(4 Days of Life – 16 Days of Life)
Our puppy development program begins with early neurological stimulation using the “Bio Sensor” program. The “Bio Sensor” program was developed by the U.S. Military for their war dog program. Later it became known to the public as the “Super Dog” program. Please find the following description of the program:
The “Bio Sensor” program was also concerned with early neurological stimulation in order to give the dog a superior advantage. Its development utilized six exercises which were designed to stimulate the neurological system. Each workout involved handling puppies once each day. The workouts required handling them one at a time while performing a series of five exercises. Listed in order of preference the handler starts with one pup and stimulates it using each of the five exercises. The handler completes the series from beginning to end before starting with the next pup. The handling of each pup once per day involves the following exercises:
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 struggle. 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:
- Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
- Stronger heart beats
- Stronger adrenal glands
- More tolerance to stress
- 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 calmer in the test environment, made fewer errors, and gave only an occasional distress when stressed.
(As needed, from 4 weeks to 6 Weeks):
Upon completion of the “Super Dog” exercises we begin a temperament equalization program recommended by Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. In very simplified terms the program requires random grouping of the puppies away from mother twice a day. This changes the dynamics of the litter allowing the puppies to assume roles different from the norm in their small groups. This continues through six weeks of age.
(Beginning at 5 Weeks):
Feeding time for puppies is a time of high energy and drive. We use this time to introduce problem-solving exercises to the puppies. Daily we introduce different barriers between the puppies and their food. The puppies are challenged to go under, over, around, or through barriers to get to their food. This type of brain stimulation is proven to actually increase the size of the cortex. When the puppies reach their food we fire a 22 blank pistol to imprint in their minds the association of gunfire with something good, food. This noise conditioning makes the transition to the field and the reward of a bird after gunfire easier.
(6 Weeks – 8 Weeks):
At six weeks of age we introduce the pups, as a litter, to a clipped wing quail or chucker. The competitiveness of the group makes the bird introduction a pleasant experience for all and leaves a positive bird imprint in their minds.
It is important to note at this point that unstructured handling and play by adults and children also takes place during this time to promote normal human bonding and socialization.
Many experts feel the first six weeks is the most important time for development in a dog’s life. Newborn pups have their eyes closed, have a limited digestive system that requires mothers licking to function, depends on external sources for body heat, and can only smell, suck, and crawl. At six weeks they see, walk, eat and digest solid food, regulate their own body heat, play, reason, and develop traits unique to themselves.
Studies have shown that the effectiveness of “jump start” exercises during the first six weeks of life can never be duplicated again.