There are about 344 different dog breeds in the world, according to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, but more and more owners are starting to appreciate the special value that mixed breeds provide.
Of course, not all mixed breeds make great pets, but a few – like the Boxer Lab mix (a.k.a. Boxador) – are remarkably well-suited companions for the average family.
We’ll talk about the traits and characteristics of Boxadors below, so you can get an idea of what to expect before adding one to your home.
But, if you are just interested in the Boxer Lab mix basics, you can check out the table below:
Trait or Characteristic
Boxers and Labrador Retrievers
55 to 80 Pounds
Varied -- most are brown or black with white markings
Short to Medium
Moderate to Heavy
Loving, Playful and Gentle
Good with Kids?
10 to 14 Years
Average to Good
Boxers and Labrador Retrievers are both great dogs in their own right, but some breeders believe you can make even better dogs by breeding the two together. So, they deliberately set out to obtain good parents of each breed and then pair them deliberately to create Boxadors. They then go on to sell these dogs to good families.
On the other hand, some Boxadors result from unintended breedings. These puppies can also make great pets, and they’ll usually be offered for free or for a relatively low price. You can also run into these types of “accidental” Boxadors at shelters, where you can adopt them for a nominal fee.
Some common mixed-breed dogs resemble one of their parents or the other. However, Boxadors are a bit unique in this regard, as they look quite a bit like a 50-50 mix of the parent breeds. Obviously, each animal is an individual, and exceptions abound, but the majority of Boxadors have a relatively characteristic build and look.
Generally, Boxadors exhibit the classic Boxer face, and many have the upright, chest-out posture the breed is also known for, but their coat patterns, coat colors, hair length and body shape are often more reminiscent of Labrador Retrievers. Some Boxadors may have webbed digits like Labradors do, but others will lack them, as their Boxer parent does.
Boxers and Labrador Retrievers are both fairly healthy breeds, but they do experience a number of common health problems. And unfortunately, many of these health problems also afflict Boxadors, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for some of the most common health issues.
Some of the most notable health problems of Boxadors include:
Some of these conditions, such as osteoarthritis and obesity, may be avoidable with proper exercise and food selection, but others are simply a roll of the genetic dice. So, you’ll want to be sure to work closely with your vet and take your Boxador in for regular checkups, which will allow you to catch any problems early.
Also, if you are buying your Boxador from a breeder, be sure to ask about the health of both parents. If either or both of them suffer from things like epilepsy or cardiomyopathy (particularly in the case of the Boxer parent), you may want to look for puppies elsewhere.
Most Labs love playing with kids, although they can sometimes be a bit rambunctious, and Boxers are famous for being incredibly tolerant of and gentle with young children. So, given that both parent breeds are renowned for being great with kids, it shouldn’t be surprising that most Boxadors are fantastic with children.
Nevertheless, you’ll always want to monitor interactions between pets and young children, as even the sweetest dogs can accidentally hurt kids. However, most Boxadors can be trusted to play with older children without much supervision. Just be sure that your kids have been taught the proper way to interact with dogs, and that they know that teasing and roughhousing are not appropriate.
Boxadors usually have personalities that are very similar to both Labs and Boxers. In fact, they often exhibit a combination of the best traits of both breeds. They often love to play fetch (like their Labrador parents), yet they’re also very adept at the kind of free-spirited play that Boxers usually engage in.
Like both parent breeds, Boxadors are usually incredibly friendly dogs, who quickly befriend strangers and usually get along with other dogs well. They are also ready to play at a moment’s notice – in fact, you’ll want to be sure to give them the chance to play for at least 20 or 30 minutes every day, to help keep them healthy and happy.
Both Boxers and Labradors love to chew, and once again, Boxadors take after their parent breeds. They aren’t terribly picky about what they get to chew either – they’ll chew on whatever’s available and seems interesting. So, you better give them a good chew toy, or they’ll find one on their own.
But you have to be careful when buying a chew toy for such strong-jawed dogs, as you don’t want your pet to end up choking on any of the little pieces they manage to tear off. It is true that Labs have a “soft mouth,” but that applies to fetch; they are perfectly capable of chewing through toys made from average materials.
We’ve put together a comprehensive review of the best chew toys for power chewers, so be sure to check that out if you have your heart set on a Boxador.
If you are looking for a dog to help soothe your soul and heal your emotions, it’s hard to find a better candidate than a Boxador. This shouldn’t be surprising, as both Boxers and Labs also make excellent support dogs. All three (Boxadors and both of their parental breeds) have a loyal and lovable nature that many people find reassuring, and they love being close with their owners.
Of course, some Boxadors work better in these applications than others, so be sure to make your selection carefully. If you have the chance to pick your Boxador from a litter, look for the one that seems to like bodily contact (rather than vigorous play) the most. It’s also wise to look for the one that continually tries to make eye contact.
Unfortunately, hip problems are pretty common in Boxadors. This is to be expected, as both Labradors and Boxers commonly experience hip dysplasia or arthritis. Hip dysplasia is a partially genetic condition, which prevents the hips from forming properly, while osteoarthritis results from excessive wear and tear on the joints. Both can lead to pain, stiffness and a general decline in their quality of life.
You can, however, do a few things to help protect your Boxador’s hips and keep him feeling great. First of all, be sure to keep his body weight in the proper range. Secondly, consider supplementing his diet with a high-quality fish oil. This can help protect his joints from future damage, and potentially repair some of the damage already done.
We’ve written about the benefits of fish oils before if you’d like to learn more.
