A German shepherd boxer mix is a cross between a German shepherd and a boxer. This mixed breed goes by different names including boxer shepherd and box-a-shep.
Boxer shepherds are medium to large dogs. This breed is energetic, protective, and loyal. These dogs are suitable pets and guard dogs for outdoorsy people and families with older children. This breed is unsuitable for apartment living and families with small kids.
The German shepherd boxer mix lives 10 to 12 years.
German Shepherd Boxer Mix Quick Summary
|Breed type||Mixed breed|
|Purpose||Family dog, guard dog|
|Suitable for||Active people and homes with outdoor space|
|Size||23 to 26 inches (male) or 20 to 23 inches (female)|
|Weight||60 to 90 pounds (male) or 55 to 70 pounds (female)|
|Lifespan||10 to 12 years|
|Coat type||A short double or single coat|
|Color variations||Brown, tan, black, or gray|
|Temperament||Energetic, protective, loyal, loving|
|Daily exercise||High — Needs 60 to 120 minutes of exercise daily|
|Daily food consumption||3 cups of high-quality kibble per day (adults)|
|Known health problems||Hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, bloat|
|Good with children||Yes — Children age 10 or older|
|Good with other pets||Yes, when socialized from a young age|
|Price||$500 to $1,500|
German Shepherd Boxer Mix Appearance
Boxer shepherds are large, stocky, and athletic. The dogs have dark eyes, and their large ears are floppy, erect, or folded at the tips.
A German shepherd boxer mix can take the appearance of a German shepherd or a boxer. These dogs can also be a perfect mix of both parent breeds.
Size and Weight
Boxer shepherds are medium to large dogs, and the mixes’ heights and weights vary depending on the parents’ measurements. Males are generally 23 to 26 inches tall and weigh between 60 and 90 pounds. Females stand 20 to 23 inches tall and weigh from 55 to 70 pounds.
Most boxer shepherds have a short, thick, double coat. Some of these dogs inherit the boxer parent’s single coat, and some inherit a medium-long coat from the German shepherd parent.
The most common coat colors in this mix are dark brown, light brown, tan, gray, and black. Most boxer shepherds have black facial masks and white patches of fur. Some mixes sport other color combinations depending on the coat colors of both parent dogs.
Boxer German Shepherd Mix Origins
The German shepherd boxer mix is a relatively new crossbreed without a well-documented history. This mixed breed probably existed naturally before designer breeders, likely in North America, started crossing German shepherds and boxers to create a family-friendly guard and work dog, and to meet the increased demand for mixed-breed dogs.
The German shepherd is a medium to large dog breed originally bred as a sheep herder. The German shepherd has gained popularity as an all-purpose working dog renowned for its high intelligence, trainability, loyalty, and courage.
German shepherds are energetic, athletic dogs that need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation every day so they don’t become bored, frustrated, and destructive.
The boxer is a powerful, muscular, medium to large dog, and was bred in Germany as a guard dog. Boxers have square heads, short noses, short smooth coats, and floppy ears (unless the ears are cropped).
A typical boxer is highly energetic, and makes an excellent family companion as long as the dog is properly exercised. Without regular exercise and mental stimulation, boxers become bored and destructive.
Boxer German Shepherd Mix Personality and Temperament
The boxer shepherd is wary of strangers and will never be as affectionate with guests as it is with its family. The dog is happy to spend time and cuddle with all family members, and the dog’s protective instincts make it an excellent guard dog that protects its family from sensed threats.
German shepherd boxers need lots of exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day. Active families who are home a lot, spend time with their pets, and who challenge their pets mentally and physically make the best owners for this breed.
Taking Care of a Boxer German Shepherd Mix
Boxer shepherds make wonderful companions, but they aren’t for everyone. The boxer shepherd is a high-maintenance dog because it has high exercise, training, and mental needs. Keeping this dog active and stimulated is the biggest challenge that owners might face.
A boxer shepherd’s food should be formulated for medium to large, high-energy dogs. Follow the feeding instructions on the kibble package for your dog’s age and weight. Split adult boxer shepherds’ meals into three per day, and feed puppies three to four times per day with high-quality kibble for large-breed puppies.
