What Healthy Boundaries Look Like With A Boxer
Boundaries are ESSENTIAL to protecting your time, space, energy, and health
(mentally, emotionally, physically and relationally!) They’re also one of the key ingredients in having a well behaved dog.
But if you're anything like me, setting healthy boundaries with a cute and funny Boxer can feel HARD.
The good news is setting, communicating, and upholding healthy boundaries is a SKILL that can be developed through practice over time….and there's no better time than when you’re bursting with cabin fever to practice putting some healthy boundaries in place!
Dogs are the ultimate creatures of habit. They thrive on structure in the environment and predictability in their lives. One of the greatest ways to accelerate your pup's good behaviors and obedience is by setting boundaries for them.
What are the tell-tale signs that you’re not keeping good boundaries?
There are so many. Dogs are scavengers and opportunists by nature, but that doesn’t excuse rude habits. Here are the ones we see most often:
Giving a newly-adopted dog – at any age – a free pass to roam in all areas of the house.
Snagging food off a counter, using belongings or a person as chew toys.
Rushing in or out of doors, jumping up on guests, or smacking you in the face with a right hook.
Being the invisible human at the other end of the leash.
Letting children crawl over or step on, roughly handle, scream, hug or disturb dog while sleeping or eating.
Boxer antics are cute for a while, but if left without the proper training and leadership, the door is wide open to these – among many other – behaviors.
One of the greatest ways to accelerate your Boxer’s good behaviors and obedience is by setting boundaries for them. It molds overall good behaviors, a sense of confidence and security, and much-needed routines that dogs need to thrive. By implementing boundaries, you are providing the structure your dog needs to learn what is expected of them in the home and in the outside world.
Why Set Boundaries?
Think of boundaries like the rules of conduct for your home and in public. For example, ask yourself: is your dog allowed in every room or are there some you don’t want them in? Do you want your dog on the furniture with you or prefer them to relax in a spot of their own? And how about when you take them outdoors or in social settings. Do you want them to walk beside you and follow your lead? Do you wish them to remain calm while greeting new people and in new environments? Only you can define what it is that you really expect from your dog and only then, start to implement boundaries in order to achieve those goals and stick to them!
Setting boundaries for your dog might sound like you’re blocking them off from certain things, however, what it really means is teaching your dog what they can do and where. And once your dog learns their boundaries, you’ve instilled in them life-long good manners, plus given them the advantage of living a life with far more freedom!
So, what is one of the best all around commands?
One of my absolute favorite commands to use in social settings is the Place command.“Place” essentially teaches your pup to relax in a spot until you release them. “Place” is used for an object that has a natural boundary like a rug or dog bed at home, but it can also be used when you’re outdoors or at a social gathering with a blanket or towel. This can be super helpful for getting your dog to settle and be calm on command, even with lots of people and distractions around them. It's truly a game changer!
No matter where you start, I know you're in for a sweet moment of learning + bonding with your dog.
With that, let's continue to create and keep healthy boundaries throughout the day. Here's to a relaxed and confident dog that listens to you!