Almost any color, including brindle and fawn
Active families, looking for a large dog with plenty of character
Friendly, active, and good-natured; can have a protective streak if not carefully trained
If you’re looking for a large dog full of character, then we’d like to introduce you to the Boxmas. With an appearance almost as sweet as their name, these dogs are a mixed breed that combines the Boxer and the Mastiff to create an active and fun-loving dog.
While these big dogs certainly do have a gentle streak when it comes to spending time with their families, they also have protective instincts that will kick into action if they feel that any of their loved ones are in danger. This means that early training, including plenty of socialization, is vital if you want your Boxmas to be polite and respectful of strangers.
The Boxmas is a relatively new mixed breed, and as a result, you might not know that much about them. In this guide, we’ll tell you all you need to know about these characterful dogs.
Boxmas Puppies — Before You Buy
It’s almost impossible to visit a litter of puppies and not be tempted to take at least one of them home with you. But before you make that commitment, it’s important to consider whether you can provide everything that a puppy needs to thrive and grow into a well-mannered adult dog.
Both the Boxer and the Mastiff breeds were historically used as protectors or guardians. That means Boxer puppies are highly likely to inherit this instinct to protect and guard their families. While this might seem cute when they’re small, it’s a slightly less endearing prospect when your visitors in the future are faced with a dog who could potentially weigh up to 170 pounds or more. That means it’s vital to make sure any Boxmas puppies receive training and socialization when they’re still small. This will help them grow into well-rounded and obedient adult dogs.
Boxmas puppies also have almost endless supplies of energy, which you’ll need to help them use up with plenty of exercise. Their large size does mean you’ll need to take care not to allow your pup to place excess strain on their growing joints. That means shorter walks, no jumping from heights, and feeding a specific dog food designed for larger breeds.
What’s the Price of Boxmas Puppies?
The Boxmas breed isn’t as well-known as some other hybrid or mixed breeds, but you’ll still find breeders who specialize in these pups. The price you can expect to pay will depend on a range of factors, including the experience of the breeder, whether the parents are registered pedigree dogs, and if the breeder offer to register the puppies with the National Designer Breed Registry.
As a rough guide, you should budget around $300 to $800 to secure your pup. While it might be tempting to choose a cheaper breeder just to save a few bucks, in the long run, this is rarely a sensible decision! Lower prices can sometimes be an indication of poorly-bred pups or a less ethical breeder who hasn’t invested in the correct vaccinations or healthcare for puppies and parent dogs.
It’s always best to go and visit a breeder in person, if possible. They should be more than happy to show you around their facilities, let you meet both parent dogs, and answer any questions you may have. If a breeder seems evasive about any of these issues, then take that as a red flag and continue on your search.
Three Little-Known Facts About Boxmas
1. Boxers and Mastiffs both served as war dogs
The Boxer’s origins lie in Germany, where they became popular in the 1800s as a versatile breed that could turn their paws to many different jobs. They excelled as cattle dogs, watchdogs, police dogs, and guide dogs, as well as serving as war dogs in both world wars. They now frequently rank in the Top 10 of America’s favorite dogs.
Mastiff type breeds have been around for centuries. The Old English Mastiff, frequently just called the “Mastiff,” was used in medieval England as a watchdog, hunter, and war dog. After the Second World War, it was thought that there were only 14 Mastiffs left in the entire United Kingdom. Luckily, U.S. breeders had exported several dogs and began a breeding program to increase their numbers.
2. Boxmas dogs are extremely protective of their families
Thanks to the fact that both the Mastiff and the Boxer have been bred to instinctively protect their families, Boxmas puppies are highly likely to inherit this same trait. While they might be patient and kind with their families, they won’t hesitate to spring into action if they think a stranger or other dog is threatening you.
That’s why it’s essential to start training and socializing your Boxmas puppy as early as possible. Without these training sessions, their protective instinct can soon turn into aggression. You’ll need to be prepared to spend a significant amount of time making sure your large Boxmas knows how to interact safely with both humans and other dogs.
