Puppy Crate Training Schedule

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Puppy Crate Training Schedule

This Puppy Crate Training Schedule is a great way to potty train your new puppy and help the whole family adjust at the same time.  We used this crate schedule when Rocky came home and I was able to have him fully Potty Trained in two weeks!

This is a basic guideline for house training your puppy.  If your work schedule or lifestyle doesn’t allow this schedule then you need to use the basic guideline of letting your puppy out of the crate approximately every 2 1/2 hours and 1/2 hour after feeding.

When you bring home a new puppy you must give your puppy rest periods in the crate and you must watch your puppy at all times when out of the crate.  I was told by our trainer to think of a puppy just like you would  a baby.  Don’t hold the baby when it sleeps or it will get used to that and the same goes for a puppy.  Puppies need “rest time” and by resting in their crate they are getting used to it and feel comfortable there.

The best tip I can give you is to take a week of vacation if at all possible when you bring home a new puppy.  Also, keep with the same food that your puppy came home eating.  If you want to change foods do it slowly by mixing the old food with the new brand in a 75/25 ratio – to 50/50 and finally 25/75 until their digestive system gets used to the new food.

By following this schedule you will be able to potty train your puppy.  We were able to train our puppy in less than 2 weeks 100% by following this schedule.  By day 3 he had no accidents in the crate and very few in the house after day three.

Puppy Crate Training Schedule

7:00 am – Wake up and go out

7:15 am – Free time (must watch at all times)

7:30 am – Food and water (pick up food when finished)

8:00 am – Go out

8:15 am – Free time (must watch at all times)

9:30 am – Confine for rest period

11:15 am – Go out

11:30 am – Food and water (pick up food when finished)

12:00 – pm – Go out

12:15 pm – Free time (must watch at all times)

1:45 pm – Confine for rest period

3:30 pm – Go out

3:45 pm – Free time (must watch at all times)

5:00 pm – Food and water (pick up food when finished)

5:30 pm – Go out

5:45 pm – Confine for rest period

8:00 pm – Go out

8:15 pm – Water only (pick up the water for the night when finished)

8:30 pm – Free time (must watch at all times)

11:00 pm – Go out and confine overnight

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Puppy Crate Training Schedule

Puppy Crate Training Schedule

Do NOT be tempted to get your puppy out of the crate if it cries or whimpers.  A tip is to cover the crate with a blanket during confinement so that  your puppy will rest peacefully.  It may be best to place the crate in a location in your house where it will be isolated and not easily disturbed.  When you take your new puppy out of the crate from confinement go immediately outside.   I suggest that you have your coat on and leash in hand before opening the crate so that you avoid an opportunity for an accident, this is especially helpful during inclement weather.

This schedule works really well when you stick to it!  Good Luck!

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Comments

  1. sandy weinstein says:

    love your puppy. i have 3 min. schnauzers…..please do more pictures of rocky….they grow up so fast…..take lots of pictures…..could you just eat him up….so cute

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      I take pics almost every day – I love him so much :-) Thanks!!! I would love to see pics of yours too!

  2. Hi! Thanks for the article. When you say “confine for rest period” did you mean leaving her inside the crate? Or just inside the house? Thank you!

  3. why is the last confinement longer than the rest of them?

  4. I am a bit confused. It appears that you have 3 crate confinement times and many hours out of crate that require constant watch of pup. I too love schnauzers and have a 14 week old one. He is finally sleeping through the night. But even when I see that he has just peed outside, he will often still pee immediately when he comes in. Help

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      Our pup didn’t have many accidents in the house using this schedule – you may need to start limiting water. Do you leave a bowl out all of the time?

  5. This looks like a great schedule….. I’ve been trying to follow a schedule that has much more crate time. We are on week 2 with a 2 month old puppy….I’m going to easy into this schedule. Thanks!

  6. Question: what do you do overnight? No potty breaks from 11pm-7am or do you take pup out as needed? Ours is 6 weeks old – not sure she can hold up for 8 hours. Thanks!

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      No breaks during the night but you can let your dog out at 5:00 am or 6:00 am if necessary. He was following this crate schedule at 10 weeks old.

  7. Judy McGuirk says:

    Thank you for sharing this helpful information! I’ve never crate trained a puppy before, but have heard many positive results. I got a 7 week old Pomeranian puppy, Chloe Jayde on Valentine’s Day, so I’m very new with all of this. Lol! In fact, I’m laughing right now, as I realize that I’m breaking one of your “rules” right now by having her crate sitting on my coffee table where she is able to see me. Lol! However, she’s quite content and sleeping at this moment. I found your article whenever I was searching for a printable calendar to use to record her food, sleep, and potty times and schedule. I’ve read other articles about helpful and important it is to do so, at least at the very beginning. I realize that there will probably be variances with the schedules, I did a copy and paste of yours above to have an example for me to go by. I appreciate you taking the time to share this information!
    Sincerely…and a dog lover, too!, Judy

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      Thanks so much Judy. I know you and Chloe will have a lifetime of puppy kisses and love :-)

  8. I will be using this schedule in 2 weeks. I am home all day so I will have the time to train my puppies. I have one question. The next to last (8:30 Free time ) 11:pm go out. Does that mean they play from 8:30 to 11:pm???? I hope you get back to me as I am a little confused….Thanks & Please help me!!!!

