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Discussion Starter #1
My boxer is very shy meeting new people and it takes him awhile to warm up. He is fine walking among them.
Recently, we were in a busy city and going for a walk. Person after person asked if they could pet him. I would say that he is cautious around strangers, but most would want to continue talking to me about him and end up petting him. His body language totally says he is wary.

I would like for him to become more comfortable with unsolicited petting so to speak but don't want to have it forced on him as such. What could I do for him and still be nice to people and little kids who want to pet him? Should I just say that he is uncomfortable with touch right now from strangers but you could help him by just giving him a treat?

So the long story is that he will show that he is uncomfortable but accepts the petting even so. This particular day, so many people were wanting to pet him. I think his tolerance level was shot. There was also 3 stabbings in that city one street over from us and a police shooting that we heard, and I'm pretty sure he must have picked up on the tensions in the air. Then, a homeless person came and petted him. My boxer showed he was uncomfortable and his hackles actually stood up. The man then stood up to leave him alone, bending towards my dog. My dog actually then at this point snapped up at the mans face! The man took it well, and just laughed, " ha you missed me"

Obviously, I do not want this to happen again. How can I better help my boxer?
 

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Your instincts are right that your dog is not comfortable and you should not force him to deal with people if he doesn't want to. Chip and some others will likely have some good input for you.

For the safety of your dog, it is best to tell people that he's in training and they can't pet him. You definitely do not want your dog to bite someone, and any dog will when put into a situation they don't feel safe or comfortable. You'd likely feel a lot worse losing your dog to biting someone than you would having them think you are rude or mean for not letting them touch him.

One of our boys is very shy of people and we used to believe that a well socialized dog is one that will tolerate people petting him and one that will get along with other dogs.

I've since learned that it's OK for dogs not to like other dogs, and for your dog not to like being touched by other people. I tell people Bandit is very shy and I stay between him and the person. It's easy because he'll get behind me. (Our other two boxers LOVE people....different dog personalities).

That's not to say that you should not try to get your baby to be comfortable with other people if you need to. But the outside environment you described can be overwhelming. If you want to introduce people to your dog, I'd start in a place he feels safe, like your house and let him warm up to the person on his own.

I'm one of those people who loves to pet dogs and I want every dog to want me to pet them. The unfortunate reality is that they don't all like it. If I ask someone if I can pet their dog and they say No, I can respect that. I think most people who ask are aware that some dogs or owners are not OK with it. I think the people who don't ask are the ones you really have to worry about....

That's my 2 cents. Trust your instincts and what your dog is telling you. I'm sure you'll get some good feedback and input on how to approach this going forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. Yes, I would like to increase his tolerance," just in case." But I do not want anything forced. I want him to trust me that I have his back. People and kids happen. I was in a line up with him and a child asked if he could pet him. the parent was there and I said he was shy and doesn't really like it. The child proceeded anyway. I tried to show the kid that Chance was telling him that he was uncomfortable in the only way he knew how. Parents are bone heads too.
 

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Hmm OK about the only thing I see in the OP's proposed solution that sends chills up my spine is ... "you could help him by just giving him a treat?" My answer would be an emphatic and hard core uh ... "NO!"

No less than Michael Ellis a top level Malinios guy found out in a training class, that a dog can take a treat and still bite the heck out of someone! :)


Personally, l I never tried (treats and strangers) as it struck me, as not being a good idea?? And at the time I was dealing with 113 lbs of (over Size) Working Line GSD ... that did not much care for, "anyone" aside from me my wife and Struddell (Avatar.))!I know you threw it out as a possibility ...but with actual Strangers, just forget it!

The flaw with that approach is depending on the said treat (and if the dog is stressed, he won't accept treats anyway.) But if he does ... he can easily "focus" only on the treat, eats it up ... looks up and "suddenly" there is some "tool" in his face, WTH!! And said dog can then react badly...

Now, if it is someone that the dog routinely sees in his space ie at home. That is a bit different. That should be OK after a while and the dog is trained in "The Place Command!" And "I" still would not do it! But hey that's just me and I Roll Hard. It was years before I trusted family and friends to interact freely with "ROCKY" my GSD.

