Boxers are smart, but stubborn. If they don’t want to learn something, then they won’t. The trick to training a boxer is to get them excited about the training. The short answer is: yes, boxers are easy to train if done right.

Here are five training tips for your boxer puppy.

Potty training:
You want to start potty training your boxer when they’re around seven weeks old. First, you need to establish a spot outdoors that will be the pee spot. If you have a yard, designate a spot in your yard. If not, choose a spot near you building or place of residence. When you take your pup for a potty break, grab his leash and say “Let’s go pee.” Lead your boxer to the designated spot and wait until he pees. Then reward him with lots of praise and a treat. Take your pup out at the same times every day and consistently reward him when he pees outside. Puppies have small bladders so he’ll need to go out often… in the morning, after a nap, after play time, after drinking lots of water, and before going to sleep. Repeat this until he’s no longer peeing in the house.

Your pup will inevitably have an accident in your home at some point. If this happens, do not scold your puppy. Instead, clean it up and act like nothing happened. Bring no attention to it. Eventually he will learn.

Crate Training

Before you begin create training, you’ll need to select the right crate, and remember to upsize your crate once your puppy grows out of it. Place the crate in an area where family members spend lots of time. You’ll want to make your boxer associate the crate with positive things. To do that, you can place his dog bowl in the crate. As time passes, you can remove the bowl and place it beside the crate instead. Place his favourite toy in the crate. Whenever he goes inside the crate, give him a treat.

To get your dog in the crate, give him the kennel command “come inside” or “kennel.” Let him walk into the kennel, and close the door. Give him a treat. Start by leaving him in the kennel for a couple minutes while you’re nearby and repeat this until your pup can stay in there for 30 minutes.

Leash training
First, you’ll have to normalize the leash. When you put a leash on your boxer pup, give him a treat. Walk him around the house on leash, giving him a treat as he follows you. Don’t ever drag your boxer puppy. Instead, bring lots of treats with you for your walk and he’ll be motivated to walk beside you.

It’s important to socialize your boxer as a puppy. Introduce him to your friends and family members as well as children, elders and everyone in between. Bring him to the dog park, let him sniff other dogs and be sniffed, let him get growled at occasionally. Give your boxer puppy treats whenever he is gentle around strangers. Reward him for positive interactions.

Boxers are smart dogs, and you can teach them lots of tricks if you do it right. Treats and praise go a long way with boxers. A good way of teaching tricks to your boxer is through shaping. For example, if you’re boxer sometimes raises his hand when he wants food, you can say “wave” and give him a treat. Soon, he’ll associate raising his hand with the “wave” command.