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Thread: Weaning?

  1. #1
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    Question Weaning?

    I got in a little debate with my dad the other day about how pups are weaned. I'm not overly knowledgeable about how breeders go about weaning the pups off mum but i presume that the breeder slowly makes sure the pups are spending more and more time away from their mum over a couple of weeks or so, correct me if i am wrong
    My dad reckons that doing it gradually would not be necessary and pups would be fine if the mother was just suddenly taken away at around 6 weeks old. I disagree with this because i would presume that the pups would fret for their mum if she was just suddenly taken away. Also that is around the important age for learning in pups, and the mum would be able to teach them some valuable things right?
    Of course,breeders would have a much better idea of what goes on than myself or my dad would so could anyone here enlighten me on the subject of weaning?

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    6 weeks is too young, 8 weeks is the absolute bare minimum as there important socialisation skills they learn in those two weeks. Failing to get these will affect them.The mother will wean them and teach them, she may need some supplements to her food.She needs 8 weeks though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farrview View Post
    6 weeks is too young, 8 weeks is the absolute bare minimum as there important socialisation skills they learn in those two weeks. Failing to get these will affect them.The mother will wean them and teach them, she may need some supplements to her food.She needs 8 weeks though.
    Thanks Farrview! Excuse my lack of knowledge but when you say the mother will wean them, do you mean that no human intervention is needed other than introducing the pups to solid food?

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    It is what they do birth feed and wean, depends on the dog though, as it doesn't always go according to plan. There are others far more knowledgeable who may comment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farrview View Post
    It is what they do birth feed and wean, depends on the dog though, as it doesn't always go according to plan. There are others far more knowledgeable who may comment.
    Cool, thanks

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    A lot of puppy mills farmers separate the puppies from the bitch at 6 weeks - some even adopt out the puppies at 6 weeks but this is generally thought by people who care about dogs welfare to be a bad idea.

    I haven't had any direct personal experience but this is how I think it goes, the bitch will take herself away from the puppies for increasing amounts of time - especially as puppies get given other food to eat. But the longer the puppies have to suck mum's milk - the better immunity they will have. They also learn a lot at this critical period about treating their elders with respect as the mum will tell the puppies off when she gets tired of them jumping all over her and trying to get at the milk.

    And it's also important for puppies to stay with their litter mates as much as possible. This helps them learn manners among their peers too. for example - if you play too rough you will soon be nigel no friends.

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    Thanks Hyacinth very informational!

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    Ok 'maddogdodge' – some information for you to try and settle your discussion with your Dad !

    From my experience – having had one litter at my place - after being involved in a few litters as an apprentice – it is the mum that weans the litter and not the breeder.

    If the breeders know what they are doing –they will follow the mum’s lead as to how things are to go. Mother nature always knows best !

    The first lot of milk the pups get is ‘Colostrum = first milk’ – highly concentrated with all the good stuff for baby pups . This is where they get all the necessary antibodies to protect them in the first stages of life and for the future.

    Anything after the colostrum – is just food for the pups !

    At about 2 weeks of age - the pups' eyes are opening, they are given their first lot of worming treatment and their teeth start coming through. Once the teeth come through - mum starts to really actively wean the pups.

    Sharp teeth on sensitive nipples does not thrill the mums ! So the mums become very reluctant to spend much time with the pups.

    Usually by about week 3 - week 4 - pups are started on real food. First off really sloppy - then gradually to more solid food.

    Week 4 - week 5 - mine started on bones - chicken wings and brisket bones. The pups were being fed 3 times a day. Mum at this stage had completely weaned them and had no interest at all in spending any time with them - unless there was a fence between her and them !

    So at 6 weeks - taking mum completely out of the picture is no problem. The important socialisation of the pups now is with their littermates and the humans that are around.

    Hope this is helpful !

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    Taking Mum out of the picture at six weeks will not affect their feed, they are weaned, but it will affect everything else, they are taught by their Mother until 8 weeks old.A puppy is more than a stomach.The mother will teach them about the appropriate place to defecate and pee ( away from the bed space), they will importantly model behaviours, reactions and how to control their teeth ( to some extent).I have been in pet shops where there is a litter of 6 week old puppies and they are too young.
    It's not so much about fretting as learning important behaviours that embed and are the foundation of their socialisation. I have many times been thankful to have a dog who is friendly to people and other dogs. Many times she has deflected aggression and allayed anxious owners fears with her social skills, she had a terrific friendly mother and she learned from her.I used to laugh when she was little and say she had been "well brought up".. all in 8 weeks ( that is despite the peeing and chewing of course)
    Last edited by farrview; 04-24-2013 at 10:16 AM.

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    Thanks guys very helpful info!

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