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Early Neurological Stimulation

Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) is a method that consists of different body handling exercises that should be done on puppies aged 3 to 16 days, once a day. The exercises introduce mild forms of stress to the puppy for only 3 to 5 seconds per exercise. The US Military developed this method to improve the performance of future military working dogs. ENS allows a pup to be slowly desensitized with small doses to stimuli, which can make them more resilient and easy-going. Studies have shown that ENS can lead to less fear, decreased cortisol production, enhanced learning, and resistance to stress in young animals. ENS can accelerate brain development and improve performance in puppies.

This includes: 

  • Tactile stimulation: gently tickling the puppy's toes with a finger

  • Head held up: holding the puppy's head up above its body

  • Head pointed down: holding the puppy's head down below its body

  • Supine position: holding the puppy on its back

  • Thermal stimulation: placing the puppy's belly on a cool towel


We go a step further, working in a Veterinary Office, it is sad to me when pups come in for the first time and are scared having their feet, ears or teeth checked.  So, in addition to ENS - we also touch nose, lips, toes, ears, feet & tail daily to prepare them for their first vet visit.

In our experience, it is important to expose the pups to as much stimulation as possible.

When should my puppy have their first vet visit?

All puppies need routine veterinary care to ensure they grow up into healthy adult dogs. Though if you’re a new dog parent, knowing when to actually schedule your puppy’s first checkup can be challenging. But don’t worry — we’re here to provide some clarity.

We suggest. trying to make your new pups appointment within the first week of coming to your home.  Ideally within 3 days, but now days that doesn't always work with the Veterinary schedules.  Unless your pup has had all its puppy series of vaccines and its rabies vaccine - we suggest carrying the pup, or keeping it in a carrier for the protection of your pup. Unfortunately, not only well dogs go to the vet - and we wouldn't want you new furry family member to catch something while at the vet.


Here is an article that will help you prepare for this first Veterinary visit:  click here

Standard Poodle Puppy vet visit

Ways to utilize     their intelligence...

Monte - Emotional Support Poodle
EV, Emotional Support Poodle at John Wayne Airport

The world of service dogs is constantly evolving and our understanding of the numbers and types of assistance dogs is constantly growing and becoming more standardized! Let us help guide you through these patient visits with ease, with the 2021 AAHA Working, Assistance, and Therapy Dog Guidelines - don't forget the Working Dog Toolkit for easy implementation!

Access them both at

We have two local Pet Therapy programs that I can happily recommend if you are interested in becoming a handler & training your pet to be a therapy animal.   

Paws-to-Share is throughout California, and is open to dogs of all breeds and cats.

4PawsOfLove is a San Diego based organization that is specific to Standard Poodles.

Aspen - Service Dog in Training
Sierra, Therapy Dog on the job
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