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Hey all, we adopted a boxer (about 2yr old) and we brought her home on Sat June 12th. She is just starting to get acclimated to her new surroundings and she is absolutely amazing and well mannered.

She just started taking treats and she is sitting, but on her own. As she is doing it, I say sit and give a treat. I guess that's better than nothing. Now that she is more comfortable, any tips on training? It's our first dog as owners and I am just looking for tips. She is a bit stubborn and wasn't sitting when I was presenting a treat (even gently putting pressure on her hind quarters. How stern should I be or how long should I try to follow through? While she is getting better and more comfortable, she still doesn't want to play with toys. Should I give her a little more time before I start with more complex obedience ? Any thoughts would be great. I just don't want to push her too soon
 

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Since she's a rescue, I would go with the flow for now. You've had her for 2 1/2 weeks... I would give her another week or two.

She may just be one of those dogs that isn't interested in toys! Or she just may need a little bit more time to really feel comfortable and at home. Do you know how many homes she had before coming to you?

The training can wait for now. Boxers can be stubborn sometimes! But since she is still adjusting to her new home, I would cut her some slack. I would wait at least a month and then enroll her in basic obedience classes. It makes a world of difference! And it will allow you to bond with her.

Sounds like she's doing well and you're doing a great job! :D
 

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Since she's a rescue, I would go with the flow for now. You've had her for 2 1/2 weeks... I would give her another week or two.
Yeah, I haven't really been pushing it. We see more personality every day. She is just so awesome.


sasasola said:
She may just be one of those dogs that isn't interested in toys! Or she just may need a little bit more time to really feel comfortable and at home. Do you know how many homes she had before coming to you?
She was at the puppy mill for about 12-14months and with a large rescue foster for about 8 months (with ~140 other dogs)

sasasola said:
The training can wait for now. Boxers can be stubborn sometimes! But since she is still adjusting to her new home, I would cut her some slack. I would wait at least a month and then enroll her in basic obedience classes. It makes a world of difference! And it will allow you to bond with her.

Sounds like she's doing well and you're doing a great job! :D
Yeah, I've heard they are stubborn. I just didn't want her to get in the habit of ignoring our requests. Giving her time is what I will do. Thanks for the help!
 

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Yeah, I haven't really been pushing it. We see more personality every day. She is just so awesome.



She was at the puppy mill for about 12-14months and with a large rescue foster for about 8 months (with ~140 other dogs)



Yeah, I've heard they are stubborn. I just didn't want her to get in the habit of ignoring our requests. Giving her time is what I will do. Thanks for the help!

Did she play with toys at her foster home? If so, then she probably just needs more time with you to really come out of her shell :)

Yes, they are too smart for their own good! They will try your patience sometimes too! But the love they give you will be so much more!

I would give her a couple more weeks and then most definitely get her into basic training. It really will make a world of difference!
 

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I'm a believer of having a dog follow your rules from day 1 although with basic commands. For me I would have her sit before giving her meals. Wa;king I would give her a bit of lead and just gently keep[ her at my side, and when you stop, sit....YOu kind of need to figure her out some, get an idea of her basic personality. I would be firm but not overly so, its kind of difficult for me to explain. I guess what I'm trying to say I would let her settle in but at the same time implement some simple commands as long as she isn't shy and tucking her tail. She may not play with toys being older and very possible never had any. I'm sure though her foster can give you some better insight in how to handle her. I would talk with them if at all possible, just to get some basic ideas.
 

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Do a search on you tube and you might find some videos on teaching basic commands to an older dog vs a puppy. It might help. Add in a lot of patience and love and she'll do fine. Some dogs don't do toys, others are obsessed with them - others so - so. You'll figure out which one she is.
 

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I can tell ya one thing, do not enroll in the Pet Smart training program. I did, and it was a waste of time and money.

Learned more from this site, other online blogs, sites, and books.
 

