What is ENS and ESI?
The first 3 weeks of a puppies life is crucial. Puppies are helpless at this stage and can’t see (until around day 10) or hear (until around day 14). The best way to interact with puppies at this stage is through touch. We do this by interacting and using gentle touch at least twice a day. During days 3-16 the puppy is going through a very fast neurological growth and development.
ENS was developed by the US Military to improve the performance of working dogs. The breeder will do the same five exercises daily from days 3-16. The exercises include tactile stimulation, head held erect, head pointed down, puppy in supine position, and thermal stimulation. When performed it is known to kick the neurological system into action earlier than normal. ENS is known to increase cardiovascular performance (heart rate), stronger heart beats, stronger adrenal glands, more tolerance to stress and a greater resistance to disease.
Early scent introduction (ESI) is a training program for puppies that will enhance their ability to identify, and react to, certain scents. The breeder introduces a strong scent to the puppy for brief intervals, and records the puppy’s reaction. The reaction will be recorded as positive if the puppy shows interest in the scent and becomes engaged with the scent. A negative reaction is recorded when the puppy pulls his or her head away from the smell. If a puppy isn’t interested or disinterested in the smell, it is recorded as a neutral reaction.
This is the beginning of making an excellent companion, service, and therapy dog.
A dog’s smell is often very important. If a dog is a companion to a child with autism, his main function is likely to protect that child. If the dog is able to easily follow the child’s scent and locate him or her, that could be life-saving. Another situation that scent abilities can matter is alerting an elderly person of a gas leak, or to something burning on the stove – again, there is the potential to save a life. Service dogs can also use scent to identify the early stages of diabetic reaction, or the onset of a seizure. All these skills enhanced by ESI.
It all starts when they are three days old and stops when they are 16 days old. We use things like soil, lavender, clove, onion, alpaca fiber, rabbit fur, fennel, cinnamon, leather, apple, tennis ball, etc. Every day we introduce a new scent. Then we document the puppies reaction to the scent everyday over the course of 13 days.