French Waterdog “Carla” is just at the beginning of her 1,5 to 2-year long education. When selecting her, the trainer made sure to pick a very calm puppy.
Of course, her personality will develop as she grows up. Dogs are no different here from humans. That´s why it is not possible to predict with 100% certainty how a puppy will develop over time.
Not only her genetics, but also her environment and experiences will play an important role. Carla was one of the calmer puppies in the litter and thereby lets her trainer hope that she will grow up to be a similarly calm dog.
Right now Carla is 5 months old and starting a phase of her life where she is naturally more playful and rambunctious. Although she is full of energy and joy, she is still able to calm down quickly. When it is time to learn something new, she is very motivated to learn and highly concentrated.
That is the ideal mix for a great assistance dog: A Dog that is motivated, has enough energy, but at the same time is able to switch to a calm and relaxed state of mind.
Since she enjoys learning so much, Carla has already acquired a few skills through play: She loves apporting items and has even learned to empty the washing machine! Of course, she is not in official training yet, and exercises are short and playful, so she does not feel stressed by them. Her primary task right now is to grow and develop into a well-socialized, friendly and healthy candidate. This means all the little things a dog needs to learn before they enter official training: To be able to stay alone, not to jump up on people, keep the house clean, follow the signals for “sit” and “lay down”, to walk leisurely at the leash and to react calmly to other dogs.
It is not yet determined who Carla will help once she graduates. This will be decided once she has grown older, and her health and temperament can be properly assessed. “She loves to help in the household”, her trainer notices. That´s of primary importance with an assistance dog: that she enjoys learning and working — a strong “will to please.” We wish Carla and her trainer continued success and are excited to follow her development.