Boxers are intelligent dogs, despite how silly and clumsy they might act. They tend to play up their funny behavior because they know how it pleases their pet parents. Despite how they play up this aspect of their personality, are boxers easy to train?
Training boxers will take a little bit of learning on your end, but overall, boxers are easy to train. Knowing the right methods to train these dogs will make it a lot easier for you. You also have to be aware that boxers have a lot of energy, especially when they are puppies.
There are some behavioral traits to keep in mind when training these sweet dogs, as well as some notes to make about how boxers respond to different types of training.
Are Boxers Easy To Train?
Boxers have tendencies that make it easier to train than some other dogs. They love people, and they love seeing people happy. They are also dogs that appreciate a lot of praise, so when they come to understand that following commands will earn them praise, they’ll be more inclined to remember cues that you give them.
That being said, you have to approach training a boxer from a place of patience and calm. These are not dogs that tolerate an overly aggressive approach to training. While they appreciate and respect that you are the boss, they don’t want you to be bossy. They won’t respond well to authoritative commanding and prefer to be trained through the reward system.
Boxers can also sometimes be stubborn, especially when they are young and are fairly new to the home. They are just trying to understand their new surroundings and their stubbornness will diminish over time. This just means you have to practice composure and avoid giving up on training.
What Makes Boxers So Trainable
Before boxers were domesticated, they served as working dogs for a variety of purposes. Thus, these dogs are predisposed to interacting well with humans. This is also why they tend to be so affectionate towards humans. They were used to being with people more so than with other dogs. This also leads them to be more obedient than some other dogs once you work through their initial stubbornness.
Some might disagree that boxers are easy to train because of how high-energy they can be, but that’s a misunderstanding of the nature of dogs. There are ways to work around a dog’s quirks to be able to train them in a way that they’ll respond to; all it takes is some observation and learning.
How To Prepare Boxers For Training
You will have to give your boxer a couple of outlets to burn off some energy throughout the day. Taking them for a nice long walk is ideal, since it’ll tire them out while also getting you some exercise, and will improve your bonding.
You obviously can’t train your pup when they are passed out asleep, but when they’ve been able to burn off some of their hyper energy, it’ll be easier to get them to focus. If you notice that your boxer seems to be bouncing off the walls or keeps running to their toys, they aren’t really up for learning at that point.
When your boxer is still young and you are at the start of your training, you want to try to minimize distractions as much as possible. It can be quite easy to divert a boxer’s attention away from the task at hand, which can make it very difficult to make any training actually work.
Once they understand basic commands, you can move on to more mentally stimulating surroundings as you’ve already established a baseline with your boxer for when it’s time to learn.
Reward Training Your Boxer
There are various methods to train a dog. For boxers, the most successful training strategy that tends to work the best revolves around reward training. Essentially, you will interact with your dog in a way to show them what you’re looking for, and then reward them when they are able to successfully follow the command.
For example, if you’re training them to sit, you might gently push their bum towards the ground while saying “sit.” Once they sit on their bum by themselves, you can give them a reward such as a treat.
You’ll learn more about what particular rewards your boxer will gravitate towards as you get to know them. When your boxer doesn’t manage to follow a command, or acts out in an unruly manner, you shouldn’t punish them. With certain actions, you may not want to respond to them, but you never want to raise your voice or take things away.
If your boxer tries to jump up on you, don’t respond. Don’t pet them, don’t speak to them, and just stay still. Once they realize they won’t get a response from you, they should eventually stop trying to do this. When they manage to unlearn that particular behavior, reward them when you walk in the door and they don’t jump.
Structure Training Your Boxer
Boxers adapt well to having a schedule. This will especially help them understand what they can expect from you. Boxers love human interaction and can get anxious when you’re not around. If they learn that there are certain times of the day when you leave, certain times that they eat, certain times to go for walks, and certain times for cuddles, they will feel much more comfortable.
This is especially important to implement around the time before and after you work. It can be a little harder for your boxer to adjust to you being out of the home, especially once you’ve bonded. Exercising them before you leave can also help tire them out, so they might just sleep until you’re home.
Your boxer will also come to understand that when you leave, it’s only temporary, and when you come back, you’re willing to give them a little bit of extra time and attention to make up for the time you aren’t home.
With structure, it’s also important that you let your boxers know when it’s time for play time and it’s time for down time. If they had their way, they would play with you all the time. You want to gently tell them it’s time to relax when playtime is over, while giving them a treat and inviting them to cuddle.
Training Boxers To Socialize
Boxers also tend to get along well with other dogs and other humans. They aren’t aggressive by nature whatsoever, even though they look intimidating to those who don’t know them. If they have been socialized well inside the home, it’ll be much easier to train them to interact with other dogs and people outside of the home.
You should, however, always keep your boxer on a leash. They will most likely want to run up to other dogs and play, but that could end up scaring another dog or causing the other dog to lash out at them. You should also teach them to understand when playtime or socializing is over, by taking them away and handing them a treat when they listen.
Boxers also really love walks, but they have attention spans that are easily triggered by outside stimuli. This might cause them to want to pull you in one direction. Instead, make them stop when they start to pull, walk in front of them, and give them a treat when they follow you instead of trying to lead you.
Boxer Training Tips
Other than being stoic and kind in your training methods, you also have to practice consistency. As mentioned, boxers like structure and the best way to implement healthy habits in their routine is to stay consistent.
When training, it’s also a good idea to train them to “settle down” or lay down. This behavior is one that will serve you well, especially when visitors come around. Boxers like to jump on people out of excitement, which could unintentionally hurt someone. This might also encourage them to come to cuddle with you when it’s time to settle down, which is always a plus.
You also want to nurture your boxer’s playful side and not try to turn them into a working dog or a guard dog. Part of the fun of having a boxer at home is reveling in their goofiness and tendencies to love cuddles and affection.
As with all dogs, boxers have their own quirks that you’ll have to learn and adapt to in order to maintain peace in the household. That said, there are of course important reasons to train them so they behave, especially when out in public. Are boxers easy to train? They are, but they are also sensitive and need a patient pet parent.
Boxers are very kind animals that can become the best companions when they are treated with warm affection and respect. When you train them well, you’ll be rewarded with a ton of affection and cuddles, as these dogs are also some of the best cuddlers you’ll ever meet.