Your boxer pup is intelligent, curious and full of energy. The first 20 weeks of his life are crucial. It is during this time that you set boundaries and show him that you are the leader of the pack. With patience, consistency and kindness you can set your boxer on the right path from a very young age.
Monitor your pup’s toilet habits. Make notes of how long after waking, drinking and eating the little guys needs to potty. This will help you time your toilet training to perfection. Timing is crucial when training a puppy.
Observe your boxer pup and look out for tell-tale signs that he needs to go. These include pacing, whining and pawing at the door.
Open the door and guide your boxer pup into the yard. Give the “go potty” command when you think he is about to go.
Reward him with verbal praise as soon as he starts to go. Once he is finished, give him a food treat. With sufficient repetition, he will learn that going potty in the yard has a positive outcome.
Give your boxer pup lots of exercise. It’s easier to get cooperation from your dog when he is a little worn out. Boxer pups have particularly high energy levels, so this is crucial.
Open the door to the crate and put one his favorite toys inside. This should encourage him to enter the crate of his own volition.
Give him verbal praise while he is inside. Don’t close the door. Let him enter and exit as he pleases for the first few days.
Repeat this process for a few days so your boxer builds a positive association with the crate. Then once he is happy in the crate, you can start shutting him in for brief periods. The ASPCA recommends puppies aged 8-10 weeks are crated for 30-60 minutes, puppies aged 11-14 weeks are crated for 1-3 hours, puppies aged 15-16 weeks are crated for 3-4 hours and puppies 17+ weeks can be crated for 4-5 hours. Leave a toy in the crate so he isn’t bored.
Sit next to the crate on the first few occasions so he doesn’t become anxious. Then begin to move further away so you gradually get him used to being alone in the crate.
Reward the pup when you let him out. The trick is to help him learn early on that being in the crate is never permanent.
Give all commands in a friendly, positive voice. Boxers respond best to patient, gentle encouragement.
Use a lure to get him to do what you want while giving the command. For example, if teaching the sit command, move a food treat toward his nose, then upward, so he follows it. Eventually he will park his bottom to get a better sniff of the treat.
Reward him by releasing the food reward as soon as his bottom hits the floor.
Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for Dogmagazine.net.