Step 3. Create your puppy’s daily calendar
First you’ll need something to write your puppy’s schedule on. You can use my template or make your own. Enter your email below and I can send you a pdf template of the one I use. If you’d prefer to create your own, scroll down for instructions.
To make your own calendar template:
- Get a blank sheet of paper and a pen.
- Divide the sheet into three columns.
- In the left column, list the times from morning until night, divided into 15 or 30 minute slots – up to you.
- In the middle column, enter the heading “Me” or “My schedule”.
- In the last column, enter the heading “Puppy” or “Puppy Schedule”.
These instructions make a few assumptions:1.All household members work full time day jobs away from the home.
2. Someone will be coming home mid-day to check in on the puppy.
If these two conditions do not apply to you, don’t fret – you’ll just need to adapt the instructions to meet your situation. I promise it’s not rocket science! If you need help, I am available! 🙂
How to fill out the Puppy Calendar
Follow the steps below “quick n’ dirty” style. Don’t worry about being precise – rough time estimates are all you need. Shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to complete.
This is not meant to be a rigid schedule! It is just to provide yourself and your puppy with a general structure for the day. Feel free to swap Self Amusement, Rest, and Train/Play times on any given day. The goal is for you to have clear options for managing your puppy at any given time. And the puppy will soon learn to adjust their behavior according to each context – they will no longer need to guess “what comes next” and their body clocks will adjust.
If you have an inconsistent schedule or are home all day: It might be a bit more complicated, but the premise is the same. Schedule your “away” times and times that you need to “do stuff” as “Self-Amusement” or “Rest”, then alternate between “Train/Playtime”, “Self-Amusement”, and “Rest”, with “Potty Breaks” in between. Be sure to squeeze in a “Socialization Outing” as well!
Puppies vary in what they need. I estimated for the average puppy. Some puppies are more energetic than others. Others need to pee a lot more. You can’t change that stuff. But you might have to adjust their schedules to meet those needs. Listen to your puppy – if he can’t last 30 min indoors without peeing, then he’s telling you to try 20min instead!
It may take a few days for the puppy to acclimate to the new routine, especially if you are changing drastically from an old routine they’ve gotten used to. Don’t give up – and don’t be afraid to make adjustments to the calendar.