New Stimuli

Interesting or Intimidating?

New stimuli can be interesting or intimidating depending upon the puppies’ emotions.  In this test, new sound is used as a stimulus.  Connect two x-pens and set up on a hard surface inside the house.  If the litter is larger than 6 pups, divide into random groups.  Place a crate, cardboard box, or similar large barrier upside down in the middle of the pen.  The barrier must be large enough and solid enough for the pups to hide behind if they choose.  Stand approximately four feet from the edge of the pen and get the attention of all the pups so they move in front of the box/barrier.  Shake a soda can filled with a handful of pennies and is taped shut.  Make this loud noise for three seconds.

  • Which pups exhibit a startle response at the start of the noise?
  • After stopping the noise, which pups are behind the cardboard box/barrier out of view?

Set the can in the pen and take two steps back.

  • Within a count of ten seconds, which pups come to within two feet of the can to investigate?
  • Which pups touch the can within ten seconds?

 Click here for Printable Copy of Record Sheet for Exercise 7