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I'm a believer of having a dog follow your rules from day 1 although with basic commands. For me I would have her sit before giving her meals. Wa;king I would give her a bit of lead and just gently keep[ her at my side, and when you stop, sit....YOu kind of need to figure her out some, get an idea of her basic personality. I would be firm but not overly so, its kind of difficult for me to explain. I guess what I'm trying to say I would let her settle in but at the same time implement some simple commands as long as she isn't shy and tucking her tail. She may not play with toys being older and very possible never had any. I'm sure though her foster can give you some better insight in how to handle her. I would talk with them if at all possible, just to get some basic ideas.
Great advice Linda! :cheers:
 

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I can tell ya one thing, do not enroll in the Pet Smart training program. I did, and it was a waste of time and money.

Learned more from this site, other online blogs, sites, and books.
I wouldn't recommend Pet Smart either. Bailey was jumped by 2 German Shepherds in the training enclosure. Good thing she wasn't hurt but she does have leash anxiety when encountering other dogs while on a leash.
 

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If you read the OPs posts, she is only two years old but she came from a puppy mill. Normal rules may not really apply in her case since she's re-learning acceptable behaviours. She is just learning how to be a normal dog and pet. Obviously she shouldn't be allowed to get away with murder, but a little more patience will be needed as she learns our human rules.
Definitely contact the rescue you got her from for some advice and a referral to a qualified trainer. Petsmart and Petco in training classes are hit and miss. You may luck out and get a good trainer or not! We got a referral from our veterinarian. That might be another place you can ask.
 

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I think training for about 10 minutes twice a day may be good to start. If you don't keep it fun, and silly, she may lose interest. Try training when she's a little hungry, and feed the daily kibble as training treats.

Getting her attention to come immediately, or at least watch your face is important. You call her name multiple times during the day, she comes to you and gets something special like chicken. Later you can ask her to sit, or down for a piece of chicken. When she does what you've asked, say "yes" to help her figure out what the task and reward is.
 

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I wouldn't recommend Pet Smart either. Bailey was jumped by 2 German Shepherds in the training enclosure. Good thing she wasn't hurt but she does have leash anxiety when encountering other dogs while on a leash.
So sorry that happened! And apologies from a GSD owner also! Instructor at that class was inept and the owners of those dogs are tools!

You were put in a bad spot and your dog now feels she needs to protect herself! Not her job, it's your job, you have to show her...you have her back!. It can be "fixed" but it's gonna take some work.

Start a "my dog is reactive on leash thread" I'll be happy to help! :)
 

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So sorry that happened! And apologies from a GSD owner also! Instructor at that class was inept and the owners of those dogs are tools!

You were put in a bad spot and your dog now feels she needs to protect herself! Not her job, it's your job, you have to show her...you have her back!. It can be "fixed" but it's gonna take some work.

Start a "my dog is reactive on leash thread" I'll be happy to help! :)
Thanks Chip18. We have been working with a trainer and a prong collar and she is becoming less anxious and reactive.
 

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I'm a first time dog owner too. I don't know about how long to wait before training your guy, but I can tell you my experience with training a boxer has been a learning experience... for me! Uhtred had selective hearing. Meaning (if he can get away with it) he'd listen really well when there was a yummy treat or when he wasn't going to get what he wanted any other way (sit to come in, for instance) but otherwise he was deaf.

I thought it was me not issuing the commands clearly enough. It didn't help that the fancy expensive dog trainer said to give lots of treats, to never touch the dog to make it sit, and to only ever issue a command once. Which kind of leaves you hanging if you're out on a walk, don't have treats, and you say "sit" and your dog won't sit.

The old-school guy I go to now says to never use treats, only affirmation and petting, and to push down on their hindquarters if they don't sit. I'm no dog trainer, so who knows whose theory is "right". All I can say is that we're finally getting somewhere! At first Uhtred put up a big fight to having his hindquarters pushed on. But now, if he doesn't sit right away, which he usually does, all I have to do is touch his butt with my finger. Today he even sat quietly while some ladies walked past without any correction. The advice to stop using treats in training is the best advice I ever got.

oh, and... we need pictures!!
 

