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My puppy, Sophie, some questions for boxer owners!

1386 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Alicia
First of all, Hi, I am new to these forums, but after searching all my problems individually and getting no where I thought I would ask how common these problems are for people who have Boxers.  My dog's name is Sophie, she is a 16 week old boxer/lab mix.  I have had a couple of labs in my life, but boxers are new to me.

Gulping her food down:  She is about 16 weeks old now, when we first got her she didn't seem to really care about her dry food, eventually we switched brands, and after a few days of switching out the new and old dog food she started gulping down her food as frequently as possible.  We then decided to try yet another dry dog food with more nutrition to see if it helped, it didn't, I think she's worse now. Besides that she seems very skinny, her ribs stick out and although she's growing she still seems very thin for a puppy.

She is also terrified, I mean terrified of being in the car!  She drools, vomits, shakes and the last time she lost control of her bowels.  We have tried empty stomach (much easier on us) and holding her so she can look out the window, putting her in the back where she can  have more room, giving her praise and treats: nothing seems to help.

Bath time is a Nightmare!  This also continues to get worse each time, she cries so loud that I am afraid we'll have the police called on us.  She tries to claw her way out of the tub.  We bathe her inside in a large bathtub with warm water.  We dry her quickly after the bath in a warm fluffy towel and reward her with treats.  She's gotten us to the point that we are scared to wash her anymore.

Last but not least, she's too aggressive with out neighbor's miniature dog.  The neighbor's have a very small toy dog and Sophie chases and bites it's tail.  The little thing seems fairly defenceless and I don't know how to get her to understand that she can't play that way with this small of a dog.
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Gulping down food...normal in a boxer...due to the shape of their jaws they use the back of their mouths to chew food.

As for the Car and bathtime...can't help you there my baby loves both!

My girl Phoenix doesn't really care for smaller dogs so much either but isn't aggressive towards them though...Not all dogs like other dogs...big or small...just as we don't like all people we meet. They might eventually learn to get along

Welcome to the Forum by the way!
Can't wait to see some pictures of Sophie!
Welcome from Iowa.  

Duke gulps his food down so fast sometimes he starts choking.  I asked about this before some recommend putting something in their bowl so they have to eat around it or putting it in a larger dish or like a cookie sheet so its more spread out.  

Duke got into a car accident about 6 months ago and he was terrified to get into the car after that.  To help I put his leash on him (we used to let him just run to the car before the accident) he seemed to get in the car better with that.  And other then that I don't know...we praised him and gave him his favorite treat.  

And Duke doesn't take baths.....we don't have a bath we only have a shower so we got this shower head thing from Tractor Supply, you attach it to your shower head and its like one of those detachable shower heads but you can remove it when you're done without taking your whole shower appart.  Duke loves it.  Our Lab mix used to hate baths but she can stand them more with this shower head. You might try something like that, see if it helps.  I don't think our lab liked standing in the water and when you are scrubbing them down it has a nob you push in when you want the water to run and when you release it the water shuts off (i'm not explaining this very well but I hope you understand what I am getting at  :? ).
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Gulping her food down:
Feed her off a cookie sheet or put a big object like a rock in the center of her bowl.  These two things will slow her eating of kibble down since she has to work around the object or the kibble is spead out flat.

She is also terrified, I mean terrified of being in the car!  She drools, vomits, shakes and the last time she lost control of her bowels.  

She is only 16 weeks so make it a game.  Treat and praise and have patients.   Work on her everyday to get her into the car - treat and praise.  Do this until she knows the car is a cool place.  Then drive down the driveway.  Same thing treat and praise.  Keep increasing the distance until she is familar with it - it will take a bit, she is still young and everything is still new to her.  

Bath time is a Nightmare!  
  Why are you bathing her?   If she is downright muddy or dirty then yes bath is good, but you really dont want to bathe them that much.   Over bathing strips natural oils in their skin can can cause dandruff and other itchies and dry skin problems.   Since she is young get some baby whipes.   Use those inbetween.   kash in 9 months, only has had one bath in his life!!!    As for bath time get some floating toys.  Place them in the bath to give the pup something to play with when she is in there.  Take her concentration off the water and onto the toys.

she's too aggressive with out neighbor's miniature dog.  
  She probablly thinks she is still with her litter and they dont know any better.  She has no idea yet how to play with others but will.   Puppies play rough but you just got to keep an eye on her and correct her when she is playing too hard.   Tell her "No" pull her away from the behavior let her regroup.  Also maybe a puppy training class may be a good idea not only for the basics but for her socialization skills as well.
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Ditto what Heather said!

Lucy scarfs her food down - I started putting a tennis ball in the bowl so she has to eat around it...might try that...
Gulping food:   normal for a boxer.   If you're really concerned, split up meals into smaller meals.  Some people recommend putting the food on a cookie sheet or similiar flat container, it takes longer to eat.

Car:  Sounds like motion sickness. It's possible it's just severe anxiety but the vomiting makes me think shes actually nauseous.   Hopefully she grows out of it.   The thing is, it's going to be hard to tell if its anxiety or sickness because shes already got a bad connotation with being in the car.  Start with short trips and try to see if she gets used to it.  To be honest, my pup was terrific in the car until just recently.  He excessively pants all of a sudden.  Its either motion sickness or anxiety.  I'm hoping its just a phase!

Bath:  To be honest, you don't need to bathe boxers.  If she really gets into something, just start off with cleaning her with a facecloth.  Then maybe next time try splashing her around 1 inch deep of water.  I'm not sure how you do it now, but a lot of water can be scary for a puppy.

Aggression:  Puppies have to learn how to play with other dogs.  Its up to you to correct her when shes not behaving.  She has no idea how shes supposed to act until you tell her shes doing something she shouldn't.  Its just going to take training and experience.  Just socialize her as much as possible and keep her on a tight leash so she doesn't hurt another dog, or get hurt herself.  Nipping should not be tolerated.  Let her know.
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Thanks for your replies-
Howdy from Texas and welcome! :D
Everything Hanna Banana and Sully said are spot on! :wink:  :thumbup:
Boxers are skinny dogs.  She'll gain weight eventually.  As long as her spine isin't showing, she should be OK.
She is precious!
She looks precious! you can definatly see the boxer in her!
I had one that was scared of the car too once.  I took some time and got my other dog to get in the backseat and I got in and we just sat there while the scared pup was outside watching us.  It took a few times of just sitting in the car without going anywhere or shutting the doors for her to get used to it.  Then I put her in and shut the door and just sat in the back with her praising her and telling her what fun the car is for a few days.  Eventually I got in drivers seat and backed the car up a few yards then quit for the day.  Next time did that twice etc, etc, until we eventually went for a short ride.  Keep the ride short when you get to this point only going a mile or so and letting her out to walk somewhere new and then back in the car for the short ride home. I just took the time getting the fear of the car worked thru.  

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Hello & Welcome!  Sophie is adorable!!  You got some great advice above so I just wanted to say welcome to the forum!
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