Boxer owners your training advice please *pics added #40 & 61* - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 73 Old 02-13-2010, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In just over 7 weeks I will be having a long time dream of mine come true My new little girl will be joining us, her name will be Isis.

I would love to hear from all you Boxer owners on training them and what works best, what to total avoid and anything else you think I need to know.

I cannot express how excited I am but also how nervous I am. I have had dogs my whole life other than the last 8 years. I never trained them though. I know that I will have to be firm in training her and show her from the start that me and the rest of the family are in charge/alpha to avoid trouble later on down the road. Especially the kids who are dd 9 and ds 5. How to I best go about making sure the puppy respects them?

Should I let them feed her after making her sit orwait?

I am going to be googling like crazy and watching dog training shows on tv and look on youtube or things as well.

So hit me with it everyone I need all the help I can get.

 
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#2 of 73 Old 02-13-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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This is a great place for your questions: http://www.boxerworld.com/forums/

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#3 of 73 Old 02-13-2010, 10:21 PM
 
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Check out Before And After You Get Your Puppy by Dr Ian Dunbar. The book is available as a free pdf

Before

After

Those two links cover pretty much every aspect of raising a puppy, especially invaluable info on teaching bite inhibition and socialization.

Also, its not really so much in setting yourself up as "alpha", but as having clear and consistent rules and boundaries. Much like parenting you want to set them up for success and focus on the positive.

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#4 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 12:22 AM
 
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The Ian Dunbar pdf's are awesome. I really recommend reading them cover to cover and take notes

Boxers are high energy dogs - we have a boxer mix, and he runs circles around the other three. (He's also the best of our four with the kids.) Its going to be really important to have a plan in place to keep his body and mind busy and tired. A tired puppy is a good puppy!
Boxers are also really prone to many genetic health problems, if it were me, I would want to make sure that the breeder health tested both dam and sire.
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#5 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the links. I have a lot of reading to do in the coming weeks and I am hoping that I dont somehow manage to screw up.

Just started on the PDF link and I have to say that it is scaring me. I wont be getting the puppy until she is 8 weeks and I know for a fact that the person I am getting her from wont be taking her out and socializing her. But she will be interatcting with his family.

There is no flippin way I can introduce my puppy to 100 different people in 4 weeks. I dont even see that many people in a year. We dont have dog parks here at all and the only other dog she will be seeing on a regular basis is my brothers dog.

 
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#6 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 01:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
There is no flippin way I can introduce my puppy to 100 different people
You need to get creative and make it a priority. Socialization is so important and is critical for many pets. Think pet stores, walks, parks, downtowns, festivals, banks, errands. Bring high value treats. Go the vet not just for bad things, go just to weigh your pet and get cookies and loves.
Don't worry, they don't need to have that many close personal friends, most random people are drawn to pet/play with a cute puppy naturally, which is in your favor.

Read these:http://www.overstock.com/Books-Movie...7/product.html

http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DTB533

http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DTB752

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#7 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 02:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We dont have pet stores anywhere near me they are hour away. According to what he wrote I cant take her out in public until all her shots are complete which wont happen until she is 12 weeks old and that if past the time when I was supposed to take her out. I will of course take her every where I possibly can but I want to keep her safe since the majority of dogs in my area are totally unvaxed.

Is it 100% required to do puppy classes? Because that will be a real problem for me. It would mean finding child care, then driving hour or more to them.

 
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#8 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 02:05 AM
 
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First, I do think Dunbar goes to the high end assuming people wont do as much as suggested. Second, its easier than you think. Pet stores, walk through parks, etc all meet lots of different people. In some places you can bring your dog into stores like Home Depot or Lowes...look around for all the opportunities you can. Puppy classes are also great for this and very important. I usually put a disclaimer on the links saying please dont let it scare you...but I forgot It is a bit exaggerated but only because it is so very important.

Also, its not as if things cant be fixed, its just easier to never have the problems to start with you know.

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#9 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 02:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am trying to not get to overwhelmed with all the instructions but it is hard. I am very worried I will mess up just like I worry every day how doing things affects my kids.

This is also important because my dh is not all that keen on me having a dog anyway and I want to do things right so he wont be justified in saying I told you so down the road.

