Apollo update, need advice

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Completely Boxer Crazy
As many of us often do, I wanted to come to my boxer family for some advice. You may remember, a few days back, a young girl approached me about the placement of her family's boxer. The doggie Mommy, a 17 year girl, is at a very busy time in her life. She has become very busy with her classes, clubs and working plus everything else that occupies your life at 17. As much as she loves Apollo, she feels that she is unable to give him everything that he needs. Her family is an active family who does the wonderful deed of fostering needy children in our community. Many babies have come and gone during the year that Apollo has been with the family and he has always been loving, patient and kind with his little housemates. I myself witnessed Apollo and a sweet 18 month old interact.

During my visit, Apollo did exhibit some odd behavior. He did not greet me with the customary boxer wiggles that I'm used to with Cooper and the other boxers I've been in contact. He did have some odd growly vocalizations but not an aggressive stance or other true signs of aggression. Even during this initial meeting, my feeling was not one of aggression but I could not put my finger on it what it was. The mother of the family then held Apollo's collar while we talked a bit. The little poodle had gotten into my lap in the meantime and Apollo again seemed to want to visit me. We agreed to let Apollo over, I was not afraid and was so excited to interact with this handsome boy. I was sitting onthe couch and he shook with me and then gave me some great kidney beans and seemed so happy as I talked to him excitedly and stroked his silky fur. He then got into my lap sort of and then I continued to talk to him and then he turned up unto my shoulders and grasped my shoulders and again started the odd vocalization. I calmly nudged his upper body onto the couch and in the meantime the poodle had come over and was barking and he did a dominate move with his paw over the poodle and while this was happening, the mother of the family had grasped his collar to pull him away. She had him go into a down stay which he did very well.

The mother explained that nothing like this had happened before and was just appalled and so upset. Meanwhile I could not figure out what in the heck HAD happened. It did not feel like aggression but more like dominance over me. I'm admittedly not the best person to evaluate a dog by any means. I have not been in many situations with dogs other than super friendly ones and I'm usually the kind of person that dogs just love. A bit later, I again asked her to allow Apollo to come over. This time, as soon as he put his paw on me, I assertively but gently said "Apollo, no, and nudged his paw off of me. He then turned around, backed up between my legs and sat down and acted like all other boxers I've ever seen. Happy and wiggly and just wanting love.

Apollo is not neutered and his doggie sister just had finished a heat cycle. This and other factors add stress to his life and may have contributed to his behavior. Because of his "odd" behavior, I realize he will not be a EASY placement. I really want to help this boy. His family is at the end of their rope apparently and I don't know how long they will be able to keep him. At this point, our rescue does not even have a suitable foster home. He is potentially dog aggressive, especially considering that he's not neutered. He probably needs to be evaluated by a behaviorist or some other equally dog savvy individual and put into a foster home where he can be further tested.

Does anyone have suggestions for help fostering or evaluating him in the MD, DE, lower PA area?
Or any possible reasons for his reaction to me?


Completely Boxer Crazy
I may have missed something, but it seems like he only did this when the poodle was around. Is that right? There could be some jealousy involved. I don't think Apollo is getting the attention a boxer needs. It sounds as if he is treated well, but not the way we all treat our babies. I think he just wants attention and lots of it! Indy and Beauty are always vying for my attention. The bark, talk, wiggle, push each other out of the way, etc. Sometimes Indy will jump up on me with his paw on my shoulder, too. I just firmly tell him to get down.

I do so hope someone comes to this precious boys rescue. He needs a loving forever home.


Boxer Booster
By vocalizations do you mean something that maybe sounds like Chewbaca from Star Wars? When we first got our female she made all sorts of strange yowling sounds. I also didn't interpret it as aggressiveness. We have since figured out that we think she was not allowed to bark without correction and was obviously under a lot of stress. She would often make the sounds if I stayed near her food bowl after putting her food down. We figured out that in her previous home she was only allowed to eat after a larger male had finished. Since we have taught her the command "Speak" she tends to bark more and uses the chewy noise as we call if a lot less often. Our trainer told us that it was actually a submissive stressed sound. As if to say, I want to be friends please don't be mean to me.

I also think it would be helpful to get a trainer to evaluate him.

