Some Creative Ways to Exercise a Boxer Puppy Indoors

By: David Codr

Published Date: November 28, 2018

For this Omaha puppy training session we shared some creative ways to exercise a dog to help Ty, a 6 month-old Boxer puppy who has a lot of energy and has nipped a few people who startle or try to pet him.

The guardians had come up with a unique way to handle greetings; having Ty and his sibling Finn sitting down about 12 feet from the door while family members sat on the floor petting the dogs. While I liked adding in distance between the puppies and the door, anything a dog is doing when you pet it is what you are rewarding and amplifying. In other words, the guardians were unintentionally communicating they liked the dogs pretesting and being upset when guests arrive.

I asked the guardians to put Finn away and let Ty off leash. As a dog behaviorist I have learned that when you have a dog who has nipped or bitten anyone, removing excitement is a key aspect of the dog’s rehabilitation. I stepped outside to let the humans make these adjustments before returning and showing the guardians how to help the puppy develop a positive association with the visitor.

After using a few dog behaviorist tricks, Ty calmed down and was displaying displaying affectionate and confident behavior. Although he was a little confused as to what was expected from him, I didn’t see any aggressive behavior out of him for the rest of the session.

When I sat down with the family to discuss the dog behavior problems, I learned that the dogs didn’t have many rules, could get attention on demand and were under exercised. I call this the perfect storm, and have found this combination to be the cause of many unwanted dog and puppy behavior problems.

As we continued the discussion, I began to think that Ty’s nips aren’t an aggressive behavior. He went after someone with a law mower which could very easily be attributed to being scared or stressed out by the sound and smells from the mower. As I probed deeper, it seemed like there were valid reasons for the puppy to be reactive. Obviously nipping and biting are not behavior you want from your dog, in the context of how they happened, I think this is more a case of confusion and the dog unwittingly ending up in jackpot situations than being actually an aggressive dog.

After going over the importance of rules and structure, I wanted to address Ty’s excess energy. Many puppy problems stem from an under exercised pup and that was certainly the case here.

When its winter in Nebraska, I like to share creative tips to exercising a dog inside. Many people exclusively think of walking as the best way to exercise a dog, but its actually not very efficient. Its good for stimulation and leadership when done with structure, but you have to walk a long way to get the needed results. I pulled out my camera and handed it to one of the family members so I could share tips to exercising dogs in creative ways.

The doggy stair master, fetch and any other pursuit games are wonderful ways to exercise a puppy or dog. Not only are they fun, they are convenient, time efficient and remarkably effective. If the family members can exercise Ty every 2-4 hours throughout the day, they will notice a dramatic improvement in his behavior.

Ive played the part of Boxer puppy trainer many times and have always enjoyed the breed. They are often curious and playful and I just love how they use their paws. Ty showed that he is a smart puppy and once we got rid of his excess energy, he was a really fun puppy to have around.

To make sure the guardians remembered all the dog behavior suggestions I made in this in home puppy training session, we filmed a roadmap to success video that you can watch for free below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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