OK, I got's much much more!! So consider this an introduction! Your instincts are good and you know your dog! Your just getting "Steam Rolled" because people can be "Tools!" You will need to "modify" your approach and except the fact that your particular Boxer ... my never "like people??" Which is not the norm for Boxer's?? But whatever, he can be made safe in public and he will be able to go anywhere in public with you if you use the right approach!

It's a team effort and we'll get to "what you need to do in my next post" and it's all been dog tested and dog approved ... "I must say." So you know ... stick around and we can help you guys out. :)
 

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I have had 6 boxers now and two of the previous females I had did not want strangers to pet them they were extremely protective over me and the house or car so I would just tell people that they preferred their own personal space and they did. This did not mean I could not take them out amongst people because I did that too I just made sure no one crowded their space. Both of them were fine and never snapped at anyone because they trusted I was in charge. I had a male that was pretty indifferent to strangers neither friendly nor aggressive and one male who only liked women to touch him he would growl at men. The two dogs I have now there are no worries with them they LOVE people they have better breeding than my others and better temperaments. I would not allow strangers to give any kind of treats if the dog is showing signs of discomfort. The dog may be picking up on some anxiety you are having as well in crowds you mentioned some violence in your neighborhood. Our emotions and feeling are transmitted to our dogs they pick up on everything. I don't think its necessary for your dog to love everyone or want to be petted by everyone that's your dog the worst thing that could happen is for the dog to bite someone which it has attempted to already that's a warning so I would tell everyone to give him some space! I have in the past had children run up to my dogs and had to play defense it seems a lot of parents are clueless or think all dogs like children and no one wants their dog to bite a child. I know you can work thru this , it doesn't mean you can't walk your dog in public you just have to be more watchful and careful and don't let anyone corner your dog or stand over top of him some dogs see that as a threat.
 

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I have had 6 boxers now and two of the previous females I had did not want strangers to pet them they were extremely protective over me and the house or car so I would just tell people that they preferred their own personal space and they did. This did not mean I could not take them out amongst people because I did that too I just made sure no one crowded their space. Both of them were fine and never snapped at anyone because they trusted I was in charge. I had a male that was pretty indifferent to strangers neither friendly nor aggressive and one male who only liked women to touch him he would growl at men. The two dogs I have now there are no worries with them they LOVE people they have better breeding than my others and better temperaments. I would not allow strangers to give any kind of treats if the dog is showing signs of discomfort. The dog may be picking up on some anxiety you are having as well in crowds you mentioned some violence in your neighborhood. Our emotions and feeling are transmitted to our dogs they pick up on everything. I don't think its necessary for your dog to love everyone or want to be petted by everyone that's your dog the worst thing that could happen is for the dog to bite someone which it has attempted to already that's a warning so I would tell everyone to give him some space! I have in the past had children run up to my dogs and had to play defense it seems a lot of parents are clueless or think all dogs like children and no one wants their dog to bite a child. I know you can work thru this , it doesn't mean you can't walk your dog in public you just have to be more watchful and careful and don't let anyone corner your dog or stand over top of him some dogs see that as a threat.
Sounds like you did a "Good Job!"

And I want to be clear that "Dogs that don't much care for people" can be managed and can be taught to be safe in public! But ... I would consider them to be a "life time responsibility for there owners!" That does not necessarily mean a "burden" but it's best to "Never Forget that one has to "properly manage a bite risk dog."

And if one chooses not to do so?? Plan B, contact a rescue offer to "foster in Place" give full disclosure of the dogs issues, and ensure while he is still in the home ... he bites "No one!"

There are a few LE K9 handlers that did not quite understand that!! And saying that out loud on Germanshepardforum to uh a K9 ( handler and MOD) is how I got Banned! But I digress ....

But back on point a Boxer that does not like people .. is kinda of an abnormally to be honest?? But hey "crap happens!" And I don't know this dogs background?? Mostly it was not a hand picked, hand raised Prima Donna Puppy?? I don't know?? But whatever ... "proper management" is the key and yeah the "OP" is gonna to be a bit more hard core in order to "Advocate For Her Dog!"

