When our puppies reach the “transitional period” of growth, that is, weeks 2-4 or so, they are really developing amazing use of their senses. Eyes and ears have opened up and these two senses grow ever more sharp as the days pass. Smell is sharper than ever and now the babies can begin to connect their senses together to form a full picture of their environment.
Early neurological stimulation ends at 16 days of life and now is the time for the breeder to enrich the puppy’s environment. If you were bringing your toddler to preschool he/she would be expected to experience the exact same kind of enrichment. This is essentially what we’re doing now. We’ve moved past the infant listening to Bach stage 😉 And now we’re on to the toddler playing with puzzles and going on nature explorations.
I am now dealing with our little puppy-toddlers and teaching them all they can learn about the world through exploring their senses. I capitalize on their still young, innocent mind, free from strong fear reactions and other negative emotions. Our innocent little toddlers are fearless, for the most part, and ripe for experiencing all kinds of things to be cataloged in their minds as “normal” and “safe”.
The biggest focus during these next two weeks is having the puppies experience a whole range of sights, sounds, textures, temperatures, and more.
Essentially “sensory stimulation” is all about, well, stimulating the senses. Pretty easy stuff, actually. For these two weeks we focus on activities like scent-sory jars and the sensory board for really capitalizing on the puppies’ awakening senses.
Check out these pages for pictures and information about these two cool activities we introduce during this critical phase of puppy development.