Raising a Puppy: 16th week in his new home
A day in the life with Bruno the Boxer puppy. Bruno's sixteenth week - 22 weeks old, 52 pounds, 21½ inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders (the withers).
5 months old
Bruno has now graduated to the last notch on his collar. Once he outgrows this last setting, he'll need a new, larger collar.
It's been raining for four days straight. Everyone's going stir crazy, dogs and kids included. So the kids went outside and played in the rain with Bruno. Then they all came in and dried off next to the fire.
The kids were eating a snack at the living room coffee table. While they were eating, they caught Bruno chewing on the end of the coffee table and told him "No." Looks like they caught him before he caused too much damage. I was watching Bruno to see if he would do it again so I could correct him. I didn't see him chew the table, however he did jump up at the table to try and steal some crumbs that were left from the kids’ snack. I immediately walked over to Bruno, "Aaaatttt!!!" He jumped down right away. He'd never jumped up at a table inside the house before. That was the first time. Puppies are not born knowing the rules. It's our jobs as their owners to teach them the rules of the house, correcting them over and over again, for as long as it takes for them to really learn what is allowed and what is not. Consistency is important from every member of the family, including the kids.
People often remark about how calm Bruno is. It even got me wondering. After all, he's a Boxer, should he not be a little spastic? He checked out well at the vet, but in the back of my mind, I always kind of wondered about it. Well I think I have found my answer; it's rained here for five days straight, therefore Bruno has missed his walks. Sure, we took him out and played ball in the rain and tossed the ball around the house. Even ran around a bit outside in the rain, but nothing like the amount of exercise he is used to.
As the rainy days went on, Bruno became more and more restless. He started pacing, chasing his tail and running all over the house like a nutcase. Jumping high into the air, tossing his toys all around and pouncing on them, even late at night, when he is usually crashed for the night. While Bruno did look very happy about chasing his tail, I knew this was not normal behavior for a balanced dog. It is also not normal for a dog to pace.
I now see a direct relation between his hyperactivity and the amount of walks he receives. Tossing a ball and having the kids run around with him in the rain does not cut it. The dog needs to walk.
As soon as things dry up we'll be back on schedule, however for now the treadmill will have to do. The treadmill is still new to him, so we are taking it easy. I call him up onto it, and when he first gets on, I give him a small piece of cheese. Then I start it up on the slowest setting and slowly speed it up a few clicks while I raise the incline. I keep him at a moderately fast-paced walk, but raise the incline quite a bit. I hold a slice of cheese in front of him and every once in a while I let him lick some from my finger.
The purpose of the cheese is so Bruno sees the treadmill as a positive experience. I stand right in front of him so he is walking toward me. I can also reach all of the buttons and easily hold his lead.
Bruno had two treadmill walks today. This morning I put him on for only ten minutes. I could tell he was not so sure about it, so I kept it short.
I waited until he was walking well for a couple of minutes before I hit the stop button. Then I made him stay on the track for a little while before telling him he could jump down. It's important that I am always the one who ends the session, or he'll start jumping off whenever he pleases.
Later on the same day I put him back on for 20 minutes at a nice steady pace, and slowly raised the incline quite a bit. This time Bruno seemed much more at ease. Once again I used tiny bits of cheese to make it a rewarding experience. After walking up a steep hill at a nice pace for 20 minutes I noticed he was getting a bit tired. I lowered the incline and stopped the track. I told him to stay for a few minutes and gave him a few more licks of cheese. Then I called him off.
Bruno is back to his happy, calm self.
Bruno Joins the Great Pyrenees
After five days, it finally stopped raining. All of the animals were let out, including the chickens, ducks, peacocks and guinea fowl. This means we have to worry about foxes (there are several of them) that would surely be hungry and looking for a meal. The back gate was opened up to allow the Great Pyrenees into the five-acre horse field. The Pyrenees now had access to the back woods and this field. Foxes usually come through this field when they are on the hunt for one of our birds. Bruno is able to squeeze through the front gate and get into this field as well. He does this often.
The first thing the Great Pyrenees do when put into a new area is walk the borders. Bruno decided to join them. He walked the entire border with them two times over.
