Excessive noise and problematic barking can be a real challenge for any dog owner, and it tends to upset the neighbors too. If you want to know how to stop Boxers from barking, it usually comes down to fulfilling their needs and good training.
To stop Boxers from barking you need to understand why it is happening so that you can address the root cause. Most of the time, Boxers bark because they are lacking discipline, exercise, or mental stimulation. Once you have identified why your Boxer is using their voice inappropriately, you can start making adjustments to their lifestyle and implementing good training to help your dog to communicate properly.
It can feel very frustrating when your dog is barking too loudly or too often but it is behavior that can be addressed with some patience and understanding. This article will go into detail about why Boxers bark and what you can do as an owner to encourage your dog to be quiet and calm.
Do Boxers Bark a Lot?
Every individual dog is different, but there are some behaviors and characteristics which are more common in some breeds than others. Boxers are not generally considered to be noisy dogs and they usually don’t bark without a reason.
When they are still young, Boxer puppies are likely to bark more often, but fully grown adults usually communicate in other ways. Adult Boxers tend to growl, snuffle and sneeze more than they bark but, unfortunately, some can get into the habit of using their bark to communicate. When they do bark, Boxers can be very loud as they have deep voices and powerful lungs.
In the past, Boxers were bred to look after cattle, so they have a strong protective instinct and loud voices to warn of danger or intimidate others. Most Boxers only use their bark when they believe it is necessary, but some can get used to inappropriate and problematic barking if they experience particular triggers, have too much pent-up energy, or have not been properly trained and socialized.
Why Does my Boxer Dog Bark So Much?
If you want to know how to stop Boxers from barking, the first question you should ask is why your dog in particular is being so vocal. If you don’t know the reason for your dog’s behavior, you can’t focus your efforts to address these problems. Even the best training may not do the trick if something else needs to change.
There can be any number of different causes of nuisance barking but some of the most common include:
Too Much Energy
One of the main reasons why Boxers exhibit any form of challenging behavior is because they have too much pent-up energy. Boxers need a good amount of exercise every day to make sure that they are staying fit and healthy. If they don’t get the exercise that they need, that energy will come out in other ways – and unfortunately, those ways are often mischievous or destructive.
Just as Boxers need to be kept physically active throughout the day, they also need to work their brains as well. Mental stimulation is really important for any dog, and not getting enough of it is likely to leave your Boxer bored and looking for ways to entertain themselves.
Stress or Anxiety
Barking is ultimately a form of communication and it can be a way for your dog to tell you that they are feeling strong emotions. If your dog is nervous, stressed, or feeling threatened, they may bark either to establish dominance and intimidate others or because they are asking you for help. This is most common when Boxers develop anxiety about being left on their own.
Lack of Socialisation
If Boxers don’t know how to interact with strangers or other animals, they can respond with loud barking. Your dog may be nervous about interaction and may feel threatened because they haven’t had enough experience to show them that they are safe, and teach them how to behave around others.
Oddly enough, one of the most common causes of problem barking is that a Boxer has been trained to believe it is the right thing to do. Very few owners train their dogs this way on purpose, but it is surprisingly easy to teach this lesson by accident.
If you reward your dog for barking, then they are going to do it more often and use their voice any time they want attention. “Rewarding” barking can even include telling your dog off because you are still giving them the attention that they crave every time they bark.
One of the more complicated causes of problem barking can be particular triggers that might be difficult for you to manage. Maybe your Boxer is barking when they see people walking outside, hear sirens on the street, or smell animals through the walls.
Certain things may be particularly interesting or stimulating for your Boxer and they bark out of pure excitement. A common trigger for many Boxers, for example, is seeing their owner after a day at work, when they just want to shout about how happy they are that you’re back.
How to Stop Boxers from Barking
When it comes to the question of how to stop Boxers from barking, there is no single answer. There are some things that you can do to encourage your dog to be calm and quiet, depending on why your Boxer is barking in the first place.
- Exercise. Make sure that your dog is getting at least 1-2 hours of exercise every day. Your Boxer should be calm and content at the end of the day so if they still have lots of energy, you need to increase the amount of exercise they are getting.
- Mental stimulation. Engaging and stimulating activities like training, games and interactive toys will stave off boredom for your Boxer.
- Socialization. Particularly while they are still young, you want your Boxer to experience different situations safely. This will help them learn how to feel secure around others and communicate without resorting to barking.
- A calm, quiet attitude. Your Boxer learns most of what they know from you. If you are calm and quiet, your dog is much more likely to act the same way. Don’t overexcite them every time you walk through the door, and definitely don’t raise your voice at them. Yelling at your dog teaches them that using a loud voice is a legitimate form of communication.
- Not encouraging the behavior. Don’t respond to every sound that your Boxer makes, or they will learn very quickly to bark every time they want your attention. It can be very hard to ignore your dog when they are making a lot of noise, but you need to be patient and consistent if you want them to learn the right lessons.
- Preventing loneliness. Boxers are very social dogs that develop strong bonds with their owners. You should not leave your dog alone for any length of time until you are sure that they are going to be comfortable and happy while you’re gone.
- Reducing triggers. If your dog is barking at something in particular, you may need to reduce or limit whatever it is. Moving your dog to a different part of the house, limiting their view through windows, or distracting them with something else can stop them from paying attention to whatever is getting them worked up.
How to Teach Your Boxer to be Quiet
Teaching your dog to respond to a command with silence can be a little tricky but it is a wonderful skill for your pet to learn. As with all good training, it requires a lot of patience and consistency from you, and it is all based on positive reinforcement.
- First, use a situation where your dog naturally barks or makes some noise. This can be challenging when you are trying to reduce barking in the first place, but you might have somebody knock at the door or you could excite them with a toy.
- When your dog does bark, you can acknowledge the cause (e.g., look briefly at the door) and then calmly focus on your dog and get their attention with a treat.
- Wait silently until your dog has stopped barking, then offer them the reward with lots of praise. Remember not to praise your dog while they are making noise!
- Repeat the process, gradually increasing the amount of time that you are waiting for your dog to stay silent before you offer them the reward.
- After a few successful attempts, you can introduce a simple command. While your dog is barking, state your chosen word (perhaps “quiet” or “shh”) and regain their attention with the treat, repeating the steps from before. Make sure that your command is clear, and use a positive tone.
- Practice the command as often as you can, staying consistent with what behavior you are rewarding, no matter what the situation is.
In Summary: How to Stop Boxers from Barking
To stop a Boxer from barking you need to first know why they are making noise, and then use good training methods while you are addressing any problems that may be causing the behavior.
Most Boxers bark when their needs are not being met, meaning they have too much energy, are feeling bored, or don’t know how to communicate in appropriate ways. The more patient and calm that you can be with your dog, the more patient and calm they are likely to be with you.
When your dog is barking, they are trying to tell you something. It might be that they feel threatened or nervous, that they are bored or overexcited, or that they just want your attention. Listen to your dog’s needs and show them how you want them to talk to you.