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Puppy Crate Training Schedule

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


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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  1. April says

    I just wanted to say thank you for posting this schedule. We just got a 13 week corgi puppy a week ago and this schedule has been working really well for us so far. We still get an occasional accident but we are getting better about reading her body signals and getting her outside.

    I did have a couple questions though…

    How long do you suggest using this schedule? And how many days accident free did you have before you considered your dog house broken?

    This is our first dog and I’ve seen lots of information on how to start crate training…but pretty much nothing on when to stop or how to adjust as your dog gets older.

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says

      Great questions – I would follow this for at least another 2 weeks after they are fully potty trained (zero accidents). Then you continue to use the crate you just don’t have to worry about the bathroom breaks as often. Right now my puppy is 10 months old and he can now hold his urine for 8-10 hours if necessary and even 12 hours at night.

  2. Pearl says

    We got a rescue dog a few weeks ago, and she is about 7 months old. She still isn’t fully potty trained. Would this schedule work for her, or is there anything you would change? Also our good friends dog came over for a 2nd time and she went crazy peeing all over the house! We want to socialize her and we are used to this dog coming over so we are looking for any advice. Thanks!

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says

      Yes, you can use this schedule with a rescue dog. It may take a little longer to get the success but just keep at it. I would suggest that you introduce her in a neutral place. It is not good to bring another dog to “her” territory to introduce them :-)

  3. Robyn says

    Hey! Our new puppy will be home next week and we really want to be totally prepared. If i followed the schedule would he not feel the need to go to the bathroom throughout the night? I thought he would not have the control to hold it for so long..

  4. Abby says

    What do you do during free time. Is it okay that I terher my 9 week old pup or put in a gated room? I need ideas…

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says

      Yes, free time is fine in a gated room. I would get down on the floor and play with my pups. It reminded of of when I used to get down on the floor with my son and play :-) We kept a box of toys for play time and confined to one room (preferably without carpet in case there is an accident).

  5. Emily says

    I’ve had a 9 week female puppy for almost 2 weeks so far. She sleeps in her crate at night and when we leave the house. She doesn’t pee in her crate and we take her out as soon as we let her out of the crate. She potties outside but when she gets inside she goes again after about 20 minutes. How do I teach her to hold her bladder or warn us that she needs to go?

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says

      Are you following this schedule? She may get distracted and not let all of her pee out when you get her outside.

  6. Gabrielle Hurtubise says

    Just brought home an 8 week old standard poodle puppy, his first night, we crated him and he did great, cried for 15 minutes slept til 6:45 without a potty break. Second night, he got up earlier, 4:30 to potty, and went back in the crate,, but cried longer. I started your crate training schedule, but made several mistakes. He spent his first daytime crate time howling and shredding the sheet I put over his crate. During the second time I should have had him in the crate, he slept in the floor next to the crate for 1.5 hours. I crated him 2 more times, and after placing a board on the top of the crate that holds the blanket away, he quieted down after 6 minutes, but I only kept him in for 45 minutes – mistake! During the day I leave his crate open. When he is playing, he is often attempting to drag his bed out of the crate. I have been lifting him and putting him in the crate when he does this, so he can continue wrestling, but not successfully pull it out. Tonight he went in with a bit of a fight, cried for 7 minutes, and was quiet until 45 minutes. Then he has been up every hour howling. Finally, I took him to potty outside at 3:30 and when i put him back in he fought me, which is upsetting. Should his nap times be in the crate? He gets pretty tired quickly and loves sleeping on the wood floors, but if we are not super quick getting him out when he wakes, he starts to pee. I am exhausted and afraid we made a mistake getting a puppy.

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says

      The beginning is HARD. It is like having an infant but worse because there is no diaper to put on. Stick with the crate schedule. Do not leave the door open or let him out of the crate unless it is free time. Yes, they will have lots of accidents at first because they can’t hold their bladder yet but YOU CAN DO THIS. Now, buckle down and follow the schedule to a tee. It works I promise you. It may take up to 4 weeks though. Don’t give up! Also, I use a dark blanket to cover the crate and move the crate to a quiet place (even a closet) if you have too.

  7. Gabrielle Hurtubise says

    It’s 8:00 in the morning and he is asleep in the floor. He has been whining and whimpering since he’s been out of the crate and closely following me around. This is supposed to be his free time. We have a play yard and when I put him in it with me this morning he went crazy. I feel like he has been traumatized and is going to sleep all day because he was up all night howling. I am committed to the crate training. Please help me figure out how to improve this experience. Right now his crate is in our family room. I am thinking of moving it to the basement to a less traffic place. Thoughts?

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says

      How old is he? Yes, move his crate to a less traffic place and are you covering his crate while he is in it?

      • Gabrielle Hurtubise says

        I sent you the last 2 messages. He is an 8 week old standard poodle. We missed this mornings crating because he had to come to the soccer field with me. He has to be exhausted. When I got him home at 11:20 I waited to feed him and he fell asleep on the floor. I woke him, fed him got him outside to pee and brought him in for free time until 1:00. I put a few kibble in his crate, praised him for going in and closed the door. His crate is covered. He howled for 15 minutes, settled down and started to howl when he heard my daughter. Should I keep him I the whole hour and 45 minutes? I was planning on an hour because I have a friend coming over while I take my daughter to the dentist. If I move the crate to basement he won’t be around it. Right now I have been keeping him on the first floor. The basement is finished and has flooring and carpet I just prefer not to have him down there but will happily move him there.

        • Gabrielle Hurtubise says

          Thank you so much for responding. He has to be crate trained so that I can go back to work in 3 weeks. I am committed to this.

  8. Kate says

    We are bringing home an 8 week puppy in 2 weeks. Couple questions. I bought a crate with the idea of putting it in corner of living room. At bedtime, do we carry crate upstairs to the bedroom every night? Is it better to keep it in the bedroom all the time even though we would be on a different floor during the day when he was in his crate? This is our 2nd puppy and I love love love our first dog but we made so many rooky mistakes, lol.

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says

      You should leave the crate the same place all day/night. No need to carry it up to the bedroom. My suggestion is actually to keep in in a quiet area of the house where your puppy won’t be disturbed by noise while he/she is crated. It is going to be a fun time! Especially if you are adding puppy #2.

  9. Leslie says

    We have a 4 month old German shorthair who is potty trained but we have to get her kennel trained before school starts in 2 weeks. Do you have any thoughts on the best approach to this? We tried following this but she barked and cried for 1 1/2 hours and we live in town so we couldn’t let her keep that up. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says

      Do you have her crate in a quiet area of your home? Do you have the crate covered? A great tip is to add a piece of your clothing or blanket with your scent as it is comforting while crated.

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