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I have a 7 month old boxer puppy that will not quit attacking everyone's feet and at the same time he barks and jumps up at you. It hurts very badly when he bites at your feet or legs and when he jumps on you he scratches you all up. I already tried hiring a trainer and it didn't work.
I read that a lot of boxers do this behavior and I was wondering if anyone has ever figured out what to do to stop them from doing this? Any advice at all will help! I am willing to try anything! It is getting out of control.
Savannah from Lake Charles, LA
Savannah - congrats on owning one of the best breeds of dogs for families - loyal, kid-friendly, looks ferocious but might lick you to death! They are tough during the puppy stage, but give this a try. Buy several of those breath-freshing spray bottles - you know, the little ones at the check-out counter. Pass them around to family members or friends, anyone who might be subjected to your puppy's bad habit. When he attempts to nip or bite or jump up on you, give him a good squirt in the face - not the eyes!!!
Do NOT use a human based spray on a dog! Use plain water if needed. But that really is normal puppy stuff. You can act wounded & shout ouch & walk away. Or keep him on a leash when you have company or anyone. The person needs to be just out of the leashes length when they greet & pet him. Reward him when he allows the person to pet him. Or have the person turn around when he jumps up ie. not the attention he wants. Or just take his paws & set them down & say no jumping. You just need to use common sense & be consistent & he will get it. Regardless he will outgrow it. Puppies are normally nuts.
I agree with "Me". This is normal puppy behavior. They get excited by your feet moving, and are really just playing, but boy those teeth sure are sharp! He will grow out of it, but like "Me" says, say "Ouch" really loud, act hurt and walk away.
As a dog trainer, I get this question a lot. Sorry, I'm probably going to get a bit wordy here, but I want to help you prevent a what will become a big problem if you let this behaviour escalate.
Your puppy has continued with this behaviour because he gets rewarded for it in some way (i.e. attention, touch). You don't need to resort to sprays because these are unnecessary and problematic. Taking his paws and telling him "no jumping" will probably be counterproductive (he may be interpreting this as play, or at the least, attention). He needs to learn that he'll get what he wants (attention) when he gives the behaviour you want (four feet on the ground). You can do this simply by removing all attention when he's jumping up -- this means no eye contact, no touch, no voice, and perhaps even removing your presence. NOTE: Timing is everything at the beginning learning stages of this new way to greet people. The instant his four feet are on the ground, say a happy "yes!" or "good boy!" and pet him and keep giving him lots of attention as long as he has his four feet on the ground. However, the instant he jumps up again -- which he will do because he hasn't learned about self-control yet -- remove touch, voice, eye contact, etc. Continue and he'll figure it out surprisingly quick. Tip: if he jumps up and "hangs on" just turn your body and move a bit until his four paws are on the ground. Then, instantly praise for the four feet on the ground. Explain/teach the new rules to all humans who will meet your dog.
You can progress to getting the dog to sit when guests arrive. Start with your dog on a leash if you can, with a helper if possible to open the door to let the guests in. Put the dog in a sit/stay (and have him hold the stay of his own accord, not with you holding him back with a tight leash) and have the helper (or yourself) move to the door to let in the guest. The instant your dog breaks the stay, stop all progress of letting in the guest. Have the dog sit/stay again and start from the beginning. For example, say your dog holds the stay as the helper walks towards the door and turns the door knob but breaks the stay when the door is beginning to open. Give the signal "no" not too sharp, just serious but calm and at the same time, a split second after the no. The helper (or you) should stop and go back to the first stage of letting in the guest. After the dog is in the sit/stay (remember: loose leash) begin again at stage one and proceed as before, being careful to give the "no" signal when the dog breaks the stay and making sure to begin again at the beginning stage each time. Your dog will begin to figure out that he gets what he wants (to see who is at the door and potentially greet the guest and get pets) when he holds the stay. If you don't have the time to practice this, then remove your dog from the room when you let the guest in. You don't want to reward the dog by letting the guest in if your dog is not giving you appropriate behaviour.
