Boxers are natural born clowns, with strong, agile builds.
They love to please, and enjoy learning and performing tricks that stimulate their mental and physical capabilities. Consider your Boxer a life long learner, and take advantage of trick training as a way to keep your dog from inventing its own tricks to play on you!
Like other types of training, trick training requires a great deal of patience, and frequent and lavish rewards for the right behaviors. Boxers sometimes lose focus or become bored with tasks they find uninteresting. It helps to chose tricks your Boxer will find fun to perform. Teach the focus command prior to trick training, as well as basic obedience skills the tricks are based on. Train only one trick at a time, starting with easy ones, and pace your training to your Boxer's learning pace.
Shake Hands, Dance, and Fetch are easy beginner tricks particularly suited to Boxers. They will help build up your Boxer's confidence and skill quickly. Once they are mastered, look for other ways to combine and modify these basic fundamentals into more complex tricks.
To teach your Boxer to Shake Hands, begin in the Sit position and get its attention with the Focus command. Gently pick up your dog's paw with one hand while giving a treat with the other. Praise lavishly whenever your dog raises its paw on command and receives its treat. Repeat, and see how fast your Boxer learns! Try teaching your Boxer to Wave and Hide it's face with its paw once Shake Hands is mastered. You can even train your Boxer to turn light switches on and off with the same basic technique.
Dance is a simple trick based on the sit position. Begin by holding a treat above your Boxer's nose until it jumps up on its hind legs. Say Dance, and give the toy to the dog while gently taking hold of its front legs. Dance together with your Boxer at first, guiding it by holding its front legs while it stands balanced on its rear ones. Do not pull or force your dog to stay in the standing position, simply reward the behavior as it occurs naturally. Eventually, see if your Boxer can perform the trick on its own. Then, try teaching Beg by encouraging your Boxer to sit while you support its front legs.
Fetch is best trained initially on a long lead. Once focused, toss your Boxer's favorite toy a few feet away. Say Fetch while your dog runs or jumps to the toy. Praise it after the toy is picked up, then once again when your Boxer brings it to you for further play. Wait for the toy to be dropped, and praise and reward once again. Once Fetch is accomplished, you can move on to Frisbee, as well as teaching your Boxer to play Hide and Seek with specific toys it can learn to identify by name.