Very frustrated Boxer Owner

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Boxer Pal
Want to say Hello


I am new to Boxerworld but have read you forums. I have a 51/2 month old female boxer, who is very smart. We have, however, developed a problem with her beginning to pull on the lead toward other dogs and people and she goes completly deaf and won't listen to her commands. She has gotten worse over the past several weeks.

The only way I can get her attention is to use a choke chain with quick snaps. I have read the collar forum and the training pages, but I have tried many different techniques. She knows both the verbal and hand signals for sit, down and come perfectly when we are alone, but in a crowd of dogs and people like the group class we started.............she becomes a raging animal.

I am going to see another trainer tonight who uses the positive training method, and recommends the gentle leader.......and I have another trainer lined up who uses the choke chain.........but in a positive manner with treats. I have read the Positive Training book twice, Training Puppies for Dummies, Dog Training for the Hectic Lifestyle, and am now reading Barbara Woodhouse's Book No Bad Dogs Training My Way......she uses the choke chain to train and works it down to using thread and then nothing.....and she is known worldwide for her training.

So you can see, I am very frustrated with my pup and seeking all kinds of help. She also plays very aggressively with my Jack Russell terrier and the point the beagle barks loudly at her and pins her to the floor and the Jack Russell will growl at her and hide from is like she has no STOP button at all. We have to put her in the down position and hold her to get her to calm down...........

Is there hope for her....and I am considering giving her another home with a man who is experienced with boxers............


Your Friendly Moderator
At 5.5 months, you are expecting waaaaay too much too soon. This is a puppy and a Boxer puppy. Boxers are slow maturing dogs and don't reach adulthood until approx. 2 to 3 years of age. So slow down!

Distraction work is very difficult. It cannot be accomplished and have a dog masterful at command work amid distractions such as other dogs and lots of people if he hasn't had the opportunity to master his other, more basic skills first, and then distractions added, a little at a time. This takes a lot of patience and effort and time.

As for you reading, may I suggest some GOOD books on dog training. Although Ms. Woodhouse has a good reputation as a trainer of dogs, her methods are very, very outdated and cruel in my opinion. We do not advocate the use of adverse methods such as choke chains. Period. Not necessary if one learns the proper positive reinforcement techniques which are far more effective than the old "jerk n pull" methods of Ms. Woodhouse.

May I suggest, since you are willing to read and learn, getting a copy of "The Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson. This will turn your head around about trainng and how a dog thinks and she has excellent skills sections on recall and so forth. Buy it, or get it from the library but, it is a MUST for all dog owners.

As for the walking and distractions of other dogs, etc., when you dog lunges and doesn't listen to you, simply turn around and take the dog away from the distraction to a point where he WILL listen and obey, have him sit/stay and wait until the distraction passes. If he doesn't, end the walk right then, take him home and then ignore him for about 20 minutes.

Then you can start distraction work with minor distractions, then working your way up to bigger distractions. You need a solid watch command as well so that no matter what your dog is looking at or attracted to, when called he will look at YOU and wait for your next command. If you can't get your dog's attention amid a distraction, you've got nothing. So this is a great place to start.

A good solid stay, amid all kinds of distractions is possible if one works a dog a little a a time, from small to larger distractions. This work should be done first so your dog understands fully what "stay" means.

So, at 5.5 months, you still have about a year of training to go on the distractions and on walking properly on a leash. This is one of the more difficult things to accomplish with ANY dog, so don't get frustrated or impatient. It takes a lot of time, patience and consistency. But it is very possible and you can accomplish it if done in a positive, guiding and gentle manner.

Good luck.


Boxer Pal
Frustrated Boxer Owner

Hi Dan,

Just wanted to say thank you for your response. I will look into the book you mentioned. I am curious as what to do with her when I take her out to potty and she does the same things. I have to give her space to take care of business and then she lunges at toads, butterflies, etc. When she does, she almost jerks my arm out of the socket. I can't seem to keep her focused on me with the "look at me" command. Walking in the house she does so much better.......

Anyway, I hope to get some better guidance tonight from the instructor. She is recommending using a gentle leader on her.......and will show me how to place it on her and proper usage tonight. How do you feel about this device?

How did you get your pups to settle down when playing with other dogs.....?? She gets so excited she will almost make herself breathless!

Thank you again..........


Boxer Booster
I am going to try the Sensa-tion harness. It is supposed to be great, and was recommended by obedience instructor and whole dog journal. It is not damaging like a choke collar and may be really good in your situation. I ordered mine from


Boxer Booster
Oh, forgot to add, it is supposed to have a much quicker adjustment time than the gentle leader. some dogs have a hard time adjusting to the gentle leader since it goes over their nose. The sense-ation harness is on their body
good luck to you


Boxer Buddy
i'm having similar problems with my 5 yr boxer, i adopted. So i dont know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. But with a lot of patience and books and advice we've made a lot of progress in the last few months. So don't give up, trust me its worth it when you finally have a break through for both you and your puppy. Also you can do a search in the forum for things on aggression, and other topics.. I found that to be a big help if nothing else to make me relize that I'm not the only one with these problems.
Good luck!

boxer kisses

Eva and Xena


Boxer Pal
Thanks for all the great responses. I am hoping I will get good results from the new trainer I am going to see tonight. She just confirmed our appointment, so I am looking forward to her help and advice......she uses and teaches the positive training methods, so we'll see how it goes.

Thanks least now I know my dog is not doing unusual things....just boxer things.....

Have a great day...



Super Boxer
Great that you're interested in working with your dog and are open to positive reinforcement training.

Once again, Tulsa-Dan is DA MAN!


Boxer Insane
I second Dan's suggestion of buying the book 'Culture Clash' :) If I could only own one dog book that would be the one.

Re the Head halter - they are wonderful and I find them an extrememly useful tool for frustrated owners ;) In saying that, they are just a tool - if you want to use it forever that is fine, but if you want a bit more, it is always better to teach the dog nice lead manners no matter what equipment they are on. I prefer my dogs to walk nicely for me, not what they happen to be wearing at the time.

A bit OT, but just wanted to say I love Barbara Woodhouse, but not the training methods. Her great love of dogs always shone through in all her work. The training methods were the stardard in their day, but that day has long gone. Barbara Woodhouse passed away in 1988 at the age of 78.



Boxer Booster
I have had great results with the gentle didn't take my puppy long to figure it out, he walks like a dream, something I don't think is too much to expect at 5 months at all. In fact, I have resently been able to not use it and he respects his regular collar much better now too. I think he's gotten the drift pulling won't get him anything but a correction.
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