors every day, and their routine becomes part of their owner’s lifestyle,
Boxers can lead happy lives in apartments. The secret is to ease your dog into your daily routine.
Here are some important considerations for your decision about keeping a Boxer in your apartment.
Boxers Are Quiet Dogs
Boxers have an extensive vocabulary of groans and growls, but they very seldom bark.
Your neighbors, especially if the walls between your apartments are thin, will appreciate this quality in your Boxer.
When your Boxer is barking, it is usually for a good reason—assuming you have trained her well as a puppy.
You need to know that your Boxer has excellent hearing. They are highly attuned to sound, and they are very alert.
They will hear arguments, smoke detectors, sirens, and every thump and bump from the apartments above and below you.
You will have to train your Boxer to ignore extraneous sounds. Once you do, you won’t have a problem with noise complaints from your neighbors.
Teach the “Silent” and “Speak” commands to your Boxer while she is still a puppy.
Invest in a webcam with good sound so you can monitor what is going on when you are not at home.
Many models will have live streaming for your laptop or your phone. Most home monitoring devices have a speaker so you can give your dog the “Silent” command even when you are away from home.
Boxers Aren’t Backyard Dogs
Boxers like to be close to their human family. They like to be really close to their people.
Boxers are oversized lap dogs at heart. They happily jump on top of you, forming a pile like they did when they were puppies.
Small space isn’t a problem if you are willing to let them get up close and personal when they share their space with you.
Just be sure you don’t let your Boxer get overly excited when she wants to snuggle with you.
A Boxer can injure his tail while thumping on the coffee table and dislocate his hip, elbow, or knee when jumping on top of you. You may find the experience traumatic as well.
It’s Easy to Train Your Boxer for Apartment Living
Training your Boxer for successful apartment living consists of a predictable series of steps.
- First, puppy-proof your apartment. Lock toxic chemicals in cabinets that your Boxer cannot open. Move fragile figurines, porcelain, photos, lamps, and knickknacks high enough that your Boxer cannot jump up to investigate them. Move toilet paper above dog level, and make sure razors, shaving cream, deodorant, and skin care products are in cabinets your dog cannot open.
- Next, get ready for potty training. Put out pee pads to protect your floors from accidents. Get into a routine so your Boxer knows when it is time for you to put them on their leash and take them outside.
- Practice low-key exits and entrances. Don’t make a big deal about leaving your Boxer for the day. Don’t be overly demonstrative when you come home from work. Let your dog know that leaving and returning is just part of the rhythm of their day and yours, and they can count on you being there for them. Just not all the time.
- Prevent separation anxiety by spending progressively more time away from home. The first week you bring your Boxer home as a puppy, you probably should not leave him alone for more than 15 minutes. The next week, you might leave your puppy home alone for half an hour, then a full hour, then half a day, working up to a full day.
You Need to Be Prepared to Deal with Separation Anxiety
If you come home after a long day at work and your Boxer seems relaxed and everything in your apartment seems in order, separation anxiety is not a problem.
But there are also signs that your Boxer can’t handle your being away all day.
- Destructive behavior, such as chewing objects that should not be chewed, or scratching on the walls, upholstery, drapes, doors, or cabinets.
- Urine or feces on the floor even though you let them out before you left for the day.
- Cowering, trembling, or nervous energy when you get home.
- Tail between the legs.
- Audible barking, crying, or whining as you approach your apartment.
Neighbors are not likely to tolerate excessive noise. Your apartment manager will get upset about soiled carpets and stained floors. You will have to do something to keep your Boxer calm.
The solution can be taking your Boxer for an extra-long walk before you leave in the morning.
You can have a friend, a neighbor, or a dog sitter check on your dog during the day.
Create a dedicated space for your Boxer as far away from outside noises as possible.
Play with your dog in that space every day, and make sure your Boxer has blankets and toys with familiar scents on them while you are gone for the day.
Boxers Don’t Shed a Lot
Boxers are short-haired dogs. They don’t have an undercoat that they renew in a massive shed twice a year.
They don’t require expensive grooming. Brushing their coats once a week is enough.
However, Boxers shed all year-round. Their hair will be noticeable on dark fabrics, carpets, and upholstery.
You will need to vacuum at least twice, preferably three times a week, to keep up with dog hair.
A stick vacuum is ideal for keeping up with dog hair. Your Boxer may nip at it, but it won’t break. Frequent vacuuming also removes dust and grime that can accumulate on window sills and carpets, causing allergies.
Boxers Crave Mental Stimulation
Boxers are smart dogs who need mental activity almost as much as they need physical activity.
You can keep your Boxer mentally active with puzzle toys that release a treat, or by letting him take time to sniff all the scents on his daily walk.
Make your Boxer work for his food with Kong Wobbler or a Bob-a-Lot. You place your dog’s food in the toy, and they have to roll it around to get the food out.
Boxers can get noisy at mealtime, but they have a lot of fun “earning” their food.
Boxers Need Mild Temperatures
All brachycephalic (short-snouted) dogs need surroundings that are not too hot and not too cold to breathe easily and avoid respiratory infections.
In the summer, your Boxer needs to be inside with air conditioning. Outdoor heat can be extremely stressful for your dog.
In the winter, limit the amount of time your dog spends outdoors when it is cold enough to see your breath.
Their short noses don’t warm air adequately before it reaches their lungs.
Boxers Don’t Do Well in National Parks and Nature Preserves
One of the problems with a Boxer’s short hair is that it sunburns easily. Bees. wasps. and hornets can induce anaphylactic shock with their stings.
They need a HEPA air filter to keep household dust and even their own dander from causing allergies (for them, and for you).
Take your Boxer on her daily walk when temperatures are favorable for keeping stress low. Avoid “too much nature” on your walks. Dog parks are best.
Boxers Are Escape Artists
Boxers are capable of jumping balcony railings and high fences, sometimes to their great detriment. These dogs are highly scent-driven.
The scent of another dog or a squirrel can be too much for them to resist.
You need to keep them on a leash when you take them on walks, and when you leave them on your patio, deck, or balcony.
Apartment living lets you supervise your dog’s every move. Your Boxer is less likely to run away if you live in an apartment than if you live in a house.
Boxers Get Along Well with Cats
Boxers are big softies at heart. Properly introduced, they can get along with cats, birds, and even guinea pigs, ferrets, and hamsters.
The key to successful introductions of your pets is to make sure your dog gets to know your other pet’s scent before they meet face to face.
Place your cat’s blanket in your dog’s bed. Or let your Boxer sniff the bird, guinea pig, hamster, or ferret cage.
Once your Boxer knows that the other animal is no threat, then you can let them meet face to face.
Of course, make sure your Boxer is well-fed before introducing her to small animals.
Boxers Love to Observe
Have you ever had a cat that loved to sit in the window and watch the birds and the squirrels all day?
Your Boxer will enjoy a window on the world, too. Make sure the window is secured and escape-proof, and provide your
Boxer with alternative activities just in case her fascination with the outside world wanes.
One More Suggestion for a Happy Life with Your Boxer in Your Apartment
Do all of our suggestions seem do-able? If that is the case, a Boxer can be a good choice for your apartment home. We have just one more suggestion.
Make sure your Boxer walks on soft floors. Put out carpet pieces or a washable blanket.
Hard tiles and wood can cause trauma to the hip and knee joints, especially when your Boxer is a puppy.
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