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Raising Our Puppies

At Lake Superior Sheepdogs & Doodles we strive to raise our puppies in a loving home environment.  During the 8 weeks the puppies are in our care we handle, love and train them to ensure they will adjust smoothly into their future forever homes.

Some of the training they will receive while they are in our care includes:

  • early neurological stimulation training (ENS)

​ Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) exercises are done once daily from the third to the 16th days. This period is believed to be a time of rapid neurological growth and development. Even though puppies are very immature during this time, they are sensitive and respond to ENS.

The five primary benefits of ENS are: improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate), stronger heart beats, stronger adrenal glands, more tolerance to stress, and greater resistance to disease.

  • early scent introduction (ESI)

Early scent introduction is a training program for puppies designed to enhance their ability to identify, and react to, specific scents. We preform this along side on the ENS training from days 3-16.  The benefits of ESI are:  ESI creates a more aware and alert dog, which makes an even better companion, service, and therapy dog.  Studies have shown that stimulating puppies scent ability early on has been proven to dramatically increase their scent ability later in life. 


  • puppy pad training

Mom has already started this for us.  She has kept the whelping area clean.  As she starts to spend more time away from the puppies (usually around week 3) we step in and introduce the puppy pad area.  This will cover 50% of the whelping box.  After each feeding puppies are moved to the puppy pads to do their bathroom business.  We keep their sleeping/play area clean, immediately cleaning up any pee or poop that might happen and keeping the smell on the pee pad area.  Usually by day 3 puppies are going over to the pad on their own to go to the bathroom.  The benefits of this is that at a very young age puppies are taught that there is a specific place to go to the bathroom.​

  • outdoor potty training

Once the puppies are 6-7 weeks old we begin taking them outside for regular bathroom breaks.  This helps establish a good bathroom routine for the transition to their new home.​

  • crate training

We begin this between week 7&8 as soon as we see that the puppies are beginning to sleep a solid 5-6 hours at night.  We begin with puppies paired up in crates with the doors open.  By the time they leave at 8 weeks they are sleeping in a crate by them self and averaging 6-7 hours of solid night time sleep.​

  • grooming exposure

We bath, brush, trim and expose them to the noise and touch of clippers.  We also do nail trims and get them up on a grooming table to help get them comfortable with this as well.​

  • as much socialization as we can do safely, considering their young age. 

This includes but is not limited to: car rides, visits with elderly people, playtime with children of different ages, play time with older pets,  household noises, different floor surfaces, stairs, weather, vet visit, other animals