On January 2nd we welcomed a new member to our family. 8-week-old Australian shepherd puppy, “Rumble”!
Now, I consider myself somewhat of an expert at raising puppies, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still a lot of hard work!! So, here’s what my new year looks like so far:
Rumble sleeps in a crate next to my bed. For the first week we had to get up at around 2:00 or 3:00 am to take her out to potty. Luckily, she would go back to sleep in her crate until about 6:00 or 6:30 am. My husband is an early riser, so he takes first shift.
Right now, potty training is my first priority so it’s out of the crate and immediately outside for a potty in the morning. Then it’s breakfast and some playtime. Next, you guessed it, outside for another potty then naptime. This is about the time I get up and take over puppy duties.
The day pretty much follows the same pattern – eat, go out to potty, play then potty, nap then potty, training and/or socialization then potty, and so on. Rumble naps in her crate. I try to plan my outings to coincide with nap times.
If you’ve ever had a puppy you know that evenings can be challenging because puppies tend to get extremely energetic. They’ll run around wild-eyed and crazy grabbing everything in their mouths as they go by. I call this the “zoomies”. This is the time I break out an interactive toy, such as a flirt pole, and direct all the energy into a positive outlet.
In addition, I don’t allow Rumble to take long naps in the evening. If she’s been sleeping for a while, I wake her up. I want her to be good and tired at bedtime so we can all get a good night’s sleep and start all over in the morning.
Check out this sample puppy schedule:
- When puppy becomes restless first thing in the morning – Get the puppy out of crate or sleeping area, and immediately take him outside to the potty area on leash
- 7:00 am – Feed and water.
- 7:30 a.m. – Take the puppy back out to potty area. Then, take puppy for a walk or have a structured play session.
- 8:00 a.m. – Put puppy in crate or confined area for nap while you finish your morning routine.
- When the puppy wakes from its nap – Get the puppy out of the crate or sleeping area and immediately take him outside to the potty area on leash. Reward and praise!
- 10:30 a.m. Walk the puppy and play for short period of time. Then, allow puppy to entertain itself with safe toys in a puppy-proof area.
- Noon – Feed the puppy its second meal.
- 12:15 p.m. – Take the puppy to the potty area on leash.
- 12:30 p.m. – Have a short play session and stimulate mentally with a short training session.
- 1:00 p.m. – Put the puppy back in the crate for an afternoon nap.
- When the puppy wakes from its nap. Get the puppy out of crate or sleeping area and immediately take him outside to the potty area on leash. Reward and praise!
- 4:00 p.m. – Take the puppy out for some socialization and exercise. A walk around the neighborhood to meet other people and friendly dogs.
- 5:30 p.m. – Feed the puppy his last meal of the day.
- 5:45 p.m. – Take the puppy to the potty area on leash.
- While you prepare and eat your dinner – Crate or confine the puppy.
- After dinner and before bedtime – Allow the puppy to socialize with all members of the family, play quietly by itself, or have another short training session.
- 8:00 p.m. – Take water away for the night.
- Your bedtime – Take the puppy outside for one last potty trip. Crate or confine puppy for the night only after you have seen it go potty.
Hope this helps you with your new puppy!!