NOTE: a dog that greets guests by rushing to the door, pushing his nose past the humans opening the door, and jumping on people is showing signs of dominance. If left unchecked, this can escalate. I suggest some in house training on the leash where your dog enters/exits doorways only after a sit and a command and, when possible, after the human. Communicate to your dog that humans are higher in the pack, by requiring your dog to "say please " (the sit) for things and by having him follow the leaders and not lead the way will help a lot in all aspects of your dog's relationship in the pack. Seriously. And NEVER let your dog pull on the leash when you walk. If he pulls, stop, call him to you happily and begin to walk in the opposite direction (not a sharp stop; give him a chance to stop on his own accord) and have him walk towards you (do not pull him towards you). Move in the opposite direction, and this will cause the leash to tighten, but keep the length the same and continue to walk in the opposite direction until he walks towards you fast enough to cause the leash to slacken. When the leash has become slack, say "yes" or "good boy" and change direction back to the original forward direction. Continue back and forth -- not letting him get any closer to the park or the tree or down the sidewalk unless he is on a loose leash. This requires your dog to manage and control his own behaviour to get what he wants and will save your body and nerves from strain. NOTE: with this method, walk by time, not distance. Decide on a time (i.e. a 20 minute walk) and walk in one direction for 10 minutes then head for home. Your dog will quickly figure it out that he gets closer to the park or gets to see and sniff more things if he controls himself. At the beginning stages you'll do a lot of back and forth stuff and you probably won't get very far, but your dog has still been walking, so he's getting the exercise. Trust me, this method works but only if you are consistent. Be determined that you will no longer be pulled by your dog that is "telling you that you are to follow him." Don't let your dog order you around, because that's what he's thinking when he's walking on a tight leash. He doesn't think you are pulling him back; he thinks he is pulling you along and he's winning or you are wanting him to pull you if you let him. He's thinking that you are acknowledging him as the leader, and so he'll feel free to take on all the leadership roles and perks, and that's when your problems escalate into jumping on guests, being pushy with people by demanding the best places to sit and sleep, demanding bits of your food, demanding treats, growling at guests at the door, and correcting (i.e. biting) humans he feels have overstepped their position in the pack.
I hope this helps.
I have a new puppy that does the same thing - plus bites the hands and jumps and tries to bite my neck, face or whatever. I know she is playing, but I don't want to lose an eye either. I asked a few people and have heard a few different actions. My favorite that I think I will try is Lemon Juice. Apply to the hands and ankles, when they bite they won't like it at all and will probably stop very quickly.
I am starting it immediately. She also likes to dive into thecats litter box (it has a covered top) and eat their poop. She gets the highest quality food, a mic of wet and dry, so it isn't hunger. She has eaten it jsut after eating food from the bowl and leaving some behind.
Best of luck to us all....
My dog does really good with the NO BITE thing and he also does good with the walking away part.
I have an 11 month old boxer. She is a female. She has been through classes and knows the basic commands (sit, stay and come). She also shakes and uses a bell at the back door when she needs to go potty.
But she jumps on people, barks while in the car and will not sit in the back seat, and she pulls on the leash. Can anyone give me ideas to help her stop these behaviors?
One thing I have learned about the pulling on a leash is to use a head collar. It doesn't harm them in any way, but they just don't like the fact of being lead by their muzzle. It helps my lab and hound mix who pulls me everywhere. When I walk he walks, when I stop he sits besides me. It's the greatest.
Boxers are intelligent dogs, I'm sure you know that. For jumping on people, have them ignore her (don't make eye contact with her either). If she jumps on them, they should turn their back to her. She should not be addressed (petted, talked to) until she sits. She's doing it for attention; if she doesn't get the attention, she'll stop doing it. Important - have everyone entering ignore her for 5 minutes or so, until she is sitting.
For barking in the car, try taking a bone or favorite toy to keep her attention. Also, praise her when she is quiet - try to ignore her when she is barking. But the praise when doing the right thing is *key*.
As far as keeping her in the backseat, the bone or toy might help with that. You could also get a safety belt (which she should be wearing anyway in case of an accident). The safety belt will keep her in the backseat.
It's more productive to praise for good behavior than to punish for bad behavior.
For pulling on the leash - if she pulls, you stop. Start walking....if she pulls again, stop. Keep doing this until she learns that when she pulls, you don't move. Remember to praise her when she is walking with you, not dragging you.
You might also try taking another class, because walking on lead is a basic instruction.
Boxers are high-energy dogs and a tired dog is a good dog! So give her the exercise she needs, play with her for 20 minutes or so to expend some of that energy - and when she's pooped, take her for a walk - she should be alot more calm and willing to just take a walk with you.
