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Boxers are an enigma of a dog, as their looks do not match their personality in many respects. You may look at a boxer’s face and see a dog that seems tough and rugged. You might ask, are boxers stubborn, or are they just misunderstood based on appearance?
Boxers do have a tendency to exhibit some stubborn behaviors, but most of them are fairly innocent. If you remain nice and patient with your boxer, you can implement training, correct unwanted behaviors, and help them become confident, well-behaved companions. After all, their tendency to want to make their pet parents happy can easily override any desire to remain stubborn.
The need for consistent training is usually the number one determinant of whether or not a boxer will show behaviors that appear to be stubborn.
Are Boxers Stubborn?
Yes, boxers can definitely be stubborn, but it is usually not out of a desire to be problematic or difficult. Boxers just have an innate confidence about them that motivates them to march to the beat of their own drum. This is one of the best traits of a boxer, but of course, training is needed so their stubbornness does not get out of control.
Boxers are also much smarter dogs than one might assume, especially because these dogs can also be kooky and silly. Their intelligence means that they can pick up commands and training cues pretty easily. Sometimes, however, their playfulness will win out and they won’t want to reign it in in order to behave or do what you’re asking them to do.
If your boxer seems to be showing behavior that seems like stubbornness, it is usually indicative of something else lying beneath the surface. It could be boredom, frustration, confusion, or a lack of trust. This will usually be more apparent when you first bring them home, which is why training early is encouraged.
Can Dogs Actually Be Stubborn?
Not everyone agrees about whether or not dogs can actually be stubborn. It’s more of a semantics game; dogs who aren’t responding to training could be called stubborn, or they could be called something else. It’s not a negative thing to see this behavior as stubborn; rather, it’s more important what you do about it.
All you can really do is make sure you’re consistent about the training you want to implement with your boxer, and be sure to avoid correcting their behavior through punishments or yelling. Your boxer won’t like this and their stubbornness will likely increase.
Reward them when they do a good job and shower them with love. This will help remove any stubborn tendencies, regardless of whether or not you want to call it stubborn or something else.
What Stubborn Boxer Behavior Looks Like
Often, what appears to be stubborn behavior isn’t truly a dog being stubborn on purpose. This is especially true of a boxer, who appreciates having a pet parent who acts like a leader. They also tend to be obedient dogs, since they were bred to work a variety of jobs. If they are exhibiting what looks like stubborn behavior, there could be a reason behind it.
One of the most telltale signs of what people assume is stubborn behavior is a boxer who doesn’t listen when you ask them to do something. For example, they don’t sit when you ask them to, they don’t keep walking after stopping to go pee, or they keep running around the house erratically.
Boxers can also become distracted very easily, even by things they see on a daily basis. If you’re trying to train them to lay down and they see their favorite toy in the corner, they might just run over to their toy and go to town. You may have to bring them to a room void of distractions to get them to focus on training.
The Importance Of Training To Avoid Stubbornness
Boxers have a lot of energy pent up in their large bodies, so they need to be able to release that through walking, interactive toys, and playtime with you. They may be more susceptible to acting stubborn or erratic if they aren’t able to expel this energy properly. Be sure they get enough exercise so they’ll have an easier time focusing on training.
Boxers do not quite understand the sheer strength of their size, which can have some dangerous pitfalls should they not know when they need to be gentle or calm. While boxers are not prone to attacking people or pets, it’s more so that they might accidentally hurt someone out of excitement or playfulness.
How To Train A Stubborn Boxer
It cannot be said enough; you have to keep up with the training until it becomes second nature to your boxer. Using rewards such as delicious treats and words of encouragement and praise are going to be some of your best tools.
You also have to make training interesting in order for your boxer to want to do it. Training isn’t necessarily a fun task for them. It’s worth trying to do some training daily, but don’t go overboard. If they aren’t in the mood, no amount of trying is going to change that. You have to go at the pace of your dog.
It’s very rare that boxers, or any dog for that matter, will be defiant for the sake of being defiant. If they don’t trust you, however, they probably won’t listen. They can either be aggressive or try to hide from you. You need to give them reasons to trust you, and be sure you never break that trust once you’ve earned it.
You should also use simple command words when you’re training and be sure that everyone in the household uses the same words. Be sure to give them ample time to learn what different command words mean. You’ll have to stay patient with them. They aren’t dogs that are hard to train, but that doesn’t mean they come with all their command words pre-programmed.
How To Avoid Stubborn Behavior During Walks
If your boxer acts stubbornly when you’re walking them, you can train them to follow your lead instead of the other way around. When you want them to stop, you stop, and wait for them to stop with you. Give them a treat when they do so.
When you want them to keep walking, stand in front of them and ask them to come to you. When they do, give them a treat and guide them to walk with you. If they are walking in front of you and they’re going too fast, stop, and see if they will look back at you to wait for you to catch up. Give them a treat as well.
You’ll want to keep this up until you find your boxer isn’t prone to pulling or stopping abruptly during walks. You may not be able to stop them from acting up all the time while walking; they are naturally curious dogs who are excited by different smells and sights.
Understanding The Root Of Stubborn Behavior
In reality, very few stubborn tendencies that your boxer might show is true stubbornness. Your boxer could be bored, they could be tired, or they might be in the mood to do something else like play or cuddle. You may also be approaching your training in a way that doesn’t speak to your boxer.
You cannot turn your boxer into a workhorse who receives training after training all day until they comply. Instead, train each day for a few minutes a day, once or twice a day, or when the situation organically calls for a training opportunity. Making time for play and bonding with your boxer is just as important as training them.
You also need to find a balance between having your boxer respect you as a leader and avoiding intimidating them into fearful compliance. If your boxer doesn’t see you as a leader they may not listen to you. They also won’t listen to you if you’re hard on them or are overly domineering.
As long as you can sense your love and your devotion, while also seeing that you will stay consistent with their training and schedule, finding that particular balance will come more naturally to you as you and your boxer become more acquainted with each other.
Are boxers stubborn? They can behave that way, but those behaviors are usually temporary and come with inadequate training. Regardless of whether or not you believe that dogs can be stubborn, any potential behavioral issues are easy to work on with positivity, love, and treats.
Every boxer has quirks, but are such wonderful dogs that you’re bound to enjoy having them around even when they’re being silly. There is only so much we can do to change our dogs behavior, as dogs are supposed to be energetic and curious. A happy boxer is one that will be obedient most of the time, and is a joy to have in the home.