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Raising a Puppy—the fifth week in his new home

A day in the life with Bruno the Boxer puppy. Bruno's fifth week—11 weeks old, 22 pounds, 15 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders (the withers).

Bruno the Boxer Puppy sitting outside on blacktop

About 2 1/2 months old

Back to the Vet

I heard Bruno making a coughing sound and noticed he had white snot coming from his nose. Bruno is on antibiotics. We also put him on a bland food and some diarrhea medicine, as his loose stool came back.

Bruno the Golf Cart Rider

Bruno the Boxer puppy laying down in between Sara and Lindsey on a Golf Cart

Just like his sister Allie, a 6 year old Boxer, Bruno enjoys going for golf cart rides.

Bad-Puppy Moments

Bruno is 11 weeks today, and in celebration of his 11th week of life, he decided to pee in my car suddenly! I had him in the back instead of the front as I normally do when I drive. Bad puppy!

Besides peeing in the car, today I also caught Bruno eating horse poop and chewing on a headless dead bird. Yes, the head was missing. Hoping the cats ate the head and not Bruno. I also caught him searching the ground for bits of cat food that fell off of the picnic table where we feed our cats. This could very well explain his loose stool.

A Walkie Talkie with all of Bruno the Boxer Puppys toys in a dog bed

Take a close look at Bruno's dog bed—something does not belong. Hint, that's a real walkie-talkie! No, Bruno, daddy's walkie-talkies are not chew toys! Bruno somehow got a hold of this, carried it off to his dog bed and put it with the rest of his toys. Thank goodness he didn't chew it up!

Bruno the Boxer Puppy chewing a flip flop

"NO BRUNO! You do not steal shoes! They are not chew toys and they DO NOT belong in your dog bed!"

Bruno the Boxer Puppy snifffing a fishing net

The kids went frogging and left their nets on the porch. The dead fishy smell was too much for Bruno to resist. He chewed a hole in the larger net. The kids will have to learn they can no longer set things down on the porch, that is, if they still want it in one piece.

Learning More Tricks

Bruno the Boxer puppy puts his paw in Amies hand Bruno the Boxer puppy puts his other paw in Amies hand

Bruno now knows the "Paw" command; you ask for his paw and he will give it to you. We taught this by saying "paw" while at the same time tapping the back of his paw, then taking hold of his paw, followed by an immediate "Good boy, Bruno" and a treat. He eventually started giving us his paw without the extra help.

Funny story, while teaching Bruno the "Paw" trick, we were repeating over and over, "Bruno Paw, Bruno Paw.". Our older Boxer Allie came over and put her paw on top of Bruno's head and waited for her treat.

Housebreaking

11 weeks and 1 day old. The kids were playing with Bruno in the living room. They left the room for a minute, leaving Bruno unattended. Bruno peed on the living room hardwood floor and immediately after peeing he walked to the door to go outside. Bruno, you’re a tad backwards there! You’re supposed to go outside BEFORE you pee! We did not catch Bruno in the act of peeing so yelling at him was useless. One must catch a dog in the act for the dog to understand what he did wrong. When you yell at a dog, whatever the dog is doing at the very moment you yell is what the dog thinks is bad. Therefore, your dog may get the idea that pee on the floor is bad, however he does not relate it to the act of peeing. This is why some dogs will pee inside the house, then run and hide or look guilty right afterwards. They are confused; they know the pee is bad, but they don't realize the act of peeing is bad. They pee, and suddenly there is something bad on the floor. This is why you must catch your dog in mid-pee or about to pee in order to make him or her understand.

At 11 weeks and 3 days old. Bruno peed in his crate. I heard him yip at 7:00 a.m. and thought I was dreaming, until reality hit that I needed to get up and let him out. It was too late, Bruno had peed. If I get to the crate in time and let him out, he will run to the door to go outside.

11 weeks and 6 days old. I discovered dried pee in Bruno's crate. I have no idea when he did it. It was completely dry. Time to clean his bedding once again.... Oh, Bruno...

On most mornings Bruno will yelp, then I run down and open his crate. I walk to the door with Bruno following me all the while saying, "Bruno Outside." Bruno goes outside and does his thing.

Knowing His Name

At 11 weeks old and during the fifth week in his new home, I now can see Bruno clearly knows his name. Last week Bruno sort of knew his name; he'd come sometimes when called. However, now I can see from his reaction when I say his name that he clearly relates his name to himself.

Coming When Called

We still continue to call Bruno to us for no good reason other than to get a good belly rub and a "Good Boy!" when he gets to us. This is a continued, daily effort to teach him to come when called. We also continue to practice the sit, stay and paw commands daily.

At 11 weeks and 3 days old. we had a visitor come to the house. He was parking the car when Bruno was on his way over to greet him. However I didn't want Bruno to go over until the car was parked. I called Bruno, "Bruno, Come! Bruno, Come!" Bruno looked at the car, looked back at me. I said it one more time, "Bruno, Come." Bruno turned around and came back to me. "Good Boy, Bruno!"

Next day...11 weeks and 4 days. Once again a car came down the driveway and Bruno ran over to greet the person. I called him, "Bruno, Come!" He looked at the car, looked at me, then back at the car. Then he turned around and ran back to me. "Good Boy, Bruno!" Belly rub and back scratch as a reward.... All of Bruno's training is paying off!

"Drop It" Command

I am noticing Bruno is responding to my "Drop it!" command without my having to pry his mouth open. He grabbed a hold of a whistle string I was twirling and I said, "Bruno, Drop It!" and he released the string. Good Boy, Bruno!

