The Boxer Lab mix is also known as the Boxador. This is a hybrid designer dog with one Labrador parent and one Boxer parent. Boxadors are lively, clever pups are a great fit for active families. The Boxer Lab mix has a varied history, with fighting and sporting dogs in each lineage. Your Boxador puppy will thrive with human companions who are available to spend lots of time with them, and are keen on positive dog training.
- Boxer Lab mix characteristics and appearance
- Grooming and coat care
- Boxadors temperament traits
- Boxer Lab mix puppies
The Boxer Lab mix is playful, energetic, loyal and loving. Boxador puppies are known for being intelligent and enthusiastic dogs. But their spirited temperament is not right for every family setup.
Where Do Boxer Lab Mix Dogs Come From?
The boxer lab mix, also known as the Boxador, is a hybrid of the Boxer and the Labrador Retriever breeds. The Boxador is an extremely popular cross-breed, which is perhaps not surprising given that its parents are both in the list of America’s top ten breeds.
Compared to its parent breeds, the Boxador mix itself is very new. But, its parents have long histories living and working alongside humans.
Labs originated as working dogs, retrieving game for fishermen in Newfoundland, Canada. Nowadays, they’re seen as working dogs in a huge variety of roles, and as a beloved family pet. When they were first bred in 19th century Germany, Boxers were used as fighting dogs. Over the years, they’ve filled just as many working roles as the Lab, and are very popular as a companion.
Boxer Lab Mix Characteristics
With cross breeds it is often hard to predict which parent a puppy will resemble. But with Boxers and Labradors in the mix, it’s a safe bet that your Boxer and Lab mix puppies won’t be small. Boxers can weigh up to 80lbs and reach 25 inches tall. Labradors are similarly large. Boxador full grown tend to be between 23 and 25 inches tall and weigh up to 80lbs. Although females are smaller than males.
Regardless of the mix of your genes your pup ends up with, your Boxer Lab Mix dog is likely to be a medium to large dog, active, loyal, easy to train and very fond of challenges – of both the physical and mental kind!
Boxer Lab Mix Coat and Colors
Labrador coats come in black, chocolate or yellow. Boxers are fawn or brindle. Often with white patches. Their offspring can be any mixture of these! The Boxador is usually brindle, and these dogs often have white markings. If you want a black Lab Boxer mix, your puppy will likely still have some white on them. Your best bet is to mix a black Lab with a dark Boxer. But, even a black Lab Boxer mix can have unpredictable coloring, despite the dominant genes for black fur.
Do Boxer Lab Mixes Shed?
When it comes to coat, the Boxer Lab mix usually takes after its Boxer parent. These pups typically have short, smooth hair that sheds very little and is easy to care for. However if your Boxador dog has more Labrador in its genes you might have to deal with some shedding. Thankfully this is usually seasonal and can be kept in check with regular grooming.
Are Boxadors Hypoallergenic?
The Boxer Lab mix might have a short coat, but it is likely to be a high shedder at least part of the time. They produce allergens in their dander and saliva, and are not suitable for dog allergy suffering owners.
The Boxer Lab mix will fall somewhere between its parents. But, luckily, the Labrador and Boxer breeds have quite similar temperaments. Both Boxers and Labradors are very loving and loyal. So, Boxadors are extremely affectionate and will often behave as if they’re lap dogs. They think nothing of climbing on their people for a cuddle, despite their large size!
Both Boxers and Labradors are usually great with older children. They are considered gentle giants and will eagerly run after little ones. Although they have been known to accidentally bowl over smaller family members in their excitement. It’s therefore important to supervise small children around them at all times.
Labradors also love playing with canine companions, but Boxers are less reliable in this area. Poorly socialized Boxers can be prone to aggression towards strangers and other dogs. Boxers are instinctive guardians and proud to play the role of family protector. But you can reduce this through thorough socialization during the puppy stages and by meeting the Boxer parent and ensuring that they seem happy and confident around strangers.
Boxer Lab Mix Socialization
It’s important that every dog breed is socialized well as a puppy to minimise the risk of behavioral problems and aggression. Even the most friendly breed, like the Labrador, will benefit.
To make sure your Boxador mingles well with other dogs, it’s important to socialize them from a young age to other dogs too. Finding them puppy friends to play with will encourage them to be calm and docile with other dogs when fully grown. Attending puppy classes is a great way to do this. But, make sure you also socialize them to unfamiliar people, children, cats, other animals, and more. This will ensure your Boxador dog is as friendly outside the home as he is inside.
Training and Exercising your Boxer Lab Mix
Given its parentage, your Boxer Lab dog will be happiest with active humans. They require a lot of exercise and enjoy running around with the family or playing a game of fetch. If they don’t get enough exercise every day, Boxadors can become depressed, bored, and stressed. This can result in unwanted behaviors like barking, digging, or chewing. But, be wary of a shorter snout in the Boxador. Boxers suffer from a conformity issue called brachycephaly, which can cause trouble breathing and overheating when exercising.
Both Boxers and Labradors are eager to please, so training shouldn’t be too difficult. Use positive reward techniques for best results. Keep training sessions short, consistent, and engaging to keep your Boxador’s attention. You could even take your mix to a puppy training class, or attend an online dog training class.
Boxador Health and Care
Genetic diversity is improved in a cross breed compared with the parent breeds and the coefficient of inbreeding (COI) is much lower. Put simply, the COI of any mating describes how closely related the parent dogs are. Higher COIs are associated with an increase in health problems.
