German Shepherd Boxer mix: Is this loyal dog right for you?

Last Updated on April 26, 2023

Also known as Boxer Shepherd or Box-a-Shep, the German Shepherd Boxer mix is a hard-working and energetic crossbreed that active paw parents will surely love.

Being a mix of two German purebreds known for their loyalty and versatility, we can expect so much from this fido.

German Shepherd Boxer mix portrait

Curious about this designer dog? Keep scrolling to learn more if its size, personality, and care requirements fit with your lifestyle.

History: Where did the Boxer Shepherd originate?

Most mixed breeds don’t have a well-documented origin of when they joined the canine world. But despite being a hybrid, the German Shepherd-Boxer cross was created to be the perfect guard dog and are used for different types of work.

We can’t rely on popular organizations like the American Kennel Club (AKC) for information about the Box-a-Shep because they don’t recognize crossbreeds. They’re recognized by the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), though.

Another way for you to find out more about a particular designer dog is learning about its parents’ physical qualities and temperament. Doing so will give us an idea of how they’ll turn out.

The tenacious and hard-working German Shepherd 

German Shepherd military working dog
German Shepherd dog working in military

Hailing from Germany, the German Shepherds (GSD) breed is one of the most intelligent and popular canines.

Did you know that their name initially served as an umbrella term for a variety of herding dogs?

It all started in the 1800s when a German cavalry officer, Captain Max von Stephanitz, developed the breed using those dogs.

He also co-founded the first club dedicated to German Shepherds and is widely credited for introducing the modern GSD and setting its standards.

From there, they were recognized by the AKC in 1908. This purebred became even more popular, thanks to celebrity German Shepherds Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin.

This large breed that stands 22 to 26 inches (56 to 66 cm) tall and weighs 75 to 95 pounds (34 to 43 kg) is a picture of strength and dignity.

Because they’re known for their loyalty and wit, they became a prominent part of police forces worldwide.

You’ll often see them employed in different jobs like military and security, fighting insurgents on battlefields, and sniff out bombs and enemies.

Fun facts:

The German Shepherd is the most common dog breed used in detecting explosives. They’re one of the easiest canines to train that they get picked to do different services along with humans.

During Ground Zero on 9/11, a GSD named Apollo is the first K9 unit to respond! Amazing, right?

They even have their own motto, courtesy of Captain Stephanitz – Utility and Intelligence.

The amazing Boxer dog

Boxer dog playing with a baby boy
Big Boxer dog playing with a baby boy

Boxers are also from Germany, but you can trace their ancestry as far as 2,500 B.C. to the German Bullenbeisser. It’s a type of mastiff known as big game hunters that take on wild boars, bisons, and bears.

Since then, the Boxer was bred to be smaller but just as impressive. They stand about 20 to 25 inches (51 to 64 cm) tall and can weigh up to 70 pounds (32 kg).

Just by looking at them, you can say that this doggo is tough and quite intimidating. They’re often referred to as “The Peter Pan of the dog universe” because of their innocence and charm?

Contrary to their somewhat unfair reputations for being fighting dogs, they’re more of a lover than a fighter.

Boxers may be a little stubborn and headstrong, but they’re also intelligent, affectionate, and loyal. They’re brilliant service dogs, too!

Fun facts:

Ancient Assyrians used Boxers as war dogs because of their power and bravery.

What does a German Shepherd & Boxer mix look like?

German Shepherd Boxer mix on treadmill
Source: @adventures_of_verna / IG

Hybrids can resemble both parent breeds or favor one over the other. Generally, this is a mix breed with an imposing appearance like the Boxer.

They can appear quite intimidating because of their tall, muscular build, alert expression, and broad muzzle.

Those dark eyes and floppy ears that can either stand erect or fold over at the tips can indeed reflect this canine’s serious nature.

Size: How big will a German Shepherd Boxer mix get?

This large to giant dog has a height of 23 to 27 inches (58 to 69 cm) and a weight of 65 to 95 pounds (29.5 to 43 kg).

A German Shepherd Boxer mix puppy can reach this full-grown size once they’re about one-year-old.

And seeing those measurements, a Boxer Shepherd wouldn’t appreciate living in an apartment. You also have to think about its energy level.

That said, they’ll do best in a home that offers a lot of room to move, especially outdoors.

The coat & colors of a German Shepherd mixed with a Boxer

Your Box-a-Shep’s fur can vary, as well. They can either be single-coated or double-coated, but it’s not going to be that long. A little fluff can be expected if the GSD parent has a longer coat.

For coat colors, their main shades include black, tan, brown, gray, and white.

