This section is from the book "The Dogs Of Great Britain, America, And Other Countries. Their Breeding, Training, and Management in Health and Disease", by John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). Also available from Amazon: The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries.
When weaning is to be commenced, which is usually about the fifth or sixth week, it is better to remove the puppies altogether, than to let the bitch go on suckling them at long intervals. By this time their claws and teeth have become so sharp and so long, that they punish the bitch terribly, and therefore she does not let them fill their bellies. Her milk generally accumulates in her teats, and becomes stale, in which state it is not fit for the whelps, and by many is supposed to encourage worms. The puppies have always learned to lap, and will eat meat, or take broth or thickened milk, as previously described; besides which, when they have no chance of sucking presented to them, they take other food better, whereas, if they are allowed to suck away at empty teats, they only fill themselves with wind, and then lose their appetites for food of any kind. But, having determined to wean them, there are several important particulars which must be attended to, or the result will be a failure, at all events for some time. That is to say, the puppies will fall away in flesh, and will cease to grow at the same rate as before.
In almost all cases, what is called the "milk-fat" disappears after weaning, but still it is desirable to keep some flesh on their bones, and this can only be done by attending to the following directions, which apply to dogs of all kinds, but are seldom rigidly carried out, except with the greyhound, whose size and strength are so important as to call for every care to procure them in a high degree. In hounds, as well as pointers and setters, a check in the growth is of just as much consequence; but as they are not tested together as to their speed and stoutness so 9 closely as greyhounds are, the slight defects produced in puppy-hood are not detected, and, as a consequence, the same attention is not paid. Nevertheless, as most of these points require only care, and cost little beyond it, they ought to be carried out almost as strictly in the kennels of the foxhound and pointer as in those devoted to the longtails. These chief and cardinal elements of success are, - 1st, a warm, clean, and dry lodging; 2ndly, suitable food; 3rdly, regularity in feeding; and, 4thly, a provision for sufficient exercise.