So you have decided a Boxer is the dog for you. What is the next step? Whenever I instruct my puppy people on the up-bringing of a baby boxer, one thing I can not emphasis enough is socializing. This is the interactions they have while they are young with other dogs people, cats, any living thing you want them to live in harmony with when they grow up.
Boxers are a fabulous breed of dog, friendly, fun, outgoing, energetic, and powerful. All of these factors contribute to both positives and negatives when it comes to interacting with others. When you trace the ancestry of these dogs, they go way back to bull baiters of yesteryear. What is a bull baiter? These are dogs that were specifically bred for their strength and power to grab a bull by the nose and hold on... that's why the undershot jaw and extra muscular body. They later used these traits (some breeds) in the popular sport (at that time) of dog fighting. They then went on to be used as sentry, or "hearing guards" for night watchmen. Since those days, the Boxer has been refined to fit todays purpose of companion, guardian, and cherished family pet... but those old tendencies can still be in there.
By properly socializing your Boxer (or any breed of dog for that matter) you can ensure that you will have a well rounded, happy, content and secure dog. Some appropriate methods of socializing include puppy obedience classes where they have interactions with other pups, learn proper manners and how to play appropriately from their "peers. Another good thing is taking them EVERYWHERE a dog is allowed when they are young, get them used to riding in the car, letting all people who meet you offer your dog a treat (for good behavior of course) and last but certainly not least, keeping your dog SAFE from non socialized dogs.
One thing I usually do NOT recommend is dog parks. Why? The concept of a dog park has good intentions, but there are a LOT of ignorant owners out there who bring their aggressive or overly rambunctious dog to the park and can cause disaster. The last thing you need is to take your little babe to the park and have another dog jump on, bite, and accost your pup. Another reason dog parks aren't good is they are FULL of GERMS. It's a good way for your dog to get giardia or coccicidia (intestinal parasites that cause vomiting and diarrhea) as well as hook worms. Best advise is sty away. Find other ways.
the last bit of information on this topic is CRITICAL... You should not take a puppy from it's litter before 8 weeks of age. From 5 to 8 weeks is a super important "social imprint" stage where they learn bite inhibition. While still with the litter where they bite and play and learn appropriate "dog manners" and figure out that if they bit too hard, or play too rough, they either get corrected by the mother and fellow litter-mates, or they simply walk away and ignore for rough behavior. By taking the pup too early, they skip this important educational stage and will have to learn another way... by nipping and biting on you, or other dogs in the house.
By making the effort to socialize your pup, you will be making an investment in the long run for a pleasant an over all well mannered dog.