Boxador. Labrabox. Boxalab. These are just a few of the names used to describe a Boxer Lab mix.
People have all kinds of funny names for crossbreeds these days. When I was growing up, we used to call them mutts. And we didn’t ask top dollar for them – most of the time, people would just give crossbreeds away to anyone who promised to be good to the puppy.
These days, people frequently pay more for crossbreeds than they do for purebred dogs. I talked about this in my post, A Chorkie is a Mix, Not a Breed!and I ranted even more in Why You Should Walk Away From Teacup Dogs. I pretty much suggested, in these two posts, that most crosses should not be bred. But I said that in the context of small dogs that are actually bred for defects – abnormally small size, exaggerated features, and other things that can make them vulnerable to illness and pain as long as they live. I did not mean good, solid crosses like a Boxer Lab mix.
Okay, I don’t like most “blend” names. “Chorkie” makes me want to hurl, and so does “Pekapoo.” Likewise Shihuahua, Doxiepoo, Yorkiepoo and Yorkihuahua. Having admitted to that (and maybe it’s my preference for large dogs coming to the fore), I actually don’t mind terms like Boxerman (Boxer/Doberman cross), Labradoodle (Labrador/Standard Poodle cross), Sheprador (German Shepherd/Lab cross) and Rotterman (Rottweiler/Doberman cross). Or maybe it’s just that the large breed blend names don’t sound so darn cutesy.
Generally speaking, I do prefer that people simply say “Breed X/Breed Y cross.” But since people insist on using “blend” names, I’m going to admit to a personal preference for“Boxador” when referring to a Boxer Lab mix. It has kind of a strong, noble, elegant feel to it – as though it could be an actual breed instead of a cross.
I’m also going to say at the outset that I think a Boxer Lab mix is worth breeding. Not necessarily worth paying a small fortune for, but definitely worth breeding.
Why Do I Think Boxadors are Worth Breeding?
Well, first off, you guys know that I love Boxers. Janice and Leroy have enriched my life for many years, and I can’t imagine my life without them. But if Janice had “jumped the fence,” or if a Lab had jumped the fence to be with her in a romantic sort of way, would I have been overly upset?
Most likely not. Boxers are wonderful dogs, so energetic, playful and affectionate. And Labrador Retrievers are sweet natured, kind and loyal. I think that a breeding between Janice and a Lab, although not what I might choose, wouldn’t exactly have been the end of the world. There are surely worse things than a mix of two breeds that each have highly desirable characteristics.
The Boxer Lab mix is steadily increasing in popularity across the United States, probably to some extent due to the fact that both parent breeds are very recognizable, and known for their good looks and kind nature. In fact, the Labrador Retriever has been the most popular breed in America for the past 26 years, and I have more than once heard Boxers referred to as “dogs of most beautiful ugliness.” I’m not sure who coined the phrase, but I’ve heard it over and over. It’s not surprising that Boxer Lab mixes should be considered a desirable cross.
One thing I’ve observed over the years is that people can be every bit as passionate about the crossbreed of their choice as others can be about their favorite purebred. Owners of Boxer Lab mixes are no exception, and many will tell you that when it’s time for their dog to go to the Rainbow Bridge, the only thing that will suit them will be another Boxador.
What Does a Boxer Lab Mix Look Like?
There is probably no definitive answer to this question, other than to say that a Boxer Lab mix should look something like a Boxer, and something like a Labrador Retriever. The offspring could take on the characteristics of either, or both, parents, and it won’t matter much whether the father is a Boxer and the mother a Lab, or vice versa. For instance, if you bred a fawn Boxer to a chocolate Lab, you might end up with a dog that has the short snout and triangular ears of the Boxer, but the chocolate coloring of the Lab. Alternatively, the result could be something along the lines of a very solid, stocky dog with the fawn coloring of the Boxer but the longer snout of the Labrador. There really isn’t any “standard” for the Boxador, because it is a mix – not a breed.
Keep in mind, too, that because you’re combining two breeds, and there’s always the chance that a one breeding might result in puppies that have a greater resemblance to one parent than to the other, while a second breeding using the same parents might have the opposite result. Then a third litter might be a nearly 50/50 blend of the two – but you can never be sure of what you’re going to get.I do have to say, though that all of the Boxer Lab mixes I’ve looked at online have been exceptionally beautiful dogs.
It’s hard to determine how big your Boxer Lab mix is going to be. Boxers come in various sizes – my Janice and Leroy are each about 90 pounds, but there are smaller Boxers out there that are only about half their size. Labs usually weigh anywhere from 55 to 70 pounds. So, with a Boxador, you’re probably going to have a medium- to large-size dog, with a whole lot of variation in the weight. It’s safe to say that your Boxador puppy will not be small.
