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  • Writer's pictureDiane Prohaska

Can't take your eye off them!!

What a day. I finally arrived in my hotel and all best plans get changed! Long story short I planned to blog on the flight and well my external keyboard was MIA. Since my talk to text and my one finger keying are atrocious I had to put off my list of the things I wanted to share. But here I am new magic keyboard in hand (thanks Apple for late Sunday hours!) and starting this post.

Do you like my catchy title "can't take your eye off them? Perhaps more eyes opened? Um sorry, not sure as I'm not home :( Do you think they are so cute that I can't take my eyes off them? Well that is true, but not the reason tonight. So what does this mean? Oh brother it starts. Momma Sue hears a puppy cry tonight and goes into the room to only find one of the bigger pups sitting in the middle of the "room" floor by themselves. So it starts, the first escape artist and I missed it! We'll make some adjustments when I get home and will "build the addition" to the whelping box :) That will help, but Ella still needs regular access so we can't close the opening very much at this point.

There have been some things I've wanted to share with my puppy owners so I'm putting some thoughts here. No particular order, but I hope you find interesting in learning about how these pups will and have been raised.

Early Neurological Stimulation/Neonatal Period:

There are different techniques for raising puppies and this has evolved over time. One of the tried methods is called "puppy culture". Puppy culture is an aged based process that starts out within the first couple of days of birth with Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS). ENS is a series of exercises completed daily. Benefits of ENS have shown better handling of stress, improved cardiovascular and others. The exercises are simple and only take moments, however have been proven for long term positive effects. We aim to do these everyday, however on days where the pups are already active for other reasons I skip the formality of the exercises as the pups are already being handled (e.g. photo day).

The exercises last no longer than 5 seconds each and it's important not to overly stimulate. The five exercises are: stimulate the paws with q tip or touch, hold puppy straight up with head to the ceiling, craddle puppy in your hands with paws up, put pup on a colder towel, and last but not least is head down position. The last one always intimidates me a little, but then I remember when I could do a yoga inversion (and wished I could do them now!!) and how healthy they were to the cardiovascular system (I'm pretty sure though I count to 5 really fast on this one).

I've actually added an exercise to the process, so I'll call the new process ENS+ ... after the first five exercises I add in the snuggle kiss. It's my favorite exercise of all and the pups love it!! We actually do this one a lot through the day!!

This neonatal period lasts until 14 days (tomorrow!!!), then we move on to the Transitional period.

Here is a link to learn more about ENS

Transitional Period:

As we move into the transitional period (14-21 days old) we will change things up. Ella will leave the box more and we will start introducing age appropriate toys. We will also start to introduce new experiences. One example is to run the vacuum cleaner.

Feel free to send me some recommendations on what these could be and we'll try to introduce some of them. It may be fun for you to come up with some ideas for the pups early socialization (still indoors at this age) :) Please though no ziplining for the pups - yet !!!! :)

Puppy Culture:

I'm going to end the puppy culture information on the transitional period and share some other insights that may be of interest. To learn more on this technique - visit their website at


In some of the videos you may see the sleeping puppy twitch or even bark. This is quite normal. I like to think of this as the puppy having sweet dreams of bones and toys but in reality there is a purpose - in short they are growing :) The twitching though is activated sleep and helps the puppies to develop motor coordination.

Whelping Boxes

Last on my list of things to share is why I have two whelping boxes. You've probably seen them in pictures - the durawhelp (gray) upstairs and the white one downstairs. This goes back to working from home and having the ability to have the pups closer to me when I am working, if no one else is home. It also gives the pups new experiences as well. It's really more about convenience for me and having flexibility. I will say though that carrying 1 week old pups in the basket downstairs is a lot easier than two week pups. Pretty sure it'll be two trips next week!! PS - the puppy basket with the great pink fleece - Ella loves to go in it and roll up in a ball at times.

Pictures are from last Sunday and a couple from yesterday. I didn't realize they were in my camera. Huge difference in ticking seeing pics from week apart.

Ok, that's all for now! Hopefully I'll be able to share more tomorrow!!

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