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Old 10th July 2001, 02:37 PM
Boxer Pal
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: New York, USA
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Question Strange Behavior of my 7 month old female boxer

Hi. I have a very strange problem with my 7 month old boxer, Sandy. I had her since she was 2 months old, and she has been adorable, bundle of joy for the past few months. She's a very quick learner, and I've had no problem training her with everything from house-breaking, simple commands, etc etc..
One enormous thing that I was proud of was that she would relieve herself by herself if she was let out on the yard. She would go out on command, of if she had to go, and she would return on command when she was done. Everything was so great.. Until few days ago.....

Problem started when I let her play loose for the first time at a local park. We had great time and she listened to every one of my commands, so we had a blast playing in the park. That same night, she was whinning to go out to pee, so I've let her out to do her business. Normally, she would come in by herself within few minutes, but she would not come in after 5 minutes, so I called on her to come inside. She would not only not listen to my commands, but she started to bark at me(She has never barked at anything before this) and run around furiously around the yard. It took me a full hour to get her inside the house, and consequently, I was furious at her. I didn't punsih her though, because she walked in on her own (after an hour), and if I punished her for that, she would assume that coming in by herself was the cause for her punishment.

I assumed that it was a one time behavior, so I let her do her business as usual the next day, and same thing happened. She would bark loudly, even growl, and would run around the yard as if she was challenging me. Even stranger still, she would bark on every command that I would give her (Sit, stay, or come) From that point on, when she has to go out, I would walk her on a leash. This has made me very bad, because I wanted to train her in a way where she would be free and at the same time respect me and listen to my commands. I'm sure Sandy is not well off either, because she has to wear a leash now, which she didn't need before.

I know this was a very long message, but I sincerely hope that someone could help me out with this issue. please Help!

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Old 10th July 2001, 02:43 PM
Claudia807's Avatar
Completely Boxer Crazy
Join Date: Apr 2001
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I don't believe you stated whether or not you have a fenced yard. If not, I believe that your dog is too young to be trusted off-leash regardless. I barely trust my Boxer now, and she is over three.

7 months is the beginning of a tough adolescent period, and that period can last quite a while. Her behavior really sounded like a typical Boxer youngster to me! You might consider some obedience classes to work on the recall command in a structured environment. She is testing you, which is why I think this is a good time to consider some training. Just don't expect too much from her at this stage - she is still a pup.
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Old 10th July 2001, 02:55 PM
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Location: Biggin Hill,Kent, England
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I agree with the above. Georgie very rarely goes off lead as she's still too young.

Georgie still has a play in the garden. Most of the time she comes in when I call her but yes, she has her nutty half hour too!

Have fun now

My babies are;
Georgie - Red & White Female 2 yr
Frank (Mr Bean) - Brindle Male 2 yr
plus one hamster with no name & a goldfish

Old 10th July 2001, 03:17 PM
Boxer Pal
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: New York, USA
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Thank you very much for your replies. I do think that she is testing me (she's goot at it too), and since Sandy is my first boxer, I guess I have that "very stubborn" adolescent age to look forward to. I hope it's not as long as you've stated..

Old 10th July 2001, 04:52 PM
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Location: Arizona
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Rowdy baby

I agree with the other replies. That age is the beginning of teenage years for the Boxer. It probably is the MOST trying period of your Boxers life. I have had Rebel in obedience since he was 4 months. Always a gentleman, he was a terror at that age (about 5 1/2 months), looking at me with his little imp-ish face and blatantly defying any command I gave him. The only time he would behave was in class, thankfully.

I used to say "I'm glad he doesn't have opposable thumbs and the car keys" Truly, he was a little &*@%. He outgrew the phase by 10 months. Even now at 20 months he gets this wild look in his eye and takes off running around the backyard (walled in) like he is being chased by the devil. I think it is similar to children when they are on a sugar or excitement high.

The key is patience, patience and more patience. Sandy will calm down. Continued training will benefit the both of you. Also, do not let her off leash at any time unless you are within a very secure area. The risk of having her decide to disobey is too great and I am sure you would be crushed if anything happened to her.

Rebel and I got our CGC designation in December and won 2nd in a little obedience trial at the end of May and I STILL don't trust him off leash unless we are in a ring or fenced area.

Best of luck. I cannot wait to see pictures of the little dynamo and hear how you all are progressing.



