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Discussion Starter #1
My husband and I have a 4 year old box since he was a puppy. He has occasionally displayed slight anxiety, but becoming worse.
We also have 2 cats, who stay upstairs at their choice. Demitri our boxer only goes upstairs for baths. There is a gate at the bottom of the stairs, it is always open but he has never gone up when not told to.
The last 2 days when we go up in the morning to get ready for work, he has come up after us. Twice, on both days he goes up we bring him back down and up again.
The first day this happened when I left for work he was shaking like he was scared. He used to be crated every night and while we were out of the house but last year or so he decided he wasn't having that any more. I couldn't ask for a better boy. He has never gotten himself into trouble.
I am concerned with the anxiety, I want to take care of it before it gets out of control.
Does anyone have a ny suggestion?
 

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Aww well most likely he did not "strictly" need the "Crate" to keep him out of trouble but he may have needed it to make him feel safe??? As to whether or not he needs to be "Crated" now ... that's another topic.

If you want to address this issue ... you can start by "walking your dog." That's how you build a bond trust a dog does not you to exercise but they do need you to walk. And from there ... you would take "opportunities" to do "Sit on the Dog." That and the "Place Command" are how you "Train Calmness" into a dog. Those things are all pretty much explained here but ask questions. :

http://www.boxerforums.com/training/183298-fearful-anxious-flat-crazy-place-command.html

And on the walks ... I would not be doing the "is your dog freindly thing??" If it turns out that one of those "dog on the street" meet and greets goes sideways ... that could result in a big setback! So just say no, to dog on the street "hook ups." I don't know if you do that but some people do.

And you did really address it directly but if you train "Place" and added a "No Free Roaming" in the house policy ...ie Crate or Place. You could also solve your cat banishment upstairs problem. If it is an "issue" for you?? Right now all the cats know is the dog is down there somewhere ... but we don't where??

Most likely the dog has to much "energy" as far as the cats are concerned?? So they stay clear. Downstairs they don't know where the dog is and neither do you?? All they know is he is down there somewhere???

If he is properly trained in "Place" and his free roaming is reserved for outside, once the cats understand that the dog is under control ... the cats will show up. But with any Cat v Dog ... situations ... "keep a leash on the dog" and no chasing, sniffing or investigating, the cats are not your concern dog. If the dog is safe ... the cats will approach him!

Not really a Cat thing here so just throwing that out there but with a properly trained "Place" which would be at least "Two Hours" in "Place." Your Cat issues would be solved also. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for responding!

Demitri has always been well behaved. We left the crate up for a good 10-11 months before taking it down. We were only seeing him go in it freely @5 times a week for 20 mins max.

The gate to upstairs has always been open when we are home and he never passed the "No roaming" area. So we were surprised to see him upstairs.

He gets walks regularly, he sits as he was trained, before meals, before exiting the gate when going on walks or car rides. And just in general training.

When it comes to the kitties, when they come to the top of the stairs, we have him sit, and lay down. He will sit there with no issues. They have come down before and see him sleeping on the floor, but as soon as he lifts his head they are gone. We don't allow him up until they are upstairs so theres "No chase".
Because the gate is always open, I feel if the kitties wanted to come down then they would- I feel bad that they don't but as long as they are happy, which as much as I can tell they seem to be. I do wish they interacted more though.
I am sure he has to much energy for them- they watch him play rambunctiously around the house.
This does not mean that he is "calm" on command but in the house he is Very well behaved.
I will visit the suggested sites you have attached. Thank you!
 

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Thank you for responding!
Aww your welcome ... we're all here to help. I just happen to have big feet as it were. That said I'll offer additional insight as it were. :)


Demitri has always been well behaved. We left the crate up for a good 10-11 months before taking it down. We were only seeing him go in it freely @5 times a week for 20 mins max.
Go in the "Crate" freely?? Hmm that's a new one on me??? Most likely ... you "assumed" that the "only" purpose of a "Crate" was to keep a dog from tearing stuff in the house??? And since he did not ... I don't need a "Crate???"

