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Q&A: My boxer is bratty, my dog jumps on people

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Question submitted by Janet N.
I have a 7-month-old boxer and a 6-year-old pitty (who is unbelievably patient!). My boxer always steals whatever toy my pit has. If my pit is getting a drink, he runs over and sticks his nose in the bowl too. He will constantly bite and tug on my pits ears and is constantly terrorizing him. How can I stop this bratty behavior? He also is a ”forager.” He eats anything and everything and I am scared for my boxers safety and well being. I feed him one cup, three times daily, and he always acts starved. My boxer’s way of showing affection is nibbling on my hands, I dont want him to think that affection is bad, but nibbling is. My pitty was so easy to train, I think I got spoiled and not sure what or how to deal with my crazy boxer?
Terry’s answer
The first thing I would do is make sure there is nothing physically wrong with your boxer pup that would cause his foraging (vitamin deficiency, worms; there could be several things). After that is confirmed, a solid “leave it” command will help with all of your issues.  Start by putting a treat in your hand and closing your fingers over it.  Put your fist palm up in front of his nose. Say “leave it” and repeat until your dog looks away. As soon as he looks away, open your hand and say “take it.” What this teaches is that when you say “leave it” he is to ignore what ever has his attention. Timing is very important so he gets the idea that him turning his head – thus turning his attention away – he gets rewarded.  When you have pretty good success with that, graduate to a toy on the floor, then items outside while on leash. Obviously the thing you want him to leave the most is your Pit, but it works with everything.
Now, onto the hand “nibbling.” When he does that, say a word (and always use the same word) – for this demo we will choose “ouch.” When his teeth touch your skin say, “ouch” in a loud, high-pitched voice, and fold your arms. What you are trying to do is startle him each time he does that particular behavior of putting his teeth on you and letting him know that it’s not acceptable.
Question submitted by Tom

My German Shepherd (14 months) always jumps on people when they come over the house. She constantly gets over-excited. Any suggestions on how to stop this? Training leash has not been working.

Terry’s answer
Without knowing which training leash you are using, I can’t help you there, but there are things you can do without the leash. One of the best things to do in this situation is to teach “place.” Determine what you want her “place” to be (her bed, towel on the floor, etc). Have some treats ready and stand next to her place.  Say the word “place, or “(dog’s name) place.” She will not know what you are trying to tell her, but if she puts so much as a toenail on her place, reward with treat. After she begins to understand that going to that “place” gets her a reward, she will be most willing to go there. Practice this and you will find her putting more and more of her body on it. Then you can have her “sit” or “down” on her place. When she is fully on her place, give her something to do- kong, favorite toy – just something to keep her occupied while you are opening the door. Then have someone outside ringing the doorbell and you can practice “place.” Only when she is calm can she then “say hello” to your guests.  On the flip side of training, you can ask your guests to ignore her completely when they come in. You may want to have them bring a treat to toss onto her “place” if she is calm before. Good luck with this. A 14-month-old German Shepherd has lots of energy. You may even want to go for a nice long walk before you practice “place.”

Terry Meeks is a dog trainer, APDT Member an CGC Evaluator in Pinellas County, Florida.  Find Four on the Floor Dog Training at FourontheFloor-Dogtraining.com and on Facebook.

Author: Terry Meeks

Terry Meeks is a dog trainer, APDT Member an CGC Evaluator, and Yellow Dog Project area representative in Pinellas County, Florida. Find Four on the Floor Dog Training at FourontheFloor-Dogtraining.com and on Facebook. She is owned by two dogs: Shenanigans, a Great Pyrenees/Irish Wolfhound mix, and Smooch, an Anatolian Shepherd.

6 Responses to “Q&A: My boxer is bratty, my dog jumps on people”

  1. Cj says:

    Omg..my 2 rescues do the same…the ‘bratty boxer’ sounds just like my Bella (boxer-mastiff mix) & The shepard like her twin Maxx…I will say it gets better as they get older tho! Mine are almost 3 yrs. old now & hardly do any of the ‘horrible behavior’ things they pulled as puppies..Soon you’ll learn that each dog is different just like us, so what works for one may not work for the other, you just have to have patience & try different things…one thing’s for sure never reward bad behavior..it does them no good & they deserve better. Good luck & hopefully you find something that works for you!

  2. Paki, aunque con retraso, te comunico que todos los que lo solicist teis a trav s de los coemntarios est is admitidos/as

  3. ultram says:

    Paki, aunque con retraso, te comunico que todos los que lo solicist teis a trav s de los coemntarios est is admitidos/as

  4. christina schmit says:

    I have a 11 month boxer and he is out of controll i am ready to loose my mind , He attacks my 10 year old dog , he runs through my house like he is running track , he jumps all over people when they come over he attacks me and bites me (playing ) but doesnt stop when told . I almost think he has a demon in him , does anyone have any tips for me ? also i was wondering does anyone know why he has to nibble on my ears all the time ?

  5. Andrew Davis says:

    About the Bratty Boxer. I have a male (Bernie) who is 6 months old. Your description of your dog is a splitting image of mine. I also own a 4 yr old english bulldog, who receives the same respect as your pitbull.
    For the food part, I started giving him 2 cups morning & night. I also give hi 2 apples a day as a snack(which he loves) this took care of his always eating.
    I also developped the NO, for his roughing up the Bulldog, although the Bulldog has begun teaching the boxer to stop when he’s not into playing by losing patience(in their own way), he will rough up the boxer a bit, but does not hurt him.
    I usually try to let two dogs(who know each other) work things out.

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