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

Raising a Puppy: 36th week in his new home

A day in the life with Bruno the Boxer puppy. Bruno's 36th week—42 weeks old, 82 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 and a shed in the background

9 1/2 months old.

Out on a Walk

Allie and Bruno the Boxer on a walk down a paved path with there owner

Bruno and Allie out on a walk at a local park that has a nice walking trail. Bruno, I hate to break the news to ya, but those people jogging by are NOT here just to see you.

Bruno the Boxer sleeping in a dog bed

This is Bruno after we got back from the walk. Oh, he's one tired pup. A tired pup is a good pup.

Practicing Discipline

Allie and Bruno the Boxer looking out of an open door at night

Bruno and Allie practice very good discipline. When they hear a noise at night they often get very excited and want to go outside. Knowing it could be a fox trying to eat our birds, I often let them out to investigate. However, I never just open the door and let them run. They must wait for my command. I open the front door and tell them to "Stay."

Allie and Bruno the Boxer in the house looking out the front door

I stick my head out and smell for a skunk.... If there is no skunk smell outside...

Allie and Bruno the Boxer running out of the house

…I let them rip, "GO!" and they take off like a bolt of lightning!

See a video clip of Bruno and Allie waiting to go outside. It was nighttime and everyone was sleeping except for us, which meant the dogs needed to be quiet, something else the dogs have learned; when I say "Shhhhhh," it means do not bark Boxers, Bruno and Allie Going Outside At Night

Even the kids practice discipline and they don't even know it. Sara made up a game with Bruno.

Over flowing basket of dog toys

Bruno loves toys. He loves to squeak them and toss them around, pouncing on them like a cat. Since Spike the Bulldog could never have a toy because he would chew it to bits and literally eat it in a half-hour, we are having fun getting Bruno a new toy from time to time. When Bruno gets a new toy he seems to pick that toy over the others for a while. At least once a day Bruno goes to his toy basket, buries his head into it and pulls out a toy to play with.

Sara holding a toy up and Bruno the Boxer waving his paw for it

Bruno had just gotten this new squeaky football and he wanted to play with it.

Sara making Bruno the Boxer wait for the toy

Sara takes the ball and tells Bruno to "wait."

Bruno the Boxer waiting patiently for the pink dog foodtball toy

Then she tosses the ball across the room, still telling Bruno to wait.

Toy on the ground a few feet in front of Bruno the Boxer who is waiting to pounce

Bruno intensely stares at it, waiting for Sara to tell him to "Go Get It!" As soon as she does he runs for it, pouncing!

See video clip of Bruno waiting to get his toy

Here is a clip of Bruno starting to go before Sara gave the "Go" command. It shows how Sara corrects him and gives an idea of how you can teach this to your own dog. Video clip of How to Teach a dog To Wait

The kids have seen various Australian Cattle Dogs (Blue Heelers) do this type of "trick" along with other various things like crawl across the floor and pick out a toy by its color. They wanted Bruno to do all of these things. I told them to go head and teach him. They have not been able to get Bruno to crawl across the floor or pick something out by its color, but they have gotten him to wait for things. While this is a simple "trick" to the kids, it is an excellent way for a dog to see the kids as boss in a very positive way. I cannot stress enough how important it is for a dog to see children as their pack leaders. In the wild, a dog tells its lower members of the pack they are not pleased by growling and if the growl does not work, biting. Dogs that growl or bite kids are simply telling the kid they are boss and to listen to what they want. Some dogs are in between; they do not know if they are pack leader or if the humans are pack leaders because they get mixed signals. Dogs that receive mixed signals from their human pack are not happy dogs. A happy dog is a dog that clearly knows his place. For a dog, being pack leader is very stressful; it's a lot of responsibility keeping the pack in order. The happiest dogs are those that clearly know their place, and since humans cannot happily coexist with dogs that are 100% boss, the humans have to be 100% boss, kids included.

I've Been Tested!

Bruno had just finished greeting a delivery man. The truck was about to leave and I wanted Bruno to come inside so he didn't get in the way of the truck as it was pulling out. I called Bruno and he came to me. I said "Inside," he looked at the open door, then looked back at the delivery guy, and back at me...and you know what that little snot did? He turned around and headed back to the delivery truck. I walked after Bruno; he looked back at me and kept going. I started to jog, he started to jog. I caught up with him just past the truck and raised my arms in the air like I was a bear, saying nothing out loud. Bruno lowered his head and stopped walking. I knew I could not correct him at this point, or I would be teaching him there is a punishment for submitting and allowing me to catch him. Clearly if he wanted to, he could outrun me any day. But he stopped and let me take his collar. I took him by the collar and led him to the front door and let go of his collar. "Inside!" Bruno hesitated for a split second then went inside the house. We'll have to practice this; telling him to go inside when there is something exciting outside. If I had known he was going to turn around and go back to the truck, I would have been ready to correct him the moment he started leaving. That is the ideal time for a correction. But he was faster than I was. Next time Bruno, next time, you just wait and see...

Just my luck, a half-hour later the UPS truck came. I let the dogs outside to say "Hello" then called them inside as the truck was leaving. "Inside," Bruno walked inside without hesitating. So far, so good, but I think he needs to be tested with something even more exciting than the UPS guy. Now that is tough. Bruno loves that guy.

A few hours later: I had to leave for a little while and called both Bruno and Allie to come inside the house. "Inside!" Bruno started to turn away from me with a glimmer of hope that he could get into the car instead of coming into the house. Just as he turned I "bit" him in the neck using my fingers like a claw. "Inside," pointing to the door. Bruno turned back toward the house and went inside.

Raising a Puppy: Bruno the Boxer