Picking out a new pet involves excitement and unknowns. So if you’ve never owned a Boxer, you’re likely researching their personalities, how well they get along with other dogs, and whether they bark a lot.
And if a Boxer is your dream dog – among those questions, “do Boxers shed?” should be on your list.
Boxers shed consistently throughout the year. These are non-hypoallergenic dogs with short fur that make their way between carpet fibers and cracks in hardwood floors.
But since Boxers are such a loving breed, many people look beyond the amount they shed. I’ll help you understand why Boxers shed and share some tips for how to reduce excessive shedding.
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Characteristics of a Boxer’s Coat
Boxers have a single coat of dense, short fur. It’s smooth and soft to the touch, and because Boxer fur doesn’t curl like Poodle hair, it’s easy for loose hair to slide off their body and onto your floor.
The genes MC5R and RSPO2 are scientific lingoes for determining how much a Boxer will shed and the growth pattern and fur quality, respectively.
All dog breeds have these genes, but whether they come in the ancestral form—the highest degree of shedding—or other forms such as the newer version, resulting in a low amount of shedding, varies.
Boxers are undoubtedly at the higher end of the shedding spectrum. But even within a litter, some dogs may inherit genes more prone to shedding than others.
A canine DNA test can reveal more about shedding levels, although most Boxer owners-to-be aren’t concerned enough about the slight difference it could make in their dog shedding.
Understanding the Shedding Cycle
You likely don’t think about yourself as a big shedder. But did you know that people shed 50 to 100 hairs per day? So, the next time you groan about cleaning up your Boxer’s fur, remember that shedding is a natural process.
Boxers and humans share the same three-stage shedding cycle. The process is as follows:
Anagen is an active stage when new hair is growing on your Boxer. That’s the stage that the greatest number of hair follicles fall within.
When a hair follicle moves into the catagen phase, it’s a stationary period. During this time, growth halts, and the outer root sheath latches on to the root of your dog’s hair. Finally, telogen is the period when there’s a fully formed club hair that no longer grows and waits to fall out.
Are Boxers Hypoallergenic?
No, Boxers aren’t hypoallergenic. Hypoallergenic dogs have hair instead of fur, meaning that their hair grows continuously and sheds less.
For this reason, it isn’t wise to bring home a Boxer if anyone in your family has allergies. All dogs have protein in their dander, and some people have an allergic reaction to it.
And since Boxers shed so much, that allergy-inducing protein spreads readily throughout a home.
Boxers and Shedding Season
Now that you’re grappling with the fact that Boxers are relatively big shedders, it might get you wondering—do Boxers shed according to the season?
No, they don’t.
Since Boxers have a single coat instead of a double coat, their fur doesn’t undergo seasonal shedding. Instead, they shed evenly year-round.
That’s great news for Boxer owners, as they don’t have to worry about encountering extra-high mounds of fur in the spring and fall. I don’t know about you, but I’d take a regular dose of daily shedding over the daily and seasonal shedding that dogs with double coats have.
Reasons for Excessive Boxer Shedding
Although Boxers naturally shed a lot, sometimes an underlying issue sparks excessive shedding. Below are some of the most common situations that may make your Boxer shed more than usual.
1. External Parasites
Fleas are a common external parasite that causes hair loss in Boxers, in part because they itch so much and damage their hair follicles. The good news is that you can prevent a tick infestation on your pet and in your home by keeping your Boxer on a flea and tick medication schedule.
Mites are another parasite that leads to excessive shedding. Several different types of mites exist, and they create the itchy and painful condition called mange.
Your veterinarian will prescribe your Boxer medication if they come down with mange. Once your dog recovers, you can expect them to return to its regular shedding habits.
2. Poor Diet
A healthy diet is a cornerstone for your Boxer’s health, reducing the chances of them shedding more than usual.
Some people believe cooking meals for their dogs at home is better for their pet’s health. That’s likely the case in some situations. However, there isn’t yet scientific evidence to prove this is true.
And on the contrary, some people inadvertently feed their dog unbalanced home cooked meals without the proper ratio of macro and micronutrients.
But I don’t want to blame only home cooked meals; plenty of dog food companies pack their seemingly healthy foods full of nutrient-lacking fillers.
Regardless of the situation, a diet that lacks nutrients can spark extra shedding in your Boxer. So, work with your veterinarian to determine the right type and amount of food to feed them.
3. Puppy Shedding
There’s nothing like the soft feel of a Boxer puppy’s coat. But as much as we all wish they could keep that fur forever, the reality is that they shed it to make way for coarser adult fur.
So, if you notice that your puppy is starting to shed excessively, there’s no need to worry. It’s a normal biological process. And, almost as important, it’s temporary.
The time when a Boxer puppy starts shedding their puppy coat varies, but it can be anywhere from four months to one year, and the process is often gradual.
Infections are not only painful and dangerous for your Boxer if you leave them untreated, but they can also cause hair loss. The most common types of hair-loss-inducing infections result from bacteria and fungus.
The good news is that since Boxers have such short hair, you don’t have to worry about them getting a skin infection from a matted coat, and dirt is easy to spot and wash off.
Nevertheless, whenever you bathe your Boxer or they play in water outside, it’s vital to ensure they dry thoroughly to help prevent fungus and bacteria build-up.
The saying that someone is pulling their hair out because they’re worried about something rings true for Boxers. If your Boxer is under continual stress, they’ll likely start shedding more in response.
Of course, what’s stressful to your Boxer might not seem like a big deal to you. But Boxers love routine, so anything in your household that changes this can cause them to feel stressed.
Furthermore, an adopted Boxer might feel stressed by situations that you can’t even begin to guess if they had a history of abuse. So, watch your Boxer for cues if they’re unsettled, and do your best to create a more comfortable environment for them.
How To Groom a Boxer?
Now that you know the answer to “Do Boxers shed?” is yes, it’s time to talk about grooming your beautiful Boxer’s coat.
Brushing your Boxer once or twice a week is an excellent strategy for reducing the amount of fur that will end up on your floor. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to bond with your pet.
You don’t need to buy a fancy brush for your Boxer. Instead, a pin brush with rubber tips will do the job of pulling up loose fur. Take care not to apply too much pressure; a Boxer’s fur sits close to their skin, so it’s easy to go overboard.
Bathing your Boxer is another excellent way to reduce the amount of shedding around your home. There’s no shortage of recommendations on the internet about how often you should bathe a Boxer.
But the bottom line is that you should strike a balance between managing their shedding and not stripping the oils from their skin. Every boxer has a different tolerance to shampoos and skin sensitivities, so I recommend monitoring them and asking your veterinarian for advice if you’re unsure how often to bathe them.
Are You Ready to Care for a Boxer?
Boxers are a relatively easy breed to care for despite shedding daily. That’s because they don’t require expensive and time-consuming grooming like many long-haired hypoallergenic dogs.
So, may I suggest purchasing a robot vacuum in addition to your Boxer? It’ll make life easier and give you more time to bond with your beloved pet.