How to Train Your Boxer Puppy to Do Tricks

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Train Your Boxer Puppy to Do Tricks
Train Your Boxer Puppy to Do Tricks (Image: morguefile.com)

Sweet-natured, clownish, playful and intelligent, boxers make wonderful family pets, and boxer puppies are especially delightful when they are trained. Because they are generally eager to please and quickly retain what they've learned, you can teach your boxer puppy to do a host of parlor tricks or obedience commands with a little effort and a lot of love. Here are a few pointers.

Put your puppy in the "sit" position, and stroke the top of his front paw with your hand. He will usually lift his paw in response to the touch. When he does, lightly grab the paw, and shake it, saying, "Good shake! Good!" in a high-pitched, happy voice. Give him a small treat, and repeat the process, saying, "Shake," or "Give me your paw," before you touch his paw. After two or three times of doing this, your puppy should automatically raise his paw on the command, and you should lavish him with praise. Reward him each time.

Place a doggie biscuit on top of your puppy's nose, and hold it there for a second, saying, "Hold it, and wait." After a second or two, push his chin up quickly, but gently, as you say, "OK! Take it!" The biscuit should land in his mouth, and you should praise him for catching it.

Praise your boxer puppy for rolling over each time he does so, and pat his belly, saying, "Good rollover! Good!" When he starts to link the words with the action, give him the "Roll over" command, and help him along by gently pushing him into the belly-up position and patting his belly. Let go, praise the rollover, and give him a treat. Pretty soon, he'll link the command with the action and reward. Then you can embellish on the trick by gently moving his paws back and forth while he's on his back, saying, "Do your exercises!" Or hold him very still, and tell him to, "Play dead," praising him with the phrase "Good play dead!" and a treat.

Teach your boxer puppy to "Leave it," by placing a small treat in your hand and pretending to offer it to him. When he comes for the treat, close your hand quickly over it, and put your hand behind your back, saying, "Leave it!" in a stern voice. When he starts to walk away, call him back, and offer him the treat again. Repeat the "Leave it!" command and remove the treat from his reach. The next time you offer him the treat, place it at your feet, and call him. When he starts to head toward the treat, say, "Leave it!" and place your foot over the treat. When he backs away, change your tone to a pleased one, and say, "OK, take it," allowing him to eat the treat. Do this several times until he anticipates being rewarded for leaving the treat alone.

Teach your boxer puppy to "Sit and Stay" by gently putting pressure on his bottom as you firmly say, "Sit." Reward him with a small dog treat each time he remains in the "sit" position, and add the "Stay" command by removing the reward from his reach each time he begins to gets up without being told "OK."

Tips & Warnings

  • Always use a rewards and praise-based method of training. Your puppy is eager to please you, and knowing that he has done something right will make him eager to do it again.
  • Never press on your boxer puppy's back or try to force him into a sitting position, as it could be harmful to him. Never hit your puppy for any reason, and always use a praise-based method of training for the most effective results.

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