Have you ever heard of a Boxer Lab Mix? What about a Boxador? This Lab and Boxer combo is a fast rising star in the world of canine crossbreeds, and it’s no wonder. Boxer lab mix dogs are intelligent, people-oriented, playful and kid-friendly.
Is a Boxer Lab Mix right for you and your family? Let’s find out.
Introducing The Boxer Lab Mix
The Boxer Lab Mix is a combination of two family-favorite breeds.
Parent Breeds: The Boxer and the Labrador Retriever
Height: 23 to 25 Inches
Weight: 50 to 100 Pounds
Temperament: Playful, Goofy, Friendly, Outgoing, Energetic, Intelligent
Best Suited For: Active Families, Couples and Singles, Households With Other Dogs
Lifespan: 12 to 15 Years
Health Issues: Bloat, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Brachycephaly, Hypothyroidism, Degenerative Myelopathy, Exercise Induced Collapse, Cancer, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Aortic Stenosis, and Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Average Cost Of A Boxador Puppy: $300 to $700
Clubs That Recognize The Boxador:
- The American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC)
- The Dog Registry of America, Inc (DRA)
- The Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC)
The Boxer Lab Mix – A Dream Dog Or A Crossbreed Catastrophe?
Crossbreeding has been ongoing for centuries, but it is a controversial practice in today’s society.
Boxer Lab mix dogs are not purebreds, in spite of sometimes being referred to as Boxadors. In fact, these dogs are considered designer dogs or hybrids. Also known as cross breeds or mixed breeds, a Boxer Lab mix is the offspring of a purebred Labrador Retriever and a purebred Boxer.
Crossbreeding has been an ongoing practice for centuries, but it peaked in popularity over the past two decades thanks to celebrities toting pint-sized designer dogs in purses. Today, there are a variety of hybrid dogs in the canine kingdom being bred and sold for premium prices.
Unfortunately, this has led to a good amount of controversy amongst breeders and dog enthusiasts alike.
And because you’re interested in the Boxer Lab Mix, it’s important to dig in a bit to the crossbreed controversy so that you might understand it better.
What You Should Know About the Designer Dog Debate
Originally, crossbreeding dogs was performed by professionals who were intent on creating new breeds for specific working purposes. Most first, second and third generation crossbreeds were not usually sold to the public, as their traits both physically and temperamentally were deemed too unpredictable.
However, in recent years, crossbreeding has become somewhat of a fad, and many breeders have turned to rapidly breeding different dog breeds and then selling them for just as much as their purebred counterparts.
This is part of the debate, as many point out that there is a fine line between a crossbreed dog and a mutt. However, experts do say that mutts have a long list of breeds in their DNA whereas crossbreeds are “designed dogs” that were purposefully bred by picking two specific purebred parents.
While this could be considered splitting hairs, there is a more important aspect of the crossbreed controversy you should be aware of, as it has to do with health and temperament.
One of the benefits of investing in a purebred dog is that their temperamental traits, physical appearance and health issues are relatively predictable. This is especially true when you are careful to obtain your dog through reputable sources.
When you get a newer generation crossbreed, however, you are leaving a number of their genetic traits up to chance. In the case of the Boxer Lab mix, many aspects of his physical appearance, temperamental traits, and even health issues will be unpredictable.
That said, there are some benefits to crossbreeding.
Are Crossbreed Dogs Really Healthier Than Purebred Dogs?
There has been some speculation that crossbreed dogs like the Boxer Lab mix may be healthier than purebred dogs due to what is known as hybrid vigor. Hybrid vigor hinges on the theory that purebred dogs have been overbred for generations, leading to a very small gene pool that makes them more susceptible to suffering from a number of common genetic ailments.
Crossbreeding a dog like the Boxer Lab mix widens this gene pool, thus reducing the chances of potential genetic health issues the Boxer Lab Mix might be susceptible to. This is hybrid vigor in a nutshell.