3. Hybrid breeds are often healthier than their pedigree counterparts
While some dog owners are firm believers in purebred breeds, there’s an argument for mixed breeds, or hybrids, too. The increased genetic diversity of mixed breeds can mean that they’re often healthier than their purebred counterparts.
The scientific term for this is “hybrid vigor.” This means that hopefully, your mixed breed Boxmas should be less likely to suffer from inherited health conditions that can result in costly veterinarian bills.
On the flip side, when it comes to mixed breeds, it can be harder to predict particular characteristics of these hybrids in terms of size, appearance, and temperament. Puppies can inherit what seems to be a fairly even mix of both their parent’s traits or end up much more like one than the other. This does mean that it’s a good idea to be prepared for your mixed breed puppy to end up with a wider range of possible characteristics than a purebred dog. As long as you love both the parent breeds, you won’t be disappointed with how your puppy turns out!
Temperament & Intelligence of the Boxmas
Boxmas dogs are fun-loving with a streak of silliness, thanks to their Boxer parentage. While they are a large breed, they’re playful too, so you can look forward to plenty of play sessions in the back yard. Their size does mean they’re more likely to tire themselves out quicker than smaller, more energetic breeds. This gives them a nice balance between activity and rest. After playing or a walk, they’ll be happy to curl up and have a rest for a few hours.
That’s not to say they still won’t be keeping one eye on their families, though. While these dogs are sweet and gentle around their families, their protective natures mean they always want to make sure their owners are safe. This can become an issue if they don’t receive enough training and socialization when they’re young.
The Boxer Mastiff cross is intelligent and will enjoy regular training sessions to keep them mentally as well as physically exercised. While you need to be careful of too much high-intensity activity as your pup is growing up, there’s plenty of games you can play to challenge them mentally. Try food puzzles and low-intensity trick training as ways to keep your gentle yet bright dog’s brain fully engaged.
Boxmas dogs won’t mind being left alone for periods throughout the day, as long as they’ve had plenty of exercise first.
Are These Dogs Good for Families?
Boxmas dogs make fantastic family pets, as long as you keep a few important points in mind. Their kind and loving nature make them suitable for life with children, but their large size and sometimes excitable nature means they can sometimes knock small children over! This definitely won’t be done in malice, but it’s something to keep an eye on during play sessions.
You will need to do a fair amount of training to make sure that family friends are accepted into your home with the minimum of fuss. While you might feel confident around your large-breed Boxmas, bear in mind that their size and stature can make them look intimidating to visitors. Make sure your Boxmas knows not to jump on people. They’ll also need to be well socialized as puppies so they don’t become overprotective of their families to the point that visitors are made to feel unwelcome!
Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?
Boxmas dogs, as a general rule, should get along well with other pets.
Boxers can sometimes tend to become nervous around other dogs of the same sex. This nervousness can sometimes manifest itself as aggression if introductions aren’t managed correctly. Always make sure to introduce new pets to each other slowly and in a controlled environment. Keep the initial meetings short and sweet, and allow each pet somewhere safe they can retreat to if they feel the need.
Things to Know When Owning a Boxmas:
Deciding to add a Boxmas to your family is a big decision and requires both time and money. Before you make your mind up for sure, here are a few more things you should know about this breed first.
Food & Diet Requirements
Because your Boxmas puppy has the potential to grow to a large size, you should select a high-quality puppy food that has been specifically designed for giant breeds. This will have the correct levels of calcium and phosphorous to ensure that their bones grow correctly. It will also have a lower percentage of protein, fat, and calories than foods designed for smaller breed puppies. This is important because you don’t want your Boxmas puppy to grow too quickly, which can result in excessive strain on their developing joints.
