Boxer Puppy Training
Boxer puppy training can be a challenge, they’ve been labelled the “Peter Pan” of dog breeds. They are only considered mature by the time they’re three years old, meaning that in the world of dogs they have a very long puppyhood.
On face value they might look very intimidating with their muscular build and square heads, but if you look closer, you will find a glint of mischief in their eyes. They have boundless energy and are always in the mood for a bit of playing.
Characteristics of a Boxer Puppy
A typical Boxer puppy is alert, fearless, intelligent and friendly. They are a loyal dog breed, but quite headstrong. Trying to use harsh training methods will not go down well with a Boxer puppy, you will get lots of resistance. The best way to describe a Boxer is exuberant. They can also be trained to become search-and-rescue helpers and they make excellent watchdogs. When trained correctly, they can excel in obedience.
Boxers are great with kids, showing immense gentleness and patience. Boxers are very adaptable, but need lots of exercise and mental stimulation, otherwise they will become frustrated and unruly. Because of their intense loyalty towards their families, Boxers can be distrustful of strangers. But they won’t be aggressive unless a threat is perceived. They are energetic, high-spirited and happy, amusing their owners.
Did you know? Boxers make a unique sound, called “woo-woo,” when they get excited or want something. Not quite a bark, it literally sounds like they are saying “woo-woo”.
Before you decide to buy a Boxer puppy, you need to decide if you can deal with their high level of energy and need for attention. Also, if you don’t like drooling dogs, a Boxer is not the dog for you. They snore loudly as well.
Prep for the Training Process
You need to keep the Boxer’s exuberant personality in mind when you decide what kind of training program you will be using. It is crucial to be consistent with your training method. Start with Boxer puppy training, before the dog gets too big to manage.
They are an intelligent breed and will respond well to firm training, as long as you make it fun for them. They have quite an independent streak, so won’t like you bossing them around or being treated harshly. Keep in mind that Boxers mature slowly, so you will be dealing with the rambunctious puppy style of interaction for quite a few years.
Don’t leave your Boxer alone for too long, or keep it cooped up in the backyard away from the family. You will quickly be dealing with a destructive and ill-tempered dog.
Tip: find a responsible breeder to buy your dog from. Avoid a pet store or puppy mill. A reputable breeder will test their dogs to ensure that the puppies are free of any genetic diseases and also make sure that they have stable temperaments.
Reward-based Boxer puppy training works best. Give them a little treat for getting a new command right and your Boxer puppy will remain easy to manage. Keep your dog on its toes so to speak by mixing up the treats and the verbal praises. First start with the basic commands. Boxers enjoy a good challenge, so steadily increasing the difficulty level will keep their attention for longer.
Starting with Boxer Puppy Training
One of Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer’s, biggest secrets for dog training is that your dog needs to know its place in the pack. As soon as your Boxer puppy gets sniff in the noise that it can do whatever it likes and get away with it without any consequences, your task of training it will become extremely difficult.
You need to show your Boxer puppy that you are the pack leader and that it needs to know its place in the family hierarchy. Because Boxers are so loving, they are eager to please you, something that you can harness in your Boxer puppy training method.
The training process starts the moment you bring the new puppy home. From the beginning you need to react properly to whatever your puppy does, good or bad behavior. With an intelligent Boxer puppy you need to remain consistent.
The first step in your Boxer puppy training, is establishing good routines. This will be reassuring to your puppy adjusting to a new and unfamiliar environment. Find a special place for your puppy’s water and food bowls and stick to it. Create a special spot to place your puppy’s bed and take it to same spot for bathroom breaks each time.
Try to feed your puppy at the same times each day and try to create a consistent bed time as well. The daily routine is a very important step to start with. Your Boxer puppy is highly intelligent, teaching it to follow specific daily routines will help you raise a well-behaved dog.
