Convince me to NOT get a boxer puppie

megpie77September 15, 2010

I've been wanting a boxer for about a year now. I'm not even really sure why other than wanting a family pet. I think they are one of the cutest dogs and have heard from friends and family members who have had boxers that they make excellent family pets. We are an active family of 5 (my husband, myself, and three kids under 10yrs old) and walking and exersising the dog would not be a problem. Also, I am a stay at home mom and have the time for training and obedience school which is a must. My husband was raised with dogs and doesn't want one because of the work it involves. It would be my responsibility. My hang-ups are:

1. Last year our kids went camping with family and my husband and I packed a bag and just drove to a neat little town for the night. With a dog we couldn't just leave on a whim. On the other hand that has only happened once in our 10 years of marriage.

2.Second is picking up poo while on a walk and carring it around in a bag.

3.And third is concern of scratched hardwood floors, although our downstars is carpeted. If nails are clipped often would the floors really get all that damaged?

Pros would be:

1.Feeling a better sense of safety when my DH goes out of town on business (only 2xs per year) or in general regardless of who's home.

2.teaching/showing our children responsibility in owning a dog (would probably fall on me though). I've been told by family memebers that every little boy should experience owning a dog-of course this is an opinion.

Hmmm...did I just convince myself? What do you think? Have any of you ever gotten a dog and realised it was an inconvenience?

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Get yourself educated, the breed does have some serious health problems to consider which can quickly rob your savings. Carrying around a bag of dog poo - well if you have had kids then this can not be that bad. As far as being able to jump into a car and just go on a whim, you would be surprised at how many dog friendly businesses that are aout there. The dog probably wont be any harder on the hardwood floors than kids are, they are easy enough to maintain and refinish, putting as much energy into the dog as you do your kids is alot of work, training and walking can take alot. If you are really interested find a boxer rescue in your area and foster a dog for awhile, Good luck

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 12:45PM
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To say that dogs are inconvenient is putting it very mildly. To be honest, they are a big pain in the a$$. There's housebreaking, inappropriate chewing, illness that causes diarrhea or puking all over the carpet (when this happens you'll wish you were carrying it in a little bag).

They have to go out whether there's three feet of snow, three inch thick ice at your doorstep, hurricane winds, sleet, hail, heavy rain, or whether you have to dodge lightening bolts.

They bark, whine, shed, need expensive vet visits, cost a lot to feed if you do it right, wear down the grass and create dead spots and brown bushes in your yard, not to mention the holes they may dig.

All of this on top of what you already mentioned. If you want to travel you have to either arrange to take them with you or pay large kennel or petsitter fees.

In the end, they break your heart because they don't live as long as we do and no matter how much trouble they ever caused you, you'll be extremely sad when they're gone.

I have always and will always have two or three dogs. Why? Because somehow my life doesn't feel complete and my house doesn't feel like a home without them. So, yes! Go and get that dog! You'll never regret it.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 12:52PM
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Yeah, that little poo bag would be a deal breaker for me too. LOL

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 1:27PM
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We had our Boxer for almost 9 years. She had a huge personality, incredibly smart and loving. Just all around wonderful. The trade-off is that very few Boxers live beyond 10. Many pass away much earlier.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 6:38PM
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deb covered all the issues perfectly!

My DS owns a Boxer and I agree that they make wonderful family pets and that the majority are great with kids..... but.....there's a good reason there are so many in rescue. They need LOTS of exercise and I don't mean just walking daily on a leash. DS has a farm with several acres and after seeing how much his dog enjoys just running around on his own, I can't picture the breed in an apt. or a household that doesn't allow it to expend the energy they have.

Before going out and buying a puppy (they're costly) I suggest you first find some Boxer rescues and offer to be a foster parent. That will help you determine if the breed is really the right choice for your family and you won't have added to the number of Boxers needing homes if you decide you made a mistake.

