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The Dood Effect Puppy Curriculum

Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS)

(Performed from days 3-16)

Developed by Dr. Carmen Battaglia, ENS involves five exercises performed for 3-5 seconds each:


    • Tactical stimulation (between toes)

    • Head held erect

    • Head pointed down

    • Supine position

    • Thermal stimulation

Benefits of ENS:


    • Improved cardiovascular performance

    • Stronger heart beats

    • More robust adrenal glands

    • Greater tolerance to stress

    • Enhanced resistance to disease

Early Scent Introduction (ESI)

(Performed from days 3-16)

ESI is a technique we use to enhance our puppies’ nose awareness and confidence. We expose our puppies to a different pungent scent each day and observe their reactions. This method, developed by Dr. Gayle Watkins, is highly beneficial for a puppy’s development.

Examples of scents used: Allspice, red pepper, tennis ball, pine chips, ginger, cinnamon, leather, rosemary, coconut, soil, garlic, nutmeg, peppercorn, clove, poppy seeds, oregano, orange peel, etc.

Benefits of ESI:


    • Increased confidence

    • Enhanced nose awareness

    • Ideal for future roles in hunting, tracking, & diabetic alert dogs

Sound Desensitization

We introduce our puppies to brief “loud noise exposure” on days 18, 19, & 20. As puppies develop their senses around three weeks, we gradually expose them to a variety of sounds they may encounter in their forever homes. All puppies are closely monitored during this time to ensure they do not become stressed.

Handling Exercises

Starting at week 3, we begin our handling exercises. We touch various parts of the puppies’ bodies to condition them to human touch. This is meant to create a positive experience each time a puppy is held. We continue these exercises until the puppies go home, each week slightly increasing the intensity and pressure.

Socialization & Exposure Activities

At three weeks old, we introduce a novelty item in the whelping box for the puppies to explore. At four weeks old, we begin following a structured exposure activity guide, introducing new items and experiences as the puppies grow and develop.

Examples of Exposure Activities:


    • Stuffed toys, big blocks, bubble wrap, rubber toys (Day 28-34)

    • Water bottles, objects with wheels, ball pit, snuffle mats (Day 35-41)

    • Water exposure, brain games, balloons/plastic bag, slides/steps with landing, crate exposure, exposure to new location, car/ATV rides (Day 42-56)

Puppy Aptitude Testing

We begin noting temperament traits when puppies reach 6 weeks of age. Official temperament assessments start on day 53 and around day 60 for our petite puppies. These are the assessments we use to help determine the best placement for our puppies and the families who have made a reservation.

Temperament Traits Tested:


    • Assertiveness

    • Confidence

    • Motivation Level

    • Nerve Strength/Resiliency

    • Touch tolerance

    • Energy Level

    • Sound Sensitivity

    • Sight Sensitivity

    • Prey Drive

    • Human Focus or Pack Drive

At The Dood Effect, we’re committed to providing our puppies with a comprehensive curriculum that ensures they’re well-adjusted, confident, and ready for their new homes.