Why does your Boxer bark? And, why does he or she do it so often?
Why does he or she bark so often or so loud? And why do they do this when you can't find one good reason why they should be making such a commotion?
These are questions that many dog owners face. Luckily, once an owner understands all of the possible causes (some you may have never thought of) action can be taken to correct your dog's behavior.
A Boxer barks for a specific reason each time that cute, yet large, mouth opens for a huge "woof"! Training to control this can begin once you understand your puppy or dog.
So let's dive in to understand this issue and see if and when you can take steps to control this.
Causes & Solutions
Protection. This includes a dog having a natural instinct to protect their human family and instinctual self protection. Many people are aware that a dog's hearing is much more keen than a humans. How much more? A Boxer can hear detect noises that you will never be able to hear; these will be those of a higher frequency. Noises can be heard at frequencies approximately twice the range of humans. They will hear anything up to 60Hz compared to humans top capacity of 20Hz. Hz stands for Hertz; and 1 Hertz equals 1 vibration per each second. Also, a Boxer will pick up on noises that originate at a further distance than the human ear can detect.
Therefore, when your dog is barking loudly and seems to be on alert, there is a good chance that they are detecting an unfamiliar noise and associating it with potential danger.
Training Solution. The Boxer makes for a very good watch dog. It is wise to not dismiss barking in the case that your dog may be displaying correct behavior in attempting to warn you. If you quiet your dog down each time they try to warn you, this may backfire. When you dog eventually learns that barking to warn you is un-wanted behavior, you may find yourself with a silent dog while an unwanted "guest" in breaking into your home. Appreciate this type of bark.
When your Boxer barks, take a look around the home and outside. If there is indeed a stranger walking by or on your property, even if it is the neighbor retrieving something from your yard, let your dog know that you appreciate the warning. A quick pat and a "good dog" will instill your approval that the warning bark was welcomed.
If you see no danger and there is not a valid reason for the barking, you should then train your dog to quiet down. They may be barking because of a car alarm 6 blocks down or a bird 500 feet away. You dog can be taught that this type of barking is not appropriate. It is important that you do so in a calm manner. When an owner yells or becomes frustrated, this simply makes the puppy or dog think that their human family member agrees with the barking and is making a commotion also!
It is your actions and reactions that will show your Boxer that their barking is unwarranted. This is done by gently patting him or her; not in a reward action, but in a calming motion.
The tone of your voice must be calm and relaxed, as you give your Boxer a pre-planned command word. The most common and affective word is "Shh" or "Calm Down". The command should be short. Dogs only pay attention to the first syllable of words. If you make your command a long sentence, you will confuse your Boxer and be speaking to no one.
Self protection barking will ensue when a dog feels that their belongings are in danger. A dog can become very attached to their toys, dog bed, blankets or other objects that they use daily. Your dog's things should not be rearranged or bothered with, other than to clean them. A Boxer will also become protective of their food and water. Their eating area should quiet and out of the way of foot traffic.
Boredom & Neglect
Neglect can be unintentional, if a dog owner does not understand the important needs of their pet. Boredom is often the cause of barking; many owners falsely assume that a dog leads a simple life and does not need stimulation and socialization like humans do. Most often these 2 elements will combine. However a dog will feel neglected or bored if:
He is left alone for long periods of time
He is not taken outside for a good burst of exercise at least once per day
He is not receiving interaction with humans, such as play
Interactive and interesting toys are not available
Training Solution. There should be a daily schedule that your dog can depend on. This should include daily walks, exercise, play and interaction with their owner or owners. If you go for walks each day, spend some time throwing a ball to them, wrestle around, give them baths, groom them and talk to them while you go about your business in the home, they will receive the stimuli that is needed. This is best if a certain time is chosen for each activity. For example, a walk each evening right after dinner.
Once they are internally satisfied that they are receiving attention and can count on interaction and exercise, a dog will usually be more than happy to settle down at other times to play with their toys.
Dog toys are vital to the emotional health of a canine. Toys are not just for puppies. Dogs of all ages should have interesting and interactive toys. Ones that hold treats hidden inside can keep a dog busy for hours.
Illness or Injury. When a dog barks or bites and this behavior is completely out of their normal behavior, it may be because the dog is in pain. Unable to cope, the dog will bite or bark. Aggressive behavior is the 2nd most common symptom that a dog will display when in pain.
Solution. If your dog suddenly displays behavior that is out of character, it is best to bring them for a complete examination with their veterinarian. A dog may appear fine on the outside, while something is causing discomfort or pain inside. Unable to cope, the dog will bite or bark.