Welcome to the wonderful world of Boxers. Just double-checking; you’re here for Boxer puppy training – not punching people in a ring, right? 

Right, sorted. We can certainly tell you that there will never be a dull moment in your household with your Boxer puppy in the picture. So, to get you and your squishy bundle of fun off on the right paw, we at Zigzag are here with our ultimate guide to Boxer training. 

In this Boxer puppy training guide we’re going to take you through the first 8 weeks you have your puppy home. We’ll cover all sorts of obedience training, socialisation and handling exercise all specifically designed with your Boxer puppy’s exuberant personality in mind.

What age can I start to train my Boxer puppy?

There really is no time like the present with Boxer puppy training. Your Boxer pup is always learning, so it’s important to have your puppy learning from the get-go. Every day’s a school day for them at this stage.

What do I need to train my Boxer?

One thing you are definitely going to need in abundance is patience. Boxers are great learners, but they carry the class clown title well too. Here’s a list of essential things to set you and your Boxer puppy set up to win at training:

  • A well-fitting harness – Your Boxer puppy will be as strong as an ox in no time, just you wait. A harness will be much safer and kinder for your pup than a regular collar and lead. 
  • A training lead – A 2-metre lead is ideal for Boxer pups. They usually have rings on them so you can adjust the length. They’re also really handy when you want to give them a bit more freedom.
  • A soft collar and tag – As we said a harness is kinder but you will still need a collar and ID Tag. It’s actually illegal in the U.K and other places for your dog not to wear one. You definitely don’t want to get into a boxing match with the police because of this. 
  • A treat pouch and treats – You’ll be using lots of treats whilst training your Boxer, so keep them all out of his reach in a handy pouch. 
  • Non-slip travel mat or vet bed – This will be really useful for teaching your Boxer pup how to settle.
  • Two identical toys – You’ll need these for teaching your pup all about swaps and giving things up when you need them to. 

Good to know about training Boxer puppies

What are Boxers bred for?

Boxers were originally bred in Germany to be bull-baiting dogs. Over the centuries, they were given many other jobs as hunting dogs and guard dogs. They are just so versatile and willing to turn their paw to anything. 

Here are other special qualities and talents unique to Boxers that will help you understand them:

  • Jumping is a bit of their thing. They often jump on people, like they jump on prey as hunters. You might need to work on this when your grandma is around. 
  • They tend to be enthusiastic in training and build strong bonds with their owner. That’s good news for you, isn’t it?
  • They are super loyal to their families and will often check everyone is where they should be at bedtime. 
  • Very playful high energy dogs! They love to spin when excited. 
  • They are keen and eager to get on their feet as soon as they’re asked.

Boxers are rarely guilty of excessive barking, but they do have their very own ‘grumble’. It’s just how they talk, nothing to get startled by.

What does this have to do with how I train my Boxer?

In this case, knowledge is power. Understanding what makes your Boxer tick will help you get the most out of training your Boxer puppy, and get through it better: 

  • Loyalty is an understatement. Your Boxer wants to be with you 24/7, so use that to your advantage. 
  • Boxers need a good amount of exercise mental as well as physical – to keep them busy and prevent them from going off and getting into trouble. 
  • They generally prefer to live in large rural areas with space to run. They can adapt to city life, but still, need plenty of physical and mental exercise.
  • They often use their front paws to play and paw at things. Some think this is how they got the name Boxer, but the jury’s out on that one.
  • Sometimes, Boxers are known as the Peter Pan of dogs because of their goofy nature and love of children. 

PRO TIP: If your Boxer puppy starts acting goofy in training, it means it’s time for a break. Try to have some playtime and get back to training later. Training should always be something they think of as fun so that it doesn’t become something they start to dread.

Overview of the training programme and topics we’ll cover

In this guide to training your Boxer puppy, we’re going to help you cover all the following skills that will make your pup the cleverest in town!

How we build this programme: Push Drop Stick

You know how your Boxer is super loyal? They just want to please you. We also mentioned how silly they can get if they get bored and training gets easy, so it’s important to use a training method that will keep them on their toes. 

We can avoid boredom and frustration by using the ‘Push Drop Stick’ method. It very gently increases the difficulty of training so your pup is always set up for success. 