I love watching Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisper, and implementing what he does. His site as info on these. Here is the link for the Jumping on people. Browse his site for the Barking and Pulling issues. Hope this helps! One thing I have learned, no matter what, you have to be consistent.
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How do you train a 10 month old boxer puppy?
Rhale from North Olmsted, OH
Dogs do things we don't like for two reasons, they can, and it's more fun than whatever we want them to do. It isn't deliberate on their part to annoy us. Research a quality training center and take the time to attend a good class. (10/11/2008)
When the puppy jumps have the person turn around have his/her hands crossed and slowly calmly walk away. Hope it helps worked for mine. (10/11/2008)
A boxer is trained the same way as any other dog you would get. There is nothing unique here, but from a lot of these responses it shows there are lots of poorly trained dogs about.
Tons of exercise is the first place to start, at least 1+ hours a day of actively jogging or running with you. Opening the door for the dog to go into your yard is not sufficient for the dog or you. At least two half hour long brisk walk/jogs are essential for a healthy, happy dog that is instantly potty trained. They will also pick up other training much faster, because when they have their workout they can focus better. Same thing for us.
You also need good play time. A place where your dog can chase balls or Frisbees in a secure and safe environment. Again, this is a participation thing for you as well.
Routine feeding and walks are essential. Early and late walks cannot be altered to suit your desire to sleep in. I give my dogs a small snack after their first quick am outing in the yard and get ready for the day. Then we go for a good 45 minute+ quick walk/jog and they go like absolute clockwork.
And please; don't be a slob. Pick up the poo! A friend of mine broke her ankle badly slipping on some poo some pig left beside a paved sidewalk and was never able to walk well again. There is no place where it is OK to leave your dog's poop except your compost or garbage can.
Since you ask such a general question about dog training; I would strongly recommend you get some dog books from the library and do some homework. Remember that training should be based on praise given after the dog obeys a quiet, but firm command. Too many people fall into a pattern of praising the dog for everything and essentially begging or asking the dog if they want to obey.
Safety should always come first. Use leashes or coats with reflective tape whenever you walk at night. Teach the dog to stop and wait for your approval before crossing streets. Make sure he gets socialized with people and other dogs, but be respectful. Keep your dog at a respectful distance from others unless they ask to pet your dog.
If you try a new type of lead or harness; always double up and use your old collar and lead for at least a week. You never know how your dog could wiggle out of or break something until it's put to the test. You will be much calmer and your dog will adapt to the new lead more easily.
Don't tease the dog with anything. It's funny to watch a puppy attack a vacuum, but it is a nightmare when you have an adult dog ripping apart your electronic equipment.
Get him used to enjoying car rides in a safe way. He should be trained to stay in the back and if possible with your vehicle; get him used to a dog safety harness. If you wouldn't leave a 2 year old bobbing about the back of your truck; don't do it with your dog.
Good luck. You can train your dog to do anything as long as you make the effort to educate yourself and apply that education to your dog daily. (10/12/2008)
By Shelter Worker
I bought a 14 week old boxer female and had her leash and house trained within 6 days. They are extremely clever, use this to your advantage. I have had dogs my whole life, but have never seen anything like her with my 2 kids. [7 and 4 ]
Amazing dogs. (01/25/2009)
We have a 16 month old boxer. Congrats! They're an awesome breed.
We had a similar problem with our boxer when he was about the same age as yours. Luckily I found an awesome website and the members there helped me figure out how to break him from it. I'd be more than happy to give you the link if you want it.
One thing that helped us was to give the guests treats for him when they got there, and we told them to ignore him until he was sitting. When he was sitting they talked to him and gave him treats. One major thing I learned about boxers was that they do so much better with positive reinforcement training, rather than discipline. Good luck with your baby!
I read your post and had to laugh because I have a year old lab male and he does the same thing, BUT I broke him from jumping on people by giving my guests a small bottle of clear water with a sprayer on top and had them spray him in the face every time he jumped up on them. It didn't take him long to get the message. Now when I get a spray bottle to clean something, he heads for the yard, but it stopped the awful habit. He's just too darned affectionate. Hope this works for you. (01/09/2005)
I would try putting a leash on the puppy and when he goes to the door with you. Step on the leash so as to keep the puppy from jumping up on your vistors. After a while he won't jump. (01/11/2005)
Those are excellent suggestions. I've used the water bottle trick to teach a number of cats to behave themselves and it worked great, though I had one cat (my brother still has her and she's older than dirt's grandma) who would fuss at me furiously if she saw me with a spray bottle. She would fuss in long, obviously complete sentences (cat language of course, but I knew what she meant).
