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Hi all,

My wife and I are interested in getting a dog. We're still looking into the idea, and I hoped to get some feedback from the forum members. We both love the idea of having a dog in our home, but had not planned to get a dog for some years. However, my wife feels less than 100% safe in our house at the moment. We're not in a bad area, but we recently moved to a new area of the country, and we had a somewhat traumatic "welcome" to our new neighborhood. So, we've started considering getting a dog sooner rather than later to help my wife feel a little more secure. I should emphasize that what we think we want is a good, loving family companion; not a true guard dog, per se, but one which would offer a warning bark and hopefully serve as a deterrent. Our initial research has generated a strong interest in the boxer breed.

Now for the tricky part. We're not exactly ideal dog owners, as I'll try to outline here concisely:
Neither of us has dog ownership experience
The house is empty 9.5 hours/day, 5 days/week
We have an 19 month old son
We'll have a second child in mid May
We have a 9 year old cat
Our yard is on the small size

Our thoughts are to get a full grown dog (2 years or older). We don't have the time or experience to deal with a puppy at the moment. Also, a rambunctious puppy is probably not a great mix with a toddler. Moreover, we're thinking that getting a grown dog from a reputable breedr might be the best way to go for us. Obviously, we're concerned about the dog's temperment and tolerance of children. It seems to us that getting an adult dog from a breeder means that both the dog's lineage and its individual history are very well known, and that this would be a big step towards ensuring sound temperment.

So we're hoping to get advice on many fronts:
Is our current situation compatable with a boxer?
Is the idea of an adult dog from a breeder a reasonable/realistic one?
Does anyone have any suggestions for other breeds or sources of dogs we should consider?

I appreciate any input you're able to offer. Sorry for the long, somewhat disorganized post.

-Adrian
 

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In my house, the dogs are usually alone for 6 hours, they dont seem too bad, but we do take them out on walks often. Boxers are great with kids, most of the time.
If you really wanted to get a boxer, you could also look at rescuing one? Or getting an adult boxer from a breeder.
Not sure this really helped,
 

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First i wants to give kudos to researching instead of jumping straight in! Now on to your questions. Boxers are not true gaurds dogs...but they are very alert and typically offer some form of bark/growl or what not as a warning. Every dog is different though. Ideally you dont want to leave the dog alone that long without someone coming and maybe walking.taking out/playing with it at some point midday. As for eexperience....well we all had to start somewhere :D Boxers are WONDERFUL family pets and normally get along great with children. I have a 7 yr old and she has been around boxers her entire life. We to have a cat, and they get along ok...the girls like to try to play with the cat and if he doesnt want to play he will swat at them and then all is well. Once again though every dog is different. I live in a townhome with a postage stamp size yard...we take them on walks, to the park to run at least 2-3 tiems a week. They need exercise daily for they are VERY active animals. Getting an older dog from a breeder may or maynot be best. Some breeders dont sell their older dogs. I got my oldest girl from a 'breeder" b/c she developed a hear murmur after her first litter and wasnt able to be bred again. We have many issues with her, but that was b/c of her upbringing..not her personality. I would def talk to a local boxer rescue and talk to the reputable breeders in your area. a reputable breeder or the rescue will be able to match up the dog that is perfect for you. Best of luck!
 

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I would look into a rescue also, maybe a 3 or 4 year old would be more settled, they evaluate the dogs very carefully and most of the fosters at the rescue I use have children and other pets.  I know the fosters that had Kiah just fostered a dog and he was so good with young children that they required that the family who adopted Roscoe to have young children.

Here is a link to the rescue I used, it will give you an idea of the requirements:  http://www.gabr-wi.com/gabrwi/adoption/available+for+adoption/default.asp
 

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Hi there. Good for you for doing research first!

Boxers can be protective but are not really the best guard dogs. I think my boxer would lick a stranger to death. They are alert and some may growl at strange sounds but some may not. Also, I'd say most boxers are known to be great and gentle with kids and babies. I trust my boxer 110% with my 1.5yr old nephew.

I would not rule out rescues! There are a lot of great dogs in rescue. IF you go through a rept one they do temperment testing on them and are pretty strict about where there forever homes are.

I do think a 2 year old boxer will need a mid day potty break. 9 hours is 5 days a week is a lot to ask for. Maybe consider a dog walking service for a mid day break.

Also, you may want to consider a senior dog. they are just as loveable and wonderful as a young dog. Don't let their age fool you. We have a 7 year old boxer friend that can keep up NO problem with my 1.5 yr old boxer.

Good luck to you.
 

