Raising Puppies: What We Do!
We use many "Puppy Culture" protocols as well as things we have discovered over the years that help us give you the most well balanced, happy puppy we can.
Puppies begin ENS (Early Neurological Stimulation) as early as 3 days old. This is a daily process that lasts until the puppies are 16 days old. We handle each puppy individually and place them through 5 very short (3-5 second) exercises that allows the neurological system to develop at a quicker rate. This leads to improved heart rate, stronger heart beats, stronger adrenal glands, more tolerance to stress, and a greater resistance to disease.
After we complete ENS the puppies are still individually handled each day they are with us. We make sure to touch them on their head, ears, mouth, feet, bellies, and tails to ensure they are desensitized to touch....meaning they do not have a fear or anxiety reaction to being touched in these areas.
When puppies are able to start moving around on their own (usually 2-3 weeks old) we begin the process of introducing them to their nest and their "elimination" area. Canines instinctively do not want to eliminate in their sleep area. We use that instinct to guide them to outside of the nest when they need to potty.
This is a process that ends with the puppies using litter boxes filled with alfalfa pellets to eliminate. We've found that alfalfa pellets aid the most in the puppies future potty training as they are used to the smell of grass and associate that smell with elimination.
As soon as the puppies begin eating solid foods we start to work on Manding. Manding is a way to give your puppy a voice and teach patience and manners along the way. The are constantly reinforced during their time with us that in order to receive attention (or treats!) they need to sit patiently in front of us while making eye contact. They begin to associate that behavior with "asking". So in the future, while you may not always know exactly what they are asking for, you know they are wanting to interact with you when they repeat this behavior. We've also seen this aid in impulse control. Instead of jumping, barking, whining to get what they want they will try to get your attention in a much more calm and patient manner.
Other things we do:
-We expose the puppies to different sounds in order to start desensitizing them. Examples are thunderstorms, fireworks, construction, a variety of music genres, and sudden loud noises.
-We use a variety of different toys and enrichment items to allow puppies to get used to things that can be difficult to do (climbing items, gates, stairs) or things that might be a bit scary to interact with (different textured floors, things that make noise when walked on or touched). We try to rotate items out regularly so that the puppies are introduced to something new almost daily.
-Puppies are exposed to grooming almost from birth. While they cannot hear or see when they are first born, they can feel. We use an electric toothbrush and gently brush the puppies so that they are introduced to the vibrations. This gives them a better tolerance to clippers when they are introduced at 3-4 weeks. Every week from 4 weeks plus the puppies receive a bath, blow dry with a force dryer, and a face and sanitary clip.
-Once puppies are moved from the whelping box to the play pen they are always provided an open kennel to explore and play/sleep in at times of their choosing. Beginning at about 6 weeks we start putting the puppies in individual kennels for very short amounts of time. They learn to eat their meals and get fun exciting chews/treats in their kennel to associate good feelings within their own individual den.
Most importantly we play and love on the pups daily! We have 3 small children and the pups are getting constant love and attention and a happy dose of life with kids!