I'd consider this a sort of 'last resort' but my mother had a big German Shepherd and he was a great dog except during thunderstorms. Then he would go absolutely crazy. He would then obey no commands and try to get anywhere so he couldn't hear the thunder... he'd even try to get into the fridge. Mom finally talked with the vet and got some tranquilizers to give him and that worked wonders. Every time a storm came up she'd give him one or two and he'd stay pretty calm.
Sadly it was a storm (and an incompetent vet) that killed him. We had to board him at the vet's for a week to go out of town and the vet assured Mom, at her request, that they'd tranquilize the dog in case of a storm. They failed to do so, a storm came up, and he nearly killed himself in that cage. When we came to pick him up his claws were mangled, his paws were bloody, and he couldn't manage to hop into the back of the station wagon. Two days later he died of a heart attack while I was petting him.
I've never been much of a 'dog' person but I loved that old boy and it broke my heart when he died. I tried to get Mom to sue the vet but she was so upset she couldn't handle it.
I am no liberal (by a long shot) but if a vet promises to do something like that and kills your critter because he failed to do what he promised, darn right, sue him. In my opinion if a person's word is worth nothing, he (or she) is worth less than nothing. (01/16/2005)
I am a owner of a 5 month old boxer puppy! I am having a problem with her wanting to poop in the house! For instance, I put her out back tonight and she went pee and then I left her back in (because she was scraping at the door) and 5 minutes later she went poop in the house! I wanted to know if anyone had any tips to get her to only go outside. (01/19/2005)
By Heather Shimp
3 month old boxer. need training tips? this is what i used i thank them lots so far <http://www.boxerworld.com> click on the puppy link. (08/06/2005)
A trick I have learned now that I am on my third boxer is to tie a bell to the back door. My 6 year old learned that way and my 9 month old has too. When they need out they ring the bell and we let them out. Good luck boxers are known to have a mind of their own, and slightly stubborn! :) (10/25/2007)
Ok I have had Boxers all my life and they are wonderful dogs when trained properly. I have seen a lot of posts about boxers growling and barking and jumping at your feet, most likely they are trying to play. There is a very good way to stop this and many other bad habits such as barking jumping, crate crying, and getting in the trash. Its better to start this young but it has worked on older dogs.
Just get a used empty pop can and put 4 or five pennies in it, then tape over the hole on the top, any time your dog acts out a bad behavior shake it at them or throw it next to them and tell them no in a very firm voice. After a few trys this works very well, mine even stop when I tell them "I'm gonna get the can!" You can also try a spray bottle of water for jumping dogs they don't like being squirted and will usually try to avoid this. (01/21/2008)
I've been reading everyone's posts to find out how to stop my boxer mix baby from jumping, obviously this is common! Ha!
As far as the potty training, tying a bell to the door has worked wonders for us. The bell rings every time the door is opened, so he has learned to associate the two. It only took a few days. Also, he doesn't whine or bark by the door. He just sits there. So it's nice not to have to watch for him all the time. We just listen! (02/27/2008)
When your puppy bites at your ankle stop lay him on his back and put him in to submission. Do not let him or her up until it submits. Repeat this process and eventually he will learn you are the pack leader and not to bite or nip a the pack leader. (03/06/2008)
We just got our boxer he is 12-weeks & very energetic! He's getting the potty training thing, kinda. I think we just need to keep walking to the door every 20min and take him out, then when he goes we just have a mini-celebration and praise him a lot! We've just gotten fetch down, & coming on command to his new name!
I believe any dog can be trained with enough positive reinforcement, love, praise & stern voice w/punishment not abuse, any dog will make it!
A dog is an owner pleaser if they see that something pleases you generally they will continue to do so! Until they see that mad face & here that stern voice realizing your not happy with them they will try to win your heart back with that possibly adorable face, but you must stand your ground your the master!
THERE IS HOPE PEOPLE DONT GIVE UP!
