There is a thought floating around out there that puppies "need to stay with their mother" until 8 weeks old. Not sure where that particular bit of lore originated, but it continues to be the cause of much misunderstanding.
And the misunderstanding can be damaging. Breeders get shamed for separating bitches from their puppies or they try to compel their bitches to stay with the puppies for an amount of time that is unreasonable for that particular group. In the worst cases, breeders will trap dams in with puppies, forcing bitches to confront their puppies because there is no other escape. As we discuss in chapter six of Puppy Culture, the consequences of this are bad for the puppies, bad for the dams, and bad for breeding programs. So, let’s clear this up and address “real” best practices for when to wean puppies.
Jane Messineo Lindquist (Killion) is the director of "Puppy Culture: The Powerful First Twelve Weeks That Can Shape Your Puppies' Future" as well as the author of "When Pigs Fly: Training Success With Impossible Dogs."