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).
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 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 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 getting a drink of water. We were sharing this one so I poured the water rather than let him suck on the end.
Bruno waiting for the kids to come off the roller coaster
Sara and Jordan with Bruno
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 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.
Allie and Bruno waiting while the kids eat their lunch
Bruno cooling off and getting a drink in the stream by the campground
Bruno seemed to be getting hot so Amie finds a hose near the haunted house and wets Bruno down with it.
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.
Bruno back at the camper waiting for a short storm to pass by
After the storm the air was pleasingly much cooler and we all headed back into the park.
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.
The kids with Bruno after a long day at the park
Sara and Amie giving Bruno a birthday hug
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?