There are several techniques used to train dogs in general. However, it is always best to choose a combination of training methods to ensure that your dog is receiving the best training. Training can start when a boxer is as young as five weeks old. Early age training is essential for every dog, especially the one that belongs to a bigger breed like the boxer.
This is one of the most effective training techniques for a boxer in which you get to mark your dog’s good behavior using a clicker. Clicker is a small device which makes a short and clear clicking sound. This sound acts as a way of communication between you and the dog. So, whenever your dog shows good conduct or performs a desirable action, you click on the button and offer your dog a treat. This training method is a branch of positive reinforcement training, which is thought to be the most effective training methods for dogs.
Positive Reinforcement Training
If you think training your boxer with aggression will turn it into a well-behaved dog, then you are sadly mistaken. Dogs in general don’t like being scolded. Therefore, it is best to train them with love and compassion. The positive reinforcement technique involves lots of treats and praises for the dog. Whenever your dog follows your command, you praise it or offer a treat to mark its good behavior. By repeating this training technique and encouraging your boxer, you can train it to perform desirable actions.
Before we go any further, let’s talk about what Corrective Training is not. Corrective Training is not:
- hitting your dog
- kicking your dog
- screaming at your dog
- any other physical or mental attack on your dog
The point I’m trying to make here is that Corrective Training should never be painful physically or mentally. The only thing you are doing when you hurt your dog, is that you’re teaching him that he can’t trust you.
Corrective Training is showing your dog that their behaviour is not acceptable by using the tone of your voice (again, not screaming or yelling) or by tactile cues.
For example, my Boxer Buddy is extremely scent driven. So much so, that at times, he goes off in his own little “Sniff World” and completely forgets about me or anything around him. We live near a heavily populated area with lots of vehicle traffic so this can cause a bit of concern. I wouldn’t want him following a scent out into traffic and risk him getting injured or worse.
So when he enters “Sniff World,” I follow this progression to regain his attention:
- Call his name in normal tone
- Call his name with a deeper, longer tone – this would be as if I was trying to sound more authoritative.
- Close the distance between us by walking towards him and call his name with a snarled tone – imagine making yourself sound like a lion. This is usually where he snaps out of “Sniff World.” You see when his head snaps back around, his ears tilt back and he looks at you as if to say, “Oh yeah! Sorry!”
- If I still can’t get his attention and I have walked right up to him, I’ll take my hand, make a shape as if I’m holding a baseball with my fingers pointing outwards, and calmly but firmly place it just in front of his back hip. Again, as stated above, this is NOT a striking motion. This is more of a tap on the shoulder type of movement to gain your dogs attention.
The idea behind this type of training is to make your dog understand that its undesired behaviour is not acceptable.
Boxer dogs are extremely intelligent and smart. If trained properly, consistently, and patiently, these dogs can turn out to be the most loyal pets.