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Hi everyone!

I am a writer, and work from home. Well, I try to work from home. My 10-year old female boxer would happily leave me alone for hours while I write, but her 6-month-old son won't. (They are rescues, if that makes a difference.) I have to be right there with the baby, all the time. I'm not sure what information would help you all advise me, so I will just put what I think you need and allow you to ask me questions as you need to.

Pre-dog, my schedule was set so that I was up every 2 hours to stretch and move around and do housework. At least until I got into a writing groove, at which time I would forget to get up at all for hours, unless I set an alarm. I was up around 30 minutes and I'd go back to work. My home office is upstairs.

Before my gate was fixed, when I first got my boxers, I made them go out on leashes every two hours when I got up to stretch. I would walk them around the yard, try to gt the baby to do his business, and then bring them in and play. It has been snowy and/or incredibly cold in the three months I have had them, and that has made housebreaking a challenge, but that's a question for another time. We have a system going for that and I am seeing improvement. Anyway, I'd play with the dogs when we came back in before I headed upstairs. That going upstairs thing did not last long.

Now we have a gate, so the entire back yard is fenced...and it's pretty good sized. They go out without me, do their business, and come back in. I still play with them and have learned lots of new things to do with them to keep them occupied. (Thank you, Boxer Forum!!! :love: )

Herein lies my problem. I should have published a book a month ago, but I can't get any writing done, because by the time the dogs settle down and I relax enough to write, they (or the puppy, at least) need me again. At this point in time, leaving the house to write at the library is not an option. Money is tight and I just don't have the gas money to waste on driving to the library when I have a perfectly good, not to mention comfortable, office upstairs. Plus, the point of putting the office up there was to force me to move more by going up and down stairs a lot. I physically ache from sitting in the hard dining room chair and moving so little. If I don't publish something soon, we won't be eating come the end of May. I totally get that dogs are pack animals and we are a pack. I am single and very lonely and require that companionship, but I still need to work.

Let me add that it took me weeks to stop feeling guilty that they are in a pen at night for 10 hours while I sleep. The rest of the day, they are out of it and running around the downstairs. I'm pretty sure that people who work away from home spend far less time with their dogs than I do; this is what saves me from the aforementioned guilt!

Is there anyone here who is in a similar situation? Can anyone tell me where I'm going wrong? Thanks in advance!! :)
 

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Thank you to everyone who read my plea! :) I'm sorry no one could help me with it, but I know that working from home is still rare and that there might not be many folks who have experience with a situation like mine.

After much thought and prayer and more searching of this wonderful forum, I have a plan: the weather is warming (just a hair) and the snow slowly melting, and I know that the dogs like to be outside longer in warmer weather, so I can let them out and know they will play and explore and chase each other for a few minutes while I do some social media. The puppy just hit 6 months, and, like another poster's pup I found in another section of the forum, he's sleeping more and requires my attention a little less. While he's asleep, I can write some and add to my work in progress. Both dogs sleep a lot in the evenings, and so that will be when I write the most. In the meantime, I'm brushing off some short stories that I will publish to increase April's royalties and give us money to live on for a while. :)

I'm very much looking forward to the time when my puppy figures out that he needs to always "go" outside. At that time, I'm going to buy a big huge dog bed for my office upstairs and we can all be together up there. :love:
 

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I work from home and it works out brilliantly. My female boxer is just great. when she was a puppy she was in the crate a lot just like yours, but she has earned the right to roam now. I take her into the woods for 1 hour in between my meetings. Then she is just quiet. I need a break so let her out then. I don't really see the problem - perhaps I am missing something that you are concerned about.
 

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Thanks so much for replying! :)

My dogs won't stay in their crates (we actually have a setup with an exercise pen attached to their side-by-side crates) during the day while I am home. They want me and my attention every minute I am up, which prevents me from getting any work done. My girl is around 10 years old (she's a rescue, so we don't know for sure how old she is) and her son is 6 months now. She's not so much the issue...it's the baby.

