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Looking for a second rescue dog - boxer or lab?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

We have a 10 year old female lab mix who we love so much.  She's calm (and was even when we adopted her at 15 months old).  She's super friendly and tolerant of kids.  She's affectionate.  We wish we could clone her!


She was really sick this summer with a mystery liver ailment (she's better now).  Her illness made me think that maybe it's time to add a second dog.  She was sick again last month (not the liver this time).  She's been healthy all her life.  I can't imagine losing her. I especially can't imagine it without a furry, snuggly couch buddy to help us through it. 


My husband has requested no small dogs.  He wants a big, dopey, calm, sweet, friendly dog.  Which means we aren't looking for a puppy!  The dogs we're considering are between 2 and 4 years old.  We've applied and have been approved at both boxer rescue and lab rescue.   


Any input about which breed sounds better for us?  Things to consider to help us decide?

My only concern at this point with boxers is that they don't seem to have as long a life expectancy as labs do.  And with labs, we'd have double the dog hair tumbleweeds.  What else should I be thinking about?



post #2 of 7

well, both breeds are fairly high energy dogs, boxers probably more so. However the traits you listed will depend on the dogs personality, I would recommend letting the rescues know what you are looking for and assess each dog individually. Though you arent likely to find a super calm boxer (not as familiar with labs), boxers need exercise, and will be calm if they receive it.

post #3 of 7

I have a boxer his name is Muffy.Boxer dogs are pretty strong and powerful.I think it's a good choice.


Homemade treats

post #4 of 7

Labs in general are super high energy dogs.  A lot of lab owners make the mistake of assuming every lab is going to be as calm and well mannered as their previous lab when the truth is that they got really lucky.  Labs are great dogs, don't get me wrong but just make sure if you are looking for a calm, gentle lab like your current girl that you make that very clear with the rescue.  Sometimes hidden personalities come out once a dog has found a new home but with rescues they are usually fostered and the foster parent(s) have a good idea of the dogs normal behavior.


Boxers are also very high energy dogs.  Most of the boxers I have met are the sweetest most wonderful dogs but easily excitable and don't know their own strength. Once again work closely with the rescue and make it clear what you are looking for in a dog.  Good luck and I hope you find a wonderful new companion!

post #5 of 7

The other thing to keep in mind with Boxers is that with any bully breed, they may not always get along with other dogs, and that could change at any time in their lives.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

When I applied to each rescue, I made it clear that we're looking for friendly-to-all, laid back, relatively calm individuals.  I didn't apply for certain dogs listed on the rescues' websites because I wanted to get recommendations from people in the know.  These dogs are the ones recommended.  Here are my concerns about the two.


Boxer Jake:  He is 4, and I discovered last week that the average life expectancy of a boxer is only 10 years.  Don't boxers also have more than their fair share of possible health issues?  We've only had small and medium sized dogs, so having a 75 pound dog with a shorter life span would be new to us.


Lab mix Wind:  She is only 2 and is a mix.  She looks just like our dog Raven.  With a bobtail and everything.  But I don't want to get caught up in that.  Her fosters have only had her for a week, but they only have good things to say about her.  Except that she growls at men she doesn't know, particularly if they are wearing a hat or glasses.  She doesn't snap at them, but she growls.  The fosters want to meet us at Petsmart instead of at their home because they think she will be protective and likely growl at my husband if we met them at home. 

Does this mean she is dominant or has a higher potential for fear-based aggression?



post #7 of 7

boxer- I dont think Ive heard the life expectancy is so short usually its around 11-14 years, but the bigger the dog the shorter their life span. Labs have a similar life expetancy. BTW labs and boxers are both considered the same size.


As for health, every breed has their health issues, some of the issues will be more common such as hip and joint issues which can affect both boxers and labs. Other issues are more specific to breed and both boxers and labs can have quite a few health issues. I dont think one has more then the other.


Lab- Dominance is an overused term and most people dont understand it correctly. Dogs dont try to dominant humans and most of their behaviour can be explained easily outside of that context. It sounds like the lab has fear issues whether that will lead to aggression is dependent on the individual dog. Growling means she is uncomfortable in the situation, it does not mean she will ever become aggressive, however if she is fearful if she is pushed to far to quickly it could lead to a bite, but this is defensive not aggressive. The rescue should be able to help you with training to overcome her issues, if you decided on that dog I would recommend finding a certified behaviourist to work through her issues using positive reinforcement.

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