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I adopted a senior boxer boy (Bruno) from our regional Boxer rescue three weeks ago. He has some minor health issues (ear infection, allergies, tumor on foot, disgusting gums) but I'm getting those addressed and he seems to be feeling pretty good. He was found on the street in a Dallas burb weighing only 53 lbs. - skin and bones pretty much. :( He's up to 75 lbs now and is still pretty thin but we'll get there. he's 27" tall so he's a good sized fella.

He acts like a puppy getting into everything so it's likely he's had no training from his former people -Grrrr! :disgusted: But he always looks and acts repentant when I correct him and he seems to really want to please so that's very good. So far he has learned sit and stay. And I've gotten many slibbery kisses. :)

The problem is I'm wondering if he is deaf or very hard of hearing. He completely ignores me when I call him or clap my hands to summon or correct him. He does not respond to the name that he's had for at least three months. I'm using hand signals as well as verbal commands to train him since he's not responding to verbal very well.

I know he has some issues, afraid of hands over his head or coming at him, afraid of other barking dogs, petrified that I'll leave him or he'll be taken. At the vet he actually fainted when the tech tried to take him to the exam room and I was following behind. That broke my heart! The vet checked him thoroughly and ran a full blood panel and an EKG to rule out any health problems. At home, I must leave the bathroom door open when I'm there and the shower curtain open a peep so he can check on me, but a lot of dogs are like that with closed doors. :) He was not invited onto my bed but he can jump onto it even though it's quite high, and he does. I cannot get him off without pushing him off the bed and I won't do that to a senior fella who might not be able to land upright! So, when it pleases him, he sleeps as close to me as he can get. Quite uncomfortable.

I have not heard one peep out of him since I brought him home and his foster mom who had him for 4 weeks says she never heard anything either. He's so loving and just wants to be loved back but I want to help him with some training so he'll be safe and I'll have good trust in him. He is not aggressive at all, even with his food. We are starting training with a great group here next week and I know they'll have some good ideas but wanted to see if any of you have thoughts or concerns that might help.

Thanks much!
 

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You sound like such a good dog parent. What do you mean you haven't heard a peep out of him? Whining or barking? Sounds like he's a good boy:inlove: Some people just don't get it with dogs, you do. Thanks.
 

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The hand shy thing is easy. Uh ... don't do that. :)

As a general rule dog's don't really care for that. If it's own your hand raised puppy ... that's a bit different. But he is no so for right now and until he "truly trust you." If you want to pet him on the head scratch him under the chin and work your way up. And I'd be Leary of letting estranges pet him cuz, pretty much everyone is gonna loom over him and reach for his head with an out stretched hand! ''

Using hand signals in conjunction with verbal commands is a good idea anyway. But yeah he may be deaf??? When he is in doors and laying down try snapping your fingers with him near your feet, he should at least look up to see what that "sound was??"

And the bed thing ... sigh, the fact of the matter is he "should be Crate Trained" and sleeping in his "Crate." As I know ... but the fact of the matter is with my already Crate Trained Boxer/Pit. She spent exactly uh one night in her Crate?? She was good with it ... I could not handle it ... my bad.

But assuming he is still gonna sleep in bed with you anyway?? Plan B, make him sit and wait until you tell release him before jumping up. And sigh use a cookie to gain some space for yourself. You climb in bed and then tell him up and place the cookie some distance from you. That will at least buy you sometime before he crowds back in. But you know I did get punched in the eye by Bella this morning so yeah ... :)

The group sessions may of may not work ... that depends on the dog?? So you'll have to see?? In any case, see here for two things you should be doing now and seriously doubt either of them will get mentioned. Sit on the Dog and the Place Command.

I have a whole bunch of other stuff ... I should have done but uh did not but those two I have done. :
https://www.boxerforums.com/training/183298-fearful-anxious-flat-crazy-place-command.html

And those things should be done with "every" dog! Welcome Aboard and keep us posted.

Oh and least I forget if he already afraid of other dogs?? Then "NO" Dog parks ... please! The last thing he needs is a bad encounter!
 

