Take Precautions to Keep Your Dog Safe and Avoid Tragedy

Bad things can happen to the very best of dogs, in the most loving homes.

For example, a cherished Boxer boy escaped his fencing and was tragically run over by his owner in the stable yard where he loved to play. On another occasion, a 6-year-old male Boxer outside of Hartford, Connecticut, was left in his fenced yard while the owners went to work. Sadly, he, too escaped his confinement—and in this case, he was hunted down and killed by a police officer who was convinced he was doing the right thing to protect the neighborhood.

In still another instance, in New Jersey, a 10-year-old, nearly blind and deaf Boxer got out of his house, and when he did not respond to a policeman calling to him on the sidewalk, he too fell victim to a gun.

We must all remember that Boxers are not immune to problems of breed discrimination. A large percentage of the uneducated public thinks that they are “pit bulls.” Much of law enforcement thinks they are pit bulls. Many shelters consider them pit bulls and will not even attempt to rehome them if turned in. We must be their best advocates and their protectors.

Fencing must above all be secure, so that the Boxer cannot dig under it nor climb or jump over it. Some dogs are easily contained, while others are notorious escape artists. It is not wise to leave your dog alone for hours in a fenced area lest he either escape or be victimized by a thief or a poisoner. Many years ago our family Boxer was poisoned with strychnine in her suburban yard by an unbalanced dog-hater. She survived, but many of his other targets did not.

Boxers who are not accustomed to being loose in a neighborhood often have the instinct to run if they are suddenly freed. If they are lucky, they are seen by a friendly rescuer and coaxed to safety until their owners can be located. If not, however, they are likely to fall victim to not only the automobile but also to the misguided efforts of some who seek to prove they have saved the area from the wicked, marauding “dangerous dog” on the run. I don’t believe I am overstating these concerns.

Every Boxer puppy should be sold with a proviso that he be microchipped. At least that might save some who are turned in to shelters or veterinarian’s offices. It is a first line of defense, at any rate. Registering the chip with AKC’s Reunite will provide recovery services across the country for abandoned or at-risk dogs—for life. And every new owner should be instructed on the care and safety of that Boxer they take into their home.

The American Boxer Club’s Meet the Boxer booklet outlines many safety concerns and solutions for the puppy as well as the adult dog. For example, how many of us have our front doors protected so that if an unexpected visitor opens it, the dog does not have the option to run outside? Food for thought.

Please take these warnings to heart—they just might save your Boxer’s life one day.

—S.A., American Boxer Club, (April 2013 AKC Gazette)