Let me start with the car ride home from Desiree's. It was as if I didn't even have a dog in the the car. He just sat in the back seat and looked around for a while and then just laid down. He never tried to come up to the front seat or even make a sound. My cousin Raya wanted to hold him so we pulled over at an exit and actually put him in the front seat so she could put him on the ride back. when I got him home, we walked around the neighborhood for a little while and then he just went to sleep.
The first few days he was still on Desiree's schedule of being walked early in the morning, so like clockwork at 6:30am, he would wake me up to take him out. With myself being off the last couple weeks it was tough for me to get up but it was good for us to get out early and started the day. The first week he was marking up the ENTIRE neighborhood and letting everyone know that he had arrived. Literally, EVERY tree, street sign, pole, etc. was marked. He wants to play with every dog he meets no matter how big or small. There are a lot of the toy breeds around these day and they get a little scared but they quickly see that he just wants to play and that he's not aggressive. He and the other female Boxer, Luna, in my building has become very good friends and they play very nicely. Well.. as nice as two young Boxers can be.
He is very observant of all the things that are going on around him. All the people, the sounds and cars/firetrucks and garbage trucks. It's very new to him but he watches everything and everyone and I can see that he is taking it all in and accepting his new surroundings. Two nights ago he met a group of firefighters that he was a little cautious of with their suits and all their gear. He didn't know what to make of them even though a couple of them came up to him to pet him. Regular people though, he wants to go up to everyone that walks by and say hi. And by "Hi", I mean jump up on them. We are working on not jumping and being calm around people and it is really working. He is learning that the better behaved he is the more people like him. But he wouldn't be a Boxer if he didn't have that exuberance. The kids in the building LOVE him. I've taught him to give paw and they all have a fun time when they play with him.
He is sooo good walking on the leash and he has become a really good running partner. He never pulls(unless he sees a squirrel). When I run with him he paces very nicely right beside me. Sometimes he takes the lead and will run in front of me and it seems like he wants to take off but he will not pull on the leash. It's really amazing as if he knows that if he pulls me I will be off balance and may fall. I also let him run off leash at the park with me and he stays within 10-20 feet of me (never off leash on the streets). We have worked up to 3 miles and I'm very confident that soon he will be doing the 10+ mile training runs when I start doing marathon training. He plays fetch very well also. He doesn't give the toys back right away but we are working on that. He loves to play tug also! Typical boxer thing...they were bred for this
At home he is very calm. I give him enough exercise so it tires him out so he just goes to sleep. But he lets me know when he needs to go out. He drinks a lot of water and sometimes drinks it so fast that he throws it up. I think that is from the running he does with me and he gets very thirsty. Now I give him a little water when I get back from our walks/runs, then 20 mins later give him some more. He watches everything I do and tries to understand me which I think is so great. Whether I'm exercising at home or doing chores. One thing I learned from my old dog is that importance of eye contact. An obedient and trainable dog is one that makes a lot of eye contact and is looking for guidance from their owners. He is always watching me and always listening to me. Inside the apt he is very wary of noises out in the halls and very protective. If he hears something strange he will run up to the door and start to growl. But the building is very safe to nothing to really worry about but I let him do it since he is instinctively protective.
He has learned very quickly not to jump up on the couch and my bed. I bought him his own dog bed and he really likes it. He goes to sleep on in during the day and at night I move it into the bed room so he can sleep in the room with me but not on the bed. But early in the morning he will sneak up on my bed very quietly. I can't help but let him stay even though I shouldn't since I want him to use his own bed.
I do leave him in the house by himself when I have to go do errands. I doggy proof the place before I leave and so far he has not touched a thing or destroyed anything. I don't see a problem when I return to work after this vacation. No separation anxiety or destructive tendencies.
I took a day trip to Vermont last week and had the dog walker, Will, came by to take care of Duce. Will used to take care of my old dog and said that Duce is very loving and a good natured-dog. He really gets a long with everyone.
I noticed that he has also filled out a little more since I brought him home. Not fat but more muscle. Luna's owner(the Boxer in my building) also noticed it. I started to give him "Taste of the Wild" dog food that has more protein with pieces of chicken, twice a day. That, along with the exercise get gets may be contributing to him filling out. But I wanted to ask if you knew his exact age or had his birth records. He seemed to be under two years old to a lot of people.
That's all I have for now. Thanks again you guys for everything and I will write more follow-ups on him.