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Early Scent Introduction

Responsible Pet Breeders of Australia is committed to the health and well-being of pets, from pre-birth all throughout their life. As part of this commitment, our RPBA members are charged with providing the best care to their pets, regardless of breed or pedigree. 

Dogs, famous for their keen sense of smell, possess olfactory abilities that are vastly superior to those of humans. Their noses play a pivotal role in how they perceive and engage with the world.

One method to harness this incredible capacity, while also contributing to a dog’s overall wellbeing and development, is through Early Scent Introduction (ESI).

What is Early Scent Introduction (ESI)?

ESI is a practice where puppies are exposed to different scents during their critical developmental stages, typically starting as early as 3 to 17 days after birth.

This process usually involves placing a scented item near the puppy, allowing it to investigate and familiarise itself with the scent. This can range from natural odours such as leaves and soil to human-made ones like various fabrics or tools.

Neurological Development and the Critical Window

During the first few weeks of a dog’s life, its brain undergoes rapid development. This period, often referred to as the “critical window,” is a prime time for puppies to learn and adapt to various stimuli.

Introducing varied scents during this phase can influence a dog’s neural pathways, making them more adept at processing and reacting to different smells throughout their lives.

Benefits of Early Scent Introduction

  • Enhanced Cognitive Abilities: Just as early childhood experiences shape human brain development, ESI helps in the cognitive growth of dogs. Regular exposure to new scents stimulates their brains, which may result in enhanced problem-solving abilities and adaptability in unfamiliar environments.
  • Temperament and Confidence Building: Dogs introduced to a diverse array of smells from a young age are often more confident and less fearful in unfamiliar situations. This can reduce stress-related behaviours and make them more resilient to changing environments.
  • Preparation for Specialised Roles: Dogs trained for specific jobs, whether in search and rescue, police work, or service roles, benefit immensely from ESI. An early introduction to various scents can lay the foundation for their specialised training, making them more efficient and adept in their respective roles.
  • Improved Socialisation: Exposure to diverse scents, especially those associated with humans (e.g., perfumes, lotions), other animals, or different environments, can enhance a dog’s social skills. This can be particularly useful for ensuring that dogs are well-adjusted and non-aggressive in multi-pet households or public places.

Early Scent Introduction, while a simple process, can have profound and lasting effects on a dog’s life. By leveraging the critical developmental window and a dog’s inherent olfactory capabilities, ESI fosters cognitive growth, confidence, and adaptability.

Whether preparing a puppy for a specialised role or merely aiming for a well-adjusted family pet, the practice of ESI stands as a testament to the intricate bond between sensory experiences and overall well-being in dogs.

To help RPBA members ensure that their puppies turn into well-behaved and gentle adult dogs, we offer a downloadable Early Scent Introduction template in the RPBA Members Only Section, alongside templates and documents for almost any other breeder need:

chrome mOtUUIeRIxBecome a member today to gain access to Educational Health Waivers, Printable Breeder Templates, and discount information for both members and buyers.

Please download the Beginner Breeder Guide apply to Become a Member to start your journey as a Reg 1

RPBA is an Australian Breeding Organisation that accepts both purebred and crossbreed dog breeders. Our Beginner Breeder Guide is designed to help you with all the steps involved in how to become a registered breeder with RPBA.

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For more information and to become a member please sign up here.

Please note that we do not accept breeders with more than 10 breeding bitches. And we do not accept breeders who have been found guilty of any animal welfare or cruelty offences.

Membership instalments can be paid monthly or annually. Once payment has been made via the below link, you can log in to the Members Only Section to finalise your application. Payment can be made via PayPal. If you do not have an account, PayPal can still process card payments without an account.

We offer information on how to prepare for your first litter, the things you should have at home for your breeding set-up, and legislation references to ensure you are meeting the requirements.

Yes, we do! We are an inclusive club and we believe that both pedigree and non-pedigree breeders should follow the same level of care and consideration. Responsible Pet Breeders Australia is all about the responsible and ethical upbringing of all breeds.

Once your application is completed in full and received, it will be reviewed by RPBA in house veterinarian. You will hear back from us within 24 hours. If further information is required, you will be contacted. Sometimes we may request further information or photos if they are unclear, ensure you check your email or junk mail in case we have contacted you.

We are Australian owned, government recognised, and focus on education with our vet-curated breeder resources and templates. We do not support puppy farmers, and do not accept members with more than ten breeding bitches and/or queens.

RPBA is Australia’s largest community for all breeds. 29% of Australian’s have been judged by their pet’s colour, look, heritage, or breed. We are an all inclusive community and we do not discriminate.

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