Puppy Curriculum

We strive to raise our puppies in an enriching environment. Studies have shown that puppies raised in enriched environments tend to have more brain cells and neural connections, an improved ability to learn and remember, greater emotional stability, and better resistance to stress. Since we want only the best for our puppies, we provide our puppies with adequate space to exercise, a stimulating living area with various sounds and textures, and opportunities to problem solve.

Not only do we assist mamma in caring for her puppies from birth, beginning on day 3 all puppies begin Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) exercises. Exercises require handling puppies one at a time while performing a series of five exercises. The handler starts with one puppy and stimulates it with the following exercises:

  1. Tactical stimulation (between toes)

  2. Head held erect

  3. Head pointed down

  4. Supine position

  5. Thermal stimulation

From two to four weeks of age, the puppy’s eyes and ears begin to open and they begin to be more aware of their environment. Puppies have the physical ability to startle, however do not yet feel the emotional fear response associated with startling. Startle recovery exercises begin during this age and include exposure to loud noises such as blow dryer, vacuum cleaner, cabinets closing, and other household noises.

Enrichment activities begin at 3 weeks and include opportunities to experience objects with varied sounds, textures, and the ability to manipulate the objects. Puppies will play with items such as a folded tarp, water bottles, boxes, soft, crinkly and squeaky toys, mats and tins containing various scents, balls of various sizes, objects with wheels, and opportunities to climb and stand on elevated objects.

Our puppy curriculum also includes:

Beginning potty training with the puppies at 3 wks old:

  • Puppy pad

  • Kennel training

  • Going potty on dirt/ grass

Proper behavior around humans and their clothing:

  • Voluntarily sitting to be pet

  • Not jumping on or biting at feet/shoes

  • Exposure to various clothing (hats, glasses, coats, etc)

Beginning basic obedience training at 7/8 weeks:

  • Introduction to marker words

  • Leash exposure

  • Sit, down, and wait

All exposures and training with the puppies are kept positive. Puppies are closely monitored in order to gather information and to assist puppies with support as needed. Our goal is for each puppy to have positive quality exposures that will assist them in becoming healthy and confident puppies.