It's a "thing" but that is another topic. :)
 

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I worked a lot with German Shepherds as well when I was younger (a lot) and I took a young male thru basic obedience and on up to tracking and protection work sadly after all of this work I lost him to bloat. My second shepherd I trained I used for Search and Rescue and she was not a "friendly" people liking dog. She would circle the "lost" person and come back and get me and lead me in. I took her in all kinds of conditions flew with the civil air patrol on airplanes and helicopters in close quarters with others and like I said she was never a people dog. It is possible only because your dog has to trust you that you are in charge at all times and they don't get to make decisions they should be looking to you for direction. This rule has applied to all the boxers I have had as well. I switched breeds to boxers when my Search Dog passed away I knew I could not replace her in my life and I came upon a boxer puppy in need and I was Hooked! I love boxers so much! I find they fit my lifestyle perfectly and if they don't have such a great temperament well that just means extra work!
 

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When I got Chance at a year old, we were his third home and he was fear aggressive. The vet didn't want me to keep him if we had small kids. Which we don't. So his background is iffy. But I have the time to work with him. I just kept taking him everyday, according to his tolerance to public places. ( He used to want to attack people that were far away..or dogs) If he was too tense, I backed off and just kept trying and kept it always ending on a good note. After a year now, I can take him into busy public and he is relaxed. He knows the " look at me" command for crossing roads and such. He is fine now in a off leash park. He will stop and "come" with whatever he is doing, even in the middle of play or a good sniffy. We practice a lot!! Safety first. ( I know many of you don't approve of these parks) He will go to people in this park for attention and pets. And he will go to people who come to my home for attention and pets.

It is with strangers on a walk, on leash that he tightens his body language if they try to pet him. Not all the time. Sometimes he will take it an be relaxed and then ask for more attention. Is it best to just say no to strangers while we are in a busy city? I do not want to loose him to him biting someone if he will be unpredictable. At the same time, I like to keep seeing him progressing and having more fun in all situations. I'm just wondering if I can still help him work through it. Maybe it was totally my fault for keeping up the walk that day after the murders happened a block away. Jeepers. I'm so upset with myself now. That was obviously overwhelming his tolerance. He still seemed relaxed walking tho.. Just strangers please don't touch me anymore today.
I have the time for him. I just want to do it right.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Also, sometimes out walking, if he is not healing, and we are stopped close to someone, he will go to sniff them. Their response is to automatically pet him. Should I not let him sniff others like this?
 

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I would let him sniff but not invite people to pet. I think part of his problem here is he feels the need to protect you, and he probably has some fear issues too with the aggression that's not an uncommon thing. I had a really hard time with one of my female boxers she would act aggressively to other dogs and even to people that were walking towards me in the park but she would behave differently in different situations like I would take her to PetSmart and other dog friendly stores she would not display the same behavior She was comfortable at the park since we walked there everyday and kinda viewed it as "her space" so she would act out towards other dogs there quite a bit the people thing if they maintained their distance she was fine so I started making a point of stopping and "chatting with other people and their dogs" so she would learn there was nothing threatening going on there so no need to be excited or on the defense she eventually got over it after about 2 years I could walk her on a loose leash around anyone there is no instant fix for this one. Boxers are stubborn that's a fact once they get a negative behavior going and its not corrected it is hard to get them out of it but possible. It sounds like your dog has had a rough start its going to take patience and understanding which its sounds like you are trying really hard with him know his limitations and work within that it will get better.
 

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I worked a lot with German Shepherds as well when I was younger (a lot) and I took a young male thru basic obedience and on up to tracking and protection work sadly after all of this work I lost him to bloat. My second shepherd I trained I used for Search and Rescue and she was not a "friendly" people liking dog. She would circle the "lost" person and come back and get me and lead me in. I took her in all kinds of conditions flew with the civil air patrol on airplanes and helicopters in close quarters with others and like I said she was never a people dog. It is possible only because your dog has to trust you that you are in charge at all times and they don't get to make decisions they should be looking to you for direction. This rule has applied to all the boxers I have had as well. I switched breeds to boxers when my Search Dog passed away I knew I could not replace her in my life and I came upon a boxer puppy in need and I was Hooked! I love boxers so much! I find they fit my lifestyle perfectly and if they don't have such a great temperament well that just means extra work!
Oh wow, the real deal! :)

So you went from GSD's to Boxer's??? LOL, that is quite the change!! usually "Boxer Luv'er tend to already have an affinity for the Breed?? Other wise they are and I quote, from a high level GSD K9 trainer "Skinny and Insipid." And I ain't the time for there goofiness. That is one GSD K9 ( trainer that I knew:)

And from a book a quote from another GSD Trainer, ... "I can train 3 GSD's in the time it takes me to train one Boxer!"