That noted, it should also be said that, while the Boxer Lab Mix may have a less likely chance of developing certain genetic diseases, he also may have a longer list of genetic diseases to contend with now that he has both Labrador and Boxer genetics.
The good news is that there are a few different ways you can work to ensure your Boxer Lab Mix is as healthy and happy as possible, and we’ll discuss this further down.
For now, keep reading to learn more about the Boxer Lab Mix.
What Does The Boxer Lab Mix Look and Behave Like?
Depending on your Boxer Lab Mix dog’s generation, his looks and temperament could vary.
As we previously discussed, the Boxer Lab Mix is a cross between the Boxer and the Labrador Retriever. While both the Lab and the Boxer are relatively similar in size, they have different head shapes, body shapes and personality types.
The Boxer Lab Mix Temperament
Boxers were bred guard dogs, herding dogs and bull baiting dogs. As such, they have a high prey drive and guarding instincts. Labrador Retrievers were bred water retrieving dogs, and were a fisherman and hunter’s best friend.
This means your Boxer Lab Mix is likely to be high energy, loyal, playful, and protective. Of course, he could be more like a Boxer in some aspects of his personality or more like a Labrador in other ways. It will all be up to genetics and how you raise and train him.
For the most part, Boxer Lab Mix dogs have been found to do great with children and other dogs. They could have a high prey drive, however, and should be monitored around smaller animals like cats, rodents and birds.
The Boxer Lab Mix is not an aggressive dog, but he is high energy and could be wary of strangers if not properly socialized at an early age.
He is also quite excitable, especially during play, and may be prone to knocking young children over or accidentally injuring smaller dogs if he plays too roughly.
To ensure everyone is getting along safely in your home with your Boxer Lab mix, it’s important to monitor young children around the family dog and to not leave your Boxer Lab Mix alone to play too roughly with senior dogs or fragile smaller dogs.
We also suggest teaching young children how to respectfully interact with a dog. Help them learn and understand basic canine body language, and work with them on proper ways to communicate and train your Boxer Lab mix so everyone in the home is on the same page.
The Boxer Lab Mix Appearance
Your Boxer Lab Mix dog’s appearance could also vary depending on genetics. Labrador Retrievers come in three colors including chocolate, yellow and black. Boxers, on the other hand, come in a variety of colors and combinations including white, brindle and fawn.
This means your Boxer Lab mix could be any one of those solid colors or a combination of both.
Boxer Lab Mix dogs are also relatively large, weighing in at 50 to 100 pounds and standing at 23 to 25 Inches in height.
When it comes to Boxers, some owners choose to crop their ears and dock their tails. However, naturally both Boxers and Labrador Retrievers have floppy ears and long tails, so your Boxer Lab Mix will have the same traits.
One of the closest similarities between purebred Boxers and purebred Labrador Retrievers is in their coats. Both Boxers and Labs have smooth, short coats that shed year round. This means that your Boxer Lab Mix, regardless of which parent breed he takes after most, will have a similar coat and may not be an ideal dog for allergy sufferers.
How To Train And Socialize A Boxer Lab Mix
Boxador dogs are known to be friendly by nature, but it’s still important to socialize and train them at an early age.
All dogs require routine training and socialization that should be consistent throughout their lives. But how do you properly train and socialize a Boxer Lab mix? Let’s start with training.
Training Your Boxer Lab Mix
The Boxer Lab Mix is an intelligent dog with a natural eagerness to please, though he can also be prone to stubborn behaviors and is easily bored and distracted. This is especially true if training sessions are not kept short, fun, gamelike and repetitive.
Studies have also found that dogs respond best to positive reinforcement training techniques like treats and praise. For this reason, we advise against punishing or scolding your dog during training sessions or using aversive training methods like force or fear to get them to behave.
Doing so will not only hinder the lesson and reduce the chances of your dog retaining the information, but it could also harm the bond between you and your dog in the long run.
