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Puppy Crate Training Schedule

Puppy Crate Training Schedule that REALLY works. I swear by the success of using it!

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 that REALLY works. I swear by the success of using it!

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

SPM-Pin-it-here

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.

Heartbeat Dog Pillow - Perfect For New Puppies

Update:  We purchased this heartbeat dog pillow with our second puppy and it worked really well for him.

This schedule works really well when you stick to it!  Good Luck! Consistency is the key!

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228 Comments

  1. 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

      1. Hi! I can’t figure out how to comment other than this so I hope you get this…we have a 10 week old mini Goldendoodle….we’ve been trying super hard to follow this schedule but facing a few problems. Question 1. We can’t keep him awake as long as suggested during the day as hard as we try….if he falls asleep earlier do we put him in his crate or let us sleep by us? We’ve tried everything to keep him awake with no luck. 2. He’s fine going into his crate at night time but still seems to have to wake up to go to the bathroom….tried to keep him in the crate last night and he had an accident. Is it better to let him out then put him right back in even though he’s going to cry? Seems like he can only go 3 or maybe 4 hours. Only time he cries in crate is in the middle of the night…felt terrible he had an accident in there….anyway, any suggestions would be great! I haven’t been sleeping.

        1. It is hard to keep them up with they are little. They want to fall asleep especially at night but then they wake up in the night. What size crate are you using?

          1. I think we’ve gotten over the hump and your schedule is soooo helping me….he only went the one time In crate and I’m thinking he had a bit of a tummy issue. The past 2 nights slept all the way…of course I haven’t bc I still worry lol. I’m still having a tough time keeping him awake but honestly don’t know what I would have done without this…so THANK you!!!!!!! Sooooo much

  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!

      1. My 14 week old puppy still potties 3-6 times an hour during the day. I’d love to follow this schedule but he pees so much that we’re having to crate him a lot more. Also he pees 2-3 times at night with last water at 730 bedtime at 10. Potty training hasn’t been good at all.

        1. Have you taken him to the Vet to rule out an infection? One of my dogs recently had a bladder issue and was in pain and was going to the bathroom and having accidents. I would rule that out first. Also how much water is your puppy drinking?

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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

  7. 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!!!!

      1. Just brought home a 15 week cocker spaniel. Screaming whenever being placed in his crate, although sleeps fine there usually after 15 minutes to one-half hour of ear splitting noise. My question is how do you keep them awake? Clings to me non-stop and sleeps.

        1. Engage with toys. I got down in the floor with my puppies and used it as play time with toys – try to keep engaging. Another tip is to place a t-shirt that has your scent in the crate to help with the crying.

  8. 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 🙂

  9. 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!!!

    1. 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!

      1. Thank you for your responses. It has been almost a week and going pretty good. My daughter really wants her crate in her room but the puppy only sleeps till 6. And my daughter is exhausted during the day. Should I move her to another room till she is trained? Is it ok to move their crates?

  10. 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?

    1. 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!

  11. 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!

    1. 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! 🙂

  12. 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?

    1. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 🙂

    1. 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!

  18. 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.

    1. 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!

  19. 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?

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

    1. 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.

  23. 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?

  24. 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?

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

    Thanks

  26. 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?

    1. 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?

  27. 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!

  28. We’ve been on schedule today (first day, 10 week old golden doodle). She just had to go out an additional time during the second free time towards the end. She stood at the door. I assume that was okay as she would have gone in the crate? Thank you for your patience with me

  29. thx for sharing this. i’m trying this now. question: for the “free time” if we are outside and our puppy is running around alot but she’s not allotted the potty time until a couple of hours later, do i just bring her in from the heavy exercise without letting her potty and crate her for the confinement period? usually puppies have to relieve themselves after heavy play and after taking in alot of water from being thirst while playing. i’d love to hear your thoughts. i get that the point of the schedule is to train the puppies to “hold it” for longer periods and by taking them to potty too many times prevents them from learning to hold it for set potty breaks. but still i’m wondering what you did when during the free periods before confinement your puppy was running around heavily and taking in alot of water…. thank you!

    1. Our vet and breeder told us not to allow our puppy to have excessive exercise until after they were potty trained. Just like a new born the puppy needs to be careful not to over exert plus there are concerns with blood sugar regulation with young puppies. Once potty trained I began to increase activity and allowed for additional water and also would take him out after. Hope that helps!

  30. i just want to say thank you so much for this! Just brought home a 7 week old lab/boxer baby boy and at first crate training was horrible. He’d just cry and cry. Tried this schedule and just a little whining now! It seems like he is warn out sooner than 11, any tips?

  31. What do you normally do for the time allotted on free time? Is that supposed to be used for play time? I am having trouble with my puppy. I feel like I am playing too long with my puppy and she is still not satisfied. This makes it hard to get work/school work/home life done. I have a hard time balancing life and play time with my dog. What times should I dedicate solely to play time? How many hours do you typically use out of the day to play with your dog?

    1. Until your puppy is potty trained it will feel like you are devoting your day to your puppy BUT I promise you it will get better. Our 2nd puppy is 3 months old and he is potty trained but won’t normally lay in his bed and sleep or rest like our 2 1/2 year old pup does. That comes with age though. It is like having a newborn but they grow faster. I “play” with my puppy during all the times listed or when out of the crate. Using the rope tug toy and providing a chew toy helps.

