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Hello all,

Back in July, me and my partner were gifted with a gorgeous Boxer puppy. He's been a dream up until a few weeks ago, where he's suddenly started being disobedient and I no longer enjoy walking him due to issues when he is both on and off leash.

He won't stop pulling. I get dragged on walks everywhere. I feel like I've tried everything - standing completely still when he starts to pull, turning and walking the opposite way, tugging the lead sharply to the left or right, rewarding him with treats when he walks by my heel, taking his attention away from where he wants to get to with a toy etc.

He is also becoming difficult off-leash, if he spots a dog far away he will bolt to get to them.

He's jumping up at strangers both on and off leash. He steals toys/balls from other people's dogs on the beach. Once he decide he wants something, his recall goes out the window.
He went after a gentleman yesterday that had a ball in his hand, and to my shock and embarrassment, crazily jumped around him and nipped at his fingers to get the ball from him. Understandably, the gentleman was not happy.

He has never done this before.

I'm posting this now as he suddenly grabbed the end of my scarf on our walk today - and decided to play tug-o-war. The other end of my scarf got stuck in the strap of my bag and I couldn't get it free whilst he continued to tug even tighter. I ended up being choked, which scared me. The only reason he let go was that another dog came round the corner and distracted him. :(

I am at my wit's end. He was doing so well with his training up until a few weeks ago, now I cannot cope.

Any help or advice would be appreciated so much!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Just to add - he is 7 months old, hasn't been neutered (we plan to when he's about 1 year as he has cryptorchidism), and over the past week, he seems to be going through what can only be described as secondary teething phase, even though he has all of his adult teeth. He's chewing frantically and whines when he can't chew what he wants.

I feel like such a bad owner to not understand why he feels the way he does, or what we can do to help him. :(
 

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Hmm OK, then. First your dog is not trying to kill you??? The scarf thing is just a fluke but I can see how that could happen. The scarf, would look pretty much like a tug dog to a dog sooo, I'm grab grab and pull???

So your dog taught you your first lesson! For right now, don't wear a scarf when you walk your dog! I'm not a fan of those anyway mostly because of unforeseen crap like "this," just saying. :)

Moving on, the first thing I tend to say to owners struggling with issues, is take a step back and "Chill Out." You can't help your dog if your freaked out or Angry???

There is nothing new going on here your dog sounds like a pretty Boxer that has no rules/limits or structure in the home! And he seemly takes what he learns or does not learn in the home and carries it forth on the street!

So step one, stop making mistakes for you dog, you already know he has issues, so the incident with the guy ... should not have happened. NO matter how bad he is (right not)on leash if your in a situation where there is a potential for issues, he needs to be on a leash "Always!" The more you allow him to practice "Bad Behaviours," the better at it he becomes. :chair:

I can go on and on, but at this point I'm gonna punt. Because at this point it's the same old, same old. No rules, loose structure, no limitations and an owner making poor choices for there dog.

So have a look here for how to start to get a grip on this.:
http://www.boxerforums.com/1969394-post3.html

That pretty much outlines how I roll. And from there yeah we need to get back to the "Walking thing??" But I get I get it, to get a grip on this you need to walk your dog but right now you can't walk your dog because that doing that is an issue????

Baby steps, I got it covered! But check out that post my advise works better if everyone is on the same page.

Welcome aboard and sorry it's a bumpy ride at the moment but hang in there! You can do this. :)
 

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I 2nd what Chip has said. Your dog should not have any off leash time in public and you should not practice any of his commands off leash either. At 7 months your dog is still a puppy and you can expect puppy behavior for up to 2 years. You must continue his training thru this time and frankly he is a dog so training is on going though not quite as much. My dog is 3 and I still take him thru his paces as he will get lazy and try to do what he wants if I do not.
They also go thru a 2nd teething period nd he is right on I'd have to look but even at 10 months. This is when their adult teeth are setting into their jaws. The net year is still going to be a lot of work.
I haven't looked at which link Chip provided but you must have control over your dog before you get into n area of distractions. What kind of leash/collar combination are you walking him on. You will get lots of advise here don't give up but meanwhile stay away from areas where you can't control your dog but know it will get better with patience practice & time.
 

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This post was very frustrating and sad to read.

Your dog at only 7 months old is still a puppy!! He is just starting his obnoxious teenage phase and if this “scares you” then I would seriously consider rehoming him as you are clearly over reacting.

