What can I do about my boxer dog destructive behavior?

Our question this week was:

My male boxer is 14-months-old and has started engaging in a destructive behavior pattern. From day one, he has been nothing short of the perfect pet and family member. There has never been a shortage of attention. I am retired, so I am with him constantly. Housebreaking was relatively easy. Recently, he just walked off and went to lay down in his bed (an open cage). The next day, I found he had chewed a hole in the wall, the size of a basketball. He also seems to be exerting some independence, and doesn't come back to me until he wants to. I have his food and water dishes in a molded type table that he was turning over daily. I seemed to resolve that problem by filling it with 50lbs of sand.


Dan Fisher


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that your 14-month old boxer is having some behavioral issues including destructive behavior and maybe some dominance questions.

I'd recommend that you consider obedience training with your dog. Boxers are smart dogs and do well to have plenty of mental and physical activity. I think obedience training may be useful to make sure your dog knows who is top dog (you!).

I'd also make sure your dog has plenty of activity and exercise time. Some dogs will become destructive due to anxiety or boredom. Make sure your dog has plenty of time to run and release any pent up energies every day.

A couple articles that might be helpful to you are How to Deal with a Chewing, Destructive Dog and Dominance Aggression Assessment.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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