Thinking of bringing a Boxador into the family? Then check out our complete guide to the Boxer Lab mix.
Our dogs are our best friends.
So it’s hardly surprising that different canine breeds and mixes really pique our interest.
Of course, our lengthy fascination with pups of all kinds has led to some amazing crosses.
Designer breeds are wide ranging and include some unique pairings.
This includes the breeding of the Boxer with the Labrador Retriever.
The Boxador, as the mix is called, is just as adorable as many of the other designer breeds out there. But should you consider one for your home?
And if so, how exactly do you choose the right dog for your family?
Well, we have created this handy guide to help you understand all about the Boxador.
What to expect, what not to expect, and what is required to keep them happy and healthy.
What Is a Boxer Lab Mix?
The Boxador is a first cross between a Boxer and a Labrador Retriever.
This means that a purebred Boxer was bred with a purebred Lab to create the mixed pups.
What you should know about designer breeds is that the dogs are not breeds in the sense that they are recognized by the AKC.
Dogs like the Boxador are called mixed breeds instead of pure breeds.
So why is this distinction important?
Well, breeding is completed with a certain type in mind. It takes many generations to create a specific breed.
Mixed breeds are a single generation.
With this sort of breeding, you get a mix of genes between the two dogs, where any sort of combination may be seen.
This means a mixture of the temperaments, physical attributes, and medical issues.
With no way of knowing what kinds of traits will be most prominent.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you don’t mind which of the parents, or a mix of both, your puppy turns out to be like.
It also improves their health in some ways, as it opens up the gene pool too.
The Boxer Lab dog has become increasingly popular within the last 20 years.
And they can make wonderful pets, given the right breeding and home.
Let’s take a closer look at Boxers and Labrador Retrievers and how they mix to create the adorable Boxer Lab mix.
First thing’s first, how big is a Boxer Lab mix?
Well, like many of the other physical characteristics, the size is somewhere between that of a Boxer and a Lab.
Boxers are usually between 22 and 25 inches tall and weigh close to 80 pounds on the heavy end.
Labradors are between 22 and 25 inches tall, as well, and can weigh anywhere from 55 to 80 pounds.
Since Boxers and Labradors are so similar in size, you can expect a Boxador to retain the height and weight of both breeds.
Since Labradors are a bit lighter, you may notice that your Boxador retains a weight that is just shy of the 80 pound mark.
Your pup could be at either end of the spectrum.
Labrador Retrievers are likely to live on average 12.5 years. The Boxer is likely to be closer to 10 years.
Mixed breed dogs tend to live on average a little longer than purebred dogs, but this is only a generalization.
You can expect your Boxer Lab mix therefore to live anywhere from 10 to 12.5 years.
Maybe a little longer with a pinch of luck and good health-tested parents.
The Boxer Lab mix has a wonderful temperament.
This has a lot to do with the distinctive personalities of the canines used to create the dogs.
For starters, Labradors are the most popular dog in each and every state.
Of course, we know why.
Labradors are sweet, kind, loyal, and loving.
The good news is you can expect a lot of the same sorts of personality traits in your Boxer Labrador mix.
Labradors also have some puppy-like behaviors (can you say zoomies) well into adulthood.
And you just might see this sort of behavior in your Boxer Lab mix dog.
The stress-free training that is so common with Labradors definitely bleeds into the personality of the mix too.
Boxers have many of the same personality traits as Labrador Retrievers.
They are considered the perfect family dogs, with loyal and eager attitudes.
Boxers are often described as fun-loving as well, so they are always ready for a bit of play time.
The activity level of the Boxer is similar to that of the Labrador.
However, Boxers are a bit busier than Labs, and they can be a tad stubborn too.
Boxer Lab Mix Personality
In general, a Labrador will be a bit more overly friendly with strangers and other dogs.
A Boxer could be a little more aloof with people outside their family.
This is where the differences come in.
Because Boxers have, in some cases, been bred to be guard dogs and have some guarding instincts.