To be honest, I think I might just be too nice and too much of a worrier. I live in town instead of in the country, and I worry that the neighbors will call the cops (one of whom lives across the street) if the dogs carry on too much. I also feel guilty when they are unhappy. It's probably a good thing I was never a parent to a human child! :|
 

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With the 6 months old you will just need to take him for a big walk off-lead if possible. Then feed and ignore. Possibly shut them in a different room. work is work at the end of the day. Really ?? ear plugs in - computer on. As for the cops - well I live in the UK and the cops wouldn't be bothered with barking dogs. You have to be firm, not harsh. Say what you mean and stick to it! best of luck.
 

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Thanks! I'll give it a go. I did try that when I first got them, the leaving them in another room, but didn't last too long due to guilt and uncertainty on my part. I'll do better this time! :)

I think in bigger towns than mine (population 1,000), there are dog wardens, but we're so small that cops do it all. :)
 

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Sorry I'm not much help but when I'm busy at home my dog is crated. He knows that when he is in his crate its time for a nap. Its why I like crate training, when I am out busy can't watch crate. Now he is older and trustworthy so not so much an issue but I still use the crate when I'm leaving for longer than an hour or unsure about my return and of course at night he goes in to sleep.
 

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No, that's very helpful! Thank you!

I think maybe I should have insisted they remain crated more often, but I was so new at this and the puppy made such a ruckus, not to mention a mess, that I gave up. He was better behaved when he roamed, so that's what I went with.

They do have the crate/pen setup I mentioned for when I leave the house and during the night. They have adjusted well to that, though heaven forbid I leave a toy outside the pen...Jasper will tear up the puppy pads and pull blankets out of the crates trying to find it. But, if he doesn't like that I have gone, or if I'm gone too long, he tears the pads up, too.

Do you think it's too late to teach the two of them to stay in the crates/pen while I work? I am giving thought to just removing the furniture from the dining room and blocking it off for them, but I hate to do that.

Any change I make has to wait a couple weeks, anyway. I was unable to write for the first 11 weeks I had the dogs (change messes me up big time) and now that I am writing again, I dare not rearrange anything until I have a book finished! LOL :)
 

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Could you look into a dog walker now that the weather is getting nicer? I used to pay a friend to walk the dogs, and he'd play ball with them for 1/2 hour afterwards to tire them out. I think daycare costs about $12.00 for half-day, and you could write while the puppy is gone. You could get the puppy used to being crated after he's been to daycare for 1/2 day. Many dogs sleep for hours after daycare!

Your vet's office may be a good resource for finding a dog walker, or daycare in a small town. Bored puppies can get very destructive without lots of exercise. A couple half days a week might allow you some time to write, and be well worth the expense for now. The rescue may have some ideas.
 

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This is a interesting article how someone crate trained their 3 year old dog. She mentioned consistency and that is the key to it all. Never take the whining, excited dog/put out of crate until they settle down. Do not walk quietly as to Not disturb the go, follow normal routines while the go remains in the crate. Give high value snacks ONLY in the crate. Only say to your dog, kennel or bed as he enters the crate, then walk away. Do not greet your dog with a hello or moms home when you return just go about your business as as the go quiets open the crate and allow him out on command. He is not allowed to just walk out. I say ok lets go out now. SO yes you can do it, its never easy in the beginning but oh so worth it in the end. I can get up in the morning walk around the kitchen, fix coffee etc. before I open Kai's crate and say lets go..But I did this since he was 7 weeks old and never ever let him win by crying or whining. In the beginning it was a bit harder but he was on a schedule so I knew if he had to go out to potty or not. Its just learning the schedule at first. Your dog is older so you will know if he has to go out or not. Yes finish writing.. let work on the crate because I'm sure their will be lots of howling in the beginning. You can set theocrats side by side and each one goes in to their own. You will have lots of support here as you go thru this. Oh and definitely a dog walker for now, lots of folks out there that could use a few extra $, so ask at your vet as already suggested.
 

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Could you look into a dog walker now that the weather is getting nicer? I used to pay a friend to walk the dogs, and he'd play ball with them for 1/2 hour afterwards to tire them out. I think daycare costs about $12.00 for half-day, and you could write while the puppy is gone. You could get the puppy used to being crated after he's been to daycare for 1/2 day. Many dogs sleep for hours after daycare!

