Early Neurologic Stimulation

Purdue Study

Little wild Lionheart!  They are all within a couple ozs of each other.  Still a big pile o puppies.  Today they are stretched out on my living room floor soaking up some sun from the window. 

Early Neurological Stimulation

I have always used this simple technique, I read a book many years ago about Monks who raised puppies by their beds and handled them all the time from day born on up, compared to pups raised by their moms with minimal early stimulation.   The monks raised German Shepherds and they found the puppies handled were easier to train and more adjusted adults.  That was easy for me to understand.  Since that time this nonscientific study has been replicated using scientific parameters and methods. All I can say is maybe the Monks did it better.  Significant results have not been conclusive in several studies.  I just ran across this article published by Purdue staff, and I liked their conclusion.  

It is my policy to raise our Griffon puppies in the middle of our lives, so that every time we pass by we are tempted to give them some love and time.  I have a large, heated barn, but it is just too far away for my taste.  Our puppies are raised in our home.  That is where they belong, that is where they will progress the most.  If you come to my house expect to step over puppies, and smell their little skink breath, clean blankets all day long.  

I, like the Monks, did not use “The Scientific Method” but having raised multiple litters. these are my real-life findings.  If the puppies are not handled early, they will start in fear, early on when picked up, or they hear loud noises.  Some puppies are special, I will even mark them with a collar if they are not identifiable by their spots or dots, these are puppies that seem to need extra cuddles, extra stimulation early on.  It seems there is always one or 2 in the litter that needs a little extra, so these puppies get to sit with us while we watch TV or work at the computer.  I hand them over to my small army of Grand Children who are the best with the puppies.  

This is an excerpt from the Purdue article and their conclusion.  

Simple interactions early in a puppy’s life may additionally increase its ability to learn and cope successfully with stress later on, thus leading to better welfare outcomes. Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS), which involves applying gentle stressors to a very young animal for short periods of time, is thought to improve their stress responses later in life. 

Conclusions There is some evidence to suggest that ENS may help dogs cope better with stress later in life. Several of the suggested ENS stimulation techniques take little time to do, are low cost, and may provide crucial long term behavioral benefits to dogs. The techniques are relatively easy for breeders to incorporate into their practices, and, if effective, could potentially improve the overall health and welfare of puppies, potentially improving owner satisfaction. Breeders should therefore be educated about the potential benefits of ENS and how to implement it without over-stressing puppies. More research is needed to determine the most effective methods of ENS, so that both dogs and breeders receive the greatest benefits from utilizing this intervention.Purdue study, 2022 VA-24-W.pdf (purdue.edu)

Aren’t the BEAUTIFUL! I mean all of them.

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