WHO WE ARE, ENS & PUPPY CULTURE
My name is Abigail and along with my husband Ben and our two children, we make up the team at Adelaide Cavoodles. We are located in the Adelaide Plains region of South Australia, about 45 minutes from Adelaide City Centre. We are registered breeders with the Dog and Cat Management Board of SA and adhere to all requirements.
Our aim is to provide families with healthy, good natured companions that are well adapted to a family lifestyle. We are passionate about raising happy, well socialised puppies in a child friendly environment.
Over the last six years we have predominantly specialised in breeding First Generation and F1b Cavoodles, to achieve a teddy bear looking puppy with a low to non-shedding coat. We specialise in red and apricot abstracts, but occasionally will schedule a litter of black, sables and brindles.
We DNA test all of our breeding dogs through Orivet, to ensure none of our puppies will be affected by the parent breeds testable, inheritable diseases. We raise our puppies with the Puppy Culture program, with ENS as well as ESI.
EARLY NEUROLOGICAL STIMULATION
We raise our litters using Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) program between day 3-16, when puppies are in their early development stage. These exercises were originally developed by the US military and are used to "wake up" the neurological system of the puppy. Puppies toes are gently stimulated, they are held in different positions and are put on a cold cloth for 3-5 seconds. These short exercises lead to immediate and life physiological results including:
1. Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
2. Stronger heart beats
3. Stronger adrenal glands
4. More tolerance to stress
5. Greater resistance to disease
In addition, long-term studies show that dogs who were raised with ENS show greater performance in problem-solving, exploratory skills, learning and performance potential. This results in a calmer, more trainable and better temperament dog.
Early Scent Introduction
Early Scent Introduction (ESI) is a training program used on puppies to help them identify and react to specific scents. Our puppies are exposed to range of different smells between days 3 - 16. During this stage the puppies can neither see nor hear. They can not regulate their body temperature or eliminate on their own. However, at this age they do have their sense of smell which we are able to take advantage of to improve their adult scenting ability.
Over 13 days we introduce each puppy to a new scent. Scents include grass, chicken feathers, orange peel, spices, leather, essential oils, wood, garlic, sheep wool, etc. The puppy will have either a positive reaction, negative reaction or be neutral to the new smell.
ESI has contributed to dogs successes in search and rescue, service, obedience training, tracking and more. Pet dogs benefit from this stimulation, improving their confidence and stability. Dogs that are taught and engage in scenting have a more optimistic attitude towards life and withthat, fewer behaviour problems.
PUPPY CULTURE BREEDER
We raise our puppies using the Puppy Culture method. This program explores in detail the critical early periods of development that each puppy goes through as well as what we can do as the breeder, to increase the odds of raising a happy, socially successful, and trainable dog.
Puppies' brains are like sponges, that absorb and process information much faster than an older dog at this young age. They reach different milestones almost weekly, for the first few months of their lives. Our puppies are born inside our home and are handled daily by different family members. ENS and ESI are started between days 3-16. Each week we take actions and steps to help puppies reach their full potential. Puppies have very little fear during their first few weeks, making them very curious to new experiences. We introduce various objects, noises and experiences that they may encounter during their lifetime, in a positive way to teach them to approach new things with curiosity rather than fear. They are exposed to different sounds, such as thunder, sirens, loud music, dogs barking and fireworks. We also expose them to different surfaces including grass, tiles, pavers, sand, carpet, mulch, stairs, ramps and tunnels. We introduce enrichment items at the appropriate time, as well as work with each puppy on their startle and recovery reflex around week. Our puppies are well socialised with humans of all ages, as well as other dogs. We also begin our puppies on crate and toilet training before they leave for their new homes. Below is a short overview to help new owners understand the importance of puppy development in the first few weeks of there lives.
We always encourage our new owners to bring their puppy to Puppy School, to help continue with their socialisation and training. Most vets offer puppy preschool classes, where puppies can mix with other puppy breeds in a safe, clean environment.
Our Instagram page is regularly kept up to date and we often share photos and videos in our story section, so you can watch the puppies grow.
PUPPY DEVELOPMENT BY WEEK
Puppies are born deaf and blind, but with their full sense of smell. They use this sense to help them find their mothers milk and littermates. We begin ESI and ENS exercises with the puppies at Day 3 and go until Day 16. Most puppies eyes begin to partially open between day 7-14, however their vision is poor as their retinas are not fully developed. The puppies socialisation period begins now and will last up to week 16.
