Gun dog training expert

JACKIE DRAKEFORD KCAI (B) (WLSA)

I always let the puppies dictate the pace, as they are self-weaning, and will do so in their own time.

Puppies from bitches fed with BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, or Bones And Raw Food) tend to wean early, at about two-and-a-half weeks, when I offer raw mince in broth, which they take as soon as they are ready.

I often add plain yoghurt, but never milk, as the best milk for puppies is in the bitch.

After they have had their solid food, I let the bitch top them up with milk.

If one puppy is a bit slow, I don?t worry, as it will wean when it is ready.

By three to four weeks, my puppies are chewing away on raw meat and bones as well as their mince slop, and by five weeks most bitches choose to suckle for a very short time only.

A few like to go on for longer, and I allow this, as long as the puppies have had their meat first.

If puppies are fed a varied diet they are far less likely to become fussy feeders later on.