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3 Days - 2 Weeks

Puppies find comfort in an in-home puppy nursery with constant supervision and care. Each puppy is weighed in the morning to ensure proper growth. At this stage they are growing quickly and bonding with each other and their mom.


At two days old we begin Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) exercises, which are conducted once daily until two weeks old. This period is believed to be a time of rapid neurological growth and development. Even though puppies are very immature during this time frame, they are sensitive and respond to ENS. ENS requires handling the puppies one at a time while performing a series of five exercises. We start with one puppy and stimulate it using each of the five exercises for 3-5 seconds.


  1. Tactile Stimulation – Holding the puppy in one hand, and gently stimulate (tickle) the puppy between the toes on any one foot using a Q-tip. 

  2. Head Held Erect – Using both hands, the puppy is held perpendicular to the ground, (straight up), so that its head is directly above its tail. 

  3. Head Pointed Down – Holding the puppy firmly with both hands the head is reversed and is pointed downward so that it is pointing towards the ground.

  4. Supine Position – Hold the puppy so that its back is resting in the palm of both hands with its face facing the ceiling. 

  5. Thermal Stimulation— Use a damp towel that has been cooled in a refrigerator for at least five minutes. Place the puppy on the towel, feet down. 


Towards the end of two weeks their eyes are opening, and they are learning to walk. 

2 - 6 Weeks

The excitement begins with learning to play with toys, chasing each other around, and receiving lots of hands-on socialization.


As you see from the pictures to the right, the puppies are beginning to adventure into the world of soft food and water. Watching them navigate the litter-sized food bowl is always a cute scene.  During these weeks, the puppies start potty training. This ultimately helps our clients get a head start on house training by the time they head home. 

Most people think of socialization as exposing their puppies to as many new experiences as possible while the puppy is young. While this is part of the process, it’s not enough. Our goal is to raise dogs that have the emotional intelligence to connect with you. Emotional intelligence can be taught to young puppies with 7 key areas. 


1: Communication – giving a puppy their own voice (Communication Trinity – (power up clicker, box game, patiently waiting, and attention/distraction protocols)

2: Emotional Stability – the ability to recover easily from fear as well as stress (startle recovery,  barrier challenges)

3: Habituation – familiarity with the maximum number of things (noises, meeting different people, dogs, other animals)

4: Enrichment – the view that novelty and challenges are opportunities for enrichment rather than things to be feared or avoided 

5: Health – physical wellness and motor skills that will allow the puppy to develop in a neurologically and physically sound way (daily weight checks, grooming, vaccinations, deworming, proper nutrition, vet health checks)

6: Skills – learned behaviors which allow him to function in human society (recall, sitting, simple commands, potty training, and crate training)

7: Love – the desire to seek out the company of both dogs and humans as emotionally positive experiences (shaping emotional responses, Happy and Calm CER (Conditioned Emotional Responses),daily cuddles with humans and mom).

6 - 8 Weeks

At this stage we are continuing to work with the puppies to expose them to just the right experiences at the right time. 


Important socialization and training events begin which are designed to expose puppies to just the right experiences at the right time. Puppies get to practice their training in real life settings, they get to Mand (ask politely) for petting (instead of jumping).

~ New Training Begins:

~ Sit on cue

~ To come when called. 

~ To give up a toy.

~ Clipping nails, grooming, etc.

~ Crate Training - Puppies nap in crate with door open.

~ Crate Training - Nap in crate with door closed.


Fear periods are a normal part of puppy development, knowing how to deal with them, what to do, and most importantly what not to do, have life long implications for the adult dog and it’s family. With the Puppy Culture training, we are able to both recognize when a puppy is experiencing a fear period, to help them through the period, without allowing any trauma that might affect their temperament forever.

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