The Puppies Go For A Swim

Sapphire was the first in the kiddie pool. She bounced right over the edge and in. She splashed around, finding it very fun. Lovey was second and Rory was third.

I only filled the pool a couple of inches so it wasn’t too overwhelming for the 10 week old puppies. It was super hot out yesterday (90+, hot for Michigan), and I wanted to see how they reacted to something new. The pool in the yard (a new object where there wasn’t one) water splashing on them, and getting wet. Since it was so hot, I also thought it was a good idea to give them an option to cool down. Of course they have gotten their feet wet in their water buckets, but a pool is more of an immersion into water.

It was so interesting to watch their reactions. In this picture, Sapphire (blue merle girl puppy) had already jumped in. Ember, Captain and Lovey are looking into the pool to see if they should follow. Lovey (the black tri girl) jumped in right after this picture. She tore around the pool, loving it.

These types of experiences when the puppies are younger help them be better adjusted as they grow into adult Australian Shepherds. At 10 weeks old, these puppies are in the Socialization Stage (approximately 4-12 weeks).

During the Socialization Stage, which typically occurs around 4 to 12 weeks of age, it is important to expose puppies to a wide range of new experiences. This stage plays a vital role in shaping their behavior and ensuring they grow up to be well-adjusted and confident dogs.

Puppy socialization involves introducing them to various environments, people, animals, and stimuli in a positive and controlled manner. This helps them develop resilience and adaptability while reducing the likelihood of fear or aggression issues later in life. Be careful as to where you take your puppies during this age, due to their vaccinations.

Important note: Puppies need to have all of their puppy vaccinations completed BEFORE you take them to places where they can pick up nasty diseases such as PARVO.

It wasn’t long however, until the rest of the litter of 6 puppies had all decided it was a good idea to play in the pool. To me, it looked like the more confident puppies (Sapphire, Lovey, and Rory) easily encouraged Ember, Skipper and Captain to come in and play.

Once they were in the pool, they had a blast. They stood in the water, then they sat in the water. Skipper even laid down in the water for a few minutes. They jumped back out and then jumped back in for some more. I sat nearby, just watching and laughing at how silly they were being.

In other situations, I have noticed that it is not always Sapphire who is the first one to try new things. Ember is always the first one to demand attention (like her Grandma Moana) from people. Skipper loves to carry the ball around, and Captain always comes over in his sweet style to get some pets and kisses.

Even though I play with them several times a day and have been with them since before birth, it is not always easy to tell dominance and personality traits. Sometimes they switch roles when they are playing and sometimes they don’t.

Since I have spent many hours a day with them for the last 10 weeks, I do have a very good idea of how each puppy is going to react in most situations. You absolutely want that from your breeder. A good dog breeder will tell you which puppy (of their available puppies) would probably work out best for your needs and lifestyle. I highly recommend trusting your breeder’s recommendations and not buying a puppy on color or gender alone.

If you are interested in one of my puppies, please contact me for availability. I can be reached at