A Complete Guide to the Adorable Miniature Boxer

Miniature Boxers are not an official breed of puppy. Instead, they are the result of mixing a Boxer with a smaller breed. Different smaller breeds can be used, but Boston Terriers are the most common.

Breeding from smaller Boxers can also achieve a “miniature” version, but this is much rarer and doesn’t provide striking results as crossbreeding.

Portrait of a Miniature Boxer dog lying on the grass
Image source

What is a Miniature Boxer?

A miniature Boxer is not an official sub-type of Boxer. However, some dogs are often marketed as “miniature” to pull in potential buyers. These dogs can be made smaller in a variety of ways. 

Miniature Boxer dog posing in a cityscape background
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Usually, this is done by breeding them with a smaller dog. Any smaller dog can be used.

However, this designer breed is usually bred with some smaller breed that looks similar to the Boxer is used, like the Boston Terrier, Rat Terrier, Bull Terrier, or Fox Terrier.

These breed combinations may all be called “miniature Boxers”. 

Of course, when you mix the Boxer breed with a smaller dog, you don’t just change their appearance. It also changes their personality and other factors.

A miniature Boxer typically does not act exactly like a Boxer because of this. 

You also can’t guarantee that the resulting puppy will even look like a miniature Boxer.

Sometimes, they may not be much smaller than a Boxer at all. Other times, they may look more similar to a Boston Terrier than a Boxer. 

They are not recognized by the American Kennel Club. However, they are recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club.

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier became popular in 19th-century England. The Boston Terrier was originally bred for blood sports, which were popular in England at the time.

Boston Terrier mother dog and her puppy portrait
A Boston Terrier mother dog and her puppy

This canine was likely a mix between a Bulldog and a now-extinct English terrier. 

The original Boston Terrier’s name was Judge. Eventually, Judge was sold to William O’Brien, who was an American. All modern Boston Terriers likely come from this one dog. 

During the early years, the Boston Terrier was bred into a smaller, sweeter companion dog. They were originally quite aggressive, as they were bred for blood sports.

However, most today are very sweet and perfect as a companion dog. 

The AKC recognized the Boston Terrier in 1893 – two years after the Boston Terrier Club of America was formed. 

Boxer

The Boxer is a very old breed, likely dating back to the Assyrian empire in 2,500 B.C. However, the breed as we know it today probably started in the late 1800s.

Purebred Boxer dog portrait
Portrait of a purebred Boxer dog

The breed is likely descended from the Bullenbeisser, which was a heavier, larger dog. 

The Bullenbeisser was once Germany’s top big-game hunter. They were used by noblemen to run down, catch, and hold everything from bears to bison.

But, in the early 1800s, the German nobles fell out of favor and the Bullenbeisser went down with them. 

The Boxer rose in popularity after this. By the 1800s, the modern Boxer as we know it came into view. This canine has many jobs, including athletes, cattle dogs, police dogs, and war dogs.

The breed was recognized in 1904 by the AKC, but the breed didn’t become extremely popular until the 1950s.

What does a Miniature Boxer look like?

Miniature Boxer dog resting from a walk
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It can be difficult to know exactly what a miniature Boxer will look like. They are often bred from Boston Terriers.

This can have a significant effect on their overall appearance. They may have more of a snout than a Boston Terrier, or they might not. It really just depends!

Typically, you want the puppy to have as long of a snout as possible, as this will help ensure that they are not prone to some of the health problems Boston Terriers suffer from. 

These dogs usually have larger eyes and are quite muscular. However, some are more muscular than others. 

They may have some sort of squareness in their muzzle. They may have a broad head or an arched skull, depending on the genes they inherit. They usually have brown eyes, but this can vary.

How big do Miniature Boxers get?

Miniature Boxer dog posing in a beautiful waterfalls
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It really depends. Some may be quite small, while others might not be much smaller than a Boxer.

In general, these dogs usually weigh 25-55 pounds (11.3-25 kg). They can stand anywhere from 15-22 inches (38.1-55.9 cm). 

Some of these dogs are short and stocky, while others are leaner. It just depends on what genes they get from what parent. 

These dogs can be good apartment dogs due to their smaller size. However, they do need a bit of exercise, so you will need to meet their exercise needs. 

Dwarf Boxer vs. Miniature Boxer

A dwarf Boxer dog
A cute dwarf Boxer dog – Image source

The Dwarf Boxer is a Boxer that has the dwarfism gene. While this gene is very rare in Boxers, it is possible. Usually, these Boxers have shorter legs than their larger family members. 

However, dwarfism can cause all sorts of health problems. It can cause bone deformities. These dogs usually do not live very healthy lives, so they shouldn’t be bred to produce more dwarf puppies. 

