It is the mission of Lighthouse Boxer Rescue to assist Boxer Dogs who find themselves homeless, hungry, neglected and/or abused; to educate the public on responsible pet care, training and breeding; to offer services that will help reunite lost dogs with their owners; we are committed to helping these souls regardless of age, color or condition.

Notes From the Doctor

All information is compliments of our Veterinarian and volunteer, Lisa White, D.V.M

Canine Developmental Stages 

  • Neonatal

-Birth to 12 days

-Learning begins

-Can’t see at all, very little hearing, mostly immobile.

  •  Transitional

-13-20 days

-Eyes open, can hear, begins to walk.

-Begins to eliminate without stimulation from the mother.

  •  Primary Socialization

-3-7 weeks

-Vision begins to improve.

-Learns species-specific behavior –biting, chasing, posturing, barking.

-Starts to learn bite-inhibition from littermates.

-Starts to play with littermates.

  •  Fear Impact Period / Secondary Socialization

-7-14 weeks

-Most important stage, experiences in this stage will have the strongest impact on future behavior.

-Bad experiences start to have strong influence on the puppy and can have lasting impact.

-Most rapid learning occurs at this stage.

  •  Juvenile

-Between socialization and puberty.

-Puppies will begin testing boundaries.

-Most height growth occurs during this stage.

-Adult teeth are coming in and the hair coat will start to look like the adult hair coat.

  •  Adolescent

-From puberty to social maturity.

-“Teenage years.”

-Puppies may test your patience…and your rules.

  •  Second Fear Impact Period******

-Occurs somewhere between 5 months and 1 year old.

-Is thought to last for as long as 3 weeks.

-The physiology behind this stage is not completely understood

-It is critical for owners to be aware of this stage.

-The dog may start to become shy around new things or people.

-Always avoid confrontation in situations where the puppy is uncomfortable.

-Build confidence through positive experiences and clicker training. 

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Crate Training

Lisa White DVM

  • Your dog’s crate should always be a safe and positive place for your dog.  It should never be used as punishment.
  •  The crate is a vital part of a safe puppyhood for dogs.  It protects them from the dangerous combination of household items (electrical wires, furniture, and cleaners) and boredom.
  • The crate can also help with house training.  They will build up muscles needed to “hold it” for longer periods of time.  While housetraining is occurring, your dog’s crate only needs to be big enough for your dog to stand and turn around comfortably.  Once your dog is housetrained, use as big of a crate as you would like. 
  • The crate can be used when your dog is over stimulated and needs a time out to calm down.  This is not the same as using the crate as punishment.  The puppy should be calmly placed in their crate.   
  • When you leave for work for the day, give the puppy a Kong toy when he enters his crate.  This will not only combat boredom, but will help to create a positive correlation between treats and the crate for the dog.

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Help!!! My Dog Refuses to Come When Called!

Lisa White DVM

 This is a common problem, especially in adolescent aged dogs and highly active dogs.  I had this same issue with my boxer when she was about 1.  Here’s the solution…

First, let us look at this from your dog’s prospective.  Chase is one of the best and more fun games to the dog.  You have more than likely inadvertently “taught” your dog that you will play this game with him after you’ve called his name 12 times from the back door.  Sometimes you will see the dog outside in a play bow position as you call his name for the 11th time. 

The other thing that could be the dog has realized that when you call them all the fun is over.  They begin to associate being called with the fact that it’s time to go in her crate for the work day, it’s time to leave the dog park, or it’s time for the play date with dog friends to end. 

Here’s the easy solution to this problem.  First of all, never punish your dog for actually coming to you. No matter what they stole off of the kitchen counter that made you take off running after them.  (I know this step is hard, but I promise that it is essential) If something bad happens every time they come when called, they will stop doing it. 

The next step is pretty easy.  When your dog is outside playing in the yard, grab some high valued treats and go out in the middle of the yard.  Call the dog’s name and throw the treats in the dog’s direction when she looks up at you.  Then, just go walking back into the house.  Do this a couple of times each time that the dog goes outside, but start calling for your dog when you are closer to the house as the sessions continue.

If you have this issue at dog parks or play dates, use the same procedure in these places too.

My own dog was markedly improved in about one week.

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Resource Guarding

Lisa White DVM

             Resource guarding refers to any aggressive or defensive behavior aimed at protecting a valuable object from a perceived threat.  Favorite toys, treats, food objects, furniture, and even people can be the source of these aggressive displays.  These dogs are not showing displays of “dominance.”  That theory was disproven decades ago.  In truth, they are showing frustration and insecurity.  Treatment protocols involve teaching the dog to be calm around their favored resource.

            The simplest solution in mild cases or those related only to one certain toy or treat is that the animal is no longer permitted to have that object when there are others around.  The animal can still enjoy its prized “possession” but no one is in danger of being bitten.

            There are several good protocols to help dogs and owners work through issues that are more complicated.  Please schedule a consultation and I will be more than happy to help you and your dog work through this issue.

Prevention:

Some trainers will recommend periodically taking the food bowl away from the puppy while he or she is eating.  This action is many times more likely to actually cause anxiety and frustration than to prevent problems.  Here’s a better solution: start from a few paces away from your puppy while he is eating.  Next, toss a piece of cheese or higher valued treat item towards the puppy’s bowl.  Over the next few days, continue this exercise until you are actually sitting next to the puppy while he is eating and occasionally adding tasty treats to the bowl.  Every member of the household should participate in this exercise.  Visitors can play too! 

With this protocol, we are forming a positive association of humans being near the food bowl for the puppy.