The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

Raising a Puppy: Second week in his new home

A day in the life with Bruno the Boxer puppy. Bruno's second week—8 weeks old, 14 pounds, 10 ½ inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders (the withers).

Bruno the Boxer wearing a leopard jacket sitting on a black top

Almost 2 months old. Bruno is now 8 weeks old and is really adjusting to his new home very well.

Where to Potty

We are working on getting him to potty in the grass rather than on the porch or driveway. At the breeders, Bruno was used to peeing and pooping on a cement area. Bruno is still not housebroken. He does not have free roam of the house. If he did, he would surely pee all over the place. It is summer and we have a large fenced property and a big wraparound porch for Bruno to spend a lot of time. If he's inside not in his crate, he's being closely watched. We make him stay in the kitchen in case he has an accident; it will be easy to clean, unlike the rugs and hardwood floors where the pee would sink in.

Still Wakes at Night

Bruno still wakes in the middle of the night to go outside. He does his business and is soon back to sleep. He still pees in his crate, but not every night. He skipped two nights without peeing in it, but peed in it the next night (8 weeks, 0 days old). He is still young and we are working on this issue. I have fresh bedding ready and waiting each morning and I wash the peed-on bedding. It is not normal for a puppy to pee where it sleeps, however, Bruno's mother died at birth and he was never taught this concept from her.

This morning (at 8 weeks, 1 day old) Bruno woke up at 5:00 a.m. yipping in his crate. I popped out of bed, ran down and put him outside in the grass to pee. He peed and I walked back inside thinking I would leave him outside for a while. I checked his crate, it was dry. I had gotten him outside in time. Bruno yipped at the door to come inside. He wanted back in his crate. Good puppy. I put him back, he went back to sleep and so did I. At about 7:00 a.m., I dreamed the puppy wanted outside. Needless to say it was not a dream and by the time I realized this and ran down to let him out, he had peed in his crate. Bruno was sitting up against the crate door and behind him, in the middle of the crate on his blankets, he had peed. I was too late getting to him. I took him outside and he just played. Bruno was up for the day.

Puppy Biting

We are also working on getting him to stop puppy-biting humans. He especially likes to bite feet. When he bites humans we make a loud, high-pitched "Aaaaattttt" noise followed by a "NO BITE!" and that tends to stop him, which would make sense, as when one puppy in a litter is telling another puppy he is playing too hard, the puppy getting hurt yelps very loud, which usually makes the aggressor back down. Bruno gets rambunctious, ornery and rammy, but that's to be expected, he's a Boxer after all!

Basic Training

He is doing very well in his basic training—"sit", "stay" and "come"—and he is learning how to walk on a leash. The first week we had him he didn't have a clue what to do on a leash: we had to carry him if we wanted to get anywhere in a decent amount of time.

"Drop it" Command

When Bruno gets a hold of something he is not supposed to have, we say "Drop It!" and pry his mouth open to get back whatever it is he has. When he releases we say "Good Boy Bruno!" along with a belly rub or back scratch. Eventually Bruno will learn this command.

From 7 weeks to 8 weeks

We have seen a big difference in his energy level and wake time from 7 weeks to 8 weeks. At 8 weeks of age he is even more rambunctious, ornery and rammy and he is going to need more daily exercise to keep him from becoming high strung.

Bruno the Boxer Puppy Sleeping in Amie's Arms

As rambunctious and energetic as Bruno is, he's still a baby and when he gets tired he drops like a baby. He is shown here sleeping in a submissive position. When a puppy will allow you to hold it on its back in this position and relax, it is a very good sign of a good temperament in the dog.

Bruno the Boxer Puppy Hanging With Sara

Bruno, even as young as he is, LOVES kids. He can't get close enough. Sara bent down and Bruno walked over and leaned on her.

Bruno the Boxer Puppy trying to climb into Sara's lap

Then he tried to get even closer. Sara was making a calling sound with a blade of grass. Bruno was getting curious.

Bruno the Boxer sleeping in Amie's lap

Once again, Amie sat on the ground and sure enough, Bruno crawled on her lap on his own, curled up and went to sleep.

Bruno's First Trip to the Pet Store

Bruno the Boxer looking at Dog toys

We take Bruno on his first trip to a pet store and boy is he excited! Look at all of those toys!

Bruno the Boxer biting a foot toy

Considering Bruno is not allowed to chew on human feet, we thought it only fair to get him a foot he is allowed to chew on! ;-)

Bruno the Boxer trying to get a toy ball off the store shelf

No, No Bruno! We have to pay for the toys before we are allowed to play with them! His rambunctious, ornery side was really showing at the store. He loved and licked all humans who bent down to say "Hi" to him.

Bruno's First Encounter with the Swimming Pool

8 weeks and 2 days old—in his new home for 1 week and 2 days

The kids went swimming in the pool and we brought Bruno with us. Knowing he had never come into contact with a pool, we watched him closely almost waiting for him to fall in, and sure enough, Bruno fell in the pool so Amie reached out and grabbed him. What a shock that was for Bruno—you cannot walk on top of the water. Amie then brought him in the pool for a swim holding onto his belly. Bruno didn't seem to be enjoying his swim all that much. We brought him out of the pool and wrapped him with a towel. Bruno soon learned that he cannot walk on water. We'll still watch him closely when he is around water, but I think he learned his lesson. I do not think Boxers are big swimmers. Allie, our older Boxer does not care to swim either.