If you want a Boxer Lab mix as a family pet, this is not an ideal trait.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reduce the likelihood of your Boxer mix guarding you or your home.
The first is to make sure you meet the Boxer parent and see that they are completely at ease in your presence as a stranger.
The second is to socialize your puppy.
Boxer Lab Mix Socialization
Due to the potential for guarding from your pup’s Boxer side of the family, socialization is important.
From the day you bring your puppy home, ensure that you have guests to the home on a daily basis.
Make sure they greet the puppy happily and give him a treat upon arrival.
Take your puppy everywhere they might visit as an adult. The gas station, the school, the pet store.
Let lots of difference ages of people make a fuss of your pup.
This familiarization with new faces will help your Boxer Lab mix to not feel the need to guard as she grows up.
Boxer Lab Mix Training and Exercise
Coming from two intelligent, lively breeds, this mix will need plenty of attention.
Both Boxers and Labs can become bored and destructive when left unoccupied for too long.
The Boxer Lab mix is not suited to a home where the family is out for much of the day.
Make sure you commit to training, exercise, and socialization sessions every day too.
The Boxer wins out when it comes to no fuss grooming, since the canines have short coats.
When it comes to Labradors, they have a double coat, so they need a bit more grooming.
Boxer mixes tend to have hair that is more closely related to that of a Boxer.
Since the Boxador has thin and short hair, shedding might seem like it is not a big concern.
But Labradors are extremely high shedders, so your pup could have inherited this trait.
To remove hair effectively, invest in a brush with a shedding blade.
These tools remove loose hair before they are able to fall away from your pup.
They release loose skin cells, as well, to minimize the dander in your home.
Boxer Lab Mix Health
Now that you know a little bit about some of the characteristics of the cuddly canines, let’s talk a bit about health and how your dog may be affected by certain genetic issues.
As previously mentioned, you are likely to see a wide range of combinations when it comes to breeding purebred dogs like the Labrador and Boxer.
Combinations may mean the presence of health issues.
So knowing about some of the most common ones that are present in Labradors and Boxers can help you choose the healthiest pup possible.
Labrador Health Issues
Labrador Retrievers sometimes have medical issues, and some are associated with orthopedic health.
Strictly speaking, orthopedic issues like osteoarthritis are considered developmental or age related.
But they sometimes have a genetic component.
Hip and elbow dysplasia are two examples.
Both of these ailments are caused by the abnormal formation of the joints.
However, symptoms may not appear until later in life when the joints can no longer carry the weight of your canine.
Along with orthopedic issues, some Labradors develop epilepsy.
While the cause is often unknown, some animal experts believe that the condition may be genetic.
An analysis of 792 Labrador Retrievers helped to prove this theory.
Skin allergies are an inherited issue seen in some Labs, and although the medical problem is not serious, it can lead to skin infections.
The condition is called atopic dermatitis, and it affects as many as 10% of all Labrador Retrievers.
Heart problems are common to Labradors too, and genetics may be linked to congenital issues such as defective valves within the heart.
They can also have eye problems and are prone to PRA blindness.
Your pup’s Lab parent should have a minimum of good hip and elbow scores, a recent clear eye test, and be certified PRA clear.
Boxer Health Problems
Boxers have some genetic or hereditary health issues you should know about as well.
One of the most severe and heartbreaking is called aortic stenosis.
This ailment involves the narrow formation of a heart valve, which partially blocks the blood moving to the aorta.
Aortic stenosis is a complicated disease that involves a wide variety of genes, but these genes have not been identified.
Unfortunately, the condition can lead to congestive heart failure and sudden, premature death.
Cardiomyopathy is a common ailment too, and this means the heart muscles become enlarged and restrict blood flow.
Hip dysplasia is an issue with Boxers, much in the same way that it is problematic with Labs.
Another concern to know about is autoimmune thyroid disease.
Specifically, this disease, which later develops into hypothyroidism, is an issue that affects many dogs, including Boxers.
In fact, an MSU study showed that Boxers are one of the top five breeds that are likely to develop the illness.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the hormones that your canine’s body needs for proper metabolic function.
