How we raise our puppies:
Before the puppies are even born, we start the process of socialization by rubbing the dam's teets so that when the puppies are born and start to nurse, which they do almost immediately, they will get the scent of a human and associate it with comfort and nourishment. While puppies cannot hear or see until they are about 2 weeks old, their sense of smell is already quite keen. It is through smell that puppies make their first "picture" of the world. Having humans be a close and positive part of it right from the start can only be good.
Once born and dried, we hold each puppy against our necks, againallowing the puppy to get the scent of a human while being cradled against a warm and soft body part.
Besides handling each puppy daily, we also start the Bio-Sensory Program, sometimes also known as Early Neurological Stimulation when puppies are 3 days old and continue it daily until the puppies are 16 days old. This program was developed by the US military and has been shown to increase a puppy's ability to handle stresses better as it grows up, and improve physical health including the immune and cardiovascular system. It is a process  that
introduces 5 specific mild stresses to puppiesfor 2 weeks, done in a  very controlled way for only a short period of time once each day. These 5 painless and simple exercises are done to start to help prepare our puppies for
their life’s journey.

our pups because we see the benefits and know it helps them grown into
lovable canine citizens.

These stresses help stimulate the neurological system
which improves the growth and development of the pup’s immune
system, cardiovascular system, and stress tolerance.

When the puppies are about 3 weeks old, besides continued daily handling, we start the Rule of 7 which is making sure the puppies, by the time they leave us, will have been on 7 different types of surfaces in our case rugs, wood flooring, tile flooring, grass, earth, pebbles, and stone, will have eaten from 7 different types of food containers, will have dealt with 7 new challenges such as climbing up and down a step,....
been in 7 different locations: yard, kitchen, living room, car, vet's office, bathroom, bedroom, etc.
played with 7 different types of toys : rope bones, smaller balls, larger balls, etc.
been exposed to 7 challenges: a step, climb over an obstacle, go through a tunnel, get out of a hole (in the yard), figure out how to get out from under a small shirt, etc.

Been on 7 different types of surfaces:  carpet, tile, linoleum, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, and wood chips.
    Played with 7 different types of objects:  rope toys, plush toys, big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, squeaky toys, paper or cardboard items, metal items, and sticks.
    Been in 7 different locations:  front & back yard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom, kids room, living room, hallway, Vet’s office, groomers.
    Met and played with 7 new people:  include children and older adults, someone walking with a cane or in a wheelchair or walker, someone tall, someone in a hat.
    Been exposed to 7 challenges:  climb on a box, go through a tunnel, climb steps, go down steps, climb over obstacles, play hide and seek, go in and out of a doorway with a step up or down, run around a fence.
    Eaten from 7 different containers:  metal, plastic, cardboard, paper, human hands, pie plate, tin pan, frying pan, Frisbee, elevated bowl.
    Eaten in 7 different locations:  crate, yard, exercise pen, basement, laundry room, living room, bathroom, back yard.
Each new, positive experience will help your puppy flourish into a confident companion.  Allow your puppy to learn passively by letting them to explore on their own, but make sure he is 100% supervised and that it is a controlled environment.  Do not use any harsh training methods with a puppy, because you will break the bond of trust. Training should be fair and fun.
We think all puppies should go through the puppy socialization called the “Rule of Seven.” The rule of 7 is a trick we learned to help introduce our golden retriever puppies to new environments and get them used to many different things they may encounter in their lives. Much like ENS (early Neurological Stimulation) the Rule of seven introduces the pups to small stresses that will help boost confidence, social behavior, and their train-ability.
Our rule of 7 works by introducing pups starting at 4 weeks of age to 7 new things they hadn’t had a lot of contact with before, about four days later we change these to 7 new items. So by the time you pick up your Iron Hill Retrievers puppy they have been introduced to 49 different or new things/ changes. So when your puppy goes home they can be a cute confident pup ready to trek across carpet, tile or wood floors. Play with balls, squeaky toys and chase sticks. And begin to work on obedience.
Here’s an excerpt from our rule of 7 form:
Choose a Number (1-7) from each Category (A-G) and this litter gets introduced to these 7 things for the Next 4 days. On the 5th day choose a different Number (1-7) from each category (A-G) and this litter gets introduced to these 7 things for the Next 4 days. Etc…. Put the start date on each choice. Cross off the ones you chose on the last day so we don’t have a repeat. By the time puppies are 8 weeks old they will have been introduced to serval new things and areas. This improves their ability to cope with stress, socializing, and train-ability.
A. Different types of Surfaces:
    Hard Wood Floor _____
    Vinyl, or linoleum flooring _____
    Fake Grass _____
    Real Grass _____
    Dirt or Sand or Gravel _____
    Carpet _____
    Tile, or stone, concrete _____
B. Different Toys:
    Different sized balls _____
    Squeaky toys _____
    Hard plastic/ rubber or metal items _____
    Soft fabric toys _____
    Natural items, sticks _____
    Water, pools (weather permitting) _____
    Ropes _____
We hope to encourage those who purchase our wonderful golden retriever puppies to continue to introduce them to new things every week or every month. It keeps them happy and helps them explore their world in a safe prepared way.