Honestly, forget the #2 Pro. Children never take on the responsibility of caring for the pet and IMO they never should. They should have a pet they can enjoy being with and the 'teaching' part would be for your children to learn how to love animals and treat them as part of your family.
An example: my 3 year old GD loves her Boxer but she really has nothing to do with him except use him as a pillow now and then.

If you get a dog, especially if DH doesn't want one, be prepared for full responsibility.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 6:54PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Do you have a fence? A place for him to run? Will he go out in the street? They need more than a walk each day. They need to run every day.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 10:05PM
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Any inconveniently timed illness can cost upwards of $1000 if it happens weekend, night, or holiday. That's any pet.

Boxers are cancer magnets. They have their own heart disease named after them. They can bloat- or you can get the elective prophylactic gastropexy when young for a mere $200-400 extra if done at time of spay/neuter. Or see #1 above- they bloat and need emergency surgery. Orthopedic issues are also represented, especially hip dysplasia. And allergies are not unknown to boxers. Did I mention cancer?

That said, personality wise I love them. You can't find a happier dog. They can be a bit stubborn and sometimes play too enthusiastically and playmates can get hurt. You'd be responsible for that, too. But once they start the boxer butt wiggle there's nothing that anyone can do to stop their own heart from melting.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 10:27PM
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"Honestly, forget the #2 Pro. Children never take on the responsibility of caring for the pet and IMO they never should. They should have a pet they can enjoy being with and the 'teaching' part would be for your children to learn how to love animals and treat them as part of your family. "

I totally agree. It's really unfair to the dog and to the child to expect this kind of responsibility. It's like asking a child to take responsibility for a baby or a small child. Owning a dog and especially raising a puppy is a lot of work so be prepared for it and learn as much about the breed as you can before you dive in.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 2:29AM
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DON'T get a boxer puppy. Get a grown boxer.

Rescue/shelter dogs (and cats, which I have), more often than not, make fantastic pets. They don't forget that you rescued them. They can be the most loving, devoted, grateful animals. They usually come fully trained. I can't recommend it enough. There are specific breed rescues.

You can get a 1, 2 or 3-year old boxer.

But...any animal such as a dog/cat/rabbit WILL cut into your freedom. You can't estimate how much money you'll have to spend over the animal's lifetime. Some need all kinds of medical attention; while others never get sick a day in their lives.

You have to decide if you want that kind of responsibility for upward of a decade.

Here is a link that might be useful: Boxer Rescue

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 4:05AM
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""Honestly, forget the #2 Pro. Children never take on the responsibility of caring for the pet and IMO they never should."

I choked on my morning coffee when I read that!!!!

Taking the responsibility for a pet is a wonderful learning experience for a child. Both our sons had such a responsibility. For dogs, cats, and horses.

Now, they did not have 24/7 responsibility for every necessary element of the care. They were responsible for daily feeding of the dogs/cats every day and the horses on weekends.

Would it have been easier for us to do that? Sure.

Would our doing that taught kids anything? Of course not.

I grew up in farming counrty. Doing chores was natural. Necessary. Did we like them? Oh, heck NO!!!!! Did we want to eat three meals a day? No chores, no eat.

My grandchildren all have dogs/cats/fish/gecko/bearded dragon(I am not a fan of keeping reptiles or birds) responsibilities. In fact, the gecko/dragon owner(his choice) has to find food to suppliment the store bought diet. He has to exercise them both. And he has to protect them from the dogs/cats.

One more side note. For 20 years we worked with the county 4-H Horse Project. Kids and horses. Families and horses, since the kids could not do it alone. I saw hundreds of kids learn responsibility and gain self respect and self confidence more quickly and more deeply in their experiences with horses than in any other environment.