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Welcome to the forum and I think its wonderful that you adopted a senior dog and can help him with his health. He sounds like a mellow laid back boy who just wants loving. He could be herd of hearing so I think hand signals are good too. Do you have any idea of his age? With a senior dog I just would go slow and do what your both comfortable training. Hopefully training with a group won't be too stressful for him, you may need to step back into the sidelines if he gets stressed until he is at a distance where he relaxes. Perhaps in time he will become comfortable with group training. I think a lot of it will depend on his age & health too. You sound like a real "dog" person, I think its wonderful you gave him a home.
 

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How old is he? I had to chuckle when you said he completely ignores you at times. I've found that's a real issue with Boxers that can be so stubborn you want to scream! You're in a hurry, and want to get them in the car, but suddenly they have selective hearing that requires a visual clue in the form a "treat" to lure them to their feet. It might even take another "treat" to get them closer to the door. Another one to get them to jump in the car?


If you call him by his new name from different parts of the house, and have a really quality treat (real chicken), he'll learn. If he comes just give him the food with no comments or praise. If he doesn't come, don't say a word, or call him a second time. If you do this several times a day, he'll learn his name.


If your Boxer fainted he may need to have an Echo run, and have a consult with a cardiologist. Ours fainted twice at night, proceeded by a really hard coughing spell, and he had something called "cough and drop". First we had to rule out other conditions with a cardiologist.
 

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How old is he? I had to chuckle when you said he completely ignores you at times. I've found that's a real issue with Boxers that can be so stubborn you want to scream! You're in a hurry, and want to get them in the car, but suddenly they have selective hearing that requires a visual clue in the form a "treat" to lure them to their feet. It might even take another "treat" to get them closer to the door. Another one to get them to jump in the car?


If you call him by his new name from different parts of the house, and have a really quality treat (real chicken), he'll learn. If he comes just give him the food with no comments or praise. If he doesn't come, don't say a word, or call him a second time. If you do this several times a day, he'll learn his name.


If your Boxer fainted he may need to have an Echo run, and have a consult with a cardiologist. Ours fainted twice at night, proceeded by a really hard coughing spell, and he had something called "cough and drop". First we had to rule out other conditions with a cardiologist.
Thank you for the suggestions and the information. I've had two senior rescue boxers but they trained easily and never ignored me. Bruno is a rascal. He's eleven plus. We aren't sure since he was found on the street.

Yes, I did have an Echo run due to the fainting. They did it later in the week when the cardi was in. Nothing showed up. Soooo????

I'm anxious to try the trick you gave for getting him to respond to his name. Chicken sounds good! And for getting him to move from my 6 inches of bed! :cry:
 

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Welcome to the forum and I think its wonderful that you adopted a senior dog and can help him with his health. He sounds like a mellow laid back boy who just wants loving. He could be herd of hearing so I think hand signals are good too. Do you have any idea of his age? With a senior dog I just would go slow and do what your both comfortable training. Hopefully training with a group won't be too stressful for him, you may need to step back into the sidelines if he gets stressed until he is at a distance where he relaxes. Perhaps in time he will become comfortable with group training. I think a lot of it will depend on his age & health too. You sound like a real "dog" person, I think its wonderful you gave him a home.
Group training didn't work well. He totally freaked out when all the other big dogs came into the barn. He tried to hide under me or behind me or on me. It was funny and sad at the same time. One on one is gonna have to be the game I guess at least for awhile. He has learned some things already from my YorkiePoo which is very helpful. But he doesn't realize his size and has squished her a couple of times without even knowing it. We'll get it figured out. :)
 

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Thank you for the suggestions and the information. I've had two senior rescue boxers but they trained easily and never ignored me. Bruno is a rascal. He's eleven plus. We aren't sure since he was found on the street.

Yes, I did have an Echo run due to the fainting. They did it later in the week when the cardi was in. Nothing showed up. Soooo????

