Friday, July 15, 2016

How to Train a Boxer to Ignore Cats

Originally developed in Germany during the 19th century for dog fighting, the boxer is a loyal guardian and companion that gets along well with children, according to the American Kennel Club. A boxer socialized with cats from an early age will usually get along with them. Some boxers may exhibit a strong prey drive and aggression toward cats due to improper socialization or bad breeding. If you worry that your boxer may harm your cat or other cats outdoors, teach it to ignore them through obedience training.



    Train your dog to respond to a clicker training device by clicking it, then giving the dog a treat. Repeat this process in succession, for five to ten minutes at a time, in a quiet location. Once your dog looks at you after you click the device, anticipating a treat, it has learned to associate the sound of the device with something good.


    Teach the boxer to "sit" by holding a treat over its head, then slowly moving it backwards until the dog sits down. Click the training device, say "sit," followed by the dog's name, then give the dog a treat. Repeat this for five to ten minutes until the dog responds to the command. Pair verbal praise along with the treat to further reinforce the behavior.


    Tell the dog to "sit," to begin training the "stay" command. Once the dog sits, wait one to two seconds, say "stay," followed by the dog's name, then click. Wait three to five seconds, while the dog sits, click again and give the boxer a treat. Continue to repeat this process, replacing the "sit" command with "stay," and waiting a few seconds more between clicks on each successive lesson.


    Place a leash on your boxer and allow it to play with a favorite dog toy for five minutes. Throw a new dog toy in front of the boxer, say "leave it" and hold the dog back from inspecting the toy. Once the dog stops trying to inspect the new toy, click and give it a treat. Repeat this process for a few days until the dog will respond to the "leave it" command by ignoring the object you introduce to it.


    Put a leash on your boxer and place it in a room with your cat. Have a cat tree available for the cat to climb up to and escape the dog. With the dog on a leash, tell it to "sit" and "stay." If it tries to chase the cat or shows interest in it, command the dog to "leave it." Engage the dog's attention in play with you and each time it ignores the presence of the cat, give it verbal praise and a food reward. Repeat these sessions with the cat until the dog shows no interest in its presence.

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