  32. Is the puppy allowed to roam the house during free time? Do I need to wait until she is fully potty trained to allow roaming of the house during free time? Can I still use this schedule forever even after the dog is fully potty trained?

    1. Never let an untrained puppy “roam” they must be watched at all times. We like to call it “high alert”. After you are 100% potty trained and you are sure you puppy is not going to be destructive you can leave “alone” without watching. I didn’t let my puppy stay alone in the house out of the crate until he was 2 years old and if we are going to be gone more than 3-4 hours I crate him to be safe. Yes, you can use this schedule forever but after they are potty trained they can go longer in the crate. Hope this helps!

  33. Thank you so much for this article! It has been really helpful for a first time dog owner like us. I have a few questions though! We created a play area for our 8 week old Maltese. It includes his crate, lots of toys, and a pee pad in the farthest corner. We have had him for 3 days and he had been generally poopping outside but not peeing. We do not reward the pee pad pee. We try and catch him if he is sniffing or squatting and take him outside but sometimes we don’t make it. His schedule has been pretty good so far- he whimpers a little when we lock him in his crate and then goes to sleep. He has been waking up sporadically in the middle of the night and shakes the bars of the crate. We open it and he immediately pees on the pad. I can tell it’s a different whimper than normal. Do you suggest either leaving the crate door open all night so he doesn’t bark for us and can relieve himself or do we wake up when he shakes the crate and try and rush him outside? We live in an apartment high-rise so that involves us waiting for an elevator as well as a long walk down the hallway. We anticipate some pee pad use. Any suggestions would be helpful!!

  34. Also two more questions- do you let your puppy see you during the confinement time or just go away completely until its over? And during free time, do you have to play with him the whole time or can you watch TV, read etc. for part of it? We are work-from-home people so part of the day we will have to eventually do some work. Thanks for your help! I am new nervous mother haha

    1. Do not let the puppy see you during consignment. You can cover the crate with a blanket to avoid. Also for free time you need to have the puppy in your eye at all times. The puppy is being trained and will look for you to not be watching and in the blink of an eye will squat and go potty or get into something they shouldn’t. They are like a toddler who is potty training. As soon as your puppy is potty trained life will be easier for all. I work from home too!

  35. Hi! We just got an 8 week old cockapoo and he has been doing great during the night! He sleeps for about 2-3 hours and then has to get up for the bathroom but then goes right back to bed.

    We live in an apartment and the layout is a little tricky. We have his crate in our bedroom because it is the quietest area, both for the puppy and our neighbors in case he cries. However, his free time and play time area is in our kitchen because it is the only non-carpeted space. Should we move his crate into the kitchen during this time so he can have 100% access to it? The only real access he has is when we are crating him. He won’t really go in on his own yet but he doesn’t whine really until about 40-50minutes into the time.

    Also, what do you suggest for teaching him how to let us know he has to go out? I am worried that it will be confusing because he has to go through two doors to get outside, from the kitchen to our bedroom to the outside.

    Thank you!

    1. I would not move his crate, that is too confusing to him. Always use the same language with him. We say “Do You Need To Go Outside” that is our phrase for going to the bathroom. My dogs don’t bark but they do go stand at the door when they are ready to go out – we did have some accidents at the door because they don’t “bark” but since we are always watching those accidents ended by 12 weeks old. I would carry him from your bedroom to the door until he “gets trained” to limit the doors he goes through.

  36. Oh boy, I think I goofed somewhere. Things started off well for the first two days, but he’s now kicking up a stink and has been going strong with the whining for a good 10 minutes but I’m not giving in. When this happens is there a point I should give in or should I stick it out for the entire crate break duration? 🙁

    I don’t expect a response right away so I’m going to try and stick it out, but boy is my pulse racing. I live in a co-op so I hope my neighbor doesn’t think I’m abusing him. Admittedly he was awoken my her stomping and vacuuming upstairs from us. (Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale)

    Thanks for your thoughts

    1. Do not give in – I repeat do not give in. Your puppy is testing you. Are you covering the crate with a blanket and is the crate in a room away from the “action”. Even a bedroom closet might work well?

      1. Hi,
        Yes I have a blanket over the crate. He doesn’t cry if I’m in the same room as the crate and he can see me though. So I’ve been doing that BUT I realize I just fed separation anxiety 🙁

        I have the crate back in the bedroom. He’s barking and howling but I’m not giving in.

        Totally my fault as I wasn’t consistent about my approach and kept doubting myself.

        *sigh

  37. I’ve been using this schedule today, but my dog wakes and whines before the rest period is up. Do I leave her? I have had her in soft cat carrier too since she came home and I was up 3-4 times a night, I can’t imagine she won’t want to still do that? I am not sure what to do with that. I will say the crate has saved some of my sanity, yesterday I was so stressed out and only day 2!

    1. Leave her. Do not get her out during the night or before the schedule. If you keep to it she will get used to it quickly. I would suggest getting her a crate ASAP too. How old is she?

      1. She is 9 weeks. I bought a crate today as I found myself losing my mind! Too much watching her. Will she not pee in the crate overnight then?

      2. My pup (Zelda) only woke once last night as opposed to 3-4.. This schedule is working so well and it’s only been 24 hours since we started it. I put the crate in my room with a fan running and a blanket over the crate. I actually had to wake her at her first rest time. She only whimpers for about a minute when put in the kennel but then I did have to fight hard to keep her awake the last half hour.