At least that is what I always "assumed??" So when I came across my first "Oversize Working Line GSD" who had "serious freaking issues ("inappropriate Pack Issues") as in ... five fights with him and my "Band Dawg" and he sent me to the "ER" for stitches, breaking up fights until I got my crap together kinda behaviour!"

Since I had never used a "Crate" becasue my "other dogs" had no issues they were allowed to "free roam the home" when left alone. So I had no need for a "Crate" until I did??? I was wrong ... hard lesson learned! If a dog has any "serious" behavioral issues that need to be addressed?? Then that dog should be "Crate Trained."

The "Crate" as most tend to think ... is not merely about "keeping a dog from tearing up stuff." It's about establishing ..."Rules/Structure and Limitations!

The "Crate" is about establishing order and giving the "Dog" a "Space" where he understands he is safe and secure and his job is to be in that space and be "Calm." The world goes away as it were.

Crate or not ... is not there choice??? This is how it is you will go in the "Crate" dog and you will settle down ... or there will be "Consequences!" It's not a choice it's how it is.

Anxiety, Fear or Aggression ... "Crate Training" is step one in dealing with dogs with issues. JQP ... does not get that ... I didn't when I first realized I had uh ... "Issues!" And "I'm" not big on asking questions??? Most likely if I had ... I'd have not had those Five Fights and not gotten those stitches?? Cause had I'd bothered to ask at all?? Most likely one of the "suggestions would have been "use a Crate???"

So the "Crate" is about much more than keeping a dog from tearing up the house ... it's also about establishing rules order and structure and providing a safe place for the dog.

So strictly speaking your dog did not "need" the "Crate" for what you "thought" might be an issue ... tearing up crap if left alone??? But now in consideration of other issues .. he might??? But since he has already established a "trained behaviour" as regards the "Crate??" Most likely there will be some blowback if you "chose to Crate him now???"

"Crate Training" would have value to you, I belive and it need not be for a 8 to 10 hour work day. I belive a couple hours home alone "Crated" and in the Crate for an hour or two while you are there ... will teach him that the "Crate" is a safe place. But you'd not be starting with a blank slate as it were. Just something to consider.


The gate to upstairs has always been open when we are home and he never passed the "No roaming" area. So we were surprised to see him upstairs.
That's not really a "No Free Roaming" policy it's more of an unstated rule. That the dog simply chose to comply with. So you thought ... it was understood?? No "Free Roaming" means "No Free Roaming" the dog is not "free to chose" to comply or not???

And on that particular day he "chose not to comply??" Most likely there were no consequences for "non compliance?? For cats ...it's not an approach I would take (Cats upstairs Dog Downstairs) that's "avoiding not addressing," ... you don't know what cats will do??

But for that approach to work (upstairs/Downstairs) it falls under "Boundary Training." Use a "drag Leash" if he comes up the stairs you take the "drag leash," tell him "NO" and lead him back down stairs! Repeat as required ... not the approach I would take but if your good with "dog downstairs and Cats upstairs ... that would work! There have to be "consequences" for the dog violating "Da Rulzs!"

Under a "strict" "No Free Roaming" Policy the dog is not "free to violate" the Da Rulzs." Crate or Place ... indoors period, if done "properly" it just happens that the "Cats" will benefit. They will know where the dog is and if he moves in "Place" (which is allowed) but does not step towards them??? They will see/understand that hey ... something has changed here??? It's just a side benefit from training "Place and a No Free Roaming" indoors policy. :)

He gets walks regularly, he sits as he was trained, before meals, before exiting the gate when going on walks or car rides. And just in general training.
The "walking thing" your doing sounds fine and the suggestion to do so was "not a criticism."

