A quick summary of our puppy schedule
0-2 Weeks Old
Early Neurological Stimulation
Introducing Nail Trims
3 Weeks Old
Startle and Recovery
Socialization With People
Body Handling and Grooming
4 Weeks Old
Move to a Larger Pen
Introduce Other Pets
5 Weeks Old
All about Fear periods!
Move bed into a crate
6-7 Weeks Old
8 Weeks Old
Puppies Go To Their New Homes!!
Teddy Bear Mini Goldendoodles in Michigan
Early Puppy Development
The Enriched Puppy Protocol (EPP)
Our puppies are raised the way of EPP. EPP has proven itself with thousands of puppies being raised with superior temperments for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Southeastern Guide Dogs, Guide Dogs of America & Assistance Dogs of the West, as well as with private breeders. Puppies are socialized from the moment they are born. EPP provides age appropriate stimulation and challenges to develop their minds and their bodies. Raised in our home, puppies receive intense amounts of human contact, and grow up in an enriched environment to maximize their neuro-muscular development. The result is a coordinated, connected, competent and confident puppy.
Puppies are introduced to crates before they leave our home. Their athletic ability is carefully & deliberately developed through indoor & outdoor challenges from an early age.
We breed a correctly structured dog who is athletic, coordinated and able to be a great part of your family. Accompanying a sound body is incredible intelligence and desire to please - however, we do not breed dogs with excessive drive that are difficult to live with. First & foremost, these are companion animals, and no matter how brilliant, you still have to live with them!
Beauty & Nobility
While trying to breed sound dogs, we have not sacrificed the beauty or nobility of a proper Goldendoodle. These are not just great dogs - they're also truly beautiful & kind!
Sound bodies & excellent health. We try hard to minimize health problems, and make sure to breed only health tested parents.
Enriched Puppy Protocol/Early Neurological Stimulation
All of our puppies receive early neurological stimulation, from around three days old until about two and a half weeks old (until the puppy is walking.) This age is when it has been shown that neurological stimulation has the most benefit. It lasts less than one minute, each step only lasts 4-10 seconds. This is also only done one time per day. Below is what our puppies during their daily handling.
• Pick the puppy up and while holding him/her, gently rub a q-tip (or finger with short fingernails) between the toes.
• Lightly rub your fingers over every part of his/her body. This is also the time to check the umbilicus, genitals and eyes to make sure everything looks normal for that developmental stage.
• Hold the puppy in your hands so that it's butt is towards the ground and it's head is towards the ceiling. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
• Hold the puppy in your hands on it's back. Ideally we hold them in this position for a few seconds and then they fall asleep, then hold them there for about 5 seconds. If they puppy does not stop struggling after 5 seconds we do not continue and will move on. (Note, all puppies should struggle initially. Turning themselves upright is one of the things they do instinctively at birth.)
Our Puppies from 0 to 7 weeks:
For the first 3 weeks, the puppies are completely dependent on mom for every need. They can not go to the bathroom on their own and can not maintain their own temperature. Our whelping room has it's own heater, so that we can keep the air warm for the puppies (80 degrees is too warm for the humans and other dogs!)
The first 10 days the puppies do nothing but sleep and nurse, and will cry if they are hungry, cold, or incomfortable. Mom hates to be away from her puppies even for the few minutes it takes for her to go to the bathroom. The first few days, while she is ok with humans touching her babies to check on them, she doesn't like it. At around day 3 the puppies will be handled individually for their early neurological stimulation once a day.
After the first 10 days mom doesn't mind humans handling them, and doesn't mind other (select) dogs smelling and cleaning them. She will leave them for small periods of time to take a break or play. By 2 weeks she is comfortable leaving them for a couple of hours. They start to open their eyes around this time as well, although they can't see more than a blur yet. They are starting to sit up. At 2 weeks old the puppies get their first nail trim! Some will attempt to learn how to walk.
By 3 weeks all the puppies will be attempting to walk. They are able to go to the bathroom on their own, and maintain their own temperature. Mom feeds them every 4-6 hours, and does not want to be with them all the time. Early neurological stimulation continues until all the puppies are walking and they are moved ot of the whelping room.
Once all of the puppies are all walking and can maintain their own body temperature, so can move out of the whelping room and into the main area of the house. Not only do they need more space, as the more mobile they become the more room they need to encourage moving around and exploring, but they are also exposed to normal house-hold sights, sounds, and smells. They will meet cats, other large adult dogs, and small dogs.
This is an incredibly important 2 weeks! They become very active very quickly, and develop a distinct personality. The puppies learn how to run, jump, and play. They start to wrestle and learn boundaries, as well as discover toys and learn how to play with them. They will be introduced to different floor material, and simple obstacles like things that can be walked through, under, or over.
The puppies will gradually start to look for a place to go to the bathroom that is not where they sleep. Changing the bed as soon as possible after an accident, and leaving a scent layer underneath the area you want them to go to the bathroom, will encourage this already natural behavior. By 5 weeks most of the puppies will be going to the bathroom in one area.
This is also the period that the puppies discover people and are very excited about them. Right away we get them used to being handled in the same way their family and veterinarian will be handling them. Every day while being pet and cuddled, every part of their body is inspected and massaged to get them used to having their legs, face, ears, and tail touched and messed with. (And we can check to make sure that everything is looking good at the same time!) Their feet will be touched and massaged, especially between the toes and pads. Every toe is handled as if they are getting a nail trim, although unless needed, they do not receive their second nail trim until 4 weeks of age.
Mom leaves them for 6-8 hours at a time. While still taking care of them, she goes from nursing every 4-6 hours at 3 weeks, to nursing twice a day by 5 weeks. Throughout the day she is content to check on them, clean them up, and leave them again without nursing. She is preparing them for weaning and will start to knock them over or hold them down when they are too rambunctious or bite too hard. She will start sleeping away from the puppies.
The puppies are weaned at about 5 weeks. By 6 weeks, they will be completely on solid food. Some moms will not let the puppies nurse at all at this point, some will let them nurse for a minute and then stop them. She is more rough with them, teaching them that they can't bite as hard as they want, growling means leave me alone or stop doing what you are doing, and that they don't always get what they want. The puppies bed will be moved into a crate that is left open once they are weaned.
The puppies are aptitude tested once they have been weaned for several days. We do not like to do aptitude testing until weaning is complete because we have found that weaning brings about personality changes. We have had shy puppies turn into assertive confident puppies once they are on solid food and aren't being pushed around while trying to nurse!
At 6 weeks the puppies receive their first vaccines, and are ready for visitors to see them.
7 Weeks & On
Socialization Period (7 - 12 Weeks) and First Fear Imprint Period (8-11 Weeks)
“Lasting impact, rapid learning”
Dogs that are denied socialization during this critical Socialization Period often become unpredictable because they are fearful or aggressive. It is during this time that your dog needs to have positive experiences. They need to be introduced to new things and begin the groundwork to a happy, well-adjusted dog.
Beginning at 7 weeks of age, what is going on:
Short attention spans
Things learned are permanent and will be resistant to change.
Puppy will be eager to learn.
What he does and learns now, he will do as an adult.
Puppy’s temperament and personality will become more apparent.
Puppy will be transitioning his education from his mother to his human environment.