I'm anxious to try the trick you gave for getting him to respond to his name. Chicken sounds good! And for getting him to move from my 6 inches of bed! :cry:
Yeah, good luck with that. lol
 

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You sound like such a good dog parent. What do you mean you haven't heard a peep out of him? Whining or barking? Sounds like he's a good boy:inlove: Some people just don't get it with dogs, you do. Thanks.
Thank you! I do love dogs. My first two as a child were beagles. :) My first as an adult was a St. Bernard. Oh my goodness did I love that boy!!

No peeps from Bruno. Nothing! Not a bark, not a whine, no whimpering, no snorting. The only sound I hear is him licking his poor paws but that's gotten much better with some treatment. I thought for sure the sirens would awaken the beast in him. But no, nothing. My YorkiePoo barks at the door slamming two counties over but not Bruno! :(

I took him to the range :2guns: with me last weekend to see how he would react. I expected to have to put him back in the car but he was not bothered at all. Maybe he'll go hunting next Fall! Doubt it but...
 

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Group training didn't work well. He totally freaked out when all the other big dogs came into the barn. He tried to hide under me or behind me or on me. It was funny and sad at the same time. One on one is gonna have to be the game I guess at least for awhile. He has learned some things already from my YorkiePoo which is very helpful. But he doesn't realize his size and has squished her a couple of times without even knowing it. We'll get it figured out. :)
That is not really a surprise?? Typically "group sessions" aren't really that useful anyway?? They work best for dogs that "don't" have other dog issues, as a general rule.
 

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I thought that group training wouldn't work since you had said how he was scared of other dogs. I thought maybe if you stood away fro the group that he may learn the others weren't such a threat. My current poodle was scared of other dogs, mainly after a few ran up to us loose. I eventually just backed away and stood in a driveway where he could see but was far enough away that he didn't react. Now I can walk him and if if sees another dog he no longer reacts . Though I still don't do group training as I think now I'm the one with nerves. In some ways I'd like too as there are some fun competitions and like minded folk. But for now we just walk and when I see something I say Oh look at that, he does and by the time we pass he is good. You really sound like you have a good take on all this
 

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He sounds like a wonderful dog. Can you fit a king size bed into your bedroom? You can skip his breakfast, and just feed it throughout the morning for training treats. Maybe the basic sit, stay and down to build his confidence. The breeder taught me about the training where you call their name, and have a real high quality treat. I forgot to tell you that when, and if, he would come you would just say "Yes", and give the treat. No other conversation, and no asking twice. If they're confused about instructions, or could care less, this gives them a clear knowledge of what "Yes" means. You can use the word later for other things.


I have one that is turning 11 in five months. I started feeding PPP Bright Minds, and I think he's more active on it. I also give Dasuguin Advanced which seems to help with the stiffness.
 

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That is not really a surprise?? Typically "group sessions" aren't really that useful anyway?? They work best for dogs that "don't" have other dog issues, as a general rule.
I took my YorkiePoo to group training and she did beautifully. Of course I got her from a rescue group when she was only 8 weeks old, so.... ;) Almost 13 years later with severe arthritis, she is still doing her best to follow through with all her learned commands and tricks. She's a smart little brat. :love:

My other two senior boxers were easy to train and very eager to please. Bruno lives in his own world and has no sense of his own size. He just loves his food and doesn't want to be left alone. He is attached to me with velcro I swear! Since he appears to be deaf, I think the answer is to just be as patient as I can and work with sight commands and crate him at night.
 

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I took my YorkiePoo to group training and she did beautifully. Of course I got her from a rescue group when she was only 8 weeks old, so.... ;) Almost 13 years later with severe arthritis, she is still doing her best to follow through with all her learned commands and tricks. She's a smart little brat. :love:

My other two senior boxers were easy to train and very eager to please. Bruno lives in his own world and has no sense of his own size. He just loves his food and doesn't want to be left alone. He is attached to me with velcro I swear! Since he appears to be deaf, I think the answer is to just be as patient as I can and work with sight commands and crate him at night.
yeah you got YorkiePoo at the perfect age and he had no issues. Although Yorkies are rated rather high in the Dog Aggression thing as it happens. I knew a couple of them and they were nice dogs and one of them thought my Rocky (WL GSD) was the bees knees, so they can be nice dogs. :)