Best thing around for teaching responsibility to kids is caring for an animal! With the proper guidance and family participation, of course.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 8:38AM
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In regards to #3, scratching wood floors.... From my experience with two large breed dogs, you're floors will sustain some damage. Depending on the hardness of your flooring the degree of damage will vary. I have 60 year old soft pine floors and we take great precautions to protect them from the dogs. Area rugs, timely nail trimming, etc... There are still some areas with damage. We are prepared to refinish the entire first floor within the next few years. But as Deb18 stated, there are many inconveniences and expenses that come with owning a dog but none of this should compare to the love and companionship dogs can bring to a home.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 9:13AM
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Wow! You are getting some good honest advice here. I am only going to add -- don't do this for your kids. Two of my kid's friends got puppies in the last year and honestly, the kids lost interest in them within a few months. Also, in both cases the dogs bonded more strongly with the adult care giver so that didn't help.

My child begs for a dog daily but when I look at her friends' situation I think "no way!" -- cause frankly, I don't need another living thing to pick up after.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 9:23AM
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I can't agree with you more that what kids gain from working with animals is a wonderful experience, but I've seen too many urban households that have brought in a young (or older) pet for their young child and then the child is hounded everyday to do everything for the pet...feeding, walking, cleanup after. Meantime, no one is training the dog. After awhile the child can't stand the pet, the parents don't like its behavior and it ends up in a shelter, or chained out in the yard. No, it's not the norm but it happens too often.

Like you, I grew up in farming country and participating in the care of pets and the farm animals was the norm for me and all the kids I went to school with. As you said in your last sentence, there has to be family participation and since the OP has 3 kids under 10 yrs, a DH that doesn't want a dog, and is worried about her home and lifestyle (plus we're not sure if she's ever owned a dog), I saw red flags.

I still stand by my thought that a pet should not be brought into the home for the child. It should be the whole family wanting, and caring for, the pet.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 12:51PM
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They destroy your yard.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 1:23PM
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I'm sorry, perhaps it's inappropriate, but I laughed so hard when this picture come up, I spit out my tea on the keyboard. My DD just rescued a pregnant beagle and is keeping her and two of her whelps. She was a landscaper by profession and you can only imagine how beautiful her property is..........uhm.........I mean, WAS. She just shrugged and with that breed said it came with the territory.

When I was carrying mail many, many years ago, part of my route was a walking route and I watched one dog, over the course of a month, dig around his doghouse until one day, the doghouse had fallen into the crater.

My home shall always have at least one dog in it, but Annz had something important to say. Be brutally honest before bringing any sort of animal into your household. And, be prepared to have the buck land at your feet at least sometime. If anything negative happens, with your husband's attitude, it shall always be 'your' dog. Yes, I am rural too, and my children were raised with their own responsibilities including caring for the animals. But, let's put it this way........there ARE a lot of animals in shelters because of parents who thought having one would be 'good' for the kids. It is a household decision and all parties have to be willing to contribute to their care, especially where training is involved. Otherwise it's like two parents who have different attitudes on child-rearing. Those poor kids suffer because they never know who to please or how to act.

As for Boxers I too love them so much and had considered getting one this time around. My DD was a vet tech before she went into landscaping and she told me to look at that breed with no blinders on because of their shorter lifespan and health issues like Meghane mentioned.

If you are indeed a SAHM,( and I work at home in my agricultural business so I have a home-based lifestyle too) are a perfect candidate for a dog. But in reality it is 'your' dog. You are the one who wants it. Right? So, get one if you want one, but you have to be the one who figures out how to make it work. Also, don't be charmed by one certain breed. Do a little research on what breed will fit in best with your needs. If you don't it'll be like trying to raise an orchid in a desert and always need special care and handling. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 2:14PM
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If you want protection, do not get a Boxer;
some of them may be protective, but the ones I've met will bound up to an intruder, wag their whole bodies, & show him where the silverware it.

I guess they might lick him to death (drown him?), but I wouldn't count on it for home security.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 5:23PM
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LOL isn't Roxie a doll? They have a dog door and an air conditioned house. This isn't to keep cool, she just likes to dig. Grass has grown up in those holes, it's a real trick to mow.

