Meet Ella Mae…also known as the “Rock Star” of the family. Why? Because everywhere she goes, Ella’s groupies follow. No one can resist her – sweet, polite & cute as a button. Ella was raised in our home, from Connemara’s 2010 Eimear x Duffy litter. We have known Ella since she was 3 weeks old, though we didn’t know she would be ours until temperament testing day.
Speaking of temperament testing – why don’t all breeders do this? The Volhard method is a well known tool for determining a puppy’s natural tendencies at 7 weeks of age, before they have been adversely affected by their environment. Taking that information and one’s observations of a litter, it is possible to make better family-dog matches. I continue to ponder why other breeders do not take advantage of the science available to them…but that’s a whole different post.
On temperament testing, Ella was described as being “somewhat independent”, bonded to the other pups in her litter, playful and not clingy. She was “hard to pinpoint” and somewhat of a contradiction. Just my kind of puppy.
Upon arrival to our home at 8 weeks, I was on a mission. A mission of socialization and training, determined to do everything right. You see, people learn as they go with dog training and when you know better, you do better. This puppy was going to be different than I have ever raised before.
I should mention that I also have 2 furless children and, again, 6 other dogs – so finding time every day and, preferably multiple times a day, to work with Ella was going to be a challenge. My day was already full with taking care of my human children as well feeding, watering, playing with, pottying, loving all of my dogs. Oh, and then there’s that other thing – my “real” job that I am thankful I can work at from home. Needless to say, there was careful rescheduling and re-delegation of chores in order to free up some of my time.
Ella came home and we immediately began puppy socialization play groups and signed up for the next available puppy classes with trainers we were lucky to find, Melinda & Kait. (Yes, classes was actually plural.)
Three play groups a week and not one, but TWO puppy K type classes. Like, I said – I was on a mission – “Mission Socialization.”
Both trainers are 100% positive reinforcement and are stand-up trainers. Thank God they moved to my area because true positive reinforcement trainers were rare in my area 2 years ago when Clare & Gus were going through their puppyhood – and play groups nonexistent. Now, I have an abundance – how times change – for the better.
This blog will share funny, frustrating, comical, serious and random collections of stories about Ella’s journey through puppyhood as well as stories of my other terriers and their adventures in training.
Ella is now a few days shy of 14 weeks….