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

Raising a Puppy: 43rd week in his new home

A day in the life with Bruno the Boxer puppy. Bruno's 43rd week—49 weeks old, 84 pounds, 24 1/2 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders (the withers).

Bruno the Boxer sitting outside in the grass

11 months old.

Bruno and the Cats

Bruno the Boxer watching two cats fight

Last week I had discovered I was sending Bruno the wrong signals by shooing cats away while I gave Bruno cheese for sitting pretty for me so I could snap some pictures of him. I was conveying to Bruno I am first, you are second and the cats are third.

This week before I started the pictures I tossed the cats some cheese while Bruno watched. Then I told Bruno to sit and snapped some pictures. By the time I was finished snapping, a couple of cats had walked over.

I usually would have given Bruno the “come” command and shooed the cats away, giving Bruno his reward for sitting pretty. However this week after I was finished snapping pictures, I first fed the cats that had walked over some cheese, then called Bruno over to get his reward.

To my surprise, Bruno didn't get up from his sitting position. He did not want to walk past them. I waited a bit for the cats to finish, stepped between the cats and Bruno, then called Bruno for his reward. That was a good sign; Bruno was giving the cats their space. In the dog world, space is respect.

Four cats walking around the grass looking for cheese

I needed more pictures of Bruno. None I had taken so far looked to be "the one." I tossed the cats more cheese and while they were eating I ran across the yard calling Bruno. Come on Bruno, we only have about 60 seconds to get some pictures before those darn cats start coming! And so it goes...

Bruno Goes on a Road Trip

Allie and Bruno the Boxer in the back of a pick-up truck, which has a cap on it

This was Bruno's first trip riding in the back of the pickup truck. Allie knew what was going on, however Bruno didn't. "Bruno, back," Bruno gets sent back to the dog bed, which was placed in the truck for him.

A couple of hours before we left, Bruno was taken for a long quad run to tire him out for the long drive.

Amie walking Allie and Bruno the Boxers in front of a 'Comfort Inn' and a 'Perkins'

After a four-hour drive, we reach our destination for the night—a pet-friendly Comfort Inn, with a Perkins inside of it! How convenient!

Allie and Bruno the Boxer sitting on a dog bed in the back of a pick-up truck that has a cap on it

After the long drive with a couple of pee breaks at a rest stop, Bruno has settled in and rather likes the back of the truck. Time to check in.

Allie and Bruno the Boxer with there owner walking on a path around the outside of the hotel

Since it was a new place, it was important to properly introduce the dogs to the room. The family goes to the room first and starts to settle in while I take the dogs for a walk. The walk is an important part of the process in helping the dogs adjust to their new surroundings. After the walk I bring the dogs to the room. When entering the building I make sure I am in front of the dogs. We get to the room. When I open the door, Bruno starts to get a little excited. The rest of his pack is in there. I immediately calm him down. "Back!" Bruno and Allie are not allowed to walk through the doorway, not yet. What I am doing is claiming the room as mine. It's the human's room and when the dogs are calm, they will be invited to enter. When I allow the dogs to come inside the room, I make them wait for a minute in the entryway; they are not to immediately run around sniffing MY room. After a little bit, I give them permission to smell the room.

This entire process is instinctual behavior for a dog. Dogs living in packs migrate to new locations. The walk before they enter the room is fulfilling their migration instinct. When a pack arrives at a new place, the pack leader checks it out and decides when the rest of the pack is allowed in, hence the family entering the room first.

When the dogs arrived, if they were allowed to immediately sniff anywhere they pleased they would be harder to control inside the room, as they would have, by instinct, claimed the room as THEIR OWN. Bruno may even have lifted his leg to mark HIS territory. However, I told the dogs it was MY territory and they must respect MY space.

We made sure to bring their beds into the room so we would have a place to send them; a place for them to go that they knew was their own.

Bruno the Boxer looking at himself in the mirror and Allie the Boxer is waking up Sara

Bruno sees himself in the mirror for the first time! He does a double-take!

Bruno the Boxer being pet by Sara who is laying in bed

He's very happy to be in this room with is pack.

Allie and Bruno the Boxers laying on dog beds on the hotel floor

It's time for bed and Bruno decides he wants to play with Allie. I get up and tell him, "No," pointing and touching him in the neck. Not now, he must be quiet. I direct him to his bed, giving him a place to go.

