Knowing how to train Boxers to be obedient is important for any Boxer owner. Boxers were bred to help capture large game such as deer and boars, so they are surprisingly strong and very energetic. This can make an untrained Boxer a nightmare when he grows to his full size. Read these tips for training your dog while he is still a puppy so you do not have to deal with the stress of obedience problems when he is too strong for you to easily control.
Establish a Good Owner/Dog Relationship
They key to how to train Boxers to be obedient is to establish a positive relationship with them. Boxers are very headstrong at times, which can make punishing them for misbehavior not as effective as you may hope. If you have a good relationship with your dog, however, he will want to please you and the whole training process will go much more smoothly.
Boxers also need to have a relationship with you in order for them to understand what you want. They need to be able to read when you are happy or upset, or they will be confused as to what is expected of them and misbehave out of sheer ignorance of the rules.
Positive Reinforcement Vs Correction
As was previously stated, Boxers are too stubborn for punishment to be entirely effective on them. Positive reinforcement should therefore be your main method of training with Boxer pups instead of punishing correction.
It is rather unfair to punish a dog for misbehaving before you have taught him that that behavior is wrong. For example, you cannot hit a puppy for peeing in the house if it is not housebroken yet, just as you wouldn’t hit young child for peeing on the floor before they had been potty trained.
A dog that is punished for something that it was never taught was wrong will likely be confused and resentful. This will cause even more behavioral problems in the future. Instead, you want to reward your puppy for doing what you want it to do, and ignore it when it does something wrong. To go along with the housebreaking example, you would want to shower your dog with affection when he pees outside, but just clean up the mess if he has an accident indoors.
Another element of Boxer training is redirecting their behavior, or in other words, giving them something else to do. Boxers can easily be taught the meanings of verbal cues such as “sit,” “heel,” or “lay down,” and you can tell them to perform these tasks when they are tempted to do something they shouldn’t.
An example of when to use redirection would be when have a problem with your dog jumping on people. If you have given your Boxer positive attention in the past when he has jumped on you out of excitement, it will be hard for him to understand you telling him “no” when he jumps on a guest. This will just confuse him, and if you punish him he will likely just be upset and continue misbehaving in the future. Telling him to sit when the guest comes in, on the other hand, will give him something else to do so that he does not get too hyper and jump on your guests.
Boredom is the number one culprit behind misbehavior in Boxer dogs, so keeping them busy is key to having an obedient dog. Knowing how to train Boxers is important, but all your training won’t do any good if you leave your dog in the house all day with nothing to do. Boxers are very energetic by nature, and if they don’t get enough exercise, all the training in the world is not likely to stop them from chewing or digging to relieve their boredom.
Now that you know the basics of how to train Boxers, all that remains is for you to put them into practice. Just remember to be patient and not to give up if your training does not go smoothly at first, because letting your dog get away with misbehaving now will make it almost impossible to control him when he gets older. Boxers are intelligent, and although training may be difficult at first, it will become easier for both of you the more you practice.