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Are Boxers Right For You?



Here You Can Learn More About The Breed

Breed Info Page

Learn More About Boxers

The Boxer Developed in Germany, the Boxer is a breed of stocky, medium-sized, short-haired dog. The coat is smooth and fawn or brindled, with or without white markings. Boxers are brachycephalic (they have broad, short skulls), and have a square muzzle, mandibular prognathism (an underbite), very strong jaws and a powerful bite ideal for hanging on to large prey. The Boxer was bred from the English Bulldog and the now extinct Bullenbeisser and is part of the Molosser group. Boxers were first exhibited in a dog show for St. Bernards at Munich in 1895, the first Boxer club being founded the next year. Based on 2009 American Kennel Club statistics, Boxers are the sixth most popular breed of dog in the United States for the third year in a row—moving up in 2007 from the seventh spot, which they'd held since 2002.

Fawn Boxers Fawn shades vary from light tan to mahogany. Here are some examples of different fawn colors. There are also different amounts of white in the coats. Some have full black "masks", others have "fancy" markings, which refer to the placement of the white markings. This is noted by a nice "blaze" (the stripe between the eyes), a full white "collar", and fairly even "socks" on all four feet.

Brindle Boxers The brindle ranges from sparse, but clearly defined black stripes on a fawn background, to such a heavy concentration of black striping that the essential fawn background color barely, although clearly, shows through (which may create the appearance of "reverse brindling").
White & Check Boxers Boxers can also be white or check. Check boxers are mostly fawn or brindle, but more than 1/3 of their bodies is white.
Behavioral Q & A I have been told the boxer breed cannot handle the more extreme temperatures under 50° and over 85°. What about walks with their family on these days? Can they handle that?

They are fine for a short time, but each dog is a bit different, just like people. The key is that you are there with him to know when he has had enough, when his ears, nose, and toes are cold. Many boxers actually enjoy the cold, but like any kid playing in the snow, they don't know when enough is enough. My husband hates it, but coats on short haired dogs are helpful. Coats are a bad thing on outdoor dogs because they will affect the body's ability to discern when to produce the winter coat; they are a good thing on inside only dogs whose body never tells them there is need for more fur.

Is it ok for them to play outside with other dogs while you are home and doing yard work, and are outside yourself, etc?

By all means. Look at your new fur-kid as a mute, but not deaf, 2-4 yr old child (level of intellect and care requirement) and base your protection and supervision accordingly. My dogs play in the backyard w/o me but i am where i can see them most of the time, and I go to the window constantly to see them; I partially close the door so they can open it when they want inside, but I find myself hesitant to even shower without closing my backdoor so that they have to stay inside when I will not be able to see what they are into- or getting out of. I think a lock on the gate is very reasonable. (I guess police officers over-protect their kids too, and firemen with fire-safety?).

My new boxer has previously urinated on the wood floor at home at least twice, but he does know how to 'go' outside for sure. We weren't happy about it, but did not punish him. I don't want to crate him all day and then crate him at night too? So what do we do to prevent that? Is there a trick on this?

I agree that you don't punish a dog for urinating inside, especially after the fact. I will not even chastise them to stop them in the act. I consider it my fault I missed their signals. They associate the displeasure of discipline with their own act (eliminating) rather than location. It is the parent's responsibility to monitor the fur-kid for signs of the need just like a child in training. Keep him close to you until you know his signs and can encourage him out the door in time and then praise and treat and celebrate. In many cases, we leash tie a dog to us until he knows the rules. I have a 6-ft leash I tie around my waist and wherever i go, the new dog goes. It creates bonding, authority, opportunity to learn the dogs sign language and him your's, and protection- your own sanity and his well-being! Any dog given too much freedom before he is ready will display signs of insecurity- like eliminating and chewing inappropriately, or even aggression, and any change the dog goes through will shake their stability. Leadership and consistency is the key. In my home, the dogs are free most of the time, so if accidents were a concern, they would be crated at night to prevent them; dogs will rarely soil their own space unless they have been reised without option in a neglectful environment. Sn your case, where the boxer is crated through the day, I wouldn't want to crate at night, too. Until I am sure a dog is sleeping through the night, i would put their bed beside mine and leash tie them to me or the bed to insure I am awakened if they need to go outside.

My new boxer has chewed only the corners of the antique furniture. He didn't pick new or cheap furniture, only the antique furniture. We will fix it, but how do we prevent it from happening again? We have at least 10 chew toys, which the dog does play with, and a large rawhide bone. I sprayed the Bitter Apple from the pet store on the furniture that is supposed to taste bad, but I have caught him trying to chew since I sprayed it. So what is the trick on that?

The above explained leash-tie restrictions will help here too. Just keep in mind, this isn't a way of life from now on, it is just a training and acclimation phase; expect regression anytime your dog experiences change. Tell your dog that the toys in the box are good chews; praise and treat him when he gets them on his own. Other things are bad chews.Give him the opportunity to go to your furniture again to chew, but be there to catch him in a very controlled reaction. HEY! BAD CHEW! Bad chew. Spray the chew spot with the bitter apple and then spray a squirt on his upper gums. He will know the taste and equate it to the smell on the furniture. Repeat as needed which will probably be several weeks later- although some are more hardheaded. Consistently combining the use of good, bad, and no with commands you teach will increase his comprehension exponentially- but simply. Play/no play, bark/no bark, dig (under the trampoline only)/no dig-bad dig....

Boxer dogs will train as if they are on a remote control; the breed can do the incredible if we understand them and speak in a way they can process. Remember, too, they are dubbed the 'canine clown', so make sure that all training is fun and rewarding; everything is a game in the boxer brain.

How To Solve Digging Problems

Digging is a normal behavior for most dogs, but may occur for widely varying reasons. Your dog may be:

  • seeking entertainment
  • seeking comfort or protection
  • seeking escape
  • seeking prey
  • seeking attention

Dogs don't dig, however, out of spite, revenge or a desire to destroy your yard. Finding ways to make the area where the dog digs unappealing may be effective, however, it's likely that he'll just begin digging in other locations or display other unacceptable behavior, such as chewing or barking. A more effective approach is to address the cause of the digging, rather than creating location aversions.

Seeking Entertainment

Dogs may dig as a form of self-play when they learn that roots and soil "play back." Your dog may be digging for entertainment if:

  • He's left alone in the yard for long periods of time without opportunities for interaction with you
  • His environment is relatively barren, without playmates or toys
  • He's a puppy or adolescent (under three years old) and doesn't have other outlets for his energy
  • He's the type of dog (like a terrier) that is bred to dig as part of his "job"
  • He's a particularly active type of dog (like the herding or sporting breeds) who needs an active job to be happy
  • He's recently seen you "playing" in the dirt (gardening or working in the yard)

Recommendations:

We recommend expanding your dog's world and increasing his "people time" the following ways:

  • Walk your dog regularly. It's good exercise, mentally and physically, for both of you!
  • Teach your dog to fetch a ball or Frisbee and practice with him as often as possible.
  • Teach your dog a few commands and/or tricks. Practice these commands/tricks every day for five to ten minutes.
  • Take an obedience class with your dog and practice daily what you've learned.
  • Keep interesting toys in the yard to keep your dog busy even when you're not around (Kong-type toys filled with treats or busy-box toys). Rotating the toys makes them seem new and interesting.
  • For dedicated diggers, provide an "acceptable digging area." Choose an area of the yard where it's okay for your dog to dig and cover the area with loose soil or sand. If you catch your dog digging in an unacceptable area, interrupt the behavior with a loud noise, say, "no dig" and take the dog to his designated digging area. When he digs in the approved spot, reward him with praise. Make the unacceptable digging spots unattractive (at least temporarily) by setting sharp rocks or chicken wire into the dirt.

Seeking Prey

Dogs may try to pursue burrowing animals or insects that live in your yard. Your dog may be pursuing prey if:

  • The digging is in a very specific area, usually not at the boundaries of the yard
  • The digging is at the roots of trees or shrubs
  • The digging is in a "path" layout

Recommendations:

We recommend that you search for possible signs of pests and then rid your yard of them. Avoid methods that could be toxic or dangerous to your pets.

Seeking Comfort or Protection

In hot weather, dogs may dig holes in order to lie in the cool dirt. They may also dig to provide themselves with shelter from cold, wind or rain, or to try to find water. Your dog may be digging for protection or comfort if:

  • The holes are near foundations of buildings, large shade trees or a water source
  • Your dog doesn't have a shelter or his shelter is exposed to the hot sun or cold winds
  • You find evidence that your dog is lying in the holes he digs

Recommendations:

We recommend that you provide your dog with other sources for the comfort or protection he seeks.

  • Provide an insulated doghouse. Make sure it affords protection from wind and sun.
  • Your dog may still prefer a hole in the ground, in which case you can try the "approved digging area" recommendation described above. Make sure the allowed digging area is in a protected spot.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water in a bowl that can't be tipped over.

Seeking Attention

Any behavior can become attention-getting behavior if dogs learn that they receive attention for engaging in it (even punishment is a form of attention). Your dog may be digging to get attention if:

  • He digs in your presence
  • His other opportunities for interaction with you are limited

Recommendations:

We recommend that you ignore the behavior.

  • Don't give your dog attention for digging (remember, even punishment is attention).
  • Make sure your dog has sufficient time with you on a daily basis, so he doesn't have to resort to misbehaving to get your attention.

Seeking Escape

Dogs may escape to get to something, to get somewhere or to get away from something. For more detailed information, please see our handout: The Canine Escape Artist." Your dog may be digging to escape if:

  • He digs along the fence line
  • He digs under the fence

Recommendations:

We recommend the following in order to keep your dog in the yard while you work on the behavior modifications recommended in our handout: "The Canine Escape Artist."

  • Bury chicken wire at the base of the fence (sharp edges rolled under)
  • Place large rocks, partially buried, along the bottom of the fence line
  • Bury the bottom of the fence one to two feet under the ground
  • Lay chain link fencing on the ground (anchored to the bottom of the fence) to make it uncomfortable for your dog to walk near the fence

Regardless of the reason for digging, we don't recommend:

  • Punishment after the fact. Not only does this not address the cause of the behavior, any digging that's motivated by fear or anxiety, will be made worse. Punishment may also cause anxiety in dogs that aren't currently fearful.
  • Staking a dog out near a hole he's dug or filling the hole with water. These techniques don't address the cause of the behavior, or the act of digging.

Creating a Cozy and Inviting Den

There are many reasons that getting your dog used to a crate is convenient for you.

  1. Visiting friends
  2. Traveling in the car.
  3. Management while children are moving about.
  4. Helps to separate in multi dog homes.
  5. Provides a safe and secure place for your dog while you are not at home.

The reactions I get when I suggest a crate be used and available for dogs of all ages vary. There is often a mixed or guilty feeling about crating your dog. Here are just a few reasons your dog may appreciate his den and comfy spot.

  1. It allows a safe and predictable place for a dog to chill out during hectic family times. (He may even Thank you!)
  2. It helps dogs to control urges to redecorate your house or yard.
  3. It can be especially comfortable during storms. (blankets over the top can add comfort)
  4. It can be a great place to take really yummy treats to enjoy privately!
  5. It can help your dog to be familiar with being crated or in a cage if ever he is kenneled or stays over at the vet.

There are two main types of crates. The plastic/travel crate can create a more secure feeling for some dogs as they are surrounded on all sides. The wire crate is more open and some dogs prefer the openness to the surrounded feeling. If one type does not work consider trying the other type.

What you put in the crate is up to you. Some dogs will destroy anything in there and all attempts to put comfy bedding will be wasted. Know your dog and observe them before leaving them unattended with anything they can ingest. Personally for dogs that leave the stuff alone I like to use a bathmat on the bottom and a non spill water bowl for them. This has worked well for me. Find out what your dog likes and what gets him into destruction mode and go from there! The bottom line is this is a special spot for spot and what is comfy for us may not work for him.

How to introduce this new comfy spot to your dog.

  1. Set crate up and allow your dog to investigate this new foreign structure in his home.
  2. Later the same day cut up or shred some hot dog into small bits. Heat it up slightly to get it really smelling GOOOOOOOOD! Sprinkle this on the inside of the crate and then close the door. The dog being left out.
  3. Once he is sniffing the crate and interested. Say things like "what's in your crate? Do you want to see what is in your crate?" Let him wonder long enough for him to be excited by the crate door. Ahhhh he wants in!
  4. Say "in your crate!" In a happy voice and allow him to get in and reward himself by cleaning up the hot dog.
  5. End exercise with door open and allowing him to go in and out freely as he chooses. When you catch him in the crate be sure to use the word to identify his crate in a happy way. "Good crate!"

Do this exercise several times right in the beginning. Ideally you want to catch him going to the crate inquiring if there are goodies in there. Acknowledge and praise his interest and put goodies in there while praising him with his crate name etc.