Single-coated boxer shepherds shed moderately all year, and need to be brushed two times a week. Double-coated boxer shepherds go through a shedding season in the spring and fall. Groom the double-coated boxer shepherd four to five times per week during shedding season, and two to three times per week in the off-season. Use a rubber curry brush to remove loose hair and dead skin cells, stimulate circulation, and to keep your home clean.
Bathe a boxer shepherd once every two to three months. Overbathing causes dry, flaky skin and a dull-looking coat. Every time you bathe your boxer shepherd, clean its ears, brush its teeth, and clip the dog’s nails if they’re long.
German shepherd boxers need between 60 and 120 minutes of vigorous exercise every day. Include the boxer shepherd in activities such as running, jogging, hiking, cycling, or agility games to tire the dog out and keep it in good shape. Depending on the dog’s age, aim for two or three walks per day.
Boxer shepherds become bored quickly without adequate mental stimulation. Keep these dogs mentally stimulated by feeding them using puzzle bowls, letting them play with food dispensing toys, or teaching them new tricks. Learning new commands, finding hidden treats, playing hide and seek, and putting toys away are other activities that boxer shepherds enjoy.
Common Health Concerns
Boxer shepherds can become sick due to lack of exercise and poor eating habits (bloat). This mixed breed can inherit several health problems from their parent breeds, especially food and environmental allergies, hypothyroidism, heart disease, cancer, degenerative myelopathy (leads to hind limb paralysis), and hip and elbow dysplasia.
The best way to ensure a healthy German boxer is to rule out inherited diseases before adopting or buying by purchasing the dog from a reputable breeder who provides health records on the dog’s parents. Take a German boxer puppy to the vet for a full check-up as soon as you bring the dog home for the first time, and keep your dog healthy by giving it regular veterinary check-ups, treating any health problems, and fulfilling the dog’s dietary, mental, and exercise needs.
Training a German Shepherd Boxer Mix
Start training your boxer shepherd as soon as it comes home, and keep the training sessions short and exciting to enforce the dog’s intelligence and avoid its stubborn behaviors.
Boxer shepherds respond better to positive reinforcement puppy training methods than to domination and punishment. Reward good behavior with praise, treats, or toys.
Early socialization helps boxer shepherd puppies grow into friendly and well-mannered dogs. Introduce the puppy to different people, children, and animals, and expose it to different situations, sounds, and smells.
Dog crates are an essential housetraining tool for any dog, especially to train boxer shepherd puppies to whine or scratch when they need to pee or defecate — a signal that they should be let outside.
German Shepherd Boxer Mix Cost
Boxer shepherds are reasonably priced dogs, given that mixes and designer dogs like this crossbreed are often more expensive than their purebred parents.
How Much Is a German Shepherd Boxer Mix?
A German shepherd boxer mix costs $500 to $1,500. The price may vary depending on the breeder and the dog’s age, lineage, health certification, and market availability and demand.
Buying a boxer shepherd puppy from a reputable breeder costs more than adopting an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue organization. Expect to spend up to $350 to adopt an adult boxer shepherd.
How Much Does It Cost to Raise a German Shepherd Boxer Mix?
The annual cost of raising a boxer shepherd varies depending on the type of supplies and services chosen. Expect to spend around $250 to $750 on food, $50 to $200 on toys, $400 on preventative medication, and $700 on routine veterinary care per year depending on how you choose to care for your dog.
Should You Get a German Shepherd Boxer Mix?
Boxer shepherds are wonderful companions for outdoorsy people of all ages, and make capable guard dogs. But, this mixed-breed isn’t for everyone. Boxer shepherds crave human company and aren’t suited to people who don’t spend much time with their dog.
German Shepherd Boxer Mixes are Suitable for:
Boxer shepherds make suitable pets and guard dogs for active people who like to hike, cycle, run, or go camping. This mixed breed thrives in busy families with older children who regularly spend time with their dog. Homes near parks or with a large fenced backyard are the best living situations for boxer shepherds.
German Shepherd Boxer Mixes are NOT Suitable for:
The boxer shepherd’s high exercise needs make it an unsuitable pet or guard dog for people with sedentary lifestyles, families with small kids, and apartment living. A large and energetic boxer shepherd mix can unintentionally knock down or injure a toddler while playing.
This mixed breed is unsuitable for people who spend a lot of time away from home or have unpredictable schedules.