Pups are 4 going onto 5 weeks and weigh 6 lbs. give or take.
They have all their front teeth including the canines
We know it is good for the pups emotionl development to nurse as long as possible but we started them on a gruel about a week and a half ago when we saw they were getting their front teeth. We have increased their food intake to three meals a day plus mom nursing first thing in the AM and the last feeding at night.
We didn't want to cut mom out all together yet because she is still producing a lot of milk and when she is not feeding during the mid-day she gets really engorged, her mamories are quite firm and she leaks milk all over the house when she walks or lies down.
We started this thinking she would reduce the amount of milk she produces if they are only feeding on her twice a day. I am concerned she will totally stop feeding because they are hurting her and if she is still producing this amount of milk she is suseptable to mastitis.
How do you trigger the mother dog to reduce the amount of milk she produces?
You don't...she will reduce her milk production as the pups reduce the feeding on her. She will dry up according to her needs. You sound like you're doing everything right. My bitch only had 2 pups and was hugely engorged with milk...within 3 days, she started shrinking down to the level neccessary for the puppies' needs, and it was amazing to see it.. I was also concerned about mastitis, but nature seemed to work in this case. These 2 are the same age as yours and I'm weaning them too, mom's drying up gradually as i feed them more and nurse them less. LOL now don't be surprised if she vomits her food up for them, even though this is a primative behavior, some bitches still do this... It's how they teach the pups to eat a "kill"......yucky I have a bitch who does this....
When my pups are about 5wks old, and eating hard food, I take mom completly away. Her milk dries up in about a week. I have never had a problem. The pups play together, and learn what they need. When the pups are around 7wks, I let them go outside and play with mom and the big dogs. Most of the time they still try to nurse, but there is no milk so I don't worry.
It sounds to me like you have a good handle on things. Everyone seems to do things a bit different depending on the breed and size of the dogs.