Failing to set these boundaries into place will let your puppy turn to the alternative, it will set the pace of your home life, deciding how you should fit into its life. You will be dealing with a disruptive dog that will frustrate any attempt to relearn the basic home life behavior.
The Most Important Words Your Puppy Will Ever Learn
It is estimated that dogs can understand up to 165 words. What are the two most important words your dog must understand? “Good” and “No”. For anything that you like your dog doing, use “good” and for whatever you want it to stop doing, use “no”.
Incorporating praise and correction words into your Boxer puppy training should start from when your puppy is about two to three months old. It’s important to teach these words with the correct tone of voice and body language as well. Dogs can read emotions, human owners have claimed this for years, but there is now scientific evidence to prove this speculation.
What this new research also implies, is that your dog is much smarter than you think. Same as with a human baby, you can’t just think “it’s just a puppy, it won’t understand”. It probably understands much better than you could ever imagine.
You can use your Boxer’s temperament to your advantage, by playing on its need for acceptance in your family. Show it the rules of the house that it needs to obey for acceptance, and your Boxer puppy training project will be much easier.
It might be tempting to almost bribe your Boxer puppy into submission with biscuit treats as rewards, but this will backfire. The problem with this style of training, is that your puppy can then decide when it wants to obey, based on how hungry it is.
Only using treats will make your puppy believe that it’s in charge of the training process. You can use it per occasion when you’re teaching it a special trick, but for basic obedience, you need to focus on respect training.
Respect is linked to the concept of establishing a pack hierarchy in your home. Your Boxer puppy training will be most successful when your puppy learns that it needs to submit to your authority if it wants to live in happy co-existence with you.
The opposite of successful training, is your puppy understanding the routines and command words, but deciding when it wants to follow them. Again, you need to remain consistent with your Boxer puppy training to ensure that you have a well-behaved adult dog.
Your Boxer puppy will love the challenge of trying to understand you. Slowly add new words to the obedience training and watch it trying to follow your instructions closely until it gets them right. By giving it the reassurance that it’s doing the correct thing that you want, you will be training a submissive puppy that obeys your every command.
Creating a Safe Space for Your Puppy
When you decide to buy a puppy, you need invest in a good bed for it. Taking the Boxer size into consideration, a crate is the best of option for it. This will be its safe space, a secure den. During your Boxer puppy training you can use it as a time-out, telling your puppy to “go to your bed”.
Boxers might be on the big side of the dog breed spectrum, but they are very sensitive to weather extremes, so it is best if you can create a space for your dog to sleep indoors. Managing a medium size dog in your home, you want it to understand the command “go to your bed” when it becomes too excited. The crate will serve the purpose of a safe space for the dog to calm down again. You might soon notice that your puppy seeks out the crate on its own to unwind.
Another good thing of making your Boxer puppy comfortable with confined spaces, is that you will have less hassles transporting it to the vet in a dog cage or cooped up in the backseat of your car.
Other Boxer Puppy Training Tips
There are many other aspects to Boxer puppy training, but you first need to get the basics in place before moving on to the next phases. Once you’ve created a steady routine for your new puppy and established the general behavior boundaries, you can move on to more complex training aspects.
You need to start handling your puppy from a young age to make it familiar with grooming routines such as bathing and clipping nails. Before you start taking it for walks outside, place the collar on your puppy so that it can get used to walking on a lead. First walk with the lead on in your garden so that it can get used to you gently yanking on the collar to redirect its exploration.
The training you instill while your Boxer is a puppy, will determine what kind of adult dog you will be dealing with. You can teach your dog to have basic good manners, such as not jumping up against visitors. All you need is consistency in correcting the unwanted behavior. And you don’t have to whack the bad behavior out of your puppy, use the word “no” with a firm tone of voice and a loud clap of your hands so that your puppy can make the association with the unwanted behavior.
The most important thing to remember with Boxer puppy training is that your Boxer is very intelligent and wants to gain your acceptance at all cost.