Duchess Catherine made a new furry friend on her first royal engagement of 2018 yesterday (10.01.18).

Duchess Catherine

Duchess Catherine

The Duchess of Cambridge - who shares pet dog Lupo with husband Prince William - fell in love with puppy Bear during her visit to Reach Academy Feltham in west London - which works with children's mental health charity Place2Be, of which the duchess is a royal patron - on Wednesday morning.

Catherine couldn't stop stroking Bear, a cross between a poodle and bichon frise, who is training to become a therapy dog to help the school's youngsters with reading skills, and to deal with emotional issues.

The duchess presented Bear with a rosette to congratulate him on completing his puppy training and praised him for being "well behaved".

Karen Howard, an attendance and community support officer at the school, told the Daily Mail newspaper: "My main concern was he'd been digging all morning and he's really dirty.

"He wasn't too bad, he's been really naughty all morning. She said, 'He's a really fluffy dog' and that he was 'really cute and really well behaved.'

"She was very interested to hear about therapy dogs and the children were telling her, 'The dog makes us really happy'."

Catherine was also intrigued to meet the school guinea pig and is no stranger to loveable rodents.

In May 2016, the 36-year-old royal told St John the Baptist Junior School pupil Darcey that she and her family - kids Prince George, four, and two-year-old Princess Charlotte, and her husband William, 35 - have a pet hamster.

The youngster said at the time: "She said she had a hamster, and Charlotte really likes it because the whiskers always tickle her face."