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>> Can everyone see me okay? Sound? Oh, do we need light? Okay, okay, okay. Let me get in. Okay, all right... We're coming to you live from New Jersey in the United States. Welcome, we're gonna have a good time and learn something about puppies and emotional responses. My family has had bull terriers since 1982... And oh, there's somebody chewing on my... This is not gonna work down here. This feels like a toy to the puppies. Let's see. We're gonna have to have this up here. My husband Mark, who is the technical genius behind this whole thing and the man behind the camera, and I breed bull terriers under the Madcap kennel name. And between Mark and I, we've put probably, at this point, over 100 titles and performance and breed on cattle dogs and bull terriers. To some of our breeding program, we won't do a breeding if we don't think we can produce something that's gonna move our kennel forward as far as the breed ring. However, our overarching concern is to produce behaviorally sound dogs because at the end of the day, we're pet breeders. If we wind up with one puppy from this litter that we can move forward with and show and finish and move forward our breeding program with, that's fantastic, it's a win. Nine times out of ten, and this is probably true for most of the people who are watching, that are breeders, these are going to pet homes and they have to enhance the lives of the people that they live with. So again, producing behaviorally sound dogs is paramount to us, and that's why we're here to talk to you today. Thanks, honey. Puppies! And yeah, for those of you that have seen Puppy Culture, you know I always start adding the puppy call as soon as possible as soon as I start putting food down so that I send my puppies home with an excellent recall. It's a classically conditioned recall, speaking of classically conditioned things. These puppies were four weeks old, at 1am Monday morning, it's when they started being born. So they are in the second week of their critical... One, two, three, four, one, two, who's miss... Oh, somebody's sleeping. Bijou B is sleeping. So they are in the second week of their critical socialization period. And it's very important to note the age of the puppies because in another week, they're going to start entering into their initial fear period. So we want to get a lot of this classical conditioning work done with them when they still have a startle response, they're in their socialization period but they have not yet mounted a true fear response because a lot of what we're going to do is kind of offensive to the puppies, but as we'll talk later, we want to elicit an emotional response out of the puppies so that we can actually counteract and countercondition it now. So let's talk about the difference between classical conditioning and operant conditioning, again, review for a lot of you guys, just enjoy the puppies eating and we'll quickly get back to new material. So there are really two ways that a puppy can learn. One is classical conditioning, or sometimes just called conditioning. And the other is operant conditioning or what we often call training. Training is what most often comes to mind when we think of teaching puppies something. The puppy sits, you give them a cookie, they learn, it's a quid pro quo. They do something, you do something, and the puppy learns. You give them something in exchange, there's an exchange going back and forth. The important thing to know about training is that it requires two things, an intellectual response and a voluntary action. When we say voluntary, we don't mean voluntary in the sense of like I'm forcing them or not forcing them, but voluntary as opposed to involuntary like salivating is involuntary response, startling when you're scared is an involuntary response, deciding to walk across the street to go get a slice of pizza is a voluntary response. Feeling hunger pangs and drooling when you get in and you smell the pizza are involuntary responses. But training in the sense of operant conditioning requires an intellectual process and a voluntary response. Very useful, what we mostly use to train our dogs. Classical conditioning is completely different. Classical conditioning requires a reflexive and involuntary response. So in the previous... Again, in the pizza example, you don't decide, "Oh, that pizza looks great. I think I'm going to feel hunger pangs and drool now." No. It just happens. If you are physiologically normal, even if you prefer not to do those things, maybe you're on a date, you don't think it's cool to be hungry, your stomach is gonna growl, you're gonna drool when you see food, involuntary responses, whether you want to or not, that is the territory of classical conditioning. So now here comes the learning part. The classically conditioned learning takes place... I'm gonna say this sentence and it's gonna be just jargon, but we're going to flesh it out. When there's something that reliably predicts something else that will elicit a reflexive involuntary response. In humans, the most common classically conditioned response is food aversions. So if you use shrimp cocktail and then you get the flu and you are sick, then you very well may just feel nauseated at the smell or sight of shrimp cocktail for a long time afterwards. It's not an intellectual decision, it's just that your body is gonna hit you with that nausea