Congratulations on your new family member! And well done on taking the responsible route by researching what your 8-week-old puppy schedule should look like. This is a step more important than many pet owners know and will help your new pup learn behavior that makes both of you comfortable and happy.
To help you get started, we’ve created this guide that makes your puppy schedule 8 weeks of little-to-no stress.
A shih tzu puppy with its fur in a pony tail running in a green grassy yard
What Is a Schedule for an 8-Week-Old Puppy?
Can an 8-week-old puppy potty train?
With a little help from you, they most certainly can! And your schedule won’t just be about going potty properly. You’ll be factoring in their crate time, feeding, playtime, and watering time too.
As you find out more about how to train an 8-week-old puppy, you’ll see that consistently following the routine you’ve set will really pay off. Regular mealtimes mean regular potty times, and this means a lot less clean-up for you.
Crating schedules will ensure your wiggly worm of a puppy grows up into a dog that doesn’t chew on things, settles down quickly and quietly, and does their business where and when you want them to.
As with most things in life, organization is key. Once you know what to expect from an 8-week-old puppy, you’ll be able to follow a routine that keeps your stress levels at near nil.
Why The Order of the Schedule Matters
When you’re first starting to follow a schedule for your 8-week-old puppy, you may be tempted to change things up to accommodate your day. Avoid this as far as possible.
There’s a reason the plan is in the order it’s in.
Puppies potty post-nap, after eating and drinking, and before and after playtime. Doing things out of order will most likely result in a bit of a messy accident.
How Often Does My Puppy Need to Pee and Poop?
Your puppy schedule at 8 weeks old will require that you take them outside at least every hour at first. This is on top of taking them to the area you’ve allocated for their poop and pee first thing after they wake up, during and after they’ve played, and after they’ve eaten or drunk water. As your pup gets a little older, add an hour for each month of their age.
When training puppies at 8 weeks old, you can avoid a lot of accidents by picking up on the signs they give you when they need to go. Prioritize potty training in their schedules and whisk them out or onto their Porch Potty if you spot them barking or scratching the door, beginning to squat, becoming restless, sniffing the area around them, or starting to circle.
A gray and white puppy sits on a wooden chair at a table with a bowl of dry dog food
How Often Should My Puppy Eat and Drink?
Your puppy feeding schedule at 8 weeks old will continue until they’ve reached the 3 month mark and you’ll need to give them food 4 times a day. Between 3 months and 6, you can decrease feeding to 3 times a day, and the 6 month milestone marks the point where you can cut feeding down to twice a day, a schedule which many adult dogs follow.
You can help them start making it through the night without needing to go by adjusting your initial 8-week-old puppy schedule to remove water between 2 and 3 hours before bedtime when they are 4 months old.
Separating Potty Time From Playtime
Make a point of drawing a line between potty and play from the first day you start following your puppy schedule for 8-week-olds. Do this by taking your pup out to its designated area.
If they don’t go, try again later. Just don’t let them play here. Take them back to their crates to show them that exercise and playtime come after potty breaks.
When Can Your Puppy Start Meeting Other Dogs?
You can start socializing immediately after bringing home a puppy at 8 weeks. You will, however, need to ensure that it’s with fully-vaccinated, well-behaved dogs and that any children are supervised at all times.
Failure to properly introduce your puppy to the world or exposing them to naughty animals too early on may result in your new pup developing the undesirable behavior they see. Two of the most damaging traits are aggression and fearfulness.
And we know that just because you’re bringing home a puppy at 8 weeks doesn’t mean the rest of your life grinds to a halt. But do your best to reinforce your schedule even when you have visitors. Do this by giving your pup Sit and Stay commands and using these before you answer the door.
Explain to your guests that you need to do certain tasks, like feeding or taking your pup to potty at specific times, and let them know what to do and what not to do.
Part of puppy training is people training too.
A pug puppy with a pink leash in its mouth laying down on maroon pavement
Introducing Leash Training
Now that we’ve covered the details of whether an 8-week-old puppy can potty train, let’s look at leashes.
Start by letting your new pup get used to wearing a collar or harness and a leash around the house. Put these on during playtime and add treats to the mix. Lead them around the house a bit once they’re not worried by the leash anymore and then gradually start extending your walks outside the home.
Keep these training sessions short and combine teaching with play. Consider 2-minute leash training sessions broken with 2 minutes of play at first, repeating for a total of 15 minutes when you’re first learning how to train an 8-week-old puppy on the leash.
Top Leash Tips:
- Take your time. Leash training is for life.
- Not everyone will adore your pup as much as you do. Be respectful by teaching your dog how to respond to strangers.
- Keep your dog away from unleashed animals, no matter how friendly their owners say they are.
Where Should My Puppy Sleep?
We recommend that, along with learning what to expect from an 8-week-old puppy, you also train them to sleep in their crate from the start.
The smaller area will keep them safe, but won’t mean you can’t hear them if they wake up during the night. It also helps with potty training as the limited space discourages them from messing where they sleep.
A tiny puppy sleeping on a thick white knitted blanket
When Can They Sleep Through the Night?
Most puppies will be able to sleep through the night at around 4 months old. But, if you follow a schedule for an 8-week-old puppy religiously, you may be able to get them Zzzing all night earlier.
Sample Puppy Schedule: 8 Weeks Old
Ready to get your pup on a schedule? Try this schedule for an 8-week-old puppy and make pottying a pleasure (or as much of a pleasure as poop and pee can be!).
7 am: Potty
8 am: Meal & playtime
9 am: Potty break & nap
10 am: Playtime
11 am: Potty break & nap
12 pm: Playtime
1 pm: Meal, potty break, & playtime
2 pm: Playtime
3 pm: Potty break & nap
6 pm: Potty break, meal, & playtime
7 pm: Nap
8 pm: Playtime
10 pm: Potty break & bedtime
2 am: Potty break
For more information on potty training your puppy, check out these articles: