WHEN YOU BRING YOUR NEW PUPPY HOME:
Regardless of your reason for acquiring a puppy, you’ll have to win it over. You, not your dog, will have to create a safe and secure environment with ongoing training if your pup is to develop into a well-mannered family member instead of a thug or a burden. Dogs are animals, not human beings. They are motivated and think as a pack animal. In every pack, there is at least one, sometimes more than one, leader who tends to make most of the decisions. Usually, the pack will have at least one and possibly more breeding males and females.
In reality, there is no such thing as an ‘alpha’ in a wolf pack. It is a family unit, father mother and various ages of offspring. People got the idea of alpha by observing wolves in captivity. Unfortunately, none of those wolves were related so squabbles and fights broke out over hierarchy. All the other members of the pack form a hierarchy in which everyone has a place. Your dog is not a wolf, and though we have tended to think alpha is an important position, new scientific knowledge and observation of wolves in the wild have totally disproved this idea. That is not to say you should not show leadership through controlling resources in a fair and equitable way. In your home, you and your family become your dog’s family, as do any other dogs you may have. It is, therefore, your responsibility to establish yourself in a position of authority and trust. If you fail to do this, your dog may question your commands. Many people assume that they are automatically the lead figure just because they are humans.
Are you really the leader? Does your dog know it and respect your wishes and commands? Are you controlling all the resources around your dog and does the dog see you as the resource controller? Being the leader/controller does not mean you have to be big and aggressive. Nor does it mean that there has to be a battle of strength or wills. Anyone can be the leader/controller. It is an attitude an air of authority. It is the basis for mutual respect and provides the building blocks of communication and trust between you and your dog. It never means punishment or overt aggression.
Stan Rawlinson © 1999 Adapted from and credited to Stan Rawlinson. Visit his page here for more information.
From: “Developing High Achievers”
by Dr. Carmen Battaglia
May 1995 AKC Gazette
The U.S. Military in their canine program developed a method that still serves as a guide to what works. In an effort to improve the performance of dogs used for military purposes, a program called “Bio Sensor” was developed. Later, it became known to the public as the “Super Dog” Program. Based on years of research, the military learned that early neurological stimulation exercises could have important and lasting effects. Their studies confirmed that there are specific time periods early in life when neurological stimulation has optimum results. The first period involves a window of time that begins at the third day of life and lasts until the sixteenth day. It is believed that this interval of time is a period of rapid neurological growth and development, and therefore is of great importance to the individual.
The “Bio Sensor” program was also concerned with early neurological stimulation in order to give the dog a superior advantage. Its development utilized six exercises, which were designed to stimulate the neurological system. Each workout involved handling puppies once each day. The workouts required handling them one at a time while performing a series of five exercises. Listed in no order of preference the handler starts with one pup and stimulates it using each of the five exercises. The handler completes the series from beginning to end before starting with the next pup. The handling of each pup once per day involves the following exercises:
- Tactile stimulation – holding the pup in one hand, the handler gently stimulates (tickles) the pup between the toes on any one foot using a Q-tip. It is not necessary to see that the pup is feeling the tickle. Time of stimulation 3 – 5 seconds.
- Head held erect – using both hands, the pup is held perpendicular to the ground, (straight up), so that its head is directly above its tail. This is an upward position. Time of stimulation 3 – 5 seconds.
- Head pointed down – holding the pup firmly with both hands the head is reversed and is pointed downward so that it is pointing towards the ground. Time of stimulation 3 – 5 seconds.
- Supine position – hold the pup so that its back is resting in the palm of both hands with its muzzle facing the ceiling. The pup while on its back is allowed to sleep struggle. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds.
- Thermal stimulation – use a damp towel that has been cooled in a refrigerator for at least five minutes. Place the pup on the towel, feet down. Do not restrain it from moving. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds.
These five exercises will produce neurological stimulations, none of which naturally occur during this early period of life. Experience shows that while sometimes pups will resist these exercises, others will appear unconcerned. In either case a caution is offered to those who plan to use them. Do not repeat them more than once per day and do not extend the time beyond that recommended for each exercise. Over stimulation of the neurological system can have adverse and detrimental results. These exercises impact the neurological system by kicking it into action earlier than would be normally expected. The result being an increased capacity that later will help to make the difference in its performance. Those who play with their pups and routinely handle them should continue to do so because the neurological exercises are not substitutions for routine handling, play socialization or bonding. Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor stimulation exercises:
- Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate).
- Stronger heart beats.
- Stronger adrenal glands.
- More tolerance to stress.
- Greater resistance to disease.
In tests of learning, stimulated pups were found to be more active and were more exploratory than their non- stimulated littermates over which they were dominant in competitive situations.
The entire article can be read by following this link.
The Super puppy program lasts from Day 3 to Day 16. After Day 16 we begin the Rules of 12 to enhance early socialization.