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Raising a Puppy: 46th week in his new home

A day in the life with Bruno the Boxer puppy. Bruno's 46th week—52 weeks old, 85 pounds, 24 1/2 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders (the withers).

Bruno the Boxer sitting outside

1 year old!

Bruno and Trouble the Cat

Bruno the Boxer laying on the outside bed with a cat snuggled up in front of him

Seems Bruno and Trouble the cat have developed quite a relationship. I often look out to find Bruno lying with her. Trouble makes all the calls; she controls the situation, and since Bruno has no problems allowing the cat to be the boss, they get along great. Bruno seems to know his limitations and if he gets out of line, one paw in the air from Trouble and Bruno immediately calms down and does what the cat wants. Proves size means nothing. We have an 85-pound Boxer and a ten-pound cat and the cat is, without question, the boss of the relationship.

Happy First Birthday Bruno!

May 25th!

Bruno the Boxer running on hike. The photo makes it look like he has glowy eyes

Bruno starts off his special day with a 1:00 a.m. hike. Boy, did he enjoy that!

Bruno the Boxer at a pig mudhole drinking

Bruno stopping at a pig's mud hole to get a drink. Yuck...

Bruno the Boxer walking next to Trouble the cat who is laying down in the feild

Trouble the cat decided to come along on the middle-of-the-night walk.

Bruno the Boxer in the pond, drinking out of it as well

Bruno getting a drink in the pond

Bruno wearing a birthday hat and a blue blower in his mouth laying on the ground surrounded by three kids in party hats with blowers

Happy First Birthday, Bruno! Bruno gets a party hat and a noisemaker.

A Cake being prepared for Bruno the Boxer by three kids in a kitchen

The kids decide to make Bruno a cake.

Bruno the Boxer laying on a tiled floor next to a 'Betty Crocker' Box

Bruno lies down and waits for them to finish. He's tired; he had just gotten back from chasing the golf cart around the fields. Just as he had gotten back from that run, he spotted Stephen riding away on the quad and took off chasing him through the woods. All of that running combined with his middle-of-the-night hike, and we have one tired pup!

Bruno the Boxer eating out of his food bowl

After Bruno cools down, he gets to eat some lunch.

Bruno the Boxer having a homemade Birthday hat placed on him by two kids

Bruno gets his own handmade party hat.

Bruno the Boxer staring at the cakes placed in front of him, while 5 people around him are posing for a picture

The kids finish some of their cakes. "No Bruno, these ones are not for you to eat."

Amie sitting on the floor with her arm around Bruno holding a homemade pastry sitting next to Bruno the Boxer who is staring at the cake

No Bruno, this cake is not for you to eat either. It's chocolate, and you are not allowed to eat chocolate.

Amie sitting on the floor lighting a candle, with Sara and Jordan on a dog bed with Allie the Boxer and Bruno the Boxer staring at the pastry

Now THIS cake is for you...it's vanilla with peanut butter icing. Topped off with a Milk Bone that is coated in pill-pocket treats. Time to sing Happy Birthday Bruno!

Bruno the Boxer eating the cake while the kids watch

Bruno loves his cake!

Close Up - Bruno the Boxer licking the cake that is on a heart shaped pink barbie plate

Yum! Peanut butter with a pill-pocket coated Milk Bone! Couldn't get much better than this!

Bruno the Boxer getting the cake on the floor as he eats it off of the pink heart shaped Barbie plate

Bruno has no problem finishing off his cake.

Allie and Bruno the Boxer swimming around in the middle of the pond

Later on, Bruno goes for a swim in the pond and romps around with Allie in the horse field while the kids catch frogs.

Bruno the Boxer laying in a dog bed

By the end of the day, Bruno is one tired pup. A tired dog is a good dog, and Bruno is one good dog! I believe he had a wonderful first birthday.

The Boxers and the Great Pyrenees

Ever wonder what happened between the Boxers and the Great Pyrenees?

Tundra the Great Pyrenees with Allie and Bruno the Boxers standing in front of a gate

A few months ago I would never have believed Allie the Boxer could actually be standing next to Tundra the Great Pyrenees without fighting. We went from bloody fights to this...thanks to Cesar's Way.

A Very Good First Year

Bruno is being raised and treated according to Cesar's Way (the Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan). It is his philosophy, his teachings of dog psychology which I credit for Bruno's temperament: how calm he is inside the house; how he drops objects from his mouth immediately on command; the way he lies down and waits patiently as I prepare his food, without being told to do so; how he does not beg for food; how he does not push through humans when entering or exiting an entryway (he, on his own, waits for the humans to pass before he enters); the way he does not pull on his lead when walking; how I can take him to an outdoor water ice store with people everywhere, and he calmly watches everyone around him; the way he does not run off, he has no desire to leave his humans. He loves delivery guys, workers and strangers who show up at the house, he does not jump on these people and I have yet to hear him growl at a human. People receive a calm welcome, yet he seems to have the uncanny ability to know just when to bark and guard. I have no doubt in my mind if a person with ill-intent were to come, he would be ready.

I can open the front door wide and he'll stand there and wait for the "OK" to bolt after the animal he hears outside (something I tell him to do—go get the fox). He listens to the kids as well as he listens to me. We can put food down in front of him, for example, his birthday cake, and he waits until we tell him he may eat it. He never enters the off-limits family room, and he never ventures up the steps. He stays in the parts of the house we tell him to stay without the use of baby gates. He never jumps up on furniture(something we do not allow him to do by choice). It's never been an issue with him. How easily he lays down on command. How easy it was to housetrain him.

There will be an object, be it food or a dead animal on the ground, and after a simple "leave it" command, Bruno walks away from the object, no matter how tasty it may be. As young as he is, how few and far between he will chew something up and of course, when he does have something he should not have, a simple "leave it" gets him to drop it.

He allows me to give him a bath, clean his ears, and wipe and put ointment in his eyes without protest.

When we come home after being gone, he does not rush at us over-excitedly. A lot of the time he does not leave his dog bed. There was a time when I would have mistaken this behavior as him disliking us, however after studying natural dog behavior, I understand this is how one balanced canine respects another canine. Bruno is respecting our space (his pack leader's space).

I have learned to recognize the animal inside the dog and in doing this I can give HIM what he needs, instead of only taking what I need from him. What kind of friend would I be to "man's best friend" if I only took what I needed and never gave back?

In return, I have one very happy, well-balanced dog. And hey, I'm even in better shape from walkinghim. There are plenty of times when I do not feel like going for a walk, but I do it for him, because that is what HE needs. I am human, he is a dog; we do not have the same needs.

As well balanced as Bruno is, I know if he were to go to a different owner who did not put the dog's needs before their own, Bruno would not be the same dog he is today. Ever hear the saying "There are no bad dogs, just bad owners"? I now truly believe there is truth in it, however it's more like, "There are no bad dogs, just uneducated owners." Uneducated in what a dog instinctually needs, what they are telling us from their body language, and how we misinterpret them. Dogs are the most misunderstood animals in the world. It is this misunderstanding that leads to so many unwanted dogs; people who give up on their pets and start over with a new puppy, leaving the adult dog unbalanced and homeless, believing they cannot be "fixed," which is far from the truth.

Do "man's best friend" a favor and take some time to learn what your dog truly needs.