Once he is comfortable and expecting treats in there then begin closing the door for short periods of time rewarding him for quiet behavior every now and then. The time you leave the crate closed with him inside will vary. Start with short periods that fit your dogs' needs.

If he barks, whines, whimpers DO NOT let him out until he is quiet. If this behavior gets a response from you then it worked and he will do this again expecting the same response from you.

*** Turn your back to the crate. You can even squat down putting your back against the door of the crate. Once he is quiet tell him "good quiet." Offer him a treat then. Then let him out. Once he calmly responds to this consistently then require that he looks at you to get out of the crate or to be treated.

Activities for in the crate

It is important that your dog enjoys his time in the crate. Having toys can be great as long as they are safe. Supervise your dog if he enjoys rawhides or other chewies. If you use a Kong be sure that you observe him with it prior to leaving it in the crate unattended. There are many wonderful toys that are meant to be stuffed with good stuff for your dog to enjoy while in his comfy spot. You may also find that freezing the stuffing while in the toy will extend your dogs attention to the task of getting all of the goodie out!

Window watchers

If your dog is a "busy body" and enjoys neighbor watching consider carefully where you place his crate. What can he see? And if he sees out of the window will he bark every time someone drives by, walks by, runs by? If so then a spot away from the view may be the best for all. You also want to be sure that the crate is not in a place that is too hot or too cold for comfort.

Can I use the crate for TIME-OUT?

Time Outs should be done very calm and unemotionally. So, if you choose to use the crate as a Time Out I would suggest that you make it boring and with minimal response from you. All other times are going to be happy and accompanied with a treat as often as possible. This will be the difference in the uses.

Destructive Chewing

Exploring the world with their mouths is normal behavior for dogs. Chewing can, however, be directed onto appropriate items so your dog isn't destroying items you value. Until he's learned what he can and can't chew, it's your responsibility to manage the situation as much as possible, so he doesn't have the opportunity to chew on unacceptable objects.

Taking Control By Managing The Situation

  • Take responsibility for your own belongings. If you don't want it in your dog's mouth, don't make it available. Keep clothing, shoes, books, trash, eyeglasses and television remote controls out of your dog's reach.
  • Don't confuse your dog by offering him shoes and socks as toys and then expect him to distinguish between his shoe and yours. Your dog's toys should be obviously different from household goods.
  • Until he learns the house rules, confine him when you're unable to keep an eye on him. Choose a "safe place" that is dog-proof with fresh water and "safe" toys (see our handout: "Dog Toys and How to Use Them"). If you're dog is crate trained, you may also crate him for short periods of time (see our handout: "Crate Training Your Dog").
  • Give your dog plenty of people-time. Your dog won't know how to behave if you don't teach him alternatives to inappropriate behavior and he can't learn these when he's in the yard by himself.
  • If, and only if, you catch your dog chewing on something he shouldn't, interrupt the behavior with a loud noise, offer him an acceptable chew toy instead, and praise him lavishly when he takes the toy in his mouth.
  • Have realistic expectations. It's virtually inevitable that your dog will, at some point, chew up something you value. This is often part of the transition to a new home. Your dog needs time to learn the house rules and you need to remember to take precautions and keep things out of his reach.

Chewing is normal teething and investigative puppy behavior (see our handout: "Dealing with Normal Puppy Behavior: Chewing" http://www.sspca.org/Dogs_PuppyChewing.html), however, dogs will engage in destructive behavior for a variety of reasons. In order to deal with the behavior, you must first determine why your dog is being destructive.

Play, Boredom And/Or Social Isolation

Normal play behavior can result in destruction, as it may involve digging, chewing, shredding and/or shaking toy-like objects. Since dogs investigate objects by pawing at them and exploring them with their mouths, they may also inadvertently damage items in their environment when they're exploring or investigating. Your dog may be chewing for entertainment if:

  • He's left alone for long periods without opportunities for interaction with you.
  • His environment is relatively barren, without playmates or toys.
  • He's a puppy or adolescent (under three years old) and he doesn't have other outlets for his energy.
  • He's a particularly active type of dog (like the herding or sporting breeds) who needs an active lifestyle to be happy.

Solutions:

  • Play with your dog daily in a safe, fenced-in area. If you don't have a yard, a tennis court can be a good place to play. Fetch is a great game that will use up your dog's excess energy without wearing you out!
  • Go for a walk. Walks should be more than just "bathroom time." On-leash walks are important opportunities for you and your dog to be together. Don't forget to allow time for sniffing, exploring, instruction and praise.
  • Increase your dog's opportunities for mental stimulation. Teach your dog a few commands and/or tricks and practice them daily. If you have time, take an obedience class.
  • Provide your dog with lots of toys (see our handout:"Dog Toys and How to Use Them").
  • Rotate your dog's toys to refresh his interest in them. "New" toys are always more interesting than old ones.
  • Try different kinds of toys, but when you introduce a new toy, watch your dog to make sure he won't tear it up and ingest the pieces.
  • Consider the various types of toys that can be stuffed with food. Putting tidbits of food inside chew toys focuses your dog's chewing activities on these toys instead of on unacceptable objects.
  • Make your dog's favorite "off-limits" chew objects unattractive to him by covering them with heavy plastic, aluminum foil, hot pepper sauce or a commercial "anti-chew" product.
  • You might want to consider a good "Doggie Day Care" program for two or three days a week to work off some of your dog's excess energy.

Separation Anxiety

Dogs with separation anxiety tend to display behaviors that reflect a strong attachment to their owners. This includes following you from room to room, frantic greetings and reacting anxiously to your preparation to leave the house.

Factors that can precipitate a separation anxiety problem:

  • A change in the family's schedule that results in your dog being left alone more often.
  • A move to a new house.
  • The death or loss of a family member or another family pet.
  • A period at a shelter or boarding kennel.

These behaviors are not motivated by spite or revenge, but by anxiety. Punishment will only make the problem worse. Separation anxiety can be resolved by using counter conditioning and desensitization techniques (see our handout:"Separation Anxiety").

Attention-Seeking Behavior

Without realizing it, we often pay more attention to our dogs when they're misbehaving. Dogs who don't receive a lot of attention and reinforcement for appropriate behavior may engage in destructive behavior when their owners are present as a way to attract attention -- even if the attention is "negative," such as a verbal scolding.

Solutions:

  • Make sure your dog gets a lot of positive attention every day -- playing, walking, grooming or just petting.
  • Ignore (as much as possible) bad behavior and reward good behavior. Remember to reward your dog with praise and petting when he's playing quietly with appropriate toys.
  • Make his favorite "off-limits" chew objects unattractive or unavailable to him. Use aversives on objects that cannot be put away (See our handout "Sample Aversives for Dogs" http://www.sspca.org/Dogs_DogAversives.html).
  • Teach your dog a "drop it" command so when he does pick up an "off-limits" object, you can use your command and praise him for complying. The best way to teach "drop it" is to practice having him exchange a toy in his possession for a tidbit of food.
  • Practice "Nothing in Life is Free" with your dog (see our handout: "Nothing in Life is Free" http://www.sspca.org/Dogs_TANSTAAFL.html). This gets your dog in the habit of complying with your commands and is a good way to make sure he gets lots of positive attention for doing the right things -- so he won't have to resort to being naughty just to get your attention.

Fears And Phobias

Your dog's destructive behavior may be a response to something he fears. Some dogs are afraid of loud noises (see our handout: "Helping Your Dog Overcome the Fear of Thunder and Other Startling Noises" http://www.sspca.org/Dogs_Thunder.html). Your dog's destructive behavior may be caused by fear if the destruction occurs when he's exposed to loud noises, such as thunderstorms, firecrackers or construction sounds, and if the primary damage is to doors, doorframes, window coverings, screens or walls.

Solutions:

  • Provide a "safe place" for your dog. Observe where he likes to go when he feels anxious, then allow access to that space or create a similar one for him to use when the fear stimulus is present.
  • Don't comfort your dog when he's behaving fearfully. Try to get him to play with you or respond to commands he knows and give him praise and treats when he responds to you instead of to the fear stimulus.
  • Don't crate your dog unless he's thoroughly crate-trained and considers the crate his safe place. If you put him in a crate to prevent destruction and he's not crate-trained, he may injure himself and/or destroy the crate.

What Not To Do:

Punishment is rarely effective in resolving destructive behavior problems and can even make them worse. Never discipline your dog after the fact. If you discover an item your dog has chewed minutes, or even seconds later, it's too late to administer a correction. Your dog doesn't understand that, "I chewed those shoes an hour ago and that's why I'm being scolded now." People often believe their dog makes this connection because he runs and hides or "looks guilty." Dogs don't feel guilt, rather they display submissive postures like cowering, running away or hiding, when they feel threatened by an angry tone of voice, body posture or facial expression. Your dog doesn't know that he's done something wrong; he only knows that you're upset. Punishment after the fact will not only fail to eliminate the undesirable behavior, but may also provoke other undesirable behaviors, as well.

Nothing in Life is Free Training Method

Does your dog: Get on the furniture and refuse to get off? Nudge your hand, insisting on being petted or played with? Refuse to come when called? Defend its food bowl or toys from you? "Nothing in life is free" can help. "Nothing in life is free" is not a magic pill that will solve a specific behavior problem; rather it's a way of living with your dog that will help it behave better because it trusts and accepts you as its leader and is confident knowing its place in your family.

How to practice "nothing in life is free:"

  • Using positive reinforcement methods, teach your dog a few commands and/or tricks. "Sit," "Down" and "Stay" are useful commands and "Shake," "Speak" and "Rollover" are fun tricks to teach your dog.
  • Once your dog knows a few commands, you can begin to practice "nothing in life is free." Before you give your dog anything (food, a treat, a walk, a pat on the head) it must first perform one of the commands it has learned. For example:

You

Your Dog

Put your dog's leash on to go for a walk Must sit until you've put the leash on
Feed your dog Must lie down and stay until you've put the bowl down
Play a game of fetch after work Must sit and shake hands each time you throw the toy
Rub your dog's belly while watching TV Must lie down and rollover before being petted
  • Once you've given the command, don't give your dog what it wants until it does what you want. If it refuses to perform the command, walk away, come back a few minutes later and start again. If your dog refuses to obey the command, be patient and remember that eventually it will have to obey your command in order to get what it wants.
  • Make sure your dog knows the command well and understands what you want before you begin practicing "nothing in life is free."

The benefits of this technique:

  • Most dogs assume a neutral or submissive role toward people, but some dogs will challenge their owners for dominance. Requiring a dominant dog to work for everything it wants is a safe and non-confrontational way to establish control.
  • Dogs who may never display aggressive behavior such as growling, snarling,or snapping, may still manage to manipulate you. These dogs may display affectionate, though "pushy" behavior, such as nudging your hand to be petted or "worming" its way on to the furniture in order to be close to you. This technique gently reminds the "pushy" dog that it must abide by your rules.
  • Obeying commands helps build a fearful dog's confidence; having a strong leader and knowing its place in the hierarchy helps to make the submissive dog feel more secure.

Why this technique works:

Animals that live in groups, like dogs, establish a social structure within the group called a dominance hierarchy. This dominance hierarchy serves to maintain order, reduce conflict and promote cooperation among pack members. In order for your home to be a safe and happy place for pets and people, it's best that the humans in the household assume the highest positions in the dominance hierarchy. Practicing "nothing in life is free" effectively and gently communicates to your dog that its position in the hierarchy is subordinate to yours. From your dog's point of view, children also have a place in this hierarchy. Because children are small and can get down on the dog's level to play, dogs often consider them to be playmates, rather than superiors. With the supervision of an adult, it's a good idea to encourage children in the household (aged eight and over) to also practice "nothing in life is free" with your dog.

Deaf Dog Info

The mission of the Deaf Dog Education Action Fundis to provide education and funding for the purpose of improving and/or saving the lives of deaf dogs around the world.

  • To accomplish this, we are committed to do the following:
  • To provide educational and training materials to combat the myths and misinformation that surround deaf dogs.
  • To provide a central organization where the owners and supporters of deaf dogs can create a unified voice to increase people's understanding about deaf dogs.
  • To gather and share facts and figures about canine deafness and deaf dog behaviors. By collecting data from those with firsthand experience, we hope to document the realities of living with deaf dogs.
  • To lobby kennel clubs and other sanctioning bodies to accept deaf dogs into obedience, agility, and other skill competitions under the same conditions as other competitors.
  • To provide a network between those seeking to place a deaf dog into a good home and those interested in bringing a deaf dog into their lives.
  • To establish and maintain a travel fund to assist in the transportation of deaf dogs to their new homes and owners.
  • To work toward ending the euthanization practices of the many breed clubs and breeders who treat deafness as a death sentence for the dogs.
  • To promote spaying and neutering of all pets and encourage responsible breeding practices to reduce the pet overpopulation problem.

The facts about canine deafness are startling...