I couldn't imagine living without a dog. I will take the destroyed yard, the shedding, the mess, the expense and all the bad parts. The unconditional love and companionship from my dogs is worth everything. However, I don't do puppies. I like to adopt adults.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 5:24PM
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you have gotten some excellent input from the folks here.

deb, your post cracked me right up! everything you said applies to just about every dog on the planet. however, the love they give back is well worth it!!

megpie, as for carrying poop around in a baggie...i have 3 great danes. even though they have 20 acres to run and play on, i often take them to the city for walks in the park. if you think carrying poop from one boxer around is nasty, try it with 3 giant dogs. :D

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 6:18PM
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I don't do puppies either. The youngest I ever adopted/ rescued was 6 months and the Dachshund I rescued in May is maybe three years old. All four of the dogs I've had in my life, two at the present time, were housebroken at the start. I don't think I'm up to housebreaking a dog. And with the last two dogs, I discovered crates. My first two were an Afghan and a greyhound which would have required very large crates. But my Boston/Sheltie came from the rescue group with his own crate which he loves. He is in it at night and when I'm away from the house a few hours. I decided new boy would get one just like it. He didn't like it at first but now at night when I say CRATE, he trots his stubby little body in. Even though my kids were raised with one dog and one cat and few birds, neither have ever owned a dog. Grandson is 12 and DD knows their life is WAY too hectic for a dog. They have two cats and a bearded dragon. Son has none because he travels too much. Used to have cats. They both are huge animal lovers so that part of their childhood stayed with them and passed on to their kids.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 1:24AM
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I've never had a dog but love them. Both of my sister have dogs, Golden Retrievers. I just don't think I could handle all the work involved. A few months ago I went to pet store that was having an adoption day for rescued dogs. I fell in love with one, it was a good looking full grown mutt, it was hard to walk away. I have heard mutts usually have less health problems that pure breeds and there are many looking for homes and usually make good pets. Check out some rescued dogs first, you will probably fall in love.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 9:18AM
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I had Boxers for almost 20 yrs and love the breed. But they do come with problems. Many do not live past 8-9 yrs because of their hearts. They have allergys to many things.Prone to many cancers as well.Not the best watch dogs as the only watching they do is watching your house being cleaned out. But since many people are intimidated by them it does help. Certainly are a high energy dog and DO need regular excersize. I'm not saying DON"T get one but research the breed and make sure you get one from a reputable breeder who has hard copies of all the health tests done on the parents.If you get one with genetic health problems you will have a very expesive pet.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 10:38AM
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Maybe you could find a boxer mix mutt at a rescue group. That might negate the health problems they sometimes get.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 12:00PM
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Thank you everyone for you input! I responded the other day but my computer kicked me off due to updates.
I think I will try to control my impulse for now. It wouldn't be as enjoyable with my husband not wanting a dog. He is uptight about our home and I am laid back. I certainly wouldn't want to get into arguments about messes.
You all certianly make good points. I would never expect my children to take full responsibility for the dog. They would only be responsible for some feedings and to come with us on a walk, because it would be good for all of us. I know the excitement of a new pet fizzles for kids most of the time.
Money isn't an issue but do I really want to spend a lot of money owning a pet? If I knew for sure it would have little if any health problems I would get one...wouldn't many of us? But there are no guarantees.
I have heard before that a boxer would befriend an intruder, however, a robber attempted to break into my friend's home and she thinks her boxer's bark scared him away. His bark sounds vicious but he is the sweetest dog.

Some of you really made me laugh! Thanks again

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 5:00PM
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If you really want a Boxer that feeling isn't going to go away. I say that from experience. If you ever decide to go ahead and get one there are a few things to consider.

Boxer yes, puppy no. Every first time Boxer owner should obtain an adult dog through a shelter or rescue. These dogs will come with a history, you will know a little bit about the dog's personality. You can pick a personality to suit you. And you can learn what a properly behaved Boxer should act like. If you survive an adult Boxer then and only then should you consider a puppy.

They are happy and expressive. A joy to have around. Boxers are people dogs. If properly taught they are the perfect house dog. They are like really friendly giant slobbering cats.