        Last night I had to go out for a few hours and it was right at the end of her last crate time. I didn’t know what to do and I had read about long term confinement spaces so I left her in my bathroom. I removed all danger, or so I thought. I came home to a chewed up baseboard! Would you recommend I had put her back in the kennel? So much to learn…

  38. i work Monday – Friday 8-5 and come home for lunch at 12:30-1:30. I have a 9 week old chihuahua that seems to be hopeless in training right now. What do you suggest for a work schedule like that! Help! 🙂

  39. Hi! We just got a 5 weeks blue heeler pup yesterday. I know it’s his kinda too young but his momma past away and I don’t have the heart to leave her or take her to pound so we decided to keep her (his from husband work). Do you think this schedule will work with him? I will be buying a crate for him today and some toys 🙂 hope to hear from you soon 🙂

    1. Yes, I do! They started using this with my puppies at that age. You may have to tweak it a little because he is so young. He may not be ready for toys quite yet. I am so sad to hear that his mom passed away. Bless you for taking her!

  40. Sorry if this has been asked already…but we’ve been told by the shelter that it is not safe for puppy to go out yet. We are currently following this schedule but instead of going out, using pee pads. Any tips on transitioning to going out once vet says it’s safe?

    1. It is safe for your puppy to go “outside” but with supervision only. You can start moving your pee pads closer to the door and eventually you have to transition to teaching your puppy to go outside which is why I don’t suggest ever using a pee pad.

  41. This is great! I am hoping it will help our puppy stay asleep at night! Till how many weeks can we continue this schedule?

  42. I always thought keeping a dog in a crate was not great, but then we got a dog who actually WANTED to go into the crate. We trained him in it; as he got older, we left the door open and he would go in on his own and leave when he wanted. I think he felt safe in it.

  43. I recently got an 8 week old Siberian Husky puppy. She really seems to hate her crate. She did well in it the first night, but has begun crying for hours every night now. We have had her for 4 days. I am becoming desperate. I am planning on starting this crate training schedule to see if it helps. I have not been crating her during the day, as I am home all day with her. I will start doing that. A couple of questions: do you give a command and a treat every time you place the puppy in the crate? What do you do if she cries the WHOLE crate time? What if she begins crying at the end of crate time? Do you still take her out, or will this reward her crying? We have a 3 year old Husky, and he has always really loved his crate. We are hoping that for this pup too. I forget how much work this is!

    1. It is so much work and puppy #2 was so much harder than puppy #1 for us. Leave her in the crate no matter what. Don’t get her out when she cries because she won’t get over the initial adjustment. My puppy #2 was much harder to train than #1 but after a day or two he figured out that we weren’t getting him out when he cried.

  44. 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.

    1. 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.

  45. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

  46. 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..

  47. 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…

    1. 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).

  48. 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?

  49. 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.

    1. 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.

  50. 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?

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

  51. 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.

    1. 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.

  52. 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!

    1. 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.

  53. Hello,
    I have a 3.5 month old Beagle who I am wanting to crate train. I believe he has separation anxiety from me as well. But how do you introduce the crate without making it a bad thing? I just tried to introduce it and he’s good going in for a treat but as soon as I close the door he starts to cry and dig at the door 🙁 any tips for that? I plan on using this schedual once he is comfortable going in and being in the crate. Just hoping I can get some advice on how to get him there. Thank you.

    1. You are going to have to let him cry it out. Once he knows you mean business and won’t get him out he will settle. You can also place an item in the blanket with your scent to help him adjust. Hope this helps!

  54. I am following this schedule with our 7 week old puppy. He is a yorkie, so he’s very small. I’ve got the smallest crate I could find, It does have a little extra room, but not to much. He did really good in his crate at first, but the past two days & nights he is using the bathroom during crate time. Any suggestions?

  55. Hello! I have an 8 week old Daschund that has been with us for two nights. It’s our first puppy and we are afraid we might be doing everything wrong! The first night he came home we introduced to the crate. He went in and out on his own and even took a nap in there woth the door opened. We crates him at night. It was awful. He was crying, barkiing, howling, diging and biting the crate. He was shaking! We took him out, put the crate in another rolm with the door opened and left him. Second night was the same. He goes in and out of the crate but wont stay there. When I crate him at noght he whines while sitting. Not desperate. I wait until he stops whining and after a fee minutes of mo cry I let him out. He prefers to nap on the couch! Can this still be fixed?

    1. You have to stand firm. Your puppy needs to know YOU are the boss. Leave him in that crate all night long from 11 pm – 7 am and do not open that crate for any reason. The first few nights will be the roughest but your puppy is not in control you are. You need to stand firm. Let him cry, whine, shake, bark, howl, dig, bite the crate. He is just trying to be the Alpha and you need to teach him that you are the boss. My 2nd puppy did all of the above and it took longer to get him adjusted but after he did – he loves his crate. Even though he prefers to sleep on the couch don’t let him. He needs to adjust to his crate.