While the illness is not life threatening, it is a chronic one that requires lifelong treatment.
The Boxer parent must have a minimum of good hip scores, a clear recent eye test, and no family history of heart disease.
Responsible breeders and animal lovers know that health and genetic well-being is important.
This is especially true when it comes to breeding dogs, like Boxers and Labrador Retrievers, that can present with a number of different ailments.
Many different diseases can be identified using DNA tests and X-rays.
At-home or mail-in tests are inexpensive and easy to use, so make sure your trusted breeder is using them.
They should supply you with results so you know that your pup is a healthy one.
Veterinary records that show a good health record and sophisticated DNA tests completed by an animal expert are always a great option, as well, to ensure health and well-being.
Of course, you want to give your brand new canine companion a quick inspection yourself.
Look for any obvious signs of illness like lethargy, excessive crying and whimpering, or poor overall muscle tone.
Inspecting the parents and looking for gait problems or other issues is definitely a smart move too.
Make sure both parents have clear eye tests from less than a year ago and good hip scores.
Make sure the Lab parent is also PRA clear and has good elbow scores. The Boxer parent should have no family history of heart disease.
A good breeder will help you to meet both parents, even if the father is not resident.
Meeting the Boxer parent is important to avoid potential guarding problems.
Boxadors are not purebred dogs. They are truly a mixed breed, but litters are birthed thanks to purebred Labradors and Boxers.
This means that you are more than likely to pay purebred prices for the designer Boxer Lab mix puppies.
In some situations, designer dogs cost more than purebred ones.
This depends on your location, but you should not be surprised if a breeder charges $1,500 to $2,000 for a designer dog.
If you are left feeling a bit tight in the wallet at this point, then you can relax a bit.
Since both Labradors and Boxers are common dogs, then mixed Boxer and Lab mix puppies should be well below the $1,000 price range.
If the parents are not purebred, then a price below $500 is more than reasonable.
Boxer Lab Mix Rescue
When it comes to Boxadors, the commonality of the Labrador (America’s favorite dog after all!) and the Boxer can work in your favor.
You might just get lucky enough to find a mix in your area to adopt.
If you want the real thing when it comes to a designer pup, then there are rescues that specialize in the adoption of these dogs.
Also, the AKC has a large network of purebred dog rescue groups.
Some purebred organizations will rescue designer pups along with their other dogs and adopt them out to families all across the country.
Take a look at some of the Labrador Retriever and Boxer rescues to see if there is one near you that you can contact about this.
Is a Boxer Lab Mix the Right Dog for Me?
So you might be wondering now if Boxer Labrador puppies are right for you.
Well, if you want a loving companion that you can spend time running, playing, and lounging in the house with, then the Boxador may be a great addition to your home.
Of course, you need to encourage the energetic side of your pup.
And if you have children, then your canine’s activity level will fit right into your home.
However very small children can be easily bounced by big energetic dogs.
You will also want to be extra careful about the potential guarding issues and diligently socialize if you have kids or visiting children.
There are some health issues to be aware of when it comes to the Labs and Boxers bred to create the Boxador, so look into health assessments closely before adopting.
In a good home with plenty of company during the day, exercise, training, and socialization, a Boxer Lab mix can make a lovely pet.
Some more articles on our canine friends:
- Jaggy A, Faissler D, Gaillard C, Srenk P, Graber H. Genetic aspects of idiopathic epilepsy in Labrador retrievers. J Small Anim Pract. 1998 Jun;39(6):275-80.
- Boxers with thyroid submissions to Michigan State University between Jan. 1, 2001, and April 1, 2002. Information provided by Peter Graham, D.V.M., Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Michigan State University, May 2002
- Nerea Bartolomé. A Genetic Predictive Model for Canine Hip Dysplasia: Integration of Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) and Candidate Gene Approaches. PLoS One. 2015; 10(4): e0122558.
Published online 2015 Apr 13. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122558
- Mental Floss
- O’Neill, DG et al 2013 Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England. The Veterinary Journal.