While the Great Pys were very serious about their work of staking out the border, smelling around for anything that didn't belong, to Bruno it was all a game.
Hey guys, wait for me!
Checking out the border on the upper part of the field.
Checking out the horses.
"OK, I think we are OK for now. No signs of any foxes, but we better keep watch just in case."
Bruno was having a good old time with Tundra and Tacoma. Not sure if Bruno knew what the Pys were looking for or not. He seemed more interested in play. He is only a 5-month-old pup, so I suppose even if he did know what the Pyrenees were up to, he'd still have play on his mind.
Bruno was trying to play with Tacoma. I thought to myself, "Oh Bruno, she doesn't want to play." However, I was wrong; Bruno was able to get the usually very serious Pyrenees to lighten up and play.
Yes, I do believe they are friends.
Late Night Gator Run
We take the Gator out for a late-night drive through the woods. Bruno and Allie follow along. On some of the straighter trails we drive fast and the dogs have to run at top speed to keep up. What fun; they always enjoy Gator runs. We drive to the pond. The pond had been almost all dried up, but with the recent rain it filled back up. The dogs run in the water for a drink. Bruno ran in top speed, but suddenly put on his breaks when he realized it was only getting deeper. The things puppies have to learn :-)
Going for Walks
I'm starting to feel very proud when I walk Bruno and Allie. We're walking past barking dogs, moving cars, people taking out their trash and groups of teens hanging out on the streets, and these two keep going with minimal corrections. We went from dogs that pulled toward these distractions to dogs that are only looking. I've been correcting them with a tug when they look in the direction of the distraction, to which they have been responding very well. I know the next level would be for them to react by pulling. My goal is to not let it get that far. The dog backpack makes a huge difference. A few times I forgot to bring it along on our walks. The difference in the way Bruno walked made me swear I would never forget it again. Without the pack I am constantly reminding Bruno to slow down, and he keeps ending up in front of me as if he's got places to go and we are just not walking fast enough. With the pack Bruno walks right next to Allie and me. He picks his feet up higher and walks as if he is proud. He doesn't even try to get ahead. He paces himself and concentrates on carrying his pack, which has a water bottle inside the compartments on each side.
I am still working on teaching Bruno not to try and play while we are walking. I have tried just about everything, from blocking with my body, using a short verbal correction to tugging on his lead. I even said out loud, "Bruno, service dogs don't play while on the job!" but that didn't work either ;-) I tried walking them on either side of me, Bruno on the right and Allie on the left. Bruno would slow down and then from behind me, start play-biting on Allie again. Allie will keep walking, ignoring his attempt to start a game on the walk, but Bruno keeps trying. With my corrections, he'd stop for a second, but then he'd be right back at it. I finally found something that worked! When Bruno turned to Allie and was about to play-bite her, I bit Bruno in the neck with my fingers. Bruno immediately responded by walking nicely once again. I understand all of these concepts of communicating to a dog that I have learned from Cesar Millan, but it still amazes me just how well they work and how easy it can be. I just touched Bruno, I didn't yell, didn't get upset, didn't smack him or yank on him. I just touched him in a semi-stern way. I felt like something clicked and Bruno's play mode was turned off, when actually what I did was tell Bruno to stop in a way HE could understand. It was not time to play and he was fine with that; I just needed to tell him.
Allie and Bruno after their walk. They are crashed for the night.
Bad Puppy Moments
Bruno was outside eating cat food again. I was in the house looking out the window. Every time I saw him looking at the table I knocked on the window, "Aaaatttt!" Bruno eventually gave up. He walked away from the cats, but not before he ate some cat food...
…which he so graciously gave back to me a few minutes later.
A couple of days later, Bruno strikes again! He's now tall enough to easily reach the food.
BUSTED! "Hey! Down!" Bruno jumps down. I walked outside and told him to get away from the table. Bruno is done sneaking cat food for the day, however, every time Bruno jumps up at the table I am inside the house and he is outside. I don't feel like I ever got a good correction in at the moment he started jumping. With that, and the fact that he knows how tasty that food is, I know we're not done with this issue just yet.