  56. Hi, I leave the house at 745 to go to work so my morning routine is a little modified and i’m not sure if i’m doing it the best way. I take my 3 month old hound/beagle mix outside from her crate at 7, let her pee and walk around, I put her in the crate after that for 20 mins while I shower and get ready (she cries a little bit) – at 730 I feed her and give her water, and then take her out at 745 before I leave and crate her again. She has pooped and peed on the kitchen floor immediately after eating, and then doesn’t go when I take her out before I leave. My roommate is home to take care of her during the day and we are following this schedule. What are your thoughts?? Thank you very much in advance.

  57. Hi. My boyfriend and I decided to get an 8wk old Husky pup last Saturday. He is sweet and surprisingly calm and quiet. Except for when we try to crate him. Should I not be taking him out in the middle of the night? We try to have him in bed between 10 and 11pm. He goes down pretty well the first time, then a training book I had read said to take them out when they wake up and whine to go potty at night. He normally wake around 2:30am. I grab him, take him down stairs (live in apt) and then he goes potty immediately. We go back up, he gets in crate but then he freaks out for the next 30mins. He is screaming himself to back to sleep and then waking up again around 4:30-5am needing to go potty again. Is this normal? Should I not be taking him out during the night at all? I thought since he was so young he couldn’t hold it. I wake up between 5:30-6am for work normally, but since he is awake around 5am I’ve just been starting my day earlier. He is being crated during the day at his grandparents house, closer to my boyfriends work, so he can take care of him during the day. We have been using a blanket over the crate there cause they have 3yr old lab that isn’t crate trained and she roams the house during the day when people aren’t there. But my little guy is in the crate going nuts for up to an hour most days this week. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    1. You should not be getting the puppy out during the night. I would try cutting off water earlier and taking the puppy out at 11:00 pm and then keep him in the crate until you get up at 5:30-6:00.

      I would suggest not crating him in the same room with you. If he hears you that may be another reason why he cries. We crate our puppies downstairs and we sleep upstairs. Hope this helps.

  58. Hello,
    we have a 7 week old mini Australian Shepherd since last week. I set up a crate with treats and toys, soft blanket….he hates it! So far we have let him sleep in a little dog bed in our bathroom with a baby gate over night, which is working great.

    I read about introducing the crate slowly over several days and we have been trying to do that. When he gets sleepy during the day I place him in the crate and he steps right out. When I place him back in there he panics. We have given him treats and closed the door a few times and he went crazy. I usually wait until he stops crying and then open the door again, but it just breaks my heart to see him so scared. And after seven days of this I don’t see an improvement and he doesn’t even go near it.

    Should I just start the crate schedule in the morning, let him cry and just stick with it for two weeks? I am working from home, so thankfully he would only need the crate when I leave the house to go shopping etc.once he is potty trained.
    Also, he needs to pee once at night. Should I let him out and then right back in the crate?
    This is our first puppy and I don’t want to screw him up.

    1. Yes, you need to go straight to the crate method and just bear through the first few days of it. Stick with it and show him that you mean business. Also you can place a blanket or towel with your scent to help him adjust.

  59. I have a question we have a Golden Lab puppy 13weeks old. He was doing good with he first crate we borrowed and but in the basement and it was working great. Then we seen a trainer and said the crate was to big. So we got a smaller crate with a divider. The problem is that we but it in the kitchen and he won’t sleep in it very long like he did in the basement, so now I’m hardly getting any sleep. And to top it off I don’t sleep at night. And the puppy won’t stop bitting we tried everything even what the trainer said and with traing treats that still don’t work any suggestions I would be glad to hear from you

  60. Hello, thank you for this schedule! I’m on day 2 with my new 2 month old pup and it’s going well. I was able to take off work for a week, but now I’m starting to worry about what do to when I have to go back to work.

    What is your recommendation?

    I have some flexibility on coming home during the day to let her out again. But should I leave her in her crate when I go to work, or in a gated room? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    1. Crated for sure! Until she is 100 percent potty trained and trusted. I didn’t start leaving my 2nd puppy out of the crate until he was 2! He is not very trustworthy. It all depends on the dog but you need to be sure she is not going to chew or do any harm to herself or something 🙂

      1. Great! Thank you! How many hours at a time is it ok to leave her in her crate? I think I’d feel bad leaving her in there the whole work day…

  61. Help!!! I just got an 11 week old Maltese and Yorkshire terrier mix and she doesn’t use th bathroom outside well at least not regularly. I’ve been following your schedule with a couple minor tweaks. She screams and cries all night long (she’s in the basement and I’m on the top floor in my room). I just ignore her which breaks my heart and keeps me from getting sleep. Out first full day together she pooped outside as soon as she came out the crate but then she had two more poops inside !! Not in the crate or play area but away when my back was turned. And she had a pee accident that day as well. Today I went and got her at 5;30 ( i thought 7 was too long) and she didn’t do anything and eventually during a walk she went poo around 10. But she hasn’t t pood since and has two inside accidents again not in crate or bed but away. I can’t tell when she’s peeing outside ever so I can’t treat her I only can tell in the house as it’s more obvious. Oh also during free time she doesn’t really play she just likes to sleep. I know this is long but I would appreciate any advice. What am I doing wrong ?!??!

