If you’ve never owned a Boxer before then you are in for a vocal treat. Are Boxers loud? Well, it’s a little more complicated than that.
Boxers are normally not very loud, especially after they’ve had a year or two to mature, but they are definitely vocal dogs. These dogs have an assortment of sounds, from low groans to non-threatening growls, and even their own ‘talking’ and ‘singing’!
Today we’ll discuss this in a little more detail so that you can see what we mean. We’ll start by giving you an idea of what to expect sound-wise, then give you a few ways to teach them to be more or less vocal if you like. Read on to learn about these things and more – let’s talk about chatty Boxers!
Are Boxers Loud?
While they aren’t as ‘barky’ as some breeds, Boxers definitely make sure that they get a word in edgewise. It’s called ‘talking’ and it sounds a little strange at first, but owners learn quickly to expect a lot of it when their Boxer has an opinion on something.
‘Talking’ is rather like a low-volume howl that has been broken into easily-digestible bits. Think of it like an ‘ROH ROH ROH type sound and you have a basic idea and you can also hear it here on YouTube. There you can hear it firsthand if your Boxer isn’t ‘talking’ yet and get a good idea of what you can expect.
While some Boxers may boom their barks in that first, excitable year of life, after around a year they tend to calm down and become more dignified, and this is when the ‘chatterbox’ talking seems to become a regular thing.
It’s completely normal and harmless, it just turns out that your Boxer has a lot of opinions that they want to share with you and they aren’t shy about doing exactly that. You’ll get used to it – it’s just a little strange at first if you’ve never had the pleasure of sharing your living space with these amazing dogs!
Some Boxers just want to… sing!
While they definitely like to chatter, some Boxers are also quite fond of singing. You can sometimes push them to this by making a few howls of your own and many times your Boxer will join right in, having a grand old time ‘singing’ with their best buddy in the world.
Other times you might be listening to music and if certain notes are included or your dog just happens to really like that tune, then they will join in and add a vocal accompaniment of their own. As adorable as they are, they aren’t really ‘Pavarotti level’ singers, so it can take a little getting used to.
That said, most owners love and cherish these moments because they are adorable and you can’t say that your dog isn’t trying to contribute – they’re more than happy to sing their little hearts out when they are feeling moved!
Teaching your Boxer to speak
If you are looking to get your Boxer to be a bit more vocal, then you’ve got a couple of ways to do so. Get your treats ready and the first method that you can use is easy to do, it just takes a little patience.
When your dog is already talking because they’ve seen something that they like, say ‘speak’ clearly and give them a treat if they keep speaking – it’s as simple as that. All you need to do now if keep repeating this, and over the space of time and a dozen treats, your dog will make the connection and ‘speak’ on command.
You can also do a variant on this by saying ‘Sing’ and holding up a treat, followed by making some short howls on your own. Your dog might look at you funny at first, but keep trying and most Boxers will figure out what you want and howl along with you. When they do, give your dog a treat to cement the lesson.
If you keep repeating this, then in very little time your Boxer will learn to howl on command, and you can even try it with a certain song playing and if you’re patient, you might be able to teach them to sing along with certain favorite songs. It’s adorable and well worth the investment of your time!
How to ‘tone-down’ a vocal Boxer
While it’s rare, there are occasionally Boxers that are a bit on the loud side. Don’t fret, however, as you can certainly tone this behavior down a bit by taking control and teaching them the ‘hush’ command. To do this, you need a plastic container or a coffee can that still has the lid you’ll need a bunch of pennies.
Fill your chosen container halfway to the top with these pennies, seal the container, and start keeping it nearby. The next time that your dog gets vocal, grab your ‘penny box’ or can and give it a good shake, saying ‘hush’ in a clear, but friendly voice. The sound will get your dog’s attention and they’ll immediately get quiet.
Give your dog a treat and then be consistent with shaking your box or can and saying ‘hush’ whenever your dog gets loud again. With consistency and a bit of patience, your dog will start to associate the ‘hush’ command with getting a treat and a little bit of praise. Once the lesson sticks, then you are golden!
Once your dog has learned this, start alternating between treats and simple things like a scratch under the chin and praise, so that your dog isn’t eating too many treats, and they should still respond just fine when you use this command. Your dog will still talk, but now you have a way to get them to tone it down.
Always pay attention when they talk
One thing that you will need to learn as a Boxer owner (if you haven’t already) is that you can’t always tune it out when your Boxer gets chatty. This is how your dog speaks, however, so you would do well to try to pay attention. Learning the common sounds your dog makes will help you know when to worry!
For instance, your Boxer sometimes growls in a friendly way which is simply a ‘demand’ but not a threat. A low groan, by contrast, might be your Boxer’s way of saying ‘pet me, please’. Sometimes these groans of a higher pitch, as well, indicating that you’ve surprised your dog in some way.
Get used to their normal ‘chattering’ and try to note the context with each. This will teach you to distinguish between normal, everday ‘chatter’ and the kind of noises associated with pain or feeling ill. You won’t always get whining when your Boxer feels bad, so it’s important to note when their chatter changes.
Sometimes a Boxer’s singing sounds like whining, and when you have heard this for the first time it will definitely give you a little pause, but again you will need to consider the context. Aside from the actual sounds, you’ll also want to learn a little about your Boxer’s body language and we’ll discuss this next.
Body language is important with this breed
You’ve seen some Boxer body language already, such as when they lower themselves onto their front two legs but keep their rear up high in a posture known as the ‘play bow’. It says ‘come play with me’ and it is body language that you’ll see a lot… but how do Boxers show stress?
When a Boxer is stressed, here are a few things which you will often see and should take note of:
- A widening of the eyes may indicate frustration.
- A ‘coiled spring’ muscle tension can also be a sign of worry, stress, or the consideration of aggression.
- Sudden vocalization that sounds like complaining sometimes actually IS exactly that.
- When the tail goes up, your dog is preparing for action, when lowered then it means they are worried.
- When your dog won’t make eye contact but remains focused on something, that something might be stressing or worrying them.
- Sudden panting, without recent exertion, is another sign of stress.
If you are seeing these behaviors, try to determine what has your dog’s attention, and you can defuse thing a little by getting a bit more distance between you and the object or person of their focus. It’s quite common with rescue dogs that a person of a certain age or gender might be stressful to them.
This could be the presence of a lot of kids, if they have been teased, or if they had a bad owner previously that was male then they might be more comfortable around female members of the family. Once you know their body language, you can start to help them with this, but for now it’s important just to watch.
Some final words
While Boxers aren’t really that loud, they definitely love to talk and even to sing along to music from time to time. It’s just part and parcel of the breed and one of the things that makes them so endearing.
Be sure to always listen to your dog and in no time, you’ll be amazed at how much they can actually tell you. This will also let you know when certain sounds are out of place, as well, just in case your furry friend is feeling under the weather and could use your help!
Boxers aren’t loud, but they definitely like to communicate and you’ll start to understand them pretty quickly…
You just need to learn how to listen!