I just googled training classes and my options are severely limited. I only found 2 within range and one was out of my price range

 
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#10 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 02:29 AM
 
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I think you shouldn't think so much about dog parks and pet stores, think about people socializing instead. Outdoor stores/malls are good places, as is just bringing puppy to a regular park (on leash, of course!) to expose him/her to people, kids, noises. As a PP said people are drawn to puppies.

Honestly, I would consider the socialization the #1 priority - I'd worry about this much more than teaching him to sit or anything like that. You can't get that early socialization window back, definitely focus on that.
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#11 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 02:30 AM
 
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As long as you are aware, you should be fine. Realize they need exposure and dont just leave the dog at home. The main problems IMO come from people who leave the dog in the yard all the time, or take them for occasional walks but never actually meet anyone. I know last summer walking my pup up to the local ice cream place we could easily meet 10-20 people of all ages, races, etc. Often there were other dogs as well.

Do you have any friends that have dogs that you could set up puppy playdates with?

If you are worried, what helps me is reading all I can...read Suzanne Clothier (her book Bones Would Rain from the SKy is wonderful, but she also has some great free articles at flyingdogpress.com. Read Patricia McConnell...she has a lot of great books but The Other End of the Leash is great for understanding dogs and her Family Friendly Dog Training is a 6 week course you can use at home. Karen Pryor's Dont Shoot the Dog is also a must read IMO and clicker training is such a great way to train. Basically, dont overthink it, but dont ignore it

Are you buying from a breeder? If the breeder is reputable and the lines temperments are sound you have a great start.

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#12 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 02:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I will take her every where I am allowed to and let as many people pet her as possible and I will have treats for them to give.

I can do this I know I can I just need to chill

I dont have friends and we dont have visitors other than the il's usually a few week ends a month. I cant walk here to meet people since we are rural (I will be walking her every day though) I dont know anyone who has a puppy. Just my brothers 1+ yo little dog.

 
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#13 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 06:54 AM
 
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Its not as overwhelming as you would think. Just wrap your mind around all the places the puppy can come with you. We too live in a very rural area, and I did things like take our pup to soccer games, t-ball games, downtown festival etc, etc.
Are you getting your pup from a breeder? He/she may be able to give you some pointers and suggest a puppy class....
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#14 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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Congratulations on the new addition! We have a Great Dane, and his best pals at the dog park are boxers. I think they match in strength and energy level (our Dane is just shy of 2, so still very much a puppy in terms of energy).

I can see that getting to a training class would be a challenge, but if you can find an affordable 6 week class, even if it's an hour away, it will save you. And you should bring the children with you! They will learn from the class, too, if they're old enough. I forget what your profile said about ages. Even if they're not old enough to understand, they can go. In our last class, we had a mom with her baby in a sling at every class- worked great!

The key for us and our dog is exercise. Tons of it. If you take your dog everywhere and get her plenty of exercise, she will be much easier to handle. Then, give her a job to do. Little things like learning sit/down/heel/stay are tools that you can always use. That's how we survived Thanksgiving dinner and play dates with babies- Down-stay.

It looks like you have a lot of great reading recommendations. If you're interested, my personal faves are by the Monks of New Skete. "The Art of Raising a Puppy" and "How to be Your Dog's Best Friend." Both should be in your local library or available used. I'd even lend my copies if you want.

Enjoy this exciting time for your family! Dogs are an amazing gift to our family, and even during the tough days, we are so glad we have our puppy.

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#15 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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I own both those books by the Monks of New Skeete, though these days I would not recommend them. It was actually becoming a mother that inspired me the most to change the way I train and communicate with my dogs. Aversives work, yes, but positive reinforcement training is far easier (especially for the younger crowd - not to many 3 year olds can nor should do a collar pop), and has far fewer reprecussions if done wrong.
Patricia McConnel, Ian Dunbar, Suzanne Clothier and of course Karen Pryor all do a great job of explaining dog training of the family dog for the whole family
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#16 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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First off, practice NILIF. From the very first day.
I, too, second the link to boxerworld.com!!!!! Sign up right away and start your questions over there. It is by far, one of the best sources of info you can come across. I swear!! I really don't know what I would have done without it.