The ‘Push Drop Stick’ method works by you repeating the same thing 5 times with your pup. If they get all of them right 5 times in a row, you get to move to the next level of difficulty (push). If they get 3 or 4 right, you should stay at the level where you are and take more time to practise. If they only get 1 or 2 right, it means they’re finding the lesson a little too hard, so drop back a level and make it easier.

Week 1 – Training your Boxer puppy

It’s really important to spend time bonding with your puppy in the first week. Just soak in all the cuddles, and roll in all that puppy-love. We’ll also dive straight into socialisation exercises, training and husbandry tasks to get the ball rolling on that one.

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Let your puppy explore the garden
– Teach your puppy about surfaces
– Name
– Sit
– Recall
– Retrieve
– Crate Training
– Toilet Training
– Alone Training
– Brushing
– Hand Touch
Sleep training

Your Boxer will grow up to be big and brave eventually. But at the moment, they need your guidance. For now, this includes sleeping next to you for the first few weeks, maybe even longer. It’s pretty easy. Just have their crate or bed close to wherever you sleep. You’ll hear them wake when they need a toilet break, or when they need to be comforted by you if they’re feeling scared. Our articles on sleeping through the night and establishing a nighttime routine will give you extra tips on getting through this phase.

Alone training

We’ve already mentioned how Boxers love to be with their people. Therefore, it’s super important to practise plenty of alone training with your Boxer puppy so they are happy and confident being alone as adults. For this, you’ll need lots of patience, which I’m sure you have plenty of. Don’t be in a rush! You don’t want to make your puppy feel distressed. Let’s ease them into staying home alone by giving them something to do while you leave them. A puzzle toy or Kong will work great at making them feel like you leaving them is actually something quite fun.

Toilet training

All new puppy parents expect toilet training to be on the cards. It’s understandably often feared as no one wants to accidentally step on a stinky accident. But really doesn’t need to be – we’ve got your back.

It will help to remember your Boxer pup is a bit of a goofball. Going outside will be really distracting for them, so don’t be fooled if they don’t toilet as soon as they get out. Our toilet training guide will help pooping and peeing feel like a walk in the park, don’t you worry.

Socialisation exercises to do this week

It’s only the first week, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For now, we definitely want to let your pup get used to you and settle into their new home. You can do this with the following exercises: 

  • Let your Boxer puppy explore the garden – If you have a private garden, you’re already off to a lucky start. You will probably be taking your puppy there as their toilet, but it’s also a great place to start getting your Boxer pup used to the outside world. 
  • Teach your puppy about surfaces – Different surfaces can feel strange to pups. They’ll have to step so getting them used to feeling different surfaces under their paws is a great exercise. Use surfaces like grass, moss, paving and sand. Oh, and you’ll need to reward with plenty of treats. 

Check out our article on socialisation to give you more tips on the first social stages of your puppy’s life.

Training to do this week

Let’s get cracking with some basic training for your Boxer. Remember you’ll need plenty of treats and to reward your pup with heaps of praise. Basically, make their tail wag and we bet yours will too. 

  • Teach your Boxer their name. Might sound simple, but it’s not always so evident. It’s very but it’s super important your Boxer gets to know their name pretty quickly so they stay out of trouble as much as possible. Say your pup’s name often and reward them whenever they acknowledge it. 
  • Teach your Boxer puppy to sit. Remember what we said about Boxers and their jumping? Well, you’ll want to get cracking with this one. Your Boxer can’t sit and jump at the same time, so teaching him to sit will be a good way to get them down as quickly as possible. 
  • Recall –  Trust us. You’ll thank us after you’ve got recall under your wing. Recall is essentially getting your dog to come to you when you call them, so you bet it’s going to save you from many disasters. 
  • Retrieve/fetch -Retrieving will come in handy when you’re teaching your puppy to play fetch, or if you want to get them to hand over your slippers when your bum is glued to the sofa.
Preventing resource guarding

Resource guarding is where your dog fiercely protects something they have and will do everything they can to keep hold of it. Dogs can resource guard food, a toy, even a person. 

Ironically, Boxers don’t have strong fists. It’s actually their jaws that are strong. And when they want to keep hold of something, they won’t let go easily. It’s no use chasing them that just turns the whole thing into a fun game and we can guarantee your Boxer can keep running for longer than you. 

To prevent this standoff from happening, it’s important to teach your Boxer all about giving things up. Essentially, it’s about teaching them that exchanging things with you leads to rewards.

