Boxer Dog Training Overview

Boxer Dog Training Overview

We all love our boxers, but these dogs are stubborn.  They have way too much energy for the average person and tend to have attention spans shorter than their tails.  Therefore it is vital to have a basic understanding of how boxer dogs are wired.  So let’s take a peek under the hood of our favorite dogs and get a basic introduction to boxer dog training.

Start Them Early

You are free to start your boxer dog training as early as three weeks.  Normally if you get a puppy, they are at least six weeks old, so training can start right away.

Puppies are perfectly capable of learning some basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, and shake.  It may take a little more patience, but it will pay off in the long run.  Starting your boxer dog training early will help you develop a bond with them.  This is also vital, for socialization is a critical building block that can reduce the chance of behavioral problems in the future.

Consistency Is Key

I always tell boxer dog owners that if you’re going to teach your dog anything, consistency is the most important factor.  Dogs need you to always be consistent with everything you do or they won’t learn a thing.  Don’t tell your dog it’s OK to be on the couch only when you’re spouse isn’t home – that shit’s confusing to boxers!  Be consistent and you can teach your dog anything, which leads me to my next point…

They Want To Be Told What To Do

Really.  They do.  Just like the Dog Whisperer always says, “Be the pack leader“.  Dog mentality dictates that every pack has a leader and the other members are followers.  So…be the leader.  Don’t be afraid to boss your dog around (don’t be a dick, though).  Treat them like you would your child; tell them what is good, what is bad, where to poop, where they are allowed to snore the afternoon away, etc.  Understanding this can make both of your lives easier when starting your boxer dog training.

Positive Attention

Boxers are sensitive.  Like, really sensitive.  When I get mad at my boxer, she can’t even look me in the eye.  They feel remorse more than any dog breed I know of, but it doesn’t mean they are really learning anything.

The most effective way to teach them right from wrong is with positive attention.  If your dog does something well, let them know with a hug, a neck scratch, positive words, or whatever weird thing you don’t tell anyone that you do with your dog.  THIS is how they learn.

Scolding a boxer is substantially less effective in my experience.  Let’s say you’re potty training your dog and he pees on your kitchen rug and you scold him.  You walk away thinking ‘Now Rocky knows not to pee in the house’.  Meanwhile, Rocky is thinking ‘I guess I can’t pee on THAT rug.  I’ll try a different one next time.’  A better solution would be to put Rocky outside and congratulate him when he pees out there.

Exercise

If you want to make your boxer dog training easier on yourself, get your dog outside and walk or run her.  As I stated earlier, boxers are very energetic dogs.  If they are not getting their natural energy out in a healthy way, they are most likely going to use that stored energy for evil.  Remember that time when your boxer ate an entire roll of toilet paper and threw it up on your suede couch? (too specific?)  Well, this could have been prevented with a few laps around the dog park.

Now that you know some basic principles of boxer dog training, check out some fun tricks to teach your dog.

Photo by dryfish

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