Would a female White Boxer be the right pick for your living situation?

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Answered by: M. Victor, An Expert in the Dog Breeds and Profiles Category
Another trip to The Pound.

This time it's for a second visit with Moxie, a beautiful three year old female White Boxer. I had called earlier and spoken to Claire, asking for and being granted allowance to take Moxie for an afternoon outing. The staff knows me and the way I am with dogs, and, once again, were gracious in which they have handled requests of mine in the past.

I am amazed Moxie hasn't been adopted yet. She stands out among the crowd, and displays a personality and presence I find hard to resist, but Claire had told me no serious response for adoption has been made.

She is on the somewhat smaller side than the average female White Boxer They list her weight at fifty pounds but I think someone added their fingers to the scale. Average for a female boxer is mid-fifties to mid-sixty pounds. She has the smaller head of the American Boxer which balances nicely with her petite size. Her ears have been left alone and not cropped but her tail had been docked, a wagging stump. She has a black splotch on her right side advertising she is a white dog, not an albino, and is not subject to the health problems associated with albino dogs. She has some scars on her face and body which didn't come by birth. On my last visit she cowered when I raised my arm too fast; my fault entirely and a mistake I won't make again.

It breaks my heart.

Claire brought me back to the kennels, where many of the imprisoned dogs were pressed to the front of their cages, pleading, hoping, some yapping, some pacing, some sitting still looking at you with "the eyes".

I spotted Annie, a long-haired mini-dachshund I'd been to visit before. She was not of the "sitting still, looking at you" school of thought; more the four-legged pinball, cheerleader type and she was leading the crowd in acknowledgment of a human face she recognized. Claire let her out and I was attacked by a long-haired bullet, a furry Ferrari racing to me for the finish line.

We yapped and talked and scratched and stroked and licked and all those other things friends do when greeting. Claire told me there was a small snag on Annie's adoption, which was why she was still here. She had a family coming and that made it a lot easier to put her back in her cage. She'd been rescued. She got along well with Moxie, I liked her spirit a lot, and it was a tremendous relief knowing she will be taken care of by her new charges.

Moxie spotted us before we got to her cage and was already doing her "Snoopy" Dance when we arrived. Last time I was here, I responded with a little "jig" of my own and repeated it for her today. When playing, Boxers like to rise up on their back legs and paw with their front, similar in appearance to a prize-fighter in the ring. I wonder where they get the name of their breed?

Claire opened the cage and for the second time in minutes I was pounced upon by unconditional love. I've seen both of these dogs for a combined time of less than two hours in their lifetimes and both have treated me as a long-lost friend. As a rule Boxers, even more than other breeds are people-pleasers. For some reason I have always failed to grasp the reason why but thoroughly accept these fine animals crave human companionship. Once a family unit is established the Boxer will establish himself/herself as a protector, and will not retreat under fire, enjoys and shows much patience with children, and is a hands-on, physical contact animal. Moxie loved her belly being scratched but any positive human touch is welcome.

Left alone, Boxers tend towards the mischievous; untrained, they are likely to chew on items not designed for chewing or act out in similar fashion. If left outdoors they are known to dig, to climb, to do whatever they can to be reunited with their family. Because of temperature sensitivities and their desire to be with their people, they are more designed for indoor living, especially the White Boxer, which is prone to sunburn in the summer. All Boxers, with their short fur, are unprotected in freezing temperatures.

After hooking on the leash we stopped by on the way out and said hello to Annie. It just makes me smile to see how much these two opposites enjoy each other, but it goes along with the Boxer's personality to be friendly and patient with smaller dogs. Situations with larger adult dogs, however, can be tense until properly trained.

We went to the park. This is where I learn about Moxie.

Generalizations about the breed gives me insight into their character, but it is where Moxie differs from the norm is where I get to learn about her personality. My brother and I are from the same gene pool, but are as different as two people can be. Our personalities have been refined by experiences and events, by successes and failures, by trauma.

Moxie cowers from an innocent hand gesture and lives in a dog pound. There's bound to be some trauma there.

The park I bring her to is dog-friendly. 1/3 of the park is segregated and designated "Leash Free". The remaining 2/3 of the park, lawfully, your pet must be on a leash. A look around the park shows about fifty percent compliance.

I didn't know her well enough to take her to the unleashed section so we jogged around the perimeter of the 2/3 remainder, then I plopped down on the grass after filling her water bowl. I gave Moxie a piece of chicken jerky (Rule No. 4 "out the window") and she climbed into my lap to get the treat and to get comfortable. I'm suddenly very pleased she is a petite version of her breed.

A mother and her two children stopped on their way to the playground when they saw Moxie paying close attention. Tommy, the 6-year old, started playing with her right away but his younger sister, Jessica, THIS MANY (Translation 3) years old, was a little intimidated. I showed her how to make a loose fist and let Moxie smell her hand. After smelling and licking, Moxie cocked her head to the side and gave Jessica the "goofy look". I told the girl this was Moxie's way of letting her know she was recognized as one of the good guys. Even through the unintentional mauling by Jessica that followed, Moxie remained loving and careful of the little girl, and, after playing together for a little while, the family resumed their trek to the swings and slides, Jessica practicing cocking her head to one side and making a goofy face. Her mother might rue the day they stopped.

We walked the perimeter a couple more times. I know Boxers require exercise and she wasn't getting any in her cage, plus she enjoyed it and I was enjoying the company. She flexed a few times when nearing a bigger dog, but we had no problems after their sniffing session. Without the leash, there could have been a potential problem, but we left the park with new friends and no new enemies.

White Boxers have been maligned over the years more than any other sub-breed I know. The American Boxer Club, considering these dogs flawed, does not allow them to be registered, sold or bred. Approximately 1/4 of all Boxers are born white, but since they don't conform to the American Kennel Club breed standard, many are put to sleep by breeders. They are rumored to be more sickly and have more health problems than other Boxers even without any clinical evidence to back this up.

White Boxers do have more hearing problems. They are much more likely to be born partially or fully deaf, caused by a pigment problem in their ear canals. One out of five White Boxers suffer this malady. As far as the claim they are mean-spirited makes absolutely no sense to me from what I've seen of this fantastic animal. Everything I have witnessed is to the contrary.

We fooled around for another two hours but then, too soon, it was time to go back to The Pound. I let her ride in the front with me on the way back (Rule No. 8, gone) She behaved even though she knew where she was going. I told her stories as I drove her back.

Too soon and Claire was leading the two of us back to Moxie's cage. I knelt before it and gave her a kiss on the nose. The resulting lick was automatic and appreciated.

I pet her for a few more minutes, telling her how great she is, then coaxed her into her home. There must have been a lot of dust or eye-irritant in the air. I'm too old to cry over a dog.

And there are hundreds and hundreds of them in every of our major cities-all breeds and mixed breeds and no breeds. Mutts with their own specific personalities, Poodles and Skye Terriers, German Shepherds, Huskies and Pomeranians and all types in between.

So, if you're thinking about a companion, a protector, a friend for life, you may want to consider a trip to your local Humane Society. Who knows? Perhaps you, too, can be rescued.

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