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Our Puppy Program

& Development Timeline

the first 12 weeks

Nutrition, Enrichment & Age Appropriate Challenges

Neonatal

Transitional Period

Socialization Period

Juvenile Period

Adolescent Period

Young Adulthood

Maturity

WEEK 0

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

WEEK 4

WEEK 5

WEEK 6

WEEK 7

WEEK 8

WEEK 9

WEEK 10-11

WEEK 12+

Week 12 -

6 months

6 months -

18 months

18 - 32 months

24 months+

Handling, ENS & Weight Watch

Handling, ENS, Weight Watch & Pad Training

Handling, ENS, Tactile Sensory, Experiences, Expand Nest

Startle Response & Teething: Sound Protocol, Socialization, Litter Box, Raw Bones, Shaping Emotional Response

Expanding World: Barrier Challenges, Interactive Toys, Weaning Pen, Outdoor Time, Treat Touch & Clicker Training, Manding

Litter Conflict & Shaping: Texture & Stability Experiences, Open Crate, Free Stacks, Treat Training, Narrow Space & Crowding, Pack Nannies, Weaning

Endurance: Closed Crate with Meaty Bone, Novelty Training, Resource Guarding, Puppy Parties, Free Stacks   

Behavioral Evaluations, Heeling Biting and Tugging Foundation, Attention Exercises   Second Fear Stage: Structural Assessment, No Off Premise Events, Leash Walking, Attention Exercises   

Off Premise Socialization, Puppy Classes, Introduce Outside Breeds, Career Assessment, Barrier Frustration Work   

Errand Exercises, Introduce Water Play, Vet Visit, Crate Release Training, Stack and Deliver   

Aptitude Building   

Independent & Exploratory: Reinforce Socialization and Effectively Increase Boundaries

Testing Boundaries & Challenging Members of their Family: Stand Your Ground and Increase Enrichment Excercises

Increased Novelty Period and Increased Selfishness: Short spurts of training each day are adequate along with exploratory activities. Less likely to tolerate puppies.

Conflict Resolution: A Well Socialized dog will retreat with confidence. Resource Guarding and Attention will help a dog that did not learn this default conflict resolution during their Critical Socialization Period

The Puppy Road Map

Where is my puppy on their path to development?

Neonatal

Puppy Handling

Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS)

Tactile Sensory

Enrichment Experiences

Expand Nest & Remove Puppy Pads 

Socialization Period

Expanding World

Barrier Challenges

Interactive Toys

Weaning Pen

Outdoor Time

Treat, Touch & Clicker Training

Manding

Socialization Period

Closed Crate with Meaty Bone

Novelty Training

Resource Guarding

Puppy Parties

Free Stacks

Socialization Period

Second Fear Stage

Structural Assessment

No Off Premise Events

Leash Walking

Attention Exercises

Socialization Period

Errand Socialization

Introduce Water Play

Vet Visit

Crate Release Training

Stack and Deliver

Socialization Period

Errand Socialization

Introduce Water Play

Vet Visit

Crate Release Training

Stack and Deliver

Adolescent Period

Early Adolescence

  6 - 9 months

  Fully Developed Brain & Body Weight

  Increased Energy Levels

  Puppy will

  • Test Boundaries

  • Challenge All Members of their Family Pack

  • Question All Behavioral Guidelines

Late Adolescence

  9- 18 months
  Fully Developed Joints & Bones
  Puppy will

  • Do More Difficult Activities & Challenges

  • Be Ideal Age for Alterations (After 1st Season)

Puppy Handling

Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS)

