I really haven’t talked much about Boxers in my posts. Okay, now stop that! Yes, you – you who are reading this! You’re saying “C’mon, Ash, you’re always talking about Janice and Leroy!”
Okay, that’s true. But I’ve been talking about my dogs as they relate to me, and to other dogs. I haven’t been talking about Boxers as a specific subset of dog breeds. What I mean when I say that I haven’t talked about Boxers is that I haven’t featured the Boxer as a “Breed of the Week,” haven’t talked about their health problems or their nutritional needs or whether Boxers make good service dogs or— well, you get the idea.
Mainly I’ve avoided dealing specifically with Boxers because I don’t want to appear to have a bias. Although I do.
Anyway, I’ve reminded myself (as I often remind my readers) that this is my blog, and that means I can talk about whatever I please. This time around, I want to talk about Boxers, and the best Boxer dog toys.
Many of us who frequent the dog park have been pretty busy post-Christmas – I know, I know, I’m supposed to say “holidays” in the interest of political correctness, but just what freakin’ holiday do people think we celebrate in December?
Sorry, that was a digression! Back to the point. We’ve all been busy, so my main group hasn’t been together as a complete unit for a while. A few days ago, though, most of the gang was there, and we were talking about what we’d gotten our dogs for Christmas presents. Pretty much all of us had chosen Kong Toys, regardless of size, breed or age of dog. Al says the Kongs are just about the only toys his Saint Bernard, Otis, doesn’t destroy in no time flat. Debbie bought two Kongs – one for Chuck, her Beagle, and another for Dingus, the lamentably-named Mini Schnauzer she inherited from her deceased aunt (see No Dogs for Seniors for more on that story).
Joanne, the obviously rich woman with the little bat-eared purse dog, Pierre (see 23 Crazy or Just Plain Stupid Things Some People Think About Dogs) actually seems to be fitting into our group a bit. Go figure! I think she’s lonely, and we’re a pretty welcoming lot. And she’s actually letting Pierre out of the purse lately so he can play with the rest of the crew!
Anyway, Joanne wanted to know what I’d gotten Janice and Leroy in the way of presents. I couldn’t resist yanking her leash (or, I suppose, Pierre’s, which was new for Christmas, heavily bejeweled, and probably worth more than my house), so I said “A couple of cardboard boxes and some paper bags.”
She just gaped at me, and then said, “No, Ash, really! You must have gotten them presents. What are the best Boxer dog toys?”
So, I admitted that I had, indeed, gotten Janice and Leroy a couple of presents, and told Joanne my theories on the best Boxer dog toys, and let her in on what I got my two for Christmas. A bit later, I’ll tell you what I bought them, too. But first, I want to talk a bit about Boxers in general. Why? Well, because I love talking about Boxers, and as I’ve previously stated, I can do what I want here! LOL!
About the Boxer
If you were to ask me where Boxers got their name, I’d have to tell you that my research hasn’t really revealed anything conclusive. They do tend to use their paws a lot, to bat things around and to ask for attention, and in other words, I suppose, to box – Janice and Leroy both paw at me when they feel I’m not giving them enough attention. It’s behavior that I probably should correct, but I don’t, because a) it doesn’t bother me, b) it’s cute, and c) on my list of behavioral issues to correct, it doesn’t even make the top 10. Most researchers seem to think that “Boxer” is likely a derivative of one or more German or Bavarian words used to describe the breed,but that the words have been corrupted.
The breed itself is fairly new, having been developed in the late 1800s. The Boxer is, however, believed to go back to the 18th century Bullenbiesser, a breed that is now extinct but which had many of the characteristics of today’s Boxer – the solid build, large head and muscular body.
As you probably know, if you are a regular reader and have enjoyed my stories about Janice and Leroy, Boxers are fun-loving dogs that are very playful, highly energetic, and often prone to very silly behavior. They’re not all sunshine, rainbows, and happy goofiness, though – Boxers can be stubborn, so they’re not necessarily well-suited to novice owners. However, if you have a certain amount of patience, and don’t mind putting up with a dog who might want his own way a lot of the time (and who, by the way, will snore and fart all night long if you allow him to share your bed), you might do very well with a Boxer.
How Do Boxers Play?
When choosing the best Boxer dog toys, you should first think about how Boxers like to play. Boxers are very energetic dogs, so you need to walk a Boxer regularly. Long, brisk walks are best, and you should walk your Boxer at least once a day. Between walks, nothing will please your Boxer more than play time with you. This is especially important during the puppy stage.
Now, as to the puppy stage, many Boxer breeders and owners believe (as I do) that Boxers are unique in that they remain puppies (at least in their own minds) long after they have actually finished growing into adulthood. In fact, the conventional wisdom is that a Boxer may still be very much a puppy mentally up until he reaches the age of at least 3 physical years. You can channel a lot of this energy through obedience training, but since Boxers are such fun-loving dogs, regular, vigorous play is very important.
If it sounds as though this is going to be too much for you to cope with, then a Boxer may not be the best dog breed for you. On the other hand, if you have kids, you can hand off a lot of the “play” requirements to the younger set. Boxers typically love kids and are gentle with them, although you’ll want to supervise your dog with smaller kids who could end up being knocked over out of sheer exuberance on the part of your Boxer.
So, the best Boxer dog toys will probably include the ones that the kids like to play with as well – balls, Frisbees and anything else that can be thrown. Boxers love to run, bat things around, and hold things in their mouths, so “fetch” is just about the ultimate game for a Boxer. Just make sure that things don’t get carried away if the kids are a bit on the small side.
