Boxer Breed Dog Forums banner

My boxer's a bit of a coward - is he alone?

3969 Views 16 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  JessiesMom
My dog does do a "hedgehog" back and bark rather agressively at strangers who come to our house when he's in the garden. This makes him a good guard dog in a preventive manner. In reality if anyone says "boo!" to him or makes a move towards him - he's off like a shot. "Run away!" seems to be his motto. Whether it be a dropped spoon in the kitchen or any other thing that makes a bit of noise or moves a bit fast. He'll steamroll anyone or anything in his path to get away! He does creep back however to have second look -just in case it wasn't so scary after all. I've always been told or read that boxers are "courageous" dogs that defend their families. Is my boxer a natural born coward or is it just me who's turned him into a "mummy's boy"? (That should read "Mommies" - but i'm english!). I'd like to know he'd at least try to defend me if i needed to be. Does anyone else have a boxer with a "save myself first" attitude?
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Seems like he has a low self esteem and correct me of Im wrong thats not suppose to be a boxer trait lol He needs to build his confidence back up!  My girl does bark at strangers but once they are here for a few minutes she warms up to them! Shes very protective of me. Being aggressive towards strangers (if Im reading your post right) sounds like a temperment problem in your case!
Henry is a bit of a scaredy cat, but I chalk that up to his age.  He is 6 months old and gets more brave as the days go on.  So he seems to be growing out of it.  But I think you said your dog is 2 1/2.  I don't know!  Any time Henry is frightened of something, we tell him it's OK and take him to whatever it is and let him sniff it.  That usually clams him down.

Good luck!
He does come round and make friends after about 10-15 minutes or so, but he doesn't trust non familiar adults stroking him (never has) and backs off . If they start a play fight then everything's fine - he's away and will spend the whole time just wanting to 'box' and wrestle. It seems he only trusts people who want a bit of brutal play...As for children from 9months to 10years he's facinated and sticks to them like glue, licking and chasing the older ones whilst letting the 9month old stick her little fingers in his nostrils and loving it! The only thing he has no fear at all of is other dogs - however grumpy - he loves them all. He's only agressive barking at strangers who arrive in 'his' garden to scare them off - he's never growled at anyone anywhere else - and i take him everywhere with me. Maybe i'm too protective of him? I don't think i have a agressive temperament problem anyway!
may not be of much help, but the only time i have known a boxer to be scared is during storms. When it is thundering and lighting i have seen them get scared and hide. Did you rescue him by chance?
Hi Chloes Mom, No, I had him at 3 months from a professional breeder - a bit of a whacky lady of 60 who's bred boxers and shown them for years. In fact so crazy about 'em she lives on a farm with a horse and 20 to 30 boxers. Needless to say one person for so many dogs might explain why Voltaire is happy with other dogs but uneasy of humans? Didn't have the human bonding when he was a pup? He's not a cowering chicken in the sense that, even if he runs away, curiosity will get the better of him so he will come back for a closer look and then be fine. But he's definitely not a Rambo! Who knows - if i was attacked maybe he'd surprise me and defend his Mom! It might also be good if i could persuade my husband to let me have a second boxer!
That actually may be why he is so shy. Mandie, the boxer i am looking to adopt from a breeder, is coming from the same type of environment. Because there are so many other animals to take care of each one of the boxers may have not received enough attention or socialization. Lucky for me Mandie was well socialized. A second boxer would help! I am sure that if you were in danger he would find the courage to fight for you, boxers in the end are so loyal to the owners, it is us owners who are the lucky ones!! :)
Thanks Andrea, you're very kind. I felt a bit 'got at' when Roxygirl22 said i might have a temperament problem! I'll take Voltaire to see other dogs more often and hope a bit of their courage wears off on to him. I'd so love a whole little tribe of boxers but for now my husband's saying no. But you know husbands - you just have to keep on and on and on until they give in!
As an afterthought ...when we've gone for long walks in the forest with family as a group of six or so Voltaire NEVER loses sight of me. He'll do his thing - but even if he's quite far from me he'll always keep me within eyeshot and follow me, rather than my husband, if i separate from the others. Is this a sign of guarding me?
yup! he is making sure that nothing happens to you or if for some reason he feels that you are in danger he is able to get back to you and protect you.
Ahhh, bless him... i love him even more if that's possible! Thanks Andrea.
My 6 month old boxer goes crazy when he hears the door bell but when I am outside he is comletely different scared of everyone and everything, I dont know if I am doing the right thing, When I am at home I play games with him I get my partner to hit me and pretend I am hurt and get the dog to fetch him so he builds up courage, my other boxer had a pitbull with him so it was different.
In the official description of boxers, it does state that they can be a bit standoffish at first, altho I have never encountered that with any of mine..Quite the opposite actually. Samson is a Momma's boy and always has to have me within sight. Angel, I'm not sure of yet, as we have only had her for a month. Generally the females will gravitate to male humans, but Marq tells me that when I leave to go somewhere, she is frantic looking for me, so who knows?

None of mine have been real afraid of anything, except thunder and lightening, but with 2, there is strength in numbers...Lol...The one thing you can do is when they are afraid, try not to coddle them to much, it just reinforces the fear and can make it worse...When mine have something happen, like a broom fall, or a bucket over turn, I just laugh and talk to the offending item and then let the dog approach it as they feel the need....

Hope this is some help...
Charlie is scared of his own shadow.  I laugh because he's afraid of the dark.  I tell my wife all the time that she treated him like a baby so now he's gonna be a scardy-cat his whole life.  The only thing he does that I can't figure out is sometimes when you go to put him he'll back away or drop his head.  We got him at 7-8 weeks and we've never beat on him, this I can't figure out!
Good idea. I am a bit nervy and I know i stress him because for his last anaesthetic the vet made me leave the room - i was making Voltaire so nervous he couldn't get the needle in! My husband said that as soon as i left he was fine and let the vet get on with it no problem. I felt very embarrased that i should stress my own dog.
your not alone!  my girl is so scared of anyone thats not us and our close friends.....  

especially older males.....

we picked her up as a giveaway so my guess is that she was misstreated :(

even when we walk he if there is someone else walking past us she freaks out!
Jessie is weary when a stranger wants to pet her while we are on a walk (except for kids), she will hunker down a bit.... but if they walk in the house she will greet them with a butt wag and some kisses...

Maggie is petrified of fireworks.  She is extremely spoiled though, and had a lot of seperation anxiety when when she was a puppy...

We didnt get Jessie until after the 4th of July this past summer so i dont know how she will be when there are fireworks, but im interested to find that out.

Good Luck...

and i may be wrong, but i dont think Roxy meant you had a temperment problem.  I think it was in the case of your pup.
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.