Golden Retrievers and Boxers are two of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, so it is no surprise that breeders are creating Retriever-Boxer hybrids, often called Golden Boxers. Hybrid dogs are a mix between any two existing, recognized breeds. Hybrids, sometimes called “designer dogs,” are not considered purebred and the American Kennel Club does not recognize them as a breed.
Golden Boxers can look similar to either breed or have any combination of mixed characteristics. For example, they may have the body shape and color markings of a Boxer with the long coat of a Golden, or they may have the coat and build of a Golden with Boxer facial features. The most common color combinations are gold, fawn and black. Since Goldens and Boxers are similar in size, there is not too much variation in size among Golden Boxers; they weigh about 60 to 70 pounds. Because of the potential for variety among hybrids, it is helpful to consider the characteristics of the parent breeds.
Golden Retrievers are intelligent and energetic, and they are generally friendly toward people and other dogs. Goldens often work as guide dogs for the visually impaired or as search and rescue dogs. They have a graceful appearance with long coats that may be any shade of gold. Goldens typically weigh between 55 and 75 pounds. Common health problems include hip dysplasia, cataracts and epilepsy.
Boxers are loyal and make excellent guard dogs. They are patient and tend to interact well with children. Boxers have a short, smooth coat and color varieties include fawn (tan) and brindle (black stripes). They have a distinctive square muzzle, and their weight range is about 55 to 70 pounds. Boxers are prone to hip dysplasia, digestive problems and tumors.
Because both parent breeds are active dogs, Golden Boxers need plenty of daily exercise. They are affectionate dogs and prefer a lot of attention. One advantage to owning a mixed breed dog is that this often eliminates many of the characteristic health issues of the purebred parents, although sometimes hybrids suffer from the health problems associated with one or both parents. Both parent breeds of the Golden Boxer are prone to hip dysplasia, a disease affecting the ball joint of the hip. Hip dysplasia is common in larger dog breeds and is treatable with surgery or medication.
If your dog has a short, Boxer-like coat, he will not require much grooming. Dogs with longer coats similar to the Golden Retriever need to be brushed with a bristle brush and may need an undercoat rake. Golden Boxers can be bathed about every two weeks as needed.