And yeah as I often said and am now living ... this dog is not your other dog. Sigh Boxer Stubborn and PitBull Pigheaded are not great combos?? :crazyeye:

So I'm struggling with stuff I took for granted with "my other dogs." But one of things I struggled with is no longer having a "Well Trained Dog" to show the new girl the ropes. I leaned on my other dogs to help train the next one ... much more than I realized?? And since Bella has no "People Issues" at all ... I'm starting from scratch. She knows a few things well ... but yeah "recall" is "STILL" not one of them. :cry_baby:

Oh well, moving on, do you know for sure he is deaf?? The hand signals will work but your gonna need more that that depending on what you want to be able to do with him?? And how is the bed thing going???
 

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Thank you so much for opening your heart and home to this senior boy! Looks like he lucked out with a great new family. My boy was almost 16 when he passed and in his later years his hearing went downhill. We knew it wasn't selective because he couldn't hear the treat bag any longer. I found that I could be sitting right next to him while he was laying in his crate talking to him and he would have no idea. However, if I made a high pitched noise he would lift his head. So that may be an idea for you. Another thought was with the ear infection, if he had chronic ear infections if that may have done something to his hearing. I'm glad you are doing hand signals as I always teach my dogs with hand signals as well as voice so when they get older and can't hear as well, they will still know the hand signals.
 

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yeah you got YorkiePoo at the perfect age and he had no issues. Although Yorkies are rated rather high in the Dog Aggression thing as it happens. I knew a couple of them and they were nice dogs and one of them thought my Rocky (WL GSD) was the bees knees, so they can be nice dogs. :)

And yeah as I often said and am now living ... this dog is not your other dog. Sigh Boxer Stubborn and PitBull Pigheaded are not great combos?? :crazyeye:

So I'm struggling with stuff I took for granted with "my other dogs." But one of things I struggled with is no longer having a "Well Trained Dog" to show the new girl the ropes. I leaned on my other dogs to help train the next one ... much more than I realized?? And since Bella has no "People Issues" at all ... I'm starting from scratch. She knows a few things well ... but yeah "recall" is "STILL" not one of them. :cry_baby:

Oh well, moving on, do you know for sure he is deaf?? The hand signals will work but your gonna need more that that depending on what you want to be able to do with him?? And how is the bed thing going???
I surely understand what you are saying about taking things for granted. :oops: I even call him by Tala's name sometimes (sorry my girl RIP).

I may try some group training after I've gotten him more comfortable in the yard and around the neighbor dogs (too many aggressive barkers, may not happen - we'll see). He's understanding the hand signals and he'll be able to communicate with deaf people quite soon. Well, maybe not that good. ;)
BUT - drum roll please - he actually barked LOUD today when we were in the backyard. He must have heard something (so maybe not completely deaf) or more likely smelled something because he walked right up to the 6 ft wooden fence, sniffed the ground deeply and walked along the fence for a bit, stopped, spread all four and bowed and let out the loudest deepest bark I've ever heard! I was shocked!! :eek: Just one bark, that's all. Later in the day when he went out again, he went straight to that spot in the fence, sniffed and barked one single bark. The pit things next door (they are not trained and very scary) went wild so I took Bruno back in the house. I may have to reinforce the fence for safety!

The bed thing is not going well. I can get him to move to the end of the bed but as soon as I'm in, he's moving back up to my pillow. :cry_baby: He knocked Tink off the edge of the bed this morning. :doh: I was so thankful for the big fluffy rug I have at the side of the bed (for cold feet ya know). It broke her fall. She's OK but oh so sore today. :cry: I gave her a little extra in the meds at breakfast today. Darned arthritis! She'll be 14 this year.

