Bruno the Boxer
A day in the life with Bruno the Boxer. 3 years—93 pounds, 24 1/2 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders (the withers).
3 years old.
The vet put my boy on a diet. He now weighs 93 pounds and is at a good weight for his size. Isn't he handsome? :)
Happy 3rd Birthday Bruno!
Bruno turns 3 years old!
The kids made him a “cake” consisting of dog food, dog biscuits, canned tripe, carrots and peanut butter. Dogs can smell each individual scent, unlike humans who would smell it all together as one scent. Therefore Bruno knows exactly what is in his cake, including the different ingredients used to make each item. Understanding a Dog's Senses.
Doesn't this look tasty?
Bruno gets a birthday hat.
Bruno waits patiently to eat his cake as everyone sings "Happy Birthday" to him.
Enjoy, Bruno. It's been three great years.
Controlling the Humans
Bruno is an excellent leash walker. One can hand his lead over to a toddler and he will follow them, looking up at them for direction. He does not even try and pull. He will ignore barking dogs as we pass them. Once the leash is snapped on Bruno is a pro. However I started noticing an issue that I had to nip before Bruno's pro walking skills were washed down the toilet. People who have gotten to know Bruno out on our walks would walk up to him in an excited manner and start to play with him while he was on the leash. Bruno, being a Boxer, would start to use his front paws to play back with them. Some would even turn it into a wrestling match type game, tapping him on one side and then the other as Bruno excitedly pawed back and forth at them. Bruno would love this play, however I noticed that Bruno's manners when it came to people walking by him or petting him while on the leash were starting to waver. Bruno started pawing at people in attempt to play, as so many would with him. I tried to solve this by correcting Bruno when people would get him all wound up, and I would get comments like, "Bruno, I am getting you in trouble." However most would continue to get him all excited if not that time, but the next time they saw him. Bruno started associating seeing people as a game, making it hard for me to keep him calm. Not everyone who wanted to pet him wished to start a boxing match with him, but Bruno did not realize this. To him it was all a game. I soon realized that those who were initiating excited play with him while he was on the leash were teaching him to react this way. When Bruno started pawing at people while NOT on the leash, such as the UPS guy and mail carrier who were just trying to pet him, I realized this was becoming a bigger problem. I had to sound like a mean pet owner and tell those who approached him to do it calmly and to not start all-out games with him while he was on his leash. Beating around the bush with people was not working. I had to say, "Don't play with him while he is on a leash or get him excited." Being blunt worked. I may have sounded like a strict pet owner, but it is the only way to keep him well mannered.
What a Difference a Calm Human can Make
This theory of humans affecting how a dog behaves was reinforced when a clock repairman came to the house to clean our grandfather clock. He was an older gentleman who was calm and quiet. He was not afraid of the dogs, but he totally, and I mean totally, ignored them. When Bruno and Allie approached him he carried on as if they were not there. The dogs smelled him and walked away. When the gentlemen started to work on the clock Bruno walked over to him and was standing in the way. I walked in front of Bruno and pointed to his dog bed. There was this communication between Bruno and I that is so often blocked by the houseguests’ excitement over the dogs. Bruno knew exactly what I was asking; I was asking him to give the gentleman space. Bruno walked away and left him alone to do his thing. He stayed out of the way. He did not follow him in and out of the house when the gentleman needed parts out of his truck. Both Allie and Bruno politely watched from their dog beds. What a refreshing breeze it was to have a guest ignore the dogs. In most cases people who come to the house get them all excited, and then wish to move onto their original purpose of the visit. They start off exciting the dog, right before they wish to be left alone by the dog. I knew having people ignore the dogs would make it easier for me to control them, however that was the first time someone completely ignored them when coming over. What a difference in the dogs’ behavior.
Bruno the Boxer meets Spencer the Pit Bull
Sadly, Allie the Boxer passed away at age 9. We added another member to the pack, Spencer the 10-week-old Pit Bull Terrier.
Meet Spencer, Bruno's new brother. He is a 10-week-old Pit Bull puppy. Watch Spencer grow up in the Raising a Puppy: Spencer the Pit Bull section.
When Spencer first arrived he was not so sure about his surroundings. However as soon as I let Bruno out of the house, everything changed. Spence forgot what he was not so sure about. He gravitated towards this balanced dog he just met—his mentor; he loved Bruno.
Seems that Spencer is going to give Bruno a taste of his own licking medicine!
Amazingly enough, Spencer does not actually jump on Bruno. He just raises himself up to lick his face. Actually, jumping on Bruno would have been disrespectful to the older dog. Somehow Spence knew this. Maybe because he's a dog and therefore speaks very good dog language. ;-)
Over and over Spence gets in his licks.
"Wooo, is this what it is like to be licked by a dog?"
Spence tries to play while Bruno lies down.
"Come on, Bruno, get up and play with me!"
Bruno moves to the bed. "Play with me! Play with me!"
"Aw! Come on! Won't ya?! Won't ya?!"
Bruno stands up...
…and starts to play, matching Spencer's intensity, however Bruno is 90 pounds heavier therefore his intensity is a little too much. Watch what happens next in the video below.
Spencer quickly realizes he is in over his head. He backs down, lowering himself in a gesture to Bruno that he is backing down from his original request to play a rough game.
See more of Raising Spencer the Pit Bull Puppy.
Bruno always sits in the seat when we drive the van. However this is the first time he reached his body over to the next seat. Bruno rests his head on Spencer. Sweet.
Bruno Goes for a Walk
Seven-year-olds Leah and Riley take Bruno for a walk at the horse rodeo.
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?