Boxers love to socialize with dogs as well as other people. They are naturally friendly and often get excited so need to be properly leash trained. Once you have completed Boxer puppy training you will be able take to him or her safely anywhere. The whole idea is to gently teach your boxer to enjoy walking with you; not to force the dog to obey out of fear.
- When your Boxer is about 6 weeks old, it is time it was introduced to wearing a very light collar. Pick a very soft lightweight collar and place it around the puppy’s neck while feeding or during a play session so it does not seem like a punishment. This is just to get your puppy used to having something around the neck for when you lead them on a leash later. It is also the time for the puppy to learn its name and to look at you when you call.
- Often a harness is better to use than a collar because they allow for better control.
There are some lightweight, adjustable nylon harnesses that are ideal for beginner’s and growing dogs. When your puppy is 8 weeks old introduce the harness gradually as he may not like it at first, but with plenty of positive attention and treats, he will soon get used to wearing it.
- Let your puppy walk around inside wearing the harness so he or she becomes totally comfortable wearing it. Then quietly attach a short light leash and let the puppy walk around with it dragging behind. After the puppy becomes used to the leash, start to pick it up, but allow it to always be slack and follow your Boxer around with the leash in your hand to familiarize this feeling and connection with you.
- At this age start teaching the puppy basic voice commands such as sit, heel, come, drop it and stay so that when you venture outdoors you already have your basic communication skills in place.
- Self control issues are very common with Boxers as they have lots of energy, especially when young, so you may have to teach them some self control techniques to keep them calm and well behaved while walking on a leash.
- Start outdoor training right after you have had a good play session so some of your puppy’s energy is used up and the puppy is a bit tired. Train in an area that is reasonably quiet without distractions.
- When you begin, first decide if you want your dog to walk on your left or right side. We will place the dog on the left. Hold the lead in your right hand with the puppy placed on your left side. Extend out your left hand with a small treat in it so the puppy starts to move towards it. Slowly move forward leading the puppy and giving the command word “heel” as it tries to get the treat. Give the command word “heel” in a positive tone and stop moving after a few feet allowing the puppy to receive the treat. Repeat this process a few times at each session, remembering that lots of short sessions are much more effective than long sessions where the puppy gets bored.
- As your Boxer gets used to the harness and walking with a lead in the position you want, either by your side or just slightly behind, reward him or her with a treat and positive encouragement such as rubbing or patting to reinforce this good behavior.
- Boxers really like playing games so you can turn any training exercise into a game. When he or she is walking nicely you become the one who strays a little and see if your puppy follows you, if it does, reward it and make the game more interesting. The more practice the more you will reinforce these good habits.
- All Boxers are prone to becoming excited when they are distracted from the walk or are impatient to get to somewhere they know they are going to. If your puppy pulls on the leash, just stop completely and wait until he or she stops pulling, then resume walking. Your puppy will soon learn the leash needs to be slack before you move.
Boxers love life and are known to want to experience it to the max; they really suit a family with an energetic lifestyle.
Want to know more about Boxer leash training? Check out Mav4Life's E-Book How To Leash Train Your Boxer Pup