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Puppy Schedules

Many puppies benefit from having a predictable routine as they adjust to their new homes. Management will be your best friend when it comes to puppy raising. If I can’t fully supervise them to prevent behaviors I don’t want, I contain them in either a crate or an ex-pen. When puppies are out and about, I make sure I’ve picked up and put away things that I don’t want them getting into—shoes, kid’s toys, trash cans, things on the counter, and I close doors to rooms that I don’t want them in. The more you can manage and prevent behavior you don’t like, the easier your life will be!  When I think about puppy schedules, I am mindful that they get enough potty breaks to prevent accidents, that they get enough downtime, and have appropriate enrichment. A general rule of thumb for potty breaks is to take your puppy out when they wake up from a nap, have played, just done a training session, or if they are normally pretty engaged with you and they start to wander away.

Downtime is another crucial part of having a puppy. Puppies need a lot of sleep, so I often put them up in a crate or an ex-pen to allow them to rest along with a relaxing activity. As soon as they wake up, I take them back out to make sure they are empty and then they can have some supervised free time out of the crate or pen.

I like to give puppies a chew, puzzle toys, snuffle mats, and Kongs and Toppls so they can self soothe and occupy themselves while I am still around but not able to watch them like a hawk. A sign that your puppy is ready for some downtime is the witching hour. Puppies often become like overtired toddlers insisting they don’t need a nap and turn into holy terrors. They may get the zoomies, chew on inappropriate items, become extra mouthy, or demand bark. If my puppy starts to get extra wild, I know it’s time to go in their crate or pen for a nap.

When puppies are out and about in the house, I make sure I’m able to fully supervise them. We may play with some toys, or work on training. I love to practice attention games, recall, relaxation, and rewarding heavily for four feet on the floor. Remember to keep play and training sessions short since both are tiring activities for our puppies. You can check out some training videos on our Youtube channel to work on age appropriate skills!


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Puppy Schedule Infographic
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