"Walk your dog" is a quote from "Cesar Millan." People underestimate the value of doing so?? I did ... three dogs and tons of open desert! And I can train a dog to walk on a loose leash in well ... less than 4 minutes?? Only had one exception ... with a huge headed "Pitty" but that's another story. :)

All four of us would go on walks together Struddell/Gunther/Rocky and me. Worked out find ...or so I thought??? But what I did not understand was that by walking all three dogs at the same time, there was no bond being formed between me and "Rocky???" It was only when after the "H/A" thing started that I now started "walking one on one with "Rocky!" And doing that we found people to "ignore" after many miles weeks and months of doing just that ... one day things changed in spectacular fashion! I discovered that I had "now" formed a bond with my dog??? But that's another story. :)

So my problem child my "OS Wl GSD" I had him walking on a loose leash in uh 4 minutes ... problem solved ... yeah ... not so much?? When his "Human Aggression Issues" started "apparently" a fairly common WL GSD thing??? I was stunned??? My solution was to "now" walk my dog ... one on one ... "Struddell ... was not happy about this??? But I kept people out of his face "no touch" and just "walked him!"

At anyrate ... walking your dog is "important" and add "Sit on the Dog" to the "walks" and "Place Training" and you got this! The "No Free Roaming and Crate Training" would just be icing on the cake. :)


When it comes to the kitties, when they come to the top of the stairs, we have him sit, and lay down. He will sit there with no issues. They have come down before and see him sleeping on the floor, but as soon as he lifts his head they are gone. We don't allow him up until they are upstairs so theres "No chase".
Because the gate is always open, I feel if the kitties wanted to come down then they would- I feel bad that they don't but as long as they are happy, which as much as I can tell they seem to be. I do wish they interacted more though.
I am sure he has to much energy for them- they watch him play rambunctiously around the house.
This does not mean that he is "calm" on command but in the house he is Very well behaved.
I will visit the suggested sites you have attached. Thank you!
The part in Bold ...yes that is at the heart of the "Cat's" issue with the dog. But if the dog looks up and does not move ... what will they do then?? And "Calm on Command" is a "thing" and it can be taught. You just have to know how. :)
 

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Crate: We originally started crating for several reasons. Potty training(which he mastered without fail), to keep himself out of trouble and to keep him safe. I had once hoped for him to go in as a safe place. He never really did. He would only go in on command- (thats why I say "freely). He was great for about 2 1/2 years. We would have continued to crate him- however I had a great idea to change the living room around! As soon as I did, it took us 2 days to get him back in both day and night. Which lasted a week, he then only went in at night, I think because he was tired. That lasted about 6 months- then he just refused, and I didn't want to make it a bad place. Every time we tried he would put the breaks on and shake something horribly so I didn't want to push it to much. So we did leave it up and always open but he very rarely went in, so we assumed he didn't need or care about it.
He is our first puppy and I read anything and everything I could get my hands on to educate myself. We went to puppy class, I e mailed the breeders on a regular basis and they were so helpful. We don't have kids so he IS OUR KID- that also maybe part of the prob....:/

Free roaming- I thought boundaries were set- He only stayed on the middle floor level, never up or down and was great, So I thought We were good.
Cats- I read once that the cats should have their own safe place- we thought we were doing good by leaving the upstairs to them, he never went. Which in the long run caused other problems, they don't come down and he isn't suppose to go up. Not even sure if its' something that can be addressed at this point???? Even when he was in the crate- while we were home, the cats still never came down.? I only assumed that he was having anxiety because he only went up when we were up there (with out him)
When the cats are on the stairs and IF he looks up but doesn't move- they just sit on the stairs just watching- I believe wanting to come down but I am sure they don't trust.
On the command to be calm- how- he will stop rambunctious play when told to relax, but is that the same command. And how oh how do I get him to be calm out side of the house?

