Schedule for a Puppy

One of the best ways to have a well behaved puppy is to set a schedule. A schedule will help make sure your puppy gets out enough so they don’t have accidents in the house and so we make sure they get enough naps so they are cranky.

Puppies need between 18 and 20 hours of sleep a day. If they don’t get enough sleep they will get cranky and over tired and act worse. A lot of puppy biting happens when our pups are overtired. You might notice your pup’s behavior getting worse in the evening and that is because they are often too tired. 

Potty training also requires taking your pup out regularly and if we forget to then they are more likely to have an accident. Some very young puppies need to go outside every 30 minutes they are awake. If you are having one or more accidents a day then you might need to set a timer and get your puppy out more often. 

Enforced Naps

Puppies don’t know what is best for them and often don’t want to nap. So enforced naps are important for puppies who won’t settle themselves, which is almost all of them. Set up a puppy safe area, such as a crate or playpen and put your puppy in there for naps. Have the crate next to where you hang out, so the puppy doesn’t feel scared being alone. You can also cover the crate and play soothing music to help them sleep. If my dog struggles to go down for nap time, I will offer them a calming activity to do before their nap such as a chew toy, a licky mat, or a stuffed kong. Chewing and licking are calm behaviors and help them calm down for a nap.

Set a schedule

No one schedule fits all puppies and their families. So modified the schedule to fit you. If your puppy sleeps 18-20 hours in a day that means they are only awake for 4-6 hours. This doesn’t seem like that much time to be awake but babies sleep a lot because they are growing so much. 

1 hour awake 2 hours sleep: A common schedule system people use is for every one hour your puppy is awake, do an enforced nap for 2 hours. This can help give you realistic expectations of how often your puppy will need to nap. 

I had a puppy who could only be out for half an hour before she would get overtired so I had to modify that schedule so she would get naps sooner. Also when I work from home I have a different schedule then someone who goes to the office. Take a look at our example schedule and try to modify it for needs. If your puppy is getting really bitey or acting very crazy then we might need to shift a nap time forward.

Example Scedule

TimeActivity
7:00amWake up, Potty Break
7:10amI get ready for the day. Puppy in the bathroom or bedroom with me
7:30amDog play time, training, yard time, and/or walk
7:50amPotty Break
8:00amGet breakfast for human. Puppy baby gated in kitchen with me
8:10amGet setup in work area. Puppy pen next to my desk. Give puppy breakfast while I start working.
8:30amPotty Break and then back to work. Puppy goes back into playpen for nap
10:30amPotty break and small playtime or training break
12:00pmLunch Time, potty break and puppy in the kitchen while I prep lunch
1:00pmPotty break and then back into playpen while I go back to work
3:00pmPotty break and small playtime or training break
5:00pmEnd of work day. Potty break, playtime, training time, yard time, and/or walk
6:00pmPrep Dinner. Puppy in kitchen
7:00pmDinner. Feed puppy in crate next to dinner table while I eat
7:30pmPotty Break. Then put puppy in playpen near couch while I realx and read or watch tv
8:45pmPotty time
9:00pmGet ready for bed, Puppy in bedroom with me
9:30pmPuppy goes in crate next to bed while I read for a bit
10:00pmI go to bed. Puppy is already sleeping

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