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We chose a boxer because they are protective of their families but not outwardly aggressive which makes them good family pets. They are very alert tho although people say they do not make good guard dogs i think they are great at keeping you alert. My puppy sense people way before i can see them. I think having a small yard isnt an issue if youre willing to walk the dog and give it proper exercise and play time. I live in an apt, no yard at all but i walk my puppy to the park where he can play for about 30 min walk a day, this is because he is 5mo old as he get's older he will walk longer. So in short i would say your yard shouldnt make you discount a boxer nor should the kids because theyre great with kids.
 

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First off, welcome to the forum and I cannot say enuf about research. Kudos to you on that..When I got my first Boxer 9 yrs ago, I thought i had, but it's an ongoing lesson.....Boxers make great companions and altho they aren't really a true "guard dog", they are alert and will warn if something is up, for most people that is all that is needed or wanted....My forst 2 were left home for about 8 hrs a day, but I walked them in the morning before work and then we all had play time, a swim something in the evening..They do require exercise. A big yard isn't that important, the exercise is :) Boxers and kids just go together, like peas & carrots  :) They will watch over kids and they do know  to be gentle as well, a great combination...I would definitely look into rescue, I've rescued 2 and a lot of other members have gotten their babies as well that way & I cannot say enuf about giving one of these furkids a forever home.....In my opinion, recued dogs for some reason seem to appreciate everything more. No, you don't know their background, pedigreed or otherwise, but is that a big deal?

Good luck, hope this has helped
 

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I don't know, I'm conflicted here because boxers have so many great traits.  But they love company and I personally believe (and many will disagree) that if you aren't home much, there are probably better breeds for your lifestyle.   Boxers are high energy and need a lot of daily exercise and attention.  I really think you'd have to put him in a daycare several times a week.  Also, I'd get a dog because you have time and love to give....not because you need protection.
 

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Unfortunately, we too are gone about 8 hours a day.  Adam makes it home sometimes at lunch but not very often.  We never have any problems with our two dogs, we have a 11 month old boxer and a 2 1/2 year old lab mix.  We got Duke so after Adam and I got a house of our own, he wanted me to feel safe at home.  We also had a not very good welcome, this spring and summer there was a string of break ins on our block and our neighbors back yard was set on fire.  Duke (our boxer) loves people but when some one comes to the door he does bark like crazy (if some one broke in I think he would bark first and then lick the person to death) or lab mix (Tabs) on the other hand would probably kill them, she loves people to but she is more protective then Duke is.  But Duke does have a loud bark, which is comforting because he is big and people are scared of him at first (until they see what a sweetheart he is).  

I babysit a 20 month old Carly, (when we first got Duke she was only 1), he follows her all around the house.  He loves her so much, she even hits him sometimes when she doesn't want him around and he will just sit and look at her.  She (Carly) now has a 3 month old brother Eli, they both came over to our house last week and Duke just loves the new baby.  Towards the end of the night Eli was getting tired so I took him in on my bed and laid down with him and Duke came in and sat on the other side of him.  The only problem we have is Duke just loves to give kisses.  We are babysitting again on Friday and I have no worries at all about how Duke will be with them.  

I hope this helps alittle bit.
 

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Both me and wife work.  Our two dogs are in there crates from around 7 to 12:15.  I come home for lunch and let them run, go potty, etc.. for about 30 minutes.  Then they go back into there crates until around 5 when the wife gets home.  After that, there out to run, play, roam for the remainder of the evening at least 5 or 6 days a week.  If you can't get home to let them out, etc., I would definitely look to a dog that is fully grown!  Rescues are a good thing, and I would also consider a rottie if your looking for protection.  Also, will this be an indoor or outdoor pet?
 

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Welcome to the forum! I am so glad that you are asking questions and researching BEFORE Getting a dog. I do have to say that I am very parial to boxers, but they are a high energy dog that needs to be played with and excersised. I think that if you take them out to play or on walks, your yard isn't going to be an issue. I think that you would be better off going to a boxer rescue to get a dog than an older dog from a breeder. Just for the fact that a boxer rescue does more to see if the dog is compatible with certain situations. I wish you the best of luck ! Hope this helped.
 

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My wife and I work, but exercise is key. If you are gone for long stretches, you are gonna have to make sure to let him stretch his legs. Otherwise he could get destructive or act out. Also be aware that you need some form of training because they can be pretty stubborn at times.

We got Hoosier for many of your same reasons, we wanted a family dog and we though he would be theft deterrent as well. My wife wanted to have him with her during late nights at school or for when she's home alone. He loves us, but does nothing to protect us yet. He never barks are greets strangers very friendly. We hope that as he gets older, that he will at least growl if he hears something around the door or windows and be a little more protective.
 

