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For about a week we have been feeding our labrador bitch's litter, puppy food mixed with puppy milk, this is because the bitch now refuses to get into the puppy box for more than a couple of minutes, the puppies go to suckle on her as soon as she gets in. We've cut the puppies claws, but this hasn't made a difference. My concern is i've heard the bitch is still supposed to be feeding them and how do I know the puppies are getting enough nutrients and aren't hungry? Is the bitches behaviour normal? We feed them 3 times a way btw, Thanks in advance!
 

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I'm not a breeder so I can't answer from personal experience. I have recently been speaking to a lot of breeders and on more than one occasion they said their bitch chose when to stop feeding and some at around five weeks old. Perhaps it was just her time to finish feeding.
 

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This is pretty normal, as I understand it (and I'm not a breeder either). It sounds like you are a beginner too, at this puppy stuff. There is a LOT of information out there on the internet about raising puppies.

One thing many breeders do is weigh the puppies every day to make sure they are growing. That is one way to make sure they are getting enough food..
 

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Okay, thankyou :) I have been weighing them, they're gaining..the thing is izzy - the bitch - doesn't want to feed, her teets are sore, although I have washed them, when will the puppies stop wanting to suckle off her? On a similar note, she doesn't seem to spend alot of time with them, she doesn't play with them..- Is this normal?
 

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From the little I know, the puppies are likely to want to suckle long after the mother wants to. However, I think you'd be better to seek advice from a breeder of Labradors so you can get specific help. There are loads on this site: Labrador Retriever Breeders Good luck with the pups.
 

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Okay, thankyou :) I have been weighing them, they're gaining..the thing is izzy - the bitch - doesn't want to feed, her teets are sore, although I have washed them, when will the puppies stop wanting to suckle off her? On a similar note, she doesn't seem to spend alot of time with them, she doesn't play with them..- Is this normal?
The puppies don't want to stop! Its the Mom's job to make them stop. This is quite normal. She'll only let them get a little bit before she moves away. And she cannot give them much of her attention, as they will always try to feed, so this is the transition time. Poor darlings!

As Crio says, they can eat food now. ;)
 

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Its fine for her to stop at 5 weeks. They will happily feed for a long time, its always mum that says no first! Pick a good puppy feed and up the meals from 3 to 5 or 6 a day so they can get enough food as they have little tummys. Mum wont want to play with them as they pester for food when they see her and she is trying to wean them. They have each other to play with so will be fine.
 
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