How to Potty Train a Boxer Puppy
Potty training all puppies will take time, patience, love, and consistency – that’s just a fact. Boxer puppies are not an exception to the rule, but they can be easier to potty train than some other dogs. However, they do need plenty of exercises, so make sure you have the time to teach potty training and take your Boxer puppy out for adequate stimulation.
Whatever you’re trying to train him to do when you first bring your Boxer puppy home, toilet training is better done earlier than later, even if your puppy is too young to hold it for long enough, you can hopefully get him used to the idea of a potty spot.
All About Your New Boxer Puppy
All dogs are different, so when you bring your Boxer puppy home, your first role is to get to know him. It’s easier to train boxer puppies if you understand how he acts, how he will react, and what he likes and dislikes. There is no secret that this breed has an ever-curious look and they can be very good family dogs once they are properly house trained.
Like many other dogs, Boxers need your love, care, and attention. Since they are considered medium to large dogs, your Boxer pup will definitely need a lot of exercises. A well-exercised dog is a well-behaved one. Don’t be surprised if you’re bored and cooped up dog causes a ruckus when you’re trying to work from home.
Going on walks is also part of potty training, as most dogs will do his or her business outside. Not only that but exercising your dog will also make him more obedient. What does it take to train Boxer puppies to be completely house trained? Read on to find out.
Potty training your Boxer puppies isn’t as simple as giving them a command. You have to make preparations and gather all the accessories you need to make sure toilet training will go off without a hitch. What supplies do you need? It really depends on the type of potty training you want to try, but we have compiled a general list of items below.
What Do You Need?
- Poop Bags
Perhaps the most important thing is poop bags or waste bags. These little bags are what you use to pick up your Boxer puppy’s waste. If you can, choose biodegradable types because trust us, there will be thousands of bags to dispose of in your dog’s lifetime. See how often puppies poop.
Doggy poop bags can come in rolls in a holder you can easily clip onto your dog’s leash or harness with a carabine. Or, you can go with the regular packages and just grab a few loose bags with you before you begin potty training or before walks.
- Pooper Scooper
The use of a pooper scooper is an entirely personal preference. Most people use it for their own backyards because not many people want to carry these shovel-like accessories on a walk. A dog poop scooper is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a tool that picks up your dog’s poop after he does his business.
A doggy pooper scooper is handy if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, but you will need to wash or wipe it down from time to time, so it may be easier just to turn a bag inside out, grab the poop, turn the bag back around again and throw it away.
- Doggy Wipes
Doggy wipes are a toilet training accessory we have really come to appreciate. Yes, it is something extra to carry on walks or training sessions, but these wipes are not only handy if your dog makes a mess or steps on his own poop, but it’s also useful for you if you need to wipe your hands down in a pinch.
Yes, you could bring human wipes or baby wipes for your own hands, but we would recommend dog-specific wipes for your Boxer puppy.
- Leash and Harness
A leash and harness are two basic accessories you need if you plan to bring a Boxer puppy home. For training purposes as a puppy, some trainers recommend a collar, but as your Boxer puppies grow, a harness is a better choice to use on walks. When you’re training your Boxer puppy to get used to walks and to potty train, he will inevitably want to play with the leash or tug and pull and end up choking himself.
With a harness, the force is spread throughout your dog’s chest, which evens out the strain. However, sensitive areas such as your dog’s armpits may be subject to chafing if the sizing is off. Luckily, harnesses are easily adjustable and you can buy one that can fit your dog in the puppy stage and adjust as he grows. The correct tightness will allow dog owners to fit two fingers between the harness and their dog.
- Puppy Pads and Holder
Puppy pads are necessary for those who choose to potty train both indoors and out. We would recommend this, solely because it is more convenient, but the choice is entirely yours. If you train your dog to have a designated potty area in the house, then you won’t have to worry about letting him outdoors to do his business when it’s raining, snowing, or very windy out.
When your dog’s potty breaks aren’t dependent on the weather, your dog will enjoy the freedom to go to the bathroom whenever he wants – but not wherever he wants.
Never underestimate the importance and efficacy of a good dog treat. Remember when we said you should get to know your dog once you bring him home because there is no one-size-fits-all method? It’s the same with food and treats. Just because your old dog liked frozen chicken raw bites, it doesn’t mean your new Boxer puppy will. Here are some of the best dog food for Boxers you can use as healthy treats.
