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I brought home my boxer puppy last night.  I've had a few other dogs before, but this is my first boxer.  I did a lot of research on the breed, and loved the personality and energy level(I'm pretty active myself).  Well, things kind of started off bad.  The breeder was not honest at all.  I picked out a 4 month cute little white male in the pictures, but the breeder shows up with an 8 month old!  He's pretty skinny, smelly and his eyes are runny with puss.  I know you aren't supposed to support "backyard breeders", but at this point I couldn't leave him there!  His sad face broke my heart!  He was not interested in me at all, I put out my hand to sniff and he ignored me.  He wouldn't walk on the leash to the car, so my boyfriend carried him, Chief growling the whole time.  He looked so scared the whole ride, and threw up once.  Once home, he wouldn't get out of the car.  We carried him out, but he wouldn't walk on the leash.  Would just freeze and not move with treats, coaxing, pulling.  So my boyfriend carried him inside.  I set him up in the kitchen, with his crate, toys, food and a gate to keep him on the tile.  He stood in the same spot for about 5 hours.  Not interested in toys, a juicy chew bone, his crate.  He did start to walk up to us and sniff us and push his muzzle against our legs.  It wasn't until we went to bed about midnight and the lights were turned off, that he finally sat down.  When I peeked out in the middle of the night, he was layed flat out on his side on the kitchen floor, it made me happy he had finally relaxed.

We are bringing him to the vet on Monday, and are going to enroll him in an obedience class that week too.  But what do we do about the leash walking?  I have to bring him out to go potty today, but he refuses to move on the leash!  I layed out papers on the kitchen floor last night, but I don't want him to think it is okay to go in the house.  My boyfriend can't carry him everywhere!  I did put the leash on him to drag around, he's been doing that this morning and is much more lively and curious.  He whines for us when we walk away, and is starting to follow a little.  But the minute you pick up the leash and try to walk him, he just refuses to move.  Any suggestions?  I was reading a few things online last night, but they were week long training plans.  He has to go outside to go potty TODAY, but this doesn't seem like the kind of dog you force or rush things for.  I want to do this right, and help him be a good, well trained dog.

Also, we would like to crate him at night and when we aren't home(though we both work very flexible hours, so he is never home alone more then a few at a time), but he doesn't seem intererested in his crate.  I thought a bone and treats would help, but they don't.  I don't want to force him in there, and make it a bad experience for him.

He's a great dog, I can already see little bits of his personality, he's just had a rough start.  Any advice on how to get over these hurdles would be great!  Thanks in advance.....
 

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Sounds like your baby has had a seriously difficult start in life. With time things will get easier, the main thing is to stay consistent.

I would recommend getting some cooked chicken or maybe put some peanut butter on the treats you currently have to maybe make them more appealing to him.

So when you put the lead on him give him lots of praise and love, maybe try a delicious item of food like I mentioned then take it one step at a time...put the food at his level and begin to walk with him on the lead so he has to follow to get the food then after about 15 seconds or so give him the food (try this inside first)...do this and start increasing the time until you slowly wean him off the food. Same for going potty outside...when he goes outside give him praise and really make a big deal of it. Also, take him out frequently so that he doesn't have a chance to go inside. (every few hours)

As far as the crate goes, you can put a blanket over the top to make him feel safe, also putting it in the corner of a room seems to help. You can leave the tv or music on when you leave him in there to calm him...OR put in an old tshirt of yours to make him feel safe.  We used treats or yummy food for the crate training as well...maybe you could freeze a kong treat with some peanut butter in it and give it to him in the crate when you leave to try to take his mind off the fact that you are leaving. Lots of praise in while he's in the crate and yummy food did the trick for us. Also don't let him out when he cries...this will teach him that bad habit.

Anyway, I wish you lots of luck with him and remember consistency and patience will get you through the training..I'm so glad he has a loving family now! I'd love to also see some pics of him  :)
 

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Oh man, sorry about your situation, we all learn from some kind of experience.  However who knows what kind of upbringing the pup had before you took him, so IMO best to treat like a rescue and start from the begining bare basics.

Dont IMO expect wonders the first couple of weeks.  He is going to be stressed in adjusting to a new environment.  It may take him some time before he says "Hey, this place aint so bad" so he will probablly have some fear in the first month with the new surroundings.

As for the lead.  Find a soft training treat he likes.   (cut up some sting cheese, hot dog, boil some chicken breast and cut into cubes).    Start using the leash in the house.   Lure him with the treat, and once he goes forward, give TONS of praise and the treat as reward.   Keep doing this with increasing your distance the more he gets it.   Also his focus is going to be on the treat, and not the thing attached to his collar.  

Then move outside.   Dont expect him to walk perfectly on it - it takes tons of time and practice - which I am sure the obedience classes will help you with proper technique and reward.   As for the crate same thing.  I would try the crate game.       http://www.boxerforums.com/modules.php? ... crate+game

Make training fun, and rewarding and they will love it.  As for the crate dont only use it at night.  Get him used to it all the time so he knows its "His Happy" place.   Also never us it for punishment - time outs are better.    Congrats on your new addition, and welcome to the forum!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks so much for the suggestions!  My boyfriend is cooking bacon for breakfast, so I'm going to try little pieces of those.  I did put a t-shirt of mine in the crate, so hopefully that will help.  I guess he can sleep in the kitchen until he gets used to the crate, but I don't want to encourage him to potty on the floor.  I took some pictures with my camera phone, but they are a bmp file and I can't change them.  If anyone has computer skills, I can email them, lol.

Thanks again everyone, I feel a little better....
 

