Puppy Protocols

Here at Wavemaker Staffords we follow some very specific early protocols when raising our puppies. We do not breed often but after careful planning, complete health testing and many factors to consider – when we are wanting another puppy to add to our own household we plan a mating. This could mean a litter every several years or possibly a couple litters in a short time – this depends on so many factors but each litter is raised using the same carefully conducted protocols.

The following is a brief explanation of what we do:


ESI stands for Early Scent Introduction. Early Scent Introduction is performed in conjunction with Bio-Sensor Early Neurological Stimulation training on the puppies from day three thru day sixteen. A pungent scent is introduced to the puppy each day for short intervals, only 5-6 seconds. Their reaction to the scent is then recorded. A positive reaction is when a puppy will try to move towards the scent with their nose highly engaged in the scent. A negative reaction will have the puppy pulling back from the scent. A neutral reaction will be when the puppy does not seem interested or disinterested.

The benefits of ESI range from positive training results in dogs who use scent detection to earn titles, do service work, therapy work, hunt tests and field trials, nosework, search and rescue work, obedience, tracking and more. Some also believe this early exposure helps dogs be more stable when coming across differing scents in life. Its very beneficial in Medical Alert dogs especially. We have bred two Staffords who are able to detect glucose instability using scent detection. Both were introduced to ESI.

Bio Sensory Training and ENS

The U.S. Military developed a program in the 1970’s called “Bio Sensor.” (Became publicly known and is often referred to as the “Super Dog” Program or Bio-Sensory Training for Dogs.) The program was developed to improve the performance of dogs used for military purposes.

Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor stimulation exercises. The benefits noted were:

  • Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
  • Stronger heart beats
  • Stronger adrenal glands
  • More tolerance to stress
  • Greater resistance to disease

The basic premise of the program is that early neurological stimulation exercises could affect the performance of the dog. The Army’s research revealed that early stimulation of the puppy from the 3rd day through the 16th day influence rapid neurological growth and development.  Learn more about this and the exercises we perform on our Bio Sensor page (link below).


More details can be found in this article which appeared in The Stafford Knot from September 2010


The Rule of 7’s

By the time a puppy is seven weeks old he/she should have:

  • Been on 7 different types of surfaces: carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, wood chips
  • Played with 7 different types of objects: big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, fuzzy toys, squeaky toys, paper of cardboard items, metal items, sticks or hose pieces
  • Been in 7 different locations: front yard, back yard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom
  • Met and played with 7 new people: include children and older adults, someone walking with a cane or stick, someone in a wheelchair or walker
  • Been exposed to 7 challenges: climb on a box, climb off a box, go through a tunnel, wobble board, climb steps, go down steps, climb over obstacles, play hide and seek, 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, china, pie plate, frying pan
  • Eaten in 7 different locations: crate, yard, kitchen, basement, laundry room, living room, bathroom

Puppy Culture

Animals raised in enriched environments have been shown to have the following physiological changes over animals raised under standard laboratory conditions:

•Larger brains

•More new brain cells and neural connections

•Better brain cell survival

The result of these physical changes in brain structure result in the following intellectual and emotional benefits:

•Improved ability to learn and remember

•More emotional stability

•Better resiliency to stress

By following the strict Puppy Culture way of a 12 week training and observation program, we feel the exercises prepare the puppies to be stable and confident adult dogs. We have seen tremendous benefits and strongly suggest that all of our buyers follow along weekly as we use PC to raise our Stafford litters. More details can be found in this article which appeared in The Stafford Knot from June 2016