Training the Boxer Puppy

A solid education in obedience and leadership is essential to teach your Boxer the rules of his new human world.

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Puppy's Home Education
You are about to begin the puppy classes. There are two rules to consider. Rule No. 1: The puppy must learn that you are now the "alpha" dog and his new pack leader. Rule No. 2: You have to teach him in a manner he will understand (sorry, barking just won't do it). Remember, always, that he knows nothing about human standards of behavior.

Word Association
Use the same word (command) for each behavior every time you teach it, adding food rewards and verbal praise to reinforce the positive. The puppy will make the connection and will be motivated to repeat the behavior when he hears those key words. For example, when teaching your puppy to potty outside, use the same potty command ("Go potty," "Get busy" or "Hurry up" are commonly used) each time he eliminates, adding a "Good boy!" while he's urinating or eliminating. Your puppy will soon learn what those trips outside are for.

All dogs learn their lessons in the present tense. You have to catch them in the act (good or bad) in order to dispense rewards or discipline. You have five seconds to connect with your dog or he will not understand what he did wrong. Thus, timing and consistency are your keys to success in teaching any new behavior or correcting bad behaviors.

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