The typical color is brown, but it can range from a light tan to chocolate brown. Black can be seen as a mask or patches over their face and muzzle. In some cases, you may see patches of white or light gray, too.

Personality: Is the German Shepherd Boxer mix a good family dog?

The first word that comes to mind with this designer dog is “protective.” They’re family-oriented and will always look after their people – something you’ll expect from guard dogs.

But are German Shepherd Boxer mixes good family dogs? Yes, as long as they’re with the right type of family. Pet parents are aware that not one breed fits with everyone.

For this pooch, they need to be with experienced dog owners who are active and can keep up with their daily demands.

Also, they should be with families who have older kids, like ten years and up. Boxer Shepherds are loyal guardians with a playful streak.

When a doggo becomes a goofball, they often forget how big they are and what’s too rough, so they can accidentally bump smaller family members.

Do Boxer Shepherds have separation anxiety?

Lonely Boxer Shepherd dog
Source: @lewandchew / IG

This mixed breed isn’t inherently aggressive. But the way they are treated can cause destructive behavior to develop, including being ignored and left alone for too long.

Even a well-trained canine can get bored and frustrated. They’ll express it in any way they can, such as disobeying, chewing, and attacking.

We recommend that you look for a good dog sitter if you need to be away from your fur baby for hours.

Are Boxer Shepherds considered smart dogs?

Just like their parents, they’re driven and intelligent dogs with keen senses, so they’re easy to train. Keep in mind, though, that your relationship with your pet should be of mutual understanding and respect.

This fido has low tolerance when being dominated by owners, and forcing them to do something will only create aggression and resentment from your dog towards you.

Whether it’s a puppy or an older dog, be aware of his boundaries, and never be pushy. Don’t worry. Clicker training works well for this canine.

You can give your pup tasks like fetching, finding, or carrying things. You can also give him mechanical toys to herd around the house or an automatic ball launcher.

Are you worried if a German Shepherd-Boxer mix is a barker? Expect a bit of barking from time to time, but once your pup learns what he can or can’t trust, it will minimize their natural suspicion of anything strangers.

But even if your Boxer Shepherd has early socialization, some doggos can remain distant from those who aren’t part of their household.

You can enroll your fur baby in puppy and agility classes, but you should still supervise interactions with other people, dogs, and small pets.

Your Box-a-Shep may inherit the rambunctiousness of its Boxer parent, but with consistent training, you’ll still get a well-behaved canine friend. Just like Linux in this video:

Taking care of your German Shepherd Boxer mix

The Boxer German Shepherd breed is considered a high-maintenance dog because they require a lot of patience to manage their needs.

We want to clarify that, even if this is a guard dog, it’s not their full-time job, and they shouldn’t be chained outside your house to do it permanently. Every pet should be treated as a family member.

How much exercise do they need?

One of the biggest challenges with an energetic dog like the Boxer & German Shepard cross is keeping them entertained and active.

German Shepherd Boxer mix in the snow
Source: @_missraya / IG

When it comes to physical stimulation, they require at least 1 hour and 30 minutes of exercise daily. You can divide it into two walks and then play.

There are a lot of activities to do other than a walk around the neighborhood.

Since the German Shepherd Boxer mix dog is up for anything, take him on a hiking journey, play hide-and-seek, a game of tag, or build him a hurdle course that he can use on his own or during training.

If you live on a ranch or farm, this hybrid will happily help you tend your livestock, just like its ancestors.

Puzzles and interactive feeders should keep your canine companion mentally stimulated and entertained.

Grooming: Do Boxer German Shepherd mixes shed?

Yes. If your Boxer Shepherd has a single coat, then he’s a low shedder. Those with a double coat will shed moderately.

Either way, this designer dog’s short coat is NOT hypoallergenic. Heavy shedding tendencies are also possible when the seasons are changing (spring and fall).

To keep those loose fur in control, short-haired Box-a-Shep’s should be brushed once a week, while long-haired ones need to be brushed two to three times weekly.

You have to do it more often if your furry pal is active in fields, ponds, or lakes.

Baths should only be given once every three months or when needed to avoid drying your pet’s coat, which leads to irritation and itching.

You have to wash your German Shepherd Boxer mix if he loves swimming. It’s necessary to remove the dirt from the beach or the lake or the chlorine from the pool.

Use a natural shampoo that’s pH neutral, has soap-free formulation, and has a moisturizing effect.

Don’t forget to do a weekly check and cleaning between those big, floppy ears to prevent infections.

For dental hygiene, it’s ideal to brush your pet’s teeth every day. But it’s also okay to do it two to three times a week. Dental chews are excellent treats to make his breath smell better.

How much food should a Boxer Shepherd mix eat?

