Startle Response

Ears Opening

Puppies ears begin to open in the third week. Functioning of the auditory senses is reflected by a startle response, i.e., any sudden, strong motion, to a loud noise. While all the pups are sleeping, hit a metal saucepan lid with a metal spoon, count to three, and then clang again.  Make as loud a SINGLE noise as possible.  Which pups exhibit a startle jump after the first clang?  Which pups exhibit a startle jump after the second clang?  When this test is complete, place the saucepan lid in the puppies’ pen at least three feet away from the nearest pup and step back and observe which pups moved to within one foot of the lid within 10 seconds and which pups did not react at all. 

Click on the following link to see a video on You Tube of this exercise.  Note than only 1 pup only slightly raises its head after the clang.  This is the pup that had just fallen asleep and was probably not fully asleep. 

Video of Exercise 4 on You Tube

Click for Printable Copy of Record Sheet for Exercise 4