Early Neurological Stimulation Training (ENS Training)I encourage you to read this- it has a lot of useful information. We start this process once a day, when the puppies are 3 days old and continue for about 2 weeks.Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) is a process we started doing that introduces mild stresses to very young puppies in a controlled way. These stresses help stimulate the neurological system which improves the growth and development of the pup’s immune system, cardiovascular system, and stress tolerance.
ENS is done for 2 consecutive weeks starting 3 days after the puppies are born. The process consists of 5 simple and harmless exercises, which are: tactile stimulation, lying in the supine position, held with head held up, tilted upside down, and thermal stimulation. Each exercise is done for 3-5 seconds the entire process takes about 30 seconds. Tactile stimulation is done by gently tickling or touching in between each of the pup’s toes with a Q-tip. The supine position is achieved by holding the pup in both hands belly up (some pups squirm in this position so a solid but gentle two handed hold is necessary). To hold the pup with head up simply hold the pup in both hands so that the tail is pointed to the ground and the head is above the tail towards the ceiling. From the Head held up position tilt the pup over and hold so the head is towards the ground and the tail is towards the ceiling. You’ll need a damp cool towel for the thermal stimulation. You lay the pup right side up with its belly on the damp cool towel.
These 5 painless and simple exercises are done to prepare our pups for their life’s journey. Only 30 seconds a day for 2 weeks and we see a great improvement in their immune systems and stress tolerances. We will continue to do Early Neurological Stimulation on our pups because we see the benefits and know it helps them grown into lovable canine citizens.
1. Tactile stimulation - holding the pup in one hand, the handler gently stimulates (tickles) the pup between the toes on any one foot using a Q-tip. It is not necessary to see that the pup is feeling the tickle. Time of stimulation 3 - 5 seconds. (Figure 1)
2. Head held erect - using both hands, the pup is held perpendicular to the ground, (straight up), so that its head is directly above its tail. This is an upwards position. Time of stimulation 3 - 5 seconds (Figure 2).
3. Head pointed down - holding the pup firmly with both hands the head is reversed and is pointed downward so that it is pointing towards the ground. Time of stimulation 3 - 5 seconds (Figure 3).
4. Supine position - hold the pup so that its back is resting in the palm of both hands with its muzzle facing the ceiling. The pup while on its back is allowed to sleep. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds. (Figure 4)
5. Thermal stimulation—use a damp towel that has been cooled in a refrigerator for at least five minutes. Place the pup on the towel, feet down. Do not restrain it from moving. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds. (Figure 5)
These five exercises will produce neurological stimulations, none of which naturally occur during this early period of life. Experience shows that sometimes pups will resist these exercises, others will appear unconcerned. In either case a caution is offered to those who plan to use them. Do not repeat them more than once per day and do not extend the time beyond that recommended for each exercise. Over stimulation of the neurological system can have adverse and detrimental results. These exercises impact the neurological system by kicking it into action earlier than would be normally expected, the result being an increased capacity that later will help to make the difference in its performance. Those who play with their pups and routinely handle them should continue to do so because the neurological exercises are not substitutions for routine handling, play socialization or bonding.
Benefits of Stimulation
Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor stimulation exercises. The benefits noted were:
1. Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
2. Stronger heart beats,
3. Stronger adrenal glands,
4. More tolerance to stress, and
5. Greater resistance to disease.
In tests of learning, stimulated pups were found to be more active and were more exploratory than their non- stimulated littermates over which they were dominant in competitive situations. Secondary effects were also noted regarding test performance. In simple problem solving tests using detours in a maze, the non-stimulated pups became extremely aroused, whined a great deal, and made many errors. Their stimulated littermates were less disturbed or upset by test conditions and when comparisons were made, the stimulated littermates were more calm in the test environment, made fewer errors and gave only an occasional distress sound when stressed.