There are over 80 breeds where congenital deafness is considered common. The highest incidence of this is in breeds such as Australian Cattle Dogs, Australian Shepherds, Bull Terriers, Dalmatians, English Cocker Spaniels, and English Setters. Of these, the Dalmatian breed has the highest incidence of deafness.

In recent studies, over 8 percent of all Dalmatians born are deaf in both ears and up to 22 percent are deaf in one ear.

Thousands of deaf dogs are born each year. Many more become deaf as a result of age, illness, trauma, or chemical (drug) reactions. All over the world, deaf dogs are routinely destroyed because they are rumored to be brain damaged, aggressive, and untrainable - or because their quality of life is believed to be diminished.

These myths are perpetuated by many breeders, their parent clubs and registries, veterinarians, trainers and other so-called experts. The vast majority of these people have never allowed a deaf dog to live long enough to actually discover if their beliefs have any real merit.

In 1996, Deaf Dog Mailing List members rallied twice to fly two deaf dogs to loving homes and away from certain death. This inspired the list members to form an organization to "speak on behalf of and to assist in the betterment of life for deaf dogs everywhere." The Deaf Dog Education Action Fund is the result of an idea that was long past due.

The Deaf Dog Education Action Fund (DDEAF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed in 1997, is working to counter these misconceptions. Our membership includes caring individuals from around the world.

Over the years, thousands of people have found free advice, companionship, and support by joining our e-mail list or by visiting our website. Today the Deaf Dog Mailing List is comprised of people from 6 continents who no longer feel stigmatized because they have given their hearts to a deaf dog.

They have discovered that there are a lot of regular people living with deaf dogs. They know that very few of them have problems other than the typical dog problems that all dog owners face, like housebreaking, chewing or digging. They have learned firsthand the truth about sharing a life with these wonderful companions.

DDEAF is continuing to work to stop the prejudice against these dogs. Contact us for membership or training info and...

help save a life!

For more info, click here

To join the Deaf Dogs Mailing List: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/deafdogs

Or visit the DDEAF Web Site at: http://www.deafdogs.org

Our e-mail address is: ddeaf@deafdogs.org

Regular mail can be sent to:

Deaf Dog Education Action Fund
PO Box 2840, Oneco, FL 34264-2840 U.S.A.

Positive Reinforcement: Training Your Dog or Cat with Treats and Praise

Positive reinforcement is the presentation of something pleasant or rewarding immediately following a behavior. It makes that behavior more likely to occur in the future, and is one of the most powerful tools for shaping or changing your pet's behavior.

Correct timing is essential when using positive reinforcement. The reward must occur immediately, or your pet may not associate it with the proper action. For example, if you have your dog "sit," but reward him after he's already stood up again, he'll think he's being rewarded for standing up.

Consistency is also essential. Everyone in the family should use the same commands. It might be helpful to post these where everyone can become familiar with them. The most commonly used commands for dogs are "watch me," "sit," "stay," "down" (means lie down), "off" (means off of me or off the furniture), "stand," "come," "heel," (or "let's go" or "with me") "leave it" and "settle." Consistency means always rewarding the desired behavior and never rewarding undesired behavior.

For your pet, positive reinforcement may include food treats, praise, petting or a favorite toy or game. Food treats work especially well for training your dog. A treat should be enticing and irresistible to your pet. It should be a very small, soft, piece of food, so that he will immediately gulp it down and look to you for more. If you give him something he has to chew or that breaks into bits and falls on the floor, he'll be looking around the floor, not at you. Small pieces of soft commercial treats, hot dogs, cheese, cooked chicken or beef, or miniature marshmallows have all proven successful. Experiment a bit to see what works best for your pet. You may carry the treats in a pocket or a fanny pack on the front of your belt. There are even special treat packs available in many pet stores. Each time you use a food reward, you should couple it with a verbal reward (praise). Say something like, "Good boy" in a positive, happy tone of voice.

Note: Some pets may not be interested in food treats. For those pets, the reward could be in the form of a toy or brief play.

When your pet is learning a new behavior, he should be rewarded every time he does the behavior (continuous reinforcement). It may be necessary to use "shaping," with your pet (reinforcing something close to the desired response and gradually requiring more from your dog before he gets the treat). For example, if you're teaching your dog to "shake hands," you may initially reward him for lifting his paw off the ground, then for lifting it higher, then for touching your hand, then for letting you hold his paw and finally, for actually shaking hands with you.

Intermittent reinforcement can be used once your pet has reliably learned the behavior. At first, you may reward him with the treat three times out of four, then about half the time, then about a third of the time and so forth, until you're only rewarding him occasionally with the treat. Continue to praise him every time, although once he's learned the behavior, the praise can be less effusive - a quiet, but positive, "Good boy." Use a variable schedule of reinforcement, so he doesn't catch on that he only has to respond every other time. Your pet will learn that if he keeps responding, eventually he'll get what he wants. If you have a dog who barks until you reward him by paying attention to him, you've seen the power of intermittent reinforcement.

By understanding reinforcement, you can see that you're not forever bound to carry a pocketful of goodies. Your pet will soon be working for your verbal praise, because he really does want to please you and he knows that occasionally, he'll get a treat, too! There are many small opportunities to reinforce his behavior. You may have him "sit" before letting him out the door (helps prevent door-darting), before petting him (helps prevent jumping up on people) or before giving him his food. Give him a pat or a "Good dog" for lying quietly by your feet or slip a treat into his Kong toy when he's chewing it, instead of your shoe.

Punishment, including verbal, postural and physical, is the presentation of something unpleasant immediately following a behavior which makes it less likely that the behavior will occur again. To be effective, punishment must be delivered while your pet is engaged in the undesirable behavior, in other words, "caught in the act." If the punishment is delivered too late, your pet will feel "ambushed." From his point of view, the punishment is totally unpredictable, and he's likely to become fearful, distrusting and/or aggressive. This will only lead to more behavior problems. What we humans interpret as "guilty" looks, are actually submissive postures by our pets. Animals don't have a moral sense of right and wrong, but they are adept at associating your presence and the presence of a mess, with punishment.

If you've tried punishment and it hasn't worked, you should definitely stop using punishment and use positive reinforcement instead. Physical punishment usually involves some level of discomfort or even pain, which is likely to cause your pet to bite, as that is the only way he knows to defend himself. Scruff shakes and "alpha rolls" are likely to result in bites, especially if the dog doesn't perceive you to be his superior. Also, punishment might be associated with other stimuli, including people, that are present at the time the punishment occurs. For example, a pet that's punished for getting too close to a small child may become fearful of or aggressive to that child.

Feeding Issues

"Satin Ball" recipe for dogs who won't eat. This recipe is for dogs who desperately need calories and need to put on weight, but who have no appetite. It sounds yucky, but when these are done they are really appealing, even to me. In my experience, this is a kind of "last resort and hope" food that many sick dogs will eat.

Mix all ingredients (like meatballs). I shape them like thick hamburgers rather than balls because they store easier in the freezer and thaw faster. Freeze in serving portion size. Nothing is cooked -- all ingredients are uncooked RAW and "Satin Balls" are served raw.

Satin Balls Full Recipe

  • 10 lbs cheap hamburger (high fat %)
  • 1 large box Total cereal (about 12 cups cereal)
  • 1 large box uncooked oatmeal (about 15 cups oats)
  • 10 raw eggs
  • 1 15oz jar wheat germ
  • 10 packages Knox unflavored gelatin
  • 1 and 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 and 1/4 cup unsulphered molasses
  • pinch of salt

Notes:

"Whole Wheat Total" cereal (blue box) comes in large 1 lb 2 oz size (about 12 cups settled) and a smaller 12 oz size (about 8 cups cereal), which would work in Little Dog or Half Recipe. But in the long run, the large size is more economical. Don't get Raisin Total or Lo Carb Total.

Uncooked Oatmeal like "Quaker Old Fashioned Oats" and less expensive supermarket house brand, come in large 2lb 10oz size (15 cups oats) or smaller 18 oz size (about 7 cups oats).

15oz jar of wheat germ is about 4 cups. Some stores only carry a 12oz jar of wheat germ, which contains about 3 and 1/4 cups of it.

Vegetable oil-- use a good one. I use grapeseed oil, olive oil would be next best.

Tip: I don't break the eggs directly into the pot of stuff. The first time I broke the eggs into a separate little bowl for some reason. One of the eggs was bad and it would have ruined the whole pot of stuff. I had never seen an egg like that and had no reason to expect it, but I never break eggs directly into anything anymore.

It is important to stick to the proportions. I gave the recipe to someone whose dog wouldn't eat, she told me she made them but he wouldn't eat them. Then she told me what she did to the recipe, changing it so much that it ended up something entirely different (no wonder her dog wouldn't eat it). You need to follow the recipe carefully if you are going to go to the trouble and expense of making it.

Just in case you ever need it.....

Satin Balls Half Recipe

  • 5 lbs cheap hamburger (for high fat %)
  • 1/2 large box Total cereal (about 6 cups cereal)
  • 1/2 large box uncooked oatmeal (about 7.5 cups oats)
  • 5 raw eggs
  • 1/2 of 15oz jar wheat germ (about 2 cups)
  • 5 packages Knox unflavored gelatin
  • 5/8 cup vegetable oil (this is pretty close to 2/3 cup)
  • 5/8 cup unsulphered molasses
  • pinch of salt

General Guidelines for Child and Dog Interaction

Congratulations on your new family member! Adding a new dog to your family is a wonderful and fun time for everyone. Kids especially are eager to bond and enjoy their new found friend. Here are some tips and suggestions to help keep things safe and fun for years to come!

Boxers are one of the best breeds for families and children because of their bond with people and their instinct to protect. Children and dogs can form a bond from the moment they meet and it can be a lifelong and beautiful friendship!

 

Obedience fun!

The key to a well mannered dog with kids and others is obedience. Involve your kids as much as possible in whatever training you do. Even 2 year olds can actively be included in the training and games with your dog. Hide and seek and fetch are great games for kids and their dogs.

Crowded areas & high activity.

Observe your dog in areas like hallways, doorways etc. These areas tend to be where conflicts arise especially if there is more then one dog in the home. Tight spots can lead to grumpy dogs. Plan ahead for times like bedtime, before school etc when things are rushed and there is congestion in the home with activity. Allow your dog to settle in a quiet place with a Kong away from the hustle and bustle.

Hugs and Kisses

Hugs are not natural to dogs. When dogs put their paws on each others shoulders it is not an expression of love. Children should be discouraged from hugging dogs. It is confining to a dog and to some is very threatening. Encourage kids to pet the dog on the side of the head or scratch the ears. Our dogs often TOLERATE our hugs but we should not expect this.

Treats, toys and food.

Rawhides, pigs ears, bones and meat are extremely high value to our dogs. Many dogs will guard these and should be set up for success by only having these in an area AWAY from children. If you notice guarding behavior please contact a canine behavior consultant for help with a solution. This is something that can improve with the right methods. Dogs value things differently like we do. Here is an example to help.

Dog kibble/food = Plain scoop of your favorite ice cream.
Nylabone or new rawhide = Your favorite ice cream with a yummy topping.
Pigs ears, meaty bone, = Your favorite ice cream with all of the toppings you love

*** Kids need to learn to respect a dogs' space when they are enjoying any type of treat or food.

Calming Signals

These are signals dogs use to communicate with one another. They may be used together or one at a time. When you see your dog do these things pay attention to the situation. Your dog is feeling stress and is dealing with it but may be only tolerating things vs. enjoying them. I highly recommend Turid Rugaas' Book ON TALKING TERMS WITH DOGS, CALMING SIGNALS. Some of the calming signal to look for:

Dogs will show us these signals BEFORE a growl is offered. Usually we miss them. It is important to observe your dog and be aware of what they are telling you is stressful. Tolerance has a limit and usually that is when the dog has shown licking lips, head turn, etc and a child is still approaching or insisting on contact.

  • Licking their lips/nose: Not after eating but for an example when a child goes to pet your dog or is too close.
  • Yawning: Usually follows a situation that is stressful or may happen during a stressful time for the dog.
  • Turning head away or moving body away: Indicates different things at different times. Head turns can mean I do not want to be bothered. If a dog licks their lips and turns away, it is feeling uncomfortable and trying to avoid potential conflict.
  • Shake: Like after a bath. Dogs will "shake off" the stress. Observe when this happens and know that this encounter was stressful for next time.
  • Raised paw: A dog will lift their front paw up also to indicate stress and a desire to decrease the threat of conflict.

***Supervision is a must with all dogs and kids.

When an adult is not around for a dog to defer to, then he is now left to manage a situation the best way he knows how. Most often a dog will show a variety of calming signals before a growl or bite. It is when these are ignored or unobserved that the dog usually goes to a growl or bite. If an adult is not there to see these important signals and situation the dog will react the way that is natural to him. Dogs correct and discipline with their mouth and paws. This is why dogs and children must not be unsupervised at anytime no matter how tolerant they may appear.