Secondly, I found that my boxer never had a problem with socializing with people. It's dogs that I didn't do enough of when she was a puppy. Boxers are very hyper and sometimes can give off the wrong vibe to other dogs with their "forceful play". If you know someone with a very well rounded mature dog, take your pup to play with that dog every day. Hopefully the older dog will teach your pup what is appropriate or not in the dog world. In a kind but firm manner.

Also, focus on how you would like your dog to walk on a leash and not how far- in the beginning. It would be better to only walk the length of maybe 5 houses (I just saw that you live rurally, but you know what I mean) in the span of 10 minutes than to walk a couple of blocks with your puppy pulling the whole time. It is best to get a boxer's walk under conrol before they know how strong they are.

Lastly, have loads of fun. I love love love boxers and don't know what I would do without my girl.

a little reminder of why you are getting a boxer

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#17 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OMG that video is the sweetest thing I have seen in a loooong time.

My kids are older 9 and 5 I want them totally involved in the training.

Thank you everyone for the words of wisdom and advice I will be using them to the best of my ability.

 
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#18 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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Very cute video

I do feel the need to put a disclaimer here though....a dog in that situation (not saying this particular dog, she seemed very in control) could easily and totally in a friendly way hurt that baby. The pawing and playbowing on the baby could easily get too strong. My dane is sooo gentle with my kids, but she is still young and sometimes forgets her strength.

Basically, dont try that video at home unless you have done lots of prep work and really know your dog

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#19 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Question since I will be raising this puppy around cats will that make it less likely it will go after them? Are there things I can do to prevent cat/small animal aggression or is it out of my hands?

 
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#20 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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greenmagick no offense taken about the disclaimer. I should have probably said that, too; so, no one would ever think that this kind of play couldn't get out of hand. Yes, my dog is very gentle, but even with that being said accidents can always happen.

MCatLvrMom2A&X, I think the age of your kids are perfect. I wish my dog had older kids to play with.
As for the cats, I had 4 when we brought home our dog (an 8 week old puppy at the time). Definitely try to re-direct your pup from chasing the cats. Also, make sure you have a safe place for the cats to go to get away from the puppy. Probably the most important thing is to protect your puppy from your cats. With their short muzzle and bulging eyes, they are a vet visit waiting to happen. IME, I think our dog thought she was a cat since that is all she was raised around.

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#21 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One of the reasons it has taken me so long to decide on getting one other than the dh one is that I have cats and it would break my heart if as an adult the dog hurt or killed on of them. I only have the one inside cat she will be 16 in april and spends the majority of her time in her room she cannot run the house because she has little box issues.

 
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#22 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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We dont have pet stores anywhere near me they are hour away. According to what he wrote I cant take her out in public until all her shots are complete which wont happen until she is 12 weeks old and that if past the time when I was supposed to take her out. I will of course take her every where I possibly can but I want to keep her safe since the majority of dogs in my area are totally unvaxed.

Is it 100% required to do puppy classes? Because that will be a real problem for me. It would mean finding child care, then driving hour or more to them.
About the Vax vs Socialization thing, I find there are two schools of thought- the first that you should take them nowhere because they could potentially get a disease. The second is that more dogs die from behavior problems caused by lack of early socialization than die of vax preventable diseases, so its more beneficial to socialize than isolate.

The thing about puppy vaxes is that noone can tell when a puppy will lose its maternal immunity- its individual. We know roughly the time frame in which it happens. If you give the vax before maternal immunity wears off, its ineffective. So they vax several times to make sure they catch all puppies as close to possible as to when their individual maternal immunity wears out. There will probably only be a very small window of time when your puppy lacks either maternal immunity or vax immunity- however, nobody will know when that is.

There's no reason you cant take a middle of the road approach to the issue- it IS important that your puppy socializes with other dogs, but people are important too. You could, say, only let your puppy socialize with vaccinated dogs during that time frame, and avoid socializing in areas where there are likely to have been high numbers of dogs with unknown vax histories. Find a few dogs, but really focus on people. Also, are you in the country? I try to expose my dogs to a variety of animals, a dog that chases livestock is no good, and I'd hope that if, say, you can only find small dogs for him to socialize in that window, that exposure to other animals of different types will help prevent a basic fear of different types of animals that might translate to dogs too- ie, if he's not afraid of sheep, maybe large dogs or shaggy dogs will be accepted fairly easily at a later date as well. Its important that he understands that playing with livestock is not ok though if you do expose him to them- not only could he be hurt, but he could hurt them. The other thing to keep in mind is that the vet's office is not sterile- its precisely where people bring their dogs when they have things like parvo or distemper. I'd reckon there are MORE germs in the vets office where you are bringing him for his vax than in most of the places you would bring him to socialize.

