PM Weimanraners
  What happens as my puppy        growsWhy is it important to      handle them and talk to them          when they are so small?

           (The first 21 days)

It is important to condition the puppies to touch.  Even at this young age we are gently handling the puppies. The puppies are handled by both male and female genders and children.  Beginning Day 14 to about 28th day of their development it is vital that this touch therapy happen on a regular basis. 

EEG (Electroencephalograph) tracings show that the puppies waking brain-wave pattern is identical to their sleeping brain-wave pattern.  This means that they do not have true consciousness - and they will remain so until the 20th day of their life.  While their "conscious" brain cannot yet be programmed, this is not so with certain reflex pathways in their spinal cords.  The first reflex which can be conditioned is the pannus (or cutaneous) muscle reflex.  Conditioning of this reflex, so that it becomes abolished, or inactive, or non-responsive to human touch, begins it critical period at Day 14 and finishes at Day 28.  This is often referred to as "The Critical Period of Touch Conditioning".

Cutaneous muscle, under the skin, all over the body, will twitch (startle response) when skin is touched, throughout life, by human beings of whichever sex do not take part in touch conditioning.  In adult dogs (over 4 months), we see this as a dog which will not stand still and be willingly touched (examined) by any men, or by any women, whichever it lacked in its conditioning in this period of 14-28 days.  This is the dog (or bitch) which has to be shown "only under female judges" or "won't let a man touch him/her".  For a Show
Dog this is vital but even with a pet it is important that they tolerate touch.  There is simply no better time to prepare a dog for being handled than during this period of time. 

Day 9 - Day 12: Eyes open during this period, but puppies cannot focus, nor is there any conscious awareness of anything "seen".

Day 11 - 13: Ear canals begin to open for function, but are not "hooked up" for conscious interpretation of sounds. 

Day 14: This the first day that the puppy will respond to touch. 

Day 15-21, week 3: The puppy goes through a lot of physical changes.  The baby teeth erupt at about 15 days.

Day 20: On this day all puppies brains are slowly (some faster than others) awakening.

Day 21: CONSCIOUS LIFE BEGINS NOW--Since the beginning we have touched and talked with the puppies.  Today, however, we begin to interact with the puppies.

Day 1-9 What is Happening?
  
Puppy Fact #1

  Newborn puppies are underdeveloped.  They do not hear nor see.  But,their senses of smell and touch are functioning. The puppies should be handled a little bit every day. Like our weight check daily.  They also get snuggled and kissed during the weighing process. Who can resist their velvet fur and cuddly little bodies? This is an important part of their development.

Puppy Fact #2
  
 Weimaraner puppies are the only dogs born with lengthwise stripes that fade away in the first two weeks after they are born.

Puppy Fact #3

  We weigh each puppy to track if they are gaining weight and making progress.  

Puppy Fact #4

   Each puppy is fitted with a special collar to mark the order in which they are born.  This also helps us in the tracking process.  Weighing and measureing specific puppies.  We keep a log book or each individauls progress so we may later relay their start and progress with you!  
Why is it important to caress the mother           and unborn puppies before birth?

In a similar vein, when a pregnant animal is petted her litter is more docile (Denenberg and Whimbey 1963, in Fox 1978). This effect, called the "gentling", "petting" or "caress" effect, can be prolonged by caresses to the new-born. According to Fox (1975, in Fox 1978) this activates the parasympathetic system, facilitating relaxation, digestion and emotional attachment, and thus socialization as well. Experiments by Cyrulnik with cats have shown that attachment depends on the cholinergic system; anti-cholinergics block the attachment process. The object of attachment is a being whose presence soothes and whose absence causes distress, who possess the signs of familiarization; a "reference being" (Eibl-Eibesfeldt 1984). This is probably linked to the social species' innate need for contact.

A dog's tactile capacities develop before birth, and it is possible that it already becomes used to contact in the uterus, when the mother is petted. Puppies manipulated this way show a greater tolerance to touching than dogs born of a mother who was not petted.

Once again, manipulation (contact, exposure to cold, etc.) at a young age or before birth (manipulation of the pregnant mother) gives greater resistance to stress (cold, hunger) and disease (implanted tumors). This phenotypical effect is transmitted non-genetically for several generations (Denenberg and Rosenberg, in Fox 1978).

These experiments enable us to deduce that when a gestating pet is given a friendly and caring human environment (with affectionate physical contact), the domestication and emotional balance of her offspring is facilitated, as compared with an environment where there is no contact and interaction with people. 
Click Here to read about  how We utilize the “Bio Sensor” program; developed by the U.S. Military for producing high achievers. This will better explain our methods and the benefits of early stimulation/socialization that we do with our young pups.
We also administer the Volhard Puppy Aptitude test at  42-49 days of age to assess aptitude and temperament for optimum family placement.
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Critical Periods
Results to Aptitude Testing
Volhard Aptitude Test
Stages and Development