Raising a Puppy: Eighth week in his new home
A day in the life with Bruno the Boxer puppy. Bruno's eighth week—14 weeks old, 30 pounds, 17 ½ inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders (the withers).
About 3 months old.
So far, so good...(still knocking on wood)…Bruno has not gone to the bathroom in his crate or anywhere else inside the house since he was 12 weeks and 3 days old. We watch him for signs of having to go and put him outside often. He is also walking to the door on his own when he wants to go outside. Still not sure what he would do if we were not there to let him out. I am hoping he would bark before he peed inside, but only time will tell. He is able to hold it in a lot longer than he could when we first got him.
Night Time and Morning Routines
Bruno seems to have adapted himself a nighttime and morning routine. I work from home on the computer. On a nightly basis Bruno will go lie down on the dog bed next to Allie. I let him sleep until I am finished for the night. Then I take Bruno outside for one last pee. I take him to the same spot in the yard, tell him to "go pee," which he usually does within a minute, after finding that perfect spot. He then slowly walks back to the house, stops on the porch for a drink, and comes back inside. I lead him to his crate. He goes in and lies down and will sleep straight through until the next morning. In the morning I open his crate and he follows me to the front door, where he goes outside, does his morning business and eats breakfast. Bruno is then ready to take on the day, with several naps in between. What a good puppy!
It's time to apply Bruno's monthly dose of Revolution. Revolution is a topical oil you squeeze on the dog in a spot where the dog cannot lick it, like the back of the neck. It protects him from external and internal parasites. There are other brands that also work well, however Revolution is the only one I know about that also covers mange, which we need because of the mangy fox we have running around this area. It also works for fleas and heartworms, but not ticks.
The "Come" Command
We continue to kneel down and cheerfully yell from a distance for Bruno to "Come!" as if we are calling for him for a hug. He runs to us very excited and we rub his belly and hug him. This is a continued reinforcement that coming to us is a good thing.
The "Stay" Command
I was trying to get a good shot of Bruno for his 14-week-old picture. I told Bruno to "Stay," however Bruno had other things on his mind and he decided he was going to dart off. Instead of yelling at him, I squatted down and told him to "Come!" as if I was going to play with him. When he got to me, I gave him the usual "Good Boy" and belly rub. I nicely sat him back down, "Stay, Bruno, Stay." He stayed for a few seconds, but then darted off again. Once again, I nicely went and got him and sat him back down, but this time I stayed close enough to where I could physically stop him if he tried to dart off. Sure enough, he did and I reached out and grabbed him. "Stay, Bruno, Stay." When Bruno tried it once more I was able to be forceful, because I physically caught him in the act of trying to run. Bruno got the message and stayed for me. If a dog runs off on you, you cannot scream and throw things at the dog; that teaches the dog to stay away from you because coming back to you has a bad consequence.
Oh Bruno, Yuck!
We were about to leave to go out to eat. Bruno was outside. We went out to call him inside. "Bruno, Inside. Come on, Bruno, Inside!" Bruno came running as fast as he could run, his ears flopping up and down. Amie bent down to his level with her arms extended, "Bruno, Come. Good Boy!!" Bruno was running so fast he ran right into her and started licking her face. He put his paws up on her so he could get a better lick in and that is when she smelled it...Bruno smelled like poop! We don't know if he was eating the poop, rolling in it or if he had just stepped in it, but he reeked and now Amie had poop on her shirt and arms. Oh Bruno, YUCK! It was time for Amie to change her shirt and for Bruno to get a bath.
We used to give Bruno a bath in the kitchen sink, however he outgrew that so we started bathing him in the laundry room utility sink. He's not going to fit in this sink for very long either.
Bruno decides he wants to get out, "No Bruno, down! You cannot get out yet!"
Bruno likes to drink the sink water.
The Outside Pen
Bruno still cannot be trusted inside the house unattended. For the majority of the time, he is either inside while we are half-watching him or outside. Bruno is only in his crate at night or if we are going out and he must stay home. On nice days, however, rather than put Bruno in his crate, we put both Boxers in an outside pen. The pen has a dog kennel attached to a fairly large yard area with a six-foot fence. It's almost all shaded.
Bruno constantly tries to play with Allie by playfully biting her neck and growling. (It's a Boxer thing...)
