Dog Breed Info Center(R) DBIC

Raising a Puppy: 31st week in his new home

A day in the life with Bruno the Boxer puppy. Bruno's 31st week—37 weeks old, 79 pounds, 24 1/2 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders (the withers).

Bruno the Boxer sitting outside with a horse trailer in the background

8 1/2 months old.

Still a Trash Picker

Bruno the Boxer wearing a dog back pack in a store aisle standing in front of plush dog toys

Living on a farm, Bruno has woods to hike in and fields to run in right outside his front door, however one thing Bruno does not have convenient to him is a neighborhood to walk in. We can, and do, walk to a nearby industrial park and to a local playground. Twice a week I like to mix up his exercise and bring him along to the kids’ karate class. While the kids are in class, Bruno gets to walk around a neighborhood and into town. Walking to the local pet store to buy a bone or dog toy is always a treat. It is on these walks Bruno's trash-picking ways really come out in him. While waiting for the kids to come out of karate, I spotted a cigarette butt on the ground. Before I could say or do anything, Bruno dove for it. In a flash it was gone! I opened up his big fat mouth but no luck. It was gone; he ate it! What a nasty habit he has picked up! I'm still working on this one.

Neighborhood Walks

On one of the nighttime neighborhood walks a man walked out of his front door carrying a very large shelf-like piece of wood over his head. It was dark and from a distance, he looked like a T-shaped hammerhead. Bruno and Allie both jumped back, letting out a very loud bark. Bruno barked again as the man got closer. "No!" tugging on his lead. I stopped and let the man put the shelf onto the curb before passing by. As soon as the man put the shelf down and said hello, Bruno realized the hammerhead-shaped thing was actually a human and his entire body started to wag at the man.

One thing I am trying to teach Bruno is to sit with manners while people are coming out of the karate class. Bruno seems to think everyone is there just to pet him. We are practicing sitting nicely while parents stand outside waiting for their kids and while people file out of karate class. Every so often Bruno will suddenly happily dart toward someone, yanking my arm as he pulls on his lead to say "hello" to someone he recognizes. These are people he sees once or twice a week. A lot of people come over to see him, however a lot do not and he needs to wait until the person decides they want to say hello, not just assume he needs to lick everyone in sight. We will continue to practice our manners. At least he does not jump on people, but he does give everyone a lick. He is also WAY too big to be yanking me around on a whim.

Hikes

Bruno the Boxer with Tacoma and Tundra the Great Pyrenees walking around the field

Walking Bruno and the Great Pyrenees off-lead, I make all dogs stay behind me. We are practicing my leadership over all of them. The Great Pyrenees do not even try and pass. I need to tell Bruno a few times to stay back there. It's his first walk of the day and he's on the GO! Allie was not with us on this walk. With her bad knees and hips, she cannot physically handle as much exercise as Bruno needs. Allie is on a joint supplement along with monthly Adequan shots for her joints.

Bruno the Boxer in a field with Tacoma and Tundra the Great Pyrenees with goats and horses

We make it to the horse field. Bruno, I see you over there eating horse and goat poop! Time to get that pup out of the field before he eats so much he pukes.

Running Water

Bruno the Boxer drinking water out of a hose

Where there's running water, there's Bruno nosing his way in to try and steal a drink. Bruno loves running water. I cannot wait until summertime when I can squirt him with the hose;-)

Bruno the Boxer drinking water out of a hose being poured into a water bowl

Exercise

Bruno the Boxer standing outside with his mouth open and tongue all the way out. Allie the Boxer is getting ready to sniff him

One would think since Bruno lives on a farm he does not need to be walked; he's got plenty of places to run right outside his front door. If I open the front door Bruno has about one acre right off the bat, and when he squeezes through the horse fence into the horse field, which he does daily, he has another seven acres in which to safely run free. That should do it, right? WRONG...if Bruno misses his daily walk or hike through the woods, he's a spaz. He is restless and he starts getting into things. He comes over to me and starts playfully gnawing on my arm; it feels like a massage. He runs around inside the house, bashing into things, tossing his toys around, landing them on the furniture. He's Mr. Spaz Man...

In order for Bruno to be calm inside the house, I need to take him out daily for a long walk or hike or run in the woods. If I miss one day I can see a difference a in him. Miss two days and he is a nutcase. Sometimes I get on the golf cart and drive it through the fields while he chases me just to knock off some of his energy. Now thinking about Bruno living in a residential neighborhood with a fenced-in yard and an owner who only takes him for a walk two or three times a week...this pup would be guaranteed to turn into a destructive machine. I can just picture him bouncing off of the walls, chewing anything he can get his mouth near. He would surely be regularly appearing in the DBI Dogs Caught in the Act section ;-)

Bruno the Boxer walking around outside with his mouth open and tongue all the way out.

Out on a hike, Bruno spots the fox! And he is off, with Allie behind him. Allie usually spots the fox first, but this time it was Bruno.

Allie and Bruno the Boxers running around outside in the woods

Knowing we are in a safe area, I stand there and let the dogs search for the fox. They run around a big circle searching.

Bruno the Boxer running from the other side of the trees

"Bruno! Come, Bruno!! Come on, boy!" Bruno comes running as fast as he can...

Bruno the Boxer running in the woods

"Here I am!"

Side of the dead raccoon head rotting away

Further along on our hike I spot Bruno carrying something in his mouth.... I walk over to try and take a picture, but Bruno drops it before I get a chance. No wonder he dropped it, it's that raccoon head again! He knows he is not allowed to have it. This time it was in a different section of the woods. Boy, it sure gets around!

The Fox

Bruno the Boxer digging into a foxhole as Allie stands near him

Bruno and Allie find the fox den!

Responding to Commands

I am very pleased at the progress Bruno is making in responding to commands. He's still not as good as I would like him to be, but he keeps getting better and better. We have the "Drop it" command down. He will usually drop whatever he has with only one command.

At night when it is time for him to go into his crate, he has been getting right up when I say "Cage." Poking him until he stands up instead of dragging him to his feet really did wonders. He now pops up and walks to his crate and I no longer have to poke him. Just the other day he was sleeping in his bed when I walked over and said "Cage." Bruno woke from a deep sleep, but instead of walking right to his cage, he walked to the front door. I let him out and followed him. He peed a long pee and pooped. What a good puppy. If Bruno has been out in the last hour or so before I want him to go into his crate, I have been putting him right to bed instead of making him go to the bathroom again. He's been very good about not going to the bathroom inside. He has not done so since he was 19 weeks old.

Bruno is still not as good at the "Come" command as our older Boxer Allie, but he is making progress and has really improved. I believe as he matures even more, there is great hope for him:-)

Bruno Lost his Crate

Waffles the Cat laying in Brunos Crate with a blanket, food, water and a litter box

Bruno's cat friend Waffle somehow got a scrape on his back that pulled the hair right off of him, and turned into a case of frostbite.I have no idea how it happened, but it was oozing a bit. Bruno had been licking it for Waffle to keep it clean. But with temperatures in the teens, the poor kitty was wet from all of the licking and I was afraid the moisture of the wound would freeze. Waffle has to be moved indoors. He's a farm cat and not trained to be indoors so he has taken up residence in Bruno's crate. Our kittens are always raised in crates to avoid them from getting eaten by the fox so they are very accustomed to crates and actually love being in them. Waffle is going to have to spend all of the cold nights inside. He's not complaining one bit. He LOVES it in there. He's been purring all night while Bruno looks in and wonders what the heck the cat is doing in his place.

Allie the Boxer wearing a coat and Bruno the Boxer wearing a backpack while walking

With temperatures in the teens with a breeze, brrrrrr...this is one night I would most likely have skipped the nighttime walk, but since Bruno is going to have to be trusted outside of his crate at night while Waffle is being treated, he REALLY needed to go on a nice long walk. It was FREEZING outside. Time to put on Allie's coat; her hair is thinner than Bruno's. Bruno's backpack will also keep him warm.

Allie and Bruno the Boxers walking in a store

We stop in the local pet store so I can warm up my numb hands. Oh it's cold out there...

Bruno the Boxer looking at Waffles the cat in his crate

When we get home Bruno checks out Waffle again. "Hey, Dude! What ya doing in MY crate?" Bruno, don't worry, if you do well outside your crate, maybe we can convince daddy to start putting you in there less and you can have free roam of the house like Allie does. What are the chances you will be a good boy????

The next night: Bruno was sleeping in his dog bed as usual. I called him outside to go to the bathroom one last time before I headed off to bed. When I let him back inside the house, out of habit, Bruno headed toward the kitchen to his crate. I called him back and patted his bed. "Go to bed Bruno. Right here, come on boy, go to bed." Bruno looked at me, looked back toward the kitchen where his crate was, than back at me again. He wagged his nub of a tail at me for a second and walked back to his dog bed and went to sleep. So far, so good. Bruno has been a good boy outside of his crate. Hoping the cat is well enough soon to go back outside. I don't want to leave Bruno outside of his crate on a day I have to leave him by himself for more than an hour or so.

Raising a Puppy: Bruno the Boxer