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As far as guard dog type... It is really a crap shoot.

Jessie doesnt make a noise when someone is at the door.

Maggie barks like the dickens when there is a knock or the door bell rings!
 

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Thank you all for the helpful responses. It certainly gives us a lot to think about.

JeepKuntry: it would be an indoor dog.

Also, I failed to state that our plan would be to have a good walk/run each morning and evening, and we also think it would be best for all parties involved if we started an obedience class right away.

It sounds like everyone thinks boxers are great with kids, and that a small yard is not prohibitive if we're willing to exercise the dog on a leash.

It was interesting to read that so many folks reccommend getting a rescue dog; we'll certainly take that into consideration. My reasoning behind the breeder path was only so that we could know as much as possible about the dog's temperment. But from your reccommendations, it sounds as though people put more faith in temperment testing than in knowing the parents' temperments. Is this the case, or did I misinterpret what was said?

It also sounds like watch/protection/guard dog tendencies vary from dog to dog. We're still wrestling with exactly what we want on this front (and please keep in mind, this is only one factor in deciding which type of dog to get). Above all else, we want a wonderful family companion with an impeccable reputation with young children. If we can also derive security (either real or perceived) from this animal's presence, so much the better. Ideally, I'd like a dog that bad folks are scared of. Of course, there are trade offs that come with this, such as having an animal that's truly worthy of fearing, or having other parents fear for their children's safety in our house because they think our dog is a potential killer.

I've been researching dog bite statistics a little, and frankly this has turned me away from rottweilers (which JeepKuntry suggested). I recognize this is a controversial topic, and I don't want to start a big argument here, but for better or worse, I don't think we'll be looking into rotties or pit bull terriers. I have been considering German Shepherds and Dobermans, though, so I'd be pleased to hear any input the forum has on those breeds.

Thanks again for all your input; it is greatly appreciated.

-Adrian
 
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If you are worried about dog bites, from this website, I got:
Mixed breeds and not pure bred dogs are the type of dog most often involved in inflicting bites to people. The pure-bred dogs most often involved are German shepherds and Chow chows.

also, Dobies are more likely to bite than german shepards:
In a study reported by a retired professor from California State University at Chino, Robert Plum, it was found that one dog in 55 will bite someone seriously during the course of a year. With respect to breed differences in the tendency to inflict serious injury, Plumb estimates that when a pit bull bites a human, one in 16 (e.g. 1/16) will inflict serious injury; this contrasts with a ratio of 1/296 Dobermans, and 1/156 German shepherds.

http://www.dogexpert.com/Dog%20Bite%20S ... stics.html
 

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lol if you want "percieved" safety from the dog boxers are good just because people THINK they are scary and mean. Sometimes people just wont approach you because they are scared of the way the dog looks.
 

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I agree with what has been said.  I also think that a rescue would be a great way to go.  Most reputable rescues will have evaluated the dog for temperment, house training, kids, other pets, etc. and won't let it be adopted to a home where it won't fit in.  The only thing I would think would be any problem would be the amount of time you are away during the day.  Boxers are very loving and really want to be around people, but an older boxer does like to have their naps during the day so may fit in just fine to your routine.  All of ours have been very protective, especially with our kids.  They bark at strangers and are great watch dogs.
 
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an example of how great boxers and kids are:

I got into a fender bender on tuesday, the dogs were in the truck with me.  The guy who hit me had a 7 year old and a 3 year old..both very scared, crying and shaken.  I let the dogs out to make sure they are ok...they go right up to the kids and Bo is face to face with the little 3 year old, gives her a lick...and both girls smile and calm down..  Though Bo is large, he didn't even knock down the 3 year old...he even had his paws on her, but was gentle and carful...but in spite of them being scared, they went straight for the kids and calmed them down within moments
 

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I am a single mom with a 3 yr old boxer named Oscar. So I work full time and he logs alot of crate time during the week. But we go running when the weather permits, and believe me he's not heartbroken if we don't go in the rain or snow. LOL....He is a great detterent (sp?) my own mom has told me time and again she feels alot better about my son and I living alone with Oscar there just because he looks intimidating. He's really just a big love. :) He barks when people come to the door and even if someone loiters out in front of the house. He loves children. He adores my son. I am the one that feeds him, walks him, bathes him, etc....but his heart belongs to my son. I take him to watch my son race motocross and all the kids want to pet Oscar and he about turns himself inside out when they approach him...moreso than when adults do. He just loves children! I hope you find the perfect fit for your home. Boxers are amazing. I will never be without one in my home again.  :D
 
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