They need a ton of exercise and stimulation. If you can't or wont give them that don't get one, if you do it will not be a well behaved boxer and will disrupt your household.

They are not outside dogs, they don't have the coat type and they desire greatly to be around their people.

I have all hardwood floors in my house. I like the worn look :). Really if you take good care of your floors and they have a good finish properly trimmed dogs nails are not going to hurt them.

Boxers can be aggressive acting, not in a mean way (although I suppose some can be mean also), but they can intimidate people. They like people and don't take being ignored lightly so you will always have to be on the lookout and protect timid people and children from well-meaning but still possibly over-zealous attention seeking activity. They seem to especially love children and will knock them down accidently if allowed to.

I don't know if they make good watch dogs but they look tough and I suppose that alone could deter anyone thinking of approaching your house. They were police dogs way back when. I actually do feel safer with my Boxer here. I do believe that if someone were to act aggressive toward me he would intervene.

Mine does not bark a lot. Only when he is outside while I'm not and he wants in. One bark, wait..., another bark... I've never met a barky Boxer.

Some other pros... They are pretty clean dogs, they are easily groomed, they have the most expressive eyes, they love to snuggle, squirrels run out of your yard when they see them coming, they're cute, I could go on and on.

If you ever do get an egghead puppy, buy one from a real breeder. If the breeder can't show you a trophy room full of their own dog's awards and documented health tests then they have no business breeding Boxers. Having a grand champion in their extended lineage means nothing, any puppy you buy should have champion parents directly on both sides. If they don't it simply means their parents weren't breeding quality and those dogs are the ones who are more likely to have severe health problems. You'll learn the importance of that after your first Boxer passes from cancer, heart, or hip problems way too young.

If you buy a puppy from a real breeder you should know that the reason the puppy was available is because it wasn't the pick of the litter. Uphold your agreement and have it spayed or neutered. Back yard breeders and puppy mills will be the downfall of the Boxer breed.

I'm biased, but I think Boxers are great family pets. A lot of work but worth it.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 11:56PM
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I love Kim_okla's happy dog in yard photo.

Earlier this year, one of my dogs had back troubles and she could barely handle one stair step and could no longer run. My other dog had a different medical issue. The oval dirt track that they had created in the backyard around my island gardens started to fill in with grass. As much as I had sorely missed the effect of the grass setting off my gardens, that grass coming back absolutely broke my heart. Dogs give some much more than they take. Take my grass, I'd rather have healthy dogs who are happy when the sun rises and content when it sets. Who will dance for dinner, fling stuffies far and wide, and express joy in a simple dirt filled race through the back yard.

Both girls are better now and they are doing zoomies again and beating that pesky grass back and I am happy.

The right reason to get a dog is that you are prepared to love one. And that means train, exercise, care for and provide high quality food and medical care. It's good that you are analyzing the pros and cons, I wish more people did, but as others have said, don't get the dog for your children, get a dog because you are ready for another responsibility (financial, educational, social) that will reward you a hundred times over for what little you give.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 10:36AM
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A dog's health problem is much more than a money problem;
the dog's enjoyment of life is dimmed, & the dog often is truly miserable.

It's very bad judgment & smacks of cruelty to knowingly get a dog that's likely to develop chronic or disabling or terminal health problems, even if the dog were free & you had millions of dollars to spend on vet bills.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 4:10PM
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Oh my, Kim. Now I know why Lacy was rescued from the pound in Merced. She lives with us now,
and does not get to roam or play alone in my wonderful garden. She would rather be inside with us, anyway.
She must be a littermate of your dog, no?

Just wanted to add what I tell to anyone who asks. Do not get a dog for your children unless you really love dogs and want
to do most of the care. Children should learn to love pets, not consider them a forced chore. Luckily, I knew that. Both kids are grown now, love dogs, and take very good care of their pets.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 1:57PM
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Bo digs just as much. Roxie starts little trenches and Bo excavates. Dogs are also hard on wood floors.