Highly active canines need refueling, and this fido will do well with whole meat or raw diet.

Dry dog food is also an excellent choice, as long as it consists of protein and that the fat and carbs are derived from natural sources.

If you opt for kibbles, 3 to 4 cups will be enough for your German Shepherd Boxer mix, and then divide it into two meals.

If you prefer that the amount is based on your doggo’s weight and daily caloric intake, that’s about 1,200 calories per day. You can use this calculator to compute how many calories your pup needs.

For Boxer & German Shepherd mix puppies, they can be fed ½ cup of dry kibbles three times a day for easier digestion.

We recommend that you get a slow feeder in case your beautiful dog is a voracious eater. Aside from avoiding obesity by slowing him down during meals and controlling treats, it can also prevent bloat.

Health issues: How long does a Boxer Shepherd live?

German Shepherd Boxer mixes are generally healthy dogs with an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years, where some can live up to 15 years. But it’s typical for large breeds to have a shorter life expectancy compared to smaller dogs.

Still, they can inherit health problems that their purebred parents are predisposed to.

For this hybrid, those include hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, which are common in large breed dogs. Then there’s thyroid and heart diseases, degenerative myelopathy, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and even cancer.

No one can guarantee that your fur buddy will suffer from these illnesses, but it’s best to be aware and keep an eye out for them.

After ensuring your pup’s parent breeds have clear health tests before breeding, it’s also an excellent idea to have your dog get tested at a young age.

Those include an elbow and hip evaluation, a cardiac exam, a thyroid test, and a degenerative myelopathy DNA test.

How much is a Boxer German Shepherd Mix puppy?

Cute German Shepherd Boxer mix puppy
Source: @andante_puppy / IG

As an offspring of popular breeds, a German Shepherd Boxer mix puppy can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500.

The price range can depend on the breeder, the number of available puppies, the kennel’s location and popularity, and even the bloodline of the GSD and Boxer parent.

Before you sign any contract or pay for a pup, make sure you meet the little guy, its littermates, and parents. You can observe if they’re cared for, how they react to visitors and their current owner.

Reputable breeders will often voluntarily let you check the essential documents and medical records related to the dogs.

Boxer Shepherd breeders and rescue

We couldn’t find a specific breeder or kennel that offers German Shepherd Boxer mix puppies for sale, but another option is adoption.

Many crossbreeds, even purebreds, end up in shelters. The good thing about adopting is that it’s cheaper because they usually cost around $200, and you can save a fur angel’s life – give it another chance to be loved.

You should still be careful when adopting this mix, especially older dogs. Get to know the pooch you’re interested in to see if he’s showing signs that he was used as a guard dog or if he’s more on the friendly side.

Ready to start your search? Here are a few websites dedicated to German Shepherds and Boxers, as well as their mixes:

  • Westside German Shepherd Rescue (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Saving Shepherds of Minnesota (Roseville, MN)
  • New Life Boxer Rescue (Kenilworth, NJ)
  • Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue (Hickory, NC)

If you’re outside of the United States, you can check out the German Shepherd Rescue Network of Ontario’s Facebook page. There’s also Boxer Rescue Canada in Berwyn, Alberta.

Other Boxer mixes & German Shepherd crosses you might like

Think mixed breed dogs make great family pets? Then, here are more Boxer designer dogs you should meet:

Boxer Labrador Retriever mix (AKA Boxador)

Pitbull Boxer mix (AKA Bullboxer Pit)

Boxer Poodle mix (AKA Boxerdoodle)

Boxer Bulldog mix (AKA Bulloxer)

German Shepherd Rottweiler mix (AKA Shottie)

German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix (AKA Golden Shepherd)

German Shepherd Husky mix (AKA Gerberian Shepsky)

Border Collie German Shepherd mix (AKA Shollie)

And that’s just to name a few. Don’t miss our article that has a list of a whole bunch of Boxer mixes worth knowing.

Have you decided if you should get a Boxer Shepherd dog?

German Shepherd Boxer mix waiting for food
Source: @adventures_of_verna / IG

Potential pet owners of this breed must weigh the pros and cons.

German Shepherd Boxer mixes are great family pets because they’re protective and rarely aggressive, fun to have around, and devoted companions. Just be cautious whenever they’re around small children.

But even the best dogs have their own quirks. They’re relatively high maintenance because they’re a crossbreed that’s suspicious, dominant, easily bored, and clingy.

If none of these characteristics changed your mind, then we congratulate you on finally finding a canine that matches your lifestyle.

What can you say about the German Shepherd Boxer mix? Do you have this mixed breed as a fur baby? Tell us all about it by leaving a comment below.


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