Early Neurological Stimulation or ENS is done from day three through day sixteen and consists of five simple exercises done once a day for about five seconds per exercise. These activities put the puppy through a small amount of stress which has been shown to improve cardiovascular performance, make for stronger heartbeats and adrenal glands, plus makes them more tolerant of stress and more resistant to disease.
Of course, if the pup has had a traumatic birth, is smaller and struggling or just had dewclaws removed, we might skip some days as they have already been through some stress.
The first exercise consists of holding the puppy and using a cotton swab (or just my finger) to touch a foot (pad, between toes, or just rub the bottom) for five seconds.
Next, the puppy is held upright for five seconds.
Thirdly, the puppy is turned over, with the head facing down and held for five seconds. (I know, it looks strange. But it’s only a few seconds)
Then puppy is turned over and held on its back for five seconds.
And lastly, the puppy is set down on its stomach on a cold, wet washcloth for five seconds.
Here’s a short video I did a few years ago as an example.
As you can see these exercises can be done quickly (I know, they look strange, but don’t hurt the puppy) once a day to each puppy but can have a lasting, beneficial difference.