Scheduling Basics

With a new puppy in the home, don't be surprised if your rising time is suddenly a little earlier than you've been accustomed to. Puppies have earned a reputation as very early risers. When your pup wakes you at the crack of dawn, you will have to get up and take her to her elimination spot. Be patient. When your dog is an adult, she may enjoy sleeping in as much as you do.

At the end of the chapter, you'll find a typical housetraining schedule for puppies aged 10 weeks to 6 months. (To find schedules for younger and older pups, and for adult dogs, visit this book's companion web site.) It's fine to adjust the rising times when using this schedule, but you should not adjust the intervals between feedings and potty outings unless your pup's behavior justifies a change. Your puppy can only meet your expectations in housetraining if you help her learn the rules.

The schedule for puppies is devised with the assumption that someone will be home most of the time with the pup. That would be the best scenario, of course, but is not always possible. You may be able to ease the problems of a latchkey pup by having a neighbor or friend look in on the pup at noon and take her to eliminate. A better solution might be hiring a pet sitter to drop by midday. A professional pet sitter will be knowledgeable about companion animals and can give your pup high-quality care and socialization. Some can even help train your pup in both potty manners and basic obedience. Ask your veterinarian and your dog-owning friends to recommend a good pet sitter.

If you must leave your pup alone during her early housetraining period, be sure to cover the entire floor of her corral with thick layers of overlapping newspaper. If

Establish a regular schedule of feeding playtime, nap time, and walks, and your dog will soon be housetrained.

you come home to messes in the puppy corral, just clean them up. Be patient— she's still a baby.

Use this schedule (and the ones on the companion web site) as a basic plan to help prevent housetraining accidents. Meanwhile, use your own powers of observation to discover how to best modify the basic schedule to fit your dog's unique needs. Each dog is an individual and will have her own rhythms, and each dog is reliable at a different age.

Schedule for Pups 10 Weeks to 6 Months

7:00 a.m.

Get up and take the puppy from her sleeping crate to her potty spot.

7:15

Clean up last night's messes, if any.

7:30

Food and fresh water.

7:45

Pick up the food bowl. Take the pup to her potty spot; wait and praise.

8:00

The pup plays around your feet while you have your breakfast.

9:00

Potty break (younger pups may not be able to wait this long).

9:15

Play and obedience practice.

10:00

Potty break.

10:15

The puppy is in her corral with safe toys to chew and play with.

11:30

Potty break (younger pups may not be able to wait this long).

11:45

Food and fresh water.

12:00 p.m.

Pick up the food bowl and take the pup to her potty spot.

12:15

The puppy is in her corral with safe toys to chew and play with.

1:00

Potty break (younger pups may not be able to wait this long).

1:15

Put the pup on a leash and take her around the house with you.

3:30

Potty break (younger pups may not be able to wait this long).

continues continues

Schedule for Pups 10 Weeks to 6 Months (continued)

3:45

Put the pup in her corral with safe toys and chews for solitary play and/or a nap.

4:45

Potty break.

5:00

Food and fresh water.

5:15

Potty break.

5:30

The pup may play nearby (either leashed or in her corral) while you prepare your evening meal.

7:00

Potty break.

7:15

Leashed or closely watched, the pup may play and socialize with family and visitors.

9:15

Potty break (younger pups may not be able to wait this long).

10:45

Last chance to potty.

11:00

Put the pup to bed in her crate for the night.

Appendix

How To Housetrain Any Dog

How To Housetrain Any Dog

Fundamentals of Dog and Puppy Training. Although dogs shouldn't be attributed with having human characteristics, they are intelligent enough to be able to understand the concept of, and execute, certain actions that their owners require of them - if these actions are asked in a way that dogs find rewarding.

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