Border Collie and Bordoodle Puppy Enrichment Playtime.
The goal is confident interaction with novel stimuli without overstimulation. All sensory objects are introduced for short periods and always supervised.
Did you know? Our puppies are now in the sensitive period, which is a period of rapid growth in their brains and bodies. Pups develop special mechanisms that allow them to learn about their world, develop social relationships, and stay safe. More than any other time in their life, they can generalize learning most easily. They only need a few repetitions to learn something during this period. We can take advantage of all of this to create stable, resilient pups by starting socialization and introductions early, providing enriched environments, introducing pups to many things and people, and ensuring those interactions are positive, build the pups’ confidence, and set up systems to help them generalize the lessons. We focus on a key concept in brain development, ‘use it or lose it.’ If pups don’t use certain aspects of their nervous system early on, they might well lose them. Puppies develop at different rates, and we don’t want to compare them. To make fast, quick learners, one aspect of brain development to consider is myelination.
Myelin acts as insulation for nerve cells. Puppy’s nerves aren’t myelinated when they’re born but do so over puppyhood. Because puppies ‘ nerves aren’t fully myelinated early on, they are wobbly, slow, and easily lose their balance. As their nerves myelinate, their coordination and ability to process increases. Myelin thickens with use, and the thicker the myelin, the faster and easier the impulses will be. We want thick myelin in the good parts of our pups’ brains, such as coordination, confidence, and curiosity. We want pups to use those things over and over in early puppyhood.
~Savvy Socialization by Dr. Gail Watkins, founder of Avidog.