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Discussion Starter #1
Advice from a Professional Dog Trainer:

Boxers are strong-willed, independent thinking, playful dogs.  Uncontrolled dominance during play can make socialization and control difficult.  This is why play based training with your Boxer (as well as obedience training) is so important.

Play helps puppies learn important behaviors, like fighting and hunting skills, through practice. It also impacts their social development.  Play between puppies tends to be very uncontrolled and rough and can escalate to competitive aggression.  They bite each other, pull on ears and tails, growl, bark, pounce on each other, chase each other and wrestle.  These forms of play help your puppy to learn how strong they are and what their position in the pack is.  

Your main goal in play training should be to control dominant and aggressive behavior and to give your VERY intelligent Boxer an outlet for their boundless energy.  NEVER use play training (or any form of training) to reinforce your position as "pack" leader using heavy handed methods or aggressive forms of dominance.  The better way to reinforce your position is to keep your Boxer focused on you as a leader, starter of fun games, and source of rewards for appropriate play behaviors.  

Things not to do:

Try not to play games that are like "tug of war".  Should you play games like this, YOU must win 90-95% of the time.  DO NOT allow or encourage your Boxer to bite at, nip, or play with your hands, feet, or clothing, irregardless of how harmless this seems.  Never allow your Boxer to jump on or at you.  DO NOT chase your Boxeror play wrestling games.  These games kick up a Boxers naturally aggressive instincts, and open the door of opportunity to challenge your authority or position in the pack as leader.

The goal of Play Training:

Play training should work towards the goal of your Boxer earning praise and rewards from you.  It shouls also work to establish rules within your own "packs" dynamic.  Teaching your Boxer tricks, playing fetch, hide and seek, and other games are excellent ways for your Boxer to learn how to play appropriately.  DO NOT tease your Boxer, as they become frustrated VERY easily!  Keep all play interesting and fun, as Boxers get bored VERY easily!!!!  Be consistent and firm in your corrections without being harsh and REMEMBER to praise and reward at every opportunity for appropriate behavior, however small it may appear to be.

Boxer's are the clowns of the dog world.  With their owners help and encouragement, they can learn to invent and find games to play all on their own.  Play training is an excellent way to teach your Boxer how to play safely, stimulate their intelligence and natural curiosity, to come up with wonderful games for both of you.

Corrections:

Corrections for any kind of training should start at the lowest level and build up as necessary and should never be violent, heavy handed, or aggressive.  If your pup is biting or nipping and yelping and/or ignoring them isn't working anymore, you should move to the next level of correction.  Maybe trying a loud squeal along with walking away or redirection is something you should try.  A timeout may be a sufficeint way to correct the behavior.  A verbal correction (a firm "NO!" and loud clap of the hands) and working some obedience exercises could also be a great way to get your point across.  Not EVERY method of correction is going to work with every Boxer, the same as not every method of training is going to work for every Boxer.  You must be willing to work with your Boxer to find what works for them.      

Training your Boxer should start the moment they come home.  All training should be consistent, fun and rewarding, so that your Boxer will want to do it.

Hope this is helpful to you all...

***This post is for informational purposes only.  It is not meant to offend anyone.***
 

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Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

Liz's advice on timeouts has been a wonderful tool for me to correct Kiah's behavior.  I put her in a half bath and leave her for 1.5 to 2 minutes (I set the timer on the microwave so I don't forget which I did once when the phone rang and I got distracted for about 5 minutes).  She knows she is being punished, never cries or tries to claw her way out; she just lays down until I open the door.  I even have the my niece and nephews kids give her timeouts if she jumps on them or is too wild around them when they come over.
 

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Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

"DO NOT chase your Boxer or play wrestling games."

Come on liz, that's not fair.  My favorite thing in the world to do is wrestle with Ringer.  None of my friends will wrestle with me anymore but Ringer keeps coming back for more.  Guess I need to find a new past time.  Maybe bird hunting.  I know a couple cockatoos that need some shutting up.
 

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Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

Thanks Liz, this is very helpful as I'm learning to play with Koa and Koa is learning to play appropriately with me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

Ok Dan (and everyone else)...How bout this?
 

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Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

ok uhmm Liz you are a bit snippy today and need a time out so im putting you on one...go to the corner until you can play nicely with others...in the meantime i will be chasing Isis around while you watch helplessly  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

Ky...My last post was a bit of a joke!!!  I see now that it didn't come across that way...lol!!!  Anyways...

Can't make everybody happy...Training advice is just that...advice!  No one has to follow it or like it.  Just take what you need from it and keep moving forward...

And Ky...TY for the timeout...I think I may have needed it...Now I need a Vicodin so I can pull the glass out of the bottom of my feet (not joking there!)
 

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Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

I didn't take offense.  I took it for mostly a joke.  If I chose not to follow the guidelines and then come back and complain that something isn't working, I deserve to get smacked around a bit.  I may like it, but it still needs to happen. :)
 

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Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

lol i know ..i was JOKING sheesh !!!

dont have any vicodens uhm they didnt last in this house through hubbys 2 breaks in his wrist that he refuses to get a cast on..so instead plays 2 football games this week plus practice and work...grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

he said he felt badly about the glass and was so sure he got it all .. said soak in epsom salt & vinegar...that he'd look at it for ya ..he can be sweet at times..he must be tired today...lol b/c i got no smartass remarks ..well as of yet its still early
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

ROFLMAO Ky and Dan!!!!!!!!

