Clicker Training Your Boxer
Clicker Training Your Boxer
Boxers are an extremely energetic and playful breed. Good manners and social skills in any breed start with solid training.
I love my Boxers, and I have found that clicker training works very well with this bright and easily bored breed.
I began my clicker training with my first Boxer, Bella, the brindle pictured above. Bella was about eight weeks old when we embarked on our training program.
The first step was to "load" the clicker. This was easy enough to do. Three or four times a day, for about five minutes, I would just click and treat, click and treat, until it became apparent to Bella that when the clicker went off she received a tasty little treat. I used very small pieces of freeze dried liver, but you can use any type of small soft treat. Sometimes I cut up tiny pieces of cheese for her, or use small pieces of Pupperoni. Whatever works for your dog, just so that they recognize that the clicker going off means they're getting a treat!
The first command I taught Bella was "sit".
After a day or two of clicker loading we began to work on the sit command. I positioned my hand above Bella's head and said "sit" while moving the treat back over her little Boxer brow. As her nose followed the treat it was natural for her to assume a sitting position. When she was sitting, I clicked the clicker and rewarded her with the treat. It worked very well.
The next command I taught her was "down". I held the treat in front of her little pushed in Boxer nose and slowly brought it down to the floor. Again, she followed the treat and lowered herself into the "down" position and I clicked and treated her.
We went on through the other basic obedience commands of come, stay, give paw, roll over, spin, etc. very quickly and with much success. Within a few weeks I had a very young, and surprisingly well-trained Boxer on my hands. As each command incorporated a hand signal, I began eliminating the clicker and the treat and just using praise. Eventually we evolved into the use of hand signals alone, quite convenient when one is on the phone and can just signal your Boxer silently into a down position, and surprisingly easy to achieve. The commands are firmly implanted in Bella's mind and I am very pleased with the results.
When Bella was eighteen months old I welcomed my second Boxer into my three pet household. (We also have a German Shorthaired Pointer named Simon and a Calico Cat named Sophie). My new Boxer girl, pictured above, she is the classic fawn, is named Jillian.
Jillian is a bit more high-strung than my Bella is, however, again I took the time to clicker train her and again I found it to be highly effective. Jillian is currently seven months old and still needs a lot of "reinforcement" with her training, but she is doing quite well.
I even experimented with clicker training my cat, Sophie, and guess what? I have a cat that sits and gives paw on command!
I would recommend clicker training for any and all Boxer Lovers as it is an effective and simple way to gain the attention and cooperation of your lively Boxer Companion. Working one-on-one with your Boxer in this manner also cements the bond between you.
There are many books available on clicker training and there are also many pet store chains that offer classes in clicker training for dog lovers that are relatively inexpensive.
A well-trained Boxer is a happy Boxer! They enjoy the attention and the one on one time, and the Boxer's natural tendency to strive to please their pack leader makes them quite the avid student.
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