It can be challenging to understand how much exercise you need to give your dog. Besides, the recommendations differ pretty dramatically depending on the breed. But what about boxers? Here is all you need to know about their exercise requirements.
So, how much exercise do Boxers need? A lot! An adult Boxer should get 2 hours of exercise per day at an absolute minimum. They are an athletic breed, and proper exercise is essential to ensuring good health and mental wellbeing. That being said, you need to be careful not to over-exercise puppies and younger Boxers as this may damage their joints and bones.
Nevertheless, once a Boxer is fully mature, they are perfect running or cycling companions (as we will soon find out).
And if you remember one thing from this article today, let it be this: Boxers are extremely high-energy dogs who need extremely active owners.
Or at least owners with the enthusiasm to get out there and keep their dogs busy.
Besides, this is just a fundamental pre-requisitive to ownership.
So if you are yet to get one of these dogs, do certainly bear this in mind.
This is not a breed that can really sit around the house all day.
At least for optimal health and wellbeing.
Besides, an under-exercised Boxer is likely to partake in a wide range of destructive behaviors.
But, when where, and how do you exercise this breed optimally?
Keep reading and find out.
How Often Do Boxers Need To Be Walked?
It’s best to walk Boxers a number of times a day. Most people are unable to give their Boxers 2 hours of continuous exercise at once, so splitting this time into numerous walks with plenty of time off lead allowing them to run around is ideal.
Letting your dog roam around a yard, even if you have 2 or 3 acres, doesn’t count as exercise.
It’s certainly beneficial and better than being kept inside, but it’s still too limiting for them.
This breed needs to be mentally stimulated too.
If left to entertain themselves, Boxers will become bored and develop bad habits – even if they can freely roam.
For instance, they may start digging holes in the garden or start barking non-stop.
Not good for anyone.
However, if this behavior does develop, you do have to look inward.
Often, it is the fault of the owner for not providing enough structured exercise, such as walking.
One thing to consider here is that not all Boxers should receive the same amount of exercise.
The amount and how strenuous it is should differ depending on age, weight, and size.
You must be very careful when exercising puppies, slowly building up their endurance with 15 minutes walks, walking on a lead, throwing a frisbee, and swimming.
Only when they are fully grown is it safe for them to throw themselves into running and/or cycling with you regularly.
Boxers under the age of 2 are still a long way from maturing and turning into the well-built dog that we recognize in this breed.
For instance, it takes the course of many months for this dog to build out the frames and muscles they become largely dependent on.
And as such, many Boxer puppies have a lot of loose skin that they will grow into.
And something that is essential to keep in mind when exercising your Boxer is weather conditions.
This breed does not do well in extreme weather.
So, you will need to avoid walking them in the middle of the afternoon when it is hottest.
And lastly, you’ll need to consider their unique features too.
Boxers have a short muzzle with a slightly flatter face than most dogs.
This makes breathing difficult for them when it is hot and humid or very cold.
Their short hair also adds to their susceptibility to weather conditions.
This makes first thing in the morning or late evening the best time for a walk.
Can Boxers Walk Far?
Boxers can walk far. Walks are measured in time rather than distance, but at a minimum of 2 hours a day, a lot of ground can be covered. Try to aim for at least two 60-minute walks a day for an adult Boxer and 20 to 30 minutes a day for a puppy.
In addition, try to give your adult dog the opportunity to run off-leash 2 to 3 times a week.
You can take them to a dog park or simply find a large open field.
Throwing a tennis ball for them to run after and bring back feeds their natural athletic ability and gives them a full-body workout.
Just don’t take your Boxer on a marathon walk the day after you get them.
Begin slowly and steadily increase their exercise as they get older and become used to your routine.
Exercise them regularly but don’t overdo it initially.
Puppies should only be taken on walks once a day as their muscles are not fully formed and cannot handle too much activity.
If your dog is an adolescent (14 to 22 months old) and seems a bit skinny, exercise them more than suggested and put them on a highly nutritious diet.
It may just be a case of having his weight catch up to his height.
When walking your dog, be mindful of the conditions, too, especially on longer or more strenuous walks/hikes.
If it’s particularly warm, make sure to rest in shaded areas and give them small amounts of water to keep them hydrated.
Sunscreen designed for dogs is a good idea too.
This should be applied to any white areas on the skin if you intend to be out for more than an hour or it’s particularly hot outside.
