Anyone care for double the trouble, but twice the fun?
If you just held your hand up then a beagle-boxer mix could be the right dog for you!
These muscular medium sized dogs are a hybrid between a beagle and a boxer, both breeds being notorious (some might even say ‘infamous’) for being big canine characters, which is code for saying boisterous and outgoing. But both these breeds are also dogs with a big heart, which are too busy being nosy or looking for food to bother about being aggressive.
The prospective owner of a beagle-boxer puppy needs to know exactly what they’re letting themselves in for, the good and the bad, so let’s find out more about this appealing hybrid dog.
In the same way that a Cocker spaniel cross poodle is a cavapoo, so a boxer mixed with beagle is a bogle. This blend of two distinct breeds is known as a ‘hybrid’ or as some term them a ‘designer dog’.
The original idea behind hybrid dogs was to create a dog with desirable characteristics from each parent, combined in the pup. For example the Labradoodle was originally bred as a low shedding family dog, but they quickly sky-rocketed in popularity because of their general all round adorableness.
Whilst this genetic cocktail is great in theory, in practice there is no guarantee which characteristics from either parent will dominate the puppy. This may be fine if you aren’t too worried if your bogle has the white, black, and tan marking of a beagle, rather than the boxer brown, but is more problematic when it comes to health.
Imagine the scenario where a puppy inherits the ‘bad’ genes from each parent for breed related health disorders. This can’t be ruled out so the prospective beagle-boxer mix owner (as for any hybrid breed) should approach getting a puppy with their eyes open to the potential problems.
To better understand these, let’s look at the health problems linked to the parent breeds.
• Hip dysplasia
• Cancer (especially mast cell tumors)
• Heart disease (development problems of the major blood vessels, and a heart rhythm disturbance)
• Under active thyroid glands.
• Back problems (disc disease)
• Hip dysplasia
• Under active thyroid glands
• Cherry eye
With this in mind any budding pet parent should be sure they have financial provision in place to meet the need for veterinary care should their pet become ill.
Why Chose a Beagle Boxer Mix?
OK, so who is the perfect owner for these four-legged personifications of energy and enthusiasm?
For a start you need plenty of space because both dogs love to be active. Think of a beagle following a scent trail all day and then cross that with the kangaroo-like ability of the boxer to bounce and act nutty, and you appreciate the nature of the challenge.
To this end you need to provide exercise…and plenty of it. These are not one, 20 minute walk round-the-block dogs, but need to be able to run and chase, and really feel the wind through their fur at least two to three times a day.
On the plus side, there’ll never be a dull moment as these intelligent dogs with a love of sniffing and following a scent, find all sorts of ways to get into trouble. Again, a reasonable sized yard with a sturdy fence is a boon, along with the beagle part comes the urge to escape and explore impeded by their pet parent.
You also need to be committed to training your dog, which is no mean feat as they are easily distracted and prone to divert their considerable brain power to ways of avoiding doing what they’re told. This doesn’t mean a beagle boxer mix can’t be trained, but rather that you’ll need to stick with it and train every day.
This isn’t meant to deter the truly dedicated, but merely give a realistic impression of life dominated by a beagle boxer mix. The payback is a wonderful canine companion without a nasty bone in his body who loves life and will brighten yours beyond compare. Read more on dogstruggles.com
Beagle Boxer Vital Statistics
These dogs are medium-sized and muscular, standing around 35 – 50 cm at the shoulder. On average an adult weighs in at 20 – 30 kg, with this depending on whether they take after the larger boxer or the smaller beagle part of their heritage.
Paws-onality of the Beagle Boxer Mix
Your bogle is likely to be nosy, intelligent, energetic, and easily distracted by nature of their parentage. But more than this, a big influence on their personality is the socialization they received as a puppy.
It is crucial that any puppy is exposed to a wide range of different people, (male, female, tall, short, children) with different tones of voice and mannerisms. This helps the young puppy to register all these different experiences as ‘normal’ and ‘safe’ and mean he grows into a confident, well-adjusted adult.
This opportunity for socialization is a limited one, with the puppy learning fastest up to 12 weeks of age, and tailing off by 18 weeks. Thus the puppy kept in seclusion and rehomed at 4 – 5 months of age is liable to become a nervous, anxious adult.
To this end, be savvy about where you purchase a beagle-boxer puppy from. Do your homework and make sure the breeder is legitimate, rather than a shop window for a puppy farm. Safeguards to look for that mean the breeder is more likely to be genuine include:
• See the puppies with their mother
• Watch to make sure the mother knows the puppies (sometimes a female dog unrelated to the puppies will be put in with the litter.)
• Check the breeder’s reputation online
• Ask for references from people who have purchased puppies from them previously
• Check the puppies are reared within the home, and not kept in an outdoor kennel with little human contact
• Ask the breeder what plans they put in place to socialize the puppies
• Ask to see proof of preventative healthcare for the mother and puppies such as vaccinations and deworming.
• See if the breeder asks as many questions about you, as you do of them (A reputable breeder screens those that buy from them, to ensure their beagle boxer puppies go to good homes.)
On their Best Behavior
Well-behaved beagle boxer mixes don’t happen by magic, you need to work at training them. This can be an uphill struggle given the combo of the beagle and boxer brain, neither of which is great at listening to instruction. However, the secret (or not so secret!) weapon you have at your disposal is food!
Beagle boxer mixes are highly food motivated, they’ll do just about anything for even the most uninteresting looking piece of dry kibble, let alone something ultra-tasty like a cube of cheese.
Your beagle boxer puppy is the perfect candidate for reward based training, which is something to start from day one, with toilet training the day the puppy comes home.
Their first lesson is indeed to put the puppy on your selected toilet spot, and if the little one obliges, heap praise upon their furry head (and a tasty treat). This way they start to learn that emptying their bladder or bowel in a certain place is a sure fire way to getting a reward. And when you love food as much as a beagle-boxer mix does, this is highly motivational.
Which raises the point of how to train your puppy. Always use reward based methods. This works by rewarding the puppy for desirable actions such as “Sit”, so that the puppy is eager to repeat the command in order to win a reward. Of course that positivity comes in many forms other than food, and could be a fuss, praise, or a game with a favorite toy.
Keeping Your Bogle Healthy
Beagle boxer mixes love food! Yes, use treats to train them, but also keep an eye on that waist line. Overfeeding can lead to weight gain which predisposes the dog to problems such as arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease.
Feed a good quality food that contains a good quality protein (such as a named meat), but also be sure to weight the food out each day and avoid overfeeding.
Preventative healthcare is also important to maintain an active and health hound. Issues to address include:
• Vaccinations: Core vaccination and also rabies
• Deworming: Including treatment against common worms such as the roundworms, and deadly worms such as heartworm.
• External parasites: Control unpleasant visitors such as fleas and ticks
• Microchip: A permanent means of identifying your dog.
Even though your bogle has a short coat, be sure to pass a slicker brush over their fur at least once a week. This shifts shed hair and massages the skin, which promotes a glossy coat.
And finally, have fun with your beagle boxer mix. Make the most of having an active dog by engaging with them in activates such as agility, flyball or hiking. By fully engaging with them, you’ll both be happier and fitter for it!
Name: Sarah Robinson
Author bio:Dr Sarah Robinson attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University receiving a D.V.M. in 2008.
Sarah’s longtime interest is to help people to better communicate with their pet companions, and in doing so, to help them to strengthen their relationships with their dogs and cats.