Walking is oh boy, an issue? I took no offense- I was always told/read that a lot of dog bad behavior comes from being board/not having enough excerise....ie. walks
ON WALKS: I have always walked D- not an easy task. We have been through different collars, leashes, harnesses, "great ways to train to walk" UGH. He is much better (but still pulls) now but some days, it is just frustrating. He will only walk on a lose leash, as he should once I have ran him and he is tired to the point that he will sit on the side of the road, before getting home.
This anxious display could very well be- a stubborn boxer- I never know when he is playin me!
I have tried to even tire him out a bit before walking- doesn't seem to help.

I have considered taking him to the vet just to be sure there wasn't something else going on.
TOTAL SIDE NOTE: where do you live and can you make a house call?!?! LOL
Thank you in advance.
 

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Crate: We originally started crating for several reasons. Potty training(which he mastered without fail), to keep himself out of trouble and to keep him safe. I had once hoped for him to go in as a safe place. He never really did. He would only go in on command- (that's why I say "freely). He was great for about 2 1/2 years. We would have continued to crate him- however I had a great idea to change the living room around! As soon as I did, it took us 2 days to get him back in both day and night. Which lasted a week, he then only went in at night, I think because he was tired. That lasted about 6 months- then he just refused, and I didn't want to make it a bad place. Every time we tried he would put the breaks on and shake something horribly so I didn't want to push it to much. So we did leave it up and always open but he very rarely went in, so we assumed he didn't need or care about it.
That ... is just a very odd "Crating a dog Experience???" The fact the he "would go in his Crate on Command was excellent! The fact that you thought he would just go in on his "volition" not so much.

I'm a Personal Care Assistant and I had one client with an extremely well behaved "Westie!" I luv'd that little dog and the client said the dog "needs to be in her "Crate at 7:30." Sigh I hated to have to put her up ,,, but at 7:30, I'd say kennel up and in she would go with a word of protest. That's how it should work ... but no ... she would not go in her "Crate" just becasue it was there.

Most likely a strong argument that "all things considered" the dog "should be "Crate Trained" again??? If it were a "GSD" and you added chases the cats, dog reactive, scared or aggressive with people and snarls growls at me ... then yes "absolutely" that is a dog that needs to be Crate Trained!

But your dog ... is not doing any of that "Crap???" So ... "I'm" going to punt! Most likely "Re-Crate" training him would be good advise???

It's about discipline not necessarily keeping the dog out of trouble. To reintroduce the "Crate" you could first skip a meal and from there only feed the dog the dog in his "Crate!" If he does not go in the "Crate" he does not eat! Not fighting no conflict it's just that simple.

That's what I would "recommend" if you want to revisit the "Crate thing." But have a look here also. Ares7477 pointed out this sight ... I'd heard of the Crate Games thing but not how I work so I never looked into it myself.

But sites recommended by "members" that know what they are doing ... I take note of. So I looked and yes ... it looks like pretty good advise to me.

So sorry revisiting the "Crate" thing ... "logically," I'd say yes no doubt "Crate Train" your dog ... but "Boxer Guy" you know and your dog is not "Chasing the Cats" and he is not "Tearing up Crap in the house???

I thought I was more "neutral than "this" but apparently not??? So the Crate thing is gonna be your call. But not gonna leave you hanging here so stand by. :)

He is our first puppy and I read anything and everything I could get my hands on to educate myself. We went to puppy class, I e mailed the breeders on a regular basis and they were so helpful. We don't have kids so he IS OUR KID- that also maybe part of the prob....:/
OK ... let the past go! None of us is born knowing how to train a dog??? We learn as we go, some of us get "lucky" and just have an innate ability to train dogs!

And that works out fine ... until it doesn't??? Had I stuck in "Bully World" tens years with "American Band Dawgs" "APBT/Boxers and Boxers." I'd "not be here??? But when I ventured out from that world to my first "Over Size Working Line GSD" ... I got schooled!! Just a big furry dog with a pointy face was the extent of my research (foster fail) and from there ... I got schooled!!

