How to Train a Boxer Puppy to Not Bark

Medium
1-4 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

You wouldn’t swap him for the world. He’s playful, devoted, energetic, fearless and friendly. However, one thing you didn’t realize was how noisy your Boxer pup was going to be. You’re frequently woken up in the middle of the night to his barking. You take him out for a walk and he barks at people and pets as they pass by. You often struggle to hear the TV over him in the evenings. His barking is becoming a bad habit and one that needs to be stopped now.

Training him to not bark will bring you some much-needed peace and quiet. It will also mean you can have guests over without him causing a racket. In addition, relations with neighbors who are fed up with the noise may improve too. Finally, this type of training will make it easier to stamp out other bad habits.

Defining Tasks

Training your Boxer not to bark is fortunately relatively straightforward. The first thing you will need to do is look at why he is barking. You can then take a number of steps to address the underlying issue. Also, deterrence measures will need to be taken. You may also need to use obedience commands to teach him to bark on command, so you can then train him to be quiet when instructed.

Because he’s a puppy he should still be learning the ropes and respond quickly to training. This means you could see results in just a week or so. But if he’s stubborn and particularly uninterested in learning then you may need up to a month. Get this right and you’ll no longer need to go to sleep with earplugs and you can go back to enjoying having your cute and cuddly puppy around.

Getting Started

Before you can start training, you will need to get your hands on a few bits. A secure crate will be needed. A deterrence collar, water spray bottle and radio will also be needed for one of the methods.

You will also need to stock up on tasty treats. Some toys and food puzzles will also be required. Then set aside 10 minutes each day for training, at a time when you both won’t be distracted.

Once you have all that, just bring patience and a pro-active attitude, then work can begin!

The Deterrence Method

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Step
1
Safe space
Your Boxer puppy may be barking because he’s frustrated. So make sure he has a safe space he can escape to, such as a bed or crate. This is particularly important if you have young children who may pester him.
Step
2
The radio
If he barks when he can hear people walking past the house, then you may want to consider leaving the radio on quietly. The TV will also do the job. This could entirely remove the barking temptation.
Step
3
Close the curtains
If he barks when he can see people walking past, you may want to think about closing the curtains and blinds. Alternatively, closing the door or using baby gates to limit his access to the front of the house may help.
Step
4
Water spray bottle
If you do catch him barking, quickly go over and give a spray of water near his face. This will get him associating barking with negative consequences. Boxer puppies are fast learners so he should soon fall silent.
Step
5
Deterrence collar
You can get deterrence collars online that will emit an unpleasant spray of citronella whenever he barks. This will quickly make him think twice. Use any or all of the above deterrence measures until you break the habit.
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The Meet His Needs Method

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1
Water & food
He may be barking because he needs something, such as water or food. The barking could simply be his way of trying to communicate with you. So make sure he gets his food at the same times each day and that his water bowl is regularly topped up.
Step
2
Toilet visits
Because he’s a puppy he will need taking out to the toilet regularly throughout the day, particularly in the beginning. His barking may be his way of saying he’s desperate for the potty. So, try taking him out more often and see if that stops the barking.
Step
3
Exercise
He may be small at the moment, but he still needs a lot of exercise. Give him a longer walk or throw a ball as you go. The short sprinting will ensure he spends his time at home napping. A tired Boxer is a quiet Boxer.
Step
4
Toys & food puzzles
His barking may simply be because he’s bored. So try leaving him toys and food puzzles to play with, especially if you’re not around. Food puzzles can keep an inquisitive Boxer puppy entertained for hours.
Step
5
Attention
Spend a few minutes at the beginning and end of each day giving him attention. His barking may simply be attention seeking behavior. Just like humans, dogs can be needy too. So stroke him, cuddle him and play with his toys.
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The Verbal Cue Method

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Step
1
‘Bark’
Place him in a situation that you know is likely to trigger a bark. For example, when you’re about to feed him or take him out for a walk. Then issue a ‘bark’ command just as he starts barking. Give it in a friendly voice. You need to train him to bark on command before you can teach him to be quiet.
Step
2
Reward & practice
As soon as he does indeed bark, hand over a tasty treat and give him some verbal praise. He will soon start associating the command with barking. Now practice this for a few minutes each day and start giving the command before he actually starts barking.
Step
3
‘Quiet’
Once he’s got the hang of the barking cue, you can now teach him the ‘quiet’ command. Instruct him to bark and then wait for him to fall silent. As soon as he does, issue a ‘quiet’ command. Give it in an up-beat voice. Boxer puppies learn best when they think they are playing a game.
Step
4
Reward
Once you’ve given the command and he’s stayed quiet, hand over a tasty treat. Make sure he gets it within a few seconds of you giving the command, otherwise he may not associate the action with the reward. Spend a few minutes each day practicing this and he will soon recognize the ‘quiet’ command.
Step
5
Bring forward the command
Once he is used to hearing the command, you can then start giving the instruction while he is still barking. You can now use it whenever he barks in any situation and have other members of the house do the same. Use it every time and you will stamp out his barking altogether.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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