German Shepherd Boxer Mix Guide: 24 Things to Know Before Getting One

The Boxer Shepherd is a crossbreed between a Boxer and a German Shepherd. They are large, enthusiastic dogs with plenty of energy. This type of mix is known to have health issues, and while they’re a beautiful and wildly intelligent, they require plenty of attention and early socialization is key.

Appearance

Boxer Shepherds are generally sturdy, large dogs with floppy ears and dark expressive brown eyes. They are often quite good-looking, and their face usually resembles that of the Boxer with a short muzzle, but it can also have a slender muzzle like a German Shepherd, or a combination of both.

Weight & Height
This mix is a large dog that can average 65 pounds to 95 pounds (29kg to 43kg). It generally grows to be about 23 inches to 27 inches (58 cm to 69 cm) tall. Females are usually a bit shorter and weigh less.

Coat Color
Boxer Shepherds can come in a variety of colors. While their coat is usually brown or brindle, it can also come in gray or black. Additionally, the coat can also be mixed with Boxer characteristics such as black or white spots around the muzzle or chest area.

Coat Length & Thickness
The Boxer Shepherd’s coat can vary depending on which parent it takes after. It can be medium to long, thick, and have a double coat if it takes after its German Shepherd parent. Most of the time, it takes after its Boxer parent with a short length and single coat.

Temperament

The German Shepherd Boxer mix is said to be an even-tempered dog, active, loving, protective, loyal, and playful. Mixed breeds can have unpredictable natures, so you might have a dog with the personality of either of its parents, in this case, the German Shepherd, or the Boxer.

Does Not Like Being Alone
Boxer Shepherds crave affection and are a sensitive breed that will be emotionally hurt with a dirty look from you. Both parents suffer from separation anxiety, so Boxer Shepherds are equally susceptible and might end up exhibiting destructive behavior like digging, barking and chewing, inappropriate toileting, or extreme vocalization.

Is Known To Be Territorial
This mix is known to be territorial, after both of its parents. German Shepherds are territorial by nature, and Boxers, especially females, exhibit episodic territorial and dominance aggression when around other dogs of the same sex. It might help a male dog to calm down if it is neutered.

Will Be Destructive & Demand Bark if Bored
Boxer Shepherds need a lot of mental stimulation and can exhibit destructive behavior and bark incessantly if bored. In 2009, a German Shepherd recorded the second-loudest bark ever – at 108 decibels – so your dog might be loud. Other behaviors it may exhibit include whining, chewing, pacing, and listlessness.

Not Very Aggressive but Its High Energy Can Be Destructive
Since this mix has boundless energy, it needs to be properly controlled. If not, it can end up being boisterous and a bit destructive. Occasionally it can be pushy and dominant, especially when it is overexcited. While it is not aggressive by nature, it can bite if provoked.

Preferred Climate Is Warm Weather
Generally, this mix should be fine in warm to hot weather if it has sufficient shade and cold water. Most Boxer Shepherds generally have single-layered coats like their Boxer parent, so weather under 72℉ could be a problem for them.

Companion or Suitability Factor

The Boxer Shepherd mix makes a great companion. It’s known for its guarding ability and needing to be active for most of the day. They can be suspicious of other people, so early socialization is a must, and it enjoys closely interacting with all members of the family daily.

Kid-Friendly with Caution
Many sources state that a Boxer Shepherd is a great dog for families with children because it is trustworthy, playful, and patient. While that may be true, this mix has a rambunctious personality that may not be optimal for younger children as it can mistakenly knock them down in play.

Is Not Apartment Friendly
The Boxer Shepherd is an incredibly active breed. They are large dogs that are energetic and require plenty of exercise. This mix is not suited to an apartment unless it has adequate exercise and is trained to live in an apartment setting.

Is an Excellent Watchdog
This mix makes an excellent guard dog because of its strength, obedience, and courage. Its parents, the German Shepherd and the Boxer, are both widely used in the military and police and are known to be first-rate guard dogs that are distinguished for their loyalty.

Not Ideal for Senior Citizens
Boxer Shepherds are incredibly active dogs that must be constantly kept busy – both physically and mentally. Since senior citizens usually have reduced activity levels, an older person would likely be better suited to another breed, especially as the person continues to age.

Good Service Dog
The Boxer Shepherd is an ideal service dog and a great emotional support animal. Both its parents are known to be intelligent, alert, vigilant, fun-loving, protective, and good therapy dogs, so the Boxer Shepherd naturally takes after its parents. Its loving and affectionate nature makes it perfect for the task.