If you have questions or concerns about your dog and child's interaction please contact a canine behavior consultant. Dogs and their kids often have terrific relationships. It is when we do not respect our dogs need for space, comfort and guidance that trouble happens.

For information and resources you may find these websites helpful.

http://www.doggonesafe.com Non profit on dog bite prevention programs

http://www.doggonecrazy.ca Board game that teaches kids about canine body language and how to be safe around familiar and unfamiliar dogs.

http://www.familypaws.com Resources on safe kid & k9 interaction and consulting in NC

http://www.howtoloveyourdog Terrific site for kids!

Crate Training Your Dog

Crate training your dog may take some time and effort, but can be useful in a variety of situations. If you have a new dog or puppy, you can use the crate to limit his access to the house until he learns all the house rules -- like what he can and can't chew on and where he can and can't eliminate. A crate is also a safe way of transporting your dog in the car, as well as a way of taking him places where he may not be welcome to run freely. If you properly train your dog to use the crate, he'll think of it as his safe place and will be happy to spend time there when needed.

Selecting A Crate

Crates may be plastic (often called "flight kennels") or collapsible, metal pens. They come in different sizes and can be purchased at most pet supply stores. Your dog's crate should be just large enough for him to stand up and turn around in.

The Crate Training Process

Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training. The crate should always be associated with something pleasant, and training should take place in a series of small steps - don't go too fast.

Step 1: Introducing Your Dog To The Crate

  • Put the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Bring your dog over to the crate and talk to him in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is securely fastened opened so it won't hit your dog and frighten him.
  • To encourage your dog to enter the crate, drop some small food treats near it, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If he refuses to go all the way in at first, that's okay -- don't force him to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If he isn't interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days.

Step 2: Feeding Your Dog His Meals In The Crate

  • After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding him his regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, put the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If your dog is still reluctant to enter the crate, put the dish only as far inside as he will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed him, place the dish a little further back in the crate.
  • Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat his meal, you can close the door while he's eating. At first, open the door as soon as he finishes his meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until he's staying in the crate for ten minutes or so after eating. If he begins to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving him in the crate for a shorter time period. If he does whine or cry in the crate, it's imperative that you not let him out until he stops. Otherwise, he'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so he'll keep doing it.

Step 3: Conditioning Your Dog To The Crate For Longer Time Periods

After your dog is eating his regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine him there for short time periods while you're home. Call him over to the crate and give him a treat. Give him a command to enter such as, "kennel up." Encourage him by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise him, give him the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to ten minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time, then let him out of the crate. Repeat this process several times a day. With each repetition, gradually increase the length of time you leave him in the crate and the length of time you're out of his sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you out of sight the majority of the time, you can begin leaving him crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting him sleep there at night. This may take several days or several weeks.

Step 4: Part A/Crating Your Dog When Left Alone

After your dog is spending about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving him crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put him in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave him with a few safe toys in the crate (see our handout: "Dog Toys and How to Use Them"). You'll want to vary at what point in your "getting ready to leave" routine you put your dog in the crate. Although he shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate him anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged, but matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give him a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to him in an excited, enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low key. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so he doesn't associate crating with being left alone.

Crating Your Dog At Night

Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night, and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when he whines to be let outside. Older dogs, too, should initially be kept nearby so that crating doesn't become associated with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with his crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer.

Outside Dogs

We preach hard and heavy on crate training for dogs, and here is the reasoning. Properly trained dogs will regularly choose to crate themselves for naps and quiet times because it is natural to their instincts. It is more for the emotional stability of the dog than physical safety although that is a huge part too. Multitudes are lost, stolen, stray and neurotic due to being left alone in large open areas whether indoor or out; we rarely see a boxer reunited with their family.

The innate instinct of the dog knows that when they are left by an alpha it is in a den (small confined area) until the leader returns. The subordinate dogs do not leave unless they begin to feel starvation; some will die there. The den is a safe-zone. They are a highly intelligent and social breed, and being put outside alone for any length of time most often creates a pack isolation instinct where this pack animal is seeking a companion; they know instinctively that there is safety in numbers and that the ousted pack member is vulnerable. When left alone outside, they will look for security through behaviors to save them self (digging, jumping, climbing, pacing, chewing- the destructive behaviors few humans will put up with in dogs) or through communication (howling, barking).

For some, the unacceptable behaviors may be boredom-based (for the more secure pet) or anxiety-induced (from fear of being alone). This is the beginning of the territorial pet; they are being exposed to circumstances that are intimidating and threatening; again, they don't feel safe due to pack isolation. Another common neurotic habit will be separation anxiety (again-fear of being alone or fear of change) displayed in a variety of behaviors. The dog has learned from past experience that he is not safe and desperately fears being left. As rescuers, we devote our days to training each dog out of these instinctive behaviors/habits and pray they never feel the fear of insecurity again. (Ellie spent her summer tied to a tree alone and pregnant. How terrifying to even lay your head down to rest when all of the wiring that exists in your being is to be safe from predators and full-bellied and romping with another you can trust. She will always display signs of vulnerability; most of them do.) If two pets are left together on familiar territory, they are less likely to develop neurotic behaviors or feel so insecure, but then you have the other issue in leaving them outside while not home- weather changes, and temperature extremes- boxers are not able to safely and reasonably endure hot or cold temperatures. 50-85 degrees is their comfort zone. If your lifestyle allows you to run home when rain or thunder rolls in or when temperatures drop rapidly, that isn't so bad. Most people's schedules do not allow the luxury of returning home in such cases to keep their pet safe. Boxers are inside only dogs- family members- and should be supervised when outside. In addition, the boxer should be allowed to sleep with or near their family pack and only be separated by their choice.

In cases where a rescued boxer does not adjust to indoor living, we will then place the dog in an outdoor home with proper shelter and always with another boxer to bond with. In such cases the family adopting the boxer must understand they are then setting up the opportunity for the dogs to establish one of themselves as the new leader which will require a special understanding of the dog brain in order to keep peace in the home.

Do I go home today?

My family brought me home cradled in their arms.
They cuddled me and smiled at me and said I was full of charm.

They played with me and laughed with me and showered me with toys.
I sure do love my family, especially the little girls and boys.

The children loved to feed me; they gave me special treats.
They even let me sleep with them - all snuggled in the sheets.

I used to go for walks, often several times a day.
They even fought to hold the leash, I'm very proud to say!

These are the things I'll not forget - a cherished memory.
I now live in the shelter - without my family.

They used to laugh and praise me when I played with that old shoe.
But I didn't know the difference between the old one and the new.

The kids and I would grab a rug, for hours we would tug.
So I thought I did the right thing when I chewed the bedroom rug.

They said I was out of control and would have to live outside.
This I didn't understand, although I tried and tried!

The walks stopped, one by one; they said they hadn't the time.
I wish that I could change things; I wish I knew my crime.

My life became so lonely in the backyard on a chain.
I barked and barked all day long to keep from going insane.

So they brought me to the shelter, but were embarrassed to say why.
They said I caused an allergy, and then each kissed me goodbye.

If I'd only had some training as a little pup,
I wouldn't have been so hard to handle when I was all grown up.

"You only have one day left", I heard a worker say.
Does that mean I have a second chance?

Do I go home today?

Read This First

Please help! After two long years of being on a waiting list for a dog, we have been notified by breed rescue that, at long last, our number has come up and ... WE ARE HAVING A PUPPY!

We must get rid of our children IMMEDIATELY because we just know how time consuming our new little puppy is going to be and it just wouldn't be fair to the children. Since our little puppy will be arriving on Monday we MUST place the children up for adoption this weekend!

They are described as:

One male -- his name is Tommy, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), light blonde hair, blue eyes. Four years old. Excellent disposition. He doesn't bite. Temperament tested. Does have problems with peeing directly in the toilet. Has had chicken Pox and is current on all shots. Tonsils have already been removed. Tommy eats everything, is very clean, house trained and gets along well with others. Does not run with scissors and with a little training he should be able to read soon.

One female -- her name is Lexie, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), strawberry blonde hair, green eyes quite freckled. Two years old. Can be surly at times. Non-biter, thumb sucker. Has been temperament tested but needs a little attitude adjusting occasionally. She is current on all shots, tonsils out, and is very healthy and can be affectionate. Gets along well with other little girls and little boys but does not like to share her toys and therefore would do best in a one child household. She is a very quick learner and is currently working on her house training. Shouldn't take long at all.

We really do LOVE our children so much and want to do what's right for them. That is why we contacted a rescue group. But we simply can no longer keep them. Also, we are afraid that they may hurt our new puppy.

I hope you understand that ours is a UNIQUE situation and we have a real emergency here! They MUST be placed into your rescue by Sunday night at the latest or we will be forced to drop them off at the orphanage or along some dark, country road. Our priority now has to be our new puppy.

Surrendering a family member who is aging or has challenges? Keep reading.

Two Horses
Author - Unknown

Just up the road from my home is a field with two horses in it. From a distance each horse looks like any other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing.... Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing. If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to the horse's halter is a small bell. It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow. As you stand and watch these two friends, you'll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting that he will not be led astray. When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back, making sure that the blind friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell. Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need. Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way.... Good friends are like that... Your dog is trusting you to guide him. What kind of friend are you?

Can your new Baby and your pet coexist?

So you're having a baby and feel you need to surrender your pet?

Train up a child (whether with skin or with fur) in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Boxers are one of the best breeds for families and children because of their bond with people and their instinct to protect. Children and dogs can form a bond from the moment they meet and it can be a lifelong and beautiful friendship!

The Rescuer's Creed

I promise I will take your unwanted animals.
I will heal their wounds, their diseases, their broken bones.
I will give them the medical attention they need and deserve.
I will nurture their starvation and give them a warm place to sleep.
I will spay and neuter them, vaccinate them against the diseases that can harm them.
I will treat them and honor them.
I will buy them toys, blankets, balls, and teach them to play.
I will speak softly to them.
I will try to teach them not to fear, not to cry, and not to hate.
I will whisper sweet, kind, gentle words into their ears, while gently trying to stroke their fear, their pain, and their scars away.
I will face their emotional scars and give them time to overcome them.
I will socialize them, potty train them, teach them to be obedient, show them dignity, and hold their paws, and stroke their ears if they have endured too much and walk them over the Rainbow Bridge, BUT most of all I will teach them LOVE.

Senior Boxers

What's A Senior Boxer?

Boxers over the age of 7 are referred to as "Senior" Boxers because of the silver or gray hair that often appears on their muzzles and the rest of their bodies.

Senior Boxers are very majestic and beautiful. Many Boxers over the age of 7, end up in shelters or rescue programs, because their owners choose to no longer care for them or would rather have that new, cute puppy. These dogs don't have much of a chance at adoption--competing against younger, muscular Boxers, who don't have a gray hair to be found!!

Remember, these dogs were once young too, and now they need help retaining their dignity in their old age!

Senior Boxers deserve to live out their lives with families who care about them. With today's medical advances, Boxers can live past their life expectancy of 10-12 years! If you are an individual who doesn't care to go through puppy proofing your house and the potty training bit--consider an older Boxer. They are calm, loving, and quiet. They deserve a family to love, and who will love them in return. Consider adopting an older adult Boxer, and show him he was worth saving.

Don't be fooled! Some Boxers have gray hair on their muzzles at age 2 or 3 yrs! So, be careful and don't assume a dog is "too old" if you see the gray...

Benefits of sharing your life with an adult Boxer

Older Boxers are usually potty trained!

Older Boxers usually have some basic background in obedience, and often know the commands: "sit," "stay," "come," "heel," etc...

Adult Boxers are more calm and well-mannered than their adolescent counterparts! They still need exercise on a daily basis, but lack the "Energizer Bunny" energy of a younger dog.

With an older Boxer, there is no guesswork involved with what they will look like or act like as an adult Boxer, because they already are adults!

Older Boxers seldom will "chew" as they are past the teething stage. Many will not even jump up on people and are perfectly content to be a couch potato. They are also extremely appreciative of love and attention; and seem to be grateful for the opportunity of adoption.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks...right?

Wrong! The old saying, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" is completely untrue, especially when you're talking about a Boxer! Many people erroneously think older dogs are "set in their ways" and that the new guardian would not be able to train or "break habits." This is false. The Boxer dog LOVES his human, and aims to please! They are loyal dogs who will knock themselves out to please and make their humans happy. A few kind words and a pat, hug or kiss, and that Boxer will jump through hoops for you!

Something to think about...

One final note...if you have an older pet please be responsible and keep that family member for his entire life, even when his health starts to deteriorate. Remember, you will be old someday too. Wouldn't you want your family to give you the respect and dignity that you'll deserve in your golden years? Show that same respect to your pet and repay his lifetime of loyalty to you, by standing by his side in his old age.

