What You Can Expect From A Boxer Pitbull Mix
A boxer pitbull mix is a mix of two medium to large and fairly powerful dogs. The pitbull admittedly has a bad reputation in some quarters, a reputation most dog lovers will tell you is not totally deserved. The boxer on the other hand is one of America’s favorite breeds. Ironically, it is the boxer that tends to look the fiercest, although in truth, it usually isn’t fierce at all. The pitbull, on the other hand, doesn’t look terribly fierce, but when improperly trained or socialized it can be. In truth, both breeds are loyal, friendly, and intelligent by nature. Both are high energy breeds as well. That is also true of the mix, and it is this high level of energy that can at times be a source of problems if an owner is incapable of managing it.
Most mixed breeds have been given a suitable name by the organizations that recognize the mixes. A mix between a boxer and a pitbull generally goes by one of these four names:
- The American Canine Kennel Club calls the mix a Bullboxer Pit.
- The Designer Breed Registry calls it an American Bullboxer.
- The International Designer Canine Registry designates the mix as a Bullboxer.
- The Designer Dogs Kennel Club has chosen the name American Bull Boxer.
For consistency’s sake, the term Bullboxer will most often be used throughout this discussion.
Introducing the American Bullboxer
Bloodlines – When you purchase an American Bullboxer, the dog you get won’t necessarily be exactly 50% of one breed and 50% of the other. That can only happen if a puppy’s parents are each a purebred – one a boxer and the other a pitbull. You could however, get a 25% to 75% mix, or some other combination. As long as there is no other breed involved, the puppy would still be a legitimate boxer pitbull mix no matter what the percentages. Any breeder of these dogs should be able to show you the exact bloodline of the puppy you are purchasing. The percentage mix would be expected to have something to do with the conformation and the temperament of the puppy when it becomes an adult, but with mixes or hybrids, nothing is ever completely predictable. About the only thing you could probably count on would be that you would be taking ownership of a puppy that would likely grow up to be a somewhat large, high energy dog. Given the right handling, it should grow up to be a very good dog as well.
What Owners Have to Say – It would be worthwhile to find out what others have experienced in owning one of these mixes, or to get the advice of a breeder. Most of what you find out will naturally be quite positive, bearing in mind that responsible pet owners tend to be dog lovers, and also have a tendency to bring their animals up to be good citizens, What you should really be looking for is what these dog owners’ neighbors think of the animals. That information is apt to be harder to come by but could be biased as well, especially when a neighbor has a fear of large dogs. While most owners of this particular breed mix are quite fond of their pet, most will also tell you that both boxers and pitbulls require a ton of exercise, they are both extremely strong dogs, and they both need to be trained well and worked with to make certain the training sticks. In other words, this mix is going to require a commitment on your part that may be above and beyond what most breeds or mixes require.
Issues With the Breed – While the pitbull can be gentle and loyal around people as well as being good with children, the breed doesn’t always take kindly to other dogs or to cats. The boxer is more sociable towards other animals, but can at times be overly protective. The last thing you want in a pet is a big strong dog that is overly protective and may go into attack mode when it sees a smaller dog or a cat.
Since the American Bullboxer shares the characteristics of its parents, it only makes sense to take a brief look at each of them. That should be an indication of what might be expected to show up in a puppy, although not necessarily to what degree. Information about each breed is concisely set forth in the breed standards displayed on the American Kennel Club (AKC) website. Those interested in boxers will usually find what they’re looking for on the American Boxer Club website. For the Pit Bull, a good resource is the American Pitbull Foundation’s website.
You won’t find the American Pit Bull among the AKC Standards since it has never been registered with the AKC. The breed you will find registered is the American Staffordshire Terrier, which for all intents and purposes, is virtually the same breed.
The Boxer – Its Personality, Characteristics and Temperament
By nature, the boxer tends to have a sweet and somewhat mischievous disposition. Boxers are great family dogs and good with children. They tend to be wary of strangers, which can be a good thing, but they are seldom aggressive towards strangers, another good thing. The boxer is a large, strong, high-energy dog, and it therefore requires a good deal of exercise. If a boxer becomes destructive, it is almost always because it is being given inadequate attention and/or exercise.
One of the most distinguishing features of the boxer is its head and face. The face is invariably wrinkled, and most boxers seem to carry with them a somewhat worried expression, while their square jaw would seem to suggest they really should have nothing to worry about. Their coat colors are usually some combination of tan and brindle. A few boxers are white. Temperamentally, boxers rarely pick fights with other dogs. On the other hand, if they get in a fight, they will seldom back down. Boxers rate highly when it comes to adaptability, affection level, intelligence, playfulness, and watchdog abilities. They tend to be territorial, require attention, and most of all, they require exercise. A boxer sheds, although not heavily. Somewhat surprisingly, they are known to be good apartment dwellers as they do not have any great tendency for barking, and as long as they are given sufficient exercise.
