Aggression in boxer dogs is a common type of behavior mostly seen in untrained dogs of misinformed owners. This type of behavior is a long foreseen manifestation that, if not picked up by the owner and corrected, could turn ugly. Rarely does aggression in boxer dogs just burst out of nowhere without showing some of the many signs that each owner should be aware of. It’s vital for all boxer puppy owners to eliminate any potential for aggression or dominance long before it occurs. Failure to do so can result in a dominant, aggressive, and a very disobedient dog that will take months to correct.
Aggression is a result of dominance and are closely linked together. What may seem to be just “normal dog behavior”, such as your dog giving you a little growl when you push your puppy off the furniture, is in fact a sign of aggression that you need to look out for.
The following are just some of the early signs of aggression you need to look out for:
The food bowl aggression – Have you ever noticed that your puppy is protective of his food bowl? In an attempt to add more food or take the food bowl away your dog may growl, clearly showing you he’s the boss of it.
Constantly begging for food – By instinct, pack members know that the alpha eats first. If your dog is begging for food, he may view himself as the alpha, thinking he reserves the right to eat first.
Rough playing can often mean that your puppy is becoming dominant. If, during play, your puppy exhibits growling, yelping, and other forms of sounds, it could mean that the puppy has a dominant issue and is not willing to submit to you.
Pulling on leash – In the wild the pack leader walks first and all other pack members follow. Although the majority of the time your puppy is pulling on the leash because he is excited, your mistake is letting him do it, which is why at some point he will develop dominance, assuming that he is the pack leader (since you’re the one that follows HIM!).
If your boxer puppy is protective of his toys this could just as well be early signs of dominance that you should watch out for. Remember, never let your boxer puppy have all the toys at once (so he doesn’t get bored and doesn’t become dominant over them). Rotate them every few days and make sure to praise him for giving them back.
A clear definite point that your boxer developed dominance is when you’re giving him commands that he already knows yet he refuses to carry them out. Small amounts of aggression will become visible and will soon enough turn into violent responses for simple things like making him get off the couch.
There are many ways to deal with boxer dog aggression and it also depends on the intensity. The bottom line is that if your puppy shows aggression then he thinks he’s the alpha dog. In this situation you have to make him understand that you’re in charge and that you’re not going to take it from him.
It’s important to be careful with an overtly aggressive dog and hire a professional dog trainer in extreme situations. However, in most situations, the owner is capable of solving dominance and aggression problems without hiring a dog trainer.