The U.S. Military in their canine program developed a method that still serves as a guide to
what works. In an effort to improve the performance of dogs used for military purposes, a
program called "Bio Sensor" was developed. Later, it became known to the public as the
"Super Dog" Program. Based on years of research, the military learned that early
neurological stimulation exercises could have important and lasting effects. Their studies
confirmed that there are specific time periods early in life when neurological stimulation
has optimum results. The first period involves a window of time that begins at the third day
of life and lasts until the sixteenth day. It is believed that because this interval of time is a
period of rapid neurological growth and development, and therefore is of great importance
to the individual.
The "Bio Sensor" program was also concerned with early neurological stimulation in order
to give the dog a superior advantage. Its development utilized six exercises which were
designed to stimulate the neurological system. Each workout involved handling puppies
once each day. The workouts required handling them one at a time while performing a
series of five exercises. Listed in order of preference the handler starts with one pup and
stimulates it using each of the five exercises. The handler completes the series from
beginning to end before starting with the next pup.
These five exercises will produce neurological stimulations, none of which naturally occur
during this early period of life. Experience shows that sometimes pups will resist these
exercises, others will appear unconcerned. In either case a caution is offered to those who
plan to use them. Do not repeat them more than once per day and do not extend the time
beyond that recommended for each exercise. Over stimulation of the neurological system
can have adverse and detrimental results. These exercises impact the neurological system
by kicking it into action earlier than would be normally expected. The result being an
increased capacity that later will help to make the difference in its performance. Those who
play with their pups and routinely handle them should continue to do so because the
neurological exercises are not substitutions for routine handling, play socialization or
Benefits of Stimulation
Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor
stimulation exercises. The benefits noted were:
Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
Stronger heart beats
Stronger adrenal glands
More tolerance to stress and
Greater resistance to disease.
In tests of learning, stimulated pups were found to be more active and were more
exploratory than their non- stimulated littermates over which they were dominant in
Secondary effects were also noted regarding test performance. In simple problem solving
tests using detours in a maze, the non-stimulated pups became extremely aroused, wined
a great deal, and made many errors. Their stimulated littermates were less disturbed or
upset by test conditions and when comparisons were made, the stimulated littermates
were more calm in the test environment, made fewer errors and gave only an occasional
distress when stressed.
As each animal grows and develops three kinds of stimulation have been identified that
impact and influence how it will develop and be shaped as an individual. The first stage is
called early neurological stimulation, and the second stage is called socialization. The first
two (early neurological stimulation and socialization) have in common a window of limited
Bio-Sensor Canine Program or Super Dog Program
Socialization studies confirm that the critical periods for humans (infant) to be stimulated are generally between three weeks and twelve months of age. For canines the
period is shorter, between the fourth and sixteenth week of age. During these critical time periods two things can go wrong. First, insufficient social contact can interfere with
proper emotional development which can adversely affect the development of the human bond. The lack of adequate social stimulation, such as handling, mothering and
contact with others, adversely affects social and psychological development.
More on the BioSensor Method can be found in this .pdf pamphlet here.
Breeders can now take advantage of the information available to improve and enhance performance. Generally, genetics account of about 35% of the performance but the
remaining 65% (management, training, nutrition) can make the difference. In the management category it has been shown that breeders should be guided by the rule that it
is generally considered prudent to guard against under and over stimulation. Short of ignoring pups during their first two months of life, a conservative approach would be to
expose them to children, people, toys and other animals on a regular basis. Handling and touching all parts of their anatomy is also necessary to learn as early as the third
day of life. Pups that are handled early and on a regular basis, generally do not become hand shy as adults.
Because of the risks involved in under stimulation a conservative approach to using the benefits of the three stages has been suggested based primarily on the works of
Arskeusky, Kellogg, Yearkes and the "Bio Sensor" program (later known as the "Super Dog Program").
Both experience and research have dominated the beneficial effects that can be achieved via early neurological stimulation, socialization and enrichment experiences. Each
has been used to improve performance and to explain the differences that occur between individuals, their trainability, health and potential. The cumulative effects of the
three stages have been well documented. They best serve the interests of owners who seek high levels of performance when properly used. Each has a cumulative effect
and contributes to the development and the potential for individual performance.
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