We’ve all used and heard the term “nature vs nurture”… describing where it’s more apt someone gets their personality and behaviours from. Research on the brain is showing us definite genetic markers that are passed from parent to off spring… but more recent scientific research is also proving that we can shape destined behaviour into a more balanced temperament by modifying the environment. We are aiming to do this with early conditioning and training.
We’ve already started this process with the Early Neurological Stimulation we begun when the puppies were only 3 days old. We added tiny bits of stress to the puppies and helped them recover from it and understand that it’s ok and normal to feel this way, and it passes quickly, life goes on. Approximately a week after that we started putting them in the water. When the pups are in the water, we are using words like “calm” and “relaxed” when the puppies are showing us that behaviour. This way, they can connect a word to the way they’re actually feeling. And as they get older, when we ask them to relax or calm down, they will actually understand what it means. While they’re in the water, we are using simple massage techniques which promote relaxation and this gets continued when they come out of the water and are being dried off. With so many puppies in the litter, I find myself looking forward to the puppy massage sessions, because it’s a chance to give them each undivided attention. By their reactions, the puppies enjoy it just as much!
This week we’ve added Sights & Sounds play into our training regime. The aquatic conditioning and massage are continuing and with this new play experience, our days keep getting fuller and fuller! It’s been really interesting to make note of the different reactions the puppies have to the noise and light stimulation. The best was Miss Pink who sat next to a piano which was on continuous play mode and she put her little head up and started howling along with the music. Of course, no phone in my hand and the moment was over by the time I got the record button pushed. Some of the puppies crawl all over the toys making the sound or lighting up, others just sit and watch and there’s even a few who don’t seem to care one way or another that anything extra is happening. All of it is being recorded and noted and is giving us more clues into who each of them is. We will have our personality scent testing report cards back any time now too, and then we can start really shaping individual temperament. Our calm pups will learn how to become more alert and our excited puppies will learn strategies on calming down.