Hi Puppy People,
You asked and we listened! We’ve had regular requests for what a daily schedule with a new puppy looks like. Here is your sample daily schedule complete with the doggie details you want to remember to include each day. Because everyone’s days are different this is meant to be used only as a guide to help you make your own plan using the specifics of your household. We have included a worksheet for you to print and fill in with your own schedule.
Components to include in your daily schedule:
- An appropriate amount of sleep in a safe spot*, free from disruption by children.
- An effective bathroom training plan.
- Healthy meals that are dispensed creatively; by hand, in food stuffed toys, and during other daily adventures.
- Dog-specific activities like chewing, playing tug, and foraging.
- Freedom to make choices (when safe and possible).
- Enriching outings on a long line (if a leash is required).
- A robust, thoughtful socialization strategy.
- An education that ensures the pup’s ability to safely and successfully navigate our complex world. These are life skills.
- All interactions with children are safe and fun for both the puppy and the children involved.
Sample 24 Hours
7:00 AM – Puppy up and out for bathroom.
10 – 20 minutes of sniff/playtime outside, depending on your schedule and the weather.
Back inside and into the crate with a food-stuffed toy or gated in the kitchen with a food-stuffed toy (be very careful of bathroom accidents here) while you put coffee on, check emails, stretch, or do what you do in the morning. This is important – don’t neglect yourself.
Tip – pre stuff rubber toys with food and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
7:45 AM – Puppy out for bathroom and more food.
Hand feed. Use some of the first meal in a short, fun training session. Offer another food stuffed toy with the puppy in a confined, safe space. Remember this is when accidents will happen so if a puppy is out of the crate they should get a bathroom break every 10 – 20 mins depending on their age and where you are in your bathroom training.
8:00 AM – Kids in the picture? Provide supervised opportunities for the children and pup to spend time together in the morning. When these interactions are planned carefully you will avoid puppy-biting and crying kids because of your forethought and planning.
8:30 AM – Puppy nap time.
Tip – keep a jar of treats by the bathroom spot, on top of the crate and others stashed strategically around the house. Never miss an opportunity to reinforce your puppy.
10:00 AM – Puppy out for bathroom break, food stuffed toy, play, socialization adventure. Longline romp.
11:00 AM – Puppy nap time.
Afternoon Puppy Schedule
12:30 PM – Puppy out for bathroom break, food stuffed toy, play, socialization adventure, longline walk/hike.
2:00 PM – Puppy nap time.
3:30 PM – Kids in the picture? Supervised or planned kid/puppy interaction. Have a plan, specific games and/or teaching exercises for the kids. Long tug toys, appropriate chews, and timed interaction will help ensure the kid/puppy time spent is enjoyed by all.
4:00 PM – Puppy out for a long line romp.
Tip – Pair putting on gear such as harness and a leash with a tasty treat. This will help ensure your puppy doesn’t develop an aversion to you putting on the harness.
5:00 PM – Puppy nap time.
5:45 PM – Puppy out for bathroom break, in the kitchen or safe confined space with family, food stuffed toys, appropriate chews, manage kids and puppy and keep an eye on the time.
Evening Puppy Schedule
6:30 PM – Puppy nap time.
Tip – covering the crate or having it close by may help the puppy settle as you continue to move around the house or prepare a meal.
7:30 PM – Puppy spends supervised time with the family. Food stuffed toys, appropriate chews, planned games, and exercises (practice preventative exercises, down, hand target, lots of tug and hide and seek).
Puppy in and out of crate over the evening, including planned outings outside for bathroom, romping, or socialization adventures.
10:00 PM to Midnight – Last person to bed takes the puppy out for a bathroom break.
Overnight Puppy Schedule
1:30 – 7:00 AM – Puppy out for bathroom breaks at age-appropriate times.
If the puppy is out of the crate and moving around you are wise to get them out for a bathroom break every 10 – 20 minutes. The timing will vary depending on your pup’s age.
Every time the pup comes out of their safe spot* take them out for a bathroom break. In addition, take them out for a bathroom break before you put them back in the safe spot*. This will help ensure they are getting out often enough.
If you feel like you are going out to the bathroom spot all the time you are doing it right!
Always provide an appropriate chew for your puppy, this will help prevent off-limit item chewing.
Get in the habit of always trading for off-limit items such as gloves and shoes.
Supervise all time spent out of the safe spot* so that your puppy doesn’t do things you don’t want.
Puppy biting is a normal part of raising a puppy. If the biting feels overwhelming your pup may not be getting enough sleep.
Raising a puppy can bring its share of stress and fatigue but it is also a fulfilling adventure. With good planning and a decent understanding of the details involved, you will do a terrific job. Remember you can print and use the worksheet we have made for you to create your own daily schedule complete with reminders of the important components.
*In order to use a safe spot such as a crate, you will need to teach your puppy to be comfortable spending time there. It is not recommended that you confine your puppy without doing this work first.
If you are in the process of preparing for, or have recently welcomed a puppy into your home please be sure and check out our webinar and ebook.
Happy Puppy Raising!