Its a tricky issue, so you have to find exactly where your personal comfort level is.
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#23 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 07:05 PM
 
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I have always had dogs and cats together. In my experience, the cats usually rule the dogs. Just take it the same as you do the kids...lots of positive interactions and step in if things get too rough

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#24 of 73 Old 02-14-2010, 09:26 PM
 
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Don't worry about your cats- they'll train your dog.

Boxers are AMAZING with kids. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXu1UOeB0x0
The only thing is they might jump on your little ones, but they will be fine. That said, I HATE the puppy stage. (But I didn't like the little-tiny-infant stage either.) If your DH is unsure about a dog he'll prolly hate the puppy stage, too. But they grow fast and mine has been really easy to train. Hang in there, it's worth it to have a great dog.

Post pics when you get her! Oh, and get her spayed early! We waited and it was miserable! Good luck!

Newly Single-Mama. Raising homebirth baby, Josephine, July '09.

 

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#25 of 73 Old 02-15-2010, 01:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by femalephish View Post
Boxers are AMAZING with kids. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXu1UOeB0x0
The only thing is they might jump on your little ones, but they will be fine. That said, I HATE the puppy stage. (But I didn't like the little-tiny-infant stage either.) If your DH is unsure about a dog he'll prolly hate the puppy stage, too. But they grow fast and mine has been really easy to train. Hang in there, it's worth it to have a great dog.
OMG, that video made me cringe. That dog was throwing out calming signals left and right and the humans either didn't know how to read them or didn't care.
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#26 of 73 Old 02-15-2010, 05:51 AM
 
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Do you have a local craigslist or anything? post an ad asking if anybody else would like to get together for a puppy play date. I've seen a few of those, and we've even had a few people to our house with our dogs to get them socialized. If you can set up a meet at a park or something, and then just let the dogs get together and meet each other, and the other owners, it's awesome. you can also get lots of tips from other people, too.
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#27 of 73 Old 02-15-2010, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We dont have anything like that near me. I will figure something out. The parks here you just dont see many people there at all and no dogs that I have ever seen.

The majority of people around here have dogs but they are outside only dogs that are either chained or penned you just dont see people walking dogs or interacting with them much.

 
SAHMlady.gifread.giflovin' trekkie.giffan intactivist.gifwinner.jpg to loveeyes.gifenergy.gifDD 10/00 & superhero.gifmoon.gifDS 10/04 ribbonpb.gifIf your ds is intact, keep him safe, visit the Case Against Circ forumnocirc.gifCirc, a personal choice, Your sonsyes.gifbrokenheart.gif11/98brokenheart.gif6/99ribbonbrown.gifanti-tobaccoribbonyellow.gifThyroid cancer survivor. With cat.gif& goldfish.gif & (Boxer)dog2.gif wishing 4 whale.gif&ribbonwhite.gifsigncirc1.gifselectivevax.gifdelayedvax.gif

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#28 of 73 Old 02-15-2010, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Collars

For her to start with I am just going to get a regular cheap nylon collar because she will outgrow that fairly fast but for later on do I need to get a harness or stick with a regular collar or what?

I looked on the BoxerBoard but I didnt really find anything helpful there.

 
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#29 of 73 Old 02-15-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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I don't see a need for a harness. A flat collar is probably good, depending on how your pup does at walking nicely on a leash. I like Lupine collars http://www.lupinepet.com/ because they're cute and have guaranteed replacement (even if they're chewed!). I also like martingale collars (also sometimes called limited slip or combo collars) because they tighten but not all the way - it's a good way to prevent the dog from slipping out of it's collar when it gets spooked and tries to back up or sees something exciting and jumps around.

Depending on how training is going you may or may not need a training collar - but you can worry about it then. I also think that for training collars it's good to have a professional show you how to use them (this doesn't include pet store sales people ).
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#30 of 73 Old 02-15-2010, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My vet sales them I just found them listed on the site at Lupine.

I want a pretty collar now then when she grows out of it I will want a pretty one again and those are pretty.

 
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