Husbandry exercises to do this week
  • Handling your puppy – It’s important to get your puppy used to getting handled. You can do this by teaching them that hands and touch can be a good thing. As always, back up your soft touches with some treats. 

Remember that consent is also a thing with dogs! Never force your Boxer to be handled or pick them up against their wishes. Over time, your Boxer will need some grooming, nails trimmed or their ears cleaned, so it’s a good idea to get them on board with the idea that they’ll be often touched.

Week 2 – Training your Boxer puppy

How’s your Boxer pup settling in? It’s totally normal that the first week was a complete whirlwind. This week, we’ll start exposing your Boxer pup to some new items and sounds, try some lead walking and start some gentle grooming.

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Fireworks
– Watch the world go by outside your house
– Play dress up
– Sit in the car
– Invite friends over
– Alone Training
– Crate Training
– Toilet Training
– Name – in garden
– Recall – cue word
– Fetch
– Drop
-Sit – add a cue word
– Lead walking
– Grooming
Socialisation exercises to do this week

Your Boxer pup is currently in what’s known as a socialisation period. This is the perfect time to show them everything and anything, since they’re at their most open to receive and process information – including other people and dogs. 

This week focus on the following socialisation exercises. 

  • Fireworks – Fireworks are nightmares. Too often, they cause problems for many dogs, so it’s important to get them used to them early on, way before the firework season begins. Start by playing fireworks sounds to your pup at a low level. Hopefully, they won’t react to it at all, which you can then reward with plenty of treats. There’s a full lesson for this on the Zigzag App
  • Watch the world go by outside your house – Your pup probably can’t go for walks yet since they might not have had all their vaccinations yet. But if you have a driveway or access to some part of the outdoors, take your puppy in your arms and simply watch the world go by for a few minutes. 
  • Play dress up – It’s you that’s going to be in fancy dress – not your Boxer pup. Wear hats, glasses, motorcycle helmets, and large coats to expose your puppy to all kinds of outfits they will likely see in everyday life. 
  • Sit in the car – There’s no need to go off anywhere just yet, but it’s likely your pup will need to travel by car in the future so get them used to it now. For this week, just let them explore the back seat and the boot. Treat them occasionally so they start associating the car with tasty goodness.
  • Invite friends over – We’re sure your friends are itching to meet your pup. For now, it’s fine to have a couple of friends over for a visit, but let’s not overwhelm your pup. Let your puppy approach your friends first, and give your visitors some treats so they become even more appealing to your Boxer pup.
Training to do this week
  • Alone training

Start leaving your puppy while they’re eating their meal just for a minute. Only do it if they’re completely comfortable with you being away for a few seconds! Leaving your pup alone gradually (keyword is gradually) will help them cope with being left for longer as they get older. 

If you’re using a crate, carry on with your crate training. A crate is a perfect puppy-proof place for your Boxer to chill out, while keeping them out of mischief. 

  • Teach them their name in the garden

You should already have started teaching your puppy their name indoors, so let’s make it a bit more challenging and try it in the garden. The sights and sounds outside will be distracting for your pup, so make sure to give plenty of praise and rewards when they give you their attention. 

  • Recall training: add a cue word

Recall is one of the most important things you can teach your Boxer. They will get pretty excited by life, so responding to your call will be key to keep them from potential trouble. Add the cue word ‘here’ or ‘come’ to your training. Remember to give them loads of praise and reward for coming back to you. They need to know that being with you is the best place to be!

  • Fetch and drop

Keep practising this one. It’s a game of course, but it’s also a great way to teach your Boxer that giving items up is not a bad thing. 

We have a fantastic guide on loose lead walking. Your Boxer will be stronger than you think when fully grown, so trust us when we say that you really want to get cracking with this to avoid getting dragged round the park.

Husbandry tasks to do this week
  • Brushing your puppy 

Your Boxer won’t need a huge amount of brushing, but it does help keep their coat shiny. Brushing is also a great way for you to bond with your pup; kind of like when monkeys peck fleas out of each other. To ease them into it, use a rubber slicker brush and have a Kong or licki mat handy if your boxer is fond of biting the brush.

