Our puppies are born in our home and spend their first weeks of life spending their time with Mama and their littermates. Once a day we give them a quick exam and check their weights to be sure they’re gaining and give them a short snuggle.
Starting on Day 3 we begin Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) and Early Scent Introduction (ESI) which we continue through Day 16. Once the puppies have started opening their eyes and toddling around, we add “bumpers” to the box in the form of bumper beds or a rolled towel to help the puppies delineate between inside their nest and outside their nest. This is the start of housebreaking for the puppies.
As the puppies grow, we start our puppy curriculum with stable items to explore in the whelping box and gradually changing the predictability of the items as they get older.
Once the puppies are ready (usually around 4 weeks) we move them out of the whelping room into a larger space and continue with our age appropriate curriculum. We have so much fun introducing new things and new areas to the puppies and watching as they build confidence in themselves and their abilities with every new adventure.
We provide new mental and physical challenges daily. Items that move, items to chew on, climb on and carry, tunnels, obstacle courses, scent work and confidence building activities.
Play helps develop strength, agility, coordination and skills to function as an adult. Allowing puppies to begin using problem solving skills is vital in producing intelligent dogs. We appropriately expose and work our puppies so that they can be adult dogs who have resiliency, high intelligence, the desire to work for humans and a sound temperament.
We really feel this is what makes such a great difference in our puppies. Encouraging them instead of enabling them allows them to build confidence in themselves and an excitement for exploring the world.