A lot of pet owners have more than one pet, so inter-pet harmony is often at the front of their mind. You don’t want to introduce a new animal to your home, only to find out that your new pets don’t get along. And while we can’t speak to the pets you currently have, and there are never guarantees about the way individual animals will react to each other, most Boxadors tend to get along with other pets (yes, even cats).
In fact, Boxadors often make excellent second or third pets to add to your home (which is not to suggest that they can’t make good first pets). They’re playful and rugged enough to take whatever the bigger pets dish out, and they’ll quickly learn how to get along with everybody in the home (whether they have four legs or two).
All dogs need to be properly trained to keep them safe and manageable, but it is especially true of dogs that are the size of Boxadors. Even though they’re incredibly sweet and loving dogs, untrained dogs of any breed can be dangerous – even if they mean no harm.
Fortunately, Boxadors are just as easy to train as Labs and Boxers. They’re very smart, they love to learn and they’re usually eager to please their owners. If you start while your puppy is young, use only positive reinforcement, and keep things fun, you’ll likely find that your Boxador loves being trained.
If you don’t know where to start, check out our guide to the 32 dog commands every dog should know.
Obviously, all dogs need a healthy and nutritious food, but big dogs have slightly different nutritional needs than smaller breeds. For example, many breeds (including Boxers, Labradors and Boxadors) are prone to weight gain. Carrying around extra weight isn’t a good idea for dogs who often suffer from hip and joint problems, so you’ll want to take your time and pick the best food possible for your Boxador.
We recommend five of the best foods for large dog breeds in our 2018 Showdown, but you’ll want to look for foods that:
There are at least 23 different types of skin infections that afflict dogs, and Boxers and Labs are susceptible to several of them. And unfortunately, this applies to Boxadors too. You can avoid many of them by providing a proper diet, ensuring that your dog is allergic to any of the ingredients in his food, and bathing him regularly, but you’ll always want to be on the lookout for the first signs of a problem.
However, this doesn’t mean Boxadors have high-maintenance coats because they don’t.
In fact, most Boxadors don’t really require much grooming at all. Aside from regular baths, and a once-a-week brushing, you don’t really have to do anything else to their coats. You may want to brush them more frequently during shedding cycles, but this isn’t mandatory (it’ll just help contain the mess).
Boxers and Labrador Retrievers are both pretty big dogs, but they often adapt to apartment life pretty well. The same can be said of Boxadors – they are typically pretty tidy dogs (although they do shed rather heavily), and they aren’t prone to barking at all hours of the day and night. They also adjust well to the people they’ll encounter on a daily basis as you walk them around the apartment complex.
But you must be especially careful to give apartment-living Boxadors plenty of exercise. This will prevent them from running through the apartment to burn off extra energy and potentially causing damage to the unit. Dog-safe balconies can provide extra value, as you can let them soak up the sun a bit while the weather is nice.
Most dogs want to be with their families as much as possible (aside from a few “loner” breeds, such as Great Pyrenees and Chows). But, Boxadors really hate being away from their people. This is to be expected, as both Boxers and Labrador Retrievers are pretty clingy too.
So, you may want to look for some other breed if you think you’ll be away from the home for long periods of time. Otherwise, your Boxador is likely to become sad, frustrated, anxious and bored, which will generally elicit destructive behaviors.
They’ll certainly learn to tolerate you leaving to run errands for a few hours, but you should strive to be with your new pet as much as possible – even if you aren’t paying him direct attention, he’ll appreciate the company.
Swimming is a popular pastime for many dogs, but some breeds are typically more interested in swimming than others. Nevertheless, most Boxadors simply love jumping in the pool or splashing around at the local pond. However, you must be cautious when your Boxador first starts trying to swim, as they’re not exactly well-designed for the activity.
Many short-faced breeds (termed brachycephalic by vets and scientists) have difficulty breathing properly, and although Boxers have longer faces than Pekingese or Pugs do, their faces are still rather short. They also have big, barrel-shaped chests, which can further complicate their efforts to swim. So, while some Boxers swim willingly and capably, others struggle mightily.
However, while most Boxadors have relatively short faces and big chests, they also have many traits of their other parent breed. And there are few dogs in the world that are as well-built for swimming as Labrador Retrievers are. Most Labs are completely at home in the water, and they even feature adaptations (such as webbed paws and paddle-like tails) to help them get around while dog paddling.
This helps to offset some of the challenges Boxers face while swimming. So, just be sure to watch your dog carefully the first few times he jumps in the water. If he appears to swim well and enjoy the activity, you can feel free to let him swim often (just be sure you always supervise him when he’s in the water).
We’ve touched on most of the basic facts about Boxadors and their care requirements, but just to review and wrap everything up, we’ve put together this FAQ section in case you had any lingering questions or needed additional clarification.
Most Boxadors reach about 55 to 80 pounds in weight, and they usually stand about 21 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder.
Boxadors are usually loving, gentle and affectionate with their families, although they are extremely playful, and they can occasionally be a bit rambunctious.
Boxadors are likely among the best dogs for families with children.
Although there are exceptions, most Boxadors get along well with other pets.
No. Boxadors only require regular baths and a good brushing once per week.
Boxadors require at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise or vigorous play each day, in addition to twice-daily walks.
Boxadors are fairly long-lived dogs, who may reach 14 years of age if provided with good care.
Absolutely – Boxadors are sweet, smart and eager to please their owners.
As you can see, Boxer Lab mixes are very interesting dogs, who deserve more attention than they usually get. They exhibit a great combination of traits and characteristics, and they’re produced by two of the most popular breeds in the world. Most people will find that they make great companions and quickly become full-fledged members of the family.
Just be sure you review the information above and heed the advice given. This way, you’ll be ready to give your new Boxador everything he needs to live a long, healthy and happy life.
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