Your vet's office may be a good resource for finding a dog walker, or daycare in a small town. Bored puppies can get very destructive without lots of exercise. A couple half days a week might allow you some time to write, and be well worth the expense for now. The rescue may have some ideas.
We go to our first vet appointment tomorrow (it was supposed to be last Wednesday, but we had a lovely Lake Effect snow and I cancelled); I'll put that on my list so I'm sure to ask. Thanks for the suggestions! :)
 

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This is a interesting article how someone crate trained their 3 year old dog. She mentioned consistency and that is the key to it all. Never take the whining, excited dog/put out of crate until they settle down. Do not walk quietly as to Not disturb the go, follow normal routines while the go remains in the crate. Give high value snacks ONLY in the crate. Only say to your dog, kennel or bed as he enters the crate, then walk away. Do not greet your dog with a hello or moms home when you return just go about your business as as the go quiets open the crate and allow him out on command. He is not allowed to just walk out. I say ok lets go out now. SO yes you can do it, its never easy in the beginning but oh so worth it in the end. I can get up in the morning walk around the kitchen, fix coffee etc. before I open Kai's crate and say lets go..But I did this since he was 7 weeks old and never ever let him win by crying or whining. In the beginning it was a bit harder but he was on a schedule so I knew if he had to go out to potty or not. Its just learning the schedule at first. Your dog is older so you will know if he has to go out or not. Yes finish writing.. let work on the crate because I'm sure their will be lots of howling in the beginning. You can set theocrats side by side and each one goes in to their own. You will have lots of support here as you go thru this. Oh and definitely a dog walker for now, lots of folks out there that could use a few extra $, so ask at your vet as already suggested.
I can see from what you have said here some of the ways I have gone wrong. I don't do it so much now, but at first, when I put them to bed at night, I'd tiptoe around. The older dog will become scared and bark like there's an intruder if she hears me make an unusual noise when I'm upstairs....but I think at this point she's used to it. I do still tiptoe around while they are sleeping during the day.

I let them out immediately upon getting up, or close to it. My reasoning was that I need 9 hours of sleep and I feel guilty that they are in their crate/pen setup for so long. However, I have begun to make them wait long enough for me to open the curtains. How I long for a cup of tea first; I'm incredibly cranky before breakfast! I'm going to make that a goal! :D

I do put them in their crate/pen setup when I leave to run errands or go to church. I make them wait for me when I get home (I generally have to use the potty myself as soon as I get back) before I let them out and at that time, I immediately take them outside to run in the backyard and do whatever it is they need to do. :D

Thank you so much! I want to have well-behaved companions and I am so uncertain about how to reach that goal. I appreciate your help and your support! :)
 

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We were buried in Lake Michigan Lake Effect snow last week! Sorry you got it too.
Oh my gosh, it was awful! Snow piles around my back door almost as tall as me! I found a nylabone buried in the biggest one when it started to melt the other day (well, the puppy found it, I just pulled it out for him)! :D At figure it could have been worse....I could have been in New York!! :D
 

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Thank you to everyone who read my plea! :) I'm sorry no one could help me with it, but I know that working from home is still rare and that there might not be many folks who have experience with a situation like mine.
No one ...??? Well I feel insulted. Sorry ... I was out of touch ... been spending to much time on the "Germanshepardforum" fighting with uh ...members who have an issue with my advise. Happens all the time but they are extra nutty as of late. :)

But ... whatever ... the issue you face ... is nothing new. Pretty much this kind of craziness is my only "reservation" in recommending "Boxers" to people. Some people ... just don't have the time and patience ... for this kind of crap??? So to be clear ... it's not just you! But ... despite your current situation of chaos??? You have already taken the first step to finding a solution ... stop and think??? If what I am doing is not working ... do something different???

But first inasmuch as ... I have gotten pounded on time and time again ... becasue I just tend to dive into solutions. I have to say that "adequate exercise" is important. These days that is no big deal for me. I live in the desert and when I had "Struddell" exercise was as simple as driving a quarter mile to the open desert ... open a car door, and say OK. And off she'd go ... Jack Rabbits to chase aplenty. Adequate exercise ... no problem. :)

So you know ... easy for me to say. But in the "Real World" ... not everyone can do that??? But when I lived in the city ... I'd find safe area where my dogs could run off leash a couple of times a week. Business parks during the weekends were a favorite as no one tends to be there. I don't know your situation in that regard??? But think outside the box (hmm no pun intended) for solutions. If you have to keep your dog's "crated or penned" all the time?? Yeah that is kinda like what's the point of having them???

