Puppy schedule - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy schedule

What schedule did you follow for your 8 - 16 week old puppy?

I have looked at some sample crate training schedules, but am a bit confused. First off, I understand you are not to leave puppy in crate until they like their crate. This takes a while, so in the meantime what do you do?

Also I am planning on using a puppy pen. When should puppy be in pen not crate?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 05:07 PM
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My puppy followed my schedule, we are pretty routine people and I have heard dogs respond well to consistency. When we could not directly supervise or interact with the puppy he was either crated or in the ex pen. Our young pup spent a lot of time in the crate or in the ex pen or outside. It was spring when we got our puppy so he was outside more than anywhere. He is never outside alone mostly because we have no fence. TBH our pup was in the crate whether he liked it or not. We did play a lot of crate games and he ate in his crate, crating was pretty easy for us.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 03:24 AM
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I maybe did some crate games for only a day. Throw some treats in close the door, then open. I'd also feed her in there with the door closed and the second she was done eating, I'd let her out. She seemed just fine with that. At night, she'd only protest for a min and then would go to sleep. I took her out every 2hrs at night. (Food/ water was picked up at 9pm). I also slept on the couch so she could see me

Now a play pen will not prevent accidents. They'll happen. I set up mine with a large moving blanket and then newspapers on top of that. I just watched her as best I can and would scoop her up if she started smelling too much. I can't remember how much crate time she got when I was doing this. The play pen is not meant to be an ok potty spot. It's just so it's easy to keep an eye on the pup

I ditched the play pen around 13wks to allow a bit more freedom

My schedule was something like this: Crate for 1hr. Take out to potty. Come back in and play for 10mins before going back in the crate for another hr. The times started at 20mins but would have an accident before my timer would go off so would keep reducing the times until I got to 10mins

If I were to do it again, I'm not sure if I'd do the play pen again. I think it may have held back her potty training thinking it was ok to go inside whereas strictly crating wouldn't give her that option... but the wife and I weren't too sold on crating at the time
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 08:56 PM
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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.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 09:22 PM
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Unless you have that 1/100 puppy that will do actual harm to itself, put it in the crate, happy or not, and walk away.
Puppy needs to be trained on your schedule, not someone elses. The general rule of thumb is if you don't have eyeballs on the puppy it gets crated. Outside to potty immediately on waking, after eating or drinking, about 10-15 mins into playing or any time it circles or looks hesitant. So basically outside every 20 mins or so while housetraining. If it has an accident, smack yourself and take puppy outside.
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