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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

I have a 12 week old pup who is awesome in every way except one: he cannot play for long without it escalating into what I can only really describe as aggressive play. Very hard biting of skin and clothes, growling and when he is told off, it gets worse.

My tactic so far has been to family tell him “no biting” and get up and walk away but either he will follow me and continue to jump and bite my clothes, or if I leave the room when I come back it doesn’t take long before he gets into that mode again.

I have tried using some time out and similar results, it only seems to work for a short time before he gets back into that mode.
Even when playing with a toy, he will just randomly lose interest in the toy and go for skin or clothes. Redirecting back to the toy at this stage does not work.

I don’t think it is aggression, because he is very sweet in every other way, he does not resource-guard, never snaps at me or growls at me otherwise, so I am sure this is just play that is getting far too rough. But I’m getting a bit concerned because I’ve never had this problem with other pups before, and obviously he’s going to grow to be big and strong.

So far all the advice I keep getting is just keep telling him no biting and walking away, but it just doesn’t seem to be sinking in. He is a very quick learner when it comes to teaching him tricks or general behaviour issues, but I cannot get around this problem.


Am a bit frustrated and worried :( any advice would be appreciated!
 

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Well you have pretty much exhausted the limit's of a "Positive Only," approach. Time out's and walking away only work with pup's with "softer temperament's." I "assume," as I have never had one. And yes, you do need to get this under control before he gets bigger and hurt's someone.

Dog's respect "Leader's" and leader's, Reward Good Behavior and Punish/Correct, bad behavior's and right now, you are doing neither?? Your pup right now view's you as fur-less, two legged play mate and not as a "Leader." And unless, that change's things will only get worst. Cuz it sound's like he is in full blown, (Your not the Boss of me) mode and you "need," to teach him otherwise!

But you can stop this, and it's not hard. You just need the right tool! And that tool, would be the "Pet Convincer!":

You just say "NO!" First and blast him in the shoulder with the "PC." I have never had need of it myself, but all the "Pro's," I tend to follow use it and recommend it for there client's. That's good enough for me. :)

And it is just a "bicyle Air Pump. So if you have a "Bicycle," you may already have one?? And at a "bike Store," it would be a lot cheaper.
 

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How much exercise is this puppy getting? Puppies use their mouths to explore their world and play biting is what they do with their littermates. Its should not be tolerated is anyone in your family rough housing with the puppy? That will only encourage his biting. Positive energy drain like walking around you back yard "on leash" until his shots are finished. You can do leash work and other obedience training then if he jumps up and tries to bite firmly grab his collar and say "NO" like you mean it no laughing then continue walking. He needs his play time as well and he should have plenty of age appropriate chew toys like Nyla bones that he can do his teething on plus these also release some stress and energy the pup has just throw it away when the nobs are chewed off, no real bones or rawhides. You really have to be consistent here and he will outgrow this stage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How much exercise is this puppy getting? Puppies use their mouths to explore their world and play biting is what they do with their littermates. Its should not be tolerated is anyone in your family rough housing with the puppy? That will only encourage his biting. Positive energy drain like walking around you back yard "on leash" until his shots are finished. You can do leash work and other obedience training then if he jumps up and tries to bite firmly grab his collar and say "NO" like you mean it no laughing then continue walking. He needs his play time as well and he should have plenty of age appropriate chew toys like Nyla bones that he can do his teething on plus these also release some stress and energy the pup has just throw it away when the nobs are chewed off, no real bones or rawhides. You really have to be consistent here and he will outgrow this stage.
thanks for the replies.

he’s getting good exercise I’d say. Not too much for a puppy, but after a sleep he gets toilet break, walk, some training then play.he also has play toys that I control access to

its only me and him so I’m definitely not tolerating the rough play.

he’s been home for 4 weeks now, I’ve been consistent about the rough play the whole time but not seeing any progress yet :(
Obviously haven’t given up though!
 

