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Discussion Starter #1
Up till he was about a year old, our boxer, Leo, was a happy go lucky pup even with strangers. Then after a football game my husband went to with my brother-in-law, my husband came in the garage with my brother-in-law right behind him. Now our pup hadn't seen my brother-in-law in months and I believe didn't expect him. I think he was startled, went into defense with raised heckles and wide stance barking full out and even peed slightly. With some ham and my brother sitting on the floor as approachable as possible, Leo finally warmed but only slightly. He has never been the same with guests, especially men.
 

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Just a little background, in case this might help. He is mostly an inside dog with a large house where we do a lot of indoor play, but no fenced yard. With this problem surfacing this past winter and us all having a little cabin fever, could this be a lack of outdoor play increasing his territorial instincts? I also heard they go thru a fear cycle in development, and wondered if it's developmental. Any good suggestions about dealing with phase?
 

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Outdoor exercise has been admittedly limited this winter and is increasing with nice weather. We love the dog park but have only been there once in the last 3 months on an unseasonably warm day. I know he could use more than pottying and the occassional walk.
 

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Unfortunately being under exercised causes a lot of issues, and occasional walks and potty breaks aren't enough. To be honest, they aren't enough for most dogs. To put into perspective, I have two small dogs, both under ten pounds. They have to walk and run at least 20-30 minutes a day, or else I notice changes. A few months ago I was only doing occasional walks with my yorkie. I increased her exercise after someone commented that it didn't seem like enough. I followed the advice and I saw a lot of improvement, both behavioral and physical.

Boxers require a lot of exercise, even 30 minutes of walking every day isn't enough. Boxers are very high energy dogs and need a lot of exercise, I would say at least 45 minutes to one hour a day. Hanging out in the backyard and walking doesn't count.

How cold is it outside?
 

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There is a woman in my neighborhood that has a boxer that she runs with 2x a day (at least a few miles each time), and walks 3 more times a day. If you're not exercising your dog outside, you're begging for problems.
 

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Just wanted to add something:

I was just searching through some "boxer" threads, and they should actually get more exercise than just 45 minutes. It is recommended to have 2-3 hours a day of exercise and training.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone. Just another reason to get in shape with my dog, besides I could lose some weight and what better way. Our weather is breaking quite nicely and we had our best day today so far. But when I took him out for a walk, he was almost always on guard. And when a neighbor of ours wanted to say hi and speak to us, he FREAKED out. As in terrified and got off leash ran straight to our front door. Exercise sounds good, but might have to do it with just the family first.
 

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I know some dogs can regress in training, so maybe he "regressed" in his socialization? Was he socialized as a pup with strangers and other dogs?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes but since late fall, early winter the opportunities have been much less. I think I will gently revisit the methods we used.
 
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