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What to do with my 9 month old boxer! LONG Reading Sorry :(

Discussion in 'Boxers & Children' started by deannaking, May 13, 2011.

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  1. deannaking

    deannaking Boxer Pal

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    I have a 9 month old fawn boxer named Jack. We love him and have done everything 'right' for him. I have a 7 year old as well who dearly loves Jack to pieces.

    He has all his vaccines, neutered, had obidence training, a dog walker walks him everyday.

    I have 3 MAJOR problems with Jack since day 1 and they are not getting any better. I am so worried, I'm wondering if he's just wired wrong as I see no improvement whatsoever in him since day one and I'm at my wits end on what to do.

    1) He continually is agressive with me. Humping me when I do dishes, running up the stairs ahead of me ready to pounce on me, continually being mouthy with me, my clothes, my legs... Just trying to get my son ready for school, he's all over us, trying to take shoes, nip me.

    2) If I let him outside to play and I go out with him, he 'attacks' me. Jumping, nipping, being very aggressive to the point, I have to use a shovel or rake to keep him away from me.

    3) If there are children in the back yard, he cannot go outside with them. He did get outside once and latched onto a child's wrist and went wild on him until I got him under control by grabbing his leash.

    I have done so much reading on dominance behaviours, correction, cesar millans' books and have implemented suggestions what I think are all the corrections such as:

    1) At first we would redirect his attention to a toy. That worked for maybe a month.
    2) Once that stopped we tried pinning him when he was bad until he became submissive. That never really seemed to work. He would become more agressive.
    3) We took him to an obedience class and he was marvelous there. Very attentive and did what the trainer asked. She tought sit, stand, up, down, heel, stay. He does those commands very well. HOWEVER, when he's in agreesive mode, he doesn't listen to those commands at all.
    4) We hired a dog walker to supplement the days we could not walk him for at least an hour a day. He is very well behaved when she or us walks him.

    The only savior I have is to have his leash on him at all times and when he's doing something like trying to hump me, biting my arms, I can pull him off me, say down, and make him sit.

    He also does this to my husband. From what I've been reading, it appears he is trying to be the pack leader. I agree this is probably the case but am I doing the proper corrections as it's been 7 months since he's been in my home and I'm not seeing any improvement.

    One major incident that has caused me to post to the forum for any help I can get was on Sunday. My child was outside playing with his friends and Jack was watching from the window. One of the kids opened the door and Jack bolted outside. He jumped on Colby (my 7 year old son) tore his jacket to shreds before my husband got a hold on him.

    I sincerely appreciate all questions and suggestions. At this point, I'm wondering if there is something mentally wrong with Jack or am I being impatient with the corrections?

    HELP
    Deanna
     
  2. srennie

    srennie Super Boxer

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    Wow! First of all I'd keep him separate from your 7y/o until you get this under control. NEVER leave them alone together. It seems as though he sees your son as a toy which is not a good thing. I'd get a behaviorist to come TO your home and evaluate him. Classes are great for learning commands but you need someone to come in and help you teach him how to behave at home. He is being very disrespectful to all of you and he needs to learn how to channel his crazy boxer energy into more appropriate behaviors and activities. In what ways are you challenging him mentally each day? How many walks per day and how long are they?

    Also, try to stop thinking of him as being in 'aggressive mode'...that thought will just make you fearful and frustrated which he'll pick up on. Think of it as 'over excited mode'. Boxer puppies can be a real challenge to focus..especially the super high energy ones like it sounds like you have. Do you notice his behavior getting worse during excitable times...kids running, playing, screaming,....or if you change your voice to a happy, excited praise, etc.? I trained a dog at the shelter I volunteer at who could not handle any sort of excitment without becoming just like you described...jumping on me, pulling my hair, etc. I learned quickly that I could not verbally praise him....I taught him to focus on a tennis ball (he loved them) and that I would not throw the ball until he was sitting patiently. Once he was behaving, I would throw the ball...that was his reward. And, any time I needed his attention all I needed to do was pull out a tennis ball. After a few months we moved on and he was eventually able to handle calm physical and verbal praise and mild levels of excitement.
     
  3. deannaking

    deannaking Boxer Pal

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    Thanks for the reply.

