But plenty to hear and feel and smell
Pups are being exposed to all kinds of outside influences as they grow. Their eyes and ears are closed but that doesn’t mean that they are closed off from the outside world. I like to introduce all kinds of sounds, touches and smells during this time period because it makes introduction easier later.
The following are videos and pictures are from days 5 to 13
Just because they can’t hear doesn’t mean they can’t hear. There is a lot more to sound than what we pick up with our ear drums. Many sounds that are later in life scary to dogs are in the form of vibration. Fireworks, thunder, pressure washers, etc… can be ‘heard’ by our canine friends well before we hear them. Some of this is due to their more acute ability to hear different sound frequencies but it’s also because they can feel the sound. How many of you have heard that animals know when earthquake or tornadoes will hit? Vibrations.
Ears are closed until puppies are about 2 weeks old so the puppies are experiencing mostly vibrations at this point. What little they hear is muffled.
Warning… turn down your volume for this one…
So I like to get obnoxious tools that can produce sound and vibration. Some of these include: sander, hair drier, dremel, vacuum, electric tooth brush, clipper and of course the internet. All of these provide a plethora of sounds. Usually the softer less intense sounds/vibrations are introduced first.
Rap, Rock and Heavy metal are some of the musical delights….
The Puppy Dance…
Introducing essential odors is primarily done to match scents used in Nose-Work with a positive experience. I begin almost immediately pairing odors to nursing. There’s no proof that this does anything to advance a puppies potential at nose-work but it certainly doesn’t hurt. I have also produced a few puppies with some exceptional nose work abilities.
I also use Birch, Anise and Clove but it doesn’t really matter since the puppies will quickly transfer from one scent to another.
Notice the cotton above the puppies.
Easy peasy way to get puppies used to all kinds of surfaces before they’re even walking. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Puppy Rule of 12: Introduce your puppy to 12 different surfaces by the time it’s 12 weeks old. Well, these puppies have already been on at least 12 different surfaces before they’re walking and they do it all on their own without any artificial interaction. How? Easy, put all kinds of obstacle in the whelping box for the puppies to crawl over, under and through on their way to lunch. The only No-No would be any slippery surfaces.
HOW MANY DIFFERENT SURFACES CAN YOU COUNT HERE?
Dangly get-your-head-brushed-by-something-weird obstacles are also great ways to desensitize puppies to outside environmental influences. All of this is done before eyes are opened and by the time puppies can see they’re pretty bomb proof in their environment.
And then, sometime things are just nice and quiet