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At six weeks old, the part of the puppies brain that governs reasoning is still relatively unformed. But even though his thought process may be immature, the underlying structure of his brain has almost adult capacity to take in new information and form emotional reactions to it. So in terms of being willing and able to soak up new experiences, six week old puppies are entering their peak socialization period. They have the highest approach and lowest fear now. Even though their fear response has begun to develop, they still have very low fear and high curiosity. This is why this stage is referred to as the curiosity period. Now is the time to introduce the puppy to as many appropriate people as possible. So when the puppies are six weeks old, we throw a puppy party. Despite the fun name, these puppy parties are actually carefully planned training and socialization sessions. If a puppy party is handled correctly, it can be a really great experience for the puppies, and a great way to introduce them to a lot of novel stuff at once. However, I think you have to be very careful about how you structure the puppy party, and you have to remember that the social sensitivity that allows a puppy to accept something during the critical period from three to 12 weeks with as little as one exposure cuts both ways. It also will allow the puppy to imprint a fear of a bad experience in as little as one exposure during this critical period. So if you are wearing high heels, and you reach over and have a pleasant interaction with the puppy, the puppy is going to learn people in high heels are good. But if you step on the puppy with high heels, that puppy could potentially be afraid of high heels for the rest of its life. This is why I don't recommend puppy flooding parties. To me, having a house full of non-savvy dog people runs too high a risk of something bad happening to your puppy. So again, I would say err on the side of quality versus quantity. If you happen to be fortunate enough to know a ton of really dog savvy great people, sure, invite them over. But if you're not sure, have fewer people over, or have one person over at a time so you can monitor the situation. I invite some of my best advanced students over to train the puppies on miniature agility equipment. The skills the puppies learn are not specific to agility. Each piece of equipment teaches them a life skill they'll need to be good companions. The buja aboard is a square board with a small ball attached to the back of it. It moves when the puppies step on it, and teaches them not to be afraid of unstable or wobbly surfaces. The dog walk is a little ramp, which teaches the puppy to be confident when placed on elevated surfaces. I think she says, I'm coming up there. This chute is a barrel with a tube of fabric attached to it, and it teaches the puppies to accept things covering their heads. The equipment is designed to be a little scary so the puppies learn that mastering a new skill in a challenging situation is very rewarding. The party is also a great way to socialize the puppies all different sorts of people. Things like facial hair, hats, and glasses are things that puppies must be exposed to when they're young or they'll be frightened by them as adults. We have a great dinner after the training session, so the puppies not only get used to training and playing with new people, but get used to having a lot of people laughing and enjoying themselves in the house. The object of this training is that the puppy chooses to do each piece of equipment. This is about confidence building, and the puppy has to make the decision to do the equipment in order to build his confidence. You should never place a puppy on a piece of equipment or force him to do anything. That will only imprint fear and panic instead of confidence and control. I carry a timer to make sure the sessions are short, and the puppies get adequate rest in between sessions. I recommend no more than two minutes per piece of equipment and six minutes training at a time. OK, that's it for this round. Your goal should be that each puppy comes out and trains three times with about 15 minutes rest in between each training session. Start with the fabric off the chute. Have a person stationed on either end. Once you can call the puppy back and forth through that with confidence, add the chute material on, but hold it open so the puppy can see out the end. You can then gradually hold the fabric open less and less until it's fully closed. Click and treat each step the puppy takes on the dog walk, especially for big bodied puppies. You may want to use a spotter to keep him from coming off the other side. Alternatively, you could use your arm around the puppy as a safety net. Your puppy may not go all the way across in the first session, but that's fine. So long as you don't push the puppy past whenever he feels comfortable doing, his confidence will build, and the next time he tries, he'll do a little bit more. Begin on the down side of the board, where it will not move when the puppy steps on it. Click and treat the puppy any time he puts a foot on it. Once the puppy seems to understand that stepping on the board gets him a reward, hold out for two feet, then three, then four feet on the board. At some point, the board will start moving, and you want to click and treat that. Be ready, because it can move at any time when you least expect it. The lasagna is in the oven. The stage is set, so let's train puppies. Yes. Good job. Yeah. [INAUDIBLE] Yeah, good girl. Good job. Yay. Pup, pup, puppy. Yay, good job. What's the mess? Puppy, puppy, puppy. You're so good. You're so good. Come here, you. Ready? Pup, pup, puppy. Yay. Good girl. Oh my goodness, it's got the little dog [INAUDIBLE].. Oh, I see. [INAUDIBLE] So good. [INAUDIBLE] Good job, girlie. Yay, puppies. Puppy, puppy, puppy. Ooh, look at you. [GIBBERISH] Puppy. Pup, pup, pup, pup. Good girl. [MUSIC PLAYING] At six and a half weeks old, we bring the puppies in to have their hearing tested. Our choices of how we place the puppies and whether or not we decide to breed them as adults will depend on whether or not they have normal hearing. Not every breed needs to have their hearing tested, but conscientious breeders will educate themselves on the particular health issues of their breed, and make sure they perform the appropriate health testing. It's not inexpensive or convenient to perform health testing, but doing so is an act of love for the breed, the puppies, and the families who will someday own them. We brought the puppies to see Dr. Noemie Bernier, a neurologist with Garden State Veterinary Specialists. Dr. Bernier spoke with us about the tests for hereditary deafness, which is called the BAER test. We've got four male, three females. Any one you know that is actually deaf? No. Hereditary deafness is mainly a problem with the cochlea, which is the inner ear. What goes wrong can sometimes be associated with coloring, lack of pigment. So blue eyed dogs, or if they have a completely white coat, and also the merle coloring can sometimes be associated with the gene that causes deafness. There's been an association, but it's not always the case. What the BAER testing does is, through this apparatus over here with the inserts, we send a 90 decibel click. That's what the puppies hear. And then we put those little recording electrodes on the puppies head. It's a very small needle, and it's right under the skin. It feels like a little mosquito bite. It really is not painful. Acupuncture, it feels good. This is the ear plugs that we use. And this is malleable, so you can really squish it to insert it in the ear canal. And then it stays put. We'll put the active electrode where about the middle ear is located in the ear that we're testing on the side of the face. And then same thing with the reference electrode, which goes on the opposite side about the same level. And then we have a ground too, that goes on the top of the head. And that's to minimize any artifact. So this electrode will record the electrical activity that travels from the inner ear, the cochlea, all the way through the brainstem. And that's called a Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response. Each wave that you get is actually associated with an anatomical structure. Why this is useful in puppies with hereditary deafness, is usually because they have a cochlear problem, and the first wave is usually associate with cochlea, the single doesn't go through, so you get a flat line. And it's mainly useful to determine unilateral deaf puppies, because usually, the bilateral deaf puppies you'll have a pretty good idea just with behavioral testing, clapping your hands, making loud noise, trying to startle them while they're sleeping. Unilateral deafness is impossible to detect without a test like this. I think he's good in both ears. Good. Do a lot of people BAER test. The responsible breeders, I guess, BAER test.

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Duration: 13 minutes and 29 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: norabean on Apr 2, 2018

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