whether you like it or not. You may have loved shrimp cocktail previously, but that classically conditioned association is very strong. By the way, just a side note, that different animals will be predisposed to be sensitive to be classically conditioned to different types of things, like humans, in humans food aversion is our strongest easiest thing to become classically conditioned on. In other animals, it can be sight or sound or smells. So not every animal is the same as far as how easy it is to classically condition different kinds of responses. Oh, and of course, the most famous example of classical conditioning is Pavlov's dog. As you may recall Pavlov rang a bell, gave the dog food, rang a bell, gave the dog food, rang a bell, gave the dog food, and eventually what happened was when Pavlov rang his bell, even if there was no food present, the dog would drool. So that's a classically conditioned response and that's what we're gonna be working with these puppies today. Now here's the most important point for today's lesson is that emotional responses are also involuntary reflexive responses. So when you look at your dog that you really love, you don't say, "Wow, I'm gonna, you know, release a bunch of oxytocin and feel really good about this," it just happens. There's a flood of hormones that floods through your body is all involuntary responses, and that amounts to the feeling that we describe as love. In the same way, similarly... You still want more? In the same way, if someone cuts you off in traffic and you just, you get angry, you know it's childish to get angry about that, you know it doesn't make any sense, but you can't help it, it's a reflex, it's an anger reflex. Now I'm gonna take a puppy, I'm gonna demo a little bit of what I'm talking about with counter... With... What? What? I think that you'll be the first one. I'm gonna show you how to shape an emotional response in a puppy. What do you need, babe? [Mark]: Clicker? >> No, no, clicker today. Oh, look we can put it on this. So, okay, so these puppies are doing their thing. I'm gonna start with Sassy because she's usually pretty reliable on this, and I'm gonna piss her off a little bit. Hi, hi, how you doing? How you doing? Oh, oh! Hi. Yeah, that's not really that bad, is it? So then you go. Come on. Come on. Get mad. Yeah, that's right. That's right. That's delicious. Getting pissed off tastes like cheese. Here, there you go. Tastes really good. Here. Yeah, I know, I know, I know, it's really good. Sparky's like... That's a good girl. That's really good. I know, I know, I know. I know. Yeah, hi. There you go. So that's very good, that's very good. A couple important things to note about this is that I presented the annoying stimulus before I gave the cheese. If you give the cheese and then present the annoying stimulus at the same time, oh, that's attached to me... It's not gonna work. You have to have the... It has to be one, two. So it's annoying stimulus and then food, so the annoying stimulus predicts food. In order to get the classically conditioned response, that's what you need to do. So what we're doing is we're replacing the puppy's natural default emotion of being angry about being disturbed with a second emotion, which is to be actually happy about being disturbed because eventually, over time, you do this enough times, she's actually gonna feel happy when you do that to her because it predicts cheese. Here. Hi. So this new response of being happy, she had the default response of being angry. All right, so, you know, you need to go away 'cause I think you're actually one of the problems. Her default response of being angry, eventually, will be replaced with a new response of being happy, which is known as a conditioned emotional response. Her emotional response is anger and her conditioned emotional response is gonna be happiness when she's disturbed. That's right, so that sometimes we call that a CER. They call that a CER. You're going to have a good CER? Are you going to have a good one? This is Sassy. So let's do another puppy. So this is Mina. This is our littlest who now is not so little. And she just likes my fingers because I give her cheese. And then I can scratch her a little bit and say, wow, this is pretty annoying, this is pretty annoying. That's pretty annoying. Okay. So yeah, for breeders, like basically what you want to do to them is about what you do to them when they're born and you want to get them to breed. You want to piss them off so that they'll be like... Caution, you should never be scaring your puppies. Stop and discontinue the exercises if your puppies seem scared, are struggling excessively, or trying to get away from you. If you're not sure if something is too much for your puppies, always, always err on the side of caution and discontinue the exercise. So the question is, "Am I not just teaching the dog to growl? Am I not just teaching the dog growl and I'll give you food?" And here's the answer, and we're going to get a little bit more deep into it later on, but the short answer is that this is why you do this when they're so young because at this age, in my observation and experience, it is more of a reflexive response than an intellectual one. They really are not thinking, "I don't like that I'm gonna growl and it's gonna go away." It's just you see them when they're on top of each other as soon as something touches them, they're like... It is a