Early Scent Introduction
Early Scent Introduction: What It Is and Why We Do It Early scent introduction (ESI) is a training program for puppies designed to enhance their ability to identify, and react to, specific scents. Each day, the trainer introduces a strong scent to the puppy for brief intervals, and records the puppy’s reaction.
The reaction is considered to be positive when the puppy shows interest in the scent, moving toward it. A negative reaction is recorded when the puppy tries to get away from the scent. And finally, when a puppy is neither interested nor disinterested in the scent, this is a neutral reaction.
Seven Years of Research Dr. Gayle Watkins is a breeder of sporting Golden Retrievers, and over seven years ago, she began testing dogs to determine the effectiveness of ESI. This involved selecting certain puppies from her litters to receive ESI training, and others that would not receive ESI. The results were nothing short of remarkable. The dogs that participated in ESI had more scenting titles than those that did not participate, and they were achieving titles at ages of up to five years younger than the pups that had not participated.
What It Means for practical purposes, these results mean the potential for even better companion, service, and therapy dogs. Scent abilities are often very important. Just as an example, when a dog is a companion to a child with autism, his main function is likely to be a guardian of sorts, since children with autism can have a tendency to wander or run off. If the dog is able to easily follow the child’s scent and locate him or her, that could actually be a life-saving asset. Another situation in which scent abilities can matter a great deal might be alerting an elderly person to a gas leak, or to something burning on the stove – again, there is the potential for saving a life. Service dogs can also use scent to identify the early stages of diabetic reaction, or the onset of a seizure. All these skills enhanced by ESI. Of course, not all dogs are going to be service or therapy animals.
At Hermeierdoodles, we perform the Early Scent Introduction on our doodle puppies because we understand how important a dog’s sense of smell is to him and his brain function. Our dogs’ noses are 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive to smells than our human noses, depending on the dog and dog breed.
What does that mean to dogs? According to Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog, they examine and understand the world through their noses like we see and make sense of the world with our eyes. The area in the brain that processes the data picked up by the nose is 40 times larger in dogs than humans. A dog’s ability to smell is a function of their intellect.
The Procedure for Early Scent Introduction To expose your puppies to ESI, begin when they are three days old and stop at 16 days. At Hermeierdoodles, we use mint, cloves, lemon, apples, grass, essential oils, cat hair, sheep wool, duck or goose feathers, chicken feathers, cloths with goat scent, leaves, leather tracking gloves, lavender, alpaca wool, and oranges.
Every day, we introduce a new scent. To do this, we pick up the puppy or sit on the floor with the puppy in our lap. We hold on to the puppy with one hand so that he does not squirm away before the scent is introduced. Then, with your other hand, we hold the scent-bearing object about half an inch away from his nose. If he wants to move toward the scent, we let him. By the same token, if he wants to move away from it, that is fine too. Then we note whether the reaction is positive, negative, or neutral. Then we repeat the procedure with the other puppies in the litter.
Temperament TestingFIRST AND FOREMOST WE DO NOT TEMPERAMENT TEST IN OUR HOME. IT MUST BE DONE IN A NEW PLACE WITH A NEW PERSON THAT THEY HAVEN'T SEEN TO GET A TRUE READING. Our puppies are temperament tested at 7 weeks of age or 49 days. This is the absolute best time to test. At this age, the puppy’s brain waves are the same as an adult dog. Not all puppies will test the same, and the differences will assist in placing the puppy in the most appropriate environment. We start with the Volhard test and our tester adds to this list for working type dogs. In our case therapy, hunting and service dogs.
The tests are as follows:
1. Social Attraction - degree of social attraction to people, confidence or dependence.
2. Following - willingness to follow a person.
3. Restraint - degree of dominant or submissive tendency, and ease of handling in difficult situations.
4. Social Dominance - degree of acceptance of social dominance by a person.
5. Elevation - degree of accepting dominance while in a position of no control, such as at the veterinarian or groomer.
6. Retrieving - degree of willingness to do something for you. Together with Social Attraction and Following a key indicator for ease or difficulty in training.
