Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Fab Five Are 1 Week Old!

The Chmurnik x Sophie puppies have reached the end of their first week.  I am so impressed with Sophie’s great mothering.  The whelping box is virtually spotless and her babies are happy and quiet.  She has not had any difficulty supplying their dietary needs because these puppies are fat little sausages with excellent growth thus far. They have more than doubled their birth weights and are now very quick to motor across the box to get back to their mum when she returns after a potty break.
We are in full swing with doing Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS aka Bio Sensor techniques). This is a program that was originally implemented by the U.S. Military and it is comprised of a few gentle stimulating exercises that are said to have lasting benefits for the puppies.  These exercises are carried out once a day from three days of age to sixteen days of age.  The pups are held briefly (3 – 5 seconds) for 5 different exercises.  One of their toes are tickled with a Q-tip, they are held in head up, head down, in a supine position and lastly, they are briefly placed on a cold surface (we use a gel pack from the freezer with a towel on top of it).  The entire process only takes a few minutes and although there is some doubt as to the effectiveness of these exercises, when done gently and briefly they certainly do no harm.  What cannot be argued is that neonate puppies do benefit from gentle handling.  These puppies are lovingly cuddled and kissed regularly!  They are weighed twice a day and toenails are trimmed regularly.  

To learn more about the Bio-Sensor techniques that we implemented please feel free to visit Dr. Carmen Battaglia’s website and look under the Articles tab for his article: Early Neurological Stimulation (Revised) 
In addition to the ENS exercises we are also doing Early Scent Stimulation (ESS) with these puppies.  We recently learnt about the benefits of exposing young puppies to a variety of scents when we attended an Avidog seminar this past March. These early scenting experiences are performed concurrently with the ENS exercises and we will conclude the ESS on day 16 as well.  All we are doing is offering the puppies the opportunity to smell a novel scent for a few brief seconds each day.  Puppies are born with the ability to taste and the ability to smell begins to come on board around day three.  It is very apparent when doing these exercises that the puppies are definitely using their noses and some scents are certainly more attractive to the puppies than others.  Breeders have noted that ESS increases an interest in scenting, detection of scents and the ability to follow scents.  I feel strongly that those heightened abilities are of tremendous value to dogs that will be hunting, tracking or doing any type of nose work activities.  Even if it is just playing rainy day games of find it with their families.

On the whole it's been a delightful week.  The Fab Five are doing very very well and we are enjoying this litter tremendously.  The days are quickly passing and it feels as though the puppies are growing right before our very eyes.  I am enjoying each day as it unfolds and I look forward with anticipation to what the weeks ahead will bring.


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