  9. I am going to try this tomorrow! I was curious to know how long it should take until the puppy finds this as a regular behavior and when they become trained, how do you go about leaving the crate out of it except to sleep in at night?
    Thank you :)

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      After the puppy is potty trained and having no accidents. For us that was around 3 months old.

  10. Our dog is 12 weeks old and he is potty trained for the most part, but always has a poo accident when he is put in his kennel while I am at school. He also flings his poo outside if his kennel and steps and lays in it. We have tried using a divider to make the kennel smaller, and also a puppy pad on one side with a bed on the other, nothing works. He sleeps in the bed with us now. SUGGESTIONS, HELP.. PLEASE!!!

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      He is really too young to be sleeping in the bed with you. He needs to know that the crate is his “home” so by sleeping in the crate this will cause him to not “poop” in it. I hope that makes sense!

  11. Susannah says:

    I’ve been trying to crate train my 9 1/2 week old beagle boy and haven’t been getting great results – even though I tried to start slow (I took several days off of work when we first got him and did all the usual recommended tricks to make him feel comfortable with his crate) he cries quite a bit every time we put him in it. So far we’ve been crating him overnight with potty breaks every few hours, and then I play with him in the morning, and then crate him while we’re at work (I come home for a short break at 10, and then at 12-1 on my lunch, and then my husband is home at 4). Then he’s out most of the evening with the exception that sometimes we crate him during dinner. We’ve also been letting him nap on our laps (he’s just so freaking cuddly!) I see now though that we’ve been doing a few things wrong. I’d like to get him over to a more regular/strict schedule like this one to improve the potty training (though our schedule will have to vary slightly due to work), but I think having regular crate times while we’re at home should help. Hopefully he warms up to his crate this way also…

    My question, though, is what do you do if he wants to sleep during one of the supervised play times? Try to keep him up, or put sleeping baby into the crate early?

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      Try to keep him up. Rocky also wanted to sleep during one of his supervised play times so we had to keep him engaged and not be temped to let him sleep or be crated early. Hope that helps!

  12. Hi, did you found this schedule also provided a good foundation in daytime crate training itself? We are trying to crate train our 11 week old puppy and have been struggling with the recommended methods for getting him used to the crate (for periods when we are out of the house or I need to accomplish some tasks around the house). I found your post and yesterday did two daytime sessions in the crate, and last night at bedtime, for the first time, the puppy didn’t cry or bark at all when we put him to bed. Today I have fully switched to your schedule and am now on Rest Period number 1 (9:30am-11:15am) with about 15 minutes of crying barking whining and then fairly quiet. I am hoping this method may provide a solid foundation for crate training. Is this what you experienced, that this training schedule helped with crate training as well? Please let me know either way. Thank you so very much!

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      Yes, this will help. It is normal that they will whine or bark for about 15 minutes (sometimes more) when you start this schedule. Just keep up with it and don’t cave in! :-)

  13. tiffany says:

    We are going to try this with our 9 week old beagle we got two days ago. The first night he slept about eight hours straight with no accidents in his crate, but last night he whined and woke up constantly to use the bathroom and because he didn’t want to be in there.

    How long do you use this schedule for? Is there a certain age where he won’t need rests during the day but will still sleep well at night?

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      We picked up Rocky when he was 11 weeks old and we used this for 3 weeks until he was 100% potty trained and we crated him at night until he was 18 months old. We never leave him out of the crate when we are gone from our house. We have tested him a couple times for no more than 10-20 minutes and he goes to his crate and gets in when we were not home. He really loves his crate and I think it because we used this crate schedule.