natural response, it's not a learned response yet, it can become a learned response. But again, at this very young age, we are dealing more probably, in my opinion, with reflexes than behaviors. And frankly, the fact that it works is pretty dispositive that that hypothesis is true. So here's another one. Let's see if we can... This one's going to be harder to piss off 'cause we've been working on this. We've been working on this. Some are little bit more die hard than others. Here, have a cookie. Yeah, have cookie, that's right. You guys are good. I know. You guys are really good. Oh, where is your cookie? [Mark]: What kind of cheese are you using for treats? >> Okay, that's another thing we're gonna talk about. So we are using cheddar cheese. Yes, milky, milky, they like it. And what I do is I chop it up into little tiny pieces, and then I let it sit out overnight so it's a little drier and it doesn't... Can you see it? Can you see it? That's the size of cheese. And I cut it and I leave it out overnight so it gets a little drier. Now a big favorite of some people is liverwurst... Some puppies at this age are really not even taking treats and solid food and not motivated... What's the matter babe? [Mark]: Teeth. >> Well, yes, some breeds don't even have teeth, I mean, these puppies already have quite substantial teeth. And what some breeders will do is put yogurt in a syringe and just syringe a little yogurt into the puppies' mouths because they just can't get the food. But it is really important to note that in order for this to work, you have to be giving the puppy something that's amazing, that blows their doors off 'cause you are pissing them off, and so the goodness of whatever they're getting has to trump the suckiness of being pissed off. So if you have a litter that is not particularly food motivated and there is just nothing that they want, you may have to skip this protocol, you may not have the luxury of doing this at four weeks old. But if you do have a breed like ours that just are vacuums at this age, it's a great opportunity. You know, we talk about this all the time, the Puppy Culture Discussion Group has just been a treasure chest of information for all the breeders on there because I think what we've all really discovered is... What's it, babe? Puppy Culture Discussion Group is on Facebook. What we've discovered is that you almost can't talk about dog breeding, you have to be pretty specific per breed because it's that different as far as developmental periods and motivators even at this young age. Okay, the question is can these techniques be used on a puppy that's five months old? The answer is no. That you're on a completely different territory at that point. You can do counterconditioning and desensitization, operant conditioning, classical conditioning, you can do all those things, but this luxury of just being able to go in and piss off the puppy and change the condition, create a conditioned emotional response quickly this way is a luxury that you're gonna have when the puppy is probably under 12 weeks old. And I'm gonna talk more about that. We do talk about that in the film, I mean that's something that Jean Donaldson and I talk a lot about in the resource guarding section and why this is so, why this is so with young puppies. And this is why Puppy Culture is so important to us because there is a unique and different opportunity for people and breeders who have puppies under 12 weeks old that you don't have later. Let me speak more now to why I think this is so that we have this unique opportunity at this young age. It appears to me from my experience and observation that puppies are uniquely susceptible to classically conditioned emotional responses, puppies under 12 weeks old, puppies in their critical socialization period. And again, my hypothesis is that the emotional sensitivity of the critical social or sensitive socialization period is in essence a heightened ability and receptiveness for classically conditioned responses. So it's super easy to change a puppy's emotional response with only a few trials at this age. Now the conditioned emotional response, the change may not be apparent in every puppy today or in one session, and it may not even necessarily be apparent when you first do the exercises, at the time you're doing the exercises, but it is there and it does matter. It does work. Even if the puppy doesn't appear to be responding, like this puppy is not growling, doesn't matter. It's still happening for her, she's still forming that association. [Mark]: What is that puppy? >> This one is Bijou B. This is Bijou B, and she's not growling right now because we've done this a few times already. But it still counts. [Mark]: So when you start this? At four weeks? >> We start... I start this as soon as they will take treats, I start this. The earlier the better because again you are gonna be pushing up against your initial fear response at five weeks, so you don't want to traumatize the puppies, you really don't want to be so rough with them as they approach their initial fear response. But that window 3.5 to 4.5 weeks is a great really fertile time for this kind of protocol. Looking at this litter of puppies, you can see that you're not gonna be able to do a lot of operant training with them, simply because they don't have a lot of voluntary responses, they can't really do a lot. Now we do start this week with operant conditioning, with