If you are serious about training and working with him then I would look into hiring a trainer. In the mean time, no more off leash play in public areas. This sets your puppy up to fail. Believe it or not but this phase will pass.. you just need to be consistent in your training.
 

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Aww ... people, being taken by surprise by a dogs/puppy "unexpected" behaviours is not a crime??? It can "apparently" happen to the best of us??? It's one does "after one fully understands that they have an "issue that makes the difference. Been there done that got the stiches. (No Boxer involvement to be clear.)

I'm not a "Find a Trainer" kinda guy ... but I no longer post for "Drive By" poster's either. So without any input from the "OP"... consider me outta here. :)
 

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There's a lot of good information above.

My initial thought is that you must be the alpha. In my experience dog training is largely about training the person/ owner.

Every boxer has their own unique personality, but all of our boys still meet the norm of being stubborn and hyper. This can be taken as aggression and can be scary- as you've noted above.

There's a big difference between nipping when trying to get a toy and biting. My 4 year-old still loves to play- he runs and gets a toy the minute I walk in the door and wants me to play keep-away with me. Sometimes he accidentally gets a tooth on my finger. He's not trying to get me, and if he feels a human hand he will immediately let go.

He is a talker (bark/growl) over the years he's had a couple of moments where he has barked at me or my husband- usually when he was jealous of us playing with his brother and ignoring him. We immediately stopped him because this is not acceptable. If a stranger saw him do this (who is not familiar with Boxers) they would probably think he was a mean aggressive dog. He is the sweetest playful lapdog. He was trying to communicate his jealously and desire to be included.
From the information you shared above, this would likely scare you if your Boxer did this. You have to know your dog and take control of all situations.

A Boxer is not the right fit for everyone. I hope you are able to use some of the links and advice on here so you can learn how to be a Boxer parent, train and be 100% comfortable with your baby.
 

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There's a lot of good information above.

My initial thought is that you must be the alpha. In my experience dog training is largely about training the person/ owner.

Every boxer has their own unique personality, but all of our boys still meet the norm of being stubborn and hyper. This can be taken as aggression and can be scary- as you've noted above.

There's a big difference between nipping when trying to get a toy and biting. My 4 year-old still loves to play- he runs and gets a toy the minute I walk in the door and wants me to play keep-away with me. Sometimes he accidentally gets a tooth on my finger. He's not trying to get me, and if he feels a human hand he will immediately let go.

He is a talker (bark/growl) over the years he's had a couple of moments where he has barked at me or my husband- usually when he was jealous of us playing with his brother and ignoring him. We immediately stopped him because this is not acceptable. If a stranger saw him do this (who is not familiar with Boxers) they would probably think he was a mean aggressive dog. He is the sweetest playful lapdog. He was trying to communicate his jealously and desire to be included.
From the information you shared above, this would likely scare you if your Boxer did this. You have to know your dog and take control of all situations.

A Boxer is not the right fit for everyone. I hope you are able to use some of the links and advice on here so you can learn how to be a Boxer parent, train and be 100% comfortable with your baby.
I got nothing to add ... except for "Bark, Bark and chuff, chuff."

:)
 

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Is this your first Boxer, or first dog in general? Don't feel like a failure, it's just time to ask for advice. They still have puppy brain. Have you taken him to a puppy obedience class? I've done the AKC classes with my puppies, and found they were some of the naughty ones in the class compared to some other breeds. A class will help. I couldn't let mine off leash until they were older than two. One has such high prey drive I don't anyway. If you know somebody with fenced in property that might be a good place for running off steam. We would do recalls for about 15 minutes several times a day.

I chuckled at the ball stealing, even though I know it was not funny. Mine would bully the dogs into dropping their balls after they came out of the pond with them. He'd also hide in the bushes and jump out like a stalker. We knew he could only plan with a few established dog friends at that time.

If there is pain with his teething, you could call your vet to see if they'd advise some temporary pain medication. I think we were told we could use Tramadol, and it helped him relax and sleep.
 

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This is SO sad...and sadly, so common. People getting pups as gifts when they weren't ready, or getting pups of breeds that are tougher to manage than some...and then it's the dog's fault. That being said, it's done, and now the OP needs to move forward.
PLEASE get that dog some professional training - there's so many tells in your post that dictate you need to get the help of a trainer...just do it and you'll be so glad you did. That pup of yours is no different than any other Boxer to a great extent - you just need to learn some "tricks of the trade" to handle it and then begin to truly enjoy what a great companion these dogs can be! Good luck to you!
 

