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Puppy Preschool

Building Blocks 0-8 weeks - Pavlov had no idea

    As breeders, we know just how important our jobs are to send well adjusted, enrichment seeking, Border Collie puppies out into the world.
    Studies show, what a puppy learns through exposure and safe socialization, from birth to 12 weeks of age, becomes “hard-wired” into the brain for life. This means bad and good learning experiences, ingrain during these early formative weeks.
    Breeders are in charge of 8-9 weeks of those 12 weeks of formative “Preschool” learning. With each stage, we watch for specific “developmental markers” to show us when each puppy is ready for the next experience. This is a period in their life when they are learning faster than at any other time.
   Armed with this knowledge, we take advantage of their natural instincts to nurture their rapid early learning.


AWE BC Puppy Preschool Program:
   (Always using “Developmental Markers”)
Neonatal Period: (0 to 4 weeks)
   (3 to 16 days old): 
Shaping the Neurological Development of Newborn Puppies With:

   (ENS) Early Neurological Stimulation (Biosensor Training)
   (SMS) Simulated Maternal Stimulation

   (ESI) Early Scent Introduction and Puppy Massage Handling

Transitional Period: (14 to 21 days)               
   (2-3 weeks-Once Eyes and Ears open)
   “Misty Potty training” begins (started at 3 weeks)
   Startle Recovery

Socialization Period: (3 to 8 weeks)
   Move to Weaning Pen: (3 to 4 weeks)
  Socializing with Humans and Siblings

   Passive Enrichment play:
          Activity Box
          Lots of playtime with siblings
          Lots of interaction with experienced and coached people
          Opportunities to play and explore.

   Challenges & Problem-Solving: (starting at 4 weeks)
          Food Barrier, Tunnel, Uneven floor footing, Ball Pit, Hurdle

   Engaged Enrichment Play: (4-5 weeks)
          Ball Pool
          Tippy Board
          Tippy Board on balls in Pool!
          Tunnel (18 feet long)
          Slide (2 steps tall)
          Tarp (on top of/under/tunneled)
          Play with water

   Sound/Motion/Texture Socialization:
          An assortment of noise-making toys, sounds, and textures introduced daily
          People talking, preparing dinner, coffee machine, daily routines
          Food grinder (coffee beans and puppy chow)
          Vacuum cleaner
          TV & Music
          Dropping things (loud noises to startle/recover)
          Thunder and rain
          Other dogs barking
          interaction with older dogs using trusted canine family members

   Floor surfaces:
          Uneven footing
          Light and dark tile

   Introducing a Positive Response Marker
          Clicker conditioning: (started about 4 weeks):
          “charge the clicker” (Activate clicker response)

Socialization and training Period:
   Weaning to puppy chow: (4-5 weeks)
   Individual attention daily (for separation from littermates &
   Engaged Enrichment Learning: (4 weeks)
   Sitting (using hand command)
   Reward for eye contact (Look at Me - the action creates treat)
   Recall training: Puppy, Puppy, Puppy call (as well as Come, Come, Come calls!)
   Added cooked chicken and string cheese for value treat training

Puppy Yard Exploration Period: (6-8 Weeks)
   Started individual bowl feeding
   Crate Conditioning begins (no closed doors yet)
   Working with the play-biting, chewing on inappropriate furniture, and humans!
   Crate training continued (with short closed-door times)
   Resource guarding work (rarely see with our puppies, but we work on all of them)
   Exercises to teach dealing with frustration
   Harness and loose-leash work (following us and watching)
   Some Clicker “tricks” for treats
   Puppy Party (after 5th-week fear-week)

Getting ready for new home: (7-8 weeks)
   Their “skills” test to see if they need work on anything (not pass/fail, everybody wins!)
   More Crate Training so they will become comfortable being in a crate
   More individual attention & separation from siblings

    Vet checks-A car ride to the Vet for checks and additional outdoor safe socialization.

To get ideas for continuing your safe socialization after 8 weeks, 

   read our blog starring Dreamer:


Dreamer Blog: 100 Days of Social Puppy

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