The walk and the way the room was introduced to Bruno make it easy for me to calm him down.

Bruno the Boxer laying down on a dog bed

Bruno lies down, realizing it's not time for play. His pack leader says so.

A sign with a dog jumping for a frisbee that says 'PLEASE CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR FURRY FAMILY MEMBERS

This was Bruno and Allie's first trip to a pet-friendly hotel. What a great experience it was. The Comfort Inn really made having your pet with you a pleasant experience. I had been half-expecting the room to smell like dog, however it did not.

Allie and Bruno the Boxers getting there leashes put on

The next day: when taking the dogs out to go to the bathroom, we wait until they are calm before snapping the leashes on…

Amie leading Allie and Bruno the boxers out of the hotel room

…and the humans leave the room first, followed by the dogs.

Amie walking Allie and Bruno the Boxers down a hallway

The key to making sure they were well-behaved dogs in this pet-friendly hotel was to make sure they knew who was boss. The humans were boss, in charge and making the calls, and I must say, the dogs were quite happy about it.

Amie leading Allie and Bruno the Boxers out the doorway

Every single doorway, whether we are going in or out, the dogs follow after the humans have passed.

Amie leading Allie and Bruno on a walk

Amie walking the dogs to do their business. Video Clip of Amie walking the dogs.

Amie letting Allie and Bruno the Boxers explore outside a bit with a hotel and parked cars in the background

When we are walking, the dogs are beside or behind us. However, right now, it's time for them to do their business. Amie allows the dogs togo to the bathroom. During this time the dogs can walk where they please, so long as they do not pull on the leads.

Bruno the Boxer peeing against a tree as Amie holds his and Allie's leashes

Bruno peeing on a tree

Video clip of Amie playing with Bruno. Notice how in-tune Bruno is with her. He has no desire to run off. If she turns, he turns. Bruno is very happy to be last in the pack order. Amie starts the play and Amie ends the play, which is another very important point to remaining your dog’s pack leader.

Amie leading Allie and Bruno through the doorway back into the hotel

Going back into the hotel, Amie makes sure she is first; the dogs once again follow after her. Video clip of Amie walking through doorways.

Amie leading Allie and Bruno back into the room

And back into the room. No need to go for a long walk right now, because our afternoon destination is a long hike in the woods!

Bruno the Boxer peeing on the fire hydrant as Amie holds his leash

Stopping along the way, we walk the dogs a bit through town. I tell Bruno to pee on the fire hydrant, because that is what dogs are supposed to do, right?;-)

Allie and Bruno the Boxer laying on a dog bed in the back of a pick-up truck as Amie sits on the tailgate

Stopping at a Uni-Mart on our way to our hiking destination, the dogs do not even try and leave the truck, because Amie told them to "Stay."

A person holding a bag of poop with one hand and the dogs on leashes with the other

Cleaning up after the dogs...

Amie kneeling on the back of the truck tailgate slightly pulling up on Brunos leash as he begins to jump in with his front paws on an action packer container

Amie teaches Bruno how to use the Action Packer container to jump into the truck.

Bruno the Boxer jumping into the tailgate of a truck as Amie holds his leash with the action packer container on the ground

Good boy, Bruno!

Allie and Bruno the Boxers in the back of the capped pick-up truck as Sara looks through the cab window

Bruno, are you ready to go for a hike?

Bruno the Boxer jumping over a big log. Allie the Boxer is looking at the log

We are here! What fun Bruno is having. There are logs lying across one of the trails. Bruno decides to jump.

Bruno the Boxer in mid air jumping over a series of logs

Bruno, you could have went UNDER that one, you crazy pup!

Bruno the Boxer walking down a dirt path on a hill

Walking down a hill, Bruno spots water.

Bruno the Boxer looking at the stream water as Allie turns back to look at the camera holder

Getting a nice cool drink

Bruno the Boxer following a 4x4 Polaris Ranger

Allie has had enough and there are over 600 acres to check out. The humans and Allie pile into a 4x4 Polaris Ranger while Bruno follows after us.

Bruno the Boxer running after the 4x4 Polaris Ranger

is pup’s got energy to burn...

Bruno the Boxer speeding up to catch the 4x4 Polaris Ranger

And he knows the drill from his Gator runs...

Bruno the Boxer running almost caught up to the 4x4 Polaris Ranger

Super Bruno!

Raising a Puppy: Bruno the Boxer