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We have a 20 week old boxer male. When I first got him the breeder told me to do the alpha roll so I did it a few times and I noticed he got more aggressive so I stopped. He is a very well behaved dog, food driven and is pretty well trained for the most part. The last week or so my 13 year old would try to pick him up and he growls and snaps at her. He only snaps once in a while it's not every time. I am unsure how to handle this. I have been sitting next to her while she tries to pick him up to tell him easy...I know for myself I can't have a dog in the house that the kids are scared of or an aggressive dog so I want to do anything I can now to fix this. Any suggestions??? Also, the leash walking is another struggle- when we are walking and see another dog, person, squirrel he just pulls and pulls...he doesn't seem to care the collar is choking him. Today I tried to treat him to distract him while these things happen. I don't know if it's the Age but I feel like he is in his terrible 2s....HELP!! this is completely stressing me out.
 

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First of all this dog is still just a puppy and from hearing your descriptions a puppy with no boundaries! He needs to be made to understand he is not the boss around here and letting him get away with biting and growling when someone does something he does not like is a big no no. He will only get bigger and this behavior can't be allowed. I don't know what the breeder you got him from suggests is the alpha role if that means holding him down I would not suggest that at all . You need the help of an experienced dog trainer right now.
 

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Well ...he probably is at the point where its not comfortable for a child to pick him I'm up anymore. I would have your child work with him, do some training in the yard and walk him. Since he is food driven you can use some lure tactics while walking him, and some LAT. (look at me). Are you using an old fashion choke collar or a pinch collar. I would use the pinch collar but be sure to google how to fit it properly, basically two fingers fit under it and it is high on the next behind the ears but you really need to google it. I'm sure another member will supply some videos.
Some names you can google..
Patricia McConnell Patricia McConnell | Welcome to The Learning Center | McConnell Publishing Inc.

There are many helpful sites . I 've taken a little advise from each.

At 20 weeks he is getting quite big and you must train everyday in short sessions. Another member has a lot of good links which I'm pretty sure he will share.
 

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Thank you for your replies. He actually isn't making the rules of the house. I correct him every time he growls...I just wasn't sure the correct way to do this. I will defiantly try more eye contact with my daughter. I have her not paying attention to him when she gets home, letting him come to her when he wants to snuggle. I am working on things. It's a tad overwhelming at times that's for sure
 

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Not a fan of the "alpha role" thats a bit old school thinking. Depending on the dog, that can go side ways quick or do the opposite of the intent.

I would definitely tell your daughter not to pick him up. I'm a big believer in using a leash in the house to correct the dog with certain behaviors. If you are going to use a leash, just make sure it doesn't have a handle/loop or anything where if the dog is walking around it can get caught on something. I liked using the leash, because for me, I had control over him and could use that as a tool with a verbal correction, instead of trying to make a correction with a command and no control if he didn't listen. Just the way I liked doing things. You should also train a place command in the house, it basically could be anything, a spot on a carpet, a dog bed, anything. and its basically a spot the dog goes to to just chill.

Pretty good video of the place command

 

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Thank you! I have seen videos on the place command that's something I honestly haven't even done yet but I will start this week. Honestly, I have gotten pretty lucky with a lot of things with him. One being potty trained he had six accidents in the house total all pee that's it! Attacks the bells to go out and that he learned by himself I didn't do a thing. I think right now the biggest thing for me is the leash walking and the growling at the girls at times. I definitely know he is very vocal bc when he plays he barely does anything just loud like he's going to bite ur head off...again thank you for your help. It's so nice to know you can come on here and someone will reach back out to you. I will defiantly start the place command ASAP!
 

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No problem at all. I learned a ton on here. Have had dogs all my life but never quite had a dog like the boxer I have now. lol. I will always say, boxers are extremely intelligent, pick things up super fast, but have a very strong independent streak.

And the vocal thing is definitely a trait with some boxers. A male we used to play with was one of the most vocal boxers I have ever heard. He sounded like he was in an all out dog fight when he played with my guy. Its all about reading the dog and knowing the intent. As opposed to my guy who is extremely quiet. Just don't knock on my door, or as I found out last night, be a possum walking down the road in front of my house.:ROFLMAO:
 

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That's too funny! How old is your guy? We had a boxer years ago took a 5 year break and got another male. He was the best dog ever! I don't remember his puppy stage that's th hard part but I do remember I wasn't worried at all with the girls and I had him when they were born. I will work with him and continue to. I am sure we will be chatting again as I'm not done with the training questions 😂
 

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He will be 5 in February. Its amazing how fast it has gone. Just remember patience and consistency with a pup. (y)
 

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OK ... if you want to read a "Book," The Other End Of The Leash, explains exactly why "Dog's as a species don;t really like to picked up!!