Week 3 – Training your Boxer puppy

Week 3 already! You should be getting pretty close and personal with your Boxer’s personality by now…discovering their quirks and sparkles. This week we’re going to focus on your pup becoming the social butterfly. Boxers so often are, so they might not struggle too much with this.

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining Exercises to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Scent Trails
– Go for a drive
– Invite Friends Over
– Write a puppy socialisation checklist
– Recall – outside in the garden
– Four Paws on the floor – Not Jumping up
– Down
– Generalisation
– Alone Training
– Harness fitting
Socialisation exercises to do this week
  • Scent trails

Boxers are truly gifted when it comes to scent work. They have an incredible sense of smell, so they’ll find using their nose rather enjoyable.  

Setting up a scent trail

  1. With your puppy out of sight, set up a trail of about 10 treats spaced about half a metre apart. 
  2. At the end of the trail leave a small pile of treats.
  3. Bring your puppy in and show them the start of the scent trail, they should follow the trail on their own. Quite enthusiastically too.
  4. Add in the cue ‘find it’ as they go along the trail. 
  • Invite friends over

Boxers can get really excited by visitors, and they’ll show you by barking upon their arrival. You can blame this on their guarding roots; it’s actually rather normal. But you’ll probably want to teach your Boxer that visitors are friendly and nothing to go ballistic about. At week 3, it’s not time for throwing any big parties yet, so just invite a couple of friends over to meet your pup. 

Give your visitors some treats, and let your pup approach them to receive them. Try to get your guests to not smother your puppy; it can be scary for your pup to have strangers come at them in all directions, and could affect how they feel about visitors in the future. 

  • Go for a drive with your Boxer puppy

No road trips just yet, but a short drive around the block will help your Boxer pup get used to car travel. Make sure they are secure in a carrier, and to treat them lots along the way. You could even think of asking a friend to be on treat-giving duty while you’re driving. A cheery voice will also help give them a boost of confidence. 

  • Write a puppy socialisation checklist for your Boxer puppy: 

Think about your own lifestyle. Do you enjoy walks on the beach? Going on hikes? This is a great time to start introducing them to all these activities so they feel comfortable with them as they become older. It can really be anything but here’s a few ideas of what you can add to the list:

  • Do you live in the country? Expose your pup to different farm animals and loud machinery.
  • Make sure your pup has encountered as many different people as possible. They don’t have to interact with them, but just showing them what they can run into outside (and that it’s nothing to worry about) will be fantastic.
  • If you’re likely to use public transport with your Boxer pup, then some early exposure is a good idea as buses and trains can be busy and noisy. There’s no need to get on the double-decker yet; just watching is enough for now. 
  • Expose them to different surfaces like sand, water, tiles or decking.
Training to do this week

Boxers love to learn and as a strong powerful breed, it’s important to get their training underway whilst they’re young. It will help them keep away from mischief by providing them with enough mental stimulation. Here at Zigzag, we trust positive reinforcement training to lead the way.

Practising recall outside may be tough for your Boxer puppy, so make sure you have some super high-value treats to keep your pups attention. Start using your ‘come’ cue, and a long training lead – this will definitely come in handy here.

  • Stop your puppy jumping up

Let’s get it straight: dog jumping up is never a good thing. It might seem cute when they are young puppies, but once they become full Boxer adults, they’ll be far too strong and heavy to find it adorable, so let’s keep it from becoming a habit. Dogs jump up for many reasons: they might be over-excited, stressed or overwhelmed. On our full stopping jumping up guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know on how to keep their paws on the ground.

  • Teach your Boxer puppy to lie down 

Teaching your Boxer to lie down will come in handy many times…especially when you’re visiting the pub for the afternoon. Read our guide on teaching your Boxer to lie down for some good advice, and practice on a non-slippery floor or piece of vet bed. 

  • Alone training

This week, try leaving your Boxer puppy for 5 minutes. It may not seem like a long time, but for your young pup it will feel like a lifetime. If they can’t quite manage the 5 minutes, yet, no need to rush them. Being alone is really unnatural for puppies, so many will struggle. Some days they’ll do well, and others not so well. It’s just important just to go at your pup’s pace.

Husbandry tasks to do this week
  • Harness fitting for a puppy 

We always recommend a well-fitting harness for your Boxer puppy. It will make walks and training much more comfortable and help in the journey into not pulling on the lead. Have a look at our guide to puppy harnesses to help you choose the right fit for your Boxer. We’ve got great taste, so you’ll probably like our selection. Ideally, the harness you choose will be padded and not pinch or squeeze anywhere too tightly.