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Hello all,

Thank you all for your replies - apologies for not writing back, we are currently in the middle of a house move.

First of all, I have absolutely NO intentions to re-home my dog. He is well-behaved at home with the occasional "zoomies" and we give him a lot of love and attention. He is our first baby!

I am also not a first-time dog owner. My father has had Boxers for years, although I have never been around a Boxer PUPPY. Therefore, I have no frame of reference for what is normal behaviour.

I understand he is still a puppy, (and will be for a good couple of years) and now understand this behaviour is to be expected after reading all of your responses. The only concern was how drastically his behaviour has changed, (in the space of weeks!) so forgive me for not clarifying this in my original post.

He is no longer allowed to roam off-leash. We have a large field nearby which I let him run around in to expend excess energy, only when it is empty (i.e. no other dogs or people around.)

And yes, sometimes his playfulness scares me! When any dog jumps at me a little over-excitedly and nips, of course it's going to startle me!
I was attacked by a Jack Russell when I was small and the tugging/biting was quite frightening, so it does make me nervous.

This is NOT my dog's fault!

My partner, on the other hand, is not at all phased by his behaviour and can control him better than I can.

He is enrolled for training classes, of which I will keep you updated with his progress.
Thanks to everyone who provided constructive answers instead of just telling me "I can't control my dog/should re-home him/was gifted him as a puppy when you weren't ready" etc.
 

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Hello all,

Thank you all for your replies - apologies for not writing back, we are currently in the middle of a house move.


I understand he is still a puppy, (and will be for a good couple of years) and now understand this behaviour is to be expected after reading all of your responses. The only concern was how drastically his behaviour has changed, (in the space of weeks!) so forgive me for not clarifying this in my original post.
That is a important part.
Dogs can sense when things are changing and that can cause them to act out.
You are doing the right thing by getting training.
The only thing I would say is make sure they are good.
There are a ton of trainers out there... the problem is there are a ton of bad trainer also..
Get a good trainer and you will see a quick change.
I will also say this.. you should be the one taking him to the training class. That will give you a better connection with your pup and build your confidence!
 

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I hope the move went well and thanks for the feedback.

As for "rehoming your dog??" LOL, well it's an "Open Forum." If one ask for "advice" on an "Open Forum" then that should be what one get's???

Rehoming, sounds like it's not the right advice for you but it might be the right advice for someone else??? We don't know??? Peoples' skill and experience vary greatly??? And you have to concede, that your thread title ... was fairly dramatic. :)

I first got here because I lost my Boxer, Struddell. And members helped me get over her loss. But for me, Boxers, Band Dawgs and Boxer/APBT mixes were not "Breeds" I had issues with?? Nope my problem dog was my first Oversize Working line GSD! And with him I had serious freaking off to the hospital you go, for stitches ( after breaking up one of five pack fights) between him and Gunther, my American Band Dawg (Bull Mastiff/APBT/Lab) issues!

And there was no Boxer involvement. But I went to the ER for stichies and then after that it was Human Aggression "issues???" Being a Boxer and Bully guy?? The H/A thing was new to me??? And I suppose ... if I would have went online and asked for advice??? At Germanshepardforum ... mostly, likely I'd have been "advised" to "rehome my dog," or my Pet peeve ... "find a Trainer!"

Either answer ... would have ticked me off! Sooo being the conceited, arrogant tool that I can be at times??:



I figured the best one suited to fix my dogs issues is me! So I went online and just looked for info from trainers that deal with dogs with serious freaking, "issues" and if it makes sense to me, I'll do that.

Worked out fine, Rocky turned out to be a great dog! I learned to accept the fact, that he was not a people luv'ing Boxer and he learned "not to be biting the crap out of people!" He was a great Dog and I dearly miss him. :(

Long way of saying that people having "issues " with there dog is nothing new??? It's what an owner does ... that makes the difference. And finding a trainer ... or going to a class, does not necessarily automatically equate to ... "I'll take my dog to a training class and all my issues will be solved????"

But that is another topic, and I'll be happy to expand upon it, if you'd like. But I will say "all issues start at home." :)
 

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Hello all,

Thank you all for your replies - apologies for not writing back, we are currently in the middle of a house move.