7. Touch Sensitivity - degree of sensitivity to touch and a key indicator to the type of training equipment required.
8. Sound Sensitivity - degree of sensitivity to sound, such as loud noises or thunderstorms.
9. Sight Sensitivity - degree of response to a moving object, such as chasing bicycles, children or squirrels.
10. Stability - degree of startle response to a strange object.
This is amazing test and it really can tell a lot about your puppy.
Therapy and Service DogsWe have a large number of therapy and service dogs in training or already graduated and out in the work force. The Doodle breeds because of their combination of smart, athletic, and gentle temperaments make great therapy and service dogs. Please follow the link below to learn more about the difference between therapy dogs and service dogs.
- In general, the further you move down the tree, the higher percentage of the doodle is poodle. This means that the dog is more likely to have poodle like hair, be nonshedding, and need regular grooming.
But please remember that genetics can be random and sometimes puppies will take on the dominant traits of either Poodle, Golden Retriever, or Labrador Retriever no matter what label of generation. We have had super curly coats and flat coats come from lines that surprised us even after reviewing DNA tests. Below are some family trees explaining the generations and photos comparing different coats we have seen.
- COMMON Puppy Parasites
I think it is important that every dog owner educate themselves on the common puppy/dog parasites in order to properly care for their dog. PARASITES are a COMMON issue in any dogs life. They are in all our environments and although at Hermeierdoodles we try our hardest not to send any puppies home with parasites sometimes it just happens. We worry very much about your family and want to do everything right. So I thought this is the best way to let people know what they are dealing with.
Did you know that every puppy is born with round worms? Yes even if mother is dewormed prior to birth, they are passed through her milk! This is why we have a strict deworming schedule here! They look just like long pale spaghetti noodles! They can also pickup round worms from wild animal feces. The eggs are visible on a fecal test or visible in the puppies feces.
- Pyrantel or Fenbendazole is recommended.
Fleas are actually the cause of tape worms! If your dog has a flea on them and chews at their skin to try and kill them, they actually ingest the flea and end up with tape worms! These are not seen on a fecal test and are only visible in the stool and look like flat short white rice segments.
- Treatment recommended is praziquantel (one dose , then follow up dose 2 weeks later) Sometimes these can be hard to get rid of, so this is why it's so important to follow a strict flea/tick regimine.
These two worms are pretty scary! They can come from so many sources, either from up from the ground and migrate through the skin or they can ingest larvae from the ground. They can't be seen without a microscope but they can be seen by your vet on a routine fecal test! Hookworms can cause severe anemia.
- Treatment is usually fenbendazole (panacur) along with an iron supplement and is very effective.
All of the above are EASILY PREVENTABLE with deworming and preventatives! These last ones are not so easy to see on a fecal test and are a little more tricky to treat without the pup reinfecting itself!
Coccidia and Giardia are invasive, non-worm parasites that live in a dog's intestinal tract. Transmission of these parasites can come from infected soil, water, feces, food, other animals, and more. These two parasites are harder to prevent as they are always there and just become a problem during stress of transition and travel. Is it really a worm? No, it is more of a bacterial parasite.
Coccidia are single-celled and found more frequently in puppies, where they may acquire it through their litter mates or mother. It causes a gel like yellowish loose stool and can multiply quickly. As with all parasites, diligent sanitation practices are important to stave off these parasites.