Given the potential size of your Boxer Lab mix, this means that you will have a dog that needs a lot of vigorous exercise. It also means that if you’re a bit of a lightweight, early training isn’t just advisable, as it is with all breeds – it’s a must if you’re going to be able to handle the dog effectively. At the puppy stage, you will need a reliable leash and a good collar. Because puppies can be squirmy, and could slip the collar, a harness is an even better idea. For your adult Boxador, a strong leash and collar that is suitable for a large dog would be advisable.
Boxadors are no different from any other dog when it comes to training in that they respond best to positive reinforcement, not to harsh treatment. If you’re not sure exactly how to go about training your Boxer Lab mix, you can consult a professional, or get a book about training your puppy. Most people can handle training on their own, but if you feel that you’re not up to the task, it’s far better to get some assistance rather than letting things go too long and ultimately finding out that you’re in over your head.
Boxers and Labs are both very “needy” dogs, so it’s pretty much a given, when you mix the two, that you will end up with a dog that is happiest spending time with you. Both breeds are known to be very good with children, so if you have kids in your family, you can likely rest easy in the belief that a Boxador will be a good choice. Boxer Lab mixes will usually be gentle with kids of any age, although because of their size it will be best to be cautious when they’re around toddlers – a small child could easily be bowled over during exuberant play.
If you want a dog that is going to look after your kids, a Boxer Lab mix is a great choice. Both breeds are very protective and loving. However, you should make sure to properly socialize your Boxador – this is a type of dog that will be very amenable to interacting with strangers, but you also want to make sure that his protective nature doesn’t preclude being friendly with other humans.
Boxers and Labs both love to work, so you want to make sure that your Boxer Lab mix has plenty to do. Vigorous exercise is a must for a Boxador – he will want to go for two or three walks each day, and will also love playing out in your yard or at the dog park. This is another area where the Boxador is great with kids – this mix has a lot of energy, and will be happy chasing a ball or a Frisbeeall day long. In fact, your kids might wear out before your Boxador does.
You won’t have to worry much about grooming with your Boxer Lab mix. Boxers are short-haired and Labs are medium-haired. Most of the time with this type of cross, the puppy will take on the Boxer coat, having smooth, short, easily-groomed hair that won’t shed much. You’ll just need a good brush that is appropriate for a short-haired dog.
You have probably heard that when breeds are crossed, much of the time the health conditions that can be prevalent in one breed are “bred out.” And it is true that when you introduce genes from another breed, the chances of health issues are reduced. This is even more so when the parents of the puppies are not closely related – and if they’re of different breeds, then obviously they’re unrelated.
There are some health issues, though, that can be passed on from a single parent, and there are some health conditions that are common in both Boxers and Labs. One such disease is hip dysplasia. However, if both parents of the litter are cleared for hip dysplasia, you will not likely have to worry about it in your Boxer Lab mix puppy. With any breed of dog, though, you should have regular veterinary checkups to rule out any problems.
Generally speaking, a good diet and regular exercise will be sufficient to keep a Boxer Lab mix in good health. And of course it should go without saying that you need to keep your dog’s shots up to date. Every dog needs to be vaccinated against parvo, rabies and distemper, and other shots could be needed as well depending on the area in which you live. Your vet can advise you as to which shots your Boxer Lab mix will require.
A Labrador Retriever will usually have an 11-12 year lifespan. Boxers are slightly less long-lived, with a lifespan of 9-10 years. Accordingly, you can expect your Boxador to live 9-12 years.
It’s worth noting, too, that crossbreeds in general tend to live longer than the average lifespan for either parent. There hasn’t been any research done on the Boxador, but I can tell you, just anecdotally, that a friend of mine had two Boxadors that lived to the ripe old age of 16.
If you’re looking for a crossbreed you could do a lot worse than a Boxador. A Boxador is a mix of two outstanding breeds, the sweet, gentle Lab and the noble, loyal Boxer.
Boxadors are great family dogs, wonderful with children and willing to socialize with outsiders like the next-door neighbor, the mailman, the UPS guy, and others who might venture into the Boxador’s space. Properly trained and socialized, a Boxador is a credit to both the Labrador and the Boxer breeds, and a joy to have around.
If you have a preference for large dogs, but want a family pet that will be good adults and kids, then I would definitely recommend considering the Boxador. Sometimes, the best choice really isn’t one breed or the other – it’s a combination of the two. So if you love Boxers, and you love Labs, a Boxer Lab mix might be a very good idea when it comes to choosing a dog for you and your family.