Boxer

The Boxer Developed in Germany, the Boxer is a breed of stocky, medium-sized, short-haired dog. The coat is smooth and fawn or brindled, with or without white markings. Boxers are brachycephalic (they have broad, short skulls), and have a square muzzle, mandibular prognathism (an underbite), very strong jaws and a powerful bite ideal for hanging on to large prey. The Boxer was bred from the English Bulldog and the now extinct Bullenbeisser and is part of the Molosser group. Boxers were first exhibited in a dog show for St. Bernards at Munich in 1895, the first Boxer club being founded the next year. Based on 2009 American Kennel Club statistics, Boxers are the sixth most popular breed of dog in the United States for the third year in a row—moving up in 2007 from the seventh spot, which they'd held since 2002.

Fawns

Fawn Boxers Fawn shades vary from light tan to mahogany. Here are some examples of different fawn colors. There are also different amounts of white in the coats. Some have full black "masks", others have "fancy" markings, which refer to the placement of the white markings. This is noted by a nice "blaze" (the stripe between the eyes), a full white "collar", and fairly even "socks" on all four feet.

Brindles

Brindle Boxers The brindle ranges from sparse, but clearly defined black stripes on a fawn background, to such a heavy concentration of black striping that the essential fawn background color barely, although clearly, shows through (which may create the appearance of "reverse brindling").

White & Check

White & Check Boxers Boxers can also be white or check. Check boxers are mostly fawn or brindle, but more than 1/3 of their bodies is white.

Behavioral Q&A

Behavioral Q & A I have been told the boxer breed cannot handle the more extreme temperatures under 50° and over 85°. What about walks with their family on these days? Can they handle that?

They are fine for a short time, but each dog is a bit different, just like people. The key is that you are there with him to know when he has had enough, when his ears, nose, and toes are cold. Many boxers actually enjoy the cold, but like any kid playing in the snow, they don't know when enough is enough. My husband hates it, but coats on short haired dogs are helpful. Coats are a bad thing on outdoor dogs because they will affect the body's ability to discern when to produce the winter coat; they are a good thing on inside only dogs whose body never tells them there is need for more fur.

Is it ok for them to play outside with other dogs while you are home and doing yard work, and are outside yourself, etc?

By all means. Look at your new fur-kid as a mute, but not deaf, 2-4 yr old child (level of intellect and care requirement) and base your protection and supervision accordingly. My dogs play in the backyard w/o me but i am where i can see them most of the time, and I go to the window constantly to see them; I partially close the door so they can open it when they want inside, but I find myself hesitant to even shower without closing my backdoor so that they have to stay inside when I will not be able to see what they are into- or getting out of. I think a lock on the gate is very reasonable. (I guess police officers over-protect their kids too, and firemen with fire-safety?).

My new boxer has previously urinated on the wood floor at home at least twice, but he does know how to 'go' outside for sure. We weren't happy about it, but did not punish him. I don't want to crate him all day and then crate him at night too? So what do we do to prevent that? Is there a trick on this?

I agree that you don't punish a dog for urinating inside, especially after the fact. I will not even chastise them to stop them in the act. I consider it my fault I missed their signals. They associate the displeasure of discipline with their own act (eliminating) rather than location. It is the parent's responsibility to monitor the fur-kid for signs of the need just like a child in training. Keep him close to you until you know his signs and can encourage him out the door in time and then praise and treat and celebrate. In many cases, we leash tie a dog to us until he knows the rules. I have a 6-ft leash I tie around my waist and wherever i go, the new dog goes. It creates bonding, authority, opportunity to learn the dogs sign language and him your's, and protection- your own sanity and his well-being! Any dog given too much freedom before he is ready will display signs of insecurity- like eliminating and chewing inappropriately, or even aggression, and any change the dog goes through will shake their stability. Leadership and consistency is the key. In my home, the dogs are free most of the time, so if accidents were a concern, they would be crated at night to prevent them; dogs will rarely soil their own space unless they have been reised without option in a neglectful environment. Sn your case, where the boxer is crated through the day, I wouldn't want to crate at night, too. Until I am sure a dog is sleeping through the night, i would put their bed beside mine and leash tie them to me or the bed to insure I am awakened if they need to go outside.

My new boxer has chewed only the corners of the antique furniture. He didn't pick new or cheap furniture, only the antique furniture. We will fix it, but how do we prevent it from happening again? We have at least 10 chew toys, which the dog does play with, and a large rawhide bone. I sprayed the Bitter Apple from the pet store on the furniture that is supposed to taste bad, but I have caught him trying to chew since I sprayed it. So what is the trick on that?

The above explained leash-tie restrictions will help here too. Just keep in mind, this isn't a way of life from now on, it is just a training and acclimation phase; expect regression anytime your dog experiences change. Tell your dog that the toys in the box are good chews; praise and treat him when he gets them on his own. Other things are bad chews.Give him the opportunity to go to your furniture again to chew, but be there to catch him in a very controlled reaction. HEY! BAD CHEW! Bad chew. Spray the chew spot with the bitter apple and then spray a squirt on his upper gums. He will know the taste and equate it to the smell on the furniture. Repeat as needed which will probably be several weeks later- although some are more hardheaded. Consistently combining the use of good, bad, and no with commands you teach will increase his comprehension exponentially- but simply. Play/no play, bark/no bark, dig (under the trampoline only)/no dig-bad dig....

Boxer dogs will train as if they are on a remote control; the breed can do the incredible if we understand them and speak in a way they can process. Remember, too, they are dubbed the 'canine clown', so make sure that all training is fun and rewarding; everything is a game in the boxer brain.

Digging

How To Solve Digging Problems

Digging is a normal behavior for most dogs, but may occur for widely varying reasons. Your dog may be:

  • seeking entertainment
  • seeking comfort or protection
  • seeking escape
  • seeking prey
  • seeking attention

Dogs don't dig, however, out of spite, revenge or a desire to destroy your yard. Finding ways to make the area where the dog digs unappealing may be effective, however, it's likely that he'll just begin digging in other locations or display other unacceptable behavior, such as chewing or barking. A more effective approach is to address the cause of the digging, rather than creating location aversions.

Seeking Entertainment

Dogs may dig as a form of self-play when they learn that roots and soil "play back." Your dog may be digging for entertainment if:

  • He's left alone in the yard for long periods of time without opportunities for interaction with you
  • His environment is relatively barren, without playmates or toys
  • He's a puppy or adolescent (under three years old) and doesn't have other outlets for his energy
  • He's the type of dog (like a terrier) that is bred to dig as part of his "job"
  • He's a particularly active type of dog (like the herding or sporting breeds) who needs an active job to be happy
  • He's recently seen you "playing" in the dirt (gardening or working in the yard)

Recommendations:

We recommend expanding your dog's world and increasing his "people time" the following ways:

  • Walk your dog regularly. It's good exercise, mentally and physically, for both of you!
  • Teach your dog to fetch a ball or Frisbee and practice with him as often as possible.
  • Teach your dog a few commands and/or tricks. Practice these commands/tricks every day for five to ten minutes.
  • Take an obedience class with your dog and practice daily what you've learned.
  • Keep interesting toys in the yard to keep your dog busy even when you're not around (Kong-type toys filled with treats or busy-box toys). Rotating the toys makes them seem new and interesting.
  • For dedicated diggers, provide an "acceptable digging area." Choose an area of the yard where it's okay for your dog to dig and cover the area with loose soil or sand. If you catch your dog digging in an unacceptable area, interrupt the behavior with a loud noise, say, "no dig" and take the dog to his designated digging area. When he digs in the approved spot, reward him with praise. Make the unacceptable digging spots unattractive (at least temporarily) by setting sharp rocks or chicken wire into the dirt.

Seeking Prey

Dogs may try to pursue burrowing animals or insects that live in your yard. Your dog may be pursuing prey if:

  • The digging is in a very specific area, usually not at the boundaries of the yard
  • The digging is at the roots of trees or shrubs
  • The digging is in a "path" layout

Recommendations:

We recommend that you search for possible signs of pests and then rid your yard of them. Avoid methods that could be toxic or dangerous to your pets.

Seeking Comfort or Protection

In hot weather, dogs may dig holes in order to lie in the cool dirt. They may also dig to provide themselves with shelter from cold, wind or rain, or to try to find water. Your dog may be digging for protection or comfort if:

  • The holes are near foundations of buildings, large shade trees or a water source
  • Your dog doesn't have a shelter or his shelter is exposed to the hot sun or cold winds
  • You find evidence that your dog is lying in the holes he digs

Recommendations:

We recommend that you provide your dog with other sources for the comfort or protection he seeks.

  • Provide an insulated doghouse. Make sure it affords protection from wind and sun.
  • Your dog may still prefer a hole in the ground, in which case you can try the "approved digging area" recommendation described above. Make sure the allowed digging area is in a protected spot.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water in a bowl that can't be tipped over.

Seeking Attention

Any behavior can become attention-getting behavior if dogs learn that they receive attention for engaging in it (even punishment is a form of attention). Your dog may be digging to get attention if:

  • He digs in your presence
  • His other opportunities for interaction with you are limited

Recommendations:

We recommend that you ignore the behavior.

  • Don't give your dog attention for digging (remember, even punishment is attention).
  • Make sure your dog has sufficient time with you on a daily basis, so he doesn't have to resort to misbehaving to get your attention.

Seeking Escape

Dogs may escape to get to something, to get somewhere or to get away from something. For more detailed information, please see our handout: The Canine Escape Artist." Your dog may be digging to escape if:

  • He digs along the fence line
  • He digs under the fence

Recommendations:

We recommend the following in order to keep your dog in the yard while you work on the behavior modifications recommended in our handout: "The Canine Escape Artist."

  • Bury chicken wire at the base of the fence (sharp edges rolled under)
  • Place large rocks, partially buried, along the bottom of the fence line
  • Bury the bottom of the fence one to two feet under the ground
  • Lay chain link fencing on the ground (anchored to the bottom of the fence) to make it uncomfortable for your dog to walk near the fence

Regardless of the reason for digging, we don't recommend:

  • Punishment after the fact. Not only does this not address the cause of the behavior, any digging that's motivated by fear or anxiety, will be made worse. Punishment may also cause anxiety in dogs that aren't currently fearful.
  • Staking a dog out near a hole he's dug or filling the hole with water. These techniques don't address the cause of the behavior, or the act of digging.

Inviting Dens

Creating a Cozy and Inviting Den

There are many reasons that getting your dog used to a crate is convenient for you.

  1. Visiting friends
  2. Traveling in the car.
  3. Management while children are moving about.
  4. Helps to separate in multi dog homes.
  5. Provides a safe and secure place for your dog while you are not at home.

The reactions I get when I suggest a crate be used and available for dogs of all ages vary. There is often a mixed or guilty feeling about crating your dog. Here are just a few reasons your dog may appreciate his den and comfy spot.

  1. It allows a safe and predictable place for a dog to chill out during hectic family times. (He may even Thank you!)
  2. It helps dogs to control urges to redecorate your house or yard.
  3. It can be especially comfortable during storms. (blankets over the top can add comfort)
  4. It can be a great place to take really yummy treats to enjoy privately!
  5. It can help your dog to be familiar with being crated or in a cage if ever he is kenneled or stays over at the vet.

There are two main types of crates. The plastic/travel crate can create a more secure feeling for some dogs as they are surrounded on all sides. The wire crate is more open and some dogs prefer the openness to the surrounded feeling. If one type does not work consider trying the other type.

What you put in the crate is up to you. Some dogs will destroy anything in there and all attempts to put comfy bedding will be wasted. Know your dog and observe them before leaving them unattended with anything they can ingest. Personally for dogs that leave the stuff alone I like to use a bathmat on the bottom and a non spill water bowl for them. This has worked well for me. Find out what your dog likes and what gets him into destruction mode and go from there! The bottom line is this is a special spot for spot and what is comfy for us may not work for him.

How to introduce this new comfy spot to your dog.

  1. Set crate up and allow your dog to investigate this new foreign structure in his home.
  2. Later the same day cut up or shred some hot dog into small bits. Heat it up slightly to get it really smelling GOOOOOOOOD! Sprinkle this on the inside of the crate and then close the door. The dog being left out.
  3. Once he is sniffing the crate and interested. Say things like "what's in your crate? Do you want to see what is in your crate?" Let him wonder long enough for him to be excited by the crate door. Ahhhh he wants in!
  4. Say "in your crate!" In a happy voice and allow him to get in and reward himself by cleaning up the hot dog.
  5. End exercise with door open and allowing him to go in and out freely as he chooses. When you catch him in the crate be sure to use the word to identify his crate in a happy way. "Good crate!"

Do this exercise several times right in the beginning. Ideally you want to catch him going to the crate inquiring if there are goodies in there. Acknowledge and praise his interest and put goodies in there while praising him with his crate name etc.

Once he is comfortable and expecting treats in there then begin closing the door for short periods of time rewarding him for quiet behavior every now and then. The time you leave the crate closed with him inside will vary. Start with short periods that fit your dogs' needs.