Weight Watch

Pad Training

Neonatal

Puppy Handling

Startle Response & Teething

Sound Protocol

Socialization

Litter Box

Raw Bones

Shaping Emotional Response

Socialization Period

Litter Conflict & Shaping

Texture & Stability Experiences

Open Crate

Free Stacks

Treat Training

Narrow Space & Crowding

Pack Nannies

Weaning

Socialization Period

Off Premise Socialization

Puppy Classes

Introduce Outside Breeds

Career Assessment

Barrier Frustration Work

Socialization Period

Errand Socialization

Introduce Water Play

Vet Visit

Crate Release Training

Stack and Deliver

Socialization Period

Socialized Puppy

  • Exhibits Independent & Exploratory Behavior

  • Initiates Comfortable Interactions

  • "Everything Else is Dangerous until Proven Otherwise"

Reinforce Socialization

Juvenile Period

Young Adult

  18 months - 32 months

  Puppy is

  • Sleeping Less

  • Initiating Novelty Experiences

  • Demanding Attention and Exercise

  • Wanting Mental Stimulation

  • Requiring Continued Training

  • Ready for Endurance Training

  • Less Tolerant of Puppies

  *This is the age most dogs are

    surrendered to shelters.

Adult

Mature 

  32 months

  Socially Mature

  Well Socialized Dog Will

  • Navigate Their World Freely

  • Manifest Self-Control

  • Express Both Retreat and Confidence in Conflict Resolution

  • Be Good Citizens

  

  Vet Visits every 6-12 months

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Looks similar to a Fear Stage

Puppy Recovers quickly after being startled

Sudden movements and loud crashing noises strengthen Recovery Response

This Response  signifies a puppy is transitioning to their Socialization Period

Startle Response

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The strongest fear phase. A puppy's personal boundaries temporarily expand. This is an essential phase to "imprint fear and caution" so that they can mature and live confidently in the world. This is a natural transitory stage, and not a fault in their temperament or disposition.

 

Duration: 5-15 days

Symptoms: Puppy reacts to something they previously were not afraid of. In turn, the will be reactive to novel experiences. They display anxious retreating behaviors including hunching down, shaking, hiding, backing or running away and submissive urination. Dominant or alpha personalities may express pronounced reactions including growling, barking, raising the hackles and showing their teeth.

Treatment: A puppy's brain will "favor classical over operant conditioning." It's essential during this stage "to instill...the fundamental belief that it's safe and fun to experiment and learn." Classical or associative training will be more beneficial for the puppy than operant (aka trial and error) training. After a fear response, give the puppy space to recover on their own if possible. Allowing them to recover by self soothing will help them enter confidently into the world rather than relying on someone to help them recover from novel experiences. If the trigger is greater than normal, it is okay to help the puppy sooth, being respectful of their boundaries. They may need to have time outs, this is where crates or low tables where bigger animals can not crawl under will be very helpful for the puppy to tap out and recover as needed.

1st Fear Stage

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This fear phase comes at a time when the adolescent pup is struggling to find their place in the pack. Like before, a puppy's personal boundaries temporarily expand. You may notice times of maturity and other times they are struggling with confidence. This is a normal and necessary  transitory stage where they are adjusting into their adulthood. Like the prior fear stages, it is not a fault in their temperament or disposition.

 

Duration: 2-5 weeks

Symptoms: Puppy will express more anxiety than usual. They will seek comfort in ways that they have learned to seek comfort, whether it be human contact, to hide between chairs or seek distance from their pack members. They will push the boundaries that have been set to understand their importance and relevance in their lives. This is very much like a 16-18 year old human stepping into their own. They may confront obstacles and push boundaries and not realize the consequences of their choices. In turn, they will be reactive to novel experiences. They may bark, growl, get hyper, begin chewing on things they shouldn't, be submissive or become avoidant. Dominant or alpha personalities may express pronounced reactions that appear like aggression, when in truth it is the normal anxiety due to this transition. If the dog is given positive reinforcements and taught to self soothe within proper boundaries with calm but unyielding guidance from their human family and pack members, they will become confident, balanced members of society. 

