Often called the Peter Pans of the dog world, boxers are known for their exuberance and retain their puppy-like demeanor into their senior years. The breed was also developed to think independently, which results in an active dog that bores easily. Exercise and training can help keep your boxer calm.
Ensure your dog gets adequate exercise as an outlet for their energy. Boxers need at least an hour of exercise daily; walking on a leash will work, but running in the yard is ideal. A boxer that does not get enough exercise is more likely to display hyper behavior such as jumping, barking, mouthing and rough play. A common belief among boxer owners is that a tired boxer is a happy boxer -- or, better put, a tired boxer is a calm boxer with a happy owner.
Train your boxer every day. Even a five-minute training session will keep his mind engaged. Aim for three short sessions a day, and always end the training when the dog has done something right. If necessary, do one repetition of a behavior the dog always does correctly so you can end on a success.
Play games to challenge your boxer's problem-solving ability. Mental stimulation can sometimes be more tiring to a dog than physical exercise. Hide a few treats in a room, and then ask your boxer to find them. He gets to eat the treats he finds. If two people are available, one of you hold the dog and the other hide in a different room. The hidden person calls the dog, and then gives lots of praise, treats and affection when found.
Provide your boxer with interactive toys such as puzzle boxes, treat-dispensing toys and toys-within-toys. Boxers tend to love these toys, since they encourage independent thinking and pay off when the challenge is solved. A boxer that receives regular physical and mental exercise rarely has an excess of energy. He will still be active and exuberant, without the hyper edge of a dog that is not routinely exercised and mentally challenged.
Crate your boxer when you cannot supervise him and he is excessively energetic. Most dogs will quickly calm down in their crate and typically fall asleep. Your dog shouldn't spend the majority of the day in his crate, but keeping him contained protects both him and your home from the mischief a bored boxer can create.
- Although adequate exercise is vital to a calm, well-behaved boxer, puppy activity should be limited unless they're running free in the yard. To avoid damage to their growing bones and joints, a rule of thumb is five minutes of leash walking per month in age. Once the growth plates close at 18 months, puppies can go for longer walks or start running on leash.