If you’re like most people, you may be struggling to properly train your boxer dog. While Boxers are an intelligent breed of dog, they can also be stubborn, and need a specific style of training in order to learn. Many owners try to train their Boxer without proper information, which only results in frustration for you and confusion for your Boxer. So today, we’ll discuss the best ways to train a Boxer dog!
Tips To Train A Boxer Dog
At the end of the day, you have to remember that you’re teaching your Boxer something that goes completely against their nature. It isn’t natural to a Boxer, for example, to hold their pee until they are outside. Because of this, training takes time, and it’s important for owners to be patient during the training process.
Consistency Is Key
Just like with humans, consistency is the key to learning. Once you decide what it is you want to train your Boxer to do, keep reenforcing that idea until your Boxer is fully trained. Using the potty training example, your Boxer must know that every single time they pee inside they will face a consequence, which can simply be a “Bad boy!” and then them being brought outside. If you start to slip, your Boxer may get confused, or may feel as though they can sometimes get away with bad behavior.
Reenforce Behavior Immediately
In general, Boxers have a shorter attention span than other dog breeds. Because of this, you will need to reenforce positive or negative behavior the minute it happens. If you wait more than a few minutes, your Boxer will not associate the behavior with the reenforcement method, whether it is negative or positive. By waiting, you will make the process of training your Boxer take long as they won’t know exactly why they are getting the reenforcement.
Teach Your Boxer The Power of No
“No” is one of the best reenforcement tactics there is. After all, training a Boxer dog is not about punishment. Instead, you’re simply letting your Boxer know that they have done something wrong. Boxers are a loyal breed and they aim to please their owners. Because of this, a stern voice and a simple “No” can be enough to communicate to your Boxer they are doing something wrong.
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Before You Train Your Boxer Dog
If your Boxer is causing problems, you may be tempted to jump straight into a training program. However, you will want to make sure that your Boxer is in the right state of mind to learn. In general, your Boxer will be more receptive to your training if you have taken care of their basic needs.
Before you train your Boxer dog, be sure that they:
- Are being fed a nutrient-rich diet. While you do not need the best dog food on the market, you should be buying quality food to ensure your Boxer is healthy.
- Get plenty of exercise. Boxers are a very active breed, and they will become restless without proper exercise. Also, simple walks are not enough for Boxers – They need to run!
- Are getting enough attention. Boxers are a loving breed, and because of this, they have a need for affection. Sometimes, they will act out or misbehave in order to get attention.
Areas To Train Your Boxer Dog
Once you have those 3 things down, you can make sure that your Boxer is ready to learn how to behave. While obedience training is one of the most common forms of training, there are more forms of training that will help your Boxer. Below, we’ll dive into the different areas in which you will need to train your Boxer.
House Training Your Boxer Dog
One of the earliest forms of training you’ll need for your Boxer is house training. Generally, you will be able to begin house training at around 12 – 16 weeks of age. This is the amount of time it will take for your puppy to learn to control their bladder.
When it comes to house training, consistency is key. Your Boxer will need to be regularly reminded that peeing/pooping in the house is bad, and that going outside is good. To this end, treats and positive re-enforcement should be used anytime your puppy goes to the bathroom outside, especially in the begining.
At the end of the day, a training routine is going to be the fastest and easiest way for you to house train your Boxer. While an entire “Routine” may sound daunting, they actually do not require much effort day-to-day, and will teach you the most effective ways to house train your Boxer. Our friends over at Potty-Train-Dogs have created one of the best potty training routines on the internet, and have already helped thousands of people house train their Boxers!
Leash Training Your Boxer
Another vital form of training for your Boxer is leash training. Remember, Boxers are a powerful and fearless breed. This can cause problems on your walks if your Boxer is constantly pulling at their leash. Luckily, there is a simple way to leash train your Boxer dog.
It’s important to remember that your Boxer doesn’t tug on their leash because they are “Bad”, but because they are excited. With this in mind, your goal should be to calm your Boxer down during walks, rather than trying to make them obey you. This way, you can get to the root of the problem, and save yourself and your Boxer a lot of frustration.