Instead, train your Boxer Lab Mix using high value treats that your dog doesn’t have access to often. If your Boxer Lab Mix is more play or toy motivated, you can try using praise and play as well.
Training should begin early and be consistent throughout your Boxer Lab mix dog’s life. We also suggest ensuring everyone in the home is on the same page with you in regards to your training methods. This will help ensure training is consistent and that information is more easily communicated to your dog.
Socializing Your Boxer Lab Mix
Just like training, socialization should begin early with your Boxer Lab mix and carry on throughout his lifetime. While it is easier to socialize dogs when they are puppies, it’s never too late to work with your dog to ensure he is properly socialized.
Ensuring your dog is properly socialized can make all the difference when it comes to your dog’s temperament, trainability, and overall health. When your dog feels safe and confident with the world and people around him, he is less likely to suffer from stress, anxiety, destructive behaviors, and even behavioral issues like aggressive tendencies.
To properly socialize your Boxer Lab Mix, experts recommend introducing him to as many new places, people, things and experiences as possible at an early age. Try and help him associate these first impressions with something positive, so he doesn’t’ develop fear or anxiety in certain situations.
It’s also important to never force your Boxer Lab Mix into a situation that is obviously frightening or stressful for him. This could exasperate his fears and lead to worse fear-based behavioral issues down the road.
Instead, use patience, positive reinforcement and gentle encouragement to help your Boxer Lab Mix explore, learn and make new friends.
The Importance of Exercise and Mental Stimulation For A Boxer Lab Mix
Boxador dogs are intelligent and energetic. They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.
Both the Boxer and the Labrador Retriever are bred working dogs. They are also both known for their high levels of energy and athleticism. This is one of the reasons Boxer Lab Mix dogs are best suited for homes with backyards and active families, singles or couples.
However, even with a decent sized backyard and an owner with a flexible schedule, it’s still important to implement routine exercise at least once a day as well as plenty of mental stimulation and playtime.
How To Keep Your Boxer Lab Mix Mentally Stimulated
As clever dogs, Boxer Lab Mixes can be prone to destructive behaviors if left to their own devices for too long. They are also highly social and will become easily bored if left home alone for long periods during the day.
You can help keep your Boxer Lab Mix entertained throughout the day between exercise and play with puzzle toys and interactive games that not only help keep him busy, but also challenge him and keep him thinking.
Some of the best puzzle toys for Boxer Lab Mix dogs are interactive toys that use treats or dog food to motivate your dog and hold his interest.
Other toys that can help keep your dog busy include KONG Toys for large breed dogs that are filled with dog-safe treats or organic peanut butter free of added sugars or xylitol.
Nina Ottosson Interactive Puzzle Toy
The Nina Ottosson Interactive Puzzle Toy above is a great puzzle toy for the Boxer Lab Mix because it is made with quality, dog-safe material and allows you to use treats or kibble to hold your dog’s interest.
We also like that this interactive dog toy can come in four levels depending on your dog’s intelligence, which allows you to purchase different versions of the toy as your dog grows and becomes more clever.
Not only will puzzle toys like the Nina Ottosson Interactive Toy above help to ensure your dog is busy, it can also help reduce a number of behavioral issues that stem from boredom including depression, anxiety, and destructive chewing, marking and barking.
That said, it’s important to supervise your Boxer Lab Mix while he’s playing with this toy to ensure he doesn’t chew it, as swallowed pieces could present a choking hazard.
How Much Exercise Does A Boxer Lab Mix Need?
Experts say that the average Boxer Lab Mix needs at least 45 minutes to an hour worth of exercise each day. This can vary depending on your Boxer Lab Mix dog’s age, weight and overall health.
Some Boxer Lab Mix dogs can be prone to brachycephalic airway syndrome, which can lead to respiratory issues and heat intolerance.