    1. Also she doesn’t like walks much I have to almost force her into them I’m trying to tire her out with them but she doesn’t wanna move. Do you think it’s because it’s too cold? And maybe that’s what she doesn’t use the bathroom outside but mostly inside because it’s warmer. She literally runs toward the house and the door and the window whenever we’re outside

    2. Potty training in the cold is hard. I trained both of mine in the cold though and you just have to be persistent. Is she cold? I would suggest adding a towel to the crate to see if she is needing warmth. Also is your crate small? You need to block it off so that she doesn’t have extra space in the crate. They don’t want to go to the bathroom in the same location they sleep so keeping it small and confined will help. She is too young for walks. We literally only stayed in our own yard while potty training. Keep her awake. Use this time to play with her with toys. This schedule works but you have to stick it out. Hang in there and keep up the good work!

      1. Things have gotten better! We’ve had two days in a row with NO ACCIDENTS !!! and I’ve only had her for less than week (5 days to be in fact). And have been using a slightly altered version of the schedule. I wake her up st 5:30 take her out for a while and then put her back in the crate till around 8-8:30 where I take her out again and then have breakfast. Also another difference I make is I’m a bit more chill during free time it was sucking the life out of me trying to keep her up the whole time so I do around 3 ,15 min walks a day instead to let her release some of her energy. Another big difference I made was that she has one big rest time in the day when I go to work which is about 4 hours. She wines but has had 0 accidents. In fact she’s never had an accident in her crate since I’ve had her. I do have one HUGE QUESTION: on thursdays I volunteer in the mornings from 9-1 and then work from 2:30-6. What should I do with her in that time? Crate her? Or keep her in a larger play pen with her crate door open? And should I include a pee pad? I bought some but I’ve never used them and I’m scared to bring them out as I don’t want her to get in the habit of using the bathroom inside especially since she’s been doing so well!! So what should I do on this one super long day I have every week?!?!

        I know this is super long but I want to thank you so much for posting this schedule and being so responsive!! I was so overwhelmed with all the many things I saw online on how to crate train and how you have to wake up every two hours at night and that you can’t leave them alone for more than an hour. This schedule works!!! (so far at least) and has made this experience far less stressful than it could be. So thank you !!!

        1. Oh and for how long should I wait before she sleeps a full 8 hours at night? (She’s almost 12 weeks) and will I always have to take her out after every crate nap time? Or do I eventually stop creating her for naps altogether?

  62. Hi,

    Quick question. So during day time crate training, lets say from 9-1130, my puppy sleeps for an hour and wakes up and whines. I wait until he stops and then I take him out to pee. He pees so Im guessing thats good. Then I put him back in the crate. Is that right? Or do i leave him in there for the entire duration of crate time?

    Thank you!

    1. I would leave your puppy in the crate until 11:15. Then feed/water after he goes out. After he goes out he gets “free time” again until 1:45. Eventually when he can hold his bladder/bowels he will be able to stay in the crate longer. Eventually once he is fully potty trained and no longer chewing and 100% trustworthy you could choose to leave him uncrated.

  63. Great article – so helpful! I have an almost 9 week old puppy… she’s a handful. I probably don’t crate her ENOUGH.

    Free time for me is exhausting…she gets super hyper and doesn’t ever chill out and play independently. Or she starts digging in the couch, attacking the cat, or running around looking like she’s going to pee.

    I end up taking her out ALOT. Any suggestions for ‘quieter’ playtime toys outside the crate?

      1. She loves chewing… those bully sticks but I feel a pang of guilt giving those to her too much. Not much interest in the nylabones or other plastic toys….

  64. HI! I have a 20 weeks old puppy, I just started the crate training. She was trained to pee in the pee pee pads as the vet advice not to take her to the streets until she had all her vaccinations. I started to take her out to pee and she won’t pee outside. I walked her t for 20-30 minutes and she will come back home and pee in her usual spot. Any suggestions?

    1. Start moving the pad closer and closer to the door. If you have to take the pee pad outside. She is trained to use the pad. You will need to transition her because this is all she knows.

  65. Hello,
    I am a college student considering getting a puppy. Your schedule seems very to the point and very helpful. Obviously, beung a college student, my schedule with classes and work may not be the best for this type of schedule. Do you have any suggestions when it comes to that? Also what exactly do you put in the crate? Food, potty training pads? Thank you!

    1. Nothing in the crate but a blanket or towel and be prepared to wash it frequently. So my honest advice is don’t get a puppy as a college student. They take so much work and need to be on a schedule/routine.

  66. Hi. So many articles say to have water constantly available. We find ourselves on pee breaks throughout the entire day. Your schedule is very specific with the water. Will they get all the water they need in those specified times? Thanks.

      1. Hi. I have a 9 week old Maltese/Yorkshire terrier puppy. Does this crate schedule work for all sizes and breeds, and can small dogs hold it all night?
        I also have a 2 1/2 year old Yorkshire terrier mix who goes outside but also pees on pee pads. Can this schedule be used or modified to stop her from using the pee pads and learn to hold it longer?

        1. Yes, you can use this method on small dogs. I trained my mini-schnauzers using this method. I have had friends and readers re-train their dogs using this method. It takes a little longer but it does work.

  67. We have a three month old miniature dachshund. We have been crate training which is going fairly well. My concern is when we leave the house he always pees in his crate. We can take him out right before leaving and be gone a short amount of time and he still goes in the crate. Any suggestions?