Old 10th July 2001, 05:53 PM
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Super Boxer
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 573
Its the terrible twos!!! (it just comes early in dogs )

Princess went through this stage as well....we called it hot laps when she'd run crazily around the back yard...and then would come running by with the most gleeful expression. She was loving it...dogs play, they run and they love it! From her perspective - it sucks when you are asked to stop playing!

Princess talks back all the time when I tell her to do something...like she's trying to negotiate...its the cutest thing, but she does what she's asked.

Every dog has their moments, but Princess definitely has stimulation needs for the day (chew time, run time, tug time, treat time etc) which is easy to fulfill cause its fun for us all...As a result she is content and happy, and is actually very mellow.

Unfortunately I think alot of dog training/animal psychology is focused on an animal doing something out of defiance or as a challenge for 'pack leader'. Dogs run and act crazy because its fun for them!!!! Anybody remember when they were kids? How fun it was to play and play and play? It was fun because playing was fun, not because Mom and Dad said that playing was bad.
Chewing on the couch? Damn...thats fun too - especially if you don't get caught...if you get caught..then you learn to do it when people aren't watching!

My absolute favorite book about dog behaviour that I will recommend to anyone that listens is "Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson. You can order it through amazon.com


(who's not trying to be preachy! )
Owned by :
Princess - 07/00 - Always MY baby girl...
Mackenzie - 01/02

Old 11th July 2001, 09:37 AM
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Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
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This is pretty typical behavior. Your dog wanted to play and did NOT want to come inside and was testing you to see who would win this war of wills. Pretty typical adolescent boxer behavior. My Maggie does this to me too and has begun in earnest since we recently moved.

I follow also the guidelines in "The Culture Clash" and have gone back to basics with Maggie until she gets through this stage. I try to be patient, but it is hard. I now have to keep Maggie tethered to me on a 50' cord when we play "off leash" in the park because of this defiant behavior. It makes me very angry and frustrated, but I try to be patient knowing that this too shall pass and some day, hopefully, she'll be her obedient angel self again.

Good luck and get a copy of "The Culture Clash." It will help ease the trauma of the terrible teens.

Old 12th July 2001, 02:44 PM
Boxer Pal
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: MA
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is she fixed? maybe she's in heat!!
-just a suggestion...

Old 12th July 2001, 04:02 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Virginia
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Everyone here has given great advice in regards to her behavior however I want to caution you about leaving a dog out to do their business without a fence. Call me paranoid but I have seen it happen one too many times. You turn your back for a second and they are gone no matter how well behaved your dog is they do not rationalize like humans. Recently my first foster was hit by a car and killed. Why? Because he was left out alone by loving owners who assumed he was safe in their yard. Just for a few minutes as they did everynight before bed time ( however we were not aware of this until now ). He wandered off and they found him the next day along the side of the road not far from their house. Sunny was 12 years old at the time of his death. I don't mean to preach but in my opinion one can never be too careful!
Baxter 11 year old fawn rescue
Lexi 7 year old fawn
Dusty 8 year old brindle mix rescue

Old 12th July 2001, 04:11 PM
Boxer Pal
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 7

Thank you all for wonderful advice regarding Sandy's behavior..

Just to update few of you, it seems most of your advice is correct in that she is turning into her teenage years.. Just yesterday, when we were playing inside the house, she started to bark and run around and didn't listen to my commands. So I did something new.. I just stopped playing and totally ignored her for 15-20 minutes. At first, she was "banging" into me to get my attention, but after awhile, she just sat down and looked at me with those droopy sad eyes.. and from that point on, she is calmer and gentler, and listens to me like she did before.

Anyways, I guess I've found one way to discipline her when she misbehaves. I'll also take up on the advice about taking some obedience classes..

As for Fencing, I have my backyard totally fenced off, so there are no worries of her running off (unless she could jump 7 feet wooden fence!) I guess I should've specified on the previous message.

Thank you all for such wonder advice. I'll also read up on the book "Culture Clash"


Old 12th July 2001, 05:20 PM
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Location: Mankato, MN
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My Gibson does the same thing, he barks and barks at us when we are in the back yard and give him a command. He has been obedience since he was about 3 months and he knows his commands but he just gets goofy when all hyped up from running around. I know he just wants to play so I tell him to find his ball and that works most of the time, but he still talks back. Also if I have treats he becomes an angel and listens. He is a goofy little boy.


Big Papa to Gibson
10mo Flashy Brindle Boy w/Cropped ears