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Q: When should a puppy be weaned?
A: Weaning dates vary by size of the breed, size of the litter and by attitudes of breeders. Some prefer to move puppies to dog food rather soon to the limit the impact that nursing has on the mother. Others prefer to have the puppies nurse until the dam herself decides it is time for the pups to stop.
Here is an article that outlines a step-by-step process for weaning puppies at what seems to be rather early dates, with the breeder taking a major role in weaning quite abruptly at four weeks old:
Here is an article describing a weaning process that is more gradual. The breeder introduces puppies to some milk and then baby cereal between three to five weeks of age, the dam gradually produces less milk as pups make less demand on her, and weaning occurs more naturally:
Finally, here is information on the life history of a dog, including the recommendation that weaning occur no earlier than 3 weeks and no later than 7 weeks, depending in part on the size of the litter: