Boxers are great family pets. They are often referred to as the clown of dogs because of their joyful personality and clumsy behaviour, which can usually be pretty entertaining. A Boxer is a loyal companion and an excellent guard dog, alerting the owners immediately of anyone who dares to approach the property. They enjoy the love and affection from people they meet, including children and enjoy an energetic run around with other dogs they meet, making them great family dogs!
They are a clever breed and can be well-trained once you find a decent reward to motivate them. The pros of this breed could go on forever, but one of the main things people need to consider is their high energy levels!
If you do not have an active lifestyle, then the hyperactive Boxer dog may not be the right breed for you. Dedicating time to exercise and mental stimulation is essential, so it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll have a challenging time if you fail on this. They also hold a reputation for being stubborn. This can cause problems when trying to get them to do something you want or need. So, it would be best to equip yourself with patience and persistence when you train your Boxer. Boxers are quick learners, but you need to work through that stubbornness first.
Here are our go-to tips on boxer dog training.
Exercise before Training
Boxers are an energetic breed and can become distracted quickly! To help to focus their attention on you, exercise them before a Boxer dog training session. This will expel excess energy and allow your Boxer to concentrate on the more important things, like the tasty treat in your hand.
Find what your dog likes
Every Boxer is different and has distinct tastes for their rewards. Some prefer treats, while others prefer toys. You need to find out your dog’s preference and use that to your advantage! If your dog likes a treat, find out what kind of a treat they’d love the most. If your dog likes toys, find their preferred game. When you figure out the highest value reward, the rest of the training should be smooth.
Depending on your exercise routine and how you and your dog are doing, you need to reward accordingly. For example, if you are training your dog to walk to heel down the road, rewarding your dog with a game of fetch may not be a good idea. Here, it may be best to reward using treats. It’s essential to give the right rewards at appropriate times. For example, you don’t want to encourage active behaviour while training the dog walking close to you. That’s why a tasty snack does wonders.
Focus on the good stuff
Even though your Boxer may exhibit unwanted behaviour, you must focus on good behaviour. Please don’t take their good behaviour for granted. Instead, consistently reward it with care to motivate them to do it more. The more you reward good behaviour, the more likely it will happen again in the future.
Boxers are known to be stubborn, but if we motivate them, they are more likely to do what we ask them to do. On the other hand, if we do not inspire motivation in our Boxers, then we can’t expect them to give back in return.
Boxers love to play; however, we can’t play with them all day, so they need a structured playtime plan to get them enough activity throughout the day. Dogs naturally want to play in the evening after their meal. You may notice that they get a surge of energy and bounce around at some point in the evening, usually after an evening meal. This is an excellent time to play with them. You can also structure other times in the day to play, but ensure you end the game and let them know it’s finished. Setting boundaries early is very important, otherwise, the dog will start to control you.
One, two, three and go
Boxers are an amiable breed and often get caught up with wanting to socialise and play with other dogs. To help them understand that they do not have to stay and play with every dog, you can teach them the 3-second rule. The fundamental rule is: they can only meet for three seconds. So, make sure that after a quick sniff, you need to call them away. This gives them a brief moment to say hello, while not getting over-excited. If you do this enough, you will condition your dog to say hello and then walk on.
Boxers are excited when out for walks and may pull on the lead. To help combat this, you can change direction every time your Boxer walks in front of you. This will teach them to always follow you regardless of distractions. In addition, if you reward them when they are next to you, they will learn that they will get treats for exhibiting this behaviour.
Consistency is key
It’s essential to be consistent with the rules you are putting in place. For example, if you don’t allow your dog on the sofa, but someone else from the family allows it, you will confuse your dog. Therefore, ensuring that everyone in the household is united under the same flag and reading off the same script is essential in helping your dog understand the desired behaviour faster.
Learning to settle
Teaching your dog to settle down and relax is important not only for you but also for Boxers. This is so that they can unwind and relax and understand how they should behave when you have visitors. You can teach this by rewarding your dog for a ‘lazy down’ command. This is when your dog lays down but rocks their hips over to one side. When your dog is in this position, you can reward them and pair it with the word settle. If you want to take it a step further, you can teach them to do this in their bed.
At Royvon, we love this family friendly breed! We enjoy training Boxer dogs and seeing the progress they can make. Want to learn more? Watch our short YouTube video on all you need to know about our funny Boxer friends.
Need help with your Boxer dog training? At Royvon, we’d love to help! We offer a huge variety of different training options, so there’s sure to be one that will suit you and your furry friend. Please get in touch to find out more about what we offer.