Switching over Bruno's Food

8 weeks and 3 days old—in his new home for 1 week and 3 days

I am working on switching the brand of food Bruno was eating at the breeders to the brand we feed our dogs. The food the breeder was feeding is an excellent brand. The top ingredient is a meat, and not a meat by-product or cornmeal, which is a sure sign of good quality food. The brand I am switching to is also the same quality. The reason for the switch is that I cannot find the breeder’s brand in this area. I have three other dogs that all eat the same type of food and it would only make sense to have all four dogs eating the same brand, a brand that I can easily find in my area that is still good quality food. I had bought a large bag of the type of food the breeder used the day I bought the puppy from a feed store close to the breeder (2 ½ hours away from home) and need to slowly switch over before the bag runs out.

When you switch the type of food a dog eats you have to do it slowly or it gives the dog/puppy an upset stomach. For the last two days I have been throwing some of the new food in with Bruno's food from the breeder. Apparently I have been throwing a little too much new food in with the puppy's old food because Bruno's stool is a bit loose. He does not have diarrhea, but it is looser than it could be the beginning stages of diarrhea. The food change, and most likely the kids teaching Bruno tricks with treats, was a little too much all at one time. There were also eight house guests over swimming at the pool. It is possible Bruno got a hold of some people food that he should not have. I also catch Bruno eating all kinds of odd things when he goes outside. This cannot be helping his belly. He's at the stage where he eats everything. He was even chewing on a dead mole that I am sure one of our cats gave to him as a welcome to the family present! (And to think I was kissing him afterwards before I realized it!) Nothing major has to be done at this point, as he does not have all-out diarrhea, but we must make sure he does not get anything but his normal dog food with only a couple morsels of the new food mixed in.

Accident in Puppy Crate

8 weeks and 4 days old—in his new home for 1 week and 4 days

12:30 a.m. Bruno yips in his crate to go outside. I take him out immediately and he pees and poops. I notice his stool is still a bit on the loose side.

4:45 a.m. Because Bruno's stool is looser than normal he had an accident in his crate last night. I did not wake up in time and he just could not physically hold it. By the time his yips woke me up, my 9-year-old had already taken the puppy outside. I told her she could go back to bed and I told Bruno to "Go Pee." He usually pees on command, however he was not going this time so I decided to walk back inside to see if he peed in his crate. For the first time since we got him, he had pooped in his crate.

Bruno the Boxer Puppy poop in a cage

I had to take his blankets outside and shake the poop off of them, then rinse the blanket that was soiled the most first, then wash all the bedding in bleach and soap. I then bleached the bottom of the crate and replaced the crate with fresh blankets. We use old baby blankets for the puppy’s crate.

Bruno the Boxer Puppy laying on a Barney the Dinosaur blanket in a cage

Bruno the 8-week-old Boxer puppy in his freshly cleaned crate ready to go back to sleep at 4:15a.m. The towel on top of the crate is to block the morning sun from shining directly on him.

At the Vet

Bruno went to the vet. His stool sample showed he had roundworm. He was treated with worm medicine and is due for another dose in three weeks. Bruno otherwise checked out in good health. He's not quite ready for his second set of shots, etc.

Understanding Commands

8 weeks and 4 days old—in his new home for 1 week and 4 days

I am just beginning to notice Bruno understanding general commands outside our training lessons. For example, "NO" and "Come." A week ago Bruno had no idea what I was saying when I told him to "Come" or when I told him "No." We actually do not just say "No" to him, we say "AAaaaattttttt!!! NO!" in a firm, deep tone. Dogs respond better to deeper voices. I believe the "AAaaaattttttt!!!" makes a huge difference. It is mimicking the growl a pack member would make if he was not pleased with the actions of another member. Bruno responds very well to it. We always follow it up with a "NO!" so he learns what the word "no" means.

Nighttime Progress

8 weeks and 6 days old—in his new home for 1 week and 6 days

About 10:00 p.m. Bruno actually wanted to go in his crate. He crawled in and went to sleep. At 12:00 a.m., right as I was about to go to sleep I saw Bruno was awake but lying down. I decided to take him out to pee one last time before I went to bed. Bruno peed on command, but then ran over to the water bowl on the porch and took a good long drink. I thought, great, a lot of good my final pee did. Bruno is still young and I didn't want to withhold his water from him. I put him back in his crate. My husband left for work at 7:00 am and I asked if he put the puppy outside. He stated, "No, he never woke up." At 8:00 a.m. when I got up, Bruno was still sleeping. I had to leave on an errand and had to actually pull Bruno out of his crate and take him outside. He peed a super long pee and pooped. His crate was dry!! What a good puppy. Keeping my fingers crossed that this behavior continues.

From Spaz to Out Like a Light

Bruno the Boxer Puppy being a spaz in the car

The kids say Bruno has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or better yet, BADHA (Boxer Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) ;-) He is a total spaz in the morning hours. This is Bruno in the car, spastic as ever, trying to bite everything he sees, barking at his toys and being an ornery, rammy little puppy. Then...suddenly, he drops like a newborn baby, exhausted. Notice the beginning pictures then look at the bottom row of pictures. See the ornery look in his eyes in the first picture (bottom row). He went from that to the next two pictures, out like a light. While there is no such thing as ADHD and BADHA in dogs, what it does tell us is that Bruno needs a walk to drain his energy.

Raising a Puppy: Bruno the Boxer