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thanks for the replies.

he’s getting good exercise I’d say. Not too much for a puppy, but after a sleep he gets toilet break, walk, some training then play.he also has play toys that I control access to

its only me and him so I’m definitely not tolerating the rough play.

he’s been home for 4 weeks now, I’ve been consistent about the rough play the whole time but not seeing any progress yet :(
Obviously haven’t given up though!
I am glad you are not giving up because Boxers are wonderful dogs to have. It takes them at least 2 years to settle down up until then they can be a handful just keep in mind your end goal be consistent with what he is allowed and not allowed. It does get better as he ages and you will see that puppies can be little PIA but they are worth it in the long run!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the replies.

he’s getting good exercise I’d say. Not too much for a puppy, but after a sleep he gets toilet break, walk, some training then play.he also has play toys that I control access to

its only me and him so I’m definitely not tolerating the rough play.

he’s been home for 4 weeks now, I’ve been consistent about the rough play the whole time but not seeing any progress yet :(
Obviously haven’t given up though!
I am glad you are not giving up because Boxers are wonderful dogs to have. It takes them at least 2 years to settle down up until then they can be a handful just keep in mind your end goal be consistent with what he is allowed and not allowed. It does get better as he ages and you will see that puppies can be little PIA but they are worth it in the long run!
he’s my third boxer, but the others haven’t been as rough as him! I agree they are worth it ;)
 

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Well at 12 weeks old this is not at all unusual behavior. I would continue the positive behavior training at this point as I don't think this is a case of him not respecting you, just an over tired pup. He is like a toddler and still requires lots of sleep. When he gets out of control like that just take him out to potty and then shortly return him to his crate. He will more than likely settle down and go to sleep for a couple of hours. Thats how it was with mine. He would play and play and be very good then suddenly he would just get out of control biting. I found the crate and sleep worked just like when my kids were toddlers. We lost our guy one year ago at 5 1/2 years old but he was the best well behaved guy that we still miss terribly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry to hear. I lost my 9 year old last year too- heartbreaking.

I feel like he’s on a good balance of sleep/ awake time. 2-3 hrs sleep for every 60-90min of awake time.
Sometimes the excessive biting will begin at early play stages, sometimes later which makes it hard to be sure it’s sleep, but I totally buy into what you’re saying.
Balance is key!
 

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Yes indeed. We could always tell with our guy, he would also sleep on my daughters lap, the two of them on the couch and when he couldn't settle and kept with the biting we knew it was like a toddler melting down. LOL
 

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Hi all

I have a 12 week old pup who is awesome in every way except one: he cannot play for long without it escalating into what I can only really describe as aggressive play. Very hard biting of skin and clothes, growling and when he is told off, it gets worse.

My tactic so far has been to family tell him “no biting” and get up and walk away but either he will follow me and continue to jump and bite my clothes, or if I leave the room when I come back it doesn’t take long before he gets into that mode again.

I have tried using some time out and similar results, it only seems to work for a short time before he gets back into that mode.
Even when playing with a toy, he will just randomly lose interest in the toy and go for skin or clothes. Redirecting back to the toy at this stage does not work.

I don’t think it is aggression, because he is very sweet in every other way, he does not resource-guard, never snaps at me or growls at me otherwise, so I am sure this is just play that is getting far too rough. But I’m getting a bit concerned because I’ve never had this problem with other pups before, and obviously he’s going to grow to be big and strong.

So far all the advice I keep getting is just keep telling him no biting and walking away, but it just doesn’t seem to be sinking in. He is a very quick learner when it comes to teaching him tricks or general behaviour issues, but I cannot get around this problem.


Am a bit frustrated and worried :( any advice would be appreciated!
Hi,

I am chiming in because when my boy (now 6.5 yrs old) was a puppy he did the exact same thing. We were even asked to leave puppy class because he got out of hand while playing with the other puppies. This aspect of his personality did not respond all to positive training. I was mortified. He was great in every other way, very trainable and intelligent, and actually very good with other dogs until the play started getting rough. He would escalate the roughness and growl and jump on top and become what appeared to be dominant and aggressive over the other puppies and pin them, all this and he was just a puppy himself!

All I can tell you is to be absolutely sure to socialize your guy as much as you possibly can with other dogs and with as many humans, children, men, mail carriers, delivery drivers, etc etc... You have a short window with this personality trait he needs a lot more socialization than others dogs. I also agree with some others comments about seeking more traditional training. I started seeing a trainer who worked specifically with working breeds and did police training and I saw the most positive changes through that type of dog trainer. My boy responded well to a firmer hand. He needed strong leadership. He is now 6.5 and is the BEST most well-behaved dog. The clicker training and treats might work with some breeds, but not in this case. I wish you luck! Boxers are the best.
 