Bruno and Allie
Bruno really loves Allie. He follows her around everywhere and copies what she does. He's constantly play-biting on her neck. Most of the time she does not mind at all and rather seems to enjoy it. She will sometimes start to kick her leg as if someone is giving her a good scratching. Once in a while she'll give Bruno a bark and growl that tells him to leave her alone. Most of the time he backs up for only a second and barks at her, then starts doing whatever it was he was doing to bug her again. Bruno often keeps at it until he gets his way and Allie begins to play with him. When Allie has really had enough she puts him in his place a little rougher. I'll hear him yelp and then he stops what he was doing (most of the time, Bruno is pretty relentless). Overall, they really get along wonderfully.
We have two horses and Bruno is constantly eating their poop. He knows he's not allowed to eat it, and he tries not to eat it in front of us, but every time we turn our backs to him, he sneaks a bite. "YUCK, BRUNO! NO! No kisses for mommy for at least two hours. Go and get a drink of water to wash out your mouth!" I would really like to know WHY dogs like to eat poop!
Oh, dear! It has started already...Bruno is chasing the Guinea Fowl. Our older Boxer Allie has killed her share of them, and now Bruno is chasing them. Not sure if it’s something I can totally train out of him, however I know I can train him not to do it while I am there with him. Allie, our older Boxer will not chase them if she thinks we are watching and she will stop if we tell her. It's when a human was not standing there that she has killed one. As for right now, Bruno is a bit on the slow side, however as he grows up he will be a faster runner. Time to practice walking the dogs past the birds over and over in order to teach them not to chase the birds. On this particular day Bruno stopped trying to get the birds when I told him "No!"
"Mommy, why are you looking at me like that? I didn't do anything wrong...I'm too cute to do something wrong!"
"Oh but Bruno, where did you get that pipe? You know it's not yours!?"
"Oh, that old thing? I found that on the golf cart."
"Bruno, you know that is Bob's pipe and he doesn't want you to chew it up! Give it to me right now. You are not allowed to take things off of the golf cart!"
The Dog Park!
Since Bruno has had all of his shots, he can now go to the dog park! What great fun! He thoroughly enjoyed playing with the 25-30 dogs that were there. What a great place for socialization. It was fun to watch the high-energy dogs chase one another back and forth over and over. You could just see the endless amounts of energy in them. It was easy to see why their owners made regular visits to the park. One owner told me he visits the park every day so his two Golden Retrievers will sleep at night.
We had brought Bruno's blue squeaky ball and that apparently was a great hit. It went from dog to dog. Everyone enjoyed the blue ball. There were quite a few tennis balls at the park as well, but apparently there was something special about the blue ball that made dogs want that one.
While Bruno enjoyed all of the dogs, one of his personal favorites was a 6-month-old brindle Boxer named Jackson. Jackson looked so much like Bruno I was getting them mixed up, even though Jackson was much bigger than Bruno. It was cool to see Jackson playing with Bruno in the same fashion and style that Allie, our older Boxer plays with him—the way they use their paws while growling a playful growl, leaping from side to side playfully biting on one another's neck.
It's a Boxer thing... :) Yes, they are only playing. Notice Bruno coming in for a lower bite. Jackson is dishing out some of the Boxer tactics that Bruno gives to his older sister, Allie the Boxer. Allie was at the park as well. She had just had hip surgery a few weeks earlier so I didn't feel comfortable letting her run free at the park just yet. I was afraid another dog would mount her or jump on her a bit too hard. Her back legs would not be able to handle that much stress just yet.
Another favorite for Bruno was Reese, an F1b Puggle hybrid. Reese's owner told me it was her first time at the park as well. Reese was having issues with being afraid of people and other dogs. After being at the park for a while however, I could see Reese really snapping out of her shell.
At first Reese's tail was between her legs, but after being chased and pawed at by Bruno for ten minutes, Reese decided this was fun.
Another one of Bruno's favorites...Jackson the Vizsla. These two were having a blast! This is Bruno rolling across the dirt while Jackson the Vizsla is about to make another speedy pass over Bruno. These two were really kicking up the dust.
"It's getting dark, time to leave, but not before I try one last time to catch this Vizsla!" Not a chance! Jackson the Vizsla is just way too fast. Jackson kept running back and forth at lightning speed; very playful and friendly, with more energy than he knows what to do with. When we left, Bruno was all dirty and extremely tired.