Bruno, the Cats and Another Mouse
I looked out the window and saw Bruno standing over three of our cats. My first thought was, Bruno is about to chase the cats. I knocked on the window. "Hey!" Bruno turned and looked at me. Usually he would respond and walk away from the cats. However he turned back to whatever he was looking at. That's when I realized he was not focused on the cats. Whatever he was focused on, so were the cats. Then Bruno pounced, as if he WAS a cat. I went out to see what he was doing. The cats had given Bruno another mouse and they were letting him play with it. I ran inside to get a container. Yes, I saved the mouse. Bruno's paw was on top of it, he was having a grand old time playing with it. I laid the container down sideways and picked Bruno's paw up. The mouse ran into the container. Bruno spent a long time looking for the mouse, while the cats just watched him. "Silly dog, didn't you just see that human take our mouse away?"
Raising a Puppy: Bruno the Boxer
- Natural Dogmanship
- It's a Way of Life
- A Group Effort
- Why Dogs Must be Followers
- What Does it Mean to be Dominant?
- Dogs Only Need Love
- Different Dog Temperaments
- Dog Body Language
- Stopping Fights Among your Pack
- Dog Training vs. Dog Behavior
- Punishment vs. Correction in Dogs
- Are you setting your dog up for failure?
- Lack of Natural Dog Behavior Knowledge
- The Grouchy Dog
- Working with a Fearful Dog
- Old Dog, New Tricks
- Understanding a Dog's Senses
- Listen to the Dogs
- The Human Dog
- Projecting Authority
- My Dog was Abused
- Successfully Adopting a Rescue Dog
- Positive Reinforcement: Is it enough?
- Adult Dog and the New Puppy
- Why Did My Dog Do That?
- Proper Way to Walk a Dog
- The Walk: Passing Other Dogs
- Introducing Dogs
- Dogs and Human Emotions
- Do Dogs Discriminate?
- The Intuition of a Dog
- Speaking Dog
- Dogs: Fear of Storms and Fireworks
- Providing a Job Helps Dog with Issues
- Teaching Dogs to Respect the Kids
- Proper Human to Dog Communication
- Rude Dog Owners
- Canine Feeding Instincts
- Human to Dog No-No's: Your Dog
- Human to Dog No-No's: Other Dogs
- FAQ About Dogs
- Small Dogs vs. Medium and Large Dogs
- Separation Anxiety in Dogs
- Dominant Behaviors in Dogs
- The Submissive Dog
- Bringing Home the New Human Baby
- Approaching a Dog
- Top Dog
- Establishing and Keeping Alpha Position
- Alpha Boot Camp for Dogs
- Guarding Furniture
- Stopping a Jumping Dog
- Using Human Psychology on Jumping Dogs
- Dogs Chasing Cars
- Training Collars. Should they be used?
- Spaying and Neutering your Dog
- Submissive Peeing
- An Alpha Dog
- Who's More Prone to Fight, Male or Female Dogs?
- Whelping: Puppy Nipple Guarding
- The Truth behind the Pit Bull Terrier
- Protecting Your Puppy from Dog Attacks
- Chaining Dogs
- SPCA High-Kill Shelter
- A Senseless Death, a Misunderstood Dog
- Amazing What a Little Leadership Can Do
- Transforming a Rescue Dog
- DNA Canine Breed Identification
- Raising a Puppy
- Raising an Alpha Puppy
- Raising a Middle of the Road Puppy
- Raising a Back of the Line Puppy
- Stages of Puppy Development
- Introducing a New Crate to a Puppy or Dog
- Puppy Temperament Test
- Puppy Temperaments
- A Dog Fight - Understanding your Pack
- Understanding your puppy or dog
- Runaway Dog!
- Socializing your Dog
- Should I Get a Second Dog
- Is your Dog Out of Control?
- Illusion Dog Training Collar
- Top Dog Photos
- Training your Puppy or Dog
- Puppy Biting
- Deaf Dogs
- Are You Ready for a Dog?
- Breeders vs. Rescues
- Find the Perfect Dog
- Caught in the Act
- The Pack of Dogs is Here!
- Recommended Dog Books and DVDs
- Need to find your dog a home?