training, and that is super important to start early for other reasons. >> You are very good. That's right. >> That's our Communication Trinity in the Puppy Culture film. But your biggest strides as far as the most bang for your buck is gonna be with classical conditioning at this age. Again, somebody already brought it up but I'm gonna say it again that the growling and posturing that you see at this age is probably much more reflexive than behavioral at this point. Again, it might be different per breed, but what from what I can see it's just a reflex, it's not an intellectual process, and it's easy to get in there and change that if you just do some simple stuff like this. And also the great thing about classical conditioning is it's easy. It doesn't really take a lot of thought process for the person doing it, and as I often say, hey, you know, breeders are often not dog trainers and they don't wanna be dog trainers, they don't wanna get involved in heavy protocols with training and teaching puppies a lot of behaviors. But this doesn't really require anything except you scratch the puppy and you feed them. And again, you do not necessarily have to elicit the growling response. So if somebody said, "Would this be a great time to build a CER for nail cutting if this was a bane for my existence." Absolutely, and I was gonna talk a little bit about that but I'm gonna skip ahead and talk about it now. That there's a lot of classes of things where you wouldn't do this with nail cutting. I mean you wouldn't piss them off and then cut the nail and give them something. With that, you really do want to keep the entire experience fantastic for them. So you might cut a little bit of a nail and feed them, cut a little bit of a nail and feed them. You want to keep it down and not stressful for them, but yes, absolutely you can create a CER for nail cutting at this time. Other things that we introduce at this time which perhaps are not... We're not creating CERs, but again, before they reach that fear period, you can desensitize them easily to them or things like blow dryers, if the puppy show a big aversion to it, they really shouldn't at this age, I mean I've never seen them show it at this age unless you actually, like, stick the blow dryer around on the puppy. But if you just run a blow dryer around the pen, you can just leave it all and they'll just habituate to it. It won't bother them at all. Vacuum cleaners, sounds, sharp sounds, and we talk about at the startle recovery, in Puppy Culture, in the three-week-old section, but also just... Hi, hi. I know, I know, I know. But also just habituation to sounds at this age. Hi, hi, hi. But yes, things like nail cutting, anything that potentially could be aversive for the puppy, great idea to introduce it now. In fact, the way I start with this is not with the scratching, I start with the opening the mouth and putting the food in because they hate that or these dogs hate that. I mean literally checking for cleft palates when the first born is a trick because born, I mean they're not even breathing, they don't want to open their mouth. So I do a lot of opening their mouth. Yeah, if you guys ever go to the bull terrier ring at a specialty show, you'll see people straddling their dogs and like to literally ride them like a bronco just to get their mouths open. It's just a breed thing. They just don't like to open their mouths. So we do a lot of this, and we say here, that's fantastic. So then they're like, "Oh, you're gonna look in my mouth that tastes like cheese." Oh, hello. I have a puppy already trying to get to my computer. Have you checked this out? Look at this. Let's talk. Have you played with this little ball? I think it's an amazing ball. Do you want to carry that around? It's really good. So now where... You guys took my clicker. Okay. So, okay, so there is a drawback to this classical conditioning stuff, and the drawback is that it's not very durable. Meaning to say, if you don't maintain the nexus between the unconditioned and the conditioned stimulus, in other words, if you don't give your dog cheese every time you open their mouth, it tends to degrade the conditioned emotional response. And in the example of Pavlov, if Pavlov had rang the bell and not given the dog food and kept doing that and kept doing that, eventually the dogs would not salivate anymore when they heard the bell. So the classically conditioned responses are very susceptible to extinction. As opposed to training where ironically as you start thinning the ratio and giving the puppy less, the response gets stronger. So there's a fundamental difference in the way the two things work. And again, for me, working with adult dogs, classical conditioning is, it's a great way to... What? He's on the mike? Oh, sorry. You're just close... That they can hear your breathing and chopping your lips. Classical conditioning is a great way to remove emotional interference, you know, that interferes with learning, it's a great way just to set a tone that paves the way for operant conditioning. But at the end of the day, it's not my strongest tool in my toolkit working with adult dogs. I think with adult dogs, you need something that is the equivalent of cognitive behavioral therapy to make a lasting difference. But here's the thing, and again, just my hypothesis, I haven't researched this, although I imagine there may be some research on it. This is our sit