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the guys already gave you great advice so all I have to say is welcome and good luck.You will get tons of information and support on this forum
 

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What do you guys suggest for getting him outside to go potty?  I don't have a fenced yard, so he has to go out on the leash  I used the bits of bacon, and he came to me several times in the kitchen, but I can't lure him down the stairs.  Is it bad if my boyfriend carries him outside?  Does that encourage his behavior?  Last night we dealt with the problem by putting down newspaper.  He went pee on the floor and pooped on the newspaper.  Should we just try to paper train him until we can get past the leash and outside problem?
 

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It you start doing the newspaper then you are going to have twice as much work later on.  Start and do it the right way.  Try bell training.  We live on the second floor - no fenced in yard. We carried dogs until they were old enough to do the stairs themselves.  Given your situation, I would carry him and get him used to insdie and outside and remember to bring those treats with you outsdie.

Once he gets used to his surroundings, then work on the stairs, but IMO best to work on the association of potty = outside first.
 

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i cant add anything everyones got it covered...sounds like he had a tough life...we went through that with both of our dogs..be patient...itll come..hes just got to realize that you love him...hell be running those stairs in no time...
 

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my boxer hated her leash since she was a pup. Boxers are SUPER independant dogs. So mine just goes without the leash. She wont cross the street. And wont leave your house. So let him experience life  on his own then get him used to the leash when he begins to go down the stairs and gets braver. He'll be fine.. just watch him close. My boxer follows me everywhere. :lol:
 

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It is fine to carry him outside until he gets used to it.  House training is more important right now.  Also, you can't rush the leash training obviously, ha. I would hold the leash, but don't pull on it, let him move forward on his own towards the treat.  Usually they dig in their heels once they meet resistance from the leash.
I would not recommend letting him outside off leash, you don't know if he will come when you call him, and he isn't' totally familiar with you yet either he may not come back!
As for the crate training, try feeding him in his crate, place his bowl right inside the door so he can just stick his head in to eat and doesn't have to go all the way in.  If he seems okay with that, push his bowl further back next time. Keep moving it back until he is eating inside the crate, they close the door but don't lock it, so he can push it open.  
You can use treats like boiled chicken or hotdogs or cheese too- it may help to do it in the morning before you feed him so he will be hungry.
Once he is crate trained it will make housetraining much easier.  The good thing about an 8 month old is that they are able to hold it until you get home, right now out in the house he just doesn't know he is supposed to.
Good luck with him, it sounds like he came from a very bad breeder.  He probably hasn't had any socialization or training so you've got your work cut out for you ;)
Hope everything goes well at the vet Monday too!
 

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Heather got it right..Start with very basics and let him wear the lead inside the house as well so he gets used to it..I agree, I wouldn't use newspaper at all, it will make it harder on you to potty train him...I've never used bell training, but a lot of people do and have great results so you can try that....Regardless, just praise the heck out of everything good that he does. Sounds to me that this guy has had a rough start and if so, he will quickly realize how good he's got it and will try hard to please :)
 

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I wish there was some way to report owner/breeder, did you see the condidtions where the puppy was kept?  If they were bad perhaps you can report him to the humaine society, he definately needed medical attention for his eyes.   Sounds like you have gotten some great info and a place to start for training.  I do agree do not let him off leash since he is in a new situation and surroundings; he could easily get frightened and run off.  Let us know how he is progressing.
 

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May I ask where the pics are?????  :D  Youve been given really good advice. I wouldnt rush the leash thing because u did just get him and it may be a little overwhelming for him! Seeing how he hasnt been brought up in the greatest environment. I would report this so called "breeder" too. Possibly to your local spca!
 

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I mean not rushing th eleash thing, by getting him to actually walk on it lol. I agree to keep it on him. I remember when I first got Reeko he wasnt on lead either, he was 6 months, and he tried bolting at every scarey situation. God help me if he wasnt on lead. I bought one of those 25 ft training leads so he could "run free" but still be on lead!
 

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Well, we did two mini training sessions practicing "come chief" with treats(tiny bits of bacon and cheese, he doesn't like the store treats), and letting the leash drag behind him.  He did great both times, but even with treats his attention span isn't that long.  My bf carried him outside, for the first 5 minutes he just sat frozen, but then sniffed around for awhile, even followed me on the leash for a few steps and went potty.  I made sure to give him lots of praise.  He wouldn't walk on the leash back to the house, so we carried him inside too.

Also, in the house we have stopped walking up to him and petting him.  But if he comes up to us we tell him "good boy!" and give him lots of petting.  We also will let him drag the leash around for an hour or two a few times.

He doesn't really play with any of his toys, or chew on his bone, but I can tell he is more relaxed because he's curled on the living room floor next to me right now sleeping and snoring/snorting.  I have also caught him wagging his stubby tail a few times.  

I think his energy level is down because he is A)Scared and nervous in a new enviroment B)He's skinny and I don't think he was being fed properly, when he threw up yesterday it was huge chunks of dried kibble, usually a sign of the cheap stuff.  C)I think he's sick, his eyes are all runny and have green/yellow mucas, plus he sounds pretty stuffed up when he sniffs around.  They did give me a record that says he's had all his shots, so I'm hoping it's something like a cough or sinus infection(can dogs get those?) and it can be cleared with a round of antibiotics.  We will see what the vets says on Monday...


Thanks so much for the suggestions, I feel much better about the situation knowing I have some "plans of action".  You all posted some great ideas.  I'm very glad I found this board!  

And no, I wouldn't let him off the leash, not until he's had obiedence training...
 

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Also, I took some pics on the camera phone, but I can't upload them because they are bmp.  I will try to upload them an online album, and see if that works.  Otherwise does anyone know how to change them?  All I know how to do is email them, lol, not very computer smart here!

And you all have super cute dogs!  I am loving all the pictures.... I can totally see how this breed is addictive....
 

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Wonderful advice from everyone for you. He's probably never seen stairs before and is scared of them.
 
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