I was the "Boxer Guy" on Germanshepardforum and I don't know the Boxer's these guy's were dealing with?? But I would bet .. they were talking about America's favorite flavor of Boxer the America Line's??

I countered with athletic and uh independent ie "why exactly should I do want you want to do, when what I want to do is more fun??" Most likely that quote , is based on the Girl Boxer's as the Males are different??

But hey I was undaunted and I countered, Skinny and insipid, with Athletic and independent! But hey there is a Boxer for everybody! And at the time I countered the detractors with "Ciff Vom Grand Kevin!"
Cliff vom Grand Kevin

And with that they said "OK now that's a Dog!" :)

As for me .. I don't know about the Euro's?? As I am not eager to repeat my WL GSD experience?? I view the Euro's as WL GSD's in a Boxer suit?? I perceive them more like the original Boxer's that came to America's shores after WWII and were thought to be "to fierce to be let lose on American shores!" So after WWII, they "changed them" and we now have the American Line Boxers! A great success by all accounts as there fans are legion! :)

As for the GSD sign I find there success confusing?? Pretty much always the number three most populate dog in America?? And there issues ... don't change??

A bad Boxer will have an owner pulling there hair out. A bad GSD will get an owner suited! A well breed well adjusted Boxer, tends to like/trust everyone??

A well bred well adjusted Wl GSD tends to like/trust no one?? IE why exactly should I trust you?? And you know, good luck if an owner already has two dogs and one of them is a male! GSD's are High Rank Drive Dog's?? Boxer's and Bullies are not ... who knew??

That after 7 months of no apparent issues, that I saw was my introduction to GSD's?? Rocky had an issue with Gunther American Band Dawg being the top dog??? I got the first stitches in my life every breaking up pack fights (no Boxer involvement.) And after that came the people thing??

Rocky won the dog top by default, I never solved it and Gunther passed due to unrelated issues. :(

So Rocky was top dog by default, I was pissed but what are you gonna do ... And then came ... people issues??? Rocky happen to be in "Place" when company came over and I happen to be by him. But he view company like they were raw meat?? And I heard a low growl issue from deep inside him, my blood ran cold ... WTH??? But hey that day was the best thing that could have happened for us, cuz this crap ... will not stand!

It's yet another story but it I told it here! :
https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/aggression-good-bad-ugly/399905-what-would-my-dog-do.html

It was a long hard run but in the end we got over it. He was both my greatest challenge and my greatest victory! I doubt I could get another GSD just like him?? I lost him a couple years ago and miss him dearly ....

But GSD's in general ... sigh nothing has changed since I've been gone?? Number three most popularin America or not, on the Germnanshepardforum ... the same issues still roll in daily. Attacking, threatening family, friends strangers or in the worst cases owners! JQP has issues but in the worst cases LE K9 handlers can't control there dogs in the civilian world ... yeah that happens!

Boxers by comparison are more .. "amorphous??" Typically the best issues with tends to be them losing there minds with the arrival of company! But I can say that day I lost my "Struddell" is the day the Sunshine Died, so yeah ...
 

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That's why I like boxers so much Chip they are pure fun and sunshine and I'm sorry you lost your Struddell. I am not a professional dog trainer I trained the dogs I did for me. I enjoy spending time with my dogs more than anything and at that time in my life I wanted to do some volunteer work and I combined it with my love of dogs. I had several successful "finds" with my dog and it was a very rewarding experience. She was one of the best at water finds as well. I know the type of big headed handlers I have run into them as well not interested in dealing with other peoples egos. My boxers have had their issues, 4 of my other dogs were American lines and the two I have now one is 1/2 Euro and the male is 87% Euro he is a big boy with large bones he is 63lbs at 7 months old. So I guess its all in what you like. Like I said I am no dog trainer I trained my dogs the way I like them and that's all. I think dogs were meant to be part of your life go where you go and be your best friend! If you have a problem with your dog you have to work it out, you made a commitment to that dog so there it is.
 