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Hi all

I have a 12 week old pup who is awesome in every way except one: he cannot play for long without it escalating into what I can only really describe as aggressive play. Very hard biting of skin and clothes, growling and when he is told off, it gets worse.

My tactic so far has been to family tell him “no biting” and get up and walk away but either he will follow me and continue to jump and bite my clothes, or if I leave the room when I come back it doesn’t take long before he gets into that mode again.

I have tried using some time out and similar results, it only seems to work for a short time before he gets back into that mode.
Even when playing with a toy, he will just randomly lose interest in the toy and go for skin or clothes. Redirecting back to the toy at this stage does not work.

I don’t think it is aggression, because he is very sweet in every other way, he does not resource-guard, never snaps at me or growls at me otherwise, so I am sure this is just play that is getting far too rough. But I’m getting a bit concerned because I’ve never had this problem with other pups before, and obviously he’s going to grow to be big and strong.

So far all the advice I keep getting is just keep telling him no biting and walking away, but it just doesn’t seem to be sinking in. He is a very quick learner when it comes to teaching him tricks or general behaviour issues, but I cannot get around this problem.


Am a bit frustrated and worried :( any advice would be appreciated!
I kid you not - our puppy is 12 weeks today and we call her Demon Seed, LOL. Same issue - it's like she becomes the Tasmanian Devil. She's not my first boxer puppy, but I've seen nothing like this. The only thing that is slowly beginning to work for us is to get up and walk away - turn our backs - remove ourselves. This lets her know that her behavior gets NO human attention, good or bad. Once she calms down, we re-engage play with her.

How's potty training going for you? This little one has been tricky to train - she doesn't give signals like I am used to. Two days accident free, then she peed on the floor today - near the door. She was clearly trying to make it. Just wondering how it's going for your baby?
 

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We have a 5 month old male. We got him at 4 months. We have a professional trainer. Usually when my guy starts his aggressive play behavior he is either over stimulated or over tired. We put an eye hook in our wall. He has a leash on it. It’s long enough he can reach his crate his toys and a dog bed. He usually calms down within a few minutes. Is normally sound asleep by minute 5. It’s like a reset for him. Has worked wonders. We use it 2 or 3 times a day. Hope this helps you. Best wishes with your pup.
 

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Hi Sammy,

We have the same issue with our pup, Boaz. The problem was pretty intense around 12 weeks old. He has a high drive like your dog. Does he know any commands? Sit and down with a release word of "Yes" to give him a distraction or reward. Breaking that aggessive cycle is the key. My husband uses that energy and drive to train. Boxers need a job 👍 There are plenty of videos for ideas. Good news! At 14 months he is still mouthy, but has a delicate mouth. If we walk about a mile, he settles down very well inside. He is a sweet dog but serious about play. Tug, ball, soccer, mixed in with obedience and 4 walks a day, the longest being just over a mile since he is young. I would stick to positive reinforcement, distraction, exercise, and turn your back or leave room to break the cycle. I still seem to be his toy right after dinner...he now rolls on his back and captures my feet to wrestle. He will bite the bottom of my slipper and want belly pats. I know someday I will miss this play...patience and enjoy!

Boaz Mom
 

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As you can read above, not that uncommon. Sometimes I think it is a lack of socialization. No, not the dog park etc stuff. What I mean is as a puppy in the litter. Perhaps didn’t get to the point where Mom corrected his excess? Or was too rough with a litter mate that should have sparked correction. In other words he doesn’t know any better and now it’s your job to step in and teach limits. An older boxer in same household can/will as well. Sometimes boxer pups can just be pushy. My current 8 month old can be like that. He can get mouthy and not stop until I stop him. Sometimes I sense he is just testing, that it’s a game he doesn’t care to win. I know it’s temporary.
 

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Hi all

I have a 12 week old pup who is awesome in every way except one: he cannot play for long without it escalating into what I can only really describe as aggressive play. Very hard biting of skin and clothes, growling and when he is told off, it gets worse.