- We give a preventative medication at 6 and 8 weeks for Coccidia called Toltazuril and we have never had Coccida, we will gladly send you medication if your pup tests positive. Some vets use a similar medication called Marquis, or an older medication called Albon
Giardia is quite common and is naturally found in the gut--affecting up to half of all puppies, up to 80% can clear giardia on there own except in our case the young puppies. In reality it is more how the puppy is tolerating it and whether or not their is a sufficient good bacterium in the gut to tolerate the growth of giardia. Most healthy adult dogs won't have problems. Many can have no symptoms from giardia and it is hard to find on a routine fecal test. During the stress of traveling and rehoming these protozoan type parasites are opportunistic and can surface. They cause a loose fatty stool, gelish or dark greenish stool and can cause loss of appetite and dehydration. Where is it? It's at dog parks, boarding facilities, kennels or anywhere with numerous juvenile dogs where they can step in poop and then later lick their feet. They can also pick it up by eating feral cat feces or wild animal feces. There is a very sensitive Giardia Antigen Snap Test now that a lot of vets use because they can't see it on a routine fecal test. This test is so sensitive it can show a positive if the dead giardia dna is still present until it leaves the pups intestinal tract. So if the pup did have any giardia here and we gave our 5 days of prevention before they leave, they may still show a positive. It may take 10 days to show a negative. Some pups will never show a negative! Some pups just carry it! We have taken this one step further and now have the giardia snap test at home so we test a lot to ensure your puppy goes home parasite free.
- Treatment is oral dewormer (fenbendazole) and some vets will add Metronidazole (antibiotic). Usual treatment is for 10 days, then wait 10 days to retest. Even after 20 days, they can still show a positive! So don't freak out! Mature dogs in the home usually do not have problems catching it. If the pup is having normal stools, I would not continue with round after round of the medicines. Metronidazole over a long period can cause seizures. Probiotics are a great idea for young puppies especially when on antibiotics.
- Since Giardia has become so common in young puppies, we are now sending home medication to hopefully prevent it from surfacing during the stress of transition. If your pup does test positive, please let us know and if needed, we would be happy to send you more medication and even a home test kit to recheck 10 days after meds.
- We also now will be administering Colloidal Silver to all of our puppies to help with this parasite. We are excited to take this new step in fighting the fight against parasites.
- Taking care of your new puppy can be overwhelming, but with these tips and lots of love,
you’ll be a great puppy parent in no time!
Picking Up a Puppy:
Just like a baby, a puppy's body is fragile. Doodles, seem to think they are lap dogs and typically enjoy being held in your arms or on your lap as long as they are comfortable. Use these steps to safely and comfortable pick up your puppy:
Step 1: Place one hand under your puppy's rump, and place your other hand under his chest.
Step 2: Lift with both arms. With a small adult dog, use the puppy technique. For larger dogs, wrap both arms around his legs, draw him to your chest, and lift.
Supplies You’ll Need:
Before you bring your puppy home, be sure you have the following supplies:
- Premium pet food to get your new puppy off to a good start
- Stainless steel, non-tip food and water bowls
- Identification tags with your puppy's name, your name and phone number, and your veterinarian's name and phone number
- A collar and a leather or nylon 6-foot leash that's ½- to ¾-inch wide (Consider using a "breakaway" collar with plastic clips that will unsnap in case your puppy gets hung up on something.)
- A home and travel crate that's airline approved and that will accommodate your puppy's adult size. This crate will serve as your puppy's new "den" at home, when traveling, or when riding to the veterinarian's office. His scent in the crate will provide comfort and a sense of security during these stressful times.
- Stain remover for accidental soiling's
- Brushes and combs suited to your puppy's coat; ask your veterinarian or breeder about an appropriate brush or comb for your dog.
- Dog shampoo, toothbrush, and paste
- High-quality, safe chew toys to ease teething
- Flea, tick, and parasite controls
- Nail clippers
- Use stainless steel, non-tip food bowls, which won't break or absorb odors.
- Toys with parts that squeak or whistle can be dangerous if swallowed. Make sure to always watch dogs when they are playing with toys of this nature.
- For a comfortable collar fit, allow for two fingers of space between the collar and your dog's neck; consider using an adjustable collar.
Keeping your puppy safe in your yard requires good fencing. There are several options to choose from, and the one you should pick will depend on your puppy's personality, your property, and your budget. Here are some of the options you should consider:
- Privacy fencing. Privacy fences have no openings and provide excellent containment.
