I have a boxer named Buster that I adopted from PAWS when he was around six months old. The previous owner had adopted him but brought him back saying he couldn't be trained. I adopted him and had him trained immediately. The best way to train a dog is with positive reinforcement. Never spank your dog. This will cause things to get worse. Here is the methods I use to train:
Put your dog in a crate at night and when you leave the house. As soon as you get home, take the dog out and walk him around until he pees. Don't allow any time to pass before taking him out after you get home. Take him out every hour. Gradually spread that time out. Each time he pees, pet him and say "good boy" or "good job" or something like that, and use a tone that makes him feel you are happy with him.
In the mornings, as soon as you get up and let him out of the crate, put a leash on him and take him straight out. Again, walk him around until he pees. It's important to ensure he urinates every time you take him out...even if it's just a little bit. And always praise him for it.
Buy milk bones and treats. Every time he comes in from peeing, give him a small treat and again tell him he's a good boy. Over time he will realize peeing outside is a good thing and want to go out. He will also realize you are praising him for it and when he gets done he gets rewarded with a treat. He will catch on real fast. Trust me. I've trained many dogs and this always works!
If you don't have a crate, you should invest in one fast. I bought mine at the local used store for $10 and it was a huge one. You can look on ebay...they sometimes have them at a fair price. At walmart, new, you will pay about 50 bucks or more for one. But it's well worth it when your dog is fully trained.
Your dog may cry the first night or two when you put him in the crate. Ignore it. Don't yell or fuss, don't allow him out. He has to get used to the crate to get trained properly.
Remember positive reinforcement is the key.
The jumping on the kids can be addressed pretty much in the same way. However, one thing that could be the issue is he needs to get out and exercise off his energy. Take him on long walks or to the park. Boxers have a huge amount of energy and need to let it off. Use positive reinforcement in this area as well. Don't spank him, but say "no" when he jumps on someone. If he continues, put him in the crate for 20 minutes then let him out. If he continues to jump on someone, put him back in for another 20 minutes. Over time he will learn that jumping on someone is not a good thing. If you notice he is listening to you when you say no then give him a treat. Treats tend to be the best training method!
Also, if you buy a used crate be sure to clean it with bleach and rinse it well before using. If any dog had parvo and used it before it could infect your dog. Just wanted to make sure you knew that. Good Luck.
Short of writing a hub on potty training (which I probably will do someday), I highly recommend you get and read "Potty Training is Possible." It's a really fast read, and you can find it at Petsmart. Follow it to the tee.
First, have you had your dog checked for a UTI? That would be my first step.
If there are no medical issues, then the reason why your dog is peeing in the house is simple. You haven't trained him properly!!! All dogs without medical issues can be potty trained. It's the owners who fail to do so correctly.
As for wild behavior, remember, you did choose a boxer!! That's what they're known for. However you can mitigate that behavior with a good, positive reinforcement obedience class. Spending the money and PRACTICING on your homework at home will greatly help with these issues.
It sounds like you need some very basic dog ownership instruction, and a good training class will give you that.
Sounds like you will need several steps to solve your problem:
1. How much exercise does your dog get on a daily basis? My rottie, even on the days she spends in daycare, can easily handle a 3 mile walk in the evenings. On the days she doesn't, one walk will likely not be enough to get her energy out. You can't blame a boxer for have energy, it is up to the owners to tire out their dogs in a positive way. Punishing a dog for needing exercise will not take care of your problem. Get your dog playing, walking, running.
2. You need to enroll your dog in class. Doing things by the book for a week is not the same as practicing day after day, month after month with supervision of someone who can correct your mistakes. You ARE making mistakes, since you are not sure what is working and what is not working at this point. Getting advice over the internet has much less value than practicing obedience with a professional. Sounds like you and your dog need that. You'll both enjoy it, and bond over it. Just do it.
3.Your dog is a smart cookie, how do you keep his mind busy on a daily basis? In case you were wondering, yes, it is your job to provide mental exercise for your dog as well. If his mind is tired, and his body is tired, you will have more luck with training and appropriate behavior.
4. Sounds like you need to start the potty training from ground zero. Have your dog WITH you in the house at all times on a 6 ft leash, and in a crate if you can't watch him (notice I said "can't", not "I don't feel like it"). Take him out to the same spot after every nap, feeding,and rough play, and watch for the signs of "I"m getting ready to do the deed". A sharp "no" to break his conentration for a minute to prevent potty in the house, and take him outside immediately. That's basically what you do with a baby puppy for the first few weeks, but if your dog needs it at this age - you do what you have to do. It will be intense and tiring, but that's what's needed to get your dog into a good routine, then so be it.
5. If he starts running around knocking kids over, how do you show him what he should be doing?
The only way to do it is to take a leash, and put him on a leash, and keep him with you.
6. You mention punishment, but that won't work in teaching th edog on what to do. It only signals the dog what not to do. For example, you can punish him for running around, but that doesn't teach him, or show him what to do with his energy. A walk does, a dog chewy treat does, a command "down" with a treat that follows shows good behavior.
Sounds like a lot, and you should expect changes to take time, but this doesn't mean you should aim for shortcuts. Your dog deserves better. Taking classes is the key, it also gives you a chance to ask specific advice from a professional.
P.S. All of the above is the "ton of work" they are talking about when they warn you about getting a dog.
Boxers take slow, persistent training and donl;t respond too well to punishment. if you have a schedule of walks and reward elimination his gut will naturally get on schedule. For over exuberant behavior I would suggest a 1-2 minute time out for jumping up.
Make sure you are consistent. No matter what you do to train, be it crate training or positive reinforcement or whatever, it won't work if you keep switching things up. You'll just confuse the dog. Boxers love being with their people so they will want to please you. They are stubborn but are definitely trainable. You just have to stick with it. Boxers are loveable and generally energetic. Your best bet would probably be a long walk when you get home and maybe one in the morning as well. If they can't expend their energy, they find other ways of occupying themselves. Think of them like a coiled spring...if they don't get to let out some of that tension and excitement during the day, they will let it out later by bouncing around the house and jumping on the kids.
Boxers are one of the best breeds for kids. They are so gentle with them and adore being with them. They are pretty big dogs though, so its not hard for one to knock over a child when they are trying to play. The key is to make sure they understand the rules. Both dog and kids. Never let a dog of any size jump on someone. Whether a child or an adult. Teach them early on no to do this and consistently train them not to. Make sure the kids know not to allow the dog to jump on them and not to try to get the dog to do it. Some think it is fun to get a dog to stand and have them put their front paws on you. This just teaches the dog to try to do it later. Try turning around to give the dog your back each time he jumps up. u might have to turn in circles a few times but he should get the hint if everyone does this when he jumps. The main thing he wants is your attention and if he only gets that attention when he is sitting and being still, he will get the point. Just keep at it!!
I also recommend the crate training for potty business. Once your boxer figures out for sure what you want him to do, it should be smooth sailing. Boxers are wonderful additions to any home but they need strong and consistent leadership with plenty of positive reinforcement. Good Luck!
There are differences of opinion on crating. I think the technique is abused more than it is used. Most people buy the crate and just put the dog there all night and/or all day while they are at work. Which is why others find it safer not to recommend its use at all.
I feel so sad at the thought of this. My daughter lived next door to a man who worked on a security site and each day she could see the dog(American Bull dog) howling and locked into such a crate for many hours. One day she couldn't stand it anymore and she knocked on his door and offered to take the dog for a walk...............best from jandee
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