That much said a "Breeder," is a "Breeder," and hopefully they are good at that job?? But they are not necessary "Dog Trainer's??" That said no one in there right mind would advise you to Alpha Roll your puppy??

If nothing else ... you have already taught him that if my "Human Lay's Hands On Me???" It's going to be unpleasant! If that is what you have been doing ... then this is what you have taught! And at any rate sure at 20 or so pounds you can do that. But at 65 or 70 lbs or so?? If he decides "I am tired of this crap" ... "Good Luck with that!"

If you have a "Good Relationship," with a dog ... sure you can pick them up! To get in a car or to help them over obstacles, sure no big deal?? But if the only time you lift (hug) him is to Alpha Roll them??? Yeah he will remember that!

And if you want to "undo," damage," well training "place," is a great start! That and "Sit on The Dog," your Daughter can do! They will restore trust!

It's a rather long thread but this has a lot of "back fill," on those techniques.


Welcome Aboard and as always ask questions. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Chip18- thank you I will google that. And just want to be clear I did the alpha roll a few times when he was first home and then stopped maybe it was 3 days the max!
 

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To be honest it's tough to give any really good info because what you are describing could be play or could be something else. Without seeing it to tough to say.
I would recommend hooking up with a good trainer and set a plan to get thing straightened out. One of the few good things to come out covid is it opened the door to more virtual training (ie: zoom training)
There's also a lot of free training available online through youtube and such.
For now, I would say it's best to not have your 13 yr old pick up the pup for now.
 

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Chip18- thank you I will google that. And just want to be clear I did the alpha roll a few times when he was first home and then stopped maybe it was 3 days the max!
LOL, well I really did not think you were constantly, "Rolling," your puppy all over the house and stuff. :)

But you were given (in my view and I am not alone) bad advise. But without some basis for comparison ... how would know??? But yes stop with the picking him up bit. He's not a Chihuahua half those dog's don't even know they have leg's (I would imagine) and when they do say Oh I can run?? Some of them will use that "New Found ability," to get in your dog's Face! :)

Start working on the "Place Command," you'll need to get the ball rolling and then your Daughters can pitch in later. But short 15 minuet sessions daily at first. Every Dog should know "The Place Command," it will pay big dividend's in the future. And well "Now," actually. I would "assume," he bum rushes family as soon as they come inside??

And the "Growling," thing?? bte 2 is correct, that could very well be "Play Growling??" Boxer's do to tend to be very boisterous. If they have a housemate, you'll hear it every time they play. It usually sound's like a Dog Fight when they play. That's kinda one of the reason's Boxer owner's that use Doggie Care are often asked to take there dog and don't come back ... Thank You. GSD owner's are often next to be asked to leave. :)

Ok your next problem ... is kind of a big one, I feel. Walk Your Dog, was a huge part of my rehab process with my "I don't much care for people!" GSD. We spent week's or months in silence walking together, mostly at night. Fewer people around.

And our relationship "changed for the better," although I did not know it at the time?? He had damaged our relationship by turning into at age 15 month's (par for the course) a rampaging pack fighting, send you to the ER if you get in the way A-Hole. He kept going after my Band Dawg. The other Alpha Male. Another story ... but it worked out well in the long run. :)

But the Walk yes, very important! And all the issues you list are pretty much par for the course for a badly behave dog! And of course ... I have "Thread," on this! And I use mainly a Slip Lead Leash. But I will admit it does seem to be a Tricky Tool," to master?? So there are links in there also on "Properly Using a Prong Collar."

I have had out of dozens (not a pro) two dog's that it took me longer than Five Minuet's to be able to walk. Hmm both Pit mixes actually! A hard core "Plopper-Downer. Back Yard only dog for 5 year's! She had never been off her property and was not gonna leave now!!

It took me 30 minuents to get her her to half way ... next door!! The second time and I figured it out by accident?? Load her in the Damn Car, and get her out of her neighborhood! She had vet visit and I was helping my neighbors with her.

Afterwards while her owner paid the bill, I took her out. And she was "now," a piece of cake! She did not know where she was?? So suddenly following my lead ... seemed like a great idea!

Pitty number two and I describe him as the Huge Headed Pitty! His body was that large maybe he was 70 pounds but his head was Huge! He was about three and never on a leash??

I only had about twenty minuet's to work with him. And it took 15 minuet's to make any forward progress!!! He flipped rolled spun and "Tried to bite at the leash??!!" Finally he stopped the crap! down and looked at me for direction?? We took about five steps ... and roll two?? He darted hard right in front of me??? WTH ... at that point the owner was ready go. He really did not care if his dog could walk well on leash?? He said he had two others just like him at home and he never walked them on leash. Oh well but it was interesting. :)

Anyway check out the thread at the least you'll have a better understanding of what your dealing with. And you don't need "treat's," to get your dog to walk. If you were trying that??


And as always ask questions. :)
 
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