We get an awful lot of breeders who are super concerned when told that they need to skip ENS because the puppies already have enough stress. These breeders never seem happy with the answer that they should leave out ENS protocols. They feel like their puppies will be short changed. And it seems like many breeders push doing ENS when perhaps it might be better not to do it.
Mulling it over, I think these breeders have the correct instinct, in that we can positively influence the neurological and endocrine development of puppies quite easily in the neonatal period, and they want to take action. But, up until now, they have felt that ENS was their only option. So breeders push hard to “get ENS done” even when it might have been better not to.
And that’s what I believe we need to re-examine - ENS is a fantastic protocol under the right circumstances, but it’s not your only option for influencing the neurological and endocrine development of your puppies. You should always consider whether SMS (Simulated Maternal Stimulation) might be the better protocol, based on the circumstances of the litter.
Hope this helps you make the best choices for your litters. I will be thinking and researching this more in the coming months and perhaps even doing an update to the Workbook down the road.
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