So ... what to do ... first ... puppies in the winter ... depending on Breed and where you live ... can pretty much suck! And "Boxers" are not all weather dogs. They are not particularly keen about cold weather. But coats and boots and short periods of time and they can do fine.

Just brings me to my first point ... you have to "Walk" them! That's is how you establish who is in control. A dog ... does not need you to exercise but they do need you to go on a structured walk ... walking is important.

The other mistake your making ... is letting them run around "hog butt wild down stairs." I know that seems like a good idea but really not so much. It pretty much reinforces there ... we do what we want behaviour. Indoors should be to chill ... outdoors in spite of the weather is to chill.

So your gonna have to switch things up. You need to "institute" a "No free roaming in the house policy" outside is for play ... inside is to chill. It's going to be a process but essence of it will require ... training the "Place Command and Doing Sit on the Dog." And "Sit on the Dog" will require walking your dog.
Details on that are here.:
http://www.boxerforums.com/training/183298-fearful-anxious-flat-crazy-place-command.html

And the "no free roaming in the house thing" it's a rather long and involved post but the essence of it are in this rather long, involved link filled post.:
German Shepherd Dog Forums - View Single Post - My 11 month old GS is crazy!

Those two threads are the solutions to your problem and to explain in a nutshell ... instead of fighting behaviours you don't want ... you train behaviours you do.

Yeah I know it looks like kind sort a lot?? But it's fairly simple and basic ... so take a look and questions. Welcome aboard and sorry it's a bumpy ride so far. :)
 

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No one ...??? Well I feel insulted. Sorry ... I was out of touch ... been spending to much time on the "Germanshepardforum" fighting with uh ...members who have an issue with my advise. Happens all the time but they are extra nutty as of late. :)

But ... whatever ... the issue you face ... is nothing new. Pretty much this kind of craziness is my only "reservation" in recommending "Boxers" to people. Some people ... just don't have the time and patience ... for this kind of crap??? So to be clear ... it's not just you! But ... despite your current situation of chaos??? You have already taken the first step to finding a solution ... stop and think??? If what I am doing is not working ... do something different???

But first inasmuch as ... I have gotten pounded on time and time again ... becasue I just tend to dive into solutions. I have to say that "adequate exercise" is important. These days that is no big deal for me. I live in the desert and when I had "Struddell" exercise was as simple as driving a quarter mile to the open desert ... open a car door, and say OK. And off she'd go ... Jack Rabbits to chase aplenty. Adequate exercise ... no problem. :)

So you know ... easy for me to say. But in the "Real World" ... not everyone can do that??? But when I lived in the city ... I'd find safe area where my dogs could run off leash a couple of times a week. Business parks during the weekends were a favorite as no one tends to be there. I don't know your situation in that regard??? But think outside the box (hmm no pun intended) for solutions. If you have to keep your dog's "crated or penned" all the time?? Yeah that is kinda like what's the point of having them???

So ... what to do ... first ... puppies in the winter ... depending on Breed and where you live ... can pretty much suck! And "Boxers" are not all weather dogs. They are not particularly keen about cold weather. But coats and boots and short periods of time and they can do fine.

Just brings me to my first point ... you have to "Walk" them! That's is how you establish who is in control. A dog ... does not need you to exercise but they do need you to go on a structured walk ... walking is important.

The other mistake your making ... is letting them run around "hog butt wild down stairs." I know that seems like a good idea but really not so much. It pretty much reinforces there ... we do what we want behaviour. Indoors should be to chill ... outdoors in spite of the weather is to chill.

So your gonna have to switch things up. You need to "institute" a "No free roaming in the house policy" outside is for play ... inside is to chill. It's going to be a process but essence of it will require ... training the "Place Command and Doing Sit on the Dog." And "Sit on the Dog" will require walking your dog.
Details on that are here.:
http://www.boxerforums.com/training/183298-fearful-anxious-flat-crazy-place-command.html

And the "no free roaming in the house thing" it's a rather long and involved post but the essence of it are in this rather long, involved link filled post.:
German Shepherd Dog Forums - View Single Post - My 11 month old GS is crazy!

Those two threads are the solutions to your problem and to explain in a nutshell ... instead of fighting behaviours you don't want ... you train behaviours you do.

