The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

Bruno the Boxer

A day in the life with Bruno the Boxer. 2 years old—101 pounds, 24 1/2 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders (the withers).

Bruno the Bulldog sitting in front of a staircase with a birthday hat on

2 years old.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Bruno! Bruno got to practice some good "Leave it" skills when the party hat was placed on his head. His first reaction was to paw it off. He was told to "leave it" so he sat there tolerating it. When the hat was taken off he wiggled his body like we had just played some silly game.

Bruno goes to Knoebels

Bruno the Boxer at Knoebels Amusement Park

Bruno goes to Knoebels Amusement park for his 2nd birthday. Knoebels is located in Elysburg, PA and is one of the only free-admission parks around. Parking is free too and the rides are relatively cheap. The food is great and very reasonably priced. In addition to the rides they have a picnic area, campground and free live entertainment. Best of all they allow you to bring your dog!

Bruno the Boxer at Knoebels Amusement Park walking with Amie and Sara

Bruno got to practice walking by other dogs without reacting to them. He did very well even when another dog barked at him. A simple "Leave it" would bring his attention back to the person holding his lead and his mission of following them. I could see a big difference between the dogs that were made to heel on the lead and those that were allowed to pull in front. The pulling dogs were not relaxed, but tense. They looked worried and/or stressed. I also noticed the dogs that were heeling did not react to other dogs passing by. I was particularly impressed with the man walking the giant Great Dane who was heeling perfectly. The dog looked very happy and relaxed as he walked. The Dane did not care one bit about other dogs passing by. You could tell that dog was secure with his pack, knowing his place and what was expected of him. His mission was to follow and he sure looked happy about it.

Video clip of Bruno walking past the Ferris wheel. What was not recorded was Bruno's first reaction. He had ducked down, a bit freaked out as if those cars were coming at him. Amie walked Bruno past two more times to show him the rides were nothing to be afraid of. Notice how Bruno gives the ride a couple of glances but then puts his attention back on his handler, and boy was he happy to follow her.

Bruno the Boxer drinking water out of a bottle being poured in his mouth

Bruno getting a drink of water. We were sharing this one so I poured the water rather than let him suck on the end.

Bruno the Boxer sitting in gravel with his tongue out and mouth open

Bruno waiting for the kids to come off the roller coaster

Bruno the Boxer standing next to a sitting Sara

Sara and Jordan with Bruno

Bruno the Boxer getting pet by Sara and her friend

Even though he weighs more than they do, Bruno walks so well on the lead that the younger kids are able to hold him without any problems.

Stephen waiting with Bruno and Allie the Boxers

Stephen waiting with Bruno and Allie while the kids ride the Phoenix roller coaster. Allie went for a couple of short walks around the park but due to her bad hips and knees did not hold up as long as Bruno and needed to lie down inside the camper to rest.

Children eating food at a table

Allie and Bruno waiting while the kids eat their lunch

Bruno the Boxer cooling off and getting a drink in the stream

Bruno cooling off and getting a drink in the stream by the campground

Bruno the Boxer getting hosed near a haunted house

Bruno seemed to be getting hot so Amie finds a hose near the haunted house and wets Bruno down with it.

Bruno the Boxer looking at the people have fun

Bruno watching all the excitement around him. I was able to witness firsthand how someone else's excited state can affect a dog and their reactions. I was sitting on the park bench with Bruno, waiting for the kids to get off a ride. Out of nowhere someone walked by with a Labrador Retriever that was pulling hard on his lead. The owners allowed the dog to pull right up to Bruno and the two of them locked eyes as the Lab's owners decided to stop and chat among one another, not even aware of their dog’s excited state. I could feel the tension between them and I gave Bruno the "leave it" command. Bruno had just started to avert his gaze and this would have been the end of it, however at that very moment a man who was obviously full of energy and seemed a bit anxious plopped down on the bench excitedly talking to and petting Bruno. "Hey buddy how are you!!? Oh, what a nice dog!!" Bruno had not had a chance to come back down from the higher level of excitement. Bruno stood up from lying down and turned toward the dominant Labrador who was still locked onto him and I felt the vibration of the lead as the Lab growled and Bruno growled back. I tried biting Bruno in the neck using my fingers like a claw giving a tug on the lead, however my intensity was nowhere near his and I was not strong enough to use that tactic to bring his attention away from the Lab. I stood up and got directly in front of Bruno, blocking his view of the Lab and kneed him back, told him to sit, then down and leave it. This all happened in a matter of seconds and the man next to us on the bench sat there watching, oblivious to the fact that he had just caused it. The man caused it by bringing excited energy to the scene and by giving Bruno affection when he was being challenged by another dog, a time when Bruno's own excitement was high. Excitement creates more excitement. Petting a dog or giving any kind of affection when a dog is in an excited state only intensifies how the dog is currently feeling. If it was a time when had I been asked or had time to react, I would have told the man to hold off on the affection until Bruno was calm. As quick as it started, it ended. Bruno lay back down. The amount of time it took for the man to comprehend what had just happened (although he did not understand 'why' it happened) was enough time for Bruno to come back down from the excitement and the man began to pet Bruno again.

Close Up - Bruno the Boxer inside of a camper with its tongue out

Bruno back at the camper waiting for a short storm to pass by

Bruno the Boxer walking towards the ferris wheel

After the storm the air was pleasingly much cooler and we all headed back into the park.

Bruno the Boxer laying in gravel getting petted by a person

All day long Bruno had hands petting him which he thoroughly enjoyed. When people would pet him calmly, Bruno was calm. When people would come over in a very excited state, enthusiastically talking up to him he'd get all excited and his tongue would start going in that submissive licking motion.

Bruno the Boxer posing for a picture with some kids

The kids with Bruno after a long day at the park

Bruno the Boxer being hugged by Amie and Sara for a picture

Sara and Amie giving Bruno a birthday hug

Raising a Puppy: Bruno the Boxer