Boxers love to jump and they get great satisfaction by jumping up to greet you and during play. It's cute behavior in a small puppy, but as the boxer grows into 70 pounds of pure muscle, the cuteness turns to a huge annoyance for you and your guests.
Tell your boxer to sit before he jumps. If you see your dog running at you for a big jump, quickly say, “Sit!” to give a command that's counterproductive to your boxer's jumping. Your dog can't jump if his butt is on the floor. Do not pet your boxer unless he is sitting and be sure everyone in the household follows this rule.
Ignore your boxer if he jumps. If you walk in the door and your boxer jumps, turn around and walk out the door. Wait a minute and then enter your home. If he jumps, turn around and walk back outside. Reenter your home in one minute. If your boxer's feet stay on the ground, calmly pet him and say, “Good dog.” If he tries jumping while you're petting him, walk away. Your boxer will soon learn that keeping his feet on the ground gets him attention.
Stop strangers from petting your dog unless he stays sitting. A boxer is a beautiful dog that gets a lot of attention when he's out for walks. If someone asks if they can pet your dog, give your boxer the sit command. Tell the stranger you are training your dog not to jump. If your dog remains sitting, he can be petted, but you are going to walk away if he tries jumping.
Crate your boxer if you have visitors. Each time your dog lands his paws during a jump, the jumping behavior is reinforced and becomes more difficult to break. Until your boxer is broken of this bad habit, you must manage the behavior. If you don't have a crate, you can keep your boxer on a leash or confined to a different area of the house. Be sure to crate your boxer 15 to 20 minutes before guests arrive so he doesn't associate the guest with going to his crate.
- Back away if your boxer jumps so he jumps into the air. This keeps his paws from touching you, so the action is not reinforced.
- Yelling at your boxer for jumping gives him attention for the behavior. The key is ignoring the behavior and giving attention only when the boxer's feet are on the floor.
- Give food treats for good behaviors, such as sitting to greet you or keeping all four feet on the ground.
- Never physically punish a boxer for jumping. This can lead to aggressive behavioral problems, including biting.
- Always confine a jumpy boxer if an elderly person or child is in the home. Weaker people can easily be injured by the force of a boxer's jump.
Melissa McNamara is a certified personal trainer who holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and communication studies from the University of Iowa. She writes for various health and fitness publications while working toward a Bachelor of Science in nursing.