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Also, sometimes out walking, if he is not healing, and we are stopped close to someone, he will go to sniff them. Their response is to automatically pet him. Should I not let him sniff others like this?
Personally I would not allow that. Your putting yourself and your dog at legal risk. I am not a lawyer, but to me the fact that you allowed your dog to come forward and greet someone "imply's" that the dog is safe??

If he strikes .. it's on you "because you allowed that situation" to happen. It speaks to lack of control. You have to first "teach him" to make "Good Choices." Cuz you know "Crap Happens" and sometimes despite the best of intentions your not always there and the dog has to make an "independent decision as to how to handle this situation?? Cuz you know .. no owner on site?? Crap happens and it did happen to me with a "Toddler!" And Rocky under carefully controlled conditions was "proven" to uh not much care for "Toddler's!" Yet another story .. but it worked out fine! :)

A "bite risk dog" has to "always be under control!" They don't get to make independent decisions as regards interaction to people, uh ever!

It's not really hard to be but it takes commitment and you have to "Suck it Up and be an A-Hole" if required! My dog is not your personnel property and I said ... "NO!"

Sometimes saying "NO" broke my heart, but in Rocky's 10 years of life ... sigh. He never bit anyone ... so I'm good with what I do/did.

But back on point ... in similar circumstances to roughly what you describe?? Rocky would have been by my side off leash. If I stopped to talk to anyone .. he would have been used to "not being bothered." He would expect to stop/stay and I would step in front of him and talk/explain and he would not be bothered!

That is what he expected, transferred to "Off Leash" he walked by side. If I stopped to talk to someone .. he would step back five feet, lay down and wait!
No fuss no bother I never said a word. He would not be bothered by people on our walks is what he "Expected" and that is what I did!

He was a serious responsibility and no matter how good he was I never forgot that but he was not a burden to be bared, he was just a higher level of "Responsibility!" It's subtle but different.
 

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That's why I like boxers so much Chip they are pure fun and sunshine and I'm sorry you lost your Struddell. I am not a professional dog trainer I trained the dogs I did for me. I enjoy spending time with my dogs more than anything and at that time in my life I wanted to do some volunteer work and I combined it with my love of dogs. I had several successful "finds" with my dog and it was a very rewarding experience. She was one of the best at water finds as well. I know the type of big headed handlers I have run into them as well not interested in dealing with other peoples egos. My boxers have had their issues, 4 of my other dogs were American lines and the two I have now one is 1/2 Euro and the male is 87% Euro he is a big boy with large bones he is 63lbs at 7 months old. So I guess its all in what you like. Like I said I am no dog trainer I trained my dogs the way I like them and that's all. I think dogs were meant to be part of your life go where you go and be your best friend! If you have a problem with your dog you have to work it out, you made a commitment to that dog so there it is.
LOL 63 lbs at seven months?? That is gonna be a boy!!!

NV seems to have a lot of Euro/Americans?? I find them to be pretty nice dogs my friends have one. But they do seem to be "slightly indifferent with strangers??" They seem to be at least slightly aloof with "strangers" but then let it go.

My Struddell by contrast ... had no idea what a "Stranger was???" Halloween was her favorite time of year! Witches and Goblins and Monsters ... "OH MY!" And all of them coming to see me! :)

I had to ... border proof her on the front yard! In order to keep her from walking or driving off with huh anyone! When I got my GSD ... yeah that was no longer an "issue." :)

Sigh but time moves on and my better half "screwed me over!" Gunther gone, Struddell gone and finally Rocky gone! She got tired of me whining about another White Boxer Girl!

I was content to take as much time as it took to find another Struddell. But she was not. So she roped me into another Box/APBT.

Now normally that would not be a big deal as I got into Boxer by default when I lost my first Boxer/APBT mix Stewie in an auto accident and that was really really bad. It was my fault and I did not handle the loss well. Only Struddell my first PB and White Boxer, managed to pull me out of the deep hole of darkness!

So tired of my whining ,she roped me into Bella. Boxer/APBT mix well the mix is not an issue but a female also?? If Bella was a Bob ... I could still pursue my White Boxer girl and get on with life.:)

But Bella is not a Bob and while I luv "Female Boxer's" ... they are pretty much notorious for inter-female aggression! It's a thing.

Bout the only thing one can find about Boxer Female Boxers online ... is that they are "different" from the males?? That is pretty much it??

