Housebreaking Your Boxer Dog
The easiest and most effective way to housebreak your Boxer is through crate training.
If you keep things simple, act consistently, and work with your Boxer's natural tendencies, your efforts will quickly pay off.
Young Boxers don't understand most of what is expected of them, or know how convey their needs. Their small bladder size makes it impossible for them to hold it for very long, and it is up to you to accommodate these deficiencies. Bring your puppy outdoors a minimum of every two hours in the early stages of housebreaking. If dangerous weather conditions prevent this, be sure to place papers near the door as a substitute. With puppies, what goes in, must come out¦quickly! You should take your Boxer outdoors for elimination approximately ten minutes after eating. Maintaining a regular feeding schedule helps prevent accidents.
When you bring your Boxer outdoors, be sure to use a leash, no matter how small your puppy is. A harness may be safest for your puppy at first. Boxers love to jump and play, but you should discourage this until business is taken care of! Keep your puppy on a short leash, and calmly walk to the same spot to go each time. Pick a word to speak each time your puppy goes, and repeat it only when your puppy eliminates outdoors.
As soon as your puppy goes outside, praise it for a job well done. A special treat given immediately after will serve as a powerful positive reinforcer. So will some play time! Especially at the start of housebreaking, spend some time playing outdoors after your puppy eliminates. Boxers who are dragged back inside as soon as they are finished going learn to hold it for as long as possible, to prolong their time outside of the house.
Confining your Boxer whenever it is not directly supervised prevents missed opportunities and accidents. Make use of a crate, carrier, or playpen to create a small area for your Boxer. Allow only enough space for your puppy to stand up, turn around, and stretch out in a prone position comfortably. Too big a space will defeat the purpose. You want to work with your Boxer's natural instincts to keep its den clean, not teach it to pee in one corner and sleep in the other. If you are purchasing a crate, buy one that will accommodate your Boxer full grown. Boxers often become attached to their dens and make use of them long after housetrained. Many large crates feature dividers for adjusting their size as puppies grow.
Placing your Boxer in its confinement area for feeding can also help with housebreaking, as dogs usually prefer not to mess where they eat. Be sure to remove your Boxer's collar whenever you place him in a crate or carrier to prevent a choking hazard.
Whenever you take your Boxer out of confinement, immediately bring it outside! Remove your Boxer gently and calmly, and save the excitement and praise for the moment your puppy eliminates outside.