  14. Update#1 from later in day 2 of trying schedule (8:31pm on May 30, 2014). Thank you so much. We couldnt believe it, just tonight during the scheduled third rest period (5:45pm-8:00), our washer broke and we unexpectedly had to go to home depot. My husband had come in the side door but we had to leave from the door by the crate. Boz was awake yet didnt make a peep! Every other time in last few weeks he has a fit and the last time we were gone for 1hr26min and he screamed and barked for all but 8min (we recorded him). Not only was our leaving tonight uneventful, our return was quiet and only when we were inside for a minute did he bark twice and then quiet. This is unbelievable and we think only because we followed your schedule. We know this is still the beginning but what success! Thank you so much! Update #2 (June 5, 2014): Wow – so now we are on day 8 and the change is amazing. For the most part Boz barely complains in his crate, and on several days we have had to put him in the crate for additional shorter periods (when appliance is delivered etc). Most astoundingly we humans have succeeded in ignoring any complaints he does have, lol, thus his complaining is always short lived! While only one day on your schedule resulted in no crying or barking when going to bed, last night was the very first night that he didn’t whine or make one peep at bedtime or through the entire night. He is still being taken out once in the middle of the night. No accidents in crate! As I do plan on eventually returning to work, being able to have Boz feel at home in his crate is key. Boz does consider his crate “his” at this point, and we are so grateful! and Holy Crap just seconds ago (we are in the 1:45-3:30 rest period) the doorbell rang and I walked right in front of his crate and opened the door to accept a postal delivery and even though he is awake he never made a peep. Amazing! Again, i know we are in the beginning of this process still but it has been invaluable. Thank you so very much!

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      Wow! You have made my day! I am so happy that this puppy crate training schedule has helped you and your sweet Boz :-)

  15. Clarification: Since day one of trying your schedule, we have not had any barking or crying at bedtime crating. On day eight we also had no whining on bedtime crating, just silence! This schedule has given us sanity, it has been a great tool for us. Thanks.

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      Thank you so much for sharing! We are so glad this schedule helped your puppy adjust and that you are enjoying having your sanity back :-) A new puppy is a huge transition!

  16. Final Update: Okay we are still on day 8 of the schedule but we have success. We went out tonight while Boz was in his scheduled rest period. While we were out we recorded audio of Boz in his crate. We were gone for 1 hour 18 minutes and Boz was completely silent for 1 hour 17 minutes! I am convinced this schedule gave us the foundation we needed. We highly recommend this schedule for both potty and crate training. Thanks so much.

  17. Training puppy is like training a child. Patience required.

  18. Hi,

    If I want to take my 10 week Cavalier for a 30 minute walk in the morning, how does that affect the timeline for the day? Does it mess him up for the day? He will come home in July, but I want to plan ahead.

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      I would wait until he is a little older before you take him for a walk. He will need to be trained on how to walk which takes a bit of time too.

  19. My sweet mini aussie is 7 weeks. I started this crate training schedule today…we’ve had her since late afternoon Friday. She has not cried or whined once since starting this schedule. I am a little concerned though that she doesn’t seem able to stay able wake quite as long as the free time/breaks are suppose to last??? I crated 5 times versus 3 because she just can’t keep her eyes open…do you think this will change as she gets able way little older? I’ve never crate trained a dog before…just want to make it a stress free experience for her and me :)

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      Yes, I think additional crate times for her now are a good thing. When she is a little older try to keep her awake. My Rocky also wanted to sleep a lot at first too! Keep me posted!

  20. My 4 month old puppy is not making any more mistakes in the house and never has in her crate (well, I’m not making more mistakes seeing the cues and her bladder control is great) and she is doing very well on all fronts except for one. She’s developed a bit of a problem with me leaving either the house or to go upstairs. She will whine and howl. I started putting a towel over most of the crate and that helped a bit because she likes to check if I’m still there and I do leave “special toys” like a kong that she only gets when I’m upstairs or gone. My boyfriend and I have the privilege of being with her all the time and we still like to give her plenty of regular alone time to teach her independence and just in case we end up needing to be gone. Most of what I’ve been reading has been saying to ease into leaving and desensitize slowly with frequent and brief bouts of leaving. I was wondering three things. Do you think it’s better to (i) leave her in the crate and leave the house and just let her howl or (ii) ease first into me being upstairs for the whole time and then ease into me being out of the house? Also, do you think I should completely cover her crate with a towel? As I said, I’ve covered the sides but not the front. Finally, do you think I should move her crate to an area of the house that isn’t so busy like upstairs in the walk-in closet or next to my bed where she sleeps at night? Right now, she is in the dining room/living room right next to the front door. Thank you so much for your post.

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      Ellie,

      I would use a blanket and cover her crate completely so that there is no way for her see you leaving or light. Also, I would move it to an area that is not busy. We moved Rocky to our office because it is quiet and he doesn’t “see” or “hear” us leaving. It really helps with his anxiety to cover his crate completely and when it he is accidentally not completely covered it really upsets him. Also, the door bell and knocking on the door upsets him while we are gone and we are thinking of moving him upstairs because of that. Hope this helps!

  21. Julie Jackson says:

    I am a new mommy to an 8 week old mini dachshund. Her name is Meranda but we call her Randa. I have had her for 3 days now and the sweet fun new baby feeling is over and though my family of 4 adores her, we know we must train her and get a routine so we have a life along with her life. I LOVE your schedule and rewrote it tweeked to up at 5:30 and quicker outside time after eating because she goes FAST with her little bladder! I have a quick praise and thrn a few questions.