Pack Fights, Human Aggression issues and a trip to the "ER" for me (breaking up pack fights) ... good times, good times ... that was many many tears ago and "Rocky" ... is still here ... good times good times. But to solve my issues ... I had to stop fighting and start "thinking" worked out fine. :)

So right now you are in the "thinking phase" and right now ... that is where you need to be. :)

Free roaming- I thought boundaries were set- He only stayed on the middle floor level, never up or down and was great, So I thought We were good.
No that's not really a "No Free Roaming Policy" that's more along the lines of "Dumb Luck" the dog just "happened to "Chose not to go upstairs??" But he was not under command not to do so??? No Free Roaming means the dog is under control and you know where he is! He is in "Place" or in his "Crate" period! I's just that simple.

If you want to "Train" him not to go upstairs then you are going to "train him not to do so." Use a "Drag Leash" keep an eye on him and if he "attempts" to go upstairs "correct him with the leash" and "redirect him" to where he should be! But downstairs is a rather large nebulous area???

If you train the "Place Command" first or instead of ... then you don't have the battle with the "Stairs." You'd say "Place" and redirect to where he should be if he's moved?? But for more info on the whole "No Free Roaming" thing see here.:
German Shepherd Dog Forums - View Single Post - My 11 month old GS is crazy!


Cats- I read once that the cats should have their own safe place- we thought we were doing good by leaving the upstairs to them, he never went. Which in the long run caused other problems, they don't come down and he isn't suppose to go up. Not even sure if its' something that can be addressed at this point???? Even when he was in the crate- while we were home, the cats still never came down.? I only assumed that he was having anxiety . because he only went up when we were up there (with out him)
Yes ... for most people "escape routes" are good advise.

But as to why I keep saying ... "Place, Place and Train Calmness" to change the dog's "Energy" that's what you need to do to get them to live together in harmony. That's what I advise but I found myself in a "situation" Pit of the street on way to work and she had a serious "Cat Issue!!" I got it done in 24 hours but not how I thought it could work I had no Crate, no time for "Place" and I had five cats ... who were not going to be changing there lives to accommodate this new creature???

I got it done but I doubt "many others" could do what I did??? I was disappointed in that ... I still used a "SLL" but this time it became a "DDC."


But with time ... this is still good advise.:
GSD and a Cat? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

The cats won't come down becasue they understand you don't have much control over this dog?? Pretty much that simple. Until the dog's "Energy" changes ... they won't have anything to do with him.


When the cats are on the stairs and IF he looks up but doesn't move- they just sit on the stairs just watching- I believe wanting to come down but I am sure they don't trust.
I posted the Cat stuff becasue you asked. But for right now ... your doing what you need to ... you have given the Cat and Dog space, and near as I can tell ... the dog is not chasing the Cats?? That is called "Management" and that is the next best thing to changing the "Dogs Energy." For right now ... I'd just keep doing what your doing as regards the Cats.

On the command to be calm- how- he will stop rambunctious play when told to relax, but is that the same command. And how oh how do I get him to be calm out side of the house?
Calm on Command ... is called "Place" ideally once trained you can point to a "Spot" and say "Place." That is the goal but I think by "Calm outside" the house you mean "walks" and other general craziness????

Walking is oh boy, an issue? I took no offense- I was always told/read that a lot of dog bad behavior comes from being board/not having enough excerise....ie. walks
ON WALKS: I have always walked D- not an easy task. We have been through different collars, leashes, harnesses, "great ways to train to walk" UGH. He is much better (but still pulls) now but some days, it is just frustrating. He will only walk on a lose leash, as he should once I have ran him and he is tired to the point that he will sit on the side of the road, before getting home.
This anxious display could very well be- a stubborn boxer- I never know when he is playin me!
I have tried to even tire him out a bit before walking- doesn't seem to help.
OK you have to "chill" none of this happened over night and you can't fix it overnight. It's a process, and you have to break it down.