Dan~~~
All I can say is EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!

lol!!!

Ky~~~
I know Alvin can be sweet and that he thought he got it all up...It wasn't a big deal until i noticed yesterday that I have some imbedded in the bottom of my feet.  I got what I could, but I'm afraid that some my be deep enough that I can get it.  I have been soaking them, so we'll see how it goes.  However, if Nurse Alvin would be willing to look at it, I would appreciate it as I would prefer to avoid going to the doctor to have it cut out if I can...

TY Alvin!!
 

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Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

thats why he said it lol..he's used to me saying i wont go unless i HAVE to..haha

and he laughed b/c i am the queen of things in my feet..i never wear shoes and havent since i was little b/c we grew up in a beach community jsut like here...so ive stepped on everything...lmao last thing was a fire sea urchin @ white plains omggggggggggggggggg that sucked...50 plus stingers in my heel..grrrrrrrr..

i know this..dont walk on your heel..but walking on the toes will push it through the skin..no need to cut it out thats more trouble than needed..:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

ty!!!
 

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Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

speaking of chasing lmao..Isis chased the rat dogs at the football game last night ..hhhhhhhhahahahaha and Onyx joined was a riot..all she wanted to do was play..but little dog people dont really understand that nor want to but i was dyinnnnnnnnnnn...hahaha

serves them right for bringing a snippy dog the other night that snapped at Diari and happend to get his pants instead of skin... :x
 

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Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

ROFLMAO!!!!
 

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Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

Honestly, though, I have had a hard time finding games that Ringer will spend more than 30 seconds playing.  He looks at me like I'm an idiot when I throw a ball and request him to bring it back.  I get a similar look whenever I try anything else.
 

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Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

Uhhhh .... thank's for the training post Liz - it was most helpful!  Could you write up something about how two boxers should play together and when you should or shouldn't interfer with their rough-housing???  PLEASE!!!
 

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Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

"Play between puppies tends to be very uncontrolled and rough and can escalate to competitive aggression.  They bite each other, pull on ears and tails, growl, bark, pounce on each other, chase each other and wrestle.  These forms of play help your puppy to learn how strong they are and what their position in the pack is."...this exerpt is from the original post in this thread...  This also goes for older Boxer's as well...  Boxer's play like puppies the whole of their lives....  

Boxers tend to play rough.  They will let EACH OTHER know when it is too rough.  Be aware of their body language and be prepared to step in should the need arise.

I can't tell you what is acceptable or not acceptable play for your dogs in your household.  All I can do is tell you what the norm is.  You have to decide what is okay for your house or not.

Hope this helps!
 

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Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

ok i understand ...

like in my house..Isis & Onyx play ROUGH ROUGH ..SMASHING INTO WALLS ROUGH..MAKE OTHER PEOPLE NERVOUS ROUGH..MAKE PEOPLE ASK IF THEY ARE FIGHTING B/C OF THE SOUNDS LIKE GROWLING NOISES THE BARKING ETC..EVEN ISIS'S HAIR STANDING UP NECK TO TAIL...


BUT WE ALLOW IT...WE DONT MIND..WE KNOW THAT THEY ARE PLAYING...AND IT DOESNT BOTHER US..

we have a HUGE livingroom..and they will go in and out the back door into the yard,.,.chasing and barking and flopping on the ground lol..

in the almost 2 yrs of every day play like this..i think there has only been 2 occasions that they got mad at one another for getting hurt..but it was a mistake b/c the other came right up and licked and made sure it was ok...

BUT..at the beginning..it wasnt so smooth..first few weeks they were unsure and Onyx would growl..Isis of course couldnt hear him..and she'd keep at him lol...BUT thats what made them such great friends...she forced him to trust her..which is what he needed...b/c look at them now...

i truely think, with all of my heart, that the dogs work it out on their own..im speaking of dogs that live together not neighbors or playmates...they just have to see whats exceptable and whats not to us and the other dog(s)...

of course i am NO expert..i am just someone who's had dogs all her life..so its just my 2 cents

Boxers play is rough ...but its ok with them ..
 

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Re: "Normal" Boxer play and Appropriate Play Train

Thanks Liz and Ky for the much needed advice.  The obvious size difference between Kane and Sophie is the reason I asked the question.  Sophie acts like she is trying to kill Kane, barking, growling, lunging, jumping, everything that sounds like a full fledged riot, except that she looks like she is smiling.  So strange.  Kane on the other hand - plays pretty rough most of the time, he growls at her all the time and me too if I tell him to stop (so obviously he doesn't speak english on my jabbering away at them).  I worried that because they are growling at each other that they are fighting.  But even when I break it up and make them both sit, the minute I turn around they are both back at it - usually started up by Sophie again.  I think he's killing her so I stop them and she runs right back after him.

I just didn't want to wait til Sophie was 45 -50 pounds and then say, whoops I should have stopped this back when....  They insist on sleeping together, usually with Sophie laying her head somewhere on Kane (so sweet).  But when they are awake - it's like a non-stop riot all day long.  I keep taking them outside to play games, or just wear off some energy when they get too wild, and that helps a little bit.  I guess it's just boxer play and that it's okay, but thanks for the reassurance!  On a site note, Kane was playing with his new Wubba Kong and got it swinging in a circle and then launched it where it hit the window with a loud smack!  Luckily the window didn't break but it was kinda funny!  I guess you just have to accept the fact that where there's a boxer (or 2) there's going to be something interesting going on!!!
 
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