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Do Boxers And Cats Mix?

Boxer and cat look at each other

Boxers are friendly and pleasant dogs. If socialized properly, this breed is a joy to have around children, and can get along well with other animals—even cats. However, without socialization and training, a Boxer will instinctively chase smaller animals that he may view as "prey," even if that animal happens to be the family cat.

Tips to ensure harmony

The following steps can help smooth the introduction of Boxer and cat:

  • Keep control of your dog: If you allow your dog to approach your cat, he will scare it. Initially, hold your dog on your lap or put him in his crate before allowing your cat to approach him.
     
  • Allow your cat to investigate: Once your dog is secured, either call your cat over, or let his natural curiosity lead him to your Boxer. Let the cat approach the dog so that it can become familiar with the dog. Do not hold your cat, as you may be scratched if it tries to escape.
     
  • Allow your Boxer to sniff the cat: If you are holding your Boxer, allow him to sniff the cat. But make sure that he doesn't get too close. If the cat gets scared she could lash out and scratch him. However, most cats will swat a new dog with claws retracted. This is the cat's way of giving a warning and exerting dominance over the dog. This gesture shouldn't be discouraged.
     
  • Make sure your cat has an escape route: Your cat should always have somewhere to run—preferably a place where the dog can't follow. If a cat feels trapped and frightened it will most likely lash out at the dog. This can cause injury and create a poor start to their relationship.

Training your Boxer to get along with your cat takes patience and consistency, and the sooner you start, the better. Repeat the introductions daily for the first few weeks. When you see your Boxer and cat becoming comfortable with one another, slowly allow your dog to get closer to the cat. Eventually, they should be able to live happily under the same roof.

  • The Serious Benefits of Play

    dog carrying a frisbee in its mouth

    Playing and having fun helps to eliminate stress from your life—and the same holds true for your dog. In fact, incorporating various forms of play into your dog's daily routine is vital to helping him develop a healthy, loving personality.

    The benefits of play

    Here are some of the ways that playing and having fun is important:

    • Physical health. Active play helps keep your dog's heart healthy, keeps the joints lubricated, and improves his overall balance and coordination.
    • Mental health. Games with rules force your dog to use his brain, not just his body. This can help keep his mind sharp and focused.
    • Social skills. When your dog plays with other dogs and other people, it helps improve his overall social skills. He learns basic rules and how to play by them.
    • Bonding. Even if it's only for a few minutes a day, playing with your dog helps strengthen the bond between you.
    • Your health. What better way to alleviate the stress of a busy workday and get a bit of exercise than to come home and play with your dog? It's a win-win for both of you.

    How to play with your dog

    There are right ways—and wrong ways—to play. The most important thing to remember is that you're the boss. You decide what games should be played and you set the rules. This helps establish your credibility as the pack leader. It also helps keep your dog from getting overly excited and out of control while you play. If your dog does become difficult to manage, simply put a stop to the game until he calms down again.

    When you're teaching your dog a new game, reward him when he does well. Remember, rewards don't have to be just treats. You can also reward him with his favorite toys or lots of hugs and praise.

    When you start out teaching your dog a new game, keep it simple and go through the game slowly, until your dog fully grasps the rules. Also, wait until he fully understands one game before you teach him a new one, otherwise it will end up confusing him.

    Playtime tips

    • Avoid games like keep away, wrestling, or tug-of-war. Those games encourage biting or dominant, aggressive behavior.
    • Stay in control of the game at all times. Show your dog that you're the pack leader, not just another member of the pack. Retrieval games are good at teaching control.
    • Don't include your body or clothing as part of any game.
    • Incorporate the SIT or DOWN and STAY commands in every game.
    • You decide when it's time to end the game, not your dog. The best time to stop the game is when your dog is still eager to play.
    • If, for some reason, your dog doesn't seem to understand the game at some point, go back to the beginning, or simply leave it and try again a few days later. Don't get angry if you're dog isn't "getting it" right away. Remember it's supposed to be a fun experience for both of you!

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