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Are boxers easy or hard to train?


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Boxers are an incredible and intelligent dog. They will love you and they will protect you. They are a bit stubborn and ditzy at times but they love to play and have plenty of energy for it.

Are boxers easy to train? Boxers are not a particularly easy dog breed to train. They are high energy, especially when they are young. With proper training and leadership, they can turn out to be good dogs. Do not treat them negatively, as they really thrive off of a positive human connection. Love and guide them.

Any sort of stereotypes aside, boxers can be some incredible pets to have. They are loyal and they love to play. Let’s talk about training and temperament of boxers.

How to Train Your Boxer

Most dogs benefit from obedience training but boxers generally are really big fans of it. This kind of training, in the beginning, is really simple stuff like playing fetch with basic commands of “sit.” “stay,” “come,” and “down.”

The best training method for a boxer is positive, reward-based training. Give the encouragement that they need and show them love constantly. They thrive off of that. Treat them how you would want to be treated.

The best training method for a boxer is positive, reward-based training.

Boxer puppies are strong-willed or stubborn depending on how you see it. Add their energy into the mix and you might have a handful to take care of.

Keep working with them and showing them love as they work through these immature stages. It will pay off in the end.

One method for teaching a boxer pup is a clicker training method. I will speak on that further in a little bit.

Besides all that the training does for your dog to be obedient, it also creates a more special bond with your pup.

There are various kinds of training you can do. Agility training is a really neat training regiment that helps your dog put their energy to good use.

Clicker Training Method

Whenever I think of clicker training, I just think of Chris Pratt training velociraptors. If you have seen Jurassic World, you know what I am talking about. Basically, it is the same training.

Clicker training was originally used to train dolphins in the 1960s but with increased understanding of animals, we use it for dogs today.

The clicker is just a little plastic object with a piece of metal that you can press that makes a clicking sound. The sound is consistent and does not change so dogs recognize it consistently.

The training combines operant conditioning and classical conditioning.

Dogs will learn by the instantaneous consequence of their actions. They learn better right away then later from something they did. You either give or take away to reinforce or weaken a behavior.

If you give your dog a treat for doing something, the dog will begin to think that you will give them a treat every time they do that thing, thus reinforcing the behavior. This is operant conditioning.

Classical conditioning is something we all know about. We went to school and we have heard of it but maybe I can help clarify the purpose of training a boxer.

Dogs will learn by the instantaneous consequence of their actions.

Your dog assumes that every time you lay down their dog bowl that they will be getting food. He/she relates two unrelated things. That is classical conditioning.

With the clicker method, you will use both of these conditionings to train your dog to be exactly how you would like them to be. You will either reinforce certain behaviors or teach them to know that certain actions mean that a specific outcome will happen.

The clicker method happens in this way. I got this step by step layout from Dog Training Central. Check them out! They have some great stuff.

  • Get the behavior you want to happen
  • As soon as it happens, use the clicker
  • Reward/Reinforce their behavior
  • Try the behavior out in different situations with distractions and such
  • Give a verbal cue
  • oderately remove the clicker and treats

What are Some Struggles of Training Boxers?

Leash Training

Lease training can be difficult. They like to chase things, especially cats. If they see a cat they will bolt for it. When you finally get your boxer to stay with you, give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it.

Train them early to stay close to you. If they mess up and pull you around, you have to be the bad guy a little and correct them. Do not be afraid to get in their face a little and then show them love after reprimanding them. This lets them know that you still love them despite their actions.

The earlier they learn this, the better for both of you. Especially your neck. It is like whiplash when they bolt off. I would refrain taking them to a park or anywhere with other dogs until they learn to stay close to you on a walk/run around the neighborhood.

Train them early to stay close to you.

A good way to start leash training is to start in your house or even backyard. That way if they bolt, they are not going very far. After they get that down, they take them out to the big wide world and see how they handle it.

If your dog does pull, stand still. Many people think to pull or yank the dog back out of frustration (we have all been there). If you can help yourself, do not do that. Just stand still and hold your ground until your dog realizes that it is not going to get what it wants.

When your dog reacts in appropriate ways, you can give them a treat to reinforce the behavior at the beginning and then wean them off of the treats.

House Training

Despite negative information that circulates about the stubbornness of boxers, they are one of the simplest dog breeds to potty train.