Many dog diseases are recessive which means that they won’t affect your dog unless he gets two faulty copies of the gene, one from each parent. The risk of this happening is lower if the puppies parents are not closely related. There are however, some health issues that are not recessive and can be passed on from just one parent. And there are common ancestors in some of our dog breeds that mean some diseases are present in both breeds.
For that reason it is still possible that a cross bred dog could inherit genetic health problems. So it’s important to be informed about health conditions in the parent breeds and especially about common ailments affecting both Boxers and Labs.
Labradors are not without their issues. This breed can suffer from hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. This is a painful condition where the joint doesn’t form properly. It can cause lameness and severe arthritic pain. Another issue to be aware of in Labs is eye disease. Retinal dysplasia was first noted in the breed in 1959. Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a degenerative eye disease that is common in Labs.
Only buy your puppy from a breeder who health tests the parents for all the potential problems their respective breeds could suffer from. And remember, your puppy’s care is important to avoid issues like obesity.
A 2017 study found that Boxers are one of the most likely breeds to get cancer. According to Petplan, mast cell tumors are the 5th most common illness in Boxers. This breed is unfortunately also associated with heart disease. Aortic Stenosis is the most common major problem in the breed. Fortunately there is a screening programme for this condition and if you are buying your Boxador pup, it’s very important that your puppy’s Boxer parent has been tested
Boxer Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) can cause heart failure and/or sudden death in dogs. The causes are not known but it is genetic and passed along certain bloodlines. ARVC affects males more than females and is most common in dogs older than 10. Symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing and weight loss.
Boxers can also suffer from Canine Degenerative Myelopathy. This is a neurodegenerative disease that can cause paralysis.
One problem that is on the rise in Boxers is brachycephaly or ‘shortened skull’. This is due to breeders trying to exaggerate the breed’s characteristic facial features. Unfortunately more is not necessarily better and brachycephaly causes breathing difficulties and overheating
It may be that being the Boxador rather than a purebred Boxer offers some protection against these diseases. It certainly reduces the skull shortening we see in brachycephalic breeds. This is a bit of a two edged coin because while the Boxer physique may benefit from a longer muzzle, the Labrador physique is unlikely to be improved with a shorter one.
Boxer Lab Mix Health
There’s always a risk that your Boxador puppy will inherit these problems, but that risk is massively reduced if your breeder health tests their dogs. Reputable breeders will only breed from dogs that have been tested and cleared of these serious hereditary health problems. To give your pup a long and healthy life, make sure he gets plenty of exercise, a balanced diet and regular vet check-ups.
Boxador Life Expectancy
Labrador Retrievers have a lifespan of 11-12 years. And, on average, Boxers live around 9-10 years So in theory you can expect Boxer Labrador mix puppies to reach anywhere between 9 and 12 years old.
Do Boxadors Make Good Family Pets?
Only you can decide if the Boxer Lab mix is the right fit for your home. These are large dogs with big hearts that will give as much as they take. Boxadors love being part of a family. They are great with children and enthusiastic playmates for families with school age children and up. But this cross breed needs lots of exercise. So, if you’re not prepared to be active then perhaps it isn’t for you.
It’s also a large breed that doesn’t do well in confined spaces. They are fiercely attached to their people and dislike being left for long periods of time. Boxadors who don’t get enough exercise or attention can display destructive behavior such as chewing or scratching.
This is a dog that suits a family with an active lifestyle and lots of love to give. As long as they’re well socialized, they have a very happy and content disposition and will be the perfect partner in crime and cuddle buddy.
Boxer Lab Mix Rescue
Adopting a shelter dog always comes with risk. Without documentation about the dog’s parentage and health, it’s hard to know what kind of pup you’re getting. But Boxadors in shelters need homes and rescuing puppies or older dogs can be very rewarding.
If you’re looking for a rescue Boxer Lab mix, inquire with your local humane shelter, or get in touch with the Humane Society of the United States. Labrador and Boxer breed rescues also sometimes have crossbreeds available. Dogs from adoption centers are usually much cheaper than puppies. But, remember you may need to spend lots of time helping them work through behavioral issues from past experiences.
Finding Your Boxador Puppy
Never buy a dog from a puppy mill or pet store. Or from the back of a vehicle. Always visit the puppy in his own home in the presence of his mother, who should be relaxed, healthy and friendly. Sadly with any very fashionable breed, or breed mix, there are many out there who are just looking to make a quick buck.
As with all puppies, Boxadors shouldn’t be taken to their new home until they are at least eight weeks old A knowledgeable breeder will be able to give you some idea of the puppy’s personality, appearance and size once fully grown.
Socialize your Boxador very thoroughly, exposing him to all kinds of fun experiences and making sure that he meets many different types of people, places, machinery etc. Given Boxadors intelligent nature and working history, get started on training your dog right away.
It can be challenging to find a responsible breeder of cross breeds as there is currently quite a stigma against mixed breeding in the dog world.
A good breeder will have documentation on the puppy’s parentage and health checks. You must ask to see those certificates – they are very important. The parent dogs must have been screened for any genetic diseases and the breeder should be very forthcoming with any questions. There should also be a ‘waiting period’ after you get your puppy for you to take it to your own vet to confirm that it’s in good health.
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website