Treatment: Again during a fear stage it is best to use classical conditioning and positive reinforcement.  Human corrections are usually in a higher pitch with increased inflection which will make a puppy more anxious. It's important to not allow an adolescent pup move you out of the area you are occupying, hence the principle to Stand Your Ground. It's also important to give correction in a strong voice but also a positive tone in the moment they overstep a boundary. That being said, if it is solely anxiety based responses, making an environment calm without invading their boundaries is essential in recovering from their fear triggers. After this reaction has been soothed, redirecting to a problem solving or learning scenario, such as teaching tricks, practicing agility, hiding treats will help cultivate a means to relieve frustration. Guiding a pup through this stage is primarily about instilling conflict resolution skills. For this reason we emphasize the need to use positive reinforcements and increase enrichment activities. Contrary to common belief, enrichment is less about exercise and more about learning and age appropriate problem solving activities. During a fear phase it is invaluable for a pup to develop the "fundamental belief that it's safe and fun to experiment and learn." Classical or associative training will be more beneficial than operant (aka trial and error) training. After a fear response, give the adolescent pup the space to recover on their own if possible. Allowing them to recover by self soothing will help them enter confidently into adulthood rather than relying on humans to help them recover from novel experiences. If the trigger is greater than normal, it is okay to help the puppy sooth, being respectful of their boundaries. They may need to have time outs, this is where crates will be very helpful for the puppy to go to feel safe from their external environment. This crate should not be used as a punishement, but as a time to cool off. You may notice as a puppy leaves the fear phase, they may take a timeout in their safe places after they experience frustration. This is a very desireable conflict resolution skill, and they learn it during a fear stage. Your dog may experience more fear phases, for short durations throughout their life and it is typically a sign that they are beginning a new stage in their ongoing development.

2nd Fear Stage

Behavioral Evaluations

Heeling Biting and Tugging Foundation

Attention Exercises

Socialization Period

Hover over the above objects to view info

Puppy Handling

Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS)

Weight Watch

Neonatal

Senior Period

Senior

  7 - 10 years

  Fully Developed Brain & Body Weight

  Increased Energy Levels

  Puppy will

  • Test Boundaries

  • Challenge All Members of their Family Pack

  • Question All Behavioral Guidelines

Geriatric

  11+ years
  Fully Developed Joints & Bones
  Puppy will

  • Do More Difficult Activities & Challenges

  • Be Ideal Age for Alterations (After 1st Season)

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The Proof is in the Puppies

Building healthy vascular, endocrine and nervous systems with science based nutrition and treatments. 

Applying age appropriate challenges to shape confident and balanced temperaments.

"Genes, which people often think is written in stone, can turn on and off or change based on environmental input...Some genes can be expressed as extremely negative or positive traits depending on the nutrition the mother and her offspring receive during pregnancy and the first few weeks of life."

Jane Killion-Lindquist

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Changing the Future of Dogs One Puppy at a Time

A program built to support breeders, continue research and introduce modern techniques during puppy development

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In 1970s the Army developed a training program called Biosensor, to make Super Dogs.

The research concluded that early stimulation between the 3rd through the 16th day accelerates rapid neurological growth, strengthens endocrine and cardiovascular system health, and it concluded that small stimulants over short durations within the first few days led to remarkable behavioral and biological advantages when compared to the neutral group. Much of the research suggested ENS benefits all neonatal mammals. That being said, all stimulants should be avoided if an infant is undergoing stress or trauma within the first few days.

During Biosensory, puppies are introduced to small stressors for 3-6 seconds each day, in addition to human handling.

The 5 exercises include:
1.
Tactile stimulation – pup is gently cradled in one hand as a Q-Tip is gently stroked between each of the pups toes.
2.
Puppy held in upright position – With both hands the pup is held so that it's head in straight above it's tail
3.
Head pointed down – using both hands you support the pup as you turn the pup upside down
4.
Cradle position – you support the pup as you have them lay on their back in your hands
5.
Thermal stimulation – taking a washcloth that has been cooled in the refrigerator for 5 minutes you place the pup on the cool washcloth with their belly touching the washcloth.

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