Research has proven there is only a short window of time, specifically 16 weeks old, to stimulate, enrich, and socialize puppies to turn them into a well-balanced, adult, canine companion. Here at West Shore Doodles, we do everything in our power to enrich and socialize our pups during the first 8 weeks of life.
Every day we handle each individual puppy and conduct a series of five different exercise. These exercises produce neurological stimulation early on that wouldn't naturally occur. This tends to kick the neurological system into gear earlier, resulting in improved cardiovascular performance, stronger adrenal glands, more tolerance to stress, and greater resistance to disease. Studies have found that ENS puppies were able to cope more with stressful situations, and problem solves better than othe
I have started playing “relaxation” music in the puppy room. Music is played throughout the day and turned off for a “quiet room” for sleeping at night. This helps to teach puppies the transition between everyday noises vs a “quiet” room for sleeping.
I will also start to condition them to daily noises so they are less fearful.
Examples: Vacuum sweeper, the TV turned up, dropping books, slamming a door, CD of a baby crying, alarm, doorbell, blow dryer, etc.
Potty pellet box training and separating from littermates for a few minutes daily begins. During this separation, we incorporate a lot of snuggle time with humans. This teaches pups to be alone, away from their littermates, bond with humans prevents separation anxiety. I hope to successfully give the pups confidence when being alone. Puppies learning and problem-solving activities have proven that puppies with early enrichment exercises have grown up to be: more confident, better problem solvers, less stressed, and have better learning and memory. Puppies have a natural desire to keep their "den" clean. We introduce a potty area during this stage. Many families will use this at home filling a boot tray with pellets.
Introduction to new surfaces is coming out for the pups to explore and gain confidence too. I will start an introduction to the crates. Crate doors will remain open and I will begin closing the crate doors periodically throughout the day beginning on week-5 with a "buddy".
We try to introduce new items every day to the pups. This provokes curiosity and builds confidence. Some days it's flashing lights, singing toys, other days it's a step stool to climb or a tunnel to crawl through.
Different surfaces and startling noises are best introduced as a pup, so you have an adult dog that reacts better to new stimuli.
Problem-solving games are also introduced. Building confidence, crate training, sensory tactile, and new surfaces using a clicker we teach Manding (sitting nicely) and Recall (come).
Crate training, manning, car ride, baths, puppy socialization, and clicker training
Pups start to spend time individually locked in their crates, throughout the day, only for a short time span with a treat (bully stick).
Clicker training will continue. Along with working individually with each puppy on manning aka: sitting outside of the play box, along with at meal time.
Pups will get out and about 2-3 times before 8 weeks of age. The purpose is to help get pups accustomed to riding in a vehicle before going home.