  68. Hi! this was so great. I just adopted a 4 month old hound mix. She is used to sleeping in a crate and knows the command “kennel up” from her rescue. She’s having tons of potty accidents in the house and I’m trying to catch them early on but am still learning her signs and when I take her outside she gets nervous and doesn’t go potty. I want to crate train her and Ive been doing some training to just get her used to it. Is letting her whine it out ok to let her do while she’s getting used to it? she whines when I leave the room, and I don’t acknowledge the whining but she doesn’t seem settles in and I don’t want to push her. How would you recommend getting her to calm down and be really comfortable in it? I don’t force her in and I always praise when she goes in on her own and give her a treat when she goes in. but I really want her to be comfortable and settle down and don’t know what to do. Thank you!

  69. Hi! This is such a great resource thank you so much for taking the time to get it ready 🙂 My dog is 6 months, and I’m only feeding her 2x a day. I drafted out this potential schedule, would you mind taking a look? Also, if her crate time coincides with me being gone from the house, will that teach her that a crate is a bad place?

    8 – outside, play in the grass with her/free time
    8:30 – food and water
    9:00 – outside/free time
    10:30 – crate
    1:00 – go outside/free time
    4:00 – crate
    6:15 – go outside
    6:30 – food/water
    7:00 – go outside
    7:15 – free time
    8:30 – water only
    10:30 – go outside
    11:00 – crate overnight

    1. This looks good. It doesn’t not teach her it is bad. It would only do that if you place her in there after scolding her or make her feel bad for going in the crate. The crate is the puppies safe place and home. My dogs (now 3 and 5 years old) love their crates. When we can’t find them often we find them in their crates because they consider them their safe place 🙂

      I would pick up the water at 9:00 so that your puppy will be ready to stay in the crate overnight.

    1. They have free time at 3:45 and then they go out at 5:30. That is enough interaction for them when a puppy 🙂 Trust me, it works and they need lots of sleep as their brain is rapidly growing.

  70. We have two crates, one in the living room and one in the bedroom 3 floors up 🙂 we are hoping to use the living room on as her place to go to nap, when we eat, have people over, and relax in during the day (all with door open eventually) the one in our bedroom is covered and used for sleeping. He is a 11 week old chocolate lab puppy. How do I keep him awake for the whole playtime?

    1. I would suggest you use the upstairs crate when you have company over 🙂 That is the hard part. They want to sleep. But I always used a toy and just did my best to keep them awake.

  71. We have a 10 week old Golden Retriever. He does great in his crate. No accidents. He eliminates outside no problem. But then comes in and piddles a few minutes later. What does free time mean? We need to non stop watch him for 2 hrs at a time?

  72. I have an 8 week old 2 lb Yorkipoo. He stays in a playpen that contains his bed, food, and potty pad. We are gone a lot during the day. However, my adult daughter is home at times during the day. His food and water remains in his playpen during the day but I only leave his water out at night. Should I start putting him in the crate even when we are gone doing most of the day? Is it realistic to thing that an 8 week old will hold his bladder for hours? Should I remove his food and water while we are gone and feed him in the mornings (before we leave for work) and in the evenins (after we return from work)? My daughter can give him a small meal before she leaves for work around mid day. We haven’t started taking him outside to potty because this is his first week with us. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    1. I swear by this method. I have crate trained two mini schnauzers with it and it really works. Their crate is where they feel safe and they love it if it is used correctly (not for discipline). I do think I would start with with it right away.

  73. We have a 12 week old German Shorthair mix. We’ve been awful keeping her on a schedule these first 3 weeks! I now have the entire month of August to work with her before back to school.
    We have an enclosed playpen (in our living room)and a crate (in bedroom). She sleeps in the crate overnight, and we use the playpen for during the day rest periods and times when she can’t be supervised. She has only had accidents outside of her crate and playpen…when we weren’t watching her like we should have been. Most of the time she goes potty outside.
    My question is, how do I start preparing her now for when we all go back to school? Right now we are all home every day. Come September, we will be gone from 7:45-3:00. I would like to keep her in the playpen when we’re at work so she has room to move around since she hasn’t had any accidents thus far and keep the crate for overnight sleep. Thoughts?

    1. Since your puppy views the “playpen” and the crate as one in the same (not having accidents) then I think I would leave her in the playpen while you are gone. I for sure wouldn’t leave her to be “free” in the house though.

  74. Hello. We have a 9 week puppy. Our first dog and i have a part time job. I work 2 days a week from 7 to 3:30 but my older kids stay home till 8:30. What would you suggest? Should i stick to this schedule for the 7 days i have off and have a diiderent one for the days i am home or schould i make one schedule and stick to it? Also i know the puupy cant hold his pee and poo that long so i would by a larger kennel and put a pee pad in one end.

    1. I would have them take the puppy out at 8:30 right before they leave and then see if he could hold it until 3:30. I wouldn’t do the pee pad if possible because that will be the way the puppy gets “trained” and would be confusing if you are not doing pee pads all the time. Do you have anyone who could come and let the puppy out at 12:00?

      1. I doe have a 30 min lunch breack but that gives me bearly enof time to go from and to work. I was thinking of doing the pee pads anyways because winter can get pritty cold in Manitoba so would take him in garage for his Out door time with a pee pad along.

