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.
Before you decide on a Boxer Lab Mix, it is very important to do your research to ensure you can provide them what they need. Hopefully, this article will give you the basics you need to get started on making your selection.
But, if you are just interested in the Boxer Lab Mix basics, you can check out the table below:
Boxer Lab Mix: Quick Overview
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
Important Facts About the Boxer Lab Mix
Some of the important facts about the boxer lab mix are listed below:
1. Some breeders produce Boxadors on purpose, but some are the result of accidental breedings.
Boxers and Labrador Retrievers are both great purebred 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 Boxer Lab Mix dogs 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 rescue and adopt them for a nominal fee.
Although it may be more difficult to find an “accidental” Boxer Lab Mix puppy than by simply going to the dog breeder, some owners find more reward in adopting a puppy from a shelter than from a breeder.
2. Boxer Lab mixes typically resemble both of their parents.
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 there are exceptions abound, but the majority of Boxer Lab Mixes have a relatively characteristic build and look. So if you like the look of this particular pup, you can rest assured that your dog will likely look similar.
Generally, Lab Boxer mixes exhibit the classic Boxer face, and many have the upright, chest-out posture the dog 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 Labrador Retriever do, but others will lack them, as their Boxer parent does. So although their look will remain rather consistent, there will still be differences in traits that will make your canine especially unique!
3. Labrador Retriever Boxers are susceptible to a few health problems.
The Boxer and Labrador Retriever is a fairly healthy dog breed, but they do experience a number of common health problems. And unfortunately, many of these health problems also afflict the Lab Boxer mix, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for some of the most common health issues. As always with a dog, be sure to visit a vet if you think your Boxador is experiencing any issues.
Some of the most notable health problems in the Boxer Lab Mix include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
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 Boxer Lab mix 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. It is important to do your research to be sure you select the puppy that is best for you.
4. Almost all Boxadors are great with kids.
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 have a personality that is 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, generally, the Boxador 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.
So be sure to take all the usual steps you would in ensuring that your Lab Box Mix and child interact safely. Be sure that your dog has proper socialization around children from a young age.
But you can rest assured knowing that this mixed breed is notorious for having a good temperament around kids.
5. The Boxer Lab Mix is typically very fun-loving and playful.
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 Retriever parents), yet they’re also very adept at the kind of free-spirited play that Boxers usually engage in.
Like both parent breeds, the Boxer Lab Mix is usually an incredibly friendly dog, 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. These are energetic breeds, so be sure that they have ample play-time!
6. The Boxer Lab Mix requires pretty tough chew toys.
Both Boxers and Labradors love to chew, and once again, the Boxador takes after its 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 indestructible chew toys for aggressive chewers, so be sure to check that out if you have your heart set on a Boxer Lab Mix. Chew toys like this can help keep your pup occupied and also ensure that they don’t chew through anything that is important to you.
7. A Lab Boxer Mix can make a great emotional support dog or therapy dog.
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. This makes these mixed breeds ideal for emotional support.
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. You can tell a lot about a dog by how it behaves like a puppy, so be sure to do your due diligence when picking your canine out of the litter.
8. You’ll want to take good care of your Boxador’s hips.
Unfortunately, hip problems are pretty common in a Boxer Lab Mix. 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. It is an unfortunate reality of owning one of these dogs, but definitely something you want to look out for.
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. These are pre-emptive steps that could prove invaluable in keeping your Boxador happy and healthy.
9. Most Boxer Lab mixes get along well with other pets.
A lot of pet owners have more than one pet, so inter-pet harmony is often at the front of their minds. 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 Boxer Lab mixes 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).
This is just another factor that makes a Boxer Lab Mix a pretty easy choice in many circumstances, whether they are your first pet or your fifth.
10. You’ll need to start training your Boxer Lab Mix at an early age.
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. It is often the case that puppies like to bite instinctively, so it is especially essential to curb this behavior in dogs that will end up being the size of a Boxador.
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 training your puppy while they are young, use only positive reinforcement, and keep things fun, and you’ll likely find that your Boxador loves being trained.
So whether you want to train your Boxer Lab Mix puppy yourself or take it to obedience training, just be sure that you do it while they are young.
11. Boxadors need a good food for big dogs.
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. As usual, it is often a good idea to consult with your vet when deciding on a diet for your dog.
We recommend 10 of the best foods for large dog breeds, but you’ll want to look for foods that:
- Are fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin, as both of these supplements can help protect joints and encourage the production of new cartilage.
- Have at least one or two ingredients that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation (particularly that which affects the joints). They also help keep your dog’s coat looking its best.
- Incorporate probiotics into the recipe. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help promote proper digestion and regularity.
12. Boxadors may suffer from coat and skin problems.
There are at least 23 different types of skin infections that afflict dogs, and the Boxer and Labrador Retriever is 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. And remember, when in doubt, take your dog to a vet instead of risking it.
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). The Boxer Lab Mix is a low-maintenance dog as far as grooming is required, but they still require love and attention to keep them clean and healthy.
13. Lab Boxer dogs can adapt to apartment life if given enough exercise.
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.
So while a Boxer Lab Mix can technically adapt to apartment life, it is much more recommendable to provide them with a backyard that they can run around in as they please.
14. Boxadors do not like being left by themselves all day.
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.
So be sure that before deciding on this dog breed that you know you are able to commit the time necessary to keep them happy. It is only fair that your companion receives the time and attention that they crave.
15. Many Boxer Lab mixes love to swim.
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. This will depend on your dog, so be sure to keep a close eye on them if you are unsure of their swimming prowess.
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 a Labrador Retriever is.
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 is why it is such a toss-up as to whether your Boxer Lab Mix will be well-suited to the water.
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).
Boxer Lab Mix FAQs
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.They can also occasionally be a bit rambunctious.
Boxadors are likely among the best dogs for families with children. Although it is always important to keep an eye on the situation.
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. They are energetic dogs but will be happy if they receive the exercise that they require.
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.
Final Thoughts on the Boxer Lab Mix
As you can see, the Boxer Lab Mix is a very interesting dog, which deserves 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.
We hope that our guide has provided you with the necessary considerations to help you make your decision. As usual, the right dog for you depends on your individual circumstances, so much sure to consider everything before you make your choice.
So be sure that you review the information above and heed the advice given. This way, you’ll be ready to give your new Boxador everything they need to live a long, healthy and happy life.
A big-dog lover, successful marketing executive, and website developer, Brian founded Canine Weekly in 2016. Brian lives just outside of Seattle with his wife and child. Brian grew up with labs and the family is eager to get another Labrador once their newborn is a little older. Brian is the former owner of Canine Weekly.