I am going to respond to my own post. Thanks for all of the responses. And I value everyone's opinions.
From what I have learned, schnauzers are NOT terriers. Not having experienced one, I am not sure if they are much different, but the breeder I talked with was emphatic about this. However, they are the dog with a human brain, and they do try to "one up" their owner. To me this is not good.
German Shepherds are what my son would like. Unfortunately, they shed too much. American Bulldogs are a good choice, but to me they look like a boxer cross. I am not familiar with their personality, so I might as well get my boxer even with more health problems. Also, I am more appreciative of the "elegant" looking boxer.
I looked extensively at Standard Poodles. My mother raised mini poodles so I am familiar with the breed. I think they are beautiful dogs, but my boys don't consider this a "boy" breed. They like the boxer look. Besides the boxer has that rough and tumble attitude they like.
Another breed I looked at seriously is the Whippet. This was more for the look. The boys did like this look. However, after I watched a video and read much, I can't see this dog enjoying our "quiet" house of four boys. Annie (our former boxer) always wanted to be in the midst of their games. She could more than keep up with them. She could more than handle their unintended roughhousing.
A couple more rarer breeds I looked at were...rat terriers (read "terrier"..nope), cirnecho del etna (rare sighthound...like a miniature pharoah hound), and a doberman (concerned about the intimidation factor to strangers).
One last comment. ..I am willing to wait til spring for a puppy. The main reason I was considering a different breed is due to the shortness of life on boxers. But my wife and I have decided that boxers fit the best...so far as we know...in our lifestyle. However, I am open to any suggestions.
Last edited by Ranvan; 25th January 2006 at 04:50 PM.