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Weaning pups

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#1 denice


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Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:22 PM

I am sure there are folks out there with much more experience than I have weaning pups and drying up the bitch. The pups are now 5 weeks old and are eating solid food well. I am really not at all concerned with them I am concerned how best to go about drying up the bitch. She has quite a bit of milk. I have cut her food back and been going half puppy food half adult twice a day and reducing the morning feeding. Normally she would eat 2.5 cups pm and I suppose most days now she is eating 3.5 to 4 total. Over the next few days I figure I will gradually cut out the morning feeding. I am letting her in with the pups 3 times a day now and plan on reducing that to twice over the next few days also. She is drinking a ton of water.
Do you think this sounds like the way to go? Any suggestions on drying her up and avoiding her being uncomfortable or mastitis issues?


#2 MyTDogs


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Posted 17 November 2010 - 07:52 PM

Why not let her wean them on her own schedule? I am not a breeder but I always figured that's the way I'd do it if I were. I try intervene in such things only if necessary as a general philosophy.

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#3 Joellen



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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:03 PM

I agree. I would let her have free access to the pups when ever she wants. As the pups eat more solid food, they will naturally nurse less and she will dry up naturally.
Just another mention, be sure when you feed the pups that you use lots of bowls, at least 2 more bowls than there are pups. This can help tremendously with any resource guarding. Same goes for toys, etc. More is always better.
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#4 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 01:20 AM

For what it's worth, I've got 2 breeder friends whom I've watched raise a few litters over the years, and in every instance, the bitches were allowed to decide their own weaning times. I saw the mamas begin making their visits to the pups shorter and shorter, and their time away from the babies longer. One mama eventually switched from nursing in a lying position to nursing standing up, and when she'd had enough, she'd just leap out of the pen and leave the squalling kids behind! ;)

It seemed a natural process the mothers were quite comfortable making themselves, and the babies adjusted to it just fine, since they had puppy food to make up the lack. So, I think unless you see some problem going on, it's probably safe to let your mama make up her mind. She'll soon have enough of those sharp teeth and pointy little claws!

And meanwhile she's helping keep them clean and teach them their manners. :)
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#5 denice


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Posted 18 November 2010 - 12:05 PM

The pups are being weaned so they will eat more solid food and are ready to go to new homes when they are 8 weeks old. I want the bitch to be drying up as the pups are weaned to avoid any potential problems such as mastitis. The bitch would eat all the food and the pups would not get any if she were to stay in with them. I sure don't want to teach her to jump out of kennels to get away from them. She has not laid down to let them nurse in 2 weeks, she is ok with being in with them for about 5 min and that is all. Also she would be needing to eat more to support the increase in milk production, I want her to dry up. To do that she needs to eat less and be nursed less. The pups need to be eating more food. The only way I know how to do that is limit access so she does not eat the puppy food and they don't nurse as often. The pups get plenty social time with her and the other dogs so that is not a concern. I keep the pups until they are at least 8 weeks old to ensure those social skills develop and they learn how to be dogs. Both the bitch and pups are doing really well. I was just concerned about the timing and thought folks may have suggestions so it all works out at the same time.


#6 Debbie Meier

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 04:14 PM


We just weaned a litter a month or so back, when the pups start eating a good amount on their own I seperate the dam at feeding time, this particular female is a oinker and is pretty nasty to any pup that pushes in to eat. What ever the pups don't clean up I let the dam clean up when I return her to the pups. I don't hurry when returning her, I may even let her be with me around the farm away from the pups.

I base full weaning on the female and how much she in interacting/schooling on the pups. The female that we just weaned doesn't really tune or play with her pups and lets them have their way with her. At about 6 weeks I removed her completely, but I did socialize the pups with some of our other adult dogs that are good with pups. They did a good job teaching "No" along with other dog/dog life lessons.

I don't reduce the females food until I pull her perminantly from the pups, at that time I cut her back to a normal feeding. I've not noticed any issues with excessive milk or post weaning discomfort like we see with other animals at weaning time, atleast not with this particular female. I do keep and eye on her watching for hardness, heat or redness and I do not touch her glands unless I feel it is absolutely necessary. Once the pups stop demanding milk she just starts to dry down. Last year our vet told us to not worry about weaning gradually and to just take the female away and not put her back when we want to wean.

We have had pups out of 4 different females over the last 8 years, only one would wean her own pups and dry up on her own. The rest all had to be pulled, cold turkey seemed to work the best.

Hope this helps.

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#7 hsnrs


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Posted 23 November 2010 - 03:03 PM

We raise Aussies and usually start feeding the pups food about 3 weeks. Around 6 or 7 weeks the dam usually runs out of milk and I do feed her less.

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