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Chewing & Teething

Boxer Teething and Chewing Issues

A Boxer puppy will have 28 temporary puppy teeth. As a pup grows, works their way through the teething process and becomes an adult dog, they will have 42 permanent adult canine teeth. 

A puppy will begin to lose his or her temporary teeth at the age of 4 months. Aside from losing them, new ones will be growing in as well. The back molars will begin to poke through the gums at the approximate age of 6 months.

Learn how to help your dog get through this stage of discomfort and pain. A dog will chew just about anything to help relieve the negative sensations.

However, with some planning ahead of time and some easy training, your puppy will not destroy your home and you will be able to help your dog cope.
Boxer dog chewing on ball
Boxer teething time can be one of the largest hurdles that you and your dog will overcome; fortunately this phase is temporary. 

Teething and chewing problems can occur if an owner does not know how to help their dog cope with this stage. When a puppy is teething, without planning and training, he will chew on just about anything that he can get his mouth on. 

The urge to chew and gnaw is quite strong. As a Boxer owner, it will be your job to: 
  • Train your puppy what is not appropriate to chew on
  • Offer the correct alternatives, so that the puppy has plenty of choices for other objects to chew on
Training

Patience and consistency will always be the 2 most important elements when training a dog to do anything, this included. 

Your dog has no idea that he is not supposed to chew on your favorite shoes; he is just trying to relieve his pain.  A careful eye must be kept on your puppy so that you can stop him the moment he even thinks about chewing on something other than your pre-planned and purchased chew toys.
As soon as your Boxer pup opens his mouth to take a nice bite out of your sofa or wants to gnaw on your hand, you must immediately say "No!" with a strong and firm voice. The tone of your voice is very important. If "No!" is said in a playful or amused tone, your dog will not understand the true meaning of this word. 

This command word will be one of great importance that is used in countless situations. Your dog must understand from the tone and the actions that you make that you mean business when you say this.

After saying the command word to your dog:
  • If he already has an object in his mouth - take the object away. Do not allow your puppy to engage you in a game of tug-of-war. A puppy will see that as fun and try to provoke this game as often as they can. As soon as you have the non-approved object away from your pup, immediately give him one of the approved chewing and teething dog toys. Say "Here's your toy" in a happy and excited tone. As your Boxer begins to chew on it, praise him for being a good dog.
  • If your puppy is just about to grab onto an un-approved object, distract him. Say his name loudly to get your dog's attention. Then, immediately give your dog 1 of his chewing and teething dog toys. Again, say "Here's your toy" in a very pleasant tone and praise him for using it.
  • If your Boxer puppy nips and gnaws on you, try to resist the urge to swat at him. A dog does not learn very much from an owner hitting him; even if the swat is a light one. All this will do is teach your Boxer to be afraid of you and it does not show very much will power on your side. If you want your dog to have control over his behavior, so must you as an owner. The correct training method is to say "No!" very loudly and firmly. Then, immediately give him his dog teething toy.

Correct Chewing & Teething Toys

Not all dog toys are the same. Some are colorful pieces of rubber that are basically worthless. Owners are attracted to them because of the colors or perhaps because of the fun and amusing names of them. However, to truly help your Boxer puppy with the teething stage, a puppy must have a large supply of proper dog toys that are designed to help him.

What are the perfect types of teething toys for your puppy? They will have 3 characteristics:

1) They will be able to be put into a freezer. Many of these will be filled with water, thus allowing the freezing method to work very well. Chewing on a cold object will help tremendously.

2) The dog toy must be very sturdy, it will be used continually throughout this time

3) The dog toy will be a solid object with thinner and longer elements that protrude from the base. It must be shaped in a way that allows your dog to use it to get right onto the gum that is in between teeth and to reach any area that is causing discomfort.

What If I am Not Home?

Just as you must plan for house training your Boxer, even at times that you are not home, you must allow prepare for this. A Boxer puppy can be put into a gated area.  However, that area should contain plenty of proper dog toys. To leave your puppy without resources to soothe itchiness and sore gums is just plain cruel. 

Along with chews should be water in a dispenser, food (if you will be gone during meal time), a comfortable area to rest/sleep (canine bed or pillow) and an area for a pee pad. 

How long is too long to stay home alone? A 4 month old puppy, if going into the gated off area immediately after eliminating, can only hold on for 4 hours. An hour is added for each month your puppy grows older.
Two Boxer dog playing tug-of-war
Creating a space for your dog inside the home can work out nicely. This can be a spare room or this can be the corner of a room. Gates can be used to section this area off or a puppy play pen can be used. 

This will allow your pup to have plenty of space to walk around, play, rest and sleep and room for plenty of the dog toys.  
To see a collection of toys that are especially helpful for Boxer puppy teething, you may want to check out the Boxer Dog Specialty Shoppe.
Adult Chewing
  
Your Boxer will stop teething at approximately 7 months of age. However chewing may not stop if your dog has not been taught to use his or her toys in certain situations. When a adult dog chews this is usually caused by:
  • Boredom
  • Anxiety
As a medium breed dog, a Boxer may be kept outside at certain times, given that the environment and temperature is safe and correct. 

However, a dog left alone for too long outside will make for a very bored dog. If your dog is bored outside and chews on grass, tree branches and other, he will not know how that differs from chewing on the leg of your coffee table.

Whether you choose to keep your dog outside, inside or both, an owner must supply plenty of toys (along with other essentials). 
Our Top Recommended Puppy Training Book:

Chewing, Tugging, Nipping and Biting: Detailed Step-by-Step Training for Puppies and Dogs by Faye Dunningham... the woman's a genius (she doesn't whisper, but she's awesome!)
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