In my last post, I mentioned about a special canine program that can enhances a dog’s intelligence and work abilities. The U.S. Military developed a method that serves as a guide to what works. In an effort to improve the over all performance of dogs used for military purposes, the program was called “Bio-Sensor” and later became known as the “Super Dog” Program. Based on years of research, the military learned that early neurological stimulation exercises could have important and lasting effects. Their studies confirmed that there are specific time periods early in life when neurological stimulation has optimum results. The first period involves a window of time that begins the third day of life and lasts until the sixteenth day. It is believed that because this interval of time is a period of rapid neurological growth and development, and therefore is of great importance to the individual.
The “Bio Sensor” program was also concerned with early neurological stimulation in order to give the dog a neurological system. Each workout involved handling puppies once each day. The workouts required handling them one at a time while performing a series of five exercises. Listed in order of preference the handler starts with one pup and stimulates it using each of the five exercises. The handler completes the series from beginning to end before starting with the next pup. The handling of each pup once per day involves the following exercises:
Tactical stimulation (between toes)
Head held erect
Head pointed down
Holding the pup in one hand, the handler gently stimulates (tickles) the pup between the toes on any one foot using a Q- tip. It is not necessary to see that the pup is feeling the tickle. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds
Head held erect
Using both hands, the pup is held perpendicular to the ground, (straight up), so that its head is directly above its tail. This is an upwards position. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds.
Head pointed down
Holding the pup firmly with both hands the head is reversed and is pointed downward so that it is pointing toward the ground. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds.
Hold the pup so that its back is resting in the palm of both hands with its muzzle facing the ceiling. The pup while on its back is allowed to sleep struggle. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds.
Use a damp towel that has been cooled in a refrigerator for at least five minutes. Place the pup on the towel, feet down. Do not restraint it from moving. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds.
These five exercises will produce neurological stimulation, none of which naturally occur during this early period of life. Experience shows that sometimes pups will resist these exercises, others will appear unconcerned. In either case a caution is offered to those who plan to use them. Do not repeat them more that once per day and do not extend the time beyond that recommended for each exercise. Over stimulation of the neurological system can have adverse and detrimental results. These exercises impact the neurological system by kicking it into action earlier than would be normally expected. The result being an increased capacity that later will help to make the difference in its performance. Those who play with their pups and routinely handle them should continue to do so because the neurological exercises are not substitutions of routine handling, play socialization or bonding.