Week 4 – Training your Boxer puppy

Look at you! You’re halfway through this guide to training your Boxer puppy. Time just flies, doesn’t it? If you’re struggling at all, don’t hesitate in asking for help. You’re not alone! Contact one of our f expert coaches via the Zigzag puppy training app for support and advice on any hiccups in your way.

Socialisation exercises to do this week
Training to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Meet another dog
– Find a puppy class
– Settle on a mat
– Lead walking
– Recall games
– Push/drop/stick on known exercises
– Grooming sensitive areas
Socialisation exercises to do this week
  • Meeting another dog

Boxers are generally playful and friendly towards other dogs. But in order to get there, it’s important for them to frequently meet other friendly dogs for your Boxer to practice proper interaction. I mean, they can’t practice on imaginary puppy friends. The safest way to do this is to arrange a visit from a friend’s dog that’s vaccinated to avoid any unwelcome nasties.

First, sit in your garden and have both dogs on loose leads. Let them have a little sniff of each other. Then, call them back to you and reward them with a treat. You don’t need to let them off the lead yet; just watch their body language to see how they are both feeling about the encounter. 

Give both dogs treats for staying calm. This might sound like too much to ask from an excited, bouncy Boxer puppy, but try to reward calmness whenever you can. If you’re feeling unsure about how to introduce your dog to fellow friends, we share all our secrets in our article

  • Find a good puppy class for your puppy 

Find a local puppy class – be quick because they fill up quickly! Make sure to sign up to classes with trainers that use positive reward-based training methods and are members of the UK Dog Charter. Those are the good ones.

Training to do this week
  • Settle on a mat

You’ll find out quickly that Boxers are easily excited. For easy days out at the pub or at a cafe, teaching them to settle on a mat definitely has to be on your list. 

To Prepare:

You’ll need something comfortable that works as a mat: this can be a piece of vet bed, towel or a grippy bath mat.

Have your lead and your dog’s harness on.

Prepare a deliciously stuffed Kong or chew for them to be busy with. 

How to do it:

  1. Starting at home, put the mat next to your chair.
  2. Grab a book or put the TV on. Then, do what you do best: relax.
  3. Pop the lead under your chair leg or under your foot.
  4. Give your pup enough lead that they can stand, turn and lie down freely, but not so long that they walk off and get into trouble. 
  5. At first, hold the Kong or chew under your foot so that it doesn’t go anywhere when they start to lick it. Eventually, they’ll lie down.  
  6. After they have finished chomping on the chew, wait another 10 to 15 minutes – simply relax and let them just chill on the mat. 
  7. What we’re looking for is for your puppy to relax by not really doing anything or needing any attention. This will be perfect for days out!
  • Lead walking

Your bouncy Boxer is probably excited and keen to experience everything. Lead walking can be a challenge for them because they just want to get into everything. Just so you’re informed, walks aren’t going to be peaceful and mindless for a while. But the good news is that the more you see them training exercises and practice lead walking, you’ll get there eventually. 

Sometimes, your pup may stop walking and sit to take it all in. That’s fine, there’s to need to be covering miles just yet. Just let your pup watch everything that surrounds them at their own pace. 

  • Recall games – Play tennis with your puppy!

Rackets aren’t needed for tennis game! Grab a friend and stand at opposite sides of your garden. Then, take turns calling for your puppy, and rewarding them each time they get to whoever’s calling. It’s a great game and really helps strengthen their recall skills. You can find many more training games and other surprises on the Zigzag Puppy App.

Husbandry to do this week
  • Grooming a puppy – Focusing on sensitive areas

Hopefully, your Boxer puppy is a bit more tolerant of the brush and being groomed by now. If so, try some of the more sensitive areas this week, like the face and legs. Go gently though! If you’re feeling extra brave, you could try giving your pup their first bath.

Week 5 – Training your Boxer puppy

You’ll have covered many of the basics up to now. Is everything going well? Perhaps it’s time to make things a little more challenging. If not, don’t worry – not all of us were born to be dog whisperers.