If he barks, whines, whimpers DO NOT let him out until he is quiet. If this behavior gets a response from you then it worked and he will do this again expecting the same response from you.

*** Turn your back to the crate. You can even squat down putting your back against the door of the crate. Once he is quiet tell him "good quiet." Offer him a treat then. Then let him out. Once he calmly responds to this consistently then require that he looks at you to get out of the crate or to be treated.

Activities for in the crate

It is important that your dog enjoys his time in the crate. Having toys can be great as long as they are safe. Supervise your dog if he enjoys rawhides or other chewies. If you use a Kong be sure that you observe him with it prior to leaving it in the crate unattended. There are many wonderful toys that are meant to be stuffed with good stuff for your dog to enjoy while in his comfy spot. You may also find that freezing the stuffing while in the toy will extend your dogs attention to the task of getting all of the goodie out!

Window watchers

If your dog is a "busy body" and enjoys neighbor watching consider carefully where you place his crate. What can he see? And if he sees out of the window will he bark every time someone drives by, walks by, runs by? If so then a spot away from the view may be the best for all. You also want to be sure that the crate is not in a place that is too hot or too cold for comfort.

Can I use the crate for TIME-OUT?

Time Outs should be done very calm and unemotionally. So, if you choose to use the crate as a Time Out I would suggest that you make it boring and with minimal response from you. All other times are going to be happy and accompanied with a treat as often as possible. This will be the difference in the uses.

Destructive Chewing

Destructive Chewing

Exploring the world with their mouths is normal behavior for dogs. Chewing can, however, be directed onto appropriate items so your dog isn't destroying items you value. Until he's learned what he can and can't chew, it's your responsibility to manage the situation as much as possible, so he doesn't have the opportunity to chew on unacceptable objects.

Taking Control By Managing The Situation

  • Take responsibility for your own belongings. If you don't want it in your dog's mouth, don't make it available. Keep clothing, shoes, books, trash, eyeglasses and television remote controls out of your dog's reach.
  • Don't confuse your dog by offering him shoes and socks as toys and then expect him to distinguish between his shoe and yours. Your dog's toys should be obviously different from household goods.
  • Until he learns the house rules, confine him when you're unable to keep an eye on him. Choose a "safe place" that is dog-proof with fresh water and "safe" toys (see our handout: "Dog Toys and How to Use Them"). If you're dog is crate trained, you may also crate him for short periods of time (see our handout: "Crate Training Your Dog").
  • Give your dog plenty of people-time. Your dog won't know how to behave if you don't teach him alternatives to inappropriate behavior and he can't learn these when he's in the yard by himself.
  • If, and only if, you catch your dog chewing on something he shouldn't, interrupt the behavior with a loud noise, offer him an acceptable chew toy instead, and praise him lavishly when he takes the toy in his mouth.
  • Have realistic expectations. It's virtually inevitable that your dog will, at some point, chew up something you value. This is often part of the transition to a new home. Your dog needs time to learn the house rules and you need to remember to take precautions and keep things out of his reach.

Chewing is normal teething and investigative puppy behavior (see our handout: "Dealing with Normal Puppy Behavior: Chewing" http://www.sspca.org/Dogs_PuppyChewing.html), however, dogs will engage in destructive behavior for a variety of reasons. In order to deal with the behavior, you must first determine why your dog is being destructive.

Play, Boredom And/Or Social Isolation

Normal play behavior can result in destruction, as it may involve digging, chewing, shredding and/or shaking toy-like objects. Since dogs investigate objects by pawing at them and exploring them with their mouths, they may also inadvertently damage items in their environment when they're exploring or investigating. Your dog may be chewing for entertainment if:

  • He's left alone for long periods without opportunities for interaction with you.
  • His environment is relatively barren, without playmates or toys.
  • He's a puppy or adolescent (under three years old) and he doesn't have other outlets for his energy.
  • He's a particularly active type of dog (like the herding or sporting breeds) who needs an active lifestyle to be happy.

Solutions:

  • Play with your dog daily in a safe, fenced-in area. If you don't have a yard, a tennis court can be a good place to play. Fetch is a great game that will use up your dog's excess energy without wearing you out!
  • Go for a walk. Walks should be more than just "bathroom time." On-leash walks are important opportunities for you and your dog to be together. Don't forget to allow time for sniffing, exploring, instruction and praise.
  • Increase your dog's opportunities for mental stimulation. Teach your dog a few commands and/or tricks and practice them daily. If you have time, take an obedience class.
  • Provide your dog with lots of toys (see our handout:"Dog Toys and How to Use Them").
  • Rotate your dog's toys to refresh his interest in them. "New" toys are always more interesting than old ones.
  • Try different kinds of toys, but when you introduce a new toy, watch your dog to make sure he won't tear it up and ingest the pieces.
  • Consider the various types of toys that can be stuffed with food. Putting tidbits of food inside chew toys focuses your dog's chewing activities on these toys instead of on unacceptable objects.
  • Make your dog's favorite "off-limits" chew objects unattractive to him by covering them with heavy plastic, aluminum foil, hot pepper sauce or a commercial "anti-chew" product.
  • You might want to consider a good "Doggie Day Care" program for two or three days a week to work off some of your dog's excess energy.

Separation Anxiety

Dogs with separation anxiety tend to display behaviors that reflect a strong attachment to their owners. This includes following you from room to room, frantic greetings and reacting anxiously to your preparation to leave the house.

Factors that can precipitate a separation anxiety problem:

  • A change in the family's schedule that results in your dog being left alone more often.
  • A move to a new house.
  • The death or loss of a family member or another family pet.
  • A period at a shelter or boarding kennel.

These behaviors are not motivated by spite or revenge, but by anxiety. Punishment will only make the problem worse. Separation anxiety can be resolved by using counter conditioning and desensitization techniques (see our handout:"Separation Anxiety").

Attention-Seeking Behavior

Without realizing it, we often pay more attention to our dogs when they're misbehaving. Dogs who don't receive a lot of attention and reinforcement for appropriate behavior may engage in destructive behavior when their owners are present as a way to attract attention -- even if the attention is "negative," such as a verbal scolding.

Solutions:

  • Make sure your dog gets a lot of positive attention every day -- playing, walking, grooming or just petting.
  • Ignore (as much as possible) bad behavior and reward good behavior. Remember to reward your dog with praise and petting when he's playing quietly with appropriate toys.
  • Make his favorite "off-limits" chew objects unattractive or unavailable to him. Use aversives on objects that cannot be put away (See our handout "Sample Aversives for Dogs" http://www.sspca.org/Dogs_DogAversives.html).
  • Teach your dog a "drop it" command so when he does pick up an "off-limits" object, you can use your command and praise him for complying. The best way to teach "drop it" is to practice having him exchange a toy in his possession for a tidbit of food.
  • Practice "Nothing in Life is Free" with your dog (see our handout: "Nothing in Life is Free" http://www.sspca.org/Dogs_TANSTAAFL.html). This gets your dog in the habit of complying with your commands and is a good way to make sure he gets lots of positive attention for doing the right things -- so he won't have to resort to being naughty just to get your attention.

Fears And Phobias

Your dog's destructive behavior may be a response to something he fears. Some dogs are afraid of loud noises (see our handout: "Helping Your Dog Overcome the Fear of Thunder and Other Startling Noises" http://www.sspca.org/Dogs_Thunder.html). Your dog's destructive behavior may be caused by fear if the destruction occurs when he's exposed to loud noises, such as thunderstorms, firecrackers or construction sounds, and if the primary damage is to doors, doorframes, window coverings, screens or walls.

Solutions:

  • Provide a "safe place" for your dog. Observe where he likes to go when he feels anxious, then allow access to that space or create a similar one for him to use when the fear stimulus is present.
  • Don't comfort your dog when he's behaving fearfully. Try to get him to play with you or respond to commands he knows and give him praise and treats when he responds to you instead of to the fear stimulus.
  • Don't crate your dog unless he's thoroughly crate-trained and considers the crate his safe place. If you put him in a crate to prevent destruction and he's not crate-trained, he may injure himself and/or destroy the crate.

What Not To Do:

Punishment is rarely effective in resolving destructive behavior problems and can even make them worse. Never discipline your dog after the fact. If you discover an item your dog has chewed minutes, or even seconds later, it's too late to administer a correction. Your dog doesn't understand that, "I chewed those shoes an hour ago and that's why I'm being scolded now." People often believe their dog makes this connection because he runs and hides or "looks guilty." Dogs don't feel guilt, rather they display submissive postures like cowering, running away or hiding, when they feel threatened by an angry tone of voice, body posture or facial expression. Your dog doesn't know that he's done something wrong; he only knows that you're upset. Punishment after the fact will not only fail to eliminate the undesirable behavior, but may also provoke other undesirable behaviors, as well.

Nothing in Life is Free

Nothing in Life is Free Training Method

Does your dog: Get on the furniture and refuse to get off? Nudge your hand, insisting on being petted or played with? Refuse to come when called? Defend its food bowl or toys from you? "Nothing in life is free" can help. "Nothing in life is free" is not a magic pill that will solve a specific behavior problem; rather it's a way of living with your dog that will help it behave better because it trusts and accepts you as its leader and is confident knowing its place in your family.

How to practice "nothing in life is free:"

  • Using positive reinforcement methods, teach your dog a few commands and/or tricks. "Sit," "Down" and "Stay" are useful commands and "Shake," "Speak" and "Rollover" are fun tricks to teach your dog.
  • Once your dog knows a few commands, you can begin to practice "nothing in life is free." Before you give your dog anything (food, a treat, a walk, a pat on the head) it must first perform one of the commands it has learned. For example:

You

Your Dog

Put your dog's leash on to go for a walk Must sit until you've put the leash on
Feed your dog Must lie down and stay until you've put the bowl down
Play a game of fetch after work Must sit and shake hands each time you throw the toy
Rub your dog's belly while watching TV Must lie down and rollover before being petted
  • Once you've given the command, don't give your dog what it wants until it does what you want. If it refuses to perform the command, walk away, come back a few minutes later and start again. If your dog refuses to obey the command, be patient and remember that eventually it will have to obey your command in order to get what it wants.
  • Make sure your dog knows the command well and understands what you want before you begin practicing "nothing in life is free."

The benefits of this technique:

  • Most dogs assume a neutral or submissive role toward people, but some dogs will challenge their owners for dominance. Requiring a dominant dog to work for everything it wants is a safe and non-confrontational way to establish control.
  • Dogs who may never display aggressive behavior such as growling, snarling,or snapping, may still manage to manipulate you. These dogs may display affectionate, though "pushy" behavior, such as nudging your hand to be petted or "worming" its way on to the furniture in order to be close to you. This technique gently reminds the "pushy" dog that it must abide by your rules.
  • Obeying commands helps build a fearful dog's confidence; having a strong leader and knowing its place in the hierarchy helps to make the submissive dog feel more secure.

Why this technique works:

Animals that live in groups, like dogs, establish a social structure within the group called a dominance hierarchy. This dominance hierarchy serves to maintain order, reduce conflict and promote cooperation among pack members. In order for your home to be a safe and happy place for pets and people, it's best that the humans in the household assume the highest positions in the dominance hierarchy. Practicing "nothing in life is free" effectively and gently communicates to your dog that its position in the hierarchy is subordinate to yours. From your dog's point of view, children also have a place in this hierarchy. Because children are small and can get down on the dog's level to play, dogs often consider them to be playmates, rather than superiors. With the supervision of an adult, it's a good idea to encourage children in the household (aged eight and over) to also practice "nothing in life is free" with your dog.

Deaf Dog Info

Deaf Dog Info

The mission of the Deaf Dog Education Action Fundis to provide education and funding for the purpose of improving and/or saving the lives of deaf dogs around the world.

  • To accomplish this, we are committed to do the following:
  • To provide educational and training materials to combat the myths and misinformation that surround deaf dogs.
  • To provide a central organization where the owners and supporters of deaf dogs can create a unified voice to increase people's understanding about deaf dogs.
  • To gather and share facts and figures about canine deafness and deaf dog behaviors. By collecting data from those with firsthand experience, we hope to document the realities of living with deaf dogs.
  • To lobby kennel clubs and other sanctioning bodies to accept deaf dogs into obedience, agility, and other skill competitions under the same conditions as other competitors.
  • To provide a network between those seeking to place a deaf dog into a good home and those interested in bringing a deaf dog into their lives.
  • To establish and maintain a travel fund to assist in the transportation of deaf dogs to their new homes and owners.
  • To work toward ending the euthanization practices of the many breed clubs and breeders who treat deafness as a death sentence for the dogs.
  • To promote spaying and neutering of all pets and encourage responsible breeding practices to reduce the pet overpopulation problem.

The facts about canine deafness are startling...