Your puppy’s breeder should be able to advise you on a suitable brand. It’s also a good idea to maintain a regular schedule of puppy checks with your veterinarian, who can advise you if your puppy is developing as expected.
Boxmas pups are energetic and will want to spend plenty of time having fun, but you’ll have to be careful that your puppy doesn’t overdo things.
If you’re not prepared to put in a great deal of time training your Boxmas, then this isn’t the breed for you. Your puppy is likely to inherit the work ethic and intelligence of both parent breeds. This means they’ll soon get bored if you don’t keep their brains busy. Boredom sometimes leads to destructive habits, which none of us want to face!
Almost more important is the fact that it’s essential to both train and socialize Boxmas dogs extremely well from a young age. Their natural propensity to guard can easily roll over into aggression if not managed properly. This means it’s up to you, their owner, to make sure they’re well trained enough to allow friends and relatives to visit without your dog feeling the need to protect their family. Puppy training classes are an excellent way to socialize your puppy while having a professional trainer on hand to help with any specific goals you may have.
Both Boxers and Mastiffs tend to get easily bored and switch off from training sessions, so you’ll need to keep things short and sweet. Praise and positive reinforcement are an excellent tool for Boxmas owners. Despite the Mastiff’s huge size, they are sensitive souls, and your Boxmas puppy might pick up this trait. Raised voices during training can worry a Mastiff and may cause them to become disengaged.
- We reviewed the best puppy training treats: check out our top picks here!
The good news here is that the short coat of the Boxmas will be easy to groom. A weekly brush should be enough to keep them looking healthy. When they shed, which will be twice a year, you can up your grooming sessions to help remove any dead hair.
If your Boxmas puppy inherits a more Mastiff-shaped head from one of their parents, then be prepared for the fact that you might need to deal with drool! Mastiffs are notorious droolers, often choosing to stand close to you while they do so!
It’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking your dog’s ears and teeth every time you groom them, and you might want to brush their teeth weekly. You can also check their nails at the same time, but these should only need trimming once a month or so.
Health and Conditions
As mentioned, hybrid or mixed breeds tend to be healthier than their pedigree mates. Luckily in the case of the Boxmas, this is also true. The parent breeds can suffer from a few conditions that may be passed onto their pups, so it’s worth being aware of them just in case.
Male vs. Female
Perhaps by now, you’ve got your heart set on a charming Boxmas as the perfect addition to your family. The only thing left to decide is if you should bring home a boy or girl puppy.
First of all, the most important thing to remember is that each puppy is an individual. Their personalities aren’t necessarily going to be linked to their sex. You might have heard that male dogs are more loyal, only to find out that your pup is the exception to the rule. As such, it makes sense to visit any litter of puppies that you’re interested in with an open mind. While you might have the idea that you want a male puppy, perhaps a female will charm her way into your heart instead?
Something to bear in mind, though, is that Boxers of either sex don’t always get along well with other dogs of the same sex. While your puppy might not inherit this trait, there’s always a chance they might. So, if you already have a female dog, it’s probably a good idea to choose a male puppy and vice versa.
Many hormonal traits will also be smoothed out when your puppy is spayed or neutered. Male Boxmas dogs will tend to be on the larger side and can be more receptive to training. Females are a bit more independent.
It’s fair to say that the Boxmas breed isn’t as well known as some of the other hybrid breeds out there, but it sure does have so much going for it! A combination of intelligence, loyalty, and a sense of fun makes these dogs the perfect companions for active families looking for a large dog with a bit of a difference.
Be prepared to spend plenty of time and effort socializing and training your Boxmas dog, though, to make sure their protective streak doesn’t go into overdrive. They’ll also need an above-average amount of exercise to keep them happy, although this needs to be split into short bursts so they don’t get tired.
Their dedication to their families and gentle protective natures sets the Boxmas apart from many other breeds. If you can give them the combination of love and guidance that they require, you’ll be paid back a thousandfold.
Featured image credit: artbycharlotte, Pixabay