Boxers are loyal and excel at protection work, but they also are among the biggest clowns in the dog world. They are high-energy dogs with keen intelligence and curiosity. Properly harnessed, this energy can be used for any kind of work or play -- but left to its own devices -- your boxer can become a hyperactive terror: jumping, pawing, digging, chewing and escaping. Training and exercise are the keys to taming your hyper boxer dog.
Exercise your boxer until it is tired out, at least twice each day. This is a high-energy breed with an intense need to be with its owner; several hours in a crate alone and a couple of thirty minute walks a day will not do. A mixture of leash walking and off-leash romping is best, as each provides a different kind of mental and physical energy.2
Teach your dog a variety of games, some of which can be played indoors. Teach your boxer the names of games and the toys associated with each game. Also, show your pet how to start and stop the games. Tug is a great game, as long as it is played correctly. Use just enough force to keep the game going, but do not allow rough play. Hide and seek is another great indoor game. These games require physical and mental exercise -- as well as interaction with you -- and will add to your boxer's overall daily exercise and mental stimulation, without adding a lot of work on your part.3
Give your dog strong chew toys, such as the rubber toys that can be stuffed with peanut butter or other tasty fillings, to entertain itself with when you are away. Interactive puzzle toys also are excellent for giving your boxer some exercise and mental stimulation, while home alone.4
Take your boxer to obedience class, and practice the exercises daily at home. Agility, Frisbee, canine dance or Schutzhund are among the canine sports activities to consider for fun and exercise, once your dog is trained.5
Begin the "Nothing in Life Is Free" (NILIF) program with your boxer. This program helps reinforce your leadership position and your boxer's manners.
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