Weaning a Puppy

by Tiffany
(Adelanto C.A San Bernardino County )

First off I don't know how old my baby pit is but we are bottle feeding her . She walks but still a lil wobbly . She cries when we put her down to walk I'm hoping her legs are ok . I worry a lot lol . When do we start introducing her to solid foods and how old do we start potty training?

Also not only do I have a brand new pit but I have a brand new baby too. My neighbor told me I should not have a pit if I have kids. I read the part about the diff breeds of dog on here and wanted to know how do I tell what breed of pit I have if she is so young? And should that play a factor in having her around my kids ? I love her and don't wanna give her up !!!

Gale's Reply:

Hi Tiffany

It sounds like this puppy was taken from her mother sooner than she should have been. Sometimes it can't be helped, but ideally a puppy should be allowed to stay with its mother and litter mates until it's at least 8 weeks old. By that time, it should be fully weaned.

Assuming your puppy is 3 - 4 weeks old, she can begin eating some solid food. I would transition her gradually keeping her on a milk replacement formula at first while giving her a little solid food and increasing it over time.

However, since you really don't know how old she is and when you got her she was being bottle-fed, you should take her to your vet. Your vet can give you the best estimate on her age and what she should be eating, when
she should have her shots, etc.

You can start potty training as soon as your puppy is mobile on her own--about 3 weeks of age. Take her out at frequent intervals in anticipation of when she might need to go and praise her when she does her business outside. NEVER punish your puppy for mistakes. Be patient. She'll get the idea eventually.

Your neighbor's comment that you shouldn't have a pit bull if you have kids is entirely uninformed. It sounds like he/she has bought into the media and general public hysteria about the breed. American pit bull terriers were bred to be people friendly. They used to called "nanny dogs" due to their gentleness with children.

However, dogs are individuals. There are two things that can cause a dog to become mentally unstable--bad breeding or bad handling. That's true for any breed of dog--not just pit bulls.

You can't do anything about the former. But, you can do a lot about the latter. So make sure you read up on proper training and socialization methods.

As to different types of pit bulls, technically there's only one breed--the American Pit Bull Terrier. However, practically speaking there are a number of bull breed dogs that are called 'pit bull' because they look so similar. I wouldn't be concerned about making the distinction if I were you. Unless you know the parentage or have DNA testing performed, you can't really know whether your puppy is a pit bull, an amstaff or a mix.

I believe your biggest challenge with having a young puppy and a new baby will be finding the time and energy to deal with demands of both.

Good luck. Feel free to post back and let us know how things are going.

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