and spin. They're doing that 'cause the like that. Is that a puppy under 12 weeks old is chemically wired to be hyper imprintable when it comes to classical conditioning. And the classical conditioning that we do with puppies under 12 weeks old, appears to be incredibly durable even permanent in a way that it's not with an adult dog. We talk about this a lot in Puppy Culture. If you've seen Puppy Culture, you've seen Rocco, our little resource Carter... And how with just two trials at six weeks old, permanent change was affected in that puppy. And that's what Jean Donaldsons talks about in puppy culture in the Rocco, resource guarding chapter. Where she says that these protocols done at this young age have very good lags, they tend to stick and not degrade. And again, my hypothesis is that what we call the socialization period is actually a period where the puppies are wired to be extra receptive to classical conditioning, which again is why a puppy can meet one man with a beard and form a good association, and that's it, it's check the box off, you're done, you only need to do it once. That's that whole beauty of that first 12 weeks. And that's why speaking again to the woman's or to woman's... But the person's question about can you do it with a five-month old puppy, you can do something similar, you can use the same principles but you're not gonna get the same results. Okay, let me just speak to that five-month old puppy because I want to make it clear that you could absolutely, if you have a five-month old puppy that is not reactive, okay, not reactive that when you go like this and scratch the puppy and the puppy is not growling at you, by all means do that. Go like this, and feed. Or if the puppy is not reactive, and when I see reactive, if the puppy is resistant but not growling and snapping at you, by all means do this. But if the puppy is growling, snapping or showing any form of aggression at five months, that's different, you need professional help, you need to proceed much more carefully, you need to countercondition and desensitize, you need to stay under a threshold, I mean it becomes a whole... Well, that cottage industry of dealing with reactive dogs. And again, this is where we're trying to keep people, we're trying to get to these puppies before they get to that point where they're gonna need all these protocols that are frankly, probably, beyond the pay grade of the average pet owner. Oh, so let's talk a little bit about brain development, you guys. Who else wants to do some protocols while I'm doing this, huh? Who wants to do that? So, you know, speaking to another, you know, just hypothesis of why the classically conditioned responses are so easy to shape at this age and operant response is not so easy is that, literally, the grey matter. Oh, yeah, see, I'm waking up this puppy, that's really good to do. I'm waking up and he's like... Have a cookie. Really great. Get them while they're sleeping, wake them up, feed them. The grey matter in the puppy's brain, it's literally fat, it's a fat sheath that goes around their neurons in their brain. And what it does in lay terms is that it makes the information pass more quickly and efficiently. And puppies don't have a lot of that fat sheath around their nerves yet, they're not myelinated yet in their brains. So until 8 weeks old, they can learn, but again, just my hypothesis, I think the brain is favoring classically, classically conditioned learning over operant learning because the brain just doesn't have the structure yet to take in information and process it easily in an intellectual way. But the emotional part, the emotional centers of the brain are more developed. We should definitely be teaching both operant and classically conditioned teaching learning to our puppies, but you have to rate it based on the puppy's age. So you can't expect that an 8 or 10-week old puppy is gonna be able to do what a 5 or 6-month old or 6-year old dog can do. And just the fact that they can't reach that level doesn't mean that you shouldn't teach them, you should still do some operant conditioning and classical conditioning with the puppy, but rated to the puppy's age, which is gonna be very little at this age. They're gonna do their manding this week. They're gonna do the... They did their clicker yesterday, they're gonna be doing their box game today later on, and then they're gonna be doing manding. Incidentally, this is why I do not ration my puppies' food. Now there's been some discussion on the Facebook, Puppy Culture Discussion Group, some breeders ration puppies' foods, and they say that if they don't, that their puppies will eat and just to the point of being sick and throwing up. And I've never had that experience, so again, I can't tell you what you should do with your litter, you really need to consult your breed mentors. However, for me, I do not ration my puppies' food, I like there to be something leftover in the dish. I didn't feed them a lot because I wanted them to be hungry for this protocol. He's like, "Did you put more in there?" But to me, if there's not a little bit left in the dish, I haven't really done my job. Wake up, wake up. Hey, hey, have a cookie. There's a lot of research about underweight children and it actually... Starvation or and not even starvation but just being hungry and underweight at a young age in children, in human children has been shown to have lasting cognitive