Early neurological stimulation (ENS) has been proposed to enhance the natural abilities of dogs. ENS involves subjecting pups aged between 3 and 16 days to mild forms of stimulation leading to “stress.” When tested later as adults, these same animals were said to be better able to withstand stress than littermates who were not exposed to the same early stress exercises.
The claimed benefits of ENS have not been proven, but neither have they been disproven. We suspect it likely works to some degree, although some of the claims may be overstated. It takes but a few minutes each day, there is no risk to the pups, and they receive extra handling. All of which is good, and why we have chosen to include ENS in our rearing protocols.
Early neurological stimulation involves five brief stress exercises.