Nursing Reflex



Click on the links below to get the record sheet for Exercise 1 only or for all the exercises.

Exercise 1 Record Sheet

All Exercises Record Sheets


Puppies are born with an instinct to nurse which is facilitated by several reflexes.  To test a pup's nursing and overall  strength, place an old towel on the floor.  (Use the floor rather than a table to prevent a pup from falling off the table.)  Use a marker or colored tape to label a distance of 18   inches on the towel.  Place the pup on the towel at the starting line and gently cup the pup's muzzle with your fingers so the pup feels contact surrounding its nose.  If the reflex is triggered, the puppy will push its way in some sort of direction   against your hand.  Stop the test when the pup pushes your hand past the “finish line” at one and a half feet, or after the pup has pushed for 15 seconds, whichever comes first.  Record each pup's reflex response.

The following is a video clip showing the test on one puppy.  This puppy did not move during the test. So in this case, you would check the box indicating that the puppy did not move. 

Exercise 1 on You Tube

The question is often how to "cup" the pups muzzle.  Here are some photos of various ways. No one way is right so just try your best.

Click on the following link to get the recrod sheet for Exercise 1

Record Sheet for Exercise 1