Something important to keep in mind is to not exercise your dog after they eat.
This can cause digestive problems or bloat, which can be very dangerous and requires immediate treatment.
Wait a minimum of an hour before taking them on a walk and at least two before intense exercise.
Are Boxers Good Running Dogs?
If you are a runner and want a dog to take with you, a Boxer is a very good option. However, they are better sprinters than endurance runners. Thankfully, their stamina can be gradually worked on until they are able to run long distances with you. A 2-mile run is a good place to start with breaks for water or if your dog seems out of breath.
To build up their stamina, begin by walking a boxer on a lead for an hour when they are one year old.
You can look to increase this to an hour and a half by the time they are 18 months.
Increase walking time incrementally.
At around two years old, you can let your Boxer run alongside your bicycle.
However, even when your dog is fully mature, there is still the possibility of joint damage occurring from more extreme forms of exercise.
So do bear that in mind.
And take your dog’s state of health and history into account.
You don’t want to run with a dog with any injuries – whether severe or lingering.
And to ensure you get to a good running speed – jump on your bike.
Boxers usually love to run next to a bike!
Depending on your individual Boxer’s nature, they may be able to run alongside you unrestrained, while others may need a harness.
The “walky dog” has been developed specifically for those dogs that need to be kept on a harness when you cycle.
It attaches to the bike keeping your hands free, while a built-in shock absorber reduces the chance of your Boxer pulling you over.
Take a look at the “walky dog” over at Amazon. At the very least, you’ll soon see how it works, the customer reviews, and what is possible out there for exercising this breed.
Just remember that with more activity comes the increased need for high-quality nutrition.
They should be fed specifically formulated dog food.
If you decide to make them their food, it should consist mainly of lean animal protein such as chicken, turkey, and fish.
Nevertheless, Boxers tend to get overweight very quickly if overfed, so you do need to be mindful.
Matching activity to caloric intake is essential and should be done so accordingly.
This is because obesity can cause significant health problems.
The Boxer breed, in particular, they are prone to many disorders, including joint problems, digestive disorders, heart disease, and cancer.
Thankfully, many of these diseases can be prevented by a proper diet, diligent observation, and a proper exercise regime.
Other Exercise Ideas For Boxers
It’s easy to be creative in the type of exercise you give your Boxer. They love to swim, catch frisbees, and track. They are intelligent and have what is known as “high ball drive,” meaning they are easily motivated and easy to train.
Boxers do well when they have a job to do along with a normal exercise routine.
They occasionally participate in dog agility, obedience trials, and flyball events. They have been used as service dogs, guide dogs, police dogs, and therapy dogs.
The military even uses them as messenger dogs, guard dogs, and pack carriers.
This versatility means that you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping your Boxer entertained.
Flyball is an agility exercise where a number of hurdles are set up 6 feet apart, and a spring-loaded box releases a ball.
Your Boxer then chases the ball while running over the hurdles and returns it to you.
This activity requires a little bit of training, but eventually, your dog will be able to do the course both forward and in reverse.
Using their natural instincts to track and chase prey makes it easy to use a disc as an exercise activity. Better that than a cat!
You use the disc as a food bowl or scent it by rubbing some meat on it. You then roll the disc allowing your Boxer to chase it.
You roll it further and further away, eventually working up to throwing it.
If you start this activity when they are puppies, they will get the idea quickly and run after the disc and return it to you.
Remember that you mustn’t exercise your Boxer to the extent that they do themselves an injury.
Short bursts of play must be coupled with periods of rest.
Their snout is shorter than normal, and the airways swell when they overheat, making it difficult for them to beath.
It’s essential to remember the commitment that is required when you own a Boxer.
It would be best if you kept them entertained and exercised not only for their sanity but for yours as well.
This is the key to keeping them healthy, happy, and well-balanced dogs.
Exercise is good for both you and your dog’s wellbeing, so long as it is appropriate for the dog.
Nevertheless, for this breed, you will need to put on those trainers and hit the pavement!
Want to learn more about the Boxer breed? My following guides may be of help:
- Best Dog Treats For Boxers [That They’ll Be Sure To Love]
- Why Do Boxers Cry? [Main Reasons And Things Owners Can Do]
- Are Boxers Good With Cats? [Owners Guide & Introduction Tips]
- When Do Boxers Stop Growing? [And How Big Do Boxers Get?]
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.