If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you bred a Siberian Husky with a Boxer, then wonder no more. Someone’s already done it, and the result, the Boxsky, is the latest designer dog to be making waves in the canine community. Big, rambunctious, and with surprisingly soft centers, they’re certainly not a breed for everyone, but if you have the time and the patience to cater to their needs, you’ll be well rewarded for your efforts. Here are ten things about the Boxsky that every prospective new owner needs to know.
1. They’ve got famous parents
Like a lot of designer crossbreeds, no one knows very much about the where’s and why’s of the Boxsky’s origins. The one thing we do know for sure is that it’s a mix of the Boxer and the Siberian Husky. Both breeds have rich, long stories. The Boxer was developed in Germany during the late 19th century from a hunting breed called the Bullenbeisser. In the late 19th century, they were introduced to other parts of Europe. A century later, they made the journey over to the US. The Siberian Husky can trace its origins to Siberia, Russia, where it was developed to pull sleds over long distances. When the breed competed in the Alaska Sweepstake Race of 1909, its fame skyrocketed, and it’s since become a hugely popular companion dog.
2. Their appearance can change with time
Don’t count on your Boxsky pup to look the same for life. According to dogwish.com, some of the genetic traits that they express can shift over their lifetime. So, for example, even if your dog’s ears are droopy like a Boxer’s when they’re a pup, there’s no guarantee they won’t stand erect like a Husky’s when they’re a little older.
3. They shed a lot
If you have allergies, you might want to think twice before inviting a Boxsky into your home. They’re not considered a hypoallergenic breed and can exacerbate allergies with their constant coat blowouts. Due to their heavy shedding, they need daily brushing with a rubber curry brush to keep their coats in check. When the shedding is particularly intense, you might want to introduce a slicker brush and de-shedding tool into the equation too. On the plus side, they don’t drool and rarely smell, so you can forget the baths unless they roll in something particularly obnoxious. Other maintenance needs include thrice-weekly teeth cleaning, regular nail trims, and occasional ear inspections.
4. They’ve got tons of energy
Thanks to its Siberian Husky heritage, the Boxsky’s energy levels are off the chart. They crave attention and need a ton of exercise – if they don’t get both, expect problems. Due to their exuberance, they tend to fare better with experienced dog owners than with novices. Either way, they’ll need at least 70 to 80 minutes of structured exercise a day, along with intense play sessions. Some dogs might even need more. Due to their activity requirements and need for companionship, they tend to do best in family homes with yard access and in families where at least one member is around for most of the day.
5. They make great guard dogs
As Wag Waking notes, the Siberian Husky is a cautious breed that’s very protective of its family. Its offspring is no different and can serve as an excellent guard dog for that reason. However, their natural wariness of strangers can sometimes present a problem if they aren’t able to distinguish between an intruder and a friendly face. To keep their protective and territorial instincts in check, you’ll need to ensure they receive plenty of training from a young age.
6. They’re a lot to handle
Although the Boxsky has all the qualities of a great family pet, be cautious of welcoming them into your home if you have small children. Although they’re unlikely to mean them any harm, their natural exuberance and hefty size could easily lead to accidents. If you already have other pets, be prepared to invest plenty of time and energy into early socialization and training to nip any potential problems in the bud. You might also want to invest in a pair of earplugs… Boxsky’s like to talk, a lot, and until they’ve been trained to bark only when appropriate, you can expect some noise.
7. They’re escape artists
If there’s one thing you should never do with a Boxsky, it’s to underestimate them. These are dogs with an innate gift for escaping. If there’s a hole they can wiggle through, they’ll find it. If there’s not, they’ll dig their own. Thanks to their Boxer heritage, they’re also inclined to chase after just about anything that moves, whether that’s a cat, a bird, or a leaf. Never leave them unsupervised in a yard unless you want to spend the next few hours searching for them. When you’re on walks, don’t let them off the leash unless you’re in a fully secured area.
8. They’re prone to hip dysplasia
Crossbreeds typically tend to be healthier and more robust than pedigrees, and the Boxsky is no exception. They’re not immune from the occasional health problem, however, and as crazypetguy.com notes, can be particularly susceptible to hip dysplasia. Other health issues to be aware of include cataracts, thyroid problems, aortic valve disease, cardiomyopathy, and degenerative myelopathy.
9. They can be challenging students
Considering both the Boxer and the Siberian Husky are working breeds, it’d be easier to think that the Boxsky would be a dream student. Unfortunately, they’re usually anything but. While Boxers will usually follow instructions without putting up a fuss, Siberian Huskies are a different story, and it’s them that the Boxsky takes after. Stubborn, easily distracted, willful… if there’s a quality no dog trainer wants to see in a dog, the Boxsky probably has it. They’re not a lost cause though, and providing they receive plenty of consistent, rewards-based training from an early age, they’ll flourish into the cheerful companions they’re capable of being.
10. They’re expensive
A pedigree Boxer can cost anywhere between $1000 to $1500. Regardless of which way you look at it, that’s a lot of money. It’d be natural to think that a crossbreed would come with a much small price tag, and to an extent, the Boxsky does. But make no mistake- these are still expensive dogs. Depending on the breeder, location, health, and lineage, you can expect to pay anything between $800 and $1000 for a Boxsky, which is roughly the equivalent of what you’d pay for a Siberian Husky. If you’d rather not blow your savings, call around your local shelters to see if they have a Boxsky in need of a forever home – you’ll still need to shell out for the adoption fee, but typically speaking, this should be no more than $300 – $500.