First of all, I have absolutely NO intentions to re-home my dog. He is well-behaved at home with the occasional "zoomies" and we give him a lot of love and attention. He is our first baby!

I am also not a first-time dog owner. My father has had Boxers for years, although I have never been around a Boxer PUPPY. Therefore, I have no frame of reference for what is normal behaviour.

I understand he is still a puppy, (and will be for a good couple of years) and now understand this behaviour is to be expected after reading all of your responses. The only concern was how drastically his behaviour has changed, (in the space of weeks!) so forgive me for not clarifying this in my original post.

He is no longer allowed to roam off-leash. We have a large field nearby which I let him run around in to expend excess energy, only when it is empty (i.e. no other dogs or people around.)

And yes, sometimes his playfulness scares me! When any dog jumps at me a little over-excitedly and nips, of course it's going to startle me!
I was attacked by a Jack Russell when I was small and the tugging/biting was quite frightening, so it does make me nervous.

This is NOT my dog's fault!

My partner, on the other hand, is not at all phased by his behaviour and can control him better than I can.

He is enrolled for training classes, of which I will keep you updated with his progress.
Thanks to everyone who provided constructive answers instead of just telling me "I can't control my dog/should re-home him/was gifted him as a puppy when you weren't ready" etc.
It's great to get this update and hear that you'll fight for your baby. Sorry to hear about your experience when you were younger. Boxer behavior can be a little frightening even when you are comfortable with dogs.

Over 10 years ago we had a friend who was trying to help a friend re-home a young adult male boxer due to a divorce. We had to dog visit us to check him out and our son was almost 5 years old and we have stairs in our house. When we played with the boxer, he would growl and appear aggressive. This being a dog we didn't know, we were of course a bit leery of this even though the owner said that's how he played and he was OK.
We could probably have worked through this I think, however, we were concerned he'd knock our son down the stairs with how hyper he was so we did not take the dog.

As they say hindsight is 20/20. After having our now 4-year old boxers since they were puppies- and especially having Jax, my hyper brindle alpha talker- I understand the other dogs behavior and can see it from a different view.

I truly hope (and with your commitment above, believe) that with time spent training and getting to know your boxer that your trust and comfort level will increase.

I wish you well with the move and training.
 

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That is a important part.
Dogs can sense when things are changing and that can cause them to act out.
You are doing the right thing by getting training.
The only thing I would say is make sure they are good.
There are a ton of trainers out there... the problem is there are a ton of bad trainer also..
Get a good trainer and you will see a quick change.
I will also say this.. you should be the one taking him to the training class. That will give you a better connection with your pup and build your confidence!
kuso, I second this post. If we had a like button I'd like it. :)
 

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bte2
There are a ton of trainers out there... the problem is there are a ton of bad trainer also..

Interesting. How would one know? Not that I am looking mind you.
 

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I think I'd talk to my veterinarian to get the name of a trainer! I'd also contact a Boxer Rescue organization, if there is one in your area.

I got the name of a trainer, from a vet receptionist, who came to our house with my first Boxer. That idiot told me my 6- month old was an Alpha, and might get to the point of cornering me in the basement because of his temperament. That person had no clue, and recommended laying on the dog. Another so-called trainer started whipping around a tuggie when she first was introduced, and had the dog so hyped that he could hardly settle down. He did mouth her sleeves, and was up for very hard play. That woman called me later to say the dog was dangerous because she had talked to a friend. This same dog had just gotten his CGC a month earlier, and we knew we had to limit rough tuggie play because of prey drive. I'd even asked this so-called trainer to put her tug away when she first walked in the door.

Another option might be an AKC class. Some of the members might be good with Boxer behavior, and a basic obedience class could lead to agility, or scent classes that might keep the dog active in more constructive behaviors.
 

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Interesting. How would one know? Not that I am looking mind you.
It can be a little difficult.
You have all positive trainers, old school "crank&yank" trainers, then you have the middle..
I would try to stick with the middle section.
First see if they have referrals you can connect with.
Some trainers have online review.. some don't.
The recent problem with online reviews is there are really good trainers that get attacked online for using e-collars or prongs. Groups of people will come on and leave bad reviews just because they use those tool. Which will have the appearance of a bad trainer.. Honestly it's pretty crazy.

For the most part use your gut..treat it like a interview.
If it doesn't feel right, use someone else.
 
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