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Puppies Life With Us

Puppy Development

Getting our puppies off to a good start and on the right paw, raising them in our home, being well socialised in our family environment, exposed to the noises of a normal home together with our commitment and dedication and many sleepless nights in the early days from all of us gives them a wonderful start to their life.  Our puppies are regularly handled as we complete Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS), stimulating the neurological system which improves the growth and development of the pup’s immune system, cardiovascular system, and stress tolerance. 


The neonatal period is from birth to around 3 weeks, this is also known as the vegetative phase as their life is dominated by nursing and sleep. When newborn puppies are sleeping there is continuous twitching, jerking, stretching etc this is important for the development of their neuromuscular system, they show this activated sleep for about 75% of their sleeping hours.

The first 48 hours we are intensively monitoring and observing nursing to eliminate risk factors and ensuring adequate intake of colostrum within the first 12 hours, each puppy is clearly identified with a coloured collar, making our daily weigh ins at ease. Crucial tracking of their growth rate is essential, with daily recordings on individual weight charts.  They are born blind, their eyelids are closed, and are also born deaf, with their ear canal closed.


Puppies cannot regulate their own body temperature when they are born,  it is maintained by their mothers warmth, and snuggling up with other litter mates and heat mats we provide.

They are unable to shiver, a mechanism for producing extra body heat. If their body temperature drops to low they loose their digestion ability and if their temperature drops lower again they loose their sucking reflex, when they are hypothermic they cannot digest anymore. Their environmental temperature and humidity is critical.

When puppies are born their pelvis is made up of 4 bones which are not fully developed as yet, they continue to develop during the first 3 months of life and fuse together at about 12 weeks of age. Healthy newborn puppies have good muscle tone, feeling firm and plump and wiggle vigorously when handled.

Early Neurological Stimulation

Some methods discovered have produced long lasting effects using ways of stimulation to improve their natural abilities and early life time by being responsive to a type of stimuli, without causing too much stress or being too intense.

Showing stimulation and interaction during early development, pups where more able to cope, adjust and later adapt into various environments and households as adults.

The U.S Military in their canine program developed this method and still uses as a guide to what works to improve the performance of dogs, becoming known now to us as the "Super Dog" program.

Between days 3-16 is the first window of time due to the period of rapid neurological growth and development giving them a superior advantage. It utilises 5 exercises once per day for 3-4 seconds on each pup.

1. Tactical stimulation (between toes) 2. Head held erect 3. Head pointed down 4. Supine position (laying on their back, face upwards) 5. Thermal stimulation (laying tummy down) on a damp cool cloth.

0-3 Weeks

Puppies eyes begin to open 10 to 14 days after birth, they are capable of detecting some colours, but fewer colours than normal humans do. Dogs see within the blue and yellow range of the light spectrum, they see dark blue, light blue, grey, light yellow, darker yellow (sort of brown) and very dark grey.

During the second - third weeks hearing starts to develop and we can see them starting to respond to noises, hearing is about 4 x better than humans. They have around 18 muscles in their ears that can tilt, rotate, raise and lower. Upright ears tend to have superior hearing compared to dogs with floppy ears.

Both senses will be weak at first, but will improve as they progress reacting to light and sound.

At 21-35 days after birth their teeth will start to erupt.

4-8 Weeks

We feed for nutrition, not just a full tummy providing optimal growth whilst maintaining optimal weight.

The duration of their growth period is COMPLETE and BALANCED.

Pups first steps are taken, they begin to bark and play fight with their siblings, and may even begin to practice growling and tail-wagging as social interaction begins.

They continue to develop their milk teeth.

Most will now be able to lap water from a bowl and the introduction of solids...the weaning process begins. 

During this weaning period, the mother still provides for some of the puppies nutritional needs through her milk.
Together their new environment and nutrition of high quality feed are our key considerations during this challenging transition on their still developing digestive organs. 

We assess their temperament and personality to ensure we can match each puppy to the most suitable home, being prevalent at the stage of 7 weeks of age when they are almost neurologically complete, their brain is 70% developed of an adult dog.

Our puppy selection visits are arranged at 7 weeks, so the time spent with the families and the puppies allows the opportunity for valuable interaction and time spent for questions and answers. 

A puppy's mental and physical development is aided by a complex environment. We provide puppies with an increasing amount of human interaction, a range of toys, noise and other stimuli as this stage progresses.

We ensure that all puppies visit the vet for their health check, first vaccination and microchip. 

Did You Know...


Canine skin renews itself every 20 days, under grooming prevents fresh hair growth and allows bacteria to thrive underneath aiding loss of moisture.


Dogs have around 1700 taste buds on their tongue while humans have around 9000 taste buds on our tongues.

Nose and Scent

They love to sniff, they can sniff at the same time as breathing, it's a very natural enriching behaviour. Sniffing is a major component of greeting behaviour and provides them with information about the dog's sex, age and emotional state. They use of several types of odours for communication, urine, anal glands and body odour. Humans have only around 5 million scent receptors in our noses, but some breeds have over 100 million.

Dogs don't sweat

Dogs don't sweat, they pant to cool down, so keep your dog cool on hot days to make it easier on them. But...panting doesn't always mean they are hot, it could be a sign they are stressed.

Golden Retriever Litter of Puppies AnnieGold MatildaGoldies
Golden Retriever Litter of Puppies AnnieGold MatildaGoldies
Golden Retriever Puppy AnnieGold MatildaGoldies
Golden Retriever Puppy AnnieGold MatildaGoldies



4 Types Of Enrichment Explained

Enrichment means the act of making fuller or more meaningful or rewarding, it's about making a dog's life more interesting by increasing mental and physical stimulation by introducing novel interesting elements into their environment to keep them occupied and brain stimulated to prevent boredom and undesirable behaviour.

Remember to take into account the treats you are using for training, to take this out of their daily ration, use meal time as well for opportunities to get the training in.


Food dispensing toys, snuffle pads, likimats, raw bones, hard chews are great for making them work longer and harder for their meal. The way in the wild was hunting and searching for hours finding food, our dogs at home only take seconds or minutes to eat from their bowls, leaving them lots of spare time. Hiding or scattering food around for mental stimulation adding to their natural technique for foraging and exercise. When a dog licks a likimat, it releases endorphin’s and dopamine into their brain, making them feel good, also helping with anxiety and any distractions you might need to assist in that positive experience like cutting nails for example.


Interacting/contact with humans and other animals, including walking, lots of cuddles and pats, grooming or doggy day care. This can make dogs more comfortable and less stressed by spending some time socialising with other compatible dogs and lots of different types of humans. We have a hand out in our puppy packs with a recommended socialisation checklist.


Give them a job to do which will be mentally and physically challenging for them. Training sessions, food puzzles and to teach them to catch food are all great examples of challenges.


Frisbee, toys to rotate, indoor games like hide and seek, tug, wading pool filled with water or can also fill with coloured balls and hide treats amongst the balls. This eliminates boredom, preventing behaviour problems, provides mental stimulation and enjoyment, exercise such as fetch and using equipment like tunnels, hoops and ramps, weave through legs or poles, rollover, and on your mat will all keep your dog fit.

+ Relax Time

Remember they need to learn to have free time to rest and relax as well, we don't like constant stimulation, overwhelming them, give them the opportunity for downtime, allowing for them to better perform, promoting their mental and physical well being when they can relax and think for themselves.

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