• Puppy socialization

    Puppy socialization

    During the growth and development of the animal there are three types of stimuli that affect how it develops in to a full grown.

    The first step is early neurological stimulation which lasts from three to sixteen days after the puppy is born. The second stage is called socialization and is limited by time, lasting from four to sixteen days after birth. The third and final step in the process of growth and development is the period of enrichment which, in contrast to the first two stages, has no time limit and in comparison takes place over a more extended period of time.

    Early neurological stimulation

    The earliest stage of a puppy’s life is the most important period for stimulation because of the rapid growth and development that takes place the young organism.

    Nerve stimulation exercises can produce important and lasting effects. In early childhood there are specific periods of time when neurological stimulation can give optimal results.

    The first period starts on the third day of life and lasts until the sixteenth day. Early neurological stimulation is recommended in order develop the best possible character in your dog.

    It involves training small puppies consisting in five skilfully executed exercises.-i.e. are to to be applied with caution in order to avoid stress which may result in the opposite effect)

    Each workout consists of a manipulation technique to be used on the puppies once a day.

    Daily training of each puppy includes the following exercises:

    1.  Head down (For 3 to 5 seconds)
    2.  Head up  (3 times for 5 seconds each)
    3.  On our backs (3 times for 5 seconds each)
    4.  Paws tickled  (3 to 5 seconds each)
    5. Cold towel (3 times, 5 seconds each)

    Neither of these types of stimulation occur naturally in a puppy’s life. The results and benefits of neurological stimulation are as follows:

    • Improved cardiovascular fitness
    • Increased speed of heart beat
    • Stronger adrenal glands
    • Greater stress tolerance
    • Greater resistance to disease

     

    Socialization (Latin socialis):

    This is to allow the puppy as much contact as possible with its mother and with other animals, whether they are of the same species or not. During the first two months this is especially important as it allows them to have regular contact with children, toys, different sounds, smells and humans.

    Holding a puppy in your hands and touching all parts of their body is recommended from the third day of life.  Puppies that are touched regularly from an early stage generally do not become afraid of being touched by people when they get older.

    Enrichment

    Enrichment is the result of the positive experiences that have a cumulative effect on the individual. Initial enrichment is meant to create an enriching environment in a home producing the so-called small „nursery”)) It is advisable to prepare various different items like plastic, glass, metal, rubber, cardboard and others for them to get used to.

    An enriched environment is more than just a playground for puppies. It prepares the puppies in a safe manner and allows them to explore their surroundings.

    With experiences as such, puppies would find that the world to be more interesting and safe.

    Good examples of enrichment activities are regular tours of the park, the marketplace, participating in dog schools, nurseries, obedience, and agility exercises. This will provide plenty of opportunities to interact and learn.

    Education at an early stage and in a more enriching environment will allow the more curious puppies to learn and perform difficult tasks sooner rather than later.

    Source:

    Quarterly Polish Club Dog Racial „Cynology” 2/2006 (10)