- Chain link. Inexpensive chain link works well and is durable.
- Underground fencing. These electronic systems cannot be seen, jumped over, or dug under. Wire is buried, configured, and connected to a transmitter. The dog wears a special collar that emits warning tones and issues a mild shock as he nears the buried wire.
- Kennels. A covered kennel run, especially one with a concrete floor, will keep your puppy from digging, climbing, or jumping out. Ask your veterinarian or breeder to recommend an appropriate size.
The First Days at Home:
The ideal time to bring home a new puppy is when the house is quiet. Discourage friends from stopping by and don't allow overnight guests. First, establish a daily routine and follow these steps:
Step 1: Set a potty timer for every 20 minutes during the day for the first couple days. This helps you remember to take him out and doesn't give the puppy a chance to have accident in house.
Step 2: Take away all food and water a couple hours before you intend to put puppy in his/her crate for the night. This will allow his bladder to empty and stool to pass prior to bed.
Step 3: Before bringing him in the house, take him to the designated potty area in your yard and spend a few minutes there. If he goes, praise him. Be sure to take him to this same spot each time he potties.
Step 4: Take him to the room with his crate. This restricted area will serve as his new "den" for several days. Put bedding and chew toys in the crate, leave the door open, and line the area outside of the crate with newspaper in case of an accident. Let him investigate the crate and the room. If he chews or urinates on his bedding, permanently remove it from the crate.
Step 5: Observe and interact with your puppy while he's getting used to his new den. This will help forge a sense of "pack" and establish you as the pack leader.
Special Puppy Concerns:
Don't treat a puppy as young as 6 to 12 weeks like an adult dog. Treat him the same way you would an infant, with patience, constant supervision, and a gentle touch. The way you interact with your puppy at this age is critical to his socialization. Use these tips:
- Don't bring home a puppy while you're on vacation. You want to be able to spend a lot of time with him so you can acclimate him to your normal, daily routine.
- Supervise your puppy at all times and interact with him regularly.
- Be alert for signs (sniffing and circling) that he has to go to the bathroom, and take him outside immediately.
- A young puppy has no bladder control, and will need to urinate immediately after eating, drinking, sleeping, or playing. At night, he will need to relieve himself at least every three hours.
- Don't punish an accident. Never push his nose in the waste or scold him. He won't understand, and may learn to go to the bathroom when you're out of sight.
- Praise your puppy every time he goes to the bathroom outside.
- Feed your puppy a formula designed for puppies. Like a baby, he needs nutritious, highly digestible food.
Ideally, your kids should help you choose your puppy. When you bring puppy home, he will need a lot of rest, just like a growing child. Try to limit your children from waking puppy up from naps during the day, which he will frequently take. While puppy is awake naturally feel free to let your kids tire him out and play indoors and outdoors.
- Young children might be tempted to shout at a puppy if they think he's doing something wrong. Be sure kids understand that puppies and dogs can be easily upset and startled by loud noises.
- No teasing. Keeping a toy just out of reach will reinforce bad habits such as jumping up and excessive barking.
- Wagging tails and play biting can be too rough for young children. Supervise puppy-child interactions and separate them if the play is too rough. Puppy can be scolded for jumping, biting or growling with a firm no, rewards for good behavior such as sitting or laying down, and ignoring his bad behavioral attempts for attention.
- Teach kids to care for a dog by showing them how to feed and groom him.
- Keep resident pets separated from your new puppy for a few days.
- After your new puppy is used to his new den area, put an expandable pet gate in the doorway or put your puppy in his crate.
- Give your resident pet access to the area. Let pets smell and touch each other through the crate or pet gate. Do this several times over the next few days.
- Give the resident pet access to the den area with your new puppy out of his crate. Supervise their meetings and go back to through-the-gate/crate meetings if trouble arises.
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