Debbie Magon

Boxer Pal
I do not claim to be an expert, but if my own boxers behaviour is anything to go,by, Apollo was behaving quite normally! My boxers always try to have me all to them selves and will often rise up and try to tower over me. Of course they know I am the BOSS and I push them down , but they are tryhards as you all know and still do it. I am sure it stems from puppy hood when the most outgoing pup got the most attention, food etc from the mother dog. As for growling etc he sounds like he has never out grown his puppy hood vocalisation either(typical boxer!!!) I think he sounds absolutely wonderful and quite normal. I hope and pray he finds a true blue boxer luvin home to spoil him with tons of love and time!


Boxer Insane
I am not an expert either, but I do agree that this sounds like fairly normal behavior. I do know a friend's Boxer who "talked" all the time - just walked around making noises :) It could also be that the owners' obvious mistrust of the dog (holding his collar and dragging him away) is being reflected in his behavior. Also, perhaps there have been scuffles between him and the poodle and she didn't want you to see one. (I must say, though, that from the sounds of it that is one rude poodle!)

I would see if you can visit with him without the poodle (and without the owner, if that's possible) and see what transpires.


Boxer Pal
I am really hoping here that this all works out for Apollo and that he gets a good home. I wish I were closer to you as he sounds like a wonderful normal boxer to me. As BoxerLuv so neatly described it, the Chewbaca sound is something that Kailee also does regularly, and for her it seems to take place of the bark. Even when she rarely does bark it is preceeded by this sound. (she also goes around grunting like the sound of a pig, but that is another story) As for the poodle, Buddy always did the dominate paw thing over the small dogs, but I never grabbed his collar, just told him to let it go, and he would.
Sounds to me in most ways Apollo is a normal boxer, however he could be reacting to his environment and stress, thus having to suppress some of the boisterous boxer ways. Kailee also puts her paws up on my shoulders and makes the chewie sound. With the down command she replies, and then I pet her. I have found that these instances with her are usually on a busy day for me, and she is perhaps feeling somewhat neglected and wanting some attention.
I know from experience, as we have fostered children in the past, that a foster home is a very busy home, and if we had a dog during those years, especially a boxer, we would not have had the time to devote to the dog, especially a boxer, and perhaps Apollo is showing signs of this. I honestly believe that boxers have an instinct of knowing which humans are boxer lovers and which are not. I think Apollo knew you loved boxers and he was greeting you in a friendly boxer way. An assesment is most likely a good idea, but unless he shows other signs of aggression, I don't feel that he is unadoptable. Please keep us posted on him. I will keep my fingers crossed. Good luck, and hugs to Apollo!


Completely Boxer Crazy
I love you all!!!

You've all made me feel so much better!

I'm used to vocalizing, Mugzy was the king of vocalizition the Elvis Presley of Boxerdom in fact! Cooper is vocal too and I have not seen too many boxers who aren't. I do have to say that he COULD have been doing this although it DID sound different than I'm used to. Not that I've ever heard him vocalize before of course. And considering that the mother was alarmed, that's probably why I agreed that his behavior was unusual. He could just be DIFFERENT than the other boxers I've met in this way. I really like Apollo and I'm working hard on this, believe me, I will keep you posted. Thanks everyone for your support.



Boxer Buddy
My Kobo will put her paw on my sholder to pull me down to give a lick. It's her way of being affectionate.

I think that the people writing on this thread have identified a boxer who has adapted to a poor environment for a boxer. A change is seriously needed. Given time he should come around.

We took a four year old male into our home who was nervous around us, but after a few days of equal treatment with our Kobo who was three then, he came around and is a genuine joy to the household. He lived in an appartment, had gained a lot of weight because of inactivity, he weighed 91 lbs when we got him. As he slims down he is gaining energy and runs in the back with our Kobo who is a slim 58 lbs.

Apollo just needs a loving healthy environment and he should be a great companion.


Boxer Booster
daisy does some of this...

a) she growls occasionally, not with me, but with others when they're getting too much into her space. she does it very quietly and when she's very stressed. usually when someone is towering over her aggressively trying to play with her. she also makes moan-y noises, which are not growls, for no real reason as far as i can tell. (btw, my friend paul has a rottweiler that turns into cujo to show affection. it's very scary, but her tail is wagging and she means no harm at all...some dogs just growl affectionately.)

b) she also does the elvis pelvis over me and anyone who's over and our bigger male rott/boxer/lab mix. regularly she comes and stands over whoever it is. she also "boxes" anything that is being pushy, particularly cats and anyone trying to have her do a down. i wouldn't worry about the paw on the poodle -- it seems normal. and the vocalisations aren't necessarily a problem.
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