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Barking

Boxer Barking

Boxer Barking Overview

This breed is rambunctious and vocal during the puppy years and adult Boxers are capable of very deep barking. Most Boxers make for excellent watch dogs, so do expect some territorial barking in regard to certain triggers. However, excessive barking should be addressed as soon as it starts, otherwise things can get out of control.

Many owners wonder how much barking is normal and why it seems that a Boxer will bark for no apparent reason. Though dealing with barking may seem overwhelming, luckily, once you understand all of the possible causes (some you may have never thought of) action can be taken and training can begin to correct your dog's behavior.

So let's dive in to understand this issue and see if and when you can take steps to control this.
Boxer barking
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 he tries to warn you, this may backfire. 

If your dog eventually learns that barking to warn you is un-wanted behavior, you may find yourself with a silent dog while an unwanted "guest" is 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. 

Your 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 effective 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 his belongings are in danger. A dog can become very attached to his toys, dog bed, blankets or other objects that he uses daily. 

Your dog's things should not be rearranged or bothered with, other than to clean them. A Boxer will also become protective of his food and water. The eating area should quiet and out of the way of foot traffic.
Boredom & Perceived 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 and whining problems; 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 his owner or owners. If you go for walks each day, spend some time throwing a ball to him, wrestle around, give him baths, groom him and talk to him while you go about your business in the home, he will receive the stimuli that is needed. 

This is best if a certain time is chosen for each activity. For example, a walk in the morning and a half hour of fetch every evening 1 or 2 hours after dinner. 

Once he is internally satisfied that he is 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 his toys or just relax.
Having a great selection of toys is vital for all but the oldest of senior dogs; these are not just for pups. Dogs of all ages should have interesting and interactive toys. Kongs and others 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. Canines often feel vulnerable when weak and will act out in this way. 

Solution. If your dog suddenly displays behavior that is out of character, it is best to bring him for a complete examination with his veterinarian. Never just go by clinical symptoms and factor in behavior as well when assessing if a vet visit is warranted. 
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