Other Boxer Lab Mix dogs are prone to suffering from exercise induced collapse. This means that you should let your Boxer Lab Mix go at his own pace during exercise and play and try not to overexert him.
Good exercise for a Boxer Lab Mix could include a long walk, a moderate hike, short jogs, supervised swimming, and free runs at a dog park.
Boxer Lab Mix dogs will also enjoy free playtime and games of fetch in a securely fenced backyard.
When you are walking or exercising your Boxer Lab Mix, it’s important to remember that these dogs can have a high prey drive. When out and about, it’s best to walk your Boxer Lab Mix on a quality harness and leash, like the one listed below.
PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness
The PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness is a front-clip harness that not only helps ensure your dog stays safely at your side during walks or outings, but it also helps reduce pulling. The front clip harness helps to reduce your Boxer Lab Mix dog’s natural instinct to pull by not putting any pressure put on your dog’s chest or back.
It hooks in the front, which redirects your Boxer Lab Mix if he pulls and brings him gently back to you without putting dangerous pressure on his neck or traeacha, which can further exacerbate breathing issues related to brachycephalic airway syndrome.
We also like that this harness is adjustable and comes in a few different sizes and colors, so you can make sure you get the right fit and design for you and your dog.
Grooming A Boxer Lab Mix – Tools, Routine and More
Boxador dogs have short, smooth coats. They shed, but otherwise are simple to groom.
If you’re looking for a dog that’s pretty low maintenance when it comes to grooming, you may have found it in the Boxer Lab Mix. This is a hybrid that has a smooth, short coat that only requires occasional brushing a few times a week.
With that being said, keep in mind that the Boxer Lab Mix is a heavy shedder and sheds year-round. He sheds most heavily during the shedding season in spring and fall, at which time he may need to be brushed more regularly.
The best brush for a Boxer Lab Mix will be a deshedding comb or a slicker brush.
The Furminator Deshedding Comb
One of our favorite brush options for a Boxer Lab Mix is designed by the Furminator. This brush is a deshedding comb specifically designed for dogs like Boxer Lab mix dogs who shed year-round.
You can use this brush daily, as it’s bristles are not only designed to remove loose or shed hair and debris, but to also protect the skin and promote the natural production of oils on your dog’s skin that help keep his coat healthy.
The Furminator brush also comes with a self cleaning button at the top which you can press as the comb’s teeth collect hair. Pressing this button releases the hair so you can get through grooming much more efficiently and quickly.
Since Boxer Lab Mix dogs don’t grow longer fur, they shouldn’t need any trims or haircuts.
When it comes to staying clean, the Boxer Lab Mix’s coat is relatively self cleaning and he won’t need baths more than once every six weeks or so unless he gets especially dirty in the meantime.
Outside of occasional bathing and routine brushing, the Boxer Lab should also have his nails trimmed regularly to keep them from cracking and splitting. And, with his floppy ears, the Boxer Lab mix can be prone to ear infections.
Be sure to check his ears often and keep them clean and dry. We also recommend brushing your Boxer Lab’s teeth once a day with a dog safe toothbrush and toothpaste.
The Boxer Lab Mix Lifespan And Health Issues
Like all dogs, Boxadors can be prone to some genetic health issues. Luckily, a quality diet and healthy lifestyle can help.
We did touch briefly on the history of hybrid vigor above, but it’s important to remember that just because your Boxer Lab mix is a crossbreed does not guarantee he is going to be any more or less healthy than purebred dogs or mutts.
In fact, it can be very difficult to predict the overall health of your Boxer Lab mix, especially if you get him from irresponsible sources or don’t have him health screened at an early age. Remember, Boxer Lab Mix dogs can be susceptible to any of the same health issues as their purebred parent breeds.
For this reason, it’s important to have a good idea of some of the common health issues Boxer Lab Mix dogs face.
