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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Education and socialization of Bella, an eleven-week-old puppy

As you know, we have a new puppy Bella, who is now eleven weeks old. She has been with us for two weeks,  and we have been trying to provide a stimulating, enriched environment for her. These are some things that we have done.

Bella went on four trips with me to our woods and pond, and it was a good bonding experience. She does not range far at all, actually sticks pretty close to me, but I like it. When I call her name, she runs towards me at a full speed. We have a bumper crop of blackberries this year, so every trip results in several cups of this delicious fruit. I put them directly into her mouth, and in spite of their somewhat tart taste, she seems to like them, and is always ready for more.

Bella is not crazy about the water, but when she investigates the pond she is willing to get her feet wet. I know how much Mae, her mother, loves to swim, so I hope that Bella gradually learns to love the water as well. We'll be working on it.

Investigating a duck feather floating in the pond. Every time I go to the pond, I see seven ducks swimming there. They are a challenge to photograph, that's for sure.
Last weekend we took Bella to the town park, where there was a social gathering and music. The music was loud, but it had no effect on Bella. She loved meeting strangers and played really well with kids.

She shows no reaction to loud noise and sleeps with no problem in our mudroom, even when our washing machine located there is in use.

Other things that we have done - walks on the leash (she is leash broken now), two blood tracks, and playing retrieving games (she is an excellent retriever). She met our little puppies and was curious about them, and she continues to socialize with our dogs. Always happy, responsive, very talkative, has a great sense of humor and never takes herself too seriously. What more could we ask for?

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