There are over 80 breeds where congenital deafness is considered common. The highest incidence of this is in breeds such as Australian Cattle Dogs, Australian Shepherds, Bull Terriers, Dalmatians, English Cocker Spaniels, and English Setters. Of these, the Dalmatian breed has the highest incidence of deafness.

In recent studies, over 8 percent of all Dalmatians born are deaf in both ears and up to 22 percent are deaf in one ear.

Thousands of deaf dogs are born each year. Many more become deaf as a result of age, illness, trauma, or chemical (drug) reactions. All over the world, deaf dogs are routinely destroyed because they are rumored to be brain damaged, aggressive, and untrainable - or because their quality of life is believed to be diminished.

These myths are perpetuated by many breeders, their parent clubs and registries, veterinarians, trainers and other so-called experts. The vast majority of these people have never allowed a deaf dog to live long enough to actually discover if their beliefs have any real merit.

In 1996, Deaf Dog Mailing List members rallied twice to fly two deaf dogs to loving homes and away from certain death. This inspired the list members to form an organization to "speak on behalf of and to assist in the betterment of life for deaf dogs everywhere." The Deaf Dog Education Action Fund is the result of an idea that was long past due.

The Deaf Dog Education Action Fund (DDEAF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed in 1997, is working to counter these misconceptions. Our membership includes caring individuals from around the world.

Over the years, thousands of people have found free advice, companionship, and support by joining our e-mail list or by visiting our website. Today the Deaf Dog Mailing List is comprised of people from 6 continents who no longer feel stigmatized because they have given their hearts to a deaf dog.

They have discovered that there are a lot of regular people living with deaf dogs. They know that very few of them have problems other than the typical dog problems that all dog owners face, like housebreaking, chewing or digging. They have learned firsthand the truth about sharing a life with these wonderful companions.

DDEAF is continuing to work to stop the prejudice against these dogs. Contact us for membership or training info and...

help save a life!

For more info, click here

To join the Deaf Dogs Mailing List: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/deafdogs

Or visit the DDEAF Web Site at: http://www.deafdogs.org

Our e-mail address is: ddeaf@deafdogs.org

Regular mail can be sent to:

Deaf Dog Education Action Fund
PO Box 2840, Oneco, FL 34264-2840 U.S.A.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive Reinforcement: Training Your Dog or Cat with Treats and Praise

Positive reinforcement is the presentation of something pleasant or rewarding immediately following a behavior. It makes that behavior more likely to occur in the future, and is one of the most powerful tools for shaping or changing your pet's behavior.

Correct timing is essential when using positive reinforcement. The reward must occur immediately, or your pet may not associate it with the proper action. For example, if you have your dog "sit," but reward him after he's already stood up again, he'll think he's being rewarded for standing up.

Consistency is also essential. Everyone in the family should use the same commands. It might be helpful to post these where everyone can become familiar with them. The most commonly used commands for dogs are "watch me," "sit," "stay," "down" (means lie down), "off" (means off of me or off the furniture), "stand," "come," "heel," (or "let's go" or "with me") "leave it" and "settle." Consistency means always rewarding the desired behavior and never rewarding undesired behavior.

For your pet, positive reinforcement may include food treats, praise, petting or a favorite toy or game. Food treats work especially well for training your dog. A treat should be enticing and irresistible to your pet. It should be a very small, soft, piece of food, so that he will immediately gulp it down and look to you for more. If you give him something he has to chew or that breaks into bits and falls on the floor, he'll be looking around the floor, not at you. Small pieces of soft commercial treats, hot dogs, cheese, cooked chicken or beef, or miniature marshmallows have all proven successful. Experiment a bit to see what works best for your pet. You may carry the treats in a pocket or a fanny pack on the front of your belt. There are even special treat packs available in many pet stores. Each time you use a food reward, you should couple it with a verbal reward (praise). Say something like, "Good boy" in a positive, happy tone of voice.

Note: Some pets may not be interested in food treats. For those pets, the reward could be in the form of a toy or brief play.

When your pet is learning a new behavior, he should be rewarded every time he does the behavior (continuous reinforcement). It may be necessary to use "shaping," with your pet (reinforcing something close to the desired response and gradually requiring more from your dog before he gets the treat). For example, if you're teaching your dog to "shake hands," you may initially reward him for lifting his paw off the ground, then for lifting it higher, then for touching your hand, then for letting you hold his paw and finally, for actually shaking hands with you.

Intermittent reinforcement can be used once your pet has reliably learned the behavior. At first, you may reward him with the treat three times out of four, then about half the time, then about a third of the time and so forth, until you're only rewarding him occasionally with the treat. Continue to praise him every time, although once he's learned the behavior, the praise can be less effusive - a quiet, but positive, "Good boy." Use a variable schedule of reinforcement, so he doesn't catch on that he only has to respond every other time. Your pet will learn that if he keeps responding, eventually he'll get what he wants. If you have a dog who barks until you reward him by paying attention to him, you've seen the power of intermittent reinforcement.

By understanding reinforcement, you can see that you're not forever bound to carry a pocketful of goodies. Your pet will soon be working for your verbal praise, because he really does want to please you and he knows that occasionally, he'll get a treat, too! There are many small opportunities to reinforce his behavior. You may have him "sit" before letting him out the door (helps prevent door-darting), before petting him (helps prevent jumping up on people) or before giving him his food. Give him a pat or a "Good dog" for lying quietly by your feet or slip a treat into his Kong toy when he's chewing it, instead of your shoe.

Punishment, including verbal, postural and physical, is the presentation of something unpleasant immediately following a behavior which makes it less likely that the behavior will occur again. To be effective, punishment must be delivered while your pet is engaged in the undesirable behavior, in other words, "caught in the act." If the punishment is delivered too late, your pet will feel "ambushed." From his point of view, the punishment is totally unpredictable, and he's likely to become fearful, distrusting and/or aggressive. This will only lead to more behavior problems. What we humans interpret as "guilty" looks, are actually submissive postures by our pets. Animals don't have a moral sense of right and wrong, but they are adept at associating your presence and the presence of a mess, with punishment.

If you've tried punishment and it hasn't worked, you should definitely stop using punishment and use positive reinforcement instead. Physical punishment usually involves some level of discomfort or even pain, which is likely to cause your pet to bite, as that is the only way he knows to defend himself. Scruff shakes and "alpha rolls" are likely to result in bites, especially if the dog doesn't perceive you to be his superior. Also, punishment might be associated with other stimuli, including people, that are present at the time the punishment occurs. For example, a pet that's punished for getting too close to a small child may become fearful of or aggressive to that child.

Feeding Issues

Feeding Issues

"Satin Ball" recipe for dogs who won't eat. This recipe is for dogs who desperately need calories and need to put on weight, but who have no appetite. It sounds yucky, but when these are done they are really appealing, even to me. In my experience, this is a kind of "last resort and hope" food that many sick dogs will eat.

Mix all ingredients (like meatballs). I shape them like thick hamburgers rather than balls because they store easier in the freezer and thaw faster. Freeze in serving portion size. Nothing is cooked -- all ingredients are uncooked RAW and "Satin Balls" are served raw.

Satin Balls Full Recipe

  • 10 lbs cheap hamburger (high fat %)
  • 1 large box Total cereal (about 12 cups cereal)
  • 1 large box uncooked oatmeal (about 15 cups oats)
  • 10 raw eggs
  • 1 15oz jar wheat germ
  • 10 packages Knox unflavored gelatin
  • 1 and 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 and 1/4 cup unsulphered molasses
  • pinch of salt

Notes:

"Whole Wheat Total" cereal (blue box) comes in large 1 lb 2 oz size (about 12 cups settled) and a smaller 12 oz size (about 8 cups cereal), which would work in Little Dog or Half Recipe. But in the long run, the large size is more economical. Don't get Raisin Total or Lo Carb Total.

Uncooked Oatmeal like "Quaker Old Fashioned Oats" and less expensive supermarket house brand, come in large 2lb 10oz size (15 cups oats) or smaller 18 oz size (about 7 cups oats).

15oz jar of wheat germ is about 4 cups. Some stores only carry a 12oz jar of wheat germ, which contains about 3 and 1/4 cups of it.

Vegetable oil-- use a good one. I use grapeseed oil, olive oil would be next best.

Tip: I don't break the eggs directly into the pot of stuff. The first time I broke the eggs into a separate little bowl for some reason. One of the eggs was bad and it would have ruined the whole pot of stuff. I had never seen an egg like that and had no reason to expect it, but I never break eggs directly into anything anymore.

It is important to stick to the proportions. I gave the recipe to someone whose dog wouldn't eat, she told me she made them but he wouldn't eat them. Then she told me what she did to the recipe, changing it so much that it ended up something entirely different (no wonder her dog wouldn't eat it). You need to follow the recipe carefully if you are going to go to the trouble and expense of making it.

Just in case you ever need it.....

Satin Balls Half Recipe

  • 5 lbs cheap hamburger (for high fat %)
  • 1/2 large box Total cereal (about 6 cups cereal)
  • 1/2 large box uncooked oatmeal (about 7.5 cups oats)
  • 5 raw eggs
  • 1/2 of 15oz jar wheat germ (about 2 cups)
  • 5 packages Knox unflavored gelatin
  • 5/8 cup vegetable oil (this is pretty close to 2/3 cup)
  • 5/8 cup unsulphered molasses
  • pinch of salt

Kids & Dogs

General Guidelines for Child and Dog Interaction

Congratulations on your new family member! Adding a new dog to your family is a wonderful and fun time for everyone. Kids especially are eager to bond and enjoy their new found friend. Here are some tips and suggestions to help keep things safe and fun for years to come!

Boxers are one of the best breeds for families and children because of their bond with people and their instinct to protect. Children and dogs can form a bond from the moment they meet and it can be a lifelong and beautiful friendship!

 

Obedience fun!

The key to a well mannered dog with kids and others is obedience. Involve your kids as much as possible in whatever training you do. Even 2 year olds can actively be included in the training and games with your dog. Hide and seek and fetch are great games for kids and their dogs.

Crowded areas & high activity.

Observe your dog in areas like hallways, doorways etc. These areas tend to be where conflicts arise especially if there is more then one dog in the home. Tight spots can lead to grumpy dogs. Plan ahead for times like bedtime, before school etc when things are rushed and there is congestion in the home with activity. Allow your dog to settle in a quiet place with a Kong away from the hustle and bustle.

Hugs and Kisses

Hugs are not natural to dogs. When dogs put their paws on each others shoulders it is not an expression of love. Children should be discouraged from hugging dogs. It is confining to a dog and to some is very threatening. Encourage kids to pet the dog on the side of the head or scratch the ears. Our dogs often TOLERATE our hugs but we should not expect this.

Treats, toys and food.

Rawhides, pigs ears, bones and meat are extremely high value to our dogs. Many dogs will guard these and should be set up for success by only having these in an area AWAY from children. If you notice guarding behavior please contact a canine behavior consultant for help with a solution. This is something that can improve with the right methods. Dogs value things differently like we do. Here is an example to help.

Dog kibble/food = Plain scoop of your favorite ice cream.
Nylabone or new rawhide = Your favorite ice cream with a yummy topping.
Pigs ears, meaty bone, = Your favorite ice cream with all of the toppings you love

*** Kids need to learn to respect a dogs' space when they are enjoying any type of treat or food.

Calming Signals

These are signals dogs use to communicate with one another. They may be used together or one at a time. When you see your dog do these things pay attention to the situation. Your dog is feeling stress and is dealing with it but may be only tolerating things vs. enjoying them. I highly recommend Turid Rugaas' Book ON TALKING TERMS WITH DOGS, CALMING SIGNALS. Some of the calming signal to look for:

Dogs will show us these signals BEFORE a growl is offered. Usually we miss them. It is important to observe your dog and be aware of what they are telling you is stressful. Tolerance has a limit and usually that is when the dog has shown licking lips, head turn, etc and a child is still approaching or insisting on contact.

  • Licking their lips/nose: Not after eating but for an example when a child goes to pet your dog or is too close.
  • Yawning: Usually follows a situation that is stressful or may happen during a stressful time for the dog.
  • Turning head away or moving body away: Indicates different things at different times. Head turns can mean I do not want to be bothered. If a dog licks their lips and turns away, it is feeling uncomfortable and trying to avoid potential conflict.
  • Shake: Like after a bath. Dogs will "shake off" the stress. Observe when this happens and know that this encounter was stressful for next time.
  • Raised paw: A dog will lift their front paw up also to indicate stress and a desire to decrease the threat of conflict.

***Supervision is a must with all dogs and kids.

When an adult is not around for a dog to defer to, then he is now left to manage a situation the best way he knows how. Most often a dog will show a variety of calming signals before a growl or bite. It is when these are ignored or unobserved that the dog usually goes to a growl or bite. If an adult is not there to see these important signals and situation the dog will react the way that is natural to him. Dogs correct and discipline with their mouth and paws. This is why dogs and children must not be unsupervised at anytime no matter how tolerant they may appear.

