If you’re looking for the best tips on boxer dog training, we’ve got you covered!
Read on to learn how to teach your pup the most important basic commands.
We’ll go over special considerations for the breed as well as tips that work well for pretty much any large dog.
Let’s get started because we have a lot to cover!
What you need to know about the Boxer dog breed
Bright, fun-loving and playful. Those are the words the AKC uses to describe the Boxer breed, and they couldn’t be any truer.
Boxers are amazing dogs that absolutely love to play with their people.
Their energy rivals that of a toddler and they’re definitely just as much a handful (in a good way, of course)!
This breed is extremely loyal to his family. When he becomes your friend, he’s one for life.
Maybe that’s why he ranks in the top 20 most popular breeds! He’s #11, in case you’re curious. Just missed the top 10!
Unique, but not for everyone
Boxers are unique and they’re not for everyone. You really need to be prepared to put a good amount of work into their training.
See, this is a highly intelligent breed. On the one hand, that makes him easier to train because he quickly learns what’s expected of him.
On the other hand, though, it makes him challenging because he’s also quite stubborn.
In other words, he’s smart enough to think for himself and knows how to use reasoning to get his own way.
So, how do you train a dog that could quite possibly be just as smart as you? Read on for tips!
Boxer Dog Training Tips
One thing you have to understand as you begin training your boxer is that these dogs take watchdog duty very seriously.
In fact, they’re often used as guard dogs! Consider it their main profession, just like German Shepherds are herders and Greyhounds are hunters.
So, even if you’re not training him to guard your home, you’ll want to play into that sense of duty.
You’ll also want to make sure that his tendency to guard doesn’t become a tendency towards aggression.
People who don’t know boxers tend to assume that they are naturally aggressive when they are in fact the opposite and couldn’t be more playful than any other dog!
As we’ve seen with pit bulls, though, looks and first impressions can be very deceiving.
When you have a powerful dog, showing the world that he’s not what they assume becomes more important than ever.
Respect his intelligence
Because of their intelligence Boxers can be very stubborn but when it comes to training a boxer it can be very helpful.
You must remember that there will be times when you give him a command and he looks at you like he’s telling you where you can stick it.
Sure, he knows exactly what you want. He’s totally capable of performing the command. He has decided, however, that it’s just not worth the effort.
Patience is key
Patience is key in these circumstances. Of course, patience matters when training all dogs, but with stubborn breeds, it’s beyond essential.
I know how hard it is when your dog just plain won’t listen. It’s super frustrating!
Getting aggravated is only going to make things worse and cause your dog to shut you out completely.
Start early with the basics
Your boxer dog training begins the moment he enters your home, or around 6-8 weeks.
As with all dogs, potty training is the first order of business. The method isn’t really any different than with other breeds.
Check out the video below for potty training tips.
Socialize, socialize, socialize
I can’t stress this enough! Socialization is 100% absolutely vital to successful boxer dog training.
Boxers are incredibly friendly, but they don’t get there on their own. They need to interact with other people, dogs, and even cats if you plan to have one.
This is where professional training classes come in super handy. Not only will a trainer help with the basics, but your Boxer gets to interact with other puppies.
Make it fun and rewarding!
Sure, teaching your dog to do his business outside is a bit hard to make entertaining, but the rest of your training should be fun!
Stubborn breeds like Boxers need to feel that commands are worth doing. In other words, make it rewarding.
Play with him, use interactive puzzle toys, and break out the really good treats.
Once he masters a command, you can cut back on the treats and use toys or even a good belly rub as a reward.
Reinforce commands with advanced training
Don’t just teach your Boxers the basics and call it a day. Like all dogs, commands need to be reinforced regularly.
Advanced training will keep him engaged and give you a great opportunity to reinforce basic commands.
Use your Boxer’s wits and natural inclination towards agility training to teach him advanced tricks that incorporate the basics naturally.
Avoid trying to “dominate” your boxer
One last yet important note: don’t fall into the “I must dominate my dog or he’ll dominate me” trap.
Too many boxer training tips still rely on the old notion that dogs are pack animals. According to countless studies, they are not.
So, forget everything a certain celebrity “trainer” told you and stick with your reward training methods.
Both are excellent and highly respected force-free trainers.
Boxers are genuinely a lovable family dogs that make fantastic pets. They are dogs that prefer to sit next to you for a good cuddle rather than do just about anything else!
Train your boxer early and remember the keys above, and you shouldn’t have any issues!
If you do run into problems, you can always call in a professional.