Boxers also love to wrestle, and I find there’s nothing more fun than getting down on the floor, or outside on the grass, with Janice or Leroy (or even both!) and just rolling around like crazy. With this type of game, you don’t have to worry about choosing the best Boxer dog toys – you can play just about anytime, anywhere, with no need for any props! Again, though, this might not be the best game for your Boxer to play with small children. I know that neither of my dogs would hurt me on purpose, but honestly, I have ended up a bit bruised from time to time due to vigorous roughhousing with my two.
Okay, so that’s the 411 on Boxer play in general. Now, what about the best Boxer dog toys? I’ve identified a few, and two of them I actually bought for Janice and Leroy. So, without further ado, here are Ash’s 3 best Boxer dog toys.
The Best Boxer Dog Toys
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on toys for your Boxer, although you can. Here’s what I use with Janice and Leroy.
1. Free Stuff
I really wasn’t joking when I told Joanne that I got Janice and Leroy boxes and bags for Christmas, and that they’re among the best Boxer dog toys. You haven’t really laughed until you’ve given a Boxer an open paper bag, and watched him shove his head in it and then try to shake it off. Leroy will do this forever – rinse and repeat – until he ends up destroying the bag. He does the same thing with cardboard boxes, flipping them up onto his head, then tossing his head back and forth until the box goes flying, and then – yes, rinse and repeat.
Sometimes I switch things up by crumpling up the bag and throwing it. He and Janice both love batting crumpled up paper bags around with their paws.
Empty soda bottles also provide my guys with hours of enjoyment, because they make such a lovely noise when batted or bitten.
Of course, Boxers also love to play tug of war, but I find that a lot of the “tug toys” that are available commercially just don’t stand up to those powerful Boxer jaws. My solution is to take old bed sheets, tear them into strips, and braid them. Then I tie off the ends. Even with really vigorous play, these homemade toys will stand up for a long time. Just make sure, if you’re going to try this, that you don’t launder the sheets using bleach before you rip them up and braid them. You don’t want to give your Boxer dog toys that could be potentially toxic.
Just look around your house, though, and you’ll probably find any number of things that you would normally throw away that your Boxer would love to play with. Sometimes, the best Boxer dog toys don’t cost you a thing.
Now, here are two toys that I really love for Boxers, and that I did actually buy as Christmas presents for Janice and Leroy.
Okay, let me start off by saying that tennis balls, when it comes to the best Boxer dog toys, don’t really make the grade in and of themselves. Boxers destroy tennis balls in very little time. That said, though, tennis balls aren’t all that expensive, so you can buy quite a few before feeling any kind of a financial pinch. And Boxers just love to fetch tennis balls!
The problem here is that your arm is probably going to wear out long before your Boxer does. So in addition to the Hyper 4-ball Tennis Ball Launcher being one of the best Boxer dog toys, it’s also one of the best toys for the Boxer’s human. You can play with your dog for a long, long time with this toy, and you might even be able to wear him out before you’re ready to quit.
So okay, if I’m totally honest, I probably bought this more for me than I did for Janice and Leroy. But I know that they both appreciated it, because I was able to throw tennis balls for them to fetch long before my arm would have cried out, “Enough, already!” And because I love them and want them to be happy, I consider this one of the best Boxer dog toys.
Some dogs will absolutely insist that you have to be part of their play activities, and will be very unhappy if they are expected to amuse themselves. This has never really been a problem for me, since I’ve almost always had more than one dog – they entertain one another. If you have just one Boxer, though, you’ll probably find that he’s happy playing alone some of the time, and the Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Cosmos, Luna Ball can be ideal for solitary play, or for play with another dog during odd hours.
Sometimes, I find that I’m writing late into the evening hours. Janice and Leroy aren’t ready for bed just yet, so I put them out in my fenced-in yard with the Luna Ball. It glows in the dark, so they can bat it around with their paws, toss it around, and still find it – I never have to worry about anyone coming in through the open door and looking at me with those soulful brown eyes that so plainly say, “I can’t find my toy; will you help me?”
The other great thing about the Luna Ball is that it’s very sturdy, so even when Janice and Leroy are at their most rambunctious, it stands up to the test. I bought them their first Luna Ball a couple of years ago, and it’s still in good shape.
So, now you know about three of the best kinds of Boxer dog toys. Are there any that aren’t so good? Yes, there are.
I used to buy squeaky toys for Janice and Leroy, but I found that even the sturdiest ones ended up being shredded in little time. Boxers don’t have a really strong prey drive, but the squeaking seemed to activate whatever little prey drive did exist. I also found that rope toys were easily destroyed, which is why I started going with the braided bed sheets instead.
Oh, as a footnote to the bed sheet toys, though, you should probably launder them every so often. Boxers are relentless drooling machines, and anything made of fabric is going to end up smelling pretty bad in very little time.
There you have it – the three best Boxer dog toys, and a bit of a heads-up on what might not be so good. Sometimes, the best Boxer dog toys are the ones that most people don’t think of – boxes and bags, for instance.
Of course Christmas could require something special, and you can certainly feel free to buy your best friend something that shows just how much you love him. He shouldn’t be left out when everyone else is having fun opening pretty packages to find out what might be inside.Your Boxer makes you smile every day, right? In fact, I once saw a print (Okay, okay, I bought it; do you have a problem with that?) that showed an image of a Boxer, and the legend, “If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you made me smile, I would be holding the entire evening sky in the palm of my hand.” So buy him something, wrap it up in pretty paper, and watch him give you that big, goofy Boxer smile while he rips it open.
That’s why, even though I know that Janice and Leroy are perfectly happy with boxes, bags and soda bottles, once a year, I buy them presents.I want to see them smile. This year, they smiled when they got the OxGord BazooK-9 Tennis Ball Launcher Gun and the Luna Ball. I’m already checking out Amazon looking for the best Boxer toys for next year. I’ll let you know how it goes!