About Our Program

We Raise the Best

We raise our puppies with your family in mind. Our goal with each and every one of our puppies is to produce a confident, well rounded, amazing puppy! To do this, it requires more than just “socialization”. You will often hear that a puppy is well socialized, but at Golden State Good Dogs we go beyond your standard socialization. For the eight+ weeks the puppies are with us, we go through a series of exercises and training practices that include ENS, ESI, touch sensitivity, sound and item exposure and more. Below is more detailed information about each step in our process.

Our Puppy Raising Methods

Early Neurological Stimulation

Early Scent Introduction

Touch Sensitivity

Sight, Movement & Item Exposure

People & Animal Exposure

Temperament Testing

Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS)

What is ENS and why do puppies need it?

Early Neurological stimulation (ENS) ENS is a set of five exercises we perform on each puppy. The exercises provide mild stressors to help with the puppys resilience. The benefits are improved cardiovascular performance, stronger heart beats, stronger adrenal glands, more tolerance to stress and greater resistance to disease. In the long run, these exercises help the puppy to develop a stronger tolerance for new experiences. Click HERE to view a video of us talking about ENS and showing the process.

Early Scent Introduction (ESI)

What is ESI and what does it do for the puppy?

Early scent introduction (ESI) is a training program for puppies designed to enhance their ability to identify, and react to, specific scents. Each day, from 3-16 days old, we introduce a strong scent to the puppy for brief intervals, and record the puppy’s reaction.

The reaction is considered to be positive when the puppy shows interest in the scent, moving toward it. A negative reaction is recorded when the puppy tries to get away from the scent. And finally, when a puppy is neither interested nor disinterested in the scent, this is a neutral reaction. The puppy’s different reactions mean the potential for even better companion, service, and therapy dogs.

Touch Sensitivity

As a part of our puppy socialization process, we start handing at a very young age. The more we handle, touch and get our puppies comfortable with normal human touch, the more normal this type of handling will be to them. The goal is to teach puppy that this type of touch is normal. We touch very minimally as they are younger, but each week we increase the amount of pressure and amount of touch. By the end of eight weeks, we perform the following: rub/tug on ears, cover eyes, open mouth and run fingers on gums, rub belly in circular motion, run hand up and down the back and pat on the back, tug and twist on the tail, touch all paws and push in between pads, tap nails, run fingers around neck and tug on collar, and touch their nose.

It is important for new puppy parents to continue this type of touch once puppy comes home!


Research has shown that beginning different exposures and encouraging socialization should start at the third week of a puppy’s life. Because puppy’s eyes are opening, they can hear, and have some mobility, we will begin to expose them during this crucial socialization period. While puppy is with us, we will introduce different types of exposures including whelping box exposure, sound exposure, different locations, problem solving activities, different types of people, different types of animals and more .

Exposures begin in the whelping box. Items we expose them to are gentle and safe. The goal of these activities is to build trust with the puppy while providing something new and fun. We let them be curious and engage as they please. If the puppies tolerate the new exposures well, we will add more each day.

Exposing puppies to a variety of sounds is very important for their development. We can aid with preventing some fear of sounds like thunder, sirens and vacuums by introducing them to these sounds early on in life.

Activity exposure means adding something as simple as an item to their environment. We start with stationary items and slowly will introduce items that make a sound or movement. These items are there to expose puppies to all the fun things they will encounter as they grow. By exposing them to a large variety of items, puppies will gain confidence and problem solving skills.

We will also introduce puppies to a variety of new locations, people and animals. As you can imagine, these introductions help puppy feel more confident in future interaction.

It is SO IMPORTANT to continue these exposures while your puppy is still young. Do not wait until your puppy is 16+ weeks old. Introduce them to the world and as many positive experiences as you can!

Temperament Testing

Part of being an ethical breeder is to ensure we place the right puppy with the right home. In order to do this, we will observe and document temperament traits for each of our puppies. We complete a Personal Assessment Test (PAT) on each of our puppies. We look for energy level, dominance, assertiveness, fear/recovery and more. Observing and documenting these traits can help us prevent a high energy puppy ending up in a non-active home. We encourage each of our puppy parents to take temperament into consideration when making a puppy decision.

Golden State Good Dogs – Concord, CA 94520

Golden State Good Dogs offers incredibly well mannered, well tempered and well rounded Micro Bernedoodles, Medium size Chocolate Goldendoodles, and AKC Mini Poodles!


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