Yeah I know it looks like kind sort a lot?? But it's fairly simple and basic ... so take a look and questions. Welcome aboard and sorry it's a bumpy ride so far. :)
Thank you for replying! :)

I have so learned what you mean about boxers not being all weather dogs!! It's all I can do in the bitter cold weather we have had to keep the pair of them outside long enough for the baby to poo...and far too often, I fail. This could, of course, be partly because I am also not an all weather being. I hate being out there as much as they do! They have learned to go out without me for a few minutes, but they aren't always out long enough, unless Jasper takes it into his head to poop right then. LOL

We have spent lots of time, and I have done lots of research about, keeping them occupied in the winter. I must confess here that I have broken two mini-blind slats in the living room tossing a ball for the baby. **blush** It's ok, really....I need to replace them all anyway. LOL I learned via this forum about puzzle feeders and other toys, and those have been helpful. Yesterday, after I replied to the comments, we went outside (it was finally a nice, sunny, reasonably warm day) and while Selena (my sun-worshipper) laid out working on her tan, Jasper and I played with a Frisbee. Twenty minutes of that and he slept like, well, a baby, for an hour. I got 600 words written and was thrilled! LOL

Our back yard is fenced in, but for the first couple months, I had to walk them around the yard on leashes, because the gate across the drive was broken. A guy from church fixed it up and improved it, and now the yard is totally closed off and they can go out and run and chase each other. It's beautiful to watch and better for all of us! I hope to get a storm door this year with a doggy door in it so they can just come and go when they need to. They have been mostly off leash for a month now and Jasper is fighting it again the few times we have to use them, so we will have to practice that more, too.

I live in a very small town...1,000 people according to the last census, but I think they must have counted during the tourist season...so there aren't places I am comfortable taking the dogs off leash. There's an industrial park, but it's outside of town; and dogs are not allowed in the rec park (which is stupid IMO, but I suspect there must have been some irresponsible people in the past that caused that rule.) Now that the weather is getting nicer (well, except for today), I can take them for walks, so I will add that to our routine, as well. It will do me good, too, and it's part of why I got the dogs in the first place...incentive to actually take the walks.

Thanks for the resources, too! I will check those out at some point today. I truly appreciate all the advice. I have an image in my mind of what I want our life to be like, I'm just having difficulty getting us there. I have hope now, though, that I can make it happen. :)
 

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Oh your back great!! It gives me an opportunity to "simplify" and better explain that thread. It was composed primarily to help owners with fighting pack member "issues."

With that "issue" addressing it is a bit beyond my scope but managing it is easier to understand and the heart of most "situations" are "Free Roaming (indoor) Dogs." Under those circumstances consist of two solutions ... "Crate and Rotate" or "No Free Roaming." It's pretty much that simple.

However ... you don't have that problem. So for you ... it might seem a bit overwhelming and confusing???? I have gotten that "criticism" in the past. There is however a lot of useful information and the links provided would all be to "Crap Free Trainers" so it's a good source of information ... all in one place. :)

But as I said overkill for you perhaps?? I think what you would like however ... is for your dogs not to have to be banished to the downstairs, while you try and work??? I think ...you would like to be able to have them in your office while you work and have them ... just not be "PIA's??? If so ... that can be done and a part of that process is going to be training "Calmness" into them. That is what the "Place Command" is all about ... doing that and "Sit on the Dog" ... trains calmness into a dog. So training that is going to be a part of a more "simplified" process.

The other part is going to be simpler still. So simple in fact that after many, many years ... I finally found another trainer ... that explained to me ... "what I do!" "Walk your dog"
that's it, that is the secret to a well mannered, well behaved dog.That's it that is the secret to a well mannered well behaved dog. When I started to get the dog thing right ... that's what I started doing.

But the devil is in the details. It's not just a walk ... it needs to be a "Long Structured Walk." No sniffing no screwing around, no random acts of peeing, no talking. We are going here dog and we are not screwing around. You get to where you want to go and let them take a potty break.