But while it would be another tangent safe to say "they are right!" I luv the girl's and it takes a very certain set of circumstances to trip them off. Suffice to say ... that you don't want to trip the girls off!! I managed to do it twice in Struddell's 10 years.

And sigh even though I am a veteran of breaking up fights between 113 lbs of Male GSD and 85 lbs of American Band Dawg!! I've never seen nothing like the sound and fury of 65 lbs of ticked off American Line Female Boxer!!

It was freaking insane! I dealt with it fine but you won't fine my solution in a Book! But that was my "baby" you know so I'm not gonna hurt her. :)

Female Boxers are "notorious" for inter female aggression! And most likely my better half did not know that?? But ... I do! So now ... she has "roped me into a male Boxer as another dog! And that kinda ticks me off .. so my bad ... "Bella" tends to bear some of the brunt of my resentment!

I'm just not that interested in trying the multi female thing? Although many members on here have done it.

But whatever, so with people how are the Euros in regards to there interaction with "strangers??" I like the Euro's as a dog, but I don't trust them??

They are "serious" Boxers still! The only K9 ( Boxers that still do routinely LE duty are the Euro's! In American, they seem to be in only in the mid west??

Out here I only see WL GSD's and Mal's and I won't go anywhere near them myself:.)

Oh and for the record ... the scarcest Boxer I have ever met was a "Female! :)
 

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Hey Chip, I have never had two female boxers at once I have always had 2 boxers at a time but opposite sex. I do believe there is a difference in personality between male and female boxers its seems the girls are more affectionate but harder to train have a little harder head so to speak. My two dogs like I said have Euro lines and they have never met a stranger they love EVERYBODY and all dogs my female especially she loves children too. I think she would go off with a complete stranger sometimes. My boy is more loyal to me he doesn't go to far from my side but there is no aggression in either of them they share chew bones and I feed them side by side so we have a ZEN thing going on. I am still training my boy he has been hard headed on some other things but we will get there. I had an American bred male boxer as my first male and he was a beautiful dog very large very easy to train I brought him home at 8 weeks old and I swear he never went to the bathroom in the house ever! I could walk anywhere with him off leash as well didn't care good or bad about anyone else but me and my husband but he was great he lived to be 10 then all hell broke lose, I noticed he was getting kinda jumpy and he did not want me to leave the house without him but he had this weird look going on like he was angry with me at the time he was the only dog I took him to my regular Vet and she gave him an arthritis injection and he turned really fast on her like he was thinking of biting her (not usual) then two days later I was in my living room and my husband was in another room and I heard something outside so I got up and he got up and was standing in my way I said "go on move" like you do with your dog and he turned on me and attacked my husband ran to help me and got the same thing. They flew my husband to the hospital and transported me to a local one for surgery. My Vet believes he had a brain tumor she said they can come up suddenly and they can come up on the fear/aggression center of the brain it doesn't happen often and she had only seen it one other time in a GSD. Our injuries were bad but the worse ones were on our hearts. I know it must have been a brain tumor to cause an otherwise good dog to do this. After that I got my Koko and my boy Jaxson they were blessings after that they were not perfect but I loved them with all my heart then I lost them to DCM. Now I have my Kodie (my sweet girl) and Mack I am praying that all the bad stuff is behind me now and we will just be happy.
 

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... all hell broke lose he had this weird look going on like he was angry with me at the time he was the only dog I took him to my regular Vet and she gave him an arthritis injection and he turned really fast on her like he was thinking of biting her (not usual) then two days later I was in my living room and my husband was in another room and I heard something outside so I got up and he got up and was standing in my way I said "go on move" like you do with your dog and he turned on me and attacked my husband ran to help me and got the same thing. They flew my husband to the hospital and transported me to a local one for surgery. My Vet believes he had a brain tumor she said they can come up suddenly and they can come up on the fear/aggression center of the brain it doesn't happen often and she had only seen it one other time in a GSD. Our injuries were bad but the worse ones were on our hearts. I know it must have been a brain tumor to cause an otherwise good dog to do this. After that I got my Koko and my boy Jaxson they were blessings after that they were not perfect but I loved them with all my heart then I lost them to DCM. Now I have my Kodie (my sweet girl) and Mack I am praying that all the bad stuff is behind me now and we will just be happy.
Aww man I am so sorry! That sounds like a spectacularly bad way to lose a Boxer! :(

I have heard of that happening with a friends Dobbie or maybe it was Cancer?? In any case the dog is in so much .. trouble, he really does not recognize anyone or where he he is anymore?? You have our condolence ...
I luv Boxer's but I consider them "The Heart Break Breed." Clown Prince of the Dog World and a Heart Break Breed" they can wear either title equally well sadly ....
 

