Early Scent Introduction which is commonly known as ESI is a program many reputable breeders use with their puppies. Breeders typically perform ESI on newborn puppies from days 3-16. Early Scent Introduction enhances a newborn puppy’s natural ability to detect various scents. Gayle Watkins, the co-founder of Avidog put the ESI protocol together in order to enhance a puppy’s unique sense of smell.
Some Benefits of Early Scent Introduction
- Gentle stimulation of the nervous system improves immune and cardiovascular systems.
- Mild stress helps create a better response to stress in adulthood.
- Puppies have better nose awareness throughout life.
- ESI promotes better brain development in puppies.
Each puppy is given the opportunity to smell a new scent each day. The puppy’s reaction to the scent can be positive, negative, or neutral. Breeders usually record the puppy’s reaction to the scent for future reference. I use Early Scent Introduction with all of my Shih Tzu puppies for sale. Some of the scents I really like to use with litters include: parsley, coconut, cinnamon, oatmeal, artificial turf, rocks, etc.
Dogs that go through Early Scent Introduction protocols often outperform dogs who aren’t subject to ESI when it comes to detecting scents. This kind of information can be extremely valuable for breeders. Breeders that raise puppies that may go on to be service dogs should pay particular attention to scenting abilities. For instance, if a breeder is evaluating a litter to look to place a possible diabetic alert dog, scenting abilities are imperative in detecting blood sugar changes.
As you can probably see, Early Scent Introduction is a brilliant way for responsible breeders to provide a litter of puppies with all the tools necessary to live up to their full potential. As a Shih Tzu breeder, I want nothing more than for my puppies to love and heal the families they will live with. We should never underestimate the power of a good dog!