Puppies have gained much more strength during week 3 and can stand, walk and sit without falling over. Usually puppies teeth begin to come through, with their incisors appearing first. During this week the social creature emerges and they start to play with their littermates and mother. They cry for attention and show an emotional response when they receive it. It is crucial during this time that the puppies are primarily kept with their mother and siblings. We can influence the early communication experience by setting up a calm environment (ie. during weaning giving mum somewhere she can escape to!). They will receive their first nail trim to help make mum more comfortable, as well as keeping their legs in proper position and desentizing them to grooming. At this stage they are unable to feel fear, so we begin working on their startle recovery reflex so they have a goo bounce back reaction. We are conditioning the puppies to be emotionally resilient by triggering the startle recovery cycle between 3-4 weeks. The more times they startle and recover, the faster and better they'll recover as adults. So during this phase we run the vacuum, make loud noises, drop a stack of books, slam the door, etc.
The puppies should be able to walk, run, and play by this stage! They now need more room to run and space so their exercise pen is set up and we allow them time on the grass on sunny days. They can hear, smell, and see and their canine teeth are growing in next to their incisors. When they play, they begin to exhibit distinctive body language such as play bows, as well as growling. They are going their enrichment seeking phase! They still have no real fear so we keep introducing them to novel and interseting things on a daily basis. We will allow new dog members of our home to meet them, help them problem solve and start presenting puppies with formal challenges ie. feeding puppies outside of their puppy pen, so they need to climb out of he whelping box on their own to get to their meal. At this age, puppies begin the weaning process, transitioning from milk to solid food in small increments. Four week old puppies are also learning to control their urination. Week 4 marks the end of the transitional phase for a puppy. Finally, puppies should be de-wormed again at 4 weeks old.
By 8 weeks old, puppies are independent, are fully weaned, and usually ready for their new homes. Their human socialization period is in full swing, so it’s now the responsibility of the new owners to continue to introduce their puppy to other people in a positive manner. As well as this, the puppy’s first fear period begins at 8 weeks and continues up to 10 weeks. During this period, your puppy is more sensitive to traumatic experiences so keeping their environment calm, safe and positive will reduce the risk of imprinting a lasting fear experience.
This week begins the transition phase where the puppies eyes are open, they are alter and starting to stand on their own. They are still highly reliant on their sense of smell, but during this week they start to quickly gain independence with the help from their mother and siblings. Week 2 is when puppies receive their first dose of de wormer.
By the time the puppies are five weeks old they start to develop a fear response and have a fear imprinting period so more caution is warranted during this week. One frightening experience can affect them for the rest of their lives, so we keep this week quiet and calm. Fear will level off around week 10 and this will become the puppies normal sensitivity to fear as an adult. We still do tiny startle and recovery, such as dropping a soft toy in front of them, but we are looking for an immediate recovery. A five week old puppy continues to learn from and socialize with their mother and littermates. During this time, puppies learn more bite inhibition through play. The weaning process also continues at five weeks. Your five week old puppy should gradually be moving on to solid food instead of nursing from their mother.
Although a 6-week old puppy is more independent, they are still too young to leave their mother. At this age, they are still socially developing and learning how to be dogs. They now have the ability to take in information and form emotions to it. This week they have the highest approach and lowest fear response. They are extremely curious so now in the time to introduce puppy to as many appropriate people as possible. If done properly it is a great way to introduce puppies to a lot of novel experiences. Because they are so keen to learn we introduce the puppies to using the doggy door and they learn to toilet outside on grass.
We aim to have our puppies complete weaned during this week. They will receive their first C3 vaccination and microchip, along with their thorough health checks from our lovely vets. We continue to keep up socializing of the puppies with people, our other dogs and let them use puzzle feeders for their lunch. During this time, it’s important that you help your puppy to become acclimated with all types of sounds, sights, and smells in a positive way. We continue to introduce them to various surfaces (grass, tiles, carpets, slipper surfaces, wet surfaces, etc) in a positive way. They also continue to be exposed to difference sounds (sirens, dogs barking, fireworks, thunder).