I hope today with the bark and interest in the fence that Bruno may get interested in playing with some toys. I tried today again (every day) but as usual, no interest. I bought a monster ball yesterday, when I get it blown up, we'll see if he likes it. Tink will, I'm sure! LOL! :clap2::clap: I just want to be comfortable letting him out alone in the backyard, walking him around the block or down to the park (not a dog park, a people park), and inviting my daughter's dogs over for a play date. But he is great with my little grandkids 2, 3 & 6 yrs. :love:
And rightnow, he's staring at me while he snores from the sofa across the living room. Goofy kid! :love:
 

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Thank you so much for opening your heart and home to this senior boy! Looks like he lucked out with a great new family. My boy was almost 16 when he passed and in his later years his hearing went downhill. We knew it wasn't selective because he couldn't hear the treat bag any longer. I found that I could be sitting right next to him while he was laying in his crate talking to him and he would have no idea. However, if I made a high pitched noise he would lift his head. So that may be an idea for you. Another thought was with the ear infection, if he had chronic ear infections if that may have done something to his hearing. I'm glad you are doing hand signals as I always teach my dogs with hand signals as well as voice so when they get older and can't hear as well, they will still know the hand signals.
I was also thinking about ear infections perhaps having damaged his ears. I talked to the vet when she gave me the meds for his infection and she said temporary deafness does happen but is not very common. I was thinking about a dog whistle. I've never used one so I'd have to train myself first. :confused:

Yes, I like hand signals. I used them for my YorkiePoo because we thought she was deaf when I got her. Ended up being selective hearing. LOL! I just use American Sign Language because I had deaf friends in college eons ago and learned it to talk with them. Not sure I could carry on much of a conversation anymore though. :)
 

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Congrats! Sounds like things are starting to settle a bit.
We have 3 boxers and they sleep with us. We had a futon in our room for them, but, you know, they want to sleep where we are. We now have two king beds in our room so that we can all sleep- mostly. They are big time bed hogs, and I don't think any of them know how big they are. My Jax is usually good to sleep next to, but his brother Tundra has to be laying 'into' you, so it can leave you sore in the morning. Bandit is mostly happy laying by your legs as long as he's touching you.
Whether you have one or three, they still stretch out and leave you with a couple of inches. :)

You may try a dog stair case so he can get up and down from your bed easier. We don't have one, but I have a friend who does and they love it.

They think they are lap dogs- always and forever. It's part of their charm.

I wish you the best with your training.
 

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What rescue did you adopt Bruno from?
 

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Congrats! Sounds like things are starting to settle a bit.
We have 3 boxers and they sleep with us. We had a futon in our room for them, but, you know, they want to sleep where we are. We now have two king beds in our room so that we can all sleep- mostly. They are big time bed hogs, and I don't think any of them know how big they are. My Jax is usually good to sleep next to, but his brother Tundra has to be laying 'into' you, so it can leave you sore in the morning. Bandit is mostly happy laying by your legs as long as he's touching you.
Whether you have one or three, they still stretch out and leave you with a couple of inches. :)

You may try a dog stair case so he can get up and down from your bed easier. We don't have one, but I have a friend who does and they love it.

They think they are lap dogs- always and forever. It's part of their charm.

I wish you the best with your training.
Yes, I have a long ramp next to the side of the bed for my Yorkie Tinkerbelle. She can't even use that any more but Bruno loves it. He's learned to use it to get on the bed now instead of jumping but he won't go down it; prefers to jump down. I wish he wouldn't. That's how ACLs get torn! :cry: So I tried crating him at night so I could sleep. That's a big NO! This week he started howling in his crate ALL NIGHT LONG and then he vomited up dinner. 4 nights in a row. He does fine in the crate when I leave the house for more than an hour but not at night. Very strange. So, he's back to the bed at night. But thankfully, he seems to have learned to go to the foot of the bed at first and then sneak his way back up after I've fallen asleep cause I'll wake about 3:00 am and there's a boxer boy leaning on my back. Doesn't feel very good. So we're still thinking about that and doing some more training with braunschweiger - his favorite (now that I foolishly introduce him to it).:cry_baby:
 
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