In regard to puppies that nip the following methods of “training” will not work: Yelling, trying to scare the dog into stopping, smacking him and/or isolating him in another room. And we’ll tell you why…
The above reactions by an owner may work temporarily, but they will not work long term. And this is because it does not teach the dog what he needs to learn.
Yelling, hitting or otherwise intimidating a puppy or dog will only serve to make the dog afraid of his owner. Alternatively, some dogs will see this as a challenge.
A dog may metaphorically think, “Oh, okay, it’s on, if you want to intimidate me, I’ll do it back and let’s see who wins”.
So, owners must choose: Fear or respect. For a happy, healthy environment in which humans and canines live in peace, the Boxer (or any other dog) should be taught to respect his humans, not fear them.
In addition, for a dog that bites, physically isolating him will stop the problem short term…while the dog is taken away of course he is not biting anyone….yet this offers zero opportunity for owners to show the dog what is acceptable and what is not. It is a huge mistake to miss out on a chance to train a dog to stop biting.
Of course, in the rare chance that a dog is full out biting, causing injury and is clearly dangerously aggressive, the dog should be removed…
And measures must be taken to keep the family safe from any potential attacks…but again, this does not relate to puppy nipping, play biting or nipping due to teething, etc.
Training a Boxer puppy
to stop biting takes a bit of mental will power. You may have heard this before: Ignore the puppy. Some wonder, “If I ignore the problem, how the heck is it going to stop?” and others think “Well, that doesn't seem like a strong enough reaction to a bite”…
Yet, it must be understood that being ignored – in the right way- sends a VERY strong signal to a puppy.
To a dog, his humans are his “pack”. There is no other way for a dog to interpret this, as it is canine mentality. His humans and any other animals in the home are his pack.
Every single pack that exists has a leader. Having a leader is a defining element of a pack. Problems can arise when a dog does not have a clear understanding of who that leader is. Owners can establish this by always following these rules:
- Humans enter the home first, the dog enters last
- Humans exit the home first, the dog exits right afterward
- Humans eat first – Any time that both the Boxer is ready for a meal and an owner is also eating, the Boxer’s meal should be prepared and set on a counter. Humans begin eating. Two to three minutes pass. The dog is then commanded to “Sit”. Once the dog obeys, a delicious and healthy meal is set down for him.
- Obeying the “Sit’ command is a mandatory requirement before eating any meal or snack.
So, once a dog knows that his human is in charge, how does this training stop the Boxer from biting….?
- When a Boxer understands that his human(s) are his leader(s), being ignored is akin to being rejected by pack.
- A dog will suddenly be very humbled.
- He will worry that his pack has turned their backs on him… he will question his behavior and, when done correctly, he will make the connection that his action of biting caused a major problem with his standing in his family….
Here’s What to Do
Any time that your Boxer puppy bites at you, immediately change your physical position from him. If you were both on the floor, stand up. If you were holding him, place him down. If you were both sitting on the sofa, rise up.