Once you have figured out what dog treat your Boxer puppy loves, then you will have him in the palm of your hand. Dogs are creatures that are largely food motivated, so giving your Boxer puppy a reward after he does something right will only reinforce his will to please you even more. Once this concept has been established, you will be amazed at how quickly your dog will learn how to go to the bathroom in the right place.
Boxer Puppy House Training Tips
As we mentioned, there are a few ways to start potty training a Boxer puppy, but no matter which way you choose, you must try your best to remain positive and give your Boxer puppy as much encouragement as possible. This can be done with happy and exciting words, as well as petting and belly rubbing along with plenty of treats.
Before we dive into the various ways you can start potty training, we have a few tips to outline that will really help you out.
Establish a Routine
The first important tip we have for you is to establish a routine. All dogs, including Boxer puppies who are highly intelligent dogs, thrive on routine. Having a routine lets them know what they can expect. A regular bathroom schedule will also let you know what to expect, so regulating your Boxer pup’s bathroom breaks will be easier and you will also do a better job at limiting their accidents.
As your boxer matures, he will behave in the exact same manner as he was taught, no matter the age. Puppies learn relatively quickly, but they also forget quickly until they have practiced something enough. Your dog will most likely get potty training within a few weeks but don’t be discouraged if it takes your Boxer puppy a bit longer.
A regular feeding schedule will also do wonders for your canine friends. Dogs usually go soon after mealtimes, which is another reason why a consistent routine is so helpful when you house train your Boxer puppy.
Always Use Positive Reinforcement
We’ve mentioned this plenty of times, but it is so important that we have decided to dedicate an entire section to puppy encouragement. You do not want to make your puppy afraid of you, or the crate, if that’s the training method you’re going for. Don’t rub your Boxer puppy’s nose in his mess or use the crate as a form of punishment.
You always want the puppy to have a positive association with you, potty training, and the dog crate, which is why you want to reinforce your pup’s image with happy things.
You may wonder what to do when accidents happen if you can’t punish your pup, which brings us to the next section.
Just because you can’t punish your pup, it doesn’t mean you can’t show him your displeasure. You want your puppy to want to please you and make you proud, but if he has an accident (trust us, he will), you have to clean up the mess right away, and preferably with an enzyme cleaner.
Enzyme cleaners are much more heavy-duty compared to soap, in the sense that they can break down messes at the molecular level, which will completely eliminate any traces of feces or urine. Why is this important? Because puppies, including Boxer puppies, like to go in the same spot. They are attracted to the smell of urine, which prompts them to go.
If you don’t rid the crime scene of every residue, then your Boxer puppy is very likely to go there again, and have an accident in the exact same place. If the situation is bad enough, your Boxer puppy could decide to have that spot on the carpet to be his new potty area. With an enzymatic cleaner, you will greatly reduce the chances of this ever happening.
When you catch your dog in the act, you can show your displeasure by firmly telling him “no!”, or use whichever word you have chosen to show your dog something is “wrong” or “bad”. Right after you say “no”, show him where he should be doing it. If you caught him in the middle of urinating, you can let him finish in the correct spot and reward him after.
Don’t worry if this happens a few times. Puppies are smart, which also means puppies learn quickly.
This next part is very important to remember. If you do not catch your Boxer puppy in the middle of pooping or urinating, then you cannot yell or show your anger in any way. Although Boxers are highly intelligent dogs, they won’t be able to connect the dots and understand you’re getting upset over something that may have happened hours ago.
This is why it’s so important to catch them in the act and remove your puppy immediately and show him where he should go to the bathroom. When he does something right, always remember to reward him with a treat so your pup knows exactly what to do and what you want.
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Boxer Puppy House Training Methods
We get asked how to potty train a Boxer puppy quite often, and we always tell dog owners the same thing – crate training. You don’t have to do it this way as there are plenty of other methods, but this is by far the one that yields the least surprises and is most effective. Let’s take a closer look at what crate training entails and some other potty training methods.
Crate training is when you train your Boxer puppy to get used to a dog crate, which will aid in in-house training. The dog crate is meant to be a safe place for your pup, one where he can retreat for safety, comfort, and relaxation. It serves a similar purpose to a den in the wild, so you should never make your puppy afraid of the crate or reluctant to go inside. If in the beginning, they start to bark a lot, there’s a way to stop the barking behavior when in a crate.