Many people use a crate to help with house training. My sister suggested this to me and it has been so helpful.

The last thing you want is to deal with a mess in your house, especially if you have carpet. Let’s talk about the method.

You will need a crate for this. I know I made it sound like it was just a nice commodity but you need it. It makes a difference.

The crate is somewhere for your dog to stay while you are not home. If they pee or poop, it will end up in the crate and not on your floor.

Consistent Leadership = Great Boxer

Scheduling and developing a routine is very important for your new puppy to understand how being house trained all works. Do not just make up random times to go potty.

Schedule it out and be precise with your timing. They will begin to understand the routine and it will make your life easier.

When it comes time to take him/her outside, put them on a leash. That way they do their business and you can keep them from too many distractions.

When your boxer does it right, reinforce the behavior and reward them with a treat until they start getting it down.

Social Training

What is the biggest problem you have faced when your friends come over and meet your dog? I asked a lot of my friends with dogs and they said something along the lines of, “They are always jumping on/at my friends.” I could not agree with that more. It is a real thing.

I and my sister actually talked about this. My sister is a dog trainer and she has like 5 dogs she is training right now. Her boxer mix dog jumps up on me frequently when I go over. He is a big dog and it is not a fun experience.

Boxers get excited to meet people but unfortunately, their methods are not very kosher in the human world. Once again, training them early is important. If you can curb this habit early, then you can avoid potentially awkward or even dangerous situations.

Boxers have a lot of energy and sometimes they do not get it out and they want to play with your friends, what do you do?

Do not punish your dog for being friendly. Instead, redirect this behavior.

First of all, do not punish your dog for being friendly. Redirect this behavior by teaching them that sitting or doing a trick is how to get your attention.

Boxer will use their paws to communicate with others so they like to paw you and say, “Hey! I’ve been waiting all day to see you!” Teach them to communicate and get your attention through other means.

Once you establish authority through various means, they will be more inclined to listen to you. So the more time you spend with your dog, the more it will respect you. Go figure.

If your dog is jumping on you or anybody else, take a hold of their paws and remove them from you. Tell them to not do that. Hold their paws until they start to get tired of standing on two legs.

Reward their good behavior once again and repeat these things until they no longer need a treat or reward. Always say thanks or say you are proud of them. They love that.

There are plenty of methods out there for handling the less than desirable behaviors of a boxer but in the end, reward good behavior, spend time with them, and show them some love.

What is the Personality of a Boxer? How Does it Affect Training?

Boxers love to be playful. They have a lot of energy to get out and they are really athletic. If your family likes to be outside and do athletic things (like running), then you are a fantastic fit for a boxer. These dogs are pretty intelligent too. They will do things that make you smile out of surprise.

Another huge benefit of boxers is that they are very protective of their people and love to show affection. Boxers are one of the most loving dogs. My sister has one and it is always trying to be close to her and show its love.

Boxers are a great family dog. Period. I would suggest having them with a larger family. I would suggest that your kids are a little bit older, like 7 years old. They will protect your kids and play with them. Having kids to play with the dog is killing two birds with one stone to get rid of lots of energy.

Boxers flourish off of human companionship and connection. In order to function, they need a social atmosphere. They need training as soon as you can. That is important. They need leadership that is frequent and consistent. With training, you can give that to them.

They are a stubborn dog and they need to be taught and trained so they listen to you. Do not treat them negatively. If you do they will sulk, pout and be really passive aggressive about doing anything. That is annoying and it will only make you angrier.

They do not do well with dogs of the same sex. So I would not recommend having another dog of the same sex.

Human Companionship = Great Boxer

Training your dog will bring the two of you closer together. This is the ultimate goal of training. It creates trust between the two of you. Boxers will need your positive encouragement and love throughout their lives, especially during training.

They need that human connection and attention to exist and live healthily. Be prepared to be patient and loving. Then you have a dog that respects and loves you. Once you have that relationship, a boxer will be your friend for life and they will protect you from harm.

I personally love boxers. I do not own one but I have gotten to know my sister’s boxer really well and I love the connection that she has with him. I am not quite there yet. He is kind of a weirdo and he is bulky and awkward sometimes but when it comes right down to it, I know that he will protect his momma. That is the kind of relationship I want with my own dogs now and in the future.

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