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So, you brought home your new puppy and survived the first night.  Now what?

The next step is setting up a routine for your puppy.  Setting up a routine for your puppy will not only help with house training him, it will also help your puppy learn what is expected of him.  An added benefit of setting up a routine for your puppy is that everyone will know what their responsibilities are and when they need to do their part.

The first few weeks after you bring home your puppy is the best time to start a regular routine for him.  Creating this structure for him will help him adjust to his new home.  It will also help him to know what is expected from him.

Of course, it may be impossible to stick to the schedule every day but you will need to be as consistent as possible.  The more consistent you are with your routine and training, the better it is for your puppy.

Get our free puppy schedule to start your puppy off right.

So, What Should A Puppy Schedule Look Like?

Feeding Schedule For Your Puppy

Unlike older dogs that are fed twice a day, puppies should be fed three times a day until they are around 4 months old.  You can set up their feeding schedule to be similar to your own meals.  Puppies can be fed at breakfast, lunch and dinner time.  Once your puppy is old enough, you can feed him at breakfast and dinner time but until then, arrange for him to have three meals.

Get the must-have resource for puppy owners, dog trainers and puppy socialization class instructors.

Bathroom Breaks For Your Puppy

Puppies need lots of bathroom breaks, especially when you are first house training them.  Schedule in potty breaks for your puppy first thing in the morning, after they eat, after they play, and after they nap.  When you first get your puppy, when they aren’t crated, you should take him outside for a potty break every 30 minutes.  Always supervise your puppy and when you can’t, he should be in his crate.  Watch for any signs that he needs to go potty and if you see him sniffing or circling, take him outside right away.

KPCT's training kits are a great way to learn the basics of clicker training.


Just like any dog, puppies need playtime and exercise.  The amount that they will need depends on their age and breed.  Your breeder and veterinarian will be able to give you a guide as to how much and what type of playtime and exercise your puppy can handle.  A walk around the neighborhood, some interactive play time with some dog toys and some bonding time with his family are all important.  You can also incorporate some training into playtime.  It’s never too soon to start teaching your puppy manners and exactly how you expect him to behave.

Naptime and Bedtime

Puppies need their sleep just like any baby.  Setting up a regular bedtime and naptimes is important for them.  Getting a puppy used to going to bed when you do and waking up when you do will be the start to a very good routine.  Of course, for the first few weeks to a month, your puppy may need to go potty through the night.  If you hear your puppy cry, take him out for a potty break.  Once he potties, take him back inside and put him back to bed.  The same goes for setting up naptimes through the day.  This will be especially helpful if you are working outside of the home.  If you are gone for long periods, though, you will need to find someone who can let your puppy out for a pee break.  Young puppies cannot hold their bladder for long periods of time.

Get our free puppy schedule to start your new puppy off right.

We all do better with schedules and routines and this includes our puppies and dogs as well.  Puppies are a lot of work but when taught their schedule and manners from the very beginning, they settle in much faster.

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