You must shower them with love & compliments and they try will please you forever. =o) (04/06/2008)
The reason why the boxer will not stop jumping on company is because he has not been taught that it is wrong. Simply get him / her to sit down and stare them in the eyes and tell them no. Repeat if needed. If this does not work hold on to the collar sternly and tell them to lay down. Stay in the position until he or she has calm down then reward after company has left. I have raised over 15 boxers so I hope this information has helped. If you want any tips on dogs and how to handle things you can't fix, email me at jionic_bot AT hotmail.com (04/17/2008)
By James White
I have a 10 week old boxer female, Lilly. I have trained her to sit with treats on her nose. This works great when people come over. She concentrates on the treat and not on the people. Also, the crate training thing, easy as 1,2,3. When they are in the crate and start whining. Wait until they get quiet, get them out and reward them for being quiet after a while they will figure out that they have to stay quiet before getting a treat. Also, if you are going to be gone all day leave the tv or radio on. Would you want to be left alone with no noise? (SCARY) Hope this helps. (04/27/2008)
I have a five month old boxer male. He is normally very calm but when people come over he also tries to jump and lick everyone to death. What we do is have a loud squeak toy and when people come in do your best to make them sit and wait but if he continues to jump, squeak the toy to distract him. This also helps him get the energy out from the excitement he will run around squeaking the toy for a few minutes and then settle.
Also make sure you company ignores him when they first enter. That helped us a lot. We make our guest come in and sit down without saying or looking at the puppy and once he is relaxed everyone can say there hellos. The toy also works well if he likes to be in peoples faces when eating. (06/22/2008)
We too have a six month old boxer. What a challenge! lol I thought I knew a lot about puppies, she proved me wrong. The housebreaking was horrible for the first 2 months, then my vet let me in on a secret. When they potty outside immediately give them a treat, if they have an accident inside ignore them. I know it sounds crazy but it only took a week and she's totally trained, after 2 months of struggle!
As far as the ankle biting, I allow Izzie to wrestle and play with me, but also taught her the command nice when we're done. I just put my hand down flat, so that way she gets to have her rough house time, but knows when we're finished and thats worked great for her.
Izzies fortunately is not a big jumper on our guests but from the beginning I have her sit next to me on the floor, before I even open the door. She knows she needs to stay seated until the guests acknowledge her. That's worked for us, hang in there everybody I know they can be a handful but they're so rewarding! (07/21/2008)
By Izzies mom
Hi, I'm lucky I guess. House breaking went well for me. Very few pees when we first got home, now he wants to go out every time. Bells on the back door work well, he hits them with his nose when he wants to go out. He is 13 weeks old now and real smart. He learned sit, stay, come, paw, give it, drop it, and he walks on his lead with me every day for a mile and a half. Trying to be pack leader and nipping was a whole other ball game. But if you stick with it, you'll win. Biting feet and legs needs a firm "no", and if they don't stop, pinch him or her on their side until they give up.
As far as all the hand and arm bleeds we have all had, grab his nose and mouth and wrap your hand around it. Then, tell him or her no in a firm voice. It won't work over night, but in a week you will see it working. Also, a good growl doesn't hurt now and then. I know boxers, have had them for my whole life. Be on top fast, you don't want the games he is playing now to become a lifestyle to him. Your job is to win every war, and with a boxer you have a lot of war left.
You and your's must rule the house. Watch to see what's puppy's play, and what's pack stand off. Good luck, and I hope I didn't bore you all. Stay cool and don't lose your cool. (07/29/2008)
I agree with positive reinforcement training as well. We have a 13 week old boxer. She is learning everything so quick, beautiful pup inside and out but when you get mad at them, they take it to heart and dont communicate as well. Boxers are an amazing breed and I do not have any complaints at all. My pup is already crate trained, housebroken (99%) and so good with people and dogs, would not trade her for the world! Very energetic ofcourse but knows when to calm down. I could not have asked for a better pup!:) (08/19/2008)
I may have the answer to the biting and chewing on the pant leg. While your puppy does this make a loud "yulp" sound and turn and walk away. Give it a few minutes before you make any kind of contact with the puppy. The litter mates do this when the puppy is playing too rough. I have a 9 week pup and he use to go after my pant leg as well. I find that this work. The only problem I'm running into is that he doesn't want to come when called. Other then that he's a great dog. I hope this helps (09/18/2008)