If you have questions or concerns about your dog and child's interaction please contact a canine behavior consultant. Dogs and their kids often have terrific relationships. It is when we do not respect our dogs need for space, comfort and guidance that trouble happens.

For information and resources you may find these websites helpful.

http://www.doggonesafe.com Non profit on dog bite prevention programs

http://www.doggonecrazy.ca Board game that teaches kids about canine body language and how to be safe around familiar and unfamiliar dogs.

http://www.familypaws.com Resources on safe kid & k9 interaction and consulting in NC

http://www.howtoloveyourdog Terrific site for kids!

Crate Training

Crate Training Your Dog

Crate training your dog may take some time and effort, but can be useful in a variety of situations. If you have a new dog or puppy, you can use the crate to limit his access to the house until he learns all the house rules -- like what he can and can't chew on and where he can and can't eliminate. A crate is also a safe way of transporting your dog in the car, as well as a way of taking him places where he may not be welcome to run freely. If you properly train your dog to use the crate, he'll think of it as his safe place and will be happy to spend time there when needed.

Selecting A Crate

Crates may be plastic (often called "flight kennels") or collapsible, metal pens. They come in different sizes and can be purchased at most pet supply stores. Your dog's crate should be just large enough for him to stand up and turn around in.

The Crate Training Process

Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training. The crate should always be associated with something pleasant, and training should take place in a series of small steps - don't go too fast.

Step 1: Introducing Your Dog To The Crate

  • Put the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Bring your dog over to the crate and talk to him in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is securely fastened opened so it won't hit your dog and frighten him.
  • To encourage your dog to enter the crate, drop some small food treats near it, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If he refuses to go all the way in at first, that's okay -- don't force him to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If he isn't interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days.

Step 2: Feeding Your Dog His Meals In The Crate

  • After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding him his regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, put the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If your dog is still reluctant to enter the crate, put the dish only as far inside as he will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed him, place the dish a little further back in the crate.
  • Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat his meal, you can close the door while he's eating. At first, open the door as soon as he finishes his meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until he's staying in the crate for ten minutes or so after eating. If he begins to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving him in the crate for a shorter time period. If he does whine or cry in the crate, it's imperative that you not let him out until he stops. Otherwise, he'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so he'll keep doing it.

Step 3: Conditioning Your Dog To The Crate For Longer Time Periods

After your dog is eating his regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine him there for short time periods while you're home. Call him over to the crate and give him a treat. Give him a command to enter such as, "kennel up." Encourage him by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise him, give him the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to ten minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time, then let him out of the crate. Repeat this process several times a day. With each repetition, gradually increase the length of time you leave him in the crate and the length of time you're out of his sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you out of sight the majority of the time, you can begin leaving him crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting him sleep there at night. This may take several days or several weeks.

Step 4: Part A/Crating Your Dog When Left Alone

After your dog is spending about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving him crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put him in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave him with a few safe toys in the crate (see our handout: "Dog Toys and How to Use Them"). You'll want to vary at what point in your "getting ready to leave" routine you put your dog in the crate. Although he shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate him anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged, but matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give him a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to him in an excited, enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low key. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so he doesn't associate crating with being left alone.

Crating Your Dog At Night

Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night, and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when he whines to be let outside. Older dogs, too, should initially be kept nearby so that crating doesn't become associated with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with his crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer.

Outside Dogs

Outside Dogs

We preach hard and heavy on crate training for dogs, and here is the reasoning. Properly trained dogs will regularly choose to crate themselves for naps and quiet times because it is natural to their instincts. It is more for the emotional stability of the dog than physical safety although that is a huge part too. Multitudes are lost, stolen, stray and neurotic due to being left alone in large open areas whether indoor or out; we rarely see a boxer reunited with their family.

The innate instinct of the dog knows that when they are left by an alpha it is in a den (small confined area) until the leader returns. The subordinate dogs do not leave unless they begin to feel starvation; some will die there. The den is a safe-zone. They are a highly intelligent and social breed, and being put outside alone for any length of time most often creates a pack isolation instinct where this pack animal is seeking a companion; they know instinctively that there is safety in numbers and that the ousted pack member is vulnerable. When left alone outside, they will look for security through behaviors to save them self (digging, jumping, climbing, pacing, chewing- the destructive behaviors few humans will put up with in dogs) or through communication (howling, barking).

For some, the unacceptable behaviors may be boredom-based (for the more secure pet) or anxiety-induced (from fear of being alone). This is the beginning of the territorial pet; they are being exposed to circumstances that are intimidating and threatening; again, they don't feel safe due to pack isolation. Another common neurotic habit will be separation anxiety (again-fear of being alone or fear of change) displayed in a variety of behaviors. The dog has learned from past experience that he is not safe and desperately fears being left. As rescuers, we devote our days to training each dog out of these instinctive behaviors/habits and pray they never feel the fear of insecurity again. (Ellie spent her summer tied to a tree alone and pregnant. How terrifying to even lay your head down to rest when all of the wiring that exists in your being is to be safe from predators and full-bellied and romping with another you can trust. She will always display signs of vulnerability; most of them do.) If two pets are left together on familiar territory, they are less likely to develop neurotic behaviors or feel so insecure, but then you have the other issue in leaving them outside while not home- weather changes, and temperature extremes- boxers are not able to safely and reasonably endure hot or cold temperatures. 50-85 degrees is their comfort zone. If your lifestyle allows you to run home when rain or thunder rolls in or when temperatures drop rapidly, that isn't so bad. Most people's schedules do not allow the luxury of returning home in such cases to keep their pet safe. Boxers are inside only dogs- family members- and should be supervised when outside. In addition, the boxer should be allowed to sleep with or near their family pack and only be separated by their choice.

In cases where a rescued boxer does not adjust to indoor living, we will then place the dog in an outdoor home with proper shelter and always with another boxer to bond with. In such cases the family adopting the boxer must understand they are then setting up the opportunity for the dogs to establish one of themselves as the new leader which will require a special understanding of the dog brain in order to keep peace in the home.

Do I Go Home Today?

Do I go home today?

My family brought me home cradled in their arms.
They cuddled me and smiled at me and said I was full of charm.

They played with me and laughed with me and showered me with toys.
I sure do love my family, especially the little girls and boys.

The children loved to feed me; they gave me special treats.
They even let me sleep with them - all snuggled in the sheets.

I used to go for walks, often several times a day.
They even fought to hold the leash, I'm very proud to say!

These are the things I'll not forget - a cherished memory.
I now live in the shelter - without my family.

They used to laugh and praise me when I played with that old shoe.
But I didn't know the difference between the old one and the new.

The kids and I would grab a rug, for hours we would tug.
So I thought I did the right thing when I chewed the bedroom rug.

They said I was out of control and would have to live outside.
This I didn't understand, although I tried and tried!

The walks stopped, one by one; they said they hadn't the time.
I wish that I could change things; I wish I knew my crime.

My life became so lonely in the backyard on a chain.
I barked and barked all day long to keep from going insane.

So they brought me to the shelter, but were embarrassed to say why.
They said I caused an allergy, and then each kissed me goodbye.

If I'd only had some training as a little pup,
I wouldn't have been so hard to handle when I was all grown up.

"You only have one day left", I heard a worker say.
Does that mean I have a second chance?

Do I go home today?

Read This First

Read This First

Please help! After two long years of being on a waiting list for a dog, we have been notified by breed rescue that, at long last, our number has come up and ... WE ARE HAVING A PUPPY!

We must get rid of our children IMMEDIATELY because we just know how time consuming our new little puppy is going to be and it just wouldn't be fair to the children. Since our little puppy will be arriving on Monday we MUST place the children up for adoption this weekend!

They are described as:

One male -- his name is Tommy, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), light blonde hair, blue eyes. Four years old. Excellent disposition. He doesn't bite. Temperament tested. Does have problems with peeing directly in the toilet. Has had chicken Pox and is current on all shots. Tonsils have already been removed. Tommy eats everything, is very clean, house trained and gets along well with others. Does not run with scissors and with a little training he should be able to read soon.

One female -- her name is Lexie, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), strawberry blonde hair, green eyes quite freckled. Two years old. Can be surly at times. Non-biter, thumb sucker. Has been temperament tested but needs a little attitude adjusting occasionally. She is current on all shots, tonsils out, and is very healthy and can be affectionate. Gets along well with other little girls and little boys but does not like to share her toys and therefore would do best in a one child household. She is a very quick learner and is currently working on her house training. Shouldn't take long at all.

We really do LOVE our children so much and want to do what's right for them. That is why we contacted a rescue group. But we simply can no longer keep them. Also, we are afraid that they may hurt our new puppy.

I hope you understand that ours is a UNIQUE situation and we have a real emergency here! They MUST be placed into your rescue by Sunday night at the latest or we will be forced to drop them off at the orphanage or along some dark, country road. Our priority now has to be our new puppy.

Surrendering a family member who is aging or has challenges? Keep reading.

Two Horses
Author - Unknown

Just up the road from my home is a field with two horses in it. From a distance each horse looks like any other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing.... Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing. If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to the horse's halter is a small bell. It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow. As you stand and watch these two friends, you'll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting that he will not be led astray. When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back, making sure that the blind friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell. Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need. Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way.... Good friends are like that... Your dog is trusting you to guide him. What kind of friend are you?

New Baby

Can your new Baby and your pet coexist?

So you're having a baby and feel you need to surrender your pet?

Train up a child (whether with skin or with fur) in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Boxers are one of the best breeds for families and children because of their bond with people and their instinct to protect. Children and dogs can form a bond from the moment they meet and it can be a lifelong and beautiful friendship!

The Rescuer's Creed

The Rescuer's Creed

I promise I will take your unwanted animals.
I will heal their wounds, their diseases, their broken bones.
I will give them the medical attention they need and deserve.
I will nurture their starvation and give them a warm place to sleep.
I will spay and neuter them, vaccinate them against the diseases that can harm them.
I will treat them and honor them.
I will buy them toys, blankets, balls, and teach them to play.
I will speak softly to them.
I will try to teach them not to fear, not to cry, and not to hate.
I will whisper sweet, kind, gentle words into their ears, while gently trying to stroke their fear, their pain, and their scars away.
I will face their emotional scars and give them time to overcome them.
I will socialize them, potty train them, teach them to be obedient, show them dignity, and hold their paws, and stroke their ears if they have endured too much and walk them over the Rainbow Bridge, BUT most of all I will teach them LOVE.

Senior Boxers

Senior Boxers

What's A Senior Boxer?

Boxers over the age of 7 are referred to as "Senior" Boxers because of the silver or gray hair that often appears on their muzzles and the rest of their bodies.

Senior Boxers are very majestic and beautiful. Many Boxers over the age of 7, end up in shelters or rescue programs, because their owners choose to no longer care for them or would rather have that new, cute puppy. These dogs don't have much of a chance at adoption--competing against younger, muscular Boxers, who don't have a gray hair to be found!!

Remember, these dogs were once young too, and now they need help retaining their dignity in their old age!

Senior Boxers deserve to live out their lives with families who care about them. With today's medical advances, Boxers can live past their life expectancy of 10-12 years! If you are an individual who doesn't care to go through puppy proofing your house and the potty training bit--consider an older Boxer. They are calm, loving, and quiet. They deserve a family to love, and who will love them in return. Consider adopting an older adult Boxer, and show him he was worth saving.

Don't be fooled! Some Boxers have gray hair on their muzzles at age 2 or 3 yrs! So, be careful and don't assume a dog is "too old" if you see the gray...

Benefits of sharing your life with an adult Boxer

Older Boxers are usually potty trained!

Older Boxers usually have some basic background in obedience, and often know the commands: "sit," "stay," "come," "heel," etc...

Adult Boxers are more calm and well-mannered than their adolescent counterparts! They still need exercise on a daily basis, but lack the "Energizer Bunny" energy of a younger dog.

With an older Boxer, there is no guesswork involved with what they will look like or act like as an adult Boxer, because they already are adults!

Older Boxers seldom will "chew" as they are past the teething stage. Many will not even jump up on people and are perfectly content to be a couch potato. They are also extremely appreciative of love and attention; and seem to be grateful for the opportunity of adoption.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks...right?

Wrong! The old saying, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" is completely untrue, especially when you're talking about a Boxer! Many people erroneously think older dogs are "set in their ways" and that the new guardian would not be able to train or "break habits." This is false. The Boxer dog LOVES his human, and aims to please! They are loyal dogs who will knock themselves out to please and make their humans happy. A few kind words and a pat, hug or kiss, and that Boxer will jump through hoops for you!

Something to think about...

One final note...if you have an older pet please be responsible and keep that family member for his entire life, even when his health starts to deteriorate. Remember, you will be old someday too. Wouldn't you want your family to give you the respect and dignity that you'll deserve in your golden years? Show that same respect to your pet and repay his lifetime of loyalty to you, by standing by his side in his old age.


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