Establishing a routine for your puppy
Puppies generally do not have an established routine, although to some extent they will already have an internal body clock that discriminates night from day. The types of daily events that we take for granted, such as when to go to bed, when to get up, when they will be fed and what times their walks will be, all have to be learned.
Routines are very important for young puppies; they not only help us to live together, but also provide your puppy with some structure in their daily life. This helps them to make sense of an otherwise unknown world and gives them some stability amongst all of the new adventures and encounters they are experiencing.
As adults, our days revolve around routines created by demands from work, family, travel, and interaction with other people. Creating a routine that reflects these pressures in your life will also make it easier for you to plan when to fit in all the important activities with your puppy, such as feeding, grooming, and play, around your daily activities such as doing the shopping, collecting the children etc. A routine will also help you and your puppy establish toileting habits much quicker together.
Suggested routine for an 8-week-old puppy
A puppy will seem harder work before they have gained a good understanding of the routine, so it is important to start straight away. To help you make a start, you’ll find a suggested routine shown below and you will see that, as well as stimulation, learning, and play puppies need rest during the day.
|7:30-8:00||Wake, toilet, brief play/teaching session|
|9:00||Toilet, brief play/teaching session|
|12:00||Toilet, social/environmental activity|
|14:00||Toilet, brief play/teaching session|
|16:00||Toilet, social/environmental activity|
|18:00||Toilet, brief play/teaching session|
|19:00||4th meal, sleep|
|20:00||Toilet, handling/grooming session|
|22:00||Toilet, play session|
Of course the timings can be flexible to accommodate your own lifestyle but the alternating periods of activity and rest, as well as the staged intervals between meals, are an important part of a balanced and predictable routine that will help your puppy to develop healthily and become part of your family.
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