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Go to the pub – you deserve it!
– Tick 3 things off your personal socialisation checklist
– Alone Training
– Recall – outside using a lead
– Lead walking – outside
– Push/drop/stick on known exercises
– Pretend nail clips
– Grooming
Socialisation exercises to do this week
  • Go to the pub/dog-friendly café

You’ve earned that trip to the pub. Go prepared with your settle mat and stuffed Kong to keep them busy and enjoy a well-earned pint yourself. Be warned though – that super cute Boxer pup of yours is going to get a lot of attention from strangers. If you don’t feel comfortable with them hovering, feel free to say so!

  • Tick 3 things off your personal socialisation checklist

Remember your socialisation checklist? Tick 3 things off this week. The pub is a good start, maybe this week you can try a dog-friendly hardware store or a trip on a train.

Training to do this week
  • Alone training: increasing time alone

Continue leaving your pup alone for gradually longer periods. Boxers really love being with their people so don’t worry too much if your pup’s struggling to cope. Just take it slowly, you’ll get there eventually. 

  • Recall – Outside, using a lead, dealing with distractions

Use a long lead and take your recall practice to the park. There will be plenty of distractions, so take some tasty, smelly treats with you. Have your puppy come back to you every few minutes for a treat. 

Make sure you keep yourself interesting to them by making it fun and being excited when your Boxer returns to you. It will also help them know they’ve done a good job.

  • Lead walking

Carry on outside with loose lead practice, and keep rewarding frequently (every few steps) so your Boxer pup really knows that by your side is the place to be. 

  • Push/drop/stick on known exercises

Is your puppy ready to progress to the next level? Use the push/drop/stick method to work out what you should do next. 

Husbandry tasks to do this week
  • Start pretending to clip your dog’s nails

Your Boxer puppy’s feet will be very sensitive. In order to be able to trim their nails one day, we need to get them used to having their feet touched. Take a look at our full guide on nail clipping to help you give the perfect puppy pedicure.

Week 6 – Training your Boxer puppy

Week 6 already! You’re doing great. If you’re not, we’re sure our puppy experts will be happy to help you out.

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Tick 3 things off your personal checklist– Following on walks
– Push/drop/stick on known exercises
– Check puppy’s mouth
Socialisation exercises to do this week
  • Tick 3 more items off your socialisation checklist

Tick another 3 things off your personal checklist – especially if your pup is going through a fear period. Puppies need as many positive experiences of the outside world as possible when they’re young, so this is your time to shine. 

Try visiting busier places this week and see how your Boxer gets on with a bit more hustle and bustle. Maybe go to a farmer’s market?

Training to do this week
  • Following on walks

Have your puppy follow you on walks when they’re off-lead. It may sound pretty intimidating, just try to make it as fun and exciting to be near you as you can with heaps of treats and praise. You’ll see – your Boxer pup will eventually always want to return. If it sounds too daunting still, work with a long training lead. 

  • Push/drop/stick

Test your pup’s progress on their known exercises using push/ drop/ stick method. Try to increase the difficulty of the exercises by practising in different locations, for longer durations or over a larger distance.

Husbandry tasks to do this week
  • Start checking your puppy’s mouth and their teeth

Your vet will always check your puppy’s gums, so it’s a good idea to get them used to having their mouth and teeth checked to avoid any accidental snaps. At the start, just try lifting the lip and giving them a reward. Then, slowly try to open your puppy’s mouth for a few seconds. Easy does it, and remember to give plenty of verbal praise!

Week 7 – Training your Boxer puppy

Your Boxer pup may be growing like a weed…but their brains aren’t. It’s no offence to them at all, but it’s good to know that their brain and ways of thinking will remain puppy-like for quite some time. In fact, Boxers are often referred to as Peter Pan… they just refuse to grow up.

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Puppy Agility
– Tick 3 things off your personal checklist
– Wait
– Walk with a friend’s dog
– Recall – off the lead
– Push/drop/stick on known exercises
– Pretend ear drops
Socialisation exercises to do this week
  • Have a go at puppy agility 

It’s not often you see Boxers doing agility exercises, but that doesn’t mean they can’t. Boxers are always full of fun and enthusiasm, so there’s no doubt that they would love to dive into some puppy agility. 

  • Tick 3 things off your personal socialisation checklist

Have you got a few more activities you’d like your pup to do? Maybe you spend time around horses or on a boat.

