Puppy School

The first three weeks of our puppies’ lives are all about being with Mom. However, we do want to connect and introduce short, small stressors so that our puppies not only build resiliency, but also healthier immune systems. We do this by making Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS), Early Scent Introduction (ESI) and the 10 Step Handling Exercise an everyday activity with our newborn puppies. These activities take just a few seconds to complete but can make a huge difference in the lives of our dogs.

Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) is a concept developed by Dr. Carmen Battaglia, a breeder, AKC judge, researcher and writer. This exercise includes tactile stimulation, thermal stimulation and exposes the puppy to mild stressors, which improves their stress responses.

Early Scent Introduction (ESI) is done by introducing different smells to each newborn puppy. ESI helps with nose awareness and confidence. This is so important for future working dogs such as diabetic alert, The Police Force and hunting to name a few. This exercise was created by Dr. Gayle Watkins, a Golden Retriever breeder, scientist, researcher, and competitor in a range of dog sports.

At an early age we also introduce the 10 Step Handling Exercise. A gentle massage that slowly transitions into more pressure each week. This helps shape a dog so that he/she is compliant to all types of touch. This technique was developed by Jeanette Forrey at 4EKennels. Jeanette Forrey is the creator of the Badass Breeder program. She is a breeder, researcher, trainer, mentor and has written two books. This program is the core foundation of how we breed and raise our puppies.

At three weeks we begin incorporating an advanced curriculum (Badass Breeder Program) into our daily routine. Each week we introduce different textures, noises and environments, keeping in mind that what we expose them to, always aligns with their developmental benchmarks.