    He is walked each day for 1 hour. Plus we take him for a ride here and there and we play inside as long as he's not being crazy. I wish I could get a behaviorist to come and see us. We live in NL canada and there's none here that I know of :(
     
  4. Cami

    Cami Boxer Insane

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    Nothing you have described is aggression. His actions may be done aggressiveLY (too hard, too fast etc...) but not aggressive.
    To put it bluntly.....you have a bratty 7 month old. I have a 10 month old who is also a brat. I too have done all the "things" that one is supposed to do (positive methods only) in order to help her to eventually become the best behaved adult she can be. It really is a lesson in taking two steps forward and one step back on a daily basis. Some days I make huge progress and other days I really want to give up.

    A good portion of Boxer puppies are NOT "normal" and I say that with love. Their bodies grow leaps and bounds quicker than their maturity. If we are at all lucky...some of them never fully mature and that is what can be so beautifully enduring to someone who loves the breed. I work with animals for a living and have been exposed to too many breeds to count. Of course I am partial to boxers but they are also the one breed that can test my patience more than any other!

    Nix your idea that your dog is being dominant and all that goes into "correcting" a dominate dog. To put it simply you do not have a DOG you have a PUPPY. Huge difference especially since you have a BOXER puppy too boot!

    No reason in the entire world that a human should pin a dog down in order for them to "see the error of their ways."
    Dogs don't even do that to each other regardless of what Cesar teaches.
    Since you didn't get the reaction you wanted when you tried consider that something that just doesn't work and move on.

    Start implementing NILF training (nothing in life is free). You can find many posts here on BW about it as well as other various locations on line.

    At this stage of the game your guy sounds perfectly normal. He just needs additional training (not traditional come, sit, stay, etc...) but he needs to learn to respect you and your family. He needs to be taught what he is allowed to do and what he isn't. He needs constant supervision and guidance. Children who move quickly and make loud noises need to be taught how to act around your puppy. Excitement fuels his fire so it needs to be channeled into something constructive.

    Taking a puppy to a class so that a trainer can train them isn't really going the extra mile in helping to establish a bond with the family. You can get results and a puppy that knows certain commands but you don't get a bond that comes from doing the training yourself as a family.

    Your guys mind is spinning with all the stuff he encounters on any given day. Use it. An hour walk a day for a 7 month old Boxer puppy isn't nearly enough exercise neither physically or mentally. Actually a forced walk for an hour at his age is too much walking at one time (unless he is able to start and stop at his own pace), IMO.
    My girl is active--constant motion in some shape or form from about 6am through midnight. Every single day.... and I still battle with behavior issues.
    Boxer puppies are a work in progress!

    Figure out ways to make him challenge himself. Create games for him to play with the family. Hide-n-seek with humans or simply put one of his favorite toys under a laundry basket and watch him figure out how to get it out. Right now he isn't "thinking". Once he starts using his mind for something other than mischief you will start to see a huge turnaround.

    Patience and persistence must become your mantra!
     
  5. tmschult

    tmschult Boxer Booster

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    My girl is active--constant motion in some shape or form from about 6am through midnight. Every single day.... and I still battle with behavior issues.
    Boxer puppies are a work in progress!



    I tried to "quote" that I hope it worked.

    Yes this is the ideal situation, however I work full time- I do not have the privilege to not do so.

    I also have a high-energy puppy. Do you have any recommendations on how to get the most excercise for him when I work 8 hours a day? He goes for a small work in the am before work, a walk at lunch, and a 30 min walk when i get home followed by playtime around the house - so much energy though turns into lunging, biting, disobeying.
     
  6. prittiegirl

    prittiegirl Super Boxer

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    Ah boxer puppies... the 7-11 month stages were the times when I felt like I possibly hated my dog...

    For me, the key was TONS of exercise. I was doing at least 2 hours a day with her, if not 3 hours, mostly off leash.

    We would do a 30 - 45 minute walk in the morning on leash or at the dog park, 30 minutes at lunch time and then 1 and a 1/4 or 1/2 hours at night at the park, regardless of weather. We HAD to or she would make me crazy!

