Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) is a process we started doing that introduces mild stresses to very young puppies in a controlled way. These stresses help stimulate the neurological system
which improves the growth and development of the pup’s immune system, cardiovascular system, and stress tolerance.
ENS is done for 2 consecutive weeks starting 3 days after the puppies are born. The process consists of 5 simple and harmless exercises, which are: tactile stimulation, lying in the supine
position, held with head held up, tilted upside down, and thermal stimulation. Each exercise is done for 3-5 seconds the entire process takes about 30 seconds. Tactile stimulation is done by
gently tickling or touching in between each of the pup’s toes with a Q-tip. The supine position is achieved by holding the pup in both hands belly up (some pups squirm in this position so a solid
but gentle two handed hold is necessary). To hold the pup with head up simply hold the pup in both hands so that the tail is pointed to the ground and the head is above the tail towards the
ceiling. From the Head held up position tilt the pup over and hold so the head is towards the ground and the tail is towards the ceiling. You’ll need a damp cool towel for the thermal
stimulation. You lay the pup right side up with its belly on the damp cool towel.
These 5 painless and simple exercises are done to prepare our pups for their life’s journey. Only 30 seconds a day for 2 weeks and we see a great improvement in their immune systems and stress
tolerances. We will continue to do Early Neurological Stimulation on our pups because we see the benefits and know it helps them grown into lovable canine citizens.
Below is a video demonstration of the process as done by our friends at Susanna
Rule of 7
We at Iron Hill Retrievers have discovered a great socialization technique known as the Rule of Seven.
Our Rule of 7 was adapted from Dr. Carmen Battaglia’s guide for increasing puppy’s exposure:
Dr. Carmen Battaglia created the Rule of 7’s as a guide to increase a puppy’s exposure. You do not have to follow it to the letter, but
make sure your puppy is current on all shots before taking him out into a strange area. By the time a puppy is 3 months, make sure he has:
Been on 7 different types of surfaces: carpet, tile, linoleum, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, and wood chips.
Played with 7 different types of objects: rope toys, plush toys, big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, squeaky toys, paper or
cardboard items, metal items, and sticks.
Been in 7 different locations: front & back yard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom, kids room, living room,
hallway, Vet’s office, groomers.
Met and played with 7 new people: include children and older adults, someone walking with a cane or in a wheelchair or walker, someone
tall, someone in a hat.
Been exposed to 7 challenges: climb on a box, go through a tunnel, climb steps, go down steps, climb over obstacles, play hide and seek,
go in and out of a doorway with a step up or down, run around a fence.
Eaten from 7 different containers: metal, plastic, cardboard, paper, human hands, pie plate, tin pan, frying pan, Frisbee, elevated
Eaten in 7 different locations: crate, yard, exercise pen, basement, laundry room, living room, bathroom, back yard.
Each new, positive experience will help your puppy flourish into a confident companion. Allow your puppy to learn passively by letting
them to explore on their own, but make sure he is 100% supervised and that it is a controlled environment. Do not use any harsh training methods with a puppy, because you will break
the bond of trust. Training should be fair and fun.
We think all puppies should go through the puppy socialization called the “Rule of Seven.” The rule of 7 is a trick we learned to help introduce our golden retriever puppies to new environments
and get them used to many different things they may encounter in their lives. Much like ENS (early Neurological Stimulation) the Rule of seven introduces the pups to small stresses that will help
boost confidence, social behavior, and their train-ability.
Our rule of 7 works by introducing pups starting at 4 weeks of age to 7 new things they hadn’t had a lot of contact with before, about four days later we change these to 7 new items. So by the
time you pick up your Iron Hill Retrievers puppy they have been introduced to 49 different or new things/ changes. So when your puppy goes home they can be a cute confident pup ready to trek
across carpet, tile or wood floors. Play with balls, squeaky toys and chase sticks. And begin to work on obedience.
Here’s an excerpt from our rule of 7 form:
Choose a Number (1-7) from each Category (A-G) and this litter gets introduced to these 7 things for the Next 4 days. On the 5th day choose a different Number (1-7) from each category (A-G) and
this litter gets introduced to these 7 things for the Next 4 days. Etc…. Put the start date on each choice. Cross off the ones you chose on the last day so we don’t have a repeat. By the time
puppies are 8 weeks old they will have been introduced to serval new things and areas. This improves their ability to cope with stress, socializing, and train-ability.
A. Different types of Surfaces:
Hard Wood Floor _____
Vinyl, or linoleum flooring _____
Fake Grass _____
Real Grass _____
Dirt or Sand or Gravel _____
Tile, or stone, concrete _____
B. Different Toys:
Different sized balls _____
Squeaky toys _____
Hard plastic/ rubber or metal items _____
Soft fabric toys _____
Natural items, sticks _____
Water, pools (weather permitting) _____
We hope to encourage those who purchase our wonderful golden retriever puppies to continue to introduce them to new things every week or every month. It keeps them happy and helps them explore
their world in a safe prepared way.
Iron Hill Retrievers is located in the beautiful rolling hills of Eastern Iowa, close to Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. We are a small breeder of English
Type Labradors and Golden Retrievers.Breeding quality Labs in black, chocolate and yellow, ranging from light cream to fox red. Our puppies are
raised in our home with lots of love and care.
At Iron Hill Retrievers, both our Labradors and our Goldens typically have a lovely strong head, a wide back skull and thick muzzle, well angulated shoulders and
rears.Our Golden Retrievers are from European lines.
Most importantly, Iron Hill Retrievers possess true temperaments, very laid-back and gentle in the home, but love the outdoors and the opportunity to hunt if required. All
breeding dogs have health clearances before being breed.Our Labs and Goldens have some of the best pedigrees in the Midwest.
Iron Hill Retrievers are members of our family and embraced by all the comforts of our home and family. Home of the "Heavenly Puppies"......
If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call!
Closed on Saturdays & Sundays!
All contents & photographs are property of Iron Hill Retrievers. Unauthorized use is prohibited.