Activities For Rhodesian Boxers

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Introduction

Rhodesian Boxers are a cross between Boxers and Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Your pup is a highly intelligent, medium-to-large dog who needs mentally and physically challenging activities to stay happy and healthy. The Rhodesian Ridgebacks were bred in the deserts of South Africa by farmers and later used by hunters to guard lions. Boxers were also used in hunting in their early years. They had a brief, unfortunate stint as bear bait dogs, but were later used during the wars to carry messages and equipment. 

The size and stubbornness of your pooch make obedience training a must. However, harsh training methods are useless with this rebellious breed. With proper training, your Rhodesian Boxer will be a protective but loving dog with a strong prey drive inherited from their hunting skills. Your pup might get along with other dogs and cats if raised with them, but shouldn’t be trusted alone with the smaller animals. 

Despite their tough appearance, Rhodesian Boxers prefer staying close to their families instead of outside alone. They require a lot of exercise, but if your pup has the typical Boxer breathing problems, consider the temperature before engaging in strenuous outdoor activities, especially in the warmer months.

Brisk Walk

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
15 min
Items needed
Harness
Leash
"Pet Me" vest
Activity description

Your pup needs at least some outdoor time. Fido will be happy with a few brisk walks around the neighborhood throughout the day. Because of their breathing problems, dogs crossed with Boxers shouldn’t exert too much energy in hot or even warm weather. That’s why you want to spread the walks out instead of going for one long walk.

If you walk around your neighborhood or a local dog-friendly park, the activity will be free and you might even run into other dogs to work on your pup’s socialization skills. Your dog’s strength makes harnesses more effective and safe than just regular collars. Your dog’s size might be intimidating, so if they are friendly, you can get a “Pet Me" vest. If they prefer to be left alone, you can find vests that say, “Please don’t pet.” 

Step
1
Find a harness that fits
A properly fitting harness is important for a good walking experience for you AND your dog. If the harness is fit snugly, you don’t have to worry about your dog making a great escape. If it’s too tight, your dog will be in discomfort or even pain for the entire walk. Depending on your pup’s leash training, you might be able to use the leashes that go around the dog’s nose for better control.
Step
2
Check the weather forecast
Boxers have smushed noses that make breathing difficult for them, especially in hot weather. Since your pup isn’t a pure Boxer, there is a chance they might escape those hereditary problems. However, if your pup does have breathing difficulties, walk them in the early morning or late at night during the warmer months. Most dogs prefer not to walk in the rain.
Step
3
Take it to the mountains
If walks are your dog’s favorite activity, you can add in a little elevation to your dog’s steps. Many state parks have dog-friendly hiking areas that are free and open to the public, as long as the owner is responsible about picking up after their dog’s waste. If you do choose a mountain walk, be sure to keep your dog on their leash. There will be tons of little animals to set off your Rhodesian Boxer's internal prey drive.
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Photo Shoot

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
15 min
Items needed
Camera
Fashion accessories
Stunning backgrounds
Activity description

If your dog is sick and tired of having to photobomb family photos to be seen, make Fido camera ready and do a full-on photo shoot! Treat them like a star for a day. Take them for a ride in the car to their favorite outdoor restaurant and a short walk through the town park to do the photo shoot. After the shoot wraps, stop at your local coffee shop for their special whipped cream cup for dogs.

It’s a sad fact that we outlive our dogs by a lot of years. This photo shoot will give you fond memories of your pup. You can also display them in your home so everyone can see your beautiful rare breed.

Step
1
Is your pup a natural model?
Some dogs act like models once they see a camera trained in their direction. Other dogs run and hide. If your dog is a natural at getting their photos taken, why not set up a photo shoot for your pooch? This is a totally normal and acceptable thing to do in present times. People include their dogs in wedding photos, baby announcements and family Christmas card photos. Why not dedicate an entire photo shoot just for your beloved dog?
Step
2
Don't forget the accessories
A dog photo shoot needs accessories, period. It can be tutus, dresses, hoodies or other dog-size versions of people clothing. If you are doing a themed shoot, you can add hats and glasses -- anything that your dog will tolerate is fair game. The background is another version of an accessory. You can have the shoot indoors or outdoors. Open fields are a very popular choice.
Step
3
Make a social media account for your pup
You don’t even need to hire a professional photographer. All you need is a good cell phone camera and social media filters. Once the shoot is done, you can create an Instagram account for your dog and post the photo for the enjoyment of the entire internet. Dog social media accounts are extremely successful and there are many “viral” dogs that have a brand that includes books, calendars and pet celebrity appearances.
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At-home Hurdles

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Any Day
Free
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Blanket
Broom
Chairs
Activity description

Large breeds need a lot of exercise, and an indoor obstacle course of jumps is a pawfect way to wear your dog out. It will take a little training, but Rhodesian Boxers are eager to please and fast learners. You can use rolled up blankets or other household items to act as a hurdle. Some people use brooms, but that can be a problem if your pup is afraid of the broom, which many dogs oddly are. (Though brooms are nowhere near as scary as vacuums.)

This activity can be done on warm days when it’s too hot for your dog to play outside. It’s absolutely free if you use items in your own home.

Step
1
Set up the obstacle course
Your first order of business is to decide what item to use as a hurdle. You can use anything from a simple rolled up towel or blanket on the floor or a higher hurdle of a broom across chairs. If your dog doesn’t enjoy the jumping obstacle, you can use cones for a maze game or even a kiddie tunnel for your dog to run through.
Step
2
Start with smaller jumps first
When you first begin the obstacle course, don’t expect too much from your pup. Start small with an item placed on the floor and add more height as your dog gets more comfortable with the activity. Eventually, you could work up from a broom on the floor to on straddling two chairs or boxes.
Step
3
Jump for my treats
Your dog might need encouragement to jump over the obstacles, especially if you use the big, scary broom. Treats are great for the initial training, but too many treats can cause obesity and picky eating. Use praise with the treats and then you can wean the treats out of the activity altogether.
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More Fun Ideas...

Socialization

It is essential for such a large dog to have supervised socialization time with other people and dogs. This can happen during your walks, especially if you walk in a park or other area populated with other dogs. You may need to seek the advice of a professional trainer on how to socialize your dog if they show aggressive behavior. These dogs can be strong, which is why a harness should be used for more control.

Tug-of-War

Tug-of-War is a playful way for your pup to work off their hunting instincts. If your dog is overly excitable, you can drag a rope toy behind you as you walk or throw it in a game of fetch. If your pup gets too enthusiastic, take a short break. When your dog’s behavior is playful but not aggressive, heap them with praise so they know that is the correct way to behave.

Conclusion


Rhodesian Boxers are a strong, but loving dog great for a patient, active home without other animals. This is due to the breed’s hunting instinct. This instinct is why your pup should be on a leash or harness during any outdoor activities. Even a fenced-in yard might not be enough if Fido gets the scent or sight of potential prey.

Exercise can help prevent destructive behavior issues often caused by boredom. Brisk walks in cool temperatures can offer your pup exercise to reduce the risk of obesity. Indoor obstacle training, such as DIY jumps with a rolled up blanket, is a great way to meet their exercise needs. Candid photo shoots with your dog give you memories that will last a lifetime. They could even make your pup internet famous!

A large breed needs proper socialization skills -- both with humans and dogs alike. You can take obedience classes to ensure a safe setting for teaching your dog appropriate behavior. Dog parks are a possibility, depending on your dog’s temperament. The most important thing to remember during any activity or training is to keep a calm demeanor and be patient. Rhodesian Boxers are beautiful dogs, but they can be difficult for new dog owners.