and behavioral effects including a smaller brain size and less myelination in the brain, so I think it's really important to make sure that these puppies have a nice layer of fat on them. I don't want to feel my puppies' ribs, I don't want to feel their back. I think that there's a dangerous trend of keeping puppies too thin, but again, that's, you know, a very personal decision. And obviously, if you have an Italian greyhound, you're gonna be feeling more bone than on a bull terrier. But on a puppy like this, there should be some fat. Plus, if God forbid, something happens and they get sick, they have a little, they have some stores. No, you're not going in there. That's not how that's going. Let's see. Let's work with you. Let's open up your mouth. Yeah. How about that? That's annoying, isn't it? Oh, I know, it's so bad. So one of my friends, who lives in Switzerland and is a great dog trainer but not a breeder and is part of the whole force free movement, which is fantastic, watched Puppy Culture and said to me, "I don't understand," she watched the part about the resource guarding where we do something very similar to what we're doing here, and she said, "Why couldn't you keep the puppy under threshold? Why did you have to stress the puppy? Isn't it bad to stress the puppy?" Which is a fabulous question because what we want to do here, we want to piss off the puppy. We want to wake up the dragon so we can slay it with these puppies because as much as I don't use force on my puppies and I do everything in my power to make sure that these puppies have a stress-free life. You are dreaming if you think that your puppies, when you send them out in the world or even in your own household, are never gonna have stress, that they're never gonna have conflict that nothing's ever gonna happen to them where they feel threatened or annoyed. It's gonna happen, and this is how we teach them how to deal with it that we can change their emotional response. I mean, I've had a puppy owner who took her dog to the beach, sat down on the bench, and the dog got its leg stuck in there. I mean, that's... And she's wasn't a harsh person but these things happen. You could have a clueless person come over and do something stupid to your puppy. You could have someone step on your dog. The puppy is gonna encounter conflict, and you want to shape an emotion, emotional response to that conflict that is not aggression or anger. And that's what we're doing here. So definitely we want to wake that up in the puppy. At five months old, you don't want to wake that up in the puppy, it's a different situation. Again, because of the fact... First of all, they're small and they can't hurt us, and second that these are still very reflexive responses in these puppies, we can countercondition them easily. When you get to the five months old, if they do have an aggressive response, that's probably a learned behavioral response and then you're just gonna have to take a different route with that, you can't just do this. [Mark]: Is there a point when a puppy exhibits a response that would indicate you needed to stop this protocol? >> I'm not sure what that means, if they were here, I'd ask them to flesh it out. But I think what they mean is that I'm gonna make an assumption that what they're saying is there a point at which the puppy is truly stressed beyond what they should be or truly aggressive and or fearful. And my answer to that is that's why you really want to do this closer to three weeks than five weeks so that you're not butting up against that. And... [Mark]: The fear period? >> The fear period. You don't want to butt up against the fear period, you don't want to be freaking, you don't want to be traumatizing the puppies. And yes, you could if the puppy is, if the puppy is in a fear period and you do something kind of obnoxious to them, potentially, you could be shaped, you could be conditioning an unpleasant emotional response, which is not what you want. Caution. Regardless of age or developmental period, your metrics never change. Puppy should never be scared, puppy should never be more than slightly resistant to the way that you're handling them. Puppy should never be crouching, shaking, or trying to avoid or escape from you. Stop and discontinue the exercises if your puppies seem scared, are struggling excessively, or trying to get away from you. The age and developmental period of the puppies gives us clues about what might be appropriate for the puppies at any given time. But the only way to know what is appropriate for the puppies at any given time is observation. And as far as the growling, I mean, you don't need to make it insane growling, I mean, just as soon as you get the response, you just give the cookie. Right, guys? Right, guys? [Mark]: Can a puppy seem too frightened and I think that... >> Yeah, absolutely. I mean... It's a great question because as we talk a lot... She asked, "Can a puppy seem too frightened?" And as we point out repeatedly, in Puppy Culture, developmental periods are... Developmental periods with behavioral markers, they are not dictated by ages, so you could literally have a puppy, most puppies, five weeks old, I would say would be initial onset of fear, but there have been recent studies that there can be as much as 16 days difference in this. That certain breeds can show their initial fear response 16 days later than others. I believe it was the German Shepherds