Keeping your Boxer calm during a walk may sound impossible, but there are a few things you can do. These include:
- Making sure your Boxer gets enough exercise. In general, more walks are going to result in less leash-pulling. If your Boxer isn’t getting enough exercise, then it makes sense that they will be very excited for the opportunity to go for a walk.
- Bringing treats on your walks. If your Boxer has a problem getting excited by something particular, such as people or other dogs, then bringing treat will be a good distraction. In addition, you can give your Boxer a treat when they walk away from distractions, teaching them the correct way to behave.
- Physically stopping when your Boxer pulls too much. While the treats focus on positive behavior, this focuses on negative behavior. If your Boxer is too excited, stopping for a few seconds can tell your Boxer that they will not get to walk if they are pulling too much
Monitor Your Own Emotions During a Walk
If your Boxer is pulling at his leash and acting rambunctious, you might start to get frustrated. However, it’s important for you to keep your cool. Your Boxer is going to read your body language and act accordingly. Even if you aren’t excited, your Boxer will be able to feel your frustration or even anger, and it will cause them to be more emotional as well. If you are able to stay calm, keep a steady walking pace, and talk gently to your Boxer, they will too start to calm down.
Obedience Training For Your Boxer Dog
While the other two areas of training are somewhat easy, obedience training is what gives most owners the hardest time. This is not because Boxers are a disobedience breed. Boxers have an independent personaility, and they generally like to do things their way. Boxers are, however, a loyal breed, which will still make them one of the easier breeds to obedience train.
When it comes to obedience training for Boxer dogs, your best bet is to start a training routine. At the end of the day, Boxers want to make you happy. All obedience training requires is knowing the correct cues to give your Boxer to get them to behave. Kingdom of Pets has a fantastic guide on simple, practical steps you can take today to obedience train your Boxer.
Re-Enforcement To Train A Boxer Dog
While getting your Boxer to behave the way you want them to is good, it is only one step of the learning process. Boxers are an intelligent breed, and they look to you to know that behavior is good and what is bad. Because of this, you will need to establish some form of positive and negative re-enforcement to make sure your training sticks with your Boxer.
As mentioned earlier, it is important to make sure your Boxer is happy and healthy to get the most out of their learning. If you aren’t already informed, doing proper research about the specific needs of a Boxer is vital. Check out our article for additional Boxer dog breed info.
In the beginning of your training process, treats are a great way to teach your Boxer that certain behaviors are good. For your Boxer, this is a very simple way to understand their behavior – If I do this, I get a treat. Boxers can learn simple obedience skills due to their motivation for treats.
As mentioned earlier, Boxers want to make their owners happy. Because of this, you do not always have to bribe your Boxer with a treat to get them to behave. With this form of re-enforcement, you reward your Boxer with affection, which should be both verbal and physical.
In many ways, affection re-enforcement is better for the long-term behavior of your Boxer. For starters, it is much more personal than a treat, and the bond that you two create will cause your Boxer to behave. Your Boxer may be fine missing out on a treat, but they will not want to miss out of the chance for some love from their owner!
While many owners do not like the idea of punishing their dogs, negative re-enforcement sometimes must be used to stop bad behavior. To be clear, negative re-enforcement does not mean spanking or swatting your Boxer. Doing so does nothing but harm your relationship with your dog, and prevents them from trusting you.
Because Boxer dogs are such an intelligent breed, they can figure out a behavior is bad just by your tone of voice and body language. In general, a stern tone of voice, and finger point, and a “Bad boy” is enough to make your Boxer understand that they have done something bad. Remember, negative re-enforcement is simply about letting your Boxer know they did something wrong, and it is not about punishing them.
So.. What Have We Learned?
At the end of the day, training your Boxer has a lot to do with the consistency and commitment that you as an owner have to give. You cannot practice training your dog one day and then not worry about it the next. If you do, your Boxer will become confused, because one day the behavior wasn’t acknowledged and then the next day it was.
It’s important to remember that training your Boxer dog isn’t about controlling them – It’s about building a relationship with your Boxer. Boxers are incredibly receptive to training, and you do not need to push them very hard to get them to learn new things. Instead, you’re teaching them how to do things a certain way, and over time, your Boxer will simply learn what is expected from them by the person they love most!
Did we miss anything? Do you have questions about how to train a Boxer dog? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below, or contact us directly – We’re happy to help!