Lacy would fit right in my house. Love those black and tans.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 12:38AM
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Every kid should have a dog. Not to learn about responsibility but to learn about unconditional love and loyalty. Simple as that.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 4:06PM
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Update: For anyone who is still reading this post...
I couldn't resist. How am I to know if I enjoy owning a dog unless I actually own one. There may come a time in my life where I have to go back to work and will not have as much time to train a new pup. If there were ever a time to get a pup and train it, now is the time. I figured you only live life once so go for it. I did have my regrets after I got her. However, the past few days she has been such a great pup! She already knows to sit, come (still working on that), walk on a leash by my side-not pulling me, and is sleeping through the night in her crate with no YIPS! Yes that is only after 2 nights! I even left to a hair appointment the second day for 3.5 hours (dropping daughter off at sitters and hair dresser running late) and to my surprise she held "it" in! I know there will be more work yet to come, but figure if I train her right she will be a well behaved dog enjoyable to have. A little about her: Female brindle marking/color, 11.5 wks old today (10/06/10), mother and father are european boxers (not entirely sure that's 100% but I do have the papers, so maybe it's true) the owner actually has an american boxer as well and physically showed me the difference, her health was checked by a vet, and her name is Mia but soon to be Bella if I can convince my middle child this is a better suited name.
Thank you for all of your input!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 10:36AM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

She is a beautiful pup!! Congratulations!! I don't think there is ever a "perfect" time to get a dog. Sometimes you just have to go for it. I have a pup too. She is now 5 months old and the joy of my life. The early days were a little difficult, but we soon got into a routine that is working for us. Good luck with the new addition! Enjoy her.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 10:55AM
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OMgosh. How could you not love that face?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 1:17PM
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You went into this with your eyes wide open, so you are ready :) She is adorable/beautiful/perfect. Enjoy her!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 6:45PM
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She looks just like my boy. Good luck to you both.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 10:19PM
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She's a real sweetie. Much good luck with her.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 3:02AM
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Congratulations! She is just adorable!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 8:06AM
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What a darling Perfect!!! You will get to love as much as she will love you.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 10:14AM
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I've often thought that if I could distract my Mr. for just a minute from Labradors, I would sneak in a boxer for our next large one - they look just adorable to me, the faces are just wonderful. However, I suspect that our 9 year old lab might be our last big dog.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 5:30PM
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congrats!! she is SO adorable! enjoy her puppyhood, they grow up so fast. glad to hear you are crate training, that will save you a LOT of misery in the long run.

she has such a sweet face!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 6:15AM
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Congratulations! What a cutie. She makes me smile. I'm sure she will be a very important member of your family. We adopted two dogs just over a year ago from the local shelter. We just love them so much and they do us too. And, being out in the country, I feel so much safer as they are so alert to the surroundings. She will become a lovely family member to all.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 9:17AM
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Congratulations she is adorable. Soon you will wonder how did you ever live without a dog.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 12:37PM
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She is absolutely beautiful. You will not regret your decision. I have 2 boxers and they make every day just a little bit brighter! I did have 3, but my female went to the Rainbow Bridge in July. She was almost 11 years old. We suspect she had a brain tumor. I was devastated to lose her, but the heartache was worth those 11 years.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 6:51PM
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She is a beautiful dog!!! I have had three boxers and wouldn't hesitate to have another. Yes, they have health issues and your heart breaks when something happens. But forget that for now and love and enjoy her. You won't regret adding her to your family.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 3:51PM
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I have found dogs much more tolerable than kids! Among other benefits, they don't scream in expensive resturants. I happen to have two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, one of which actually says words.

Now, my wife's brother and his wife have a 10 year old male warlock boxer named Ceaser. I no sooner walk in the door and sit down than I have a 75# boxer in my lap. They are known to slobber a tad. He and a great dane and a three-legged black lab each have their own leather sofa on which to lounge. Did I mention that they don't scream in expensive resturants.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 4:59PM
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