So I have a 15 wk old GSD now and I had the same questions about schedules but I finally figured out that whatever I wanted my schedule to be, it had to be consistent. I figured that out the hard way as I had work during the week and was home on the weekend so when I went back to work on Monday, the pup would be really upset to have to be back in her crate because the day before, she was out most of the day. So with that in mind, our schedule once we had it down is
7am-training with breakfast then the rest of breakfast is put in a puzzle feeder. Once she is finished, we go for a 30 minute walk. Then I have to usually leave by 8-8:15am so she goes back to her crate regardless of if I'm home or not. Usually my husband comes home around 11:30-12pm to let her out to potty, eat lunch with her puzzle toy, potty again then it's back to the crate. Then I come home about 3pm and let her out to potty then it's play time/hang out with mom time. We may have a puppy friend come over for some play or we go to the park and play with a ball. 5pm-I have to start on dinner so she either hangs out with me or if she is getting bitey or acting out (she usually does because she is tired and doesn't know how to stop interacting with stuff) it's time for the play pen. At 6pm is usually when I try to have dinner done and she also gets her dinner but I take half of her kibble and put it around and inside her crate then put the other half in a different puzzle toy. Usually after dinner we will have some small amounts of play with training but nothing too crazy. By 7pm, she has a bully stick and we sit together by the couch and relax. 8:30-9pm she goes to bed in the crate.
When she was really young, we had a 2 hour potty break routine. Now we have an app on our phones that lets us monitor her inside her crate and if she starts crying and making a fuss, we take her out to potty but then she goes right back in her crate.
So I will tell you that when I first brought her home, it was a huge pain to get her to like her crate. I wanted to pull my hair out. I had to find the room where she was most comfortable and put the crate in that room before I solved part of the problem. The other part of the problem was the fact that she just didn't want to be in her crate. She wanted to be next to me. I had to sleep on the floor next to her crate so that my hand was touching the gate before she would start to calm down and even then, it took about a week before she would actually go into her crate without a massive blow out. It really is a fear period for them and a learning curve for you. But the puppy will get used to it. The suggestions given to me for the crate were such things like 1. get a fan or something for white noise so that they don't wake up to every sound and immediately start crying. 2. Put blankets over the top of their crate that will also cover the gate to simulate a den. 3. give them high value treats in the crate so that they want to be in there because they think it's awesome. 4. if your pup is really having a hard time, there are toys that simulate a mother's heartbeat that you can put in with them... or if you have a clock that ticks really loud, that helped my dog. 5. Sleep next to the crate if you have to so that they know you are there. But I have to admit that I put my dog in the crate even though she was crying bloody murder but she calmed down after a while and finally slept. Now she is fine with going into her crate and sleeping though she still doesn't willingly just go in there like some dogs.