Thursday, January 29, 2009

Early neurological stimulation - mild stress is good for puppies

Puppies are 11 days old today and they are still in the neonatal stage of development. This stage starts at birth and ends when puppies open their eyes well, usually when they are 13 days old. Today we could see that Oak's eyes cracked and they are half open!
At this stage puppies can't hear yet and obviously can't see well either. They stay close to Emma when they can. They can crawl but they are not up on their feet yet, and they can smell.

It has been proved that when pups are exposed to a mild stress at this stage, they will be able to better tolerate stress later in life. Also they will be able to learn faster and will be more outgoing. One has to be careful though and not to expose pups to too much stress.

Yesterday I cut pups nails so they do not scratch Emma, and they were very good about it. They are laid back pups, which do not mind to be handled.

Taking pups' weights daily is beneficial too as they are put in a shallow plastic container and are exposed to a different surface.

When I change pups' bedding I put pups in Emma's bed (photo to the left) or on the tile floor. The whelping box is in my office so several times a a day I get into the box and handle pups individually, stroking them, turning them on their backs or holding them in the upright position.

From now on we will have to be very careful with taking pictures and not to use a camera flash as pups' eyes are very sensitive at this stage.

You can read more about:
  1. puppy development at
  2. developmental stages and socialization
  3. early neurological stimulation

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