Blunt face, inquiring ears, and a steady gaze with a hint of mischief… we’re talking about the ever-so-popular Boxer stare. How many times have you caught your dog staring at you in the most uncomfortable way possible? Boxers are known for their one of a kind “staring into your soul” look, but have you ever wondered what drives them to put up such a face? Is it something that you have said or done? Probably so, as Boxer dogs are undeniably friendly and prefer human companionship over the presence of other animals. So why do they do it? Let’s find out more…
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The Root of the Behavior
Boxers come from the massive Molossian Hound, an ancient Greek guarding, fighting, and herding dog. They were initially used as hunting and war partners and were appreciated for their muscular, short-coated physique and graceful posture. Today, the Boxer will stand by the owner’s side through thick and thin and will be most comfortable when surrounded by children. They have strong emotions toward all family members and will communicate their inner state through different behaviors. One such form of communication is represented by their “lock-down” stare. It has been said that the idea of gaze communication goes back to the grey wolves, although the reason your dog might be staring at you is somewhat dependent on the type of dog you own. In this case, you’ll need to take into account your Boxer’s innate personality traits to find out more about the reason behind the behavior.
From that gaze of “disgust” when you do something that truly annoys them, to that look of surprise and anticipation, this type of breed will have no trouble expressing their emotions bluntly. Boxers are high-energy animals so they can get bored pretty easily. What does this have to do with the way they stare at you? Whether he crawls into your lap, forcing you to make eye contact with him or he is simply lying on the floor staring at nothing… you get the picture. Do not let your pup get so bored he won’t even know what to do with himself. Dogs also stare when they anticipate your next move (such as waiting for you to finish cooking so they can have a bite), or when something is missing from their daily routine. Learn how to read between the lines when it comes to your Boxer and pay attention to any unwanted signs of boredom or depression.
Encouraging the Behavior
If you notice your dog is relentlessly staring you, try to see why before you interact with him. Usually, it’s because they are thinking they might get something from you, whether a treat, a toy, or simply your attention. If you haven’t done anything, in particular, to “upset” him, staring is probably a positive thing that indicates how important you are to him. By reading your body language, your dog is focusing on receiving your attention and anticipating good things. If you know you’ve been neglecting your pup and his staring is due to your lack of affection, consider exercising him more.
Although the Boxer needs physical stimulation and playtime to stay in shape, he can do just fine in an apartment with daily walks and trips to the park several times a week. However, even when indoors, the Boxer requires human fellowship and is not a breed to be left in the backyard or excluded from the home. Puzzle toys are another way to keep your Boxer occupied, because apart from physical exercise, he also needs to keep his mind busy. The most important thing you can spend on your Boxer is time, so make sure to include him in your regular schedule as much as you can.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Training him properly is always an option used to reverse any unwanted behaviors and make sure that your pup is socialized correctly. Training will not only wear him out mentally but also physically. This means that he will have no time left to be bored or feel pushed aside. Praise him continuously during lessons and reinforce positive behavior by giving him special treats so that all his focus is on you, the alpha leader. This is especially significant during leash training. If you’re dealing with a puppy, you need to introduce him to other dogs and people as soon as possible. If they are not properly socialized or interacted with on a regular basis, they can develop behavioral issues such as biting, chasing or barking loudly.
Make sure you know the difference between an aggressive stare and an inquisitive one. Sometimes, all a Boxer dog needs is a little bit more of your companionship, so do not let him just stare at nothing and start treating him as an actual member of the family. You’ll be rewarded with plenty of love and heartfelt contemplations of pure affection.