  75. I have a 9 week old Golden Doodle. I have his crate in a back bedroom and I have a dark blanket on top. He does very well in his crate. I play puppy lullabies and have a noise maker. I take him out once during the night although he does not wake me up. My problem is I have two other dogs that do nothing like him and are terrors and when I get him out in the morning he goes to the bathroom and we go for a walk and then I feed and water him. I try to play with him but he gets so spastic and I can’t keep him contained so I end up putting him back in his crate. Sometimes he is only out 40 minutes or 20 minutes. I do try to not leave him more than 2 hours at a time in the crate during the day. I have to watch him constantly when out of crate as he will pee even after going outside. I feel so bad about him having to stay in there so much but I’m at my whits end.

    1. My suggestion is to stop taking him outside during the night. This is a habit you are starting now that you won’t want to continue. Also, it is OK to crate or put away your other dogs. Your new puppy needs lots of attention right now and he needs that time out of his crate alone. He may be drinking too much water as well or he may be nervous with all the other dogs around.

      1. Thank you for your quick response. I have adjusted the schedule slightly to suit us, but following this today has resulted in the first time he has gone in his crate without any crying, even when leaving the room, twice. Controlled naps in his crate has had a huge impact on our crate training. Tonight will be the real test though, fingers crossed…

  76. Hello, we have had our Bernese for just over and want to start using your schedule. Just a couple questions.. do you do walks during the “go out” or free time.. is free time able to be done outside? Or at least part of it?

    Potty training has been going okay, she has maybe 1-2 accidents in the house right now, but the chewing when left out at night has gotten out of hand. I would like her to be completely potty trained as well as be on a strict schedule as our second baby is due in 6 weeks.

    Thank you for any help!

    1. Yes “walks” need to be done during the go out or free time. The free time can be outside BUT you don’t want your dog thinking outside time is free time because then they feel they can potty non stop during free time. Does that make sense?

  77. We are getting a 6 week old beagle/lab mix. Due to unforeseen circumstances, this is why he is coming home so early. Is this schedule still something to follow being that he is still so young? Should there be modifications? Should I start with puppy pads and then once he is a bit older start with outside? Your advice is greatly appreciated.

    1. I personally would change this schedule because a puppy this small can’t hold his bladder as long as a 12 week old puppy. I would definitely get up in the night with him (think newborn) and take him out around 3 am. YIKES. But it won’t last forever. I personally don’t think you should start with puppy pads because that is too confusing. Talk to the breeder and vet too for advice.

  78. Can this schedule be used for a 18 week old puppy, my husband just brought a pup home and I’ve noticed he is scared of the outdoors and just uses my house as a potty ground. I was thinking maybe puppy pads, it could be bc it’s soo cold outside. Any advise is greatly appreciated!

  79. Love the schedule! We brought home three 7 week old labs 2 days ago & I feel like I’m losing my mind. So, the schedule is super helpful, I’m curious should they be fed in the crate and should I leave water in there at all times during the day? Thanks so much!

  80. Hi there – loving your schedule and reading through all the comments/advice! Thank you! We just brought home our 8 week old Cavapoo and have been trying to follow the schedule. I work from home so my challenge is having “free time” for the duration on the schedule b/c I can’t pay attention to him 100% while trying to work. Do you have any suggestions? I keep him in the crate in my office with me and he is ok with that, pretty calm and rests. I’ve been taking him out & feeding at the intervals on the schedule. He hasn’t peed/pooped in his crate during the day and only 1 pee accident in the house so far. He has peed in his crate overnight. The last two nights we took him out at 11pm and he wouldn’t pee (and subsequently had pee accidents overnight-he’s never pooped in his crate). It’s been very cold here and he’s only 3.5lbs. He starts shivering and whimpering when we are outside. How long do you suggest waiting outside with them prior to bringing them back inside? Also, he doesn’t seem all that interested in his food. I have to sit with him to get him to eat. Do you have any recommendations on that? Sorry for all the questions! I soo appreciate this post 🙂 Thanks again!!

    1. I would suggest that you get him a sweater to wear outside. When my puppies were little and still to do this day they don’t “want” to out outside in the rain or snow. This makes keeping them accident free an issue. Also, how large is the crate you are using?

  81. I have had my 8 week old pup home for 4 days and she hates her crate during the day. Twice she pooped in there when I crated her so I haven’t been putting her in. But enticing her into it is just not working and now I am exhausted from having to watch her like a hawk the entire time she roams. Is it too late to reatart? What do you suggest if she potties in the crate like this? And do you crate while feeding?

  82. For a puppy that is 8 weeks old, would you leave him in the crate all night? I have been crate training during the day when possible but he cannot control his bladder the whole night, so I have been using puppy pads for night time, Should I still crate him though the night and lose the pads even though he will definitely go inside the crate?

  83. We are getting an eight week old golden doodle our families first dog! A couple of questions, should we take him out to potty more frequently during the long three times if we are indoors? And do we start with an hour and a half great time day one?

  84. i have a few question, is the puppy in the crate for all of this? because when you say go out im taking it has go out of the crate. another question do i put a puppy pad in the crate?

  85. Hi Melissa!
    So glad I stumbled upon your page! We will be bringing home our 8 week old cockapoo this next weekend! He is our first pet! Would you mind taking a look at my schedule to see if it would work? I tweaked it to fit around dropping/picking up kids from school and their after school activities. Some days he will have a longer confinement from 2:40 and some days shorter. So far we have a 24″crate that we will divide to make smaller, a crate cover and a play pen he will get to play in with our without us during free time. I know you suggested putting crate in quieter area of house but for now we will put him in the corner kitchen area. During the day it’s just me, so its fairly quiet. We may move him into basement if he gets loud at night. I really appreciate your advice! Thank you so much for your time!