Training to do this week
  • Teach your Boxer puppy to stay

There will be many times you will need your Boxer puppy to stay or wait. Maybe you need them to wait at the front door while you accept a delivery, or wait by the road until it’s safe to cross. Whatever it may be, be sure that you’ll definitely want to work on this one. 

  • Go for a walk with a friend’s dog

Going for a walk with a doggie friend can be a lovely activity for your Boxer pup. Can you see it? Long walks on the beach with a friend behind the sunset. You’ll get there eventually. For now, keep both dogs on lead, and give them plenty of rewards for calm behaviour. 

  • Recall – off the lead

Eeek! This can be a big one. But with all the great training and bonding you’ve been doing, there’s no reason why it won’t go well. Arm yourself with some treats your Boxer finds irresistible and take the plunge. If you are really worried, leave the lead on them (while dropping it yourself), and let them drag it for a while. 

  • Push/drop/stick on known exercises

This week, do this for recall. If your pup is ready, you can increase the distance they go from you or the duration they are off lead for.

Husbandry tasks to do this week
  • Pretend ear drops

Dogs’ ears are a breeding ground for dirt. Boxers are no exception. Keeping their ears clean with drops will prevent bacteria from building up and ear infections. We’re only going to pretend for now though. Just keep the lid on the bottle, expose the inside of their ear by flipping it over gently, and pretend to add the drops. Give them plenty of treats! Don’t worry if your Boxer puppy runs off or only lets you do one ear. You can try again another time. For now, it needs to be stress-free.

Week 8 – Training your Boxer puppy

Week 8 already! Think back to how far you and your Boxer have come. It’s amazing how much they learn in just 8 weeks. But we just have to tell you: don’t be fooled into thinking that this is the end of training. No way. Training goes on forever! Your dog is always learning even as an adult. Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks after all.

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Joggers and Cyclists
– Tick 3 things off your personal checklist
– Practice exercises in different locations
– Teach a hand target
– Introduce nose work
– Push/drop/stick on known exercises
– Nail trims
Socialisation exercises to do this week
  • Joggers and Cyclists

Joggers and Cyclists move fast and are often in bright clothing. This is the perfect triggering recipe for Boxer Pups to chase. Have plenty of treats with you to help get your Boxer’s focus back on you when joggers or cyclists come close. If you can, reward your puppy for calm behaviour. 

  • Tick 3 things off your personal socialisation checklist

The socialisation window will soon be closing but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to show your puppy new things.

Training to do this week
  • Practice exercises in different locations. 

Dogs can’t generalise very well, so they’ll need to practice everything they have learnt in different places. This week practice all your exercises in places less known to them like the bus stop, a nearby park, or any other dog-friendly venue.

  • Teach a hand target  

Targeting forms the base of many tricks. Our puppy trick training guide will show you the ropes. 

  • Introducing nose work to your puppy

You know your Boxer’s love to sniff every around them. Hide toys around the house and get them to find them by using their super hooter.

Husbandry tasks to do this week
  • Trim your Boxer puppy’s claws

So, you’ve done the groundwork in the past weeks. Now it’s time to do the thing for real this week. Snipping their claws regularly will be helpful for you, you’ll see. You only have to snip the very ends off, and watch that you don’t mess with the quick. The quick is a little blood vessel that runs almost to the end of the nail. It can be hard to see if your puppy’s nails are black, so make sure you avoid it completely as you don’t want your puppy to bleed.

The dewclaws, the claws on the side to the weird-looking thumbs don’t touch the floor so they’re extra sharp and will need more snipping than most. Just do one paw at a time to start with, or even just one or two claws and then take a break. Treats will always help calm them down, but you could also opt for a lickimat to make sure their attention is really taken away from what you’re doing.

What’s next for your Boxer puppy?

We really hope this 8-week guide to Boxer puppy training has really got you off on the right paw for a well-trained dog and happy life together. Boxers are naturally goofy and love clowning around. While that’s what makes them unique, it’s important to continue with regular training to keep them out of mischief.

Looking for other great puppy training tips? Check out our overview of when to start teaching your puppy anything next. It’s a lot of information but all you certainly want to know. Why not have a look at some of the other training you can do with your Boxer puppy in the Zigzag puppy training app? You’ll find more in-depth training, games and socialisation advice. Most importantly, you’ll have access to our wonderful team of experts to help you every step of the way. They’re nice, we promise.