The Pitbull – Its Characteristics and Temperament
This is a strong, energetic, and courageous animal. Some will call the pitbull a large dog; others would refer to it as a more medium-sized breed. Either way, it is a solid, compact, and very athletic breed. The pitbull could be best described as a dog that has a stocky body with a somewhat thick neck and a powerful head and jaws. This is definitely a people-oriented dog. It is a very loyal animal, but if not properly trained, it can be overly protective. While stocky in build, it is agile and graceful when in motion. The pitbull’s coat is short, glossy, and somewhat stiff to the touch. This breed comes in almost every color imaginable.
This is a dog that can get along with other dogs if it is socialized to do so as a puppy, but if an adult pitbull is brought into the home, it may fight with any animals already living there. It is a strong-willed dog, so a great deal of patience is sometimes required in training it. When bringing a puppy home, it is important to socialize it with people and other dogs while it is still quite young. For many years, these dogs were bred to fight and some have retained a natural tendency to attack other dogs. Most reputable breeders have worked hard to breed the tendency to pick a fight out of their dogs.
What Personality to Expect When Putting the Two Together
Size, Conformation and Temperament – A typical American Bullboxer can weigh anywhere between 40 and 75 pounds, and stands between 20 and 27 inches at the shoulder. The females tend to be smaller than the males. This hybrid can take on a number of different colors, that being a characteristic of the pit bull, but many have the tan or brindle color characteristic of most boxers. The Bullboxer tends to be a good watchdog. It also tends to be a somewhat easygoing dog, especially around its owners and family members. This hybrid will usually be fine around other family pets if it has been socialized as a puppy, but may not always be friendly towards strange dogs, especially smaller dogs, because of its inbred prey drive.
Potential Health Issues – The claim is often made that a hybrid of mixed breed will usually be healthier than its parents. It is true that undesirable characteristics regarding health can sometimes be bred out of dogs, and many breeders attempt to do just that. If you are getting a pitbull boxer mix however, and it is a first generation mix, which is to say both of its parents are purebreds, it could retain the negative features of either or both parents. Boxers appear to be somewhat more prone to certain cancers as well as to heart disease. Boxers are also known to have a higher incidence of allergies, which can sometimes cause skin problems resulting in self-mutilization in an attempt to relieve the discomfort. These allergies are usually treatable. The pit bull also is somewhat prone to both cancer, ear infections, and skin irritation issues. There is not much documentation to indicate if any of these potential health issues are present to the same degree in the Bullboxer.
Managing an American Bullboxer –This may not be the best choice for a pet in a household where there are small children. The dog is not so apt to hurt the children as it is to hurt something or someone that it sees as a possible threat to the children because of its strong protective nature. The Bullboxer is also a dog that has to be given plenty of exercise. It is very strong and has to be taught to walk properly, unless you don’t mind being pulled along. Being an energetic dog, it also has a tendency to jump on people out of friendliness. One other characteristic this hybrid dog is apt to inherit from its parents is stubbornness.
What the Hybrid Dog Societies Can Tell You
The societies mentioned previously are good sources for finding out about almost any hybrid or mixed breed of dog. Their websites usually provide a certain amount of information about the different mixed breeds, including the boxer pitbull mix, but this information is often sketchy and you will do better by visiting the web pages of breeders or those who are focused strictly on the boxer pitbull mix. An additional source of information is the Mixed Breed Dog Clubs of America website. What most of these organizations have to offer on their websites that can be of value to you are links to breeders and other sources of information.
Breeders, Shelters, and Rescues Can Be Good Sources of Information
Breeders are usually the best place to get an American Bullboxer puppy, especially if the bloodline or temperament is of great importance to you. A shelter or animal rescue is not likely to let you take a vicious dog home with you, but since the dog is apt to be an adult, it may not get along well with any pets that are already in your household.
Breeder websites often provide photos of the dogs they have for sale, those they are breeding, or those they have sold in the past. These images can give you a good idea as to the wide range of appearances the American Bullboxer can take on. Most of these images give the impression of a friendly, curious animal. Some breeders give the prices of the animals they have for sale on their websites, but most do not, and you would have to contact them directly to get that information. Finding a local breeder is often the best choice since most breeders will not ship puppies, and many like to see what their puppies’ prospective owners are like before consenting to sell one of them.
Unlike cute toy dogs, the boxer pitbull mix may be one of the more controversial ones within the hybrid dog world. The real problem is not so much with the dog itself, despite some negative publicity. The real issues seem to be the new owners’ ability to adequately handle a big, strong-willed bundle of energy.