    6:00 am – Wake up and go out
    6:15 am – Free time (must watch at all times)
    6:30 am – Food and water (pick up food when finished)
    7:00 am – Go out
    7:15 am – Free time (must watch at all times)
    7:40am – Go out/short confine or car ride to school
    8:00 am – Morning walk
    8:20am Confine for rest period
    10:15 am – Go out
    10:30 am – Food and water (pick up food when finished)
    11:00 pm – Go out
    11:15 pm – Free time (must watch at all times)
    12:45 pm – Confine for rest period
    2:30 pm – Go out
    2:40 pm – Confinement
    3:30pm – Go out if home
    4:45pm- Go out if home
    5:00 pm – Food and water (pick up food when finished)
    5:30 pm – Go out
    5:45 pm – Confine for rest period
    7:00pm- Last water break
    7:30 pm – Go out
    7:45 pm – Free time (must watch at all times)
    9:30-10:00 pm – Go out and confine overnight

  86. Hi Melissa – We have a 9 week old female Mini Aussie (Ruby). She is a second dog for us – we also have a 3 year old male Mini-Aussie (Ace). We are retired and because of the Coronavirus situation are pretty much confined to our home for the time being – good timing to have a new puppy! We have a 24″ crate and have the divider in proper place for Ruby’s size. We feed her in her crate but water is in the kitchen for our other dog. We’ve had her for a week now and frustration is setting in with the potty training. I take her out every couple of hours, including right after a nap, first thing in the morning, and about 20 min. after mealtime. We don’t have consistency yet – she wants to play when I take her out. Then when I bring her back in after waiting 20-40 min in the backyard she’ll pee or poop in the house. I’m cleaning those areas up with the enzyme stuff for pets. I’m DEFINITELY going to implement your schedule! All that said, here’s my questions/concerns – I’d LOVE your input!

    1) When I take her out how long should I wait for her to potty?

    2) If she doesn’t potty should I put her in her crate and wait 15-20 min. then take her out again?

    3) I’ve read and been told that puppies this age need to potty every two or three hours, that they cannot “hold” it overnight, so we’ve been getting up at night whenever she cries in her crate – IS THAT A MISTAKE?

    1. 1) When I take her out how long should I wait for her to potty? Wait until she goes. I know that can be frustrating but the new puppy just wants to play. Continually say the same commands over and over. Go potty or Go Pee, Go Poop. Whatever you decide upon. Don’t let her play outside and always use the same spot for potty and a different place for play. We use the front yard for potty and back yard for play when potty training.

      2) If she doesn’t potty should I put her in her crate and wait 15-20 min. then take her out again? Yes! If she didn’t potty put her in the crate.

      3) I’ve read and been told that puppies this age need to potty every two or three hours, that they cannot “hold” it overnight, so we’ve been getting up at night whenever she cries in her crate – IS THAT A MISTAKE? A 9 week old will have a difficult time holding overnight at first but she is crying and you are getting her out and that is for attention. If you follow this schedule and withhold water before bed she can hold it for at least 6+ hours at night at this age. She cries, you come and that is the attention she wants when she doesn’t want to be crated and away from you.

      Hope this helps.

  87. When they do rest time, can anything be in the crate? Like a chew toy? Does the crate have to be covered? Thank you

    1. And silly question do you place the puppy in the crate I know you aren’t supposed to force them in but when you first bring them home and they don’t know what a crate is. Do you place them in there when it’s time to rest? Or do you put treats in and wait for them to go in? Thanks!

      1. I normally lead the puppy in and place treats inside to “entice” the puppy into the crate. I also always leave the door open at all times when they are not crated so it is more welcoming to them.

    2. You need to not put toys inside the crate while you are figuring out if the puppy will eat the items or destroy items. I always cover the crate when puppy is inside to help calm.

  88. Thank you so much for all of this information! My questions are: Can I place a pee pad in the kennel to make accident clean up easier? Also, If our 8 week old pup wakes up at 5 or 6 am is okay to let her out and put her back in the kennel or should I wait until 7?
    Thank you!

    1. Do not place a pee pad in the crate as you don’t want the puppy to think it is ok or expected to pee or poop inside the crate. You can let them out but put them right back in. If your pup isn’t have an accident then she should be able to wait until 7.

      1. Wonderful! Thank you! I’m also getting mixed information with putting the kennel next to our bed the first few nights and moving it out for remainder of the day to the location we’d like it to be in. Is this okay? I want to do everything right from the beginning.

  89. I am incredibly grateful to have found your site. Besides a few minor time adjustments, I followed this schedule and I also introduced the use of a bell that I hung on the door. It took a few weeks, and I was honestly exhausted, but it has been so worth it! At 15 weeks old, my pup only has an accident on the rare occasion. Thank you so much!!!

  90. Thanks for the article we are getting a corgi puppy he will be almost 8 weeks and I was wondering about a crate training schedule. I have to be at work at 4:30 in the morning. Would it be best to start his day before I leave or later.

  91. OMG I just found your article and hoping this will work. I have a 11 week old female yorkie. she recognizes the wee wee pads but I want her to learn to go outside. my question is: during the free time/play time what should I do if I feel she is about to pee or poo?

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