T Nation

dogs, and dog training

I am planning to get a dog in the near future and at this point am leaning toward a boxer. Do any of you guys have experience with this breed? I have two children, one with a pretty severe mental handicapp, is this a good choice for me? The dog should have the oppurtunity to be pretty socialized, my wife stays home and he could even go to work with me some days.
As for training, is there a paticular “school of thought” or method you guys like? I would like to have a well trained dog and would appreciate tips as to books, or sites, or tapes that might help.
thanx tinman

2 of my best friends had boxers when I was younger and I must say that they are a very gentle breed. Usually not very hyper(in my experience) and loyal. I would also suggest looking at labradors and collies(with children in mind). I have had experience with both breeds and they proved very gentle with the collies being more upbeat most of the time and labs being a little more laid back. Both are very intelligent and protective of the owners and children. Collies will probably show aggression before labs will though, and I mean towards others and not the owner or children. Regardless of the breed, I think it would be a good idea to buy from a certified breeder and ask him any questions about local training schools. Good luck.

One of my hobbies is rescuing pitbulls, rehabilitating and retraining them and ultimately finding them responsible, loving people. Through this I have learned much about dog behaviour, socialization and training.
Boxers are an excellent breed and are usually quite gentle with children. They are also known to have a high pain tolerance and therefore can take the abuse they will undoubtedly recieve from small children. They are quite energetic and like to roughouse so they may accidentally knock children over, but this can be said of many breeds and is pretty much unavoidable. Make sure whatever breed you choose, you do lots of research. Buy from a reputable breeder who does’nt sell pups too young and socializes them in his/her home. Make sure you get a guarantee for hips and other problems and pay the big bucks. Like most things you get what you pay for. Your biggest responsibility will of course be training. Early socialization is crutial. Expose your dog to all kinds of people, children, other dogs, noises, nail clipping, brushing, objects, ect. Basically everything a dog will encounter on a regular basis as an adult dog. You basically have an 18 wk. window of opportunity for this. After this point, exposure to things not previously experienced can cause stress and fear in your dog. The overwhelming cause of dog aggression towards other dogs or people is do to fear as the dog was not well socialized. Lastly they are basically two beliefs in training methodology. Both are based on learning through social conditioning. One focus’ more on negative reinforcement while the other focus’ more on positive reinforcement. I strongly encourage you to take your dog to a training school which uses the latter method. negative reinforcement using choke chains, physical punishment, stepping on toes and knees to the chest and other techniques are archaic and cruel. teach your dog with reward and praise. Your dog is a living being who will only give love and respect if he first recieves it. I hope my response is of some help and good luck.

I’ve heard that 20 rep beathing squats is a good way to train, if you’re willing to work hard enough.

I had a bad experience with a boxer once so I may be a bit prejudiced but I think, especially for one in your situation, that a Labrador Retriever is the best dog to have with kids. You can sit on them and they will love you for it. They are the most gentle breed of dog that I know of. Good Luck!

my 2cents…fact or fiction???..energetic,hyper dogs requiring a lot of exercise…shorter life span,<10yrs,because they’re so hyper…and by the way…have you ever seen one???..THEY"RE UGLY AS HELL!!!

Thanks for that last ugly comment, as I have had 3 boxers in my life. They are great dogs, loyal, friendly, smart, adorable, everything you can ask for. The only problem w/them is they have a short lifespan. It’s kinda odd that this topic got brought up b/c I just took my 10 yr. old boxer, whom I have had since he was just a puppy, to find out what is wrong w/him lately…he has a large tumor around his heart, two valves are leaking also…I have to put him to sleep within the next few weeks, which is going to be a really hard thing to do.
Oh, btw there mulestick, go fuck yourself, everyone has an opinion on appearance and I’m sure nobody gives a fuck about you.

Guys, thanx for the insight, I appreciate you taking the time to try to help (those of you who were). By the way, one of the things that first attracted me to this breed is that I think they look magnificent.

FORGET THE BOXER! GET A LAB!

I own a Boxer and I definitely feel comfortable suggesting the breed for your circumstance. My boxer’s 110lbs (quite huge for the breed) and the most gentle dink of a dog anyone could ask for (he just loves life). He was also very easy to train and a great friend. The short life span (10 years or so) is fairly common among all large breeds. Though boxers can be prone to skin/tumor complications. This can be attibuted to the fact that we’re talking about purebreds and all purebreds have some form of predisposition.

Go with a lab. I have a 8 month old yellow lab and I must say they are the best breed of dogs for children. I have a four year old son who is tough on our dog and it doesn’t even bother him at all. In fact he comes back for more! The lab breed is a dog who loves to be around people especially those who care for him and they are protective of owners! Good luck ! Oh btw DO NOT buy from a pet store they get their dogs from puppy mills which are horrible places for puppies!

Boxers are awsome dogs. I would get a female though, male dogs in general are a pain in the ass, I am about to shoot my fucking dog. He is an asshole.

If you go with a mixed breed you avoid a lot of the ‘pure’ breed problems such as blindness, hip problems, skin problems, etc. A breeder’s guarentee is pretty hollow when a dog you are attached to is sick. A mix of ‘mostly’ what you want is a good place to start, and many rescue groups have TONS of puppies to place. I suggest you avoid getting an older dog, unless you know the previous owner very well. I have adopted two adult animals and gotten completely screwed on both.