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If your dog is comfortable walking around people and only shows signs of being uncomfortable when there is actual physical contact, I would just tell people either he is training, and to please not touch him or just say he isn't friendly.

Strangers are sometimes the worst. They need to be trained way more than the dog most times.

My guy was a jumper(like most boxers) when he was younger, we pretty much have it cut out about 99% of the time. He will still every once in a blue moon will jump up on a stranger. I had one guy ask if he could greet my guy, I said sure. Well Zuke jumped up, I pulled him back put him in a heel and started to walk away. This stranger said to me "I don't mind if he jumps on me, most dogs do that when they are excited." I just said back "No offense, I don't care what you like, I don't want him jumping on people and he knows this." I just walked away
 

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Also, sometimes out walking, if he is not healing, and we are stopped close to someone, he will go to sniff them. Their response is to automatically pet him. Should I not let him sniff others like this?
Personally I would not allow that. Your putting yourself and your dog at legal risk. I am not a lawyer, but to me the fact that you allowed your dog to come forward and greet someone "imply's" that the dog is safe??

If he strikes .. it's on you "because you allowed that situation" to happen. It speaks to lack of control. You have to first "teach him" to make "Good Choices." Cuz you know "Crap Happens" and sometimes despite the best of intentions your not always there and the dog has to make an "independent decision as to how to handle this situation?? Cuz you know .. no owner on site?? Crap happens and it did happen to me with a "Toddler!" And Rocky under carefully controlled conditions was "proven" to uh not much care for "Toddler's!" Yet another story .. but it worked out fine! [img= class=inlineimg]https://www.boxerforums.com/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif[/img]

A "bite risk dog" has to "always be under control!" They don't get to make independent decisions as regards interaction to people, uh ever!

It's not really hard to be but it takes commitment and you have to "Suck it Up and be an A-Hole" if required! My dog is not your personnel property and I said ... "NO!"

Sometimes saying "NO" broke my heart, but in Rocky's 10 years of life ... sigh. He never bit anyone ... so I'm good with what I do/did.

But back on point ... in similar circumstances to roughly what you describe?? Rocky would have been by my side off leash. If I stopped to talk to anyone .. he would have been used to "not being bothered." He would expect to stop/stay and I would step in front of him and talk/explain and he would not be bothered!

That is what he expected, transferred to "Off Leash" he walked by side. If I stopped to talk to someone .. he would step back five feet, lay down and wait!
No fuss no bother I never said a word. He would not be bothered by people on our walks is what he "Expected" and that is what I did!

He was a serious responsibility and no matter how good he was I never forgot that but he was not a burden to be bared, he was just a higher level of "Responsibility!" It's subtle but different.
I strongly agree with this and think this is some solid advice from Chip.

The description of the level of responsibility you are obligated to always be mindful of is spot on.
 

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I worked a lot with German Shepherds as well when I was younger (a lot) and I took a young male thru basic obedience and on up to tracking and protection work sadly after all of this work I lost him to bloat. My second shepherd I trained I used for Search and Rescue and she was not a "friendly" people liking dog. She would circle the "lost" person and come back and get me and lead me in. I took her in all kinds of conditions flew with the civil air patrol on airplanes and helicopters in close quarters with others and like I said she was never a people dog. It is possible only because your dog has to trust you that you are in charge at all times and they don't get to make decisions they should be looking to you for direction. This rule has applied to all the boxers I have had as well. I switched breeds to boxers when my Search Dog passed away I knew I could not replace her in my life and I came upon a boxer puppy in need and I was Hooked! I love boxers so much! I find they fit my lifestyle perfectly and if they don't have such a great temperament well that just means extra work!
What great experiences you have had, Luvmiboxers. Impressive! Thank you for your (& your dogs) service in search & rescue work.

How heartbreaking to lose your young German shepherd you had put so much effort into training to bloat. I am glad you keep opening up your heart & home to dogs because you clearly have a lot to offer them!
 
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