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The Mitten Doodle Difference
Service Dog Goldendoodle
How we are different....

The enrichment protocols and advanced puppy curriculum we use aim to provide various experiences and stimuli to the puppies, helping them develop both physically and mentally.

 

Here are some common elements found in our program:

  • Socialization: Introducing puppies to different people, animals, and environments is essential during this time. This helps them become familiar with various sights, sounds, and smells, reducing the likelihood of fear or anxiety later in life.

  • Handling: Gentle handling by humans from an early age helps puppies become comfortable with human touch, making them more affectionate and less prone to aggression or fear-based behavior.

  • Basic Training: Simple commands like come can be introduced to puppies during this period. Positive reinforcement training methods are typically used, rewarding puppies for good behavior.

  • Crate Exposure: Introducing puppies to crates helps them develop a safe and comfortable space that can be used for sleeping and as a refuge when they need some alone time.

  • Habituation to Household Noises: Gradually exposing puppies to common household noises like vacuum cleaners, doorbells, and kitchen appliances helps them become accustomed to these sounds.

  • Environmental Exploration: Allowing puppies to explore various safe surfaces and terrains (both indoors and outdoors) aids in their physical development and helps build confidence.

  • Playtime and Social Interaction: Providing opportunities for puppies to interact with littermates and other dogs in a supervised and controlled setting helps them develop appropriate social skills.

  • Veterinary Check-ups and Vaccinations: Ensuring puppies receive proper healthcare and vaccinations is essential to their well-being and overall development.

  • Nutritious Diet: Providing a balanced and appropriate diet for the puppies ensures they receive the necessary nutrients for their growth and development.

Early socialization and training lay the foundation for a happy, confident, and well-behaved companion throughout their life. 

3 days - 2 Weeks old

Early Neurological Stimulation

Every day we handle each individual puppy and conduct a series of 5 different exercise. These exercises produce neurological stimulation early on that wouldn't naturally occur. This tends to kick the neurological system into gear earlier, resulting in improved cardiovascular performance, stronger adrenal glands, more tolerant to stress, greater resistance to disease.

3 Weeks old

 

The Enrichment Effect

Introducing lullaby music at night and desensitizing classical music during the day, along with providing soft toys, are ways we enrich the puppy's environment during their early development. These sensory experiences can have a positive impact on their emotional well-being, socialization, and adaptability to various sounds and stimuli. Here's how each aspect contributes to their development:

  • Calming Effect: Lullaby music has a soothing and calming effect on puppies, much like it does for human babies. It helps create a peaceful and stress-free environment for them to rest and sleep.

  • Association with Positive Experiences: By playing lullabies at night, puppies may develop positive associations between bedtime and relaxation, making it easier for them to settle down when it's time to sleep.

  • Comfort and Familiarity: Soft toys can serve as comforting companions, helping the puppies feel secure and reducing any feelings of loneliness or separation from their littermates.

  • Sensory Stimulation: Soft toys in the whelping box provide tactile and visual stimulation for the puppies. They can explore, paw, and interact with the toys, promoting physical and cognitive development.

  • Environmental Adaptability: Early exposure to different sounds helps puppies become more adaptable and less reactive to changes in their surroundings.

Massages

Providing daily massages and gentle human interaction for puppies is a wonderful way to create positive associations with people and to help them feel safe and comfortable around humans. Early socialization and positive experiences with humans during the critical developmental period can have long-lasting effects on a puppy's behavior and temperament as they grow into adult dogs.

Litter Training Begins.

When puppies are born, their mother typically stimulates them to eliminate by licking them. As they grow, they learn to associate specific areas for elimination, and this behavior can be shaped to encourage them to use a designated potty area.

Grand Rapids Michigan Goldendoodle Puppies

4 Weeks Old

 

The Enrichment Effect
 

Enriching the puppyies environment with a variety of stimulating and interactive items is how we promote their mental and physical development. Providing a diverse range of sensory experiences and challenges can have numerous benefits for the puppies' overall well-being and future adaptability. Here's how each type of enrichment you mentioned can positively impact the puppies:

  1. Squeaky Toys: Squeaky toys engage a puppy's natural curiosity and play drive. They provide auditory stimulation and can be rewarding when the puppy successfully interacts with the toy.

  2. Bubble Wrap: The popping sound and texture of bubble wrap provide novel sensory experiences, encouraging exploration and play.

  3. Slick Surfaces: Walking on slick surfaces, like linoleum or smooth tiles, challenges a puppy's balance and coordination, contributing to their physical development.

  4. Tunnels: Tunnels are fun and stimulating for puppies to explore. They help build confidence as the puppies navigate through them.