The "Structured Walk" Jeff explains here.:

Now ... Jeff uses a "Prong Collar" and I do not. I trained "Struddell" with a regular collar and a flat leash and I did it mostly like this (buried in my link but here you go.):

There you ... that is what I did and most likely I would have just with a flat leash and regular collar ... but at a "Boxer Rescue" event ... they handed over a "Boxer." Said fear of people issues and be careful he pulls. They then handed me a "Slip Lead Leash" and here use this. I'd never seen nor used one before?? But I said "OK" I looked at the "SLL" saw the little tabby things and said ... hmmm OK. Snugged the little tabs up high on the neck and after about three or four minutes of no apparent effort to an onlooker, as I did nothing apparent?? The dog stopped, sat down and looked up at me?? I then looked down at him and said ... OK. And off we went no problem. We had a great time and that "Boxer" walked as well for me ... as my own "Struddell" (high praise there indeed.) We had a great "pulling free day. The rest of the story ... I handed the leash over at the end of the day .... and sure enough ... there he goes! Dragging his handler behind him???? So ... "apparently" it's not about the tool ... it's about the user. :)

I don't know what you do on walks but most likely ... you walk both dogs together??? If you do that?? That won't work right now ... you need to spend time one on one walking the puppy.The older Boxer maybe ... I don't know but the puppy one on one walks are a necessity!Hmm ... I want to speak to the "Boxers" in the cold bit ... just share my observations ... but as usual ... I've said a lot already. :chatterbox:

The three things you need to do are the ones I put in bold however. Trying to "KISS" here as the saying goes. :cheers:
 

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**snip** I think what you would like however ... is for your dogs not to have to be banished to the downstairs, while you try and work??? I think ...you would like to be able to have them in your office while you work and have them ... just not be "PIA's??? ** snip**
Yes! :D That's what my goal and vision is. :) I'm just having trouble getting there. LOL

We had our vet visit yesterday and all of us were exhausted, so while I read your reply last evening and watched the videos, I did not have the mental capacity to compose a coherent comment. LOL Today, I do, so...

Thank you! I will need to watch the videos again to make sure I understand, but this gives me some good guidelines on teaching the dogs to walk on a leash. The baby hates the leash and fights it a lot, but the older dog pulls and stuff, too. I think I should work with the baby first, though.

Oh, and there are no dog walkers or doggy day care that the vet and vet tech knew of, so it's going to be up to me, job or no job, to wear the puppy out. :D

I'm going to work on crating, place command and sit on the dog, and long/structured walks.

Knowing that I have a starting point is half the battle, I think. I feel so much better after reading all the advice I've been given from everyone, so thank you!! :D
 

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Oh ... I had "assumed" they were already crate trained??? No basis for that just an assumption. Ares7477 likes this approach ... seems reasonable to me ... I should add it to my thread.:

The Second Hand Dogs: Playing Crate Games

The leash thing ... I use a "SLL" myself you snug up high and that pretty much does the rest ... no yanking and cranking required ... it would be a slight tug sideways as required. But ... I did not start out using one. I used a flat leash and a regular collar and started pretty much like the "Doggy Dan" clip. If you get the "Doggy Dan" concept down ... a "SLL" is no big deal to use properly just a thought.

And Boxer's you know ... butt loads of patience required. Don't expect too much at once. I will say however that the sooner you can start taking them on "Structured Walks" the easier everything else will become to train ... it's a "this guy has my back kinda thing." :)
 

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Yay for working at home! I'm also a writer (for businesses) and get to work from my home. One thing I do is take my lil girl out for a bike ride or vigorous ball throwing every morning for about 30 min before I sit down to work. Then, I do it again mid-day. It's been extremely good for my health and helps her rest easy during the day while I'm concentrating on my work. Because her energy is tapped out a couple of times a day, she also doesn't have the destructive tendencies that I've seen in a lot of other pups.

There aren't many off-leash places around my house, either, and my community is really strict about it. Because of this, when we play ball I take her to a very quiet neighborhood that has a paved road with a hill. I throw the ball down the road. I throw the ball up the road. I watch for cars before each throw. Nobody has complained and we've been at it for months. Some people do come out to pet her, though.

When it rains, I wait for small breaks in the rain and take her out immediately when given a chance.

Oh, and, I actually had to train her to bring back the ball. It wasn't natural. She wouldn't 'drop it' as easily unless I ask her to sit first. If she's sitting, however, she'll drop it right away.

Hope this helps!
 
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