On the other hand, miniature Boxers are bred by mixing a Boxer with a smaller dog. This results in a somewhat smaller dog that may or may not look like a Boxer. 

What is a Miniature Boxer’s coat like?

Their coat can vary somewhat depending on what traits they inherit. They will have short coats that will likely be very fine. Their fur will always be straight and smooth, as both of their parents have this coat type. 

They are typically black, fawn, or white. White is a bit less common than the other coat color options. 

Many of them have brindle coat markings. However, some of them are solidly colored. 

Temperament: Are Miniature Boxers good family dogs?

Miniature Boxer dog posing in a sea view
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Usually, these dogs are quite family. They like family and people. Because of this, they are extremely good companion dogs. They are mostly purchased as companion dogs for this reason. 

They are also very gentle. They are good with children, even those who tend to be a bit rough. However, the smaller dogs can be a bit scared of children because they can be injured by smaller children easily.

Socialization is important. 

Despite their loyalty, these dogs are not particularly prone to social isolation. They are typically fine with being left by themselves for moderate amounts of time.

They are fine with most other animals, including cats. Some early socialization is recommended. However, they are usually very gentle with all animals. 

These dogs are typically very people-friendly. But, they can be a bit territorial around strangers in their home. With proper socialization, they are typically not aggressive.

However, they can be a bit aloof. They are a good watchdog in some situations. 

Typically, these dogs are moderately easy to train and are quite intelligent. They are not particularly stubborn, either. 

How to take care of your Miniature Boxer

Miniature Boxers are pretty easy to take care of and only require minimum care. 

They are somewhat intolerant to heat, so they should not be left outside during the hotter months. But like all dogs, they do need some exercise and some coat maintenance.

We’ll discuss everything you need to know below. 

Exercising Your Miniature Boxer

Portrait of a Miniature Boxer dog in a hike
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Miniature Boxers require quite a bit of exercise, especially when you consider their smaller size. They have high activity levels and need to be worn out daily. These are quite high energy.

You will need to take them on moderate length walks preferably twice a day. Playtime outside can also be relatively helpful, especially if your yard is fenced-in. 

Dog parks and fenced back yards are a great option for these canines. This breed does tend to wander quite a bit. Because of this, you should not let them roam free. 

You should not exercise them in the heat, as they are prone to heatstroke. Instead, take them for walks early in the morning or late at night during the summer. 

Grooming: Do Miniature Boxers shed?

They do shed a moderate amount. They are not hypoallergenic by any means. They require daily brushing to remove the dead hairs and help keep them clean. This will prevent the hairs from ending up all over your house. 

You should check their ears regularly for a build-up of debris. Some dogs don’t have any problems with this, but others will need regular ear cleanings.

If there is dirt and wax build-up on the outside of the ears, you will need to clean them with a damp cotton ball. Dogs with floppy ears seem to have the biggest problem.

Dental health is also very important. You should clean your dog’s teeth at least a few times a week, though daily brushing is the best.

You should also keep your dog’s nails short. Regular exercise can help rub them down, but they will need to have them ground down regularly. 

Eye examinations should be done regularly as well, though your dog should not need their eyes cleaned often like some other breeds. 

You do not need to bathe your canine very often. They only need to be washed when they get physically dirty. 

Feeding: How much should a Miniature Boxer eat in a day?

Miniature Boxer dog with his food
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Miniature Boxers will need dog food based on their size. Because their size can range so widely, the amount of food your particular dog needs will vary.

Generally, they need about 2 cups every day. However, this can vary a lot depending on their size. 

Because they are very active dogs, they will need a high-protein diet. This may cost a bit more, but it will help your canine keep the lean muscles they need to stay active. 

Is the Miniature Boxer healthy?

Because it is a mixed breed, the Miniature Boxer is healthier than many of the other canines out there. However, it is prone to quite a few health conditions. This is largely because neither parent breed is super healthy. 

These dogs can be prone to bloating. This is a serious condition that involves the stomach twisting and filling up with gas. This requires surgery and can be life-threatening. 

They are also prone to hypothyroidism, which involves the dysfunction of the thyroid gland. Dogs with this condition will need life-long medication to replace the thyroid hormone.

Cardiomyopathy is another serious condition, but this often is corrected through diet and medication. It can be life-threatening when not treated. 

Bigger Miniature Boxers may be prone to hip dysplasia. Proper nutrition into puppyhood is essential to prevent this.

Overfeeding can cause the puppies to grow too fast, which can cause problems later on. For one reason or another, Boxers are also prone to cancer. 

If the Miniature Boxer has a shorter snout, they may also have breathing problems. These can range for minor to severe. This can cause issues related to heat, exercise tolerance, and even anesthesia complications. 

If their eyes “pop out”, they may be prone to cataracts. Epilepsy and heart problems are also common in Boston Terriers, so they may occur in Miniature Boxers as well. 