    If I were doing it again, I would have put $25.00 a week into sending her to daycare for a full wear down. She doesn't need it every day, but it sure does help to keep her level and settled throughout the week!

    I agree that your puppy needs to learn to respect you. Certainly jumping all over your family and your 7 year old is inappropriate and you do not want it to continue... The other replies have had some good idea, so I won't blab on more!
     
  7. Cami

    Cami Boxer Insane

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    I realized that I referred to your pup as a 7 month old and got his age wrong. My bad.
    A 9 month old is worse.....they are bigger!!

    I feel your pain. I too work a full time job however my hours start at 6-7am and finish sometimes at midnight, 7 days a week 365. I don't get days off!

    I am lucky though in that I am the boss and can come and go as I please which means coming home every couple of hours, sometimes even every hour. Hubby can come home at lunch when I can't be there.

    I leave interactive toys available for Raine when I am gone and by their location can tell that she played with them when I was gone. When I am home aside from the typical things that need done I am on constant Raine Patrol. My days are all about her....especially at this stage of the game.

    I fully realize this isn't possible for many homes but just to try and relay that even with seemingly constant supervision Boxer puppies are more than a handful. I have had many tear filled angry and over emotional periods of time when she is just too much for me to handle. I have felt like a failure with not only Raine but with my previous girl Cami. Cami turned into an amazing girl and I am determined that Raine will too (although the jury is still out)!

    You are not alone. They will do everything in their power to beat us. If given the opportunity.....they will.

    There is still hope for your guy and my girl as well. :LOL:
     
  8. nalabear

    nalabear Super Boxer

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    you mentioned that your pup is running up the stairs past you and then being disrespectful to you, and running outside because a door was opened.

    you also mentioned you keep a leash on him at all times. this is good if you are using it correctly. For the stairs I would start training that he is not allowed up those stairs until you are at the top and call him. Have him sit and wait until you get to the top then when you call him you can praise him for waiting patiently with a treat. If he goes up the stairs before you call him take the leash and move him back down to the bottom and start over. Keep this up and he will get it. you do need to show him what you expect of him at first but after that every time you go up those stairs should be a training lesson for him in good stair behavior. Even when your too tired and just don't want to deal with it, still do it because once letting it go ruins all your hard work. Remember hes a puppy so practice practice practice :)

    Same goes for the door. He should not go through that door without your permission. again training so he knows what to expect then every time that door opens he must sit and wait to be invited out and in for that matter and calmly. If he bolts in or out step on the leash and put him back on the side he is to be or block him with your body. If you can't get the leash quick enough get a longer leash or attach some string to it so you have time to step on it and stop him in his tracks.

    He is being a bratty boxer puppy and this is the way they are unfortunetly but with consistent/persistent training and exercise he will get better. And I agree with everyone else he has a whole lot of energy and his brain is going a hundred miles an hour.....its kinda like a kid who has ADHD :D

    These things do take time and can be very frustraiting expecially when they seem to get it yet don't do them. But don't give up He will get it. Exercise physically and mentally will help him to get it faster most likely but you training him in how you expect him to act in every situation is also what he needs.

    Good luck, I know your busy but don't give up.
     
  9. TwoDogs

    TwoDogs Boxer Insane

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    Too bad you're in Canada or I'd offer to take him off your hands. He sounds like just the kind of boxer I'd want--full of energy and lacking direction. Put in the time and effort and he'll come out wonderful when he grows up (in about 1 1/2 years!). I would see about getting a trainer to come in to your home and do some training with you on the specific issues you're dealing with. Sometimes it's hard to take what you learn in a training class and translate that to real-life situations. A trainer can show you exactly how to handle things like door dashing in the environment in which it happens. Good luck. Your guy sounds like a blast.
     
  10. Madea

    Madea Super Boxer

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    i am sorry to hear that you are going through this, but as you can see, you are not the only one. I have one at home that could be Jacks, and Raines brother. I am so frustrated at him at times, but i love him so much that the extra head-ache is worth it. He is just like one of my children, i cant give up on him. I had Tyson first and he is the perfect boxer. He was so good that i wanted another one. Be careful what you pray for. I got Lennox and all i can say is WOW.
     
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