aggressive 6 yr. old boxer

Posted by hailey-arnold
Dec 26, 2012
Hello - I need help with my 6 yr. old boxer I just rescued. I don't know much about his history except that his previous owners had him locked in a basement for a year. The humane society told me he acts aggressively w/ some dogs and that I'd have to introduce them and see if they got along.

He quickly made himself and home and developed a good trusting relationship w/ the family and I. He seemed to get very nervous when people came over (barking and charging at the door when people pulled up in the driveway). Once you were inside he was ok. When more than 6 people are over he lays beside me and burries his head behind my back and seems very nervous.

About 2 mos. after we rescued a female boxer pup and bought another male boxer pup. He LOVES them. But since he's bitten 2 people. He's much more protective (not sure if it's because of the pups or not). both people were strangers within the first 5 min. they were there.

I'm scared that he'll bite someone badly and we'll have a law suit, or worse have to put him down. I'm working w/ him on the Alpha training and other basic training and it's going well. He's the best dog you could ever ask for when it's just the family around, he's an entire different dog when people he doens't know come around.

Any advice would be greatly appriciated! thank you!
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jan 17, 2013
Hi Hailey-Arnold,

It sounds like your boxer has severe protection based aggression - he's obviously comfortable at home, but when new people enter the area, he becomes upset.

Best thing for it is to keep introducing new people at home. Its a desensitization exercise - the more strangers come over and dont respond to your boxers aggression (ignore him completely when they come over), the less worked up he'll be about visitors in the future.

When you have friends over, if he charges the door you need to tell him NO sternly, and get him away from the door. You might need to incorporate a bit of the time out method into it - put him in a different room til he quiets down, then let him out again. If he comes out all barking and growling, you can try time out again - immediately though, dont wait otherwise he wont associate time outs with aggressive behaviour.

As I said before, your guests should completely ignore him - even if he's barking and sounding totally unfriendly. If they dont acknowledge him, he'll calm down quicker. Let him be the first to approach new people, but tell them not to pet him or say anything to him on the first approach. Once hes totally calm and ok with them in the house, then they can say hello. Moving quick to pet him is probably still a bad idea until a bit of time has passed - just to be cautious of anymore bites.

This is something you need to work on as often as you can. Recruit friends to come by as often as possible. Hopefully this settles your boy down!
Posted by hailey-arnold
Jan 24, 2013
Thank you for the advice Caroline. I will start on this ASAP. Should i have a leash on him in case he tries charging at someone? I know I would feel way more comfortable if he has a leash on. Also would if help also if I took him other places around strangers such as parks?
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jan 29, 2013
Definitely try the leash at home if it makes you feel more comfortable, just dont put too much of a length on it so he doesnt get tangled up. They can be a real help in getting quick control of dogs though.

As far as the park, feel free to try that as well so he's in front of strangers and other dogs in a different environment, just to socialize a bit more. On the same lines, you could look into trying a socialization or obedience class with him - these situations are often easier as the teacher will be able to help one on one as well