Her socialisation continues and next Wednesday we'll reach the all important 16 week mark, after which puppies start to become more inhibited and less open to new sounds & experiences. The key thing is to get them accustomed to as much as possible before the socialisation window closes, so that there are fewer new things for them to learn about after that point. Of course it doesn't suddenly stop there, and it continues throughout a dog's life. We will still be doing as much as possible to ensure she's a brave and confident little lady - early signs are very good!
I've been investigating training classes in earnest, and have several possibilities to choose from. I have been very surprised at the cost though - far more than in Toby & Lucy's day, although I'm startled to realise that they're almost 10 years old so perhaps the price rises aren't that surprising after all. You may wonder why I'm bothering to take Diva to training classes - after all, I'm a professional dog trainer so initially it seems a bit odd. But what even the best trainer in the world can't accomplish is teaching a puppy to work through their repertoire of tricks with the distraction of other dogs working, without those other dogs around them! I need Diva to generalise all of the behaviours that I teach her so that she understands that 'Sit' means 'Sit', regardless of whatever else is going on and wherever we happen to be. She already has amazing focus for her work so I don't anticipate any worries, but proofing our dog's understanding is what makes us good dog handlers and builds on the relationship between us.
On the subject of relationship building, I've had a bad run of sessions with Ella - not agility, but KC Good Citizen work. After a couple of bad experiences in the training hall, she's now too worried to complete the 'Stay' exercise which is a great shame and has caused me some distress. I have some relationship re-building to do and it's an important wake-up call to me about trusting my own judgement when it comes to training for my dogs. Fortunately I don't think there's any lasting damage done and I expect we'll complete the training somewhere else. But even if we don't I must bear in mind the triviality of it - Ella's my ideal training buddy, and she doesn't need a certificate to prove it. She's done one better than that, she has the trophies to prove it :-))
Today I'm grateful to my husband for his unwavering love and support, on which I have had to lean on so heavily in the last couple of days. "Love is like the air we breathe. It may not always be seen, but it is always felt, used and needed".