Can Get Along with Other Pets if Trained & Socialized Properly
Boxer Shepherds can get along with other pets if they’re either taught to do so from puppyhood or raised with them. This mix can be shy and suspicious when meeting other pets for the first time, so it’s important to get them socialized early.

Okay as a Boat Dog with Caution
While neither the German Shepherd nor Boxer parent is known to be a boat dog, both parents’ breeds have been taken on boats with success. With early socialization, Boxer Shepherds should be okay on boats. This will be highly dependent on your dog’s personality and is something you’ll need to monitor.

Intelligence & Training

While Boxer Shepherds are intelligent, they can be difficult to train. When training it, frequent and short training sessions with positive reinforcement are the most successful. It also helps to start early and be consistent, even if it seems like your Boxer Shepherd isn’t picking up what it’s being taught.

Highly Intelligent
Boxer Shepherds are intelligent. Its German Shepherd parent is the second brightest dog of all breeds and typically able to understand new commands in less than five repetitions and obey the first time 95% or more of the time. Boxers are ranked average, at #90 out of 138 breeds.

Training Could Be Challenging
While Boxer Shepherds are typically intelligent and learn commands quickly, their energy can be overwhelming, making them difficult to train. An inexperienced dog trainer may run into problems with their short attention spans and be cautioned to stay away from food rewards, which may lead to obesity.

Physical Needs


The Boxer Shepherd is an energetic breed that does best with an active lifestyle and multiple meals a day. It also loves various activities, such as jogging and frisbee. Boxer Shepherds can gain weight if overfed, so stick to a regular feeding schedule and limit treats.

Needs At Least One Hour of Exercise Per Day
This mix needs at least an hour of exercise per day, excluding daily playtime. If it does not get sufficient exercise, it can get bored and start exhibiting behavior problems such as chewing. This mix has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years, on average, but this can vary.

Eats 1200 to 2100+ Calories a Day
Since this mix is a large, active dog, a raw or whole meat diet with chicken, lamb, or beef is recommended. Fish oil can aid in keeping its coat healthy and shiny. To prevent bloating, avoid dog foods that have high amounts of fat, soybean, or alfalfa.

Shedding & Bathing
This mix’s coat usually resembles its Boxer parent, with minimal shedding and needing brushing once a week. If its coat resembles its German Shepherd parent, it will shed its undercoat twice per year and need brushing twice per week. Bathing every three months should be sufficient unless it gets dirty.

Background & Pricing for a Puppy

Inquiries into the backgrounds of this type of Boxer Shepherd typically focus on its parents, who have long histories. Not much of the background of the mix is known.

Background
Both parents of the Boxer Shepherd mix originated from Germany. The German Shepherd was developed into an all-purpose working dog before being modified into the foremost preferred K-9 police and military dog in the entire world. Boxers were developed for aggressive tasks such as fighting before becoming a companion dog.

Price for a Puppy
Boxer Shepherd puppies generally cost between US$500 to US$1,500. Since this mix is a relatively new breed of dog, it isn’t common. You might consider adopting from a shelter to save the life of a dog. A rescue dog is cheaper, fully-screened, and usually also comes with a behavior assessment.

Health Issues

Boxer Shepherds are susceptible to multiple health issues as its parent, the German Shepherd, has several health issues from elbow dysplasia to epilepsy and cataracts. Your Boxer Shepherd may get some of them, but hopefully, the breeder has eliminated these issues from the bloodline.

Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus):
Bloat usually comes on two to three hours after eating, or at any time. Your dog may have a hard or distended abdomen, pacing and restlessness, and excessive saliva. If your Boxer Shepherd is exhibiting these symptoms, you need to act quickly as it is a life-threatening condition.

To prevent bloat, some key strategies you can use include not using an elevated food bowl, slowing down your dog’s pace of eating and serving your dog multiple meals in smaller portions. You should also reduce carbs and feed your dog a mix of wet and dry food.

Hip Dysplasia:
This mix is susceptible to hip dysplasia due to its German Shepherd bloodline. Hip dysplasia is an incurable developmental disorder that results in hip joints that are abnormally formed. Eventually, this can lead to hip arthritis, in which your dog will become inactive and lose strength in its legs.

Obesity is a key risk factor of hip dysplasia, so you should monitor your dog’s diet. When your dog is a puppy, it should exercise on soft ground and park-like terrain to prevent it from developing hip dysplasia. Before purchasing your dog, consider getting its hip score for each hip.

About the Author
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.