For dogs with lots of wrinkles, dermatitis may also be common. This occurs when the wrinkles rub against each other. As you might imagine, this can cause sores, which may get infected.

Some heart problems are common in these dogs as well. They may develop dilated cardiomyopathy, though this condition is also linked to diet.

Ensuring your canine gets enough protein-rich food can help prevent it. Subaortic stenosis and mitral valve dysplasia are both also common. 

Portrait of a Miniature Boxer dog waiting for a treat
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Eye problems aren’t extremely common, but they can occur. They may develop Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which can cause blindness over time.

There is no cure for this disease and it usually develops in both eyes. Canine glaucoma may also occur. 

For dogs with short noses, they will have Brachycephalic Syndrome. This can cause all sorts of problems with their breathing.

The only treatment is a surgical correction, but these dogs are sensitive to surgery when they have this condition. It is only used in major conditions because of this. 

Patellar luxation involves the displacement of the kneecap. This may be common in smaller dogs. Allergies are common in these dogs, so we highly recommend changing their food often.

Dogs become more sensitive to food as they eat it. By switching it often, you can avoid them becoming sensitive to a particular protein. 

These dos are also somewhat prone to these conditions:

  • Demodicosis
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Mono/Bilateral Cryptorchidism
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome
  • Cervical Vertebral Instability
  • Atrophic Dermatitis

White Miniature Boxers are particularly prone to deafness and blindness. While these dogs may be unique, we generally do not recommend adopting them for this reason. 

For new puppies and newly adopted dogs, we recommend doing a few health tests. Breeders should also perform these health tests on their dogs before breeding them.

We recommend asking for records of these health tests before adopting a puppy. 

These dogs typically live for about 10-12 years. Of course, their lifespan does depend largely on the overall health of the dog. Proper exercise and diet go a long way, as does fast treatment whenever health problems pop up. 

How much does a Miniature Boxer puppy cost?

Young Miniature Boxer dog looking at the owner
Image source

They can cost anywhere between $450 to $2,000. Puppies may cost more if they look more like Boxers. Since these are more like “miniature Boxers”, they are usually more expensive. 

Miniature Boxers can also look a lot like Boston Terriers. Because of this, you aren’t always going to get a dog that looks like a tiny Boxer. Some breeders may price puppies lower that doesn’t look like Boxers. 

Miniature Boxer Breeders

There are only a few breeders that specialize in Miniature Boxers. The “original” breeder is located at the LSC Ranch Home. Other breeders may occasionally sell Miniature Boxers, but this is much rarer. 

Miniature Boxer Rescue Sites

There are many Boxer rescues out there. However, there are no rescues that actually rescue exclusively Miniature Boxers. You may find quite a few Boxer rescues that may have Miniature Boxers. 

For example, there is an Austin Boxer Dog Rescue, Carolina Boxer Rescue, and the Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue

Miniature Boxer vs. its Cousins

Corgi Boxer Mix vs. Miniature Boxer

Corgi Boxer mix dog lying down in a walkway
Meet the playful Corgi Boxer mix dog – Image source

Corgi Boxer Mixes are quite different from Miniature Boxers. They have shorter legs and will have different personalities.

For example, Corgis have herding instincts. Therefore, they may have herding instincts, when this is not true of the Miniature Boxer.

English Bulldog Boxer Mix vs. Miniature Boxer

English Bulldog Boxer mix dog excited to go out
An English Bulldog Boxer mix dog excited to go out – Image source

English Bulldog Boxer Mixes tend to be rather stout and squared. They are very muscular and tend to be lower to the ground than a Miniature Boxer.

They tend to be rather affectionate, but they don’t usually like to be alone very often. For this reason, they are best suited for families that will be home for most of the time. 

Because of their small faces, they do not tolerate cold weather or hot weather. 

Beagle Boxer Mix vs. Miniature Boxer

Beagle Boxer mix dog in a snowy adventure
Meet the Beagle Boxer mix dog in a snowy adventure – Image source

Beagle Boxer mixes can be smaller than a purebred Boxer. However, they often have longer noses and don’t look much like a purebred Boxer.

They definitely don’t look like a mini Boxer like most Miniature Boxers do. 

Is a Miniature Boxer Right for Me?

Miniature Boxer dog sitting on colorful fallen leaves
Image source

Miniature Boxers are not smaller, purebred Boxers. Instead, they are mixed breed dogs that may happen to look like a smaller version of a Boxer.

They can have different traits than a Boxer. For example, they are prone to some health issues that Boxers typically aren’t. 

These dogs can be a great family pet if you have the time to dedicate to their exercise and training. 

Are you considering a Miniature Boxer? Already have one of these canines? Let us know in the comments below!

Further Reading: What dogs look like a Miniature Boxer?

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