Jumping on People

Bruno is still just a little guy. When people come over to say “hi” to him, Bruno's first instinct is to jump up in their lap. People think it is cute and it IS cute, NOW, however it will not be cute in six months. I have taught Bruno not to jump on me by putting my hand on top of his head and saying "Bruno, DOWN, NO JUMP!" and pushing him back to the ground. However, I notice he still jumps on other people when they bend down to greet him. I have started asking everyone to not allow him to put his paws up on them and if I am close enough, reaching out and knocking him down myself. This is important and in my opinion should be taught to even the smallest of dogs. It can be very annoying to have a dog, any dog, jump up on you, especially if you are dressed up. Teaching a dog not to jump on humans is something that should be taught very young.

Everything is a Game

Katie is cleaning the glass door while Bruno the Boxer puppy is trying to get the paper towel with his mouth on the other side of the glass door

To Bruno the Boxer puppy, everything is a game, even washing the windows. Bruno tries to eat the paper towel from the outside of the window. My daughter says, "Mom, I thought you said Boxers were smart; he's trying to eat the paper towel and just fell backwards onto the ground!" LOL, yes, he's smart, but he's still a dog and a spunky playful pup!

Testing his Alpha Instinct

Bruno was eating his breakfast and boy, was he hungry. He was eating very intensely and quickly. I put my hand in his dish, picked up some food and fed it to him. He ate from my hand. I then petted his back while he was eating and he immediately wagged his nub of a tail and licked my face. Good Boy, Bruno! He accepts I am the leader (top dog). He is just a pup and therefore, if he failed this test I'd have a lot of work to do. I will continue to follow most of the rules on the Top Dog page to ensure he grows up knowing his place on this earth. This will avoid any future problems.

Socializing

Bruno the Boxer Puppy laying under a table

We continue to take Bruno on outings on an almost daily basis. Here Bruno is at Rita's Water Ice. He is watching all of the people and cars go by. Whenever someone walks near him he gets up, wagging his nub of a tail as if their sole purpose for being there is to pet him. Bruno also enjoys taking the kids to karate and picking them up again two times a week. He thoroughly enjoys all of the people who come over to pet him.

Leash Manners

Bruno the Boxer Puppy taking a walk at a shopping center

Bruno's leash manners are really improving. When we first brought Bruno home he didn't understand what a leash was. We would try to walk him, however, he would sit down or try to bite it. He didn't understand what "come" meant and we would end up carrying him if we wanted to go anywhere in a decent amount of time. From taking Bruno on outings almost daily and teaching him what "come" means, he now understands what the leash is for. We need to work on teaching him to heel on the leash.

Fun with the Hose

Bruno the Boxer drinking water out of a hose

Bruno discovers the garden hose is great fun. He tries to bite and paw at the water. He watches it land on the ground and looks curious and a tad confused. "Where is the water going and why can I not get a good grip on it??"

Car Manners and Safety

Bruno the Boxer Puppy sitting in the front seat of a van with a hand notifying him to stay

On one of Bruno's outings to the vet, I opened up the car door and was about to snap on his leash when Bruno decided he was going to jump out of the car. Immediately I knocked him back into the car before he had a chance to jump out. In a low, stern voice I said, "STAY!" He was taken aback for a second, then decided to try it again, but was immediately knocked back into the car. This was a serious issue; we were next to a very busy four-lane highway. With an even lower, sterner voice with a bit of passion in it, "NO! STAY! Don't you jump out of cars, you stay. Stay..." Bruno tried a third time. I grabbed his scruff and tossed him backwards into the car, "NO, STAY! You cannot jump out of cars until I say!" I lectured him for a few seconds, not that he knew what I was saying, but that's the mom in me. ;-)

Bruno the Boxer puppy sitting on the floor in front of the passenger seat in a van

This time Bruno got the point. He stayed, just looking at me. His little brain was reeling.... "Hhhmmmmm.... I don't think Mommy wants me to jump out of this car..."

Bruno the Boxer puppy jumping out of a van

I snapped on his leash. "Bruno, come. Good Boy, Bruno!" When we got home we practiced not jumping out of the car as soon as the door is opened and having to wait for the "Come" command before being allowed to leave. This is an extremely important lesson everyone should teach their dogs. A dog can learn these simple commands no matter what is beyond the inside of the car; in our case we were next to a four-lane highway, and there were barking dogs Bruno wanted to go and check out. If you remain the boss, train basic commands, and learn simple communication with your dog, it can be done. I had to get stern and stay confident that he was not getting past me. There was danger outside and he was determined to get out of the car. I do not believe in smacking dogs, as a stern voice along with hand signals often work. There may be those moments when you must use force to stop a dog or to get his full attention. Know your dog and never use force to the point where it hurts the dog. Only enough to get your goal accomplished. We will be practicing this command with Bruno on a daily basis until its clear to him—he must wait for the command before he leaves a car.

Bruno Learns the "Down" Command

Another useful command is "Down." Here the kids teach Bruno the "Down" command. I cannot take any credit for this one. I had not tried to teach Bruno "Down" yet. The kids beat me to it. :) Video clip of Bruno the Boxer Puppy learning the "Down" command. Notice the hand signals the kids are using. There is a hand signal for "Sit" and another for "Down." We actually have hand signals and words for each command so the dog learns to do the commands by both words and hand signals.

Bruno the Boxer Puppy laying in a dog bed covered in toys

I think Bruno needs MORE toys.... Spoiled?? Bruno?? Naaaa.. never!  ;-)