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I wouldn't recommend Pet Smart either. Bailey was jumped by 2 German Shepherds in the training enclosure. Good thing she wasn't hurt but she does have leash anxiety when encountering other dogs while on a leash.
Similar thing happened to my pup as well, the instructor let a dog from a different class come to the final session where there was an off leash/recall exercise, I was at the other end of the aisle calling my guy and as he went past that dog it jumped him. He's had fear agression issues with large dogs and mistrust of other dogs ever since, even though he's big. We've successfully raised a puppy with him so he does have a companion and is tollerant of most little dogs, but all bets are off with big ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If you read the OPs posts, she is only two years old but she came from a puppy mill. Normal rules may not really apply in her case since she's re-learning acceptable behaviours. She is just learning how to be a normal dog and pet. Obviously she shouldn't be allowed to get away with murder, but a little more patience will be needed as she learns our human rules.
Definitely contact the rescue you got her from for some advice and a referral to a qualified trainer. Petsmart and Petco in training classes are hit and miss. You may luck out and get a good trainer or not! We got a referral from our veterinarian. That might be another place you can ask.
That's good info. I have been perusing YouTube and there seems to be a lot of good info. The foster said she had a chew toy and a rope, so she has some experience with toys. I put a treat in her Kong toy and she played at that for a while last night until she couldn't get the rest of the treat out of it. She is a ham.
 

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toomuchbrew...Sounds like she is going to be a good one. Just take your time and expect her to behave..she will. Don't be harsh but have her listen to you. Rescues from puppy mills need to learn to be house dogs..just like puppies...you expect certain behaviors but your gentle and guiding in your corrections.
 

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I'm a first time dog owner too. I don't know about how long to wait before training your guy, but I can tell you my experience with training a boxer has been a learning experience... for me! Uhtred had selective hearing. Meaning (if he can get away with it) he'd listen really well when there was a yummy treat or when he wasn't going to get what he wanted any other way (sit to come in, for instance) but otherwise he was deaf.
Yep "selective" hearing! A breed trait! :)

I thought it was me not issuing the commands clearly enough. It didn't help that the fancy expensive dog trainer said to give lots of treats, to never touch the dog to make it sit, and to only ever issue a command once. Which kind of leaves you hanging if you're out on a walk, don't have treats, and you say "sit" and your dog won't sit.
Yeah...I know the "type"... you did well to move on! :)

The old-school guy I go to now says to never use treats, only affirmation and petting, and to push down on their hindquarters if they don't sit. I'm no dog trainer, so who knows whose theory is "right". All I can say is that we're finally getting somewhere! At first Uhtred put up a big fight to having his hindquarters pushed on. But now, if he doesn't sit right away, which he usually does, all I have to do is touch his butt with my finger. Today he even sat quietly while some ladies walked past without any correction. The advice to stop using treats in training is the best advice I ever got.

oh, and... we need pictures!!
Fine line between "treats" and bribes!
Scroll down here:
Boxer Dog Training
 

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Force free training with lots of training treats is very effective if done correctly. Prong collars and e collars are not the answer for everydog nor should they be the go to.

i train solely force free and use lots of treats but my dogs (all 3) ranging from 4 months to 3 years are still able to walk off leash in formal heel, have 100% recall and compete and win at sports such as confo, rally, nosework, formal obeidence and weight pull. While i am competing in all of these sports I never have treats with me, while I am at the vet or walking off leash I also never have treats with me.

It is not bribery. that is absurd. You are using treats and a clicker to mark a desired behaviour, when you continuously mark that behaviour the dog learns that is what is expected of him and it becomes habit.
By training FF and using treats you are creating a stronger bond with the dog. I stay with my human and it is a positive experience.

when my bitch was 6 months old we enrolled in my mentors reactive dog class not because she was reactive but because I wanted her to learn to work in all experiences. Being dark with a squished face she was intimadating to a lot of the dogs and had many lunging and snapping at her. Because we train force free and she knows good things happen with her "mom" so instead of showing aggression or fear she just maintains eye focus with me and continues to work. No treats needed.

bring treats on your first couple walks use them and the clicker to reward desired behaviours train frequently and consistantly and eventually they will become habit
today i trained my 4 month old puppy retrievals and scent discrimination in one 30 minute training session.

So just because one training method works for you is no reason to bash other training methods. That are proven and work for countless people and dogs.
 
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