The Average Lifespan of A Boxer Lab Mix
- 12 to 15 Years
The Most Common Health Issues of A Boxer Lab Mix
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Brachycephaly, Hypothyroidism
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Exercise Induced Collapse
- Cancer, Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Aortic Stenosis
- And Dilated Cardiomyopathy
While there is no way to 100% guarantee you will end up with a healthy Boxer Lab Mix, there are a few ways you can go about ensuring your dog lives his healthiest life possible by following a few of the below tips and tricks.
Ensure You Get Your Boxer Lab Mix From A Reputable Source
We will cover this in more detail further down, but it’s imperative that you go through a reputable source to get your Boxer Lab puppy or rescue dog. A reputable source could include a responsible breeder or a quality shelter that understands the importance of responsible breeding practices, socialization, early training and basic health needs.
Have Your Boxer Lab Mix Health Screened At An Early Age
Many reputable dog breeders will have already had their puppies health screened and cleared, and they should be able to provide you with paperwork proving as much. However, if you get your Boxer Lab Mix from a shelter or another source, having your dog health screened could be on you.
Luckily, there are plenty of doggy DNA kits available that can help you not only determine the exact origin of your dog, but also the potential health issues he may be prone to down the road.
Keep Your Dog On A Quality Diet Specified For His Age, Weight and Activity Level
Diet plays an important role in your Boxer Lab Mix dog’s overall health. This is especially true considering your Boxer Lab Mix can be prone to digestive issues and a life threatening condition known as Gastric Dilation Volvulus, or Bloat, which can be compounded by an improper or poor diet.
Keep Up With Routine Vet Visits and Wellness Checks
Last but not least, it’s very important to keep up with routine vet visits and wellness checks, especially as your Boxer Lab Mix begins to age.
Just like people, dogs should be seen at least once a year while they are young and then twice yearly for checkups once they reach seven years of age.
Keeping up with routine vet visits will not only help ensure your Boxer Lab Mix is happy and healthy, but it can also save you money in the long run by helping you catch problems early on before they become too serious or expensive to treat.
The Boxer Lab Mix And You – What You Should Know Before You Invest
Before deciding if the Boxador is right for you, it’s important to consider your unique lifestyle.
Boxer Lab mix dogs certainly make wonderful family companions, but that doesn’t mean they are right for every owner. The ideal owner for a Boxer Lab mix will be an owner with plenty of time to commit to exercise, training and socialization.
The Boxer Lab mix will also do best in homes with large backyards where they can run and play freely, and will enjoy having children or other dogs in the home to play with.
Avoid getting a Boxer Lab Mix if you’re looking for a more laid back pup, as this is a high energy dog that will demand lots of your time and attention.
However, when raised and trained properly, there is no doubt that the Boxer Lab mix will give back more to you than he could ever take.
Picking A Boxer Lab Mix – How To Find A Healthy Puppy or Rescue in Your Area
When going through a breeder to get your Boxador puppy, make sure you go through someone who is certified.
If you’ve decided that the Boxer Lab Mix is the right dog for you and your family, there are a few steps we recommend you take before choosing which source to go through.
When going through a breeder, be sure to ask plenty of questions and do lots of research. Avoid backyard breeders, online sellers, or breeders that are not licensed or qualified. Remember, responsible breeders will be able to provide you with paperwork proving their puppies have been health screened and are free of any major health issues.
You also have the option of going through a rescue to adopt your Boxer Lab mix. While Boxer Lab mix dogs are popular, they are also high energy and may be overwhelming for some first time dog owners. This means that there are sadly many Boxer Lab mix dogs in shelters waiting for their forever home.
There are plenty of benefits of going through a rescue to adopt a Boxer Lab mix, with perks ranging from a cheaper price to potentially skipping the puppy phase. Some Boxer Lab mix dogs that come through rescues may have already undergone some training, been spayed or neutered, or even been previously microchipped.
So, which road do you think you’ll take when it comes to obtaining your Boxer Lab mix? Tell us what you think about the Boxer Lab mix below.
Best of luck and thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.