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Transitional Period 13-20 days (+/-3)
We continue to handle the pups. We also add some safe items to the whelping area for some stimulus as their senses become fully aware (small rope toys, towels, bottles, framed pieces of flooring, etc.). We also begin to play a noise audio track at a very low level so that as their hearing progresses they get use to the various noises of life.
Pups continue to stay with momma in the whelping area.
Awareness period 21-28 days (+/-3)
During this time it is important not to allow anything negative to happen to the pups. We leave everything the same at this time. We continue to handle the pups and we go about our day to day activities as normal, vacuuming, cleaning, sweeping, etc.
28-49 days (=/-3days)
The puppies continue to remain with mother for most of the time. We move them outside to an enclosed porch/patio. During this time socialization and new experiences really ramp up. We increase the volume of the audio track in conjunction with positive experiences. We immediately increase socialization with friends and family during this time as well.
At this time we begin simple clicker training to begin to teach the puppy to learn and all training is positive at this time, the mother doles out the discipline when needed. We also begin to wean the puppies which will be accompanied with training. We will also begin individual attention, car rides, and grooming/handling of the dog.
Introduction of the various floor textures that we have on the property (linoleum, tile, wood, wood-waxed, carpet, concrete, asphalt, grass, leaves, tarp, fence, granite, cobble stone, dirt to name a few) continues during this time period as well. A crate is put in the area were the puppies are and they will be treated and fed in the crate. We introduce all sorts of different stimuli (aluminum cans, pots, tunnels, cars etc.)
During this time we will begin introduction to the animals on the property goats, chickens, ducks, cats and other CAS.
Essentially during these 21 days we do a strong base in socialization to help set the puppy up for success in their new home. We try to expose them to as many things as possible on the property as well as teach them what learning from a human is. We still allow mom to be the disciplinarian.
49 days-till arrive at new home
Early in this phase we perform puppy temperament/aptitude evaluations which will somewhat guide how the puppy will be managed from now on.
If puppy is going to work/live with or around stock as a LGD or farm dog the pup with be transitioned to the stock fully during the 8th week. At this point all socialization on the property will be around the livestock and other animals. The pup will still get off property to be socialized but the best things in its life will happen around the stock, training will mostly occur around the stock.
All puppies will continue to be introduced to as many people and things possible. They will continue to have one on one time for training and cuddles of course. The puppies will continue to get use to leads. The puppies will get off property frequently so that they begin to appreciate and learn the world in a safe and controlled manner.
We will continue to work with and socialize the pup until they go to their new home. The puppy will be worked based on what their intended future purpose is.
A big thing I would like to mention now is that though we will be doing everything in our power to set the puppy up for success in its new home and environment, it is still pivotal that the new owner continues the socialization process. If socialization and training does not continue the puppy will not reach its maximum potential as a dog. This of course will be gauged on the purpose of the dog. Central Asian Shepherds are a working dog and they want a job to do so as an owner you need to make sure the pup is learning what their role is in your family.
Optimizing Our Puppies' Genetic Potentialby Gregory Hawthorne, published 4/25/2005
With the puppies recently born (check out litter B here), I figured I should let you guys know what we do here at Grand Central Asians to help the puppies reach their genetic potential. I am putting this out now, because as you see we will be pretty busy over the next several months. The many things I am about to mention that we do have been done by many breeders and are recommended by the many experts in the field that have been in the dog game far longer than us. They are primarily based on the research done on canine behavior and development over the years. We included some of the links in an introductory post (see here).
First and foremost the first thing we had to do was mate two awesome dogs…done. I will leave it at that for now.
Neonatal Period 0-13 (+/-3)
From birth we make sure that the puppies and momma are taken care of. We make sure that the area of whelping is as clean as possible and we let mamma take care of her pups as she is biologically wired to do. If there is a problem with this we will intervene when necessary and make note of this. We also handle the pups on a regular basis during this time period for weighing of the pups and just because they are so darn cute!!!
From days 3-16 Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) is performed on the pups. It is said to have great benefits on the puppy’s future character and resiliency. We use the protocol based on Dr. Carmen Battaglia’s paper (here). Now, there is no actual published research available that states the benefits ENS provides that Dr. Battaglia put in his paper, but in the least a little handling of the pups won’t hurt when performed in short intervals. Also, many longtime respectable breeders and animal rescuers state that they have seen a positive difference between pups who have gone through ENS and those who have not.