    I jumped right in this afternoon after finding your tips and moved her kennel to a quieter place and completely covered her kennel for her afternoon quiet time and she literally whimpered 1 min. Usually its 15-30 min because i was leaving the front uncovered. Woohoo!

    1. How long do I maintain this schedule?

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      Hi Julie,

      You should follow this schedule until Randa is fully potty trained or at least until she is 12-14 weeks old. I am so glad that this helped you!

  22. Julie Jackson says:

    And do I make bed time pitch black? Like dark room and covered crate?

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      You don’t need to make pitch black but I suggest using a dark blanket to cover the crate. I do close the blinds in the room and turn off light/close door.

  23. Hi! We just got a 9 week old beagle/terrier 3 days ago and are trying to crate train. He whines so much at night and when I leave the house for short periods of time, slim looking for something that, with some work, will be quick and painless! Haha! I love this schedule and think it’s definitely something our family can do.

    My question is: where is the best place for the crate? Ours currently is in our living room (ultimately where we would like him to sleep because we have a 2 year old and I’m 14 wks pregnant). Is this an ok spot? Or should he be more “isolated” during the day during crate times? How did your family approach this?

    Thanks!

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      You should move your puppy to a quiet spot while crate training. I actually kept Rocky in my dining room and have now relocated him to my office. Hope this helps!

  24. Hi there! I saw your post through pinterest and love all the great results everyone is getting!! I am getting ready to bring home a 10 week old Boston Terrier! Me and my 3 boys are very excited! We will definitely follow this schedule! Ive already printed a copy for everyone to go by :) My question is this…Do you think it would be ok to postpone the first feeding till a little later? I’m thinking I could get up and let him out before work, have a little free time and then re-crate till the baby sitter gets here and then she can continue with the feeding, etc, schedule. I’m just afraid I wont have enough time to get him fed and pottied before I have to leave for work! But I also don’t want to derail us if the order of the schedule is key!
    Any answers will help! Thanks so much for your tips!

  25. Part 2 of my last post…. Just had a thought…maybe it would be better to treat that before work time like just a nighttime potty break- re-crate immediately and not overstimulate him until his day schedule can start without interruption. I just remember how much of a schedule control-freak I was with the kids and their naps! But it really did work!
    Thanks again in advance for your thoughts!

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      Yes, I think this is the best option. You don’t want him to be really active without eating. He really needs his nutrients during this time and any exercise really stimulates a puppy. You can also alter the schedule to suite your needs but as soon as he eats it will be potty time shortly thereafter. Me too! I was super control freak with my sons nap schedule and by following this the same way with our puppy we had great results.

  26. Hi! I have a Mini Australian Shepard who is 14 weeks old. I am trying your schedule but I have one question for you. What do you suggest if our puppy doesn’t go potty when we take him out to go? I am home with him all day and most of the time when I take him out when your schedule says he won’t go. He usually goes later either inside the house or outside during his free time. Also after playtime do you let him drink water?

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      He may not need to potty every time but still take him out. Is he drinking a lot of water? Leave the water out all day except pick it up at 8:15 pm. Hope this helps!

  27. My friend told me that if he doesn’t go potty when I take him out to go I should put him back in his crate for 15 minutes and then try again and keep doing that until he goes. Do you agree? Or should I just let him have his supervised free time?

  28. Hi, we are currently having potty issues with our 5 month old Shetland Sheepdog is it too late to start using this method?

    Thanks

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      No, it is not too late but you may want to take your pup to the vet to rule out a medical issue if it was potty trained already.

  29. Christina says:

    hi! I just found your link on Pinterest! I have a twelve week old “Morkie” male. He never poops in the house but we are having difficulty with him peeing even though we take him out several times a day. Sometimes he pees outside and comes inside and within minutes pees on floor. Due to work schedules he is crated some days ( when my daughter can stop in and take him out for pee break) but other days he goes to doggy day care where he has zero crate time. Is this too confusing for him?

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      Yes, he needs consistency. If you keep him on a dedicated schedule he will likely get the hang of controlling his bladder. Is she walking him long enough and seeing him pee outside before bringing him back in?

  30. He is not confined while he is in daycare. They have an open door policy where the dogs come in and out into a large fenced yard as they please. He is the youngest dog there. He is sleeping through the night in his crate with no problems so I know he has control of his bladder in that regard. He usually lets me know by whimpering if he needs out to poop.(never has a problem with that). We take him out to pee frequently when we are home but this doesn’t seem to cut down on the accidents in the house. Unfortunately I have limited options in regard to the daycare he attends. And I work, so some days daycare is my only alternative. Do you think if I follow your schedule on the days I am home and also on the days he is in daycare once he is home that we can resolve this? Thanks so much for your feedback!

  31. Between 11:15 – 11:30
    Are they out of their crate or in? Thanks!

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