Once your Boxer puppy is used to and likes the crate, it is a great way to minimize accidents, especially when you’re not at home or at work. Why? Because dogs don’t tend to go where they sleep, so your puppy will try to hold it for as long as possible. We don’t suggest pushing your dog’s bladder to the limit each time, but it’s more the concept of not going until he can go to his potty spot that we want to instill in Boxer puppies.
Keep in mind that training your Boxer with a crate will still result in accidents from time to time, especially if you’re training your dog at a very young age. In general, a puppy can hold it for their age plus 1. That means a 3-month old Boxer can hold it for 4 hours at the most.
Now that you know you have a safe place to contain your pup to control accidents, you can better focus on training your dog to go to the bathroom in the right place whether it’s inside or outside the house.
Potty Train Boxer Puppies without a Crate
We mentioned before that you don’t necessarily need to adopt the crate when you potty train Boxer puppies, but what is the other method? The other method is to use a doggy pen or doggy gate (baby gates can work too).
The way you would use a pen or a gate is similar to a crate, except instead of a little den, you are just condoning off an area that is solely for your pup. A doggy gate is useful for people who plan on giving your puppy free reign of an entire room and the pen is to section off a small part of a larger area – the choice is yours.
The concept is the same as a crate in the sense that you are trying to create a safe space for your dog to limit his accidents. Until your dog knows where to go to the bathroom, we would strongly recommend going with the crate and pen ideas instead of a room. This is because although dogs don’t soil where they sleep, they will still do it in a large enough area if they can sleep in a corner without touching the poop.
For example, if you have a crate that is too large, your dog will still very likely go to the bathroom in one corner and sleep happily and soundly on the other end. This will completely defeat the purpose of the crate, which is why you need to get the right size.
The right size would depend on the size of your pup now, and his adult size. It should only be big enough to allow your pup to take one or two small steps, stand up, and turn around. So how do you find a crate that is small enough for your growing pup at his current size, but be large enough for him at his adult size?
The trick is to find a crate with a divider. The divider is an insert piece that sections off a part of the crate to limit your dog’s freedom. You can move the divider to accommodate your dog’s size as he grows and eventually does away with it altogether.
If you choose pen training, you won’t have to limit your dog’s freedom but teach him to go to the bathroom in the correct spot by placing puppy pads inside. Only use one, because if you place too many puppy pads on the ground, it will give your puppy the idea that he can go anywhere.
Whichever way you choose to train your pup is up to you. There are some pet parents that only allow their dogs to go to the bathroom outside. The primary consideration is your lifestyle and convenience. Which method is easiest for you?
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are Boxer puppies hard to potty train?
Like all puppies, Boxer puppies will take time to house train and they need a consistent routine. You can begin potty training as soon as your dog is 8 weeks old, but at that age, he will still have problems holding it so you can expect accidents. However, Boxer puppies are very intelligent dogs and they will get the hang of it quickly, especially if you choose to crate train them.
How long does it take to toilet train a Boxer puppy?
Potty training can begin as early as 8 weeks, and it may take a week or two but some may need a month or more. It really depends on each individual dog and how consistent you are with the bathroom training. Don’t be discouraged if it takes longer for your pooch, just keep at it with love, consistency, patience, and plenty of rewards. Your puppy will get it eventually.
Can an 8 week old puppy be potty trained?
Yes, an 8-week old puppy can be potty trained, but you should be prepared for a lot of accidents and cleaning. This is because a puppy that young will not have the capacity to hold it for too long, and neither should they because it could lead to health issues. At this age, it’s more about familiarizing your puppy with the concept of potty training rather than shooting for success right away.
How do I stop my Boxer from peeing in the house?
Crate train your pup. This is the easiest way to control the accidents and train them to go to the bathroom in the right potty area. However, if your dog is marking in the house, spaying your neutering your dog will usually solve the problem.
From what we have seen, male dogs who were taught to use pee pads in the house when they were little do not lift their leg in the house and only do so outside.
Is potty training easy? No. Can you do it? Yes! If you and your Boxer puppy both work at it together, he will understand where to go to the bathroom sooner than you think. Positive reinforcement can speed up the process as well as a consistent routine and meal times at the same time each day. We would suggest training your puppy immediately when you bring him home at a young age. Although you can teach an older dog where to go to the bathroom, it becomes more difficult as your dog matures.