My tactic so far has been to family tell him “no biting” and get up and walk away but either he will follow me and continue to jump and bite my clothes, or if I leave the room when I come back it doesn’t take long before he gets into that mode again.

I have tried using some time out and similar results, it only seems to work for a short time before he gets back into that mode.
Even when playing with a toy, he will just randomly lose interest in the toy and go for skin or clothes. Redirecting back to the toy at this stage does not work.

I don’t think it is aggression, because he is very sweet in every other way, he does not resource-guard, never snaps at me or growls at me otherwise, so I am sure this is just play that is getting far too rough. But I’m getting a bit concerned because I’ve never had this problem with other pups before, and obviously he’s going to grow to be big and strong.

So far all the advice I keep getting is just keep telling him no biting and walking away, but it just doesn’t seem to be sinking in. He is a very quick learner when it comes to teaching him tricks or general behaviour issues, but I cannot get around this problem.


Am a bit frustrated and worried :( any advice would be appreciated!
Hi Sammy,
We're on our 3rd Boxer - at seven months+ now. 12 weeks is pretty young. What I do and it seems to help is a multi-pronged strategy: 1) never be abusive to make them stop - I will always be gentle and not raise my voice at them. (I'm not suggesting I think you're being abusive. It's for posterity here.) 2) I will put one hand around their snout and hold their mouth closed for a second or two and say, "No." 3) When the puppy wants to bite at my hand, I won't pull away but give it a chance to be gentle. If they clamp down a little - or a lot - "I'll exclaim, "Oww!" Usually dogs respond to each other's pain and will back off. If your pup is "out of control," instead of walking away, 4) put him in the crate for a time out. Don't shout, don't be aggressive with him, talk gently, just put him in the crate. Boxers are very social and don't like to be away from "the pack." If you don't have a crate, I would get one. Don't bother getting a crate pad with foam or stuffing in it, they'll just shred it up (until they're 2yo.) -- just towels and blankets for bedding. Once he calms down, let him out and repeat until he gets over it. Honestly, I think it's a phase they go through periodically. (To be fair, we've only had girls. I don't know the difference. But I've seen that female Boxers can be more aggressive than the male Boxers.

Bottom line, never let their aggression or obstinance get you frustrated and abusive to them. Boxers are very sensitive. Once you cross a line with them they'll start to cower if you reach out to pet them - not good. Hope it goes well, and enjoy!
 

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Love reading about crates. Always brings a smile to my face. We got first one with our 1st boxer back in ‘92. Of course he out grew it and by that time we didn’t see the need to replace. After he passed, we were without boxer love a few months, then we got our girl, Ruby. Our 3rd, Jack, came to us just a couple weeks later, somewhat a rescue of a 9 month old and we’d be his 4th home. He had some issues, the major being we couldn’t just leave him home, hence a new crate. Large one this time. Well, fast forward to present. That crate has been home to 26 boxers and 3 cats over the years. It sits prominently in our bedroom and every day is occupied by both current pups and the cat. Sometimes by more than 1 at same time. Anyways, amusing if Makani is resting inside and Simba the cat decides to perch on top and teasingly drops his tail between the wires. Still has a couple keepers on it as I think it was Jack, figured if he pushed hard enough the door would spring open. Not often is the door even used anymore unless a dire need to separate someone. Although in honesty it could be said it was used from punishment, but I think all the dogs thought of it as a safe place. As long as we have a dog, the crate will be here. Will be a sad day when its gone.
 
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I kid you not - our puppy is 12 weeks today and we call her Demon Seed, LOL. Same issue - it's like she becomes the Tasmanian Devil. She's not my first boxer puppy, but I've seen nothing like this. The only thing that is slowly beginning to work for us is to get up and walk away - turn our backs - remove ourselves. This lets her know that her behavior gets NO human attention, good or bad. Once she calms down, we re-engage play with her.

How's potty training going for you? This little one has been tricky to train - she doesn't give signals like I am used to. Two days accident free, then she peed on the floor today - near the door. She was clearly trying to make it. Just wondering how it's going for your baby?
Good rule of thumb for potty training is whenever they wake up take them out whenever you feed them take them out immediately. It always works
 
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