I have heard that Boxers are a unique breed, but not good for everyone. If you have Boxer, you have to put a great amount of work into his training in order to make a well-behaved and obedient dog.
Boxer dogs are not particularly easy to train but that doesn’t mean they cannot be trained. They are very energetic, especially when they are young, they have a short attention span, they can be very stubborn but on the other hand, they are very loyal and intelligent dogs.
Boxer Dogs Training- Basic Rules
Every dog can be trained and the basic rules are the following:
- start training at an early age before your Boxer gets the chance to develop bad habits. Some basic training ( voice commands such as sit and stay) can start after your Boxer puppy is 3 weeks old.
- always use positive reinforcement. These dogs don’t respond well to harsh treatment.
- never punish your dog. These dogs can only flourish with a positive human connection.
I have heard from many Boxer owners that they don’t know what to do with their dogs. They are so restless, jumping around on everyone, they get so excited when the guests are coming.
They take them outside as they should, provide some mental stimulation but their pets still don’t behave as their guardians think they should. What’s wrong?
The other situation is that you got a Boxer that is 2-3 years old and the previous owner didn’t teach him anything so you end up with a bad-behaved pooch and you don’t know what to do.
Although Boxers are super crazy energetic dogs, they can learn how to behave well, how to respect you, and listen to your commands but you have to speak the language they understand.
Boxers do have a short attention span, which means that you need to break up training sessions into small bits ( just a couple of minutes). Whatever you try to teach your pup, always end the training with something he knows how to do.
Of course, reward him for doing something well. Boxers are motivated if they are successful.
Your training methods should always include high praise and a lot of treats. Since the Boxers don’t respond well on either physical or verbal corrections, the best way to tell him that you disprove his behavior is to ignore him.
Not only that he stays without your attention but also without the treats which will be a much drastic change for him. He will learn quickly how to prevent that.
Are Boxer Dogs Easy To Crate Train?
If you follow some basic rules regarding crate training ( start early as possible, get the right size of the crate, long and tall enough for your dog, don’t leave the puppy there for too long) then you shouldn’t have a problem with crate training your Boxer dog.
You can send the Boxer that is overexcited for some reason to his crate for a timeout. This works perfectly for this breed. It doesn’t have a necessarily negative connotation ( like you request from a kid to spend 2 minutes in the corner as he/she did something wrong).
Time-outs in the crate are useful as you remove a dog from external stimuli, helping him to calm down. Most dogs love their crates. Consider them as they are own space, a room. So when he calms down, most probably will take a nap.
The crate is also perfect for house training Boxer puppies ( start with this kind of training when your puppy is about 7 weeks old).
Dogs usually don’t like to soil their own dens, so keeping him in the crate for a certain period of time ( not too long when they are young, for example, 2-months old puppy can hold the bladder for a maximum of 2 hours but this is a general rule, you shouldn’t leave puppy of this age more than 30 min in the crate) will help him to learn not to pee and poop all over the place.
The crate can also limit access to the rest of your home before your Boxer learn the rules like not to chew on furniture or your shoes.
For more information about how to crate train Boxer dog do read this article about training (from Boxer dog diaries)
Are Boxer Dogs Easy To Train Obedience?
Professional obedience training sessions are something that you should seriously consider. Boxers are quick learners so if you already taught your dog basic commands and respect, you shouldn’t have any issue improving his skills.
Even if you think that you can teach everything to your dog in your home, going to the training has multiple benefits. One of them is socialization, which your dog really needs.
These dogs are very protective of their owners so socialization is a pure necessity. Bear in mind that the early socialization process should start when your Boxer is between 8-16 weeks old.
The dogs should go to advanced obedience training, AKC activities, and sports once they are 1 year old. Of course, older dogs can also attend those training, remember it’s never late to train your dog.
Other Training Tips
Boxers are very friendly dogs, they love their guardians, they prefer to be always in the middle of everything, they simply don’t like to miss anything. But these dogs ( as any other breed) need to have limits in every aspect.
Although Boxers don’t like extremely small spaces to live in as they feel trapped, a house that is too big can encourage restless behavior. If they have too much space to explore, they will go crazy, running around, possibly destroying things ( chewing on non-food stuff).
It’s recommended to limit them to one room, especially if you leave your dog alone at home. If your pet is still not trained properly, better to place him in the crate while you are out.
I have also read one article about the owners’ behavior and where they make mistakes. One of the common mistakes is constant petting.
Petting itself is not a bad thing, but if your Boxer is jumping on your guest and you are trying to calm him down by petting, you are making a huge mistake.
Petting the excited and unbalanced dog sends a message to that dog that you approve of his behavior. Your action reinforces what the dog is doing.
What you should do is to ask your Boxer to sit or to lay down. Once he complies, you can pet him and reward him for good behavior.
I have also read good advice on how to teach the dog that certain actions/behavior are not acceptable:
- When you Boxer break some rule, make a loud hissing sound
- Stand up suddenly and turn your face to the dog until he stops moving
- Walk directly towards dog until he turns away, sits or lays down
- You can even place a dog on a leash and hold it until he is completely in a calm state.
You can apply the same rules like with kids :
- Be consistent – if you are trying to teach him not to chew on your stuff, don’t offer him an old purse or shoes you don’t need anymore. He cannot make a difference between old and new. If he has a problem stealing food from your table, never ever offer him human food.
- Use discipline only at the moment your dog is really doing something wrong. It doesn’t make much sense to discipline your Boxer the day after he chewed something or got into the trash. Only if you catch your dog doing something bad, tell him ”Hey” or ”Stop” or whatever but don’t do that several hours later as he won’t understand what are you talking about.