Rowdy, obnoxious, overly affectionate, destructive or uncontrollable might be how you currently describe the dog that was once referred to as cute, cuddly, loving and easy to live with.  Will your puppy grow into a canine good citizen or a menace to society? 

Even though the Boxer is a rambunctious breed, they are also sensitive dogs and in tune with our emotions. They are thinkers and need to be mentally challenged. Building a bond with your dog as a team leader,will help you direct your dogs energy. This means setting boundaries and rules at a young age. You don't have to be a kill joy to accomplish this. It might be as simple as crate training, limited access to the house/backyard, having indoor and outdoor toys, no jumping policy.  Keep their minds busy with interactive games and tricks. Catching treats out of the air, balancing on their hindlegs, walking backwards, barking on command, searching the yard for goodies or favorite toys, playing tug. These are fun games to work the body and mind.  The more interactive games you play with build a bond as team leader, not a toy or food dispenser. 

Fear of your dogs bad behavior limits their exposure to certain environments in fear of confronting a situation that they were not able to handle. Ex: vet office full of other dogs, Starbucks patio with dog friendly patrons, group dog training classes, walking past neighborhood dogs. Just the thought of taking your dog to these places can instill fear of not knowing how you will react to your dogs behavior. LET YOUR DOG FAIL! Avoiding these situations will enforce the bad behaviors that you are trying to avoid. Harnessing your dogs enthusiasm in these situations will be challenging and you will FAIL and if you have not failed, then you have limited your dogs potential in learning.

Knowing what your dog reacts to (positively or negatively) will make it easier to isolate your training to address the individual concerns. Does your dog become excited when they see another dog or person? At what distance do they begin to react in a manner you disapprove? 20 feet, 40, 100? Use this distance as the threshold of your dogs comfort level. When visiting new places, work on simple exercises (look/watch, sit) with your dog within their threshold. Over time you can gradually decrease the distance from the stimulus and still maintain focus.

"He never does this at home" are the famous last words we have all used and it's true. "Proofing" your dogs exercise in a variety of locations and stimulus levels will help them learn how to manage their excitement level and give you more confidence in taking them to different places. Begin with simple exercises; sit, down, look/watch. Avoid attempting to "heel" your dog when you are in a new, highly stimulus location. Your dog will not be able to maintain the necessary attention to be successful heeling and this will frustrate owner and dog. Have fun, keep it simple and short, then go home and enjoy your success.

 Enrolling the help of a dog trainer for private and group lessons will be beneficial for you and your dog. 

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