  5. Uneven Wobble Boards: Wobble boards promote balance and proprioception as the puppies learn to stabilize themselves on the uneven surface.

  6. Steps and Slides: Negotiating steps and slides helps puppies develop spatial awareness and can be a playful way to stimulate physical activity.

Socializing Begins.

Introducing puppies to a variety of people during this age is an essential part of their early socialization process. Socialization at a young age helps puppies become well-adjusted, confident, and friendly adult dogs. By inviting friends and family to play and interact with the puppies, we are providing them with valuable experiences that will positively shape their behavior and temperament in the long run.

 

Startle Recovery Begin.

Teaching puppies to recover quickly from being startled is an important aspect of thier socialization and resilience development. By exposing them to a variety of everyday household noises, we are providing valuable experiences that will help them become more adaptable and less reactive to unexpected sounds and stimuli. 

Emotional Resilience Exercises Begin.

Emotional resilience exercises for puppies are valuable in preparing them for the various challenges and stressors they may encounter throughout their lives. These exercises aim to build their ability to cope with different situations, adapt to changes, and maintain a balanced emotional state.

Problem Solving Games are Introduced.

Introducing problem-solving games to puppies to enhance their cognitive abilities and teach them how to cope with challenges and frustrations. These games stimulate their minds, encourage critical thinking, and promote mental agility. Moreover, they help the puppies develop resilience and persistence when faced with obstacles.

crate trained goldendoodle puppies

5 Weeks Old

 

Crates are introduced into the puppy pen.

Introducing crates into the puppy pen and implementing crate exposure is a valuable aspect of their early development and training. Crates can serve as safe and comfortable spaces for puppies and offer several benefits for their well-being and future behavior. Crate exposure is an essential part of crate training, which helps puppies learn to view the crate positively and use it as a den or refuge.

 

Puppies Begin to Learn Core Skills.

Teaching puppies core skills, including recall, is an essential part of their early training and development. Recall is a fundamental skill that ensures the safety of the puppies and enables them to have enjoyable off-leash experiences while staying connected with their owners.

Confidence Building.

 For the first time, puppies are capable of experiencing true fear. We guide each puppy though this fear stage avoiding any experience that might cause lifelong fear problems, and build up their confidence.

Puppy Culture Goldendoodle Breeder

6-8 Weeks Old

Body Handling.

Regular body handling is an important aspect of a puppy's early socialization and grooming training. By handling puppies daily and exposing them to various grooming activities, we are helping them become comfortable with human touch and grooming procedures.

 

Resource Guarding Prevention.

We play"trade it up"to prevent resource guarding behavior in puppies. Resource guarding occurs when dogs perceive certain items, such as treats, bones, toys, or food, as valuable resources and feel the need to protect them from perceived threats, including humans or other animals. By teaching puppies to enjoy having their possessions taken away in a positive and rewarding manner, we are helping them develop a more relaxed and trusting attitude toward resource exchanges. This training can be instrumental in preventing future incidents of resource guarding and promoting a safe and cooperative environment.

 

Desensitizing.

Desensitizing puppies to various sounds is an important aspect of their early socialization and training. By exposing them to a variety of noises in a controlled and positive environment, we can help them become more adaptable and less reactive to loud or unfamiliar sounds. This desensitization process is particularly helpful in preventing noise phobias and anxiety in adult dogs. We will play desensitizing sounds like thunderstorms, city traffic, vacuum cleaners, fireworks, hair dryer, grooming clippers and so much more.

Temperament Evaluations 

Conducting temperament evaluations at 6-7 weeks of age is a thoughtful and responsible approach to finding the best-matched homes for each individual puppy. This critical stage of a puppy's development offers valuable insights into their temperament, personality, and behavioral traits, helping ensure a successful and harmonious match between the puppy and their future family. Here are some benefits of conducting temperament evaluations at this age:

  1. Early Assessment: Evaluating a puppy's temperament at 6-7 weeks allows you to assess their natural tendencies and responses before they are influenced by external factors. This provides a more accurate representation of their true temperament.

  2. Individualized Placement: Matching each puppy to a home that suits their specific temperament and needs can lead to better bonding, long-term compatibility, and overall happiness for both the puppy and the family.

  3. Smooth Transitions: Placing puppies in homes that align with their temperamental traits ensures smoother transitions. Puppies are more likely to thrive and adjust quickly to their new environment and family when their needs are well-matched.

  4. Better Informed Families: By sharing the temperament evaluation results with potential families, we empower them to make informed decisions about which puppy will be the best fit for their lifestyle and preferences.

It's important to remember that temperament evaluations are not definitive predictors of a puppy's future behavior, as their temperament can continue to evolve with time and proper training. 

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