Exercise "alone" will not fix behavioural issues. Many many others have tried that as a lone solution and they have all failed! Some of the absolutely worst behaved dogs I know, belong to my wife's friend. "Herder dogs" they have no rules, no structure and no limitations!

The newest one a rescue was well trained when they got him ... and they actively "De-Trained him???? Those dogs have 40 acres of open desert, they go out in the morning and come back home whenever???

They chase cars that come on the property, they chase the wild horses and the new one has bitten three strangers and the owner four times! Delivery people call, first to tell them to secure there dogs and the owners think it's funny!! :chair:

I doubt those dogs know what a leash is??? But the one thing they did get ... is lots of "exercise" ... clearly that alone is not enough. Raising a dog properly is about providing "Balance."

If you can't walk him on a loose leash first ... then that should be job one. Start again in an area free of distractions. You can't fix any on walk issues if he does not what he is expected to do on a walk first. You have to show him what you want. That said ... yet another thread. And use a "real tool" I'd suggest a "SLL" a Prong Collar or a Regular and a Flat leash. Details can be found here.:

http://www.boxerforums.com/training-behavior/179513-slip-lead-leash.html

SLL is my tool of choice but admittedly it's more of an art form than a science. And I suppose I would be remiss if I did not say an "E-Collar" is also an option. But if you go the E-Collar route ... work with a trainer!

So review that thread and the SLL thing it was new to me??? They handed me one at my first Boxer Rescue along with a dog that pulled hard ... they claimed, and said use this. I thought "whatever" took a closer look at it and thought "hey what is the little tab thing for??" I snugged it up and the rest is history! I was sold. :)

So break it down
Being able to walk him first is important! If you have not made "any" progress on just the loose leash walking in a distraction free environment in say a week??? Then consider hiring a competent qualified trainer and have them teach you to walk your dog. It should not take more than a session or two I would imagine.

But understand that if they can actually help you 9 times out of ten they will recommend a "Prong Collar." When used "properly" it's no big deal ... just a heads up.

And once you can walk him ... then walk him "someplace" and start doing "Sit on the Dog." And in the meantime start to work on the "Place Command" the last two are how you get to the "Calm" on command part and that is also you can address the change of energy thing with the "Cats!"

But be aware that a "properly trained "Place Command" would be at least ... two hours!! It's a process so start small once he understands the command 5 minute place and work up from there.

And if you have throw rugs use those to train "Place" indoors scatter them around and go from "Place to Place."

I know it seems like a lot but it's all simply stuff that it took me many years to learn. It's all stuff from the experts all I did/do is package it up and put it in one place so people can stop searching and start training.

But in order
Training him to walk "properly on a loose leash first is important, then you can roll that into Sit on the Dog and start training the "Place Command."

And expect a lot of silliness and crap to begin with on that one! It's a Boxer so everything is a game! If it get's to crazy then you'll need to train a "Down and Stay!!" Hmmm which he know anyway ... but yeah ... enough already. :p

I have considered taking him to the vet just to be sure there wasn't something else going on.
No harm isna vet check but he sounds like a typical nutty Boxer. :p

TOTAL SIDE NOTE: where do you live and can you make a house call?!?! LOL
Thank you in advance.
Well thank you but it looks like I am almost as far away from you as possible without going into the "Pacific." High Desert in Dayton ... NV ... a Mosquito and Flea free zone I might add.
 

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You are in e Endicott? Hmmm, could contact Proformance k9. World's greatest sport trainer there. Deb Zappia. She has won the world championship IPO competition.They've got a great team. A little far, but in Marion, NY up by Rochester. She might also have a local suggestion for you. But I've seen her work nerve bag gsd, labs, boxers, etc.
Might try suggesting losing the leash and really get that dog out. I like finger lakes national forest and sugar hill. A little west of you, but can get you away from civilization. Just make sure you've got a solid recall.
Look into crate games for crate help.
Until you figure out the nerve thing, tread lightly with the corrections.

https://www.proformancek9pets.com
 
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