In their first few months, puppies live on a straightforward routine of eating, sleeping and playing. If you control when and how much your puppy eats and drinks, you can better predict when he'll need to relieve himself. Your puppy will more easily be house-trained when you're both working on a reliable schedule. Crate training and a feeding schedule are complementary tools for new puppy owners who want their pups to learn good habits as soon as possible.
Bring your pup outside to relieve himself as soon as you wake up. If your puppy was crated for bedtime around 11 p.m., you should be ready for him to wake up at 7 a.m. After your pup has done his business, bring him back inside to play until 7:30 a.m. Then you may give him food and water. Remove the dishes when he seems finished. Play for a few more minutes, then let him outside once again at 8 a.m. Puppies' digestive systems work quickly! Let your pup play inside for a bit, then secure him in his crate about 2 1/2 hours after he woke up.
Two hours after being crated, around 11:30 a.m., your pup should be let out again. Make sure he relieves himself, and check to crate to see if it has been soiled. Offer food and water, and when he finishes his lunch, bring him back outside again. Play with your puppy inside for about an hour and a half, then crate him again around 1:45 p.m.
Around 3:30 or 3:45 p.m., let your puppy outside to relieve himself, and then bring him inside for playtime, food and water. After feeding, bring your puppy outside, and then allow him free playtime until feeding him again at 5 p.m. Immediately after feeding, bring puppy outside to relieve himself. At 5:45 p.m., confine your puppy to his crate for another rest period until 8 p.m.
Bring puppy outside before giving him water for the last time. When he finishes drinking, remove the water bowl and do not give him any more for the night. Give your puppy free time to play, but watch him at all times. Bring him outside one last time before crating him for bedtime at 11 p.m.
When it's mealtime, make sure your puppy has all the water he can drink, but only while his food is out for him to eat. Be sure to take it up when he has finished eating so you can better predict when he'll need to go outside. Be watchful of your pup whenever he has free playtime inside -- he will still have accidents for the first few weeks while he's establishing a potty and crate routine.
Olivia Kight is an experienced online and print writer and editor. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2012, and has worked on education, family life and counseling publications. She also gained valuable knowledge shadowing a zoo veterinarian and grooming and socialize show dogs, and now spends her time writing and training her spunky young labradoodle, Booker.