who had the five-week fear response and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels did not have initial fear response until 16 days after that. So it can vary a lot. And, you know, by the same token, conceivably, it could be younger than five weeks, it's not just older. So you have to be watching every puppy in every litter and know truly what developmental period you're in. And if the puppy appears to be scared, you know, I would really take it easy on that. Now if I touched a puppy and it was scared, I would then back it off a little softer and still do the protocol. But I'd do the protocol more like I would do with an adult dog or an older puppy. I don't know why you guys are doing that. [Mark]: They love you. >> They love me, but they're just... We're close, we're close as we can be. We can't get any closer, you cannot crawl actually inside my body. No, no, you can't do that. So oh, the question is that again is frequently asked and I broached on it but I'm gonna say it again is that, "Well, do I need to do these protocols with all the puppies, I mean, what about the puppies that don't growl?" And that has been a frequent question with Puppy Culture when we're talking about in resource guarding that, "What's a resource guarding section and what do I need to do with all the puppies, the just the ones that growl?" And the answer is absolutely unequivocally, you need to do it with every single puppy. And the reason being that, even if they're not showing any kind of aggressive response or growling or annoyed response right now, that doesn't mean anything. It could typically, resource guarding or aggressive behaviors don't emerge until much, much later, usually, 18 months to 24 months and sometimes as late as 3 or 4 years. So even if the puppy isn't overtly showing aggression, they still have that feeling of, "Hey, this isn't really pleasant, but, you know what, I get a big payoff for it." So the CER is being formed and later on, it can prevent that aggression. I know, I know, I know. It can prevent that aggression or resource guarding from forming. So again, whether you see it or not, the foundation is being laid here, the CER is being build whether you realize it or not. There's no way to predict which one of these puppies could potentially have resource guarding or aggression issues. We don't know, and there is no way to tell. So you do it with all the puppies whether they have the "aggressive," suppose ... You know, I'm gonna put it in quotes 'cause really reflexive response, whether they have the growling response or not, you're still creating a CER of being annoyed and having the food because it is annoying. I mean, I think it's pretty objectively annoying to be woken up like this and be like, okay, get up, get up, get up, and have a cookie. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. And again, I just want to repeat you have to have something that's more emotionally salient than being rubbed is disturbing. So if your puppies are not interested in food and there's nothing you can give them, the food tube doesn't work, get on Puppy Culture Discussion Group on Facebook. We have great threads on all the different creative ways that people have used to reinforce their puppies and the different foods they've given. And you also will be able to if you search your breed, you just put in your breed name, you'll see threads on different developmental periods for different dogs and the experiences that other breeders have had with this. But again, this is a luxury, if you have the luxury of your puppy's really loving food, you are very lucky, you can do what I did. If you don't have that luxury, if your puppies do not yet like food, you're going to have to wait till later or you may not be able to do this at all. It's okay, I mean, your puppy is not gonna wind up with two heads. This is just an extra bonus that we who have puppies that will take food are able to do. So in closing, before we just go to questions, I'm gonna say that as breeders and caretakers of young puppies, we have this unique opportunity to affect a permanent change in our puppies and really change the outcome for these puppies. It takes incredibly little time and effort. And again, understanding that these are reflexive responses, these are not responses that should be corrected or that you should worry about is so important because as much as the puppy is open to forming conditional emotional responses which are positive, that are good that when people touch me and I feel disturbed, I get something good. They're equally capable of forming poor responses that we don't care for that "Whenever someone touches me and I growl, they hit me, they correct me, they shake me, they get up in my face." And right now maybe you can get away with that, but again and again, I've seen clients who come whose breeders have done this with the puppies that the puppies growled at them and the breeder shook them and an alpha rolled them. And now the dog is 80 pounds with a set of kitchen knives in its mouth, and it's like, "I'm bigger and stronger than you and I'